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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
“Yeah, great,” Rayne repeats woodenly, not even attempting to pretend there’s really anything great about it. “Like, totally awesome.”
Crystal narrows her eyes and shoots my sister a death look, then turns back to me. “You ready to go upstairs?” she asks. “I think Alejandro already took up your bags.”
“Sure. Lead the way.”
“Actually I think I’m just going to stay in a hotel,” Rayne says suddenly. “That Wynn place looked pretty nice. I bet they have some rooms available.”
“Yeah, at like five hundred dollars a night,” Crystal says in a smug voice.
“That’s what credit cards are for.”
“Rayne!” I admonish, elbowing her in the ribs.
“What? I’m just saying I think it might be nicer in a hotel. I mean, they probably have those white fluffy robes and you know I’m a sucker for those. Not to mention room service. There’s not going to be any room service in this place, right?”
“Oh my God, please don’t start. Just come upstairs, okay?” God, she is so impossible sometimes. The queen of cutting off her nose to spite her face. I mean, room service indeed. The girl’s a freaking vampire. She doesn’t even eat. Rayne’s silent for a moment, her eyes squinty and mad. I give her my best pleading look, praying for the tiniest shred of reason to surface. I know Crystal’s not exactly the type of girl you’d always dreamed of to be your stepsister, but at the end of the day, we’re here to see Dad, not her. And it’d be pretty stupid to let her snotty attitude ruin that for us. Finally, Rayne lets out a frustrated breath and shakes her head. “Yeah, whatever. Lead the way, I guess.”
Crystal rolls her eyes, then takes us down the hallway, stopping in front of a bank of copper-colored elevators. She presses the UP button and a moment later one of the doors slides silently open. We step in and Crystal hits the PH
button. So Dad lives in the penthouse. Maybe Rayne’s right about that whole child support thing . . .
“I can’t wait to see Dad, can you?” I whisper to my sister, trying to coax her into a better mood. I know girls like Crystal piss her off royally, but she really needs to learn to control that temper of hers and not let stupid people ruin her day. After all, we’re in Vegas, baby! And we’re about to see our father, who we haven’t seen since our birthday last spring. Nothing should be able to bring us down.
Rayne grants me a small smile. She likes to pretend she doesn’t care about the whole Dad thing—that she’s too cool for all that family drama—but I know deep down she misses our father just as much as I do, if not more so.
“Yeah,” she admits. “It’ll be good to see him.”
“See who?” Crystal interjects.
“Our father. You know, the guy who owns the penthouse you’re squatting in?”
Rayne replies before I can speak.
“Oh. Um, he’s actually not here. He was called away on business and left this morning.” Crystal shrugs. “I don’t think he’s coming back for at least a week or so.”
“Wait, what?” Rayne cries, losing her cool before she can stop herself. “Are you effing kidding me? He’s not here?”
“Nope.” Crystal smiles smugly. “He said to say hi though. And to give his love and all that.”
I know I should say something—something to calm Rayne down before she goes off the deep end, but the lump in my throat makes it impossible to speak. This is so typical. So damn typical. I don’t even know why I’m surprised. Let’s just say our dad isn’t exactly the most devoted parent on the planet. He never calls and when he does he’s always making promises that he can never seem to keep. The only reason we saw him last spring on our birthday was because Jareth wrote to him and told him Rayne was dying of a blood virus. Still, you’d think he’d at least have the courtesy to stick around for at least a day or two when he heard his daughters were flying more than two thousand miles across the country to meet up with him.
I glance over at my sister. She’s actually looking more composed than I thought she would. Which is maybe even more worrying. Angry Rayne I can calm down. The Rayne that pushes the hurt deep down inside is more of a problem. Mainly because all that anger and pain eventually starts bubbling up inside of her until she becomes a powder keg, ready to go off at the slightest provocation. Recently her temper almost cost her her relationship with Jareth. And that would have been a true tragedy, because they love each other so much.
The elevator door slides open at the twenty-seventh floor of the building. We follow Crystal down the hallway and she stops in front of a nondescript door labeled PH17. She flashes a small card key at the reader and the LED light blinks green. The door swings open and we step into a light, airy apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows.
I let out a low whistle as I look around. The place is incredible. Decorated totally in white, with the most modern-styled furniture I’ve ever seen. Instead of a regular couch, there’s a white leather bench kind of thing and a chaise lounge made of a material that’s suspiciously similar to seventies shag carpeting. A collection of multi-height glass-and-chrome tables sit nestled between them and the pièce de résistance—a ginormous flat-screen television—takes up the entire west wall. (I’m not so much on the modern furniture, but that TV is damn impressive.)
A woman who appears to be in her early forties sits in the middle of the room, her body contorted into some sort of complicated Yoga position. She’s wearing very little—white bra, short terry-cloth shorts—but with a body like hers I might not bother with clothes either. Her legs are long and tanned and you could bounce a quarter off her taut stomach. Her hair is chopped short, in a blond pixie cut.