Suddenly, a wave of panic rose in my chest. Down at the other end of the hallway, Jason Vernon had joined the other three guys by Isaiah’s locker.
Jason was the football and basketball star of our school, so tall that he towered over Isaiah. If Isaiah was the second-most desirable guy in our grade, Jason was first. With spiked blond hair, blue eyes, and a healthy tan even during the winter months, he looked like he was born on the beach.
He was a varsity athlete, achieving football captain and quarterback status as a junior. He was friends with all the right people and liked by all the teachers. And he hated me.
The other popular guys in that group didn’t think much of me either. Isaiah’s feelings about me were established early on when Hannah first introduced us. Tommy and Nate lumped me in with the majority of the student body who were too boring to be part of their crowd but not nerdy enough to bully.
But Jason couldn’t spare me the safe self-absorbed disinterest that I received from friends. He reserved a special brand of hatred for me that surfaced anytime I looked at him the wrong way – or at all. If he walked into a room and sensed I was there, his body would go rigid. He’d pause, scanning the rows of seats until he found me. Then he’d stare me down, his brows forming angry arches over his cold eyes. He’d focus on me long enough to make me squirm, and then he’d move to his seat and face the front of the classroom like nothing had happened.
The pause, the stare, the “I’m going to kill you” look, and the abrupt switch to normalcy was so quick, so fluid, that no one else would have noticed it – but I did, and I dreaded it every time I saw him.
– Fanged, Chapter 3
Why write about vampires?
In most vampire stories I’ve read, vampires are much stronger than humans. Sometimes, their strength is so superior that a human would have no chance against a vampire in a fight.
This is the case in Fanged. Vampires are much stronger than humans in this universe, and Sean has little to fear for his own safety if a human tried to pick a fight with him.
Yet, he’s still afraid of one of the athletes in his school – so afraid that he dreads Jason’s very presence.
What makes a supernaturally strong creature fear a typical high school jock?
Sean hasn’t stopped being a teenager just because he became a vampire. The high school social ranking system doesn’t go away when a person is undead, and old habits, such as feeling intimidated by the popular crowd, don’t go away easily.
But that’s not the only reason Sean dreads the company of Jason.