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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
“Hmm,” Rayne muses. “You have a point.” Thank God she’s finally taking me seriously. “Did you talk to Magnus about what you found out?”
“Yeah. But he just thinks I’m jealous. Which is completely ridiculous.”
Rayne gives me a pointed look.
“Okay, okay. Maybe I am a teensy-weensy bit jealous. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong,” I remind her. Just ’cause I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me. “Anyway, originally I was going to spend some time this week investigating her. You know, find out the four-one-one and all that. Gather some more evidence so he’ll take me seriously. But then I found out they’re leaving for Vegas tomorrow. And I can’t exactly figure out what she’s up to if she’s all the way out in Vegas.” I sigh, slouching down in my seat, suddenly weary and depressed. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Well, that’s easy, sis. We go to Vegas, too!”
Leave it to Rayne to make it sound so simple. “I asked Magnus, but he said I couldn’t go with him. He said I would be bored.”
“Well, you don’t have to tell him, do you? We’ll just buy airline tickets and fly out there ourselves. In fact, maybe it’s better if Jane doesn’t know you’re coming. After all, she’s got to know you’re suspicious of her at this point. This way she’ll think she’s home free and won’t try to hide her true colors as much.”
“That’s all well and good, but what about a little woman living in our house named Mom?” I ask. “She’s not exactly going to let us just jet off to Vegas by ourselves.”
“Sunny, Sunny, Sunny,” Rayne says, again with the patronizing voice. She really needs to cut that out. “Don’t you get it? We’ll play the Dad card.”
I turn to her, impressed. It’s brilliant. Inspired! Why didn’t I think of that?
When our parents broke up four years ago, Dad took off with his secretary to Vegas. (Cliché, I know!) And he still lives there, in an apartment with the secretary (now wife) and two stepsibling types. Mom always feels super guilty about the fact that we never get to see him and would pretty much do anything to improve our relationship with him, including sending us out for an impromptu visit if we so requested.
“When Dad came here on our last birthday he said we should come out and hang with him in Vegas,” Rayne says. “He has an apartment right on the Strip so we wouldn’t even need a car.”
“We’ll miss a few days of school . . .”
“We can get our homework in advance and do it on the plane,” Rayne says, her eyes shining her enthusiasm. “We can even tell our teachers we’ll do a special assignment and write about our trip or something. Since it’s for family, they have to say yes. I think that’s even like the law or something.”
I’m not sure this is the case, but it doesn’t matter. We have a plan. A beautiful plan and I have hope once again that maybe things will turn out okay. I smile at Rayne, feeling tears mist my eyes. For all my bitching, she really is a good sister when it counts. Loyal, devoted, and true. What would I do without her?
“Thanks, Rayne,” I say. “It means a lot that you believe me about Jane and want to help expose her.”
Rayne snorts. “Oh, I don’t believe you for one millisecond,” she replies. “I think Jane’s perfectly harmless and you’re just jealous. But hey, I’m dying to go to Vegas. And if this is the excuse you need to make it happen, then let’s go investigate Jane.”
I sigh. So much for sisterly devotion. But I guess in this case the ends justify the means. Rayne gets to party in the city of sin and I get to find out if my boyfriend’s blood mate is actually a sinner.
Viva Las Vegas.
Even taking into consideration the DG (divorce guilt) factor, Mom is surprisingly amenable to us jetting off to Vegas last minute on a school week. In fact, she actually says it’s a really good idea. (Who would have thought?!) David seconds the motion, which is less surprising. After all, Slayer Inc. has a vested interest in keeping an eye on what goes down at the consortium and what better way to do so but to send the slayer herself down there to spy? (Not to mention, Rayne reminds me, it gives him a week of alone time to bonk Mom’s brains out. Ew.) He even has some spare frequent flyer tickets—first class!—to fly us out in style. Sweet!
So after a luxurious plane ride with hot towels, a real meal with actual silverware, and all the Diet Cokes I can drink, we land at the Vegas airport. Which, I’m surprised to learn, has actual slot machines right in the terminal. As we wait for our bags, Rayne throws a quarter in one of them and not two seconds later, the machine spits out a receipt worth twenty bucks.
“Oh my God! I love Vegas!” she squeals, jumping up and down, her newfound riches in hand.
“Well, don’t forget, we’re not here to have fun,” I remind her as I yank her ridiculously heavy suitcase off the conveyer belt without any help. (What did she pack in here, rocks?) “We’re here to save the Blood Coven.”
“I know, I know,” she replies, still staring down at her golden ticket. “And now we have the cab fare to do so. Well, at least one way.” She glances over at the glittery slot machine that had gifted her the twenty. “Maybe I could try to double our money . . .”
Oh geez. I dive for her second bag off the carousel, wondering if maybe I should have come to Vegas alone.