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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
Her smile fades. “Excuse me?”
“Yeah, as in you’re not the chosen slayer. I am.”
Now she’s frowning. “I don’t think so. Mr. Teifert was pretty clear…”
“He must have confused me with you,” I say, laying a hand on her shoulder, giving her my best sympathetic look. “It happens.”
“Since when? It’s not like I’m your twin sister! We look nothing alike.”
“Maybe not to us, but you know how grown-ups can be. And between you and me, I think Teifert’s a bit nearsighted. Not that he’d ever admit it.”
“It’s okay. I’m here, reporting for duty. You’re off the hook.” I glance at my watch. “In fact, if you head home now, I bet you’ll get back in time for some morning PvP with the guild. I know you need your battle points—”
“Rayne, listen to me! I’m not going to just go home and play video games!” Spider retorts, gripping her hands into fists. “There’s no mistake. I’m the destined slayer. Teifert even told me they injected me with some special nanovirus. If I did go home to play video games, he could activate it. And I’d be killed.” She glowers at me. “So yeah. I don’t think there’s any mistake here. Except the one you’re making.”
I stare at her. It’s all I can do not to have my mouth drop open in disbelief. Could this be true? Could this weird alternate future universe we’ve created for ourselves really have skipped over me for the slayer gig? I suppose it could happen. Maybe they learned I was the one who broke Sunny and Magnus out of jail? Or that I was present when Bertha was murdered? Maybe they assume, since I’ve been hanging out with vampires, that I’m no longer the best candidate to serve Slayer Inc.’s interests.
I feel a weird tug of disappointment in my gut. It’s funny—back when I was first informed of my slayer destiny, I thought it was a nightmare come true. But now, being left out—being turned down for a job I was supposedly born to do—I feel like breaking out in tears rather than jumping for joy. I guess I hadn’t realized how much my role as a slayer had become part of my personal identity.
Do they really think Spider will become as good a slayer as me? Better even? And what if war between vampires and slayers does break out? Will she end up getting slaughtered by brain-hungry zombies?
No. She is innocent. Naive. She has no idea what she’s up against, and it’s my job to save her from herself. “Spider, look,” I try to reason. “I know right now this probably seems kind of cool and all. But trust me, you don’t want to do this. It’s not all glamorous and fun. In fact, it’s really dangerous.”
“What, you think I can’t handle myself?”
I groan. “You can’t even stay alive when we play World of Warcraft. And that’s only virtual slaying.”
My friend scowls. “Oh, that’s nice. Real nice, Rayne.”
Sigh. I didn’t mean to offend her. “I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m just worried about you. That’s all. Now is Teifert in there? I need to speak to him. It’s very important.”
Spider frowns, standing in front of the door. “I’m not supposed to let anyone in…”
“I’m not anyone. I’m your best friend,” I remind her. I make a move toward the entrance. To my surprise, my so-called best friend leaps into my path, whipping out a stake from her Feed bag. I sigh.
“Really? This is how you want to play it, Spider?” I ask. “Really?”
“I’m sorry, Rayne,” she says in a tight voice. “But my orders are very clear. Anyone tries to get into Slayer Manor?” She shrugs. “I’m supposed to stake them through the heart.”
I stare at Spider in disbelief. Is she freaking kidding me?
“Um, dude. I’m not even a vampire. Why the heck would you go and stake me?” See, this is reason number one why she’s completely wrong for the job. She doesn’t even get who’s stakeable and who should be killed with alternative weapons.
“And how do I know you’re not a vampire?” she demands.
“Um, let’s see. For one thing, I’m standing out in bright sunlight. I don’t have any fangs. I had a garlic tofu scramble for breakfast and I’m wearing a cross necklace,” I say, pulling out the necklace in question from under my blouse. A really cool Gothic cross I got on Etsy. “And if you step aside, I can show you how I can walk into Slayer Manor without any sort of invite whatsoever.”
“Yeah, but what about that sparkle on your left cheek? Explain that, vampire!”
I roll my eyes. “Hard Candy glitter eye shadow. Which I borrowed from you, if I’m not mistaken.” I pause, then add, “And just FYI, if you’re really planning to go through with this whole slayer gig? You should know that real vampires don’t sparkle.”
Her face twists in exasperation. “Fine. So you’re not a vampire. But I still have to kill you if you try to come in. Teifert said so and I don’t want to get written up my first day on the job.” She looks at me pleadingly. “So could you please just walk away or something? Make me look good for my boss?”
“Believe me, I’d like nothing more. But I can’t. I have to warn Teifert about a really big threat. It’s a matter of life or death.”
She shakes her head stubbornly. “No can do, Rayne. I have my orders.”