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  • Home > Mari Mancusi > Blood Coven Series > Bad Blood (Page 47)     
    Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi
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    I am Sunny, hear me rawr.

    “Just wait for me, okay?” I ask, pushing another twenty through the payment slot. The driver nods absently, still taking in the sketchy scene with worried eyes. I sigh and get out of the cab, closing the door behind me and heading down Fifth Avenue toward Sasha’s trailer. Here goes nothing. The last remnants of the sun begin to gracefully slip past the horizon, not easing my mood as I walk down the dirt street. I can’t see anyone, but feel a thousand eyes watching me from behind closed curtains from the trailers I pass, making the hairs on my neck prickle. I squeeze my hands tight to stop them from trembling and try to tell myself there’s nothing to be nervous about. So these people are poor—that doesn’t make them dangerous. But there’s just something in the air that makes that reassurance very hard to believe. A flock of vultures circles above me, only adding to my nervousness. I imagine them waiting for me to drop so they can swoop down and retrieve their dinner. Tearing at my skin, pecking out my eyes, until there’s nothing but dental records that could identify me, even if someone were to find me way out here in the middle of nowhere Nevada.

    It occurs to me, suddenly, that I should have at least told Rayne exactly where I was going so she could call in the cavalry if, for some reason, I don’t return in a timely fashion. Not that she’d probably even notice, I suppose, until it’s too late. Too busy playing high-roller to be a good sister. Suddenly I hear a screeching sound and whirl around, my heart in my throat. I’m just in time to see the cab racing out of the trailer park in a cloud of dust, fishtailing back onto the main road and taking off down the street as fast as its wheels can take it.

    Damn it! I punch a nearby streetlamp in frustration, scraping my knuckles in the process. This is great. Just great. Now I’m going to have to figure out a way to convince some other cab to drive way out here to pick me up when I’m done. And I’m running out of twenties.

    Forcing my mind back to my task, I locate trailer number 74342. I glance down at my printout. This is it. Sasha/Jane’s trailer. At least this particular home is freshly painted, unlike the others in the park. There are brightly colored geraniums growing in little flowerpots under the windowsills, too. (Though it appears they haven’t been watered for a few days.) I walk around the trailer, scoping it out. Peer in an open window. It’s dark inside. Nobody home. Which is not surprising, I suppose, considering at the moment Jane’s probably staying at the conference hotel.

    Sucking in a nervous breath, reminding myself that this is all for the greater good, I push up the screen window and manage to pull myself up and inside. I land in a small bedroom, a full-size mattress covered by a faded flower quilt filling the majority of the room.

    I’m in.

    Okay. I scramble to my feet. Time to search for evidence of Jane’s true identity. But where to begin? I walk out into the small living room/kitchen area and scan it thoughtfully. My eyes fall upon a small file cabinet sitting next to a computer desk. Aha!

    I start my search. At first I’m only finding folders with restaurant takeout menus and book club flyers and a few advertisements for collectibles from the Franklin Mint. Nothing damning, evidence-wise, though the Mint thing could imply questionable taste.

    I’m about to give up and try somewhere else, when my fingers stumble across something with much more potential. A manila folder labeled JANE. Hands trembling, I pull the folder from the drawer, inadvertently spilling its contents all over the floor in the process. I get down on my knees to look through it all, my heart sinking as I realize it’s exactly what I’ve been hoping not to find. Birth records, school report cards, fingernail analysis, even bloodtype information, all made out to Jane. A diploma from Oxford rounds out the files, announcing her recent Master of Science degree. I stare at the diploma, wanting to cry. I wanted proof, but I never expected to find the other kind. The kind that proves that I was wrong. That Jane is exactly who she says she is and I’ve just been a jealous girlfriend from the very start. I stuff all the paperwork back in the folder and toss it on the desk, depressed beyond belief. I can’t believe I was wrong: all this investigating for nothing. Magnus was right to treat me like a child. I deserve nothing better. I mean, what did I think? That I, a high school kid, was smarter than a group of thousand-year-old vampires? That I could see something they overlooked?

    Please. I must be crazy.

    Rayne is so going to have a field day when I tell her. A big “I told you so” fest if she can drag herself away from the poker table to celebrate. None of this makes any sense still. Why would Jane pretend to be someone like Sasha and star in a stupid off-Strip Vegas revue? How did she afford Oxford while living in a trailer? But, I suppose, these are just minor details at this point and don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. In the end, she’s exactly who she’s said she is and there’s no practical reason on Earth she should not become my boyfriend’s blood mate.

    I realize that dusk is fading into night and I still need to call a cab to get the hell out of here. Feeling dejected, I reach in my bag for my cell, but when I pull it out I realize I have no bars. No coverage way out here in the middle of the desert. Not good. Anxiously I scan the trailer, looking for a landline phone and find one of those old-fashioned rotary dial types sitting on a side table in the living room. Relieved, I pick up the receiver.

    No dial tone.

    I sink down to the sofa, anxiety now warring with my hopeless depression. I’m way too far away to get back to Vegas on foot even if I could navigate my way in the pitch dark. Damn that cabdriver for taking my money and abandoning me like that. What am I supposed to do?

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