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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
“Wow, Rayne. You were amazing. Really amazing,” Mom gushes, clearly overwhelmed by motherly pride. “I’m so impressed. I had no idea you could do those kinds of moves.”
“Well, it did take some practice,” Rayne says with a bashful grin. She doesn’t take compliments well. Probably because she doesn’t get too many in her typical role as the bad girl.
“Yeah, you were really something,” David says, walking up behind Mom. “A total natural.”
“Isn’t she?” I say, wanting to encourage her. “I keep telling her that but she refuses to believe me.”
“Can I speak to you for a minute, Rayne?”
We all whirl around. Mr. Teifert, the drama teacher and vice president of Slayer Inc., the company Rayne freelances for, is standing there. Hmm, I wonder what crazy assignment he’ll give her this time? Demon lord about to be let loose? A banshee screeching in, set on nothing short of our total destruction? Or perhaps some leprechauns have swung into town, after their Lucky Charms?
“Well,” Rayne says with some reluctance, glancing back at the fam. She’s probably not ready for a new assignment either. After all, she just got finished saving the town from cheerleading werewolves. You’d think she’d get a couple comp days or something after a major accomplishment like that. Or, I don’t know, a pay-check at the very least. After all, as she loves to remind me, even chicks with destinies have bills to pay, black lipstick to buy.
“We’ll be right over here,” David assures her, not about to get in the way of his Slayer Inc. boss talking shop. He may be developing fatherly feelings for Rayne and me, but at the end of the day he’s still a company man. He and Mom and I take a few steps back. I try to stay close enough to listen, but I can’t quite make out Teifert’s words. Darn.
Rayne rejoins us a moment later. She has a big grin on her face. Hmm. Usually a conversation with Teifert has her swearing and spitting. This really is a weird night.
“Was that Sunny’s drama coach?” Mom asks her. Of course, she’s completely clueless about Teifert’s secret identity. “What did he want?” Mom knows that while Rayne may be a drama queen, I’m the one actually performing in the plays.
“Nothing much,” Rayne bluffs. “Tried to convince me I’d make a kick-ass Morgan Le Fay in his King Arthur play. Which I would. But I told him I’m pretty overcommitted at the moment.”
“So you’re staying on the . . . team?” I ask, meaning Slayer Inc., not the Wolves cheering squad. Though, come to think of it, I’m curious about the answer to that, as well.
“Yeah,” Rayne says. “I think so. At least for a bit. Why not, right? After all, they definitely need me.”
“Well congratulations again, Rayne,” my mom says, completely missing the undertones of the convo as usual. She kisses Rayne on the forehead. “I’m really proud of you.” She turns to David. “Are you ready to hit the road? I think the girls have some celebrating to do.”
I glance at my watch. Magnus was supposed to be here a half hour ago. Where is he? He’d better not stand me up . . .
David nods. “Bye, guys. Rayne, good job.” He offers a quick handshake (he’s not quite at “hug” stage yet) and then he and Mom turn to leave. Once alone, I grin at my sister. “A vampire, vampire slayer cheerleader,” I say.
“Who would have thought?”
“Yup. That’s me. Multitalented.” She laughs. “Actually Teifert was just trying to get me to quit the Slayer biz. I guess Bertha the vampire slayer’s all recovered from those blood pressure issues and ready to get back into business. But I told him he should keep me on retainer. You never know, he might need me.”
“Well, I know I feel safer knowing you’re still on patrol,” I assure her. We’re silent for a moment and then I realize I should tell her about tonight. She’s going to be psyched that I made the decision without bugging her about it. “By the way,” I say, lowering my voice. “I’ve decided to do it.”
“Do what?” Rayne asks, feigning complete innocence. As if she doesn’t know exactly what I’m talking about. She just likes to see me squirm.
“It,” I say, my face reddening. “You know, with Magnus.”
“Ahhh,” she says, realizing what I mean. “My little twin is going to lose her innocence once and for all.”
I punch her in the shoulder. “Don’t put it like that!”
“I’m sorry,” she says mockingly. “My sister is going to bonk her boyfriend for the first time.”
“Rayne! I’m telling you a huge thing! And you—”
She laughs. “I’m just teasing, Sun. I think it’s great. You and Magnus are a wonderful couple. He’s completely loyal and devoted to you and he loves you with all his heart. It’s obvious just by watching you two together. And if you think you’re ready and have really given it a lot of thought, then I say go for it.”
I beam. “I mean, I know we’re not blood mates like you and Jareth. We’re not linked by blood to stay together forever with no one able to tear us apart. But we’re really close. I love him so much, Rayne. I don’t even know how to explain it.”
Luckily I don’t have to because Rayne’s BF, the drool-worthy vampire Jareth, chooses that moment to approach from across the field. He’s wearing a navy blue, tailored Armani suit and dark sunglasses, even though clearly there’s no sun in the sky. He’s all Jude Law meets David Beckham, sans tattoos. Guess this means Rayne finally wore him down on the whole beach bum/ surfer ensemble he donned all summer and has convinced him to embrace his inner metrosexual. Normally I’d be against such a blatant abuse of girlfriend power, but I have to admit, he does look good.