|Home > Mari Mancusi > Blood Coven Series > Bad Blood (Page 43)|
|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
“Good-bye, Jayden,” I whisper to his retreating figure, my words falling into the night desert winds, whisked away, unheard. “I’ll miss you.”
Not shockingly, I suppose, everyone’s awake when I enter the apartment, even though it’s nearly eleven. This is definitely a household of Vegas night owls. Heather’s doing some Pilates on the floor while Crystal watches some kind of MTV reality show on the big-screen TV. Stormy’s next to her on the couch, cross-legged and lost in the world of Nintendo DS. Rayne’s the only one missing—shock, surprise, and all that.
Heather looks up when I close the door. “Hey, girl,” she says. “Did you have a good night?”
“Actually I did,” I’m able to answer truthfully. My cheek still burns from Jayden’s kiss and I involuntarily reach up to touch the spot. “It was a good night.” Maybe too good.
She smiles. “Awesome. Well, please help yourself to any food in the fridge,”
“Yeah,” Stormy remarks. “There might even be a rotten banana left over from Fourth of July if you’re lucky.”
“Or we can order you something if there’s nothing you like,” Heather adds, throwing a pillow at her daughter. Stormy dodges it easily and then throws it back.
“It’s okay.” I laugh. “I actually just came from dinner.”
“Want to play Dance Dance Revolution?” Stormy asks hopefully.
“No freaking way,” Crystal interjects. “I’m watching TV here.”
Stormy looks disappointed. It’s then I remember what I was going to ask her. “I actually could use some help with my computer homework,” I tell her. “There’s this problem I’ve been having and . . .”
Stormy’s already off the couch and bouncing toward me. “I can help you!” she squeals. “Come to my room. My computer’s the best in the house by far. I’ve totally souped it up with a custom processor and, like, two terabytes of RAM.”
I have no idea what that even means, which, I guess, is why I need her help in the first place. It’s time for a lesson in Hacking 101 from the little prodigy I call sister.
I follow her to her room. Unlike the rest of the apartment with its sleek allwhite modern décor, her room is a riot of color, as if a rainbow exploded everywhere and no one bothered to pick up the mess. Her walls are plastered with manga of every type and her bed is so covered with books that I wonder where she even sleeps. But the center of her room, the shrine, is obviously her computer, which sits next to the window and is covered with glittery stickers.
“So what do you need help with?” she asks, pulling up two chairs to the computer and sitting down in the command seat.
“I’m trying to get information from someone’s computer,” I explain. “An address from their address book.”
“Hmm.” Stormy considers this and I cross my fingers that this isn’t a crazy, impossible request. Then I remind myself that, glitter stickers or no, this little girl can break into real-life casinos in her spare time. Of course she can find one teensy little address. “Do you have this person’s e-mail by any chance?”
It’s then I remember the show schedule I got from the stage-hand at the theater. Reaching into my pocket, I pull it out and hand it to her. “It’s the guy at the top,” I tell her. “Cornelius.”
Stormy nods and sets the paper down on the desk. “Okay,” she says, “so the easiest way to snoop into someone’s computer remotely without them knowing is to send in a Trojan.”
“A Trojan?” Wasn’t that some old Greek horse? Or a condom company?
“It’s like installing a secret back door into their computer. So we can go in and out and access whatever we want to on their computer.”
“And you can do this? What about . . . firewalls?” I really needed to start paying attention in computer class.
“Well, if we can get them to open a certain e-mail attachment themselves then it’ll launch an auto-install and bypass the firewalls, because the computer will assume it’s an authorized install.”
“But who opens attachments these days?” I ask, leaning back in my chair. “I mean, we’ve been warned about that kind of thing since birth.”
“We have, but older people aren’t always as computer savvy as we are,”
Stormy reminds me. “Is this guy older?”
Good point. From the way he favors clothing from the Old West, I’d guess Cornelius is at least a couple hundred years old. Definitely born before the age of Google. Maybe this could work.
“The key is to play on their curiosity and vanity,” Stormy tells me. “Like, sending an e-mail that says, ‘Check out this video of you and me.’ That was a Facebook virus a while back and sooo many people got infected.” She shakes her head. “In fact, Crystal got the virus four times before I finally had to disable her downloading ability.”
I laugh appreciatively. “Okay. Well, let’s write Cornelius an e-mail he can’t refuse.”
Stormy grins. “Cool. What do you know about this guy?”
He’s an evil vampire, possibly vying for the Blood Coven’s demise? Hmm. Probably something else.
“He’s an actor of this really low-rent play. Fancies himself a vampire.”
“Okay,” Stormy says, head down and typing furiously. A few minutes later, she looks up. “Got it,” she informs me. “I’m sending an e-mail that will appear to be from the Stratosphere Hotel, inquiring about his show. Turns out they’re sick of their current vampire revue, Bite, and are looking for a new act. They’ve attached a formal proposal to this e-mail, of course.” She winks at me.