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  • Home > Mari Mancusi > Blood Coven Series > Bad Blood (Page 45)     
    Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi
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    “But what she did . . .”

    “You don’t know what she did. You really don’t.” I stroke her hair, trying to soothe her. “When we get home we can sit down with Mom and ask her to tell us the whole story. Then we’ll know. Heather says there’s more to it and I believe her. We’ll find out the truth and then you can make a decision on how you want this stepfamily to fit into your life. And if you never want to talk to them again, that’s your decision to make. But I’ve made mine and I’m not going to let you make me feel like a traitor for doing so.”

    Rayne lets out a sob and I pull her close, wrapping her in my arms and comforting her as best I can. She’s so sensitive under all her bravado, all her hate. I really wish she could let down the walls she’s built up, just a tiny bit. Because by seeking to protect herself, she’s actually trapped herself inside.

    “So you really think they’re nice?” she asks, pulling away from the hug. “Even Crystal?”

    I laugh and shake my head. “No. She’s still a total beeyatch,” I reply. “But Heather and Stormy, they’re great.”

    Rayne draws in a breath, a determined look coming over her face. “Okay,” she says. “Let’s go back upstairs. I’d like to get to know my family a little better. If it’s not too late.”

    “It’s Vegas bay-bee,” I say, grinning at her, happy she’s taking a chance at last.

    “It’s never too late here.”

    15

    Sunlight streams through the window and I groan, pulling the covers over my head, just wanting five more minutes of sleep. After Rayne and I went inside last night, Heather suggested hot chocolate and a game of Cranium. We played

    ’til one A.M.—with even Crystal joining in. Rayne was quiet and awkward at first, but eventually loosened up and by the end of the night was laughing and teasing along with the rest of us. Finally Heather announced that she was exhausted and had to get some sleep. So she set us up in Stormy’s bedroom and let her daughter sleep with her. I’d fallen into a comalike slumber and didn’t wake up until now.

    “Sunny,” cries Stormy, bouncing on the bed. “We’re in!”

    Groggily, I try to figure out what she’s talking about. “In?”

    “To the computer. He opened the e-mail.” She jumps off the bed and into her computer chair. “Look! He’s got his desktop totally vamped out.”

    I glance over at the screen. Sure enough, Stormy’s rainbow and unicorn wallpaper has been replaced by a black background with dripping red letters.

    “He really takes this vampire thing seriously, huh?” Stormy asks.

    “Oh yeah.” But then most vampires do, I suppose.

    “So here you can operate his computer just as he would,” she explains. “You can read his e-mail, check what websites he’s visited, whatever. You’re basically in the driver’s seat. Just don’t make any changes or he might notice something’s wrong next time he sits down at his computer.”

    I nod, taking the mouse from her and gliding it across Cornelius’s desktop. I find the icon marked ADDRESS BOOK and double click. A few moments later I am the proud owner of the address of Ms. Sasha Star on Fifth Avenue, Lake View Mountain Park, Calle Verde, Nevada.

    I scribble it down on scrap paper and then turn to my sister. “You rock, Stormy. Thanks so much.” I start to get up from my chair.

    She stops me. “That’s it? I give you the ultimate inside access to this dude’s computer and all you do is steal one little address?” she asks incredulously. “It hardly seems worth the effort. Don’t you want to check out his e-mail? Maybe see what websites he regularly visits?”

    “Okay, okay.” I sit back down, amused. “Let’s see if he’s into porn or something.”

    I load up Internet Explorer and hit the HISTORY button. But instead of websites like “HotVampsLoveBlood.com” I find that Cornelius has actually been looking up opportunities in higher education.

    At Oxford University to be precise. The puzzle pieces are starting to align. I take a screenshot and hit print and a moment later the evidence sits waiting on the printer. I grab the paper and rise from my seat, kissing Stormy on the top of her head. “Thanks so much, sis,” I say. “That was awesome. You really need to join the CIA or something when you get older.”

    She laughs, logging out of Cornelius’s desktop and going back to her own. “No way,” she says. “I want to be an actress.”

    “You really are my sister, aren’t you?” I smile at her. It’s then that I glance at the clock on the bedside table for the first time. “Three P.M.?” I cry, realizing I’d slept way later than I could have ever imagined.

    “Yeah,” Stormy says, looking amused. “I’ve already been to school and back and you’ve been sleeping the whole time.”

    Crap. This leaves me with only nine hours before the biting ceremony tonight. I’m running out of time. “Stormy, have you seen Rayne?”

    Stormy nods absently from her computer. “She left about an hour ago,” she says. “Something about a date with a slot machine she couldn’t refuse.”

    Damn it. She’s gambling again? And here I thought once she had made peace with the family she’d be done with all of that and ready to help me. Now we’re down to the wire and I could really use her help. After all, the last thing I want to do is break into a probably evil crazy person’s trailer by myself. It’s not like I have slayer training like her.

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