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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
Since I can’t properly plead on the phone with others in the apartment within hearing distance, I decide to get dressed and call her on my way. So I take a five-minute shower and change quicker than Superman in a phone booth, then say my good-byes and head downstairs and out of the apartment building. Once I’m down the block, I pull out my cell phone and dial my twin.
“Hello?” she answers on the fourth ring.
“Rayne, it’s me,” I say into the phone. “Where are you? I need your help.”
“Oh hey, Sun,” she says, a bit too cheerfully. “I’m down at the Harrah’s Casino. There’s a huge poker match today—preliminary try-outs to become contestants on the World Series of Poker. You know, the TV show? I’m so trying out.”
She’s got to be kidding me, right? “Rayne, listen to me.” I grip the phone tightly, forcing myself to keep my cool. “Tonight’s the night Magnus is going to turn Jane into a vampire unless I can prove to him that she’s evil and up to no good. I have her last known address. It’s out in the desert somewhere, according to Google Maps. I’m sure if we break in we can find some evidence. Some kind of irrefutable proof Magnus can’t help but pay attention to.”
Rayne’s silent for a moment. “We?” she asks at last. “But I just told you, I’m in a tournament. Sunny, this is a once in a lifetime chance. I could win a million dollars.”
“But, Rayne, I need you,” I say, ready to resort to begging if necessary.
“You’re the slayer.”
“I’m really getting sick of you saying that, Sun.” I can practically hear her rolling her eyes over the airwaves. “It’s not like I have some crazy superpowers or anything. Really, anyone can kill a vampire. You just need a chunk of wood to stab through his heart. So easy.”
“Rayne, come on.” I can’t believe she’s being like this. Choosing some stupid poker game over her flesh-and-blood sister. After all the times I’ve helped her out over the years, the one time I need her and she blows me off. She sighs into the phone. “Do you really need me?” she asks. “Really?” She sounds like she’s hedging, but only out of guilt, not out of actually wanting to help me, which just makes me angrier.
“You know what, I guess I don’t. Have fun at your stupid tournament. Hope you win a bundle.” I click END on the phone and stuff it back in my purse, fury raging through me. I flag down a taxi and get inside, giving him the address. I have to offer him an extra twenty to leave the city limits, but he eventually agrees and we’re on our way. My phone vibrates, sister calling back, but I refuse to pick up.
I lean back in the seat, still seething. I should have known she wouldn’t come with me. Rayne never does anything that doesn’t directly benefit herself. Whatever. I don’t need her. I can do this all on my own. Get to the trailer park, sneak in and gather evidence, and get back to the Mandalay Bay casino before midnight. No problem.
I’ll save the day and be the hero and for once it won’t be the slayer getting all the credit. In fact, once Magnus hears how selfish she’s been, he’ll probably put her on probation or something. Like vampire detention. That’d be perfect. Oh Magnus, I sigh to myself as we drive away from the bright lights and into the barren desert. I hope you appreciate all I’m doing for you. 16
“Are you sure you know where you’re going?” the cabdriver asks me skeptically as we turn onto a rocky dirt road in the middle of nowhere Nevada. I look down at the Google Maps directions I printed out. Yup, definitely the right place.
“I’m sure,” I reply. “Just turn left up here.”
The cabdriver mutters something under his breath, but does as he’s told, turning left into the Lake View Mountain trailer park. While some mobile home parks, like the old folks’ home where my grandma spends winters down in Florida, are really nice, with built-in swimming pools and shuffleboard courts, this one is decidedly dilapidated. The trailers are rusty, porches are sagging, and most of them could use at least three coats of new paint. Not to mention there is no
“lake view” or “mountain” to speak of. Not surprising, since we’re out in the middle of the desert, I suppose, but definitely false advertising, if you ask me.
“Stop here,” I instruct, as the cab glides past Fifth Avenue (which looks nothing like its New York City counterpart, I probably don’t have to add). “I’m getting out.”
The wind picks up dust and debris and swirls it around the cab and a mangylooking dog approaches the vehicle, baring its teeth. I look around for its owner, but there’s no one in sight. It’s as if the place is deserted. Abandoned. Hopefully this isn’t due to some hungry vampire passing through. I glance up at the already darkening sky. I’d so wanted to get an earlier head start.
“Are you sure you want to get out?” the cabdriver asks, looking more worried than annoyed now. His eyes dart from one smudged window to the other. “This place doesn’t exactly look very safe.”
He’s right, it doesn’t, and for the thousandth time I wish Rayne had come with me. Even if her slayer powers are all bulk as she claims (and I don’t believe that for one second), at least she’d be good moral support—being the type of girl who’s not afraid of anything. At the very least she’s had some combat training, if it were to come to that.
But she isn’t here and I need to accept that—suck it up and be brave for once in my life. I mean, God, it’s no wonder Magnus always treats me like a little kid—I’m practically afraid of my own shadow when it comes to situations like these. I need to prove him wrong—prove everyone wrong. Show them I’m capable, confident, and can single-handedly save the coven from an evil vampire. Maybe even save Magnus’s very life.