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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
“Hey, baby,” I coo into the phone. “I was just thinking about you.”
“Good thoughts, I hope,” he teases and I can hear a smile in his voice. He’s in a good mood, thank God. He’s been so grumpy lately, with all that he’s been dealing with. I never know how he’s going to be when I talk to him.
“Oh yes, very good thoughts,” I purr. “Am I going to get to see you tonight?”
There’s silence on the end of the phone. Crap. I shouldn’t have asked him that. I shouldn’t have pushed. Isn’t that what the self-help books say? Let him make the first move? Does that still apply after you’ve been going out for nearly six months?
“Um, actually tonight I have some meetings,” he confesses at last, sounding regretful. “But I was thinking . . . tomorrow night?”
My heart sinks. Out of the entire lonely week, tomorrow is the only night I have plans. I’m supposed to go see my sister cheer at the football game. My whole family’s going to be there and there’s no way Mom’s going to give me a pass on this one. She even made reservations at Olive Garden, my favorite restaurant.
“Er, tomorrow’s not so good,” I confess. “It’s homecoming and I’m stuck with the fam watching Rayne cheer.”
“A football game?” I can hear the distaste in his voice. Damn it.
“I’m free any other night!” I add, hopefully. “Sunday? Monday? Any night next week?”
“Sorry, Sun. I’ve got meetings up until the convention and then we’re heading out on Tuesday afternoon. I’ll be gone through Sunday.”
I let out a frustrated sigh. So Saturday night it is. I wonder how much Mom would kill me if I bailed . . .
“Wait, why don’t you come with us?” I ask, an idea coming to me. “We’re going to Olive Garden and then the game. It’ll be fun.”
Yeah, Sunny, I’m sure it’d be a great time for him. As a vampire, he doesn’t eat and he hates football more than life itself.
“How about . . .” He’s thinking. “How about I meet you after the game? It can’t go too late, right? We’ll spend some time together then.”
“Sure. Perfect!” I agree eagerly. “Awesome.” Mom has to be cool with that. Do the family thing, then the boyfriend thing. Perfect.
“What if . . .” Magnus sounds hesitant, which speeds up my heart rate all over again. “What if I got us a room?”
I almost drop the phone. “A room?” I squeak. “Like a . . . hotel room?”
I can hear his amusement on the other end of the phone. “Yes, Sunny. Like a hotel room.” He pauses, then adds, “No strings attached, of course. Just a quiet, romantic place where we can spend some time alone together. Candles, flowers, a silver plate of strawberries . . . how does that sound?”
It sounds heavenly. And just what we need to reconnect. To make things right.
“We’ll have a great night, just you and me,” Magnus promises. “And we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to . . . It’s not about that. It’s about spending time with my girl, who I love very much.”
My heart melts at his words. “Oh, Magnus,” I whisper into the phone. “I love you, too. And it all sounds perfect. I can’t wait.”
We’re down by three, fourth quarter, fourth down, and Mike has the ball. Only seconds to go and the clock on the scoreboard counts down relentlessly. Mike backs up, looks for an opening . . .
On the sidelines, Rayne and the other cheerleaders are going crazy—yelling and dancing and jumping up and down. “I never thought I’d see the day,” Mom mutters from my side. She and David are cuddled under a big stadium blanket and looking nauseatingly cute as they feed each other cotton candy. “If I’d had to guess, I would have put all odds on you up there, Sunny. Never Rayne. I mean, not that I’m complaining. I think it’s great. Just . . .”
“Weird?” I prompt.
She nods, looking relieved that she didn’t have to say it. Having Rayne as a child would be hard on any mom. If only she knew the real reason her freaky daughter first picked up the pom-poms . . .
We turn back to the game.
Mike sees Trevor enter the end zone. He’s wide open.
As red uniforms converge on our quarterback, Mike throws. Trevor leaps into the air and manages to catch the ball—a split second before he’s tackled to the ground. Touchdown. The crowd leaps up in unison, a chaos of blue jackets, hats, and sweaters—cheering and clapping and whooping the old wolf pack howl.
“Whoo! Yeah! Go Mike and Trevor!” yell the cheerleaders. Mandy does a back flip. Shantel and Nancy bounce up and down. Rayne does . . . something . . . that looks like a cross between a split and a dog lifting its leg to pee. She’s sweating profusely, I notice. She may have gotten spirit, but she’s still a bit weak on the physical fitness. Maybe this will teach her to quit smoking.
“Let’s go congratulate Rayne!” Mom says, as the Wolves are pronounced victors of the night. We scramble down the bleachers and spill out onto the field with the rest of the crowd. Mom waves Rayne over with the kind of huge sweeping gestures that moms are innately gifted with to embarrass their offspring.
“Hey, Mom,” Rayne greets, shaking a pom-pom in her direction. Mom embraces her tightly and my sister hugs her back. Aw. I’m glad to see them getting along again. After Mom pulled a Trading Spaces on Rayne’s bedroom and moved her into my room so David could have hers, things were pretty dicey between them.