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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
"Sounds good. You'll find me at Hampton Beach. I've got a surf lesson at two." Jareth grins. "Hang tight, dude!"
Oh. My. God. He didn't just say, "Hang tight!" did he? Forget the lycanthropy virus. My boyfriend has been bitten by the Keanu Reeves bug.
"Urn, sure. Hampton Beach. Whatever."
But as I leave the gym I realize I have more important problems than my boyfriend turning into a beach bum. The Oakridge High cheerleaders are werewolves. They may have killed the quarterback and infected my new friend.
And I, Rayne McDonald, am the only one who can stop them.
As usual. Sigh.
It's after ten when I finally get back to my house that night. Long past Mom's normal bedtime. But when I push open the front door I immediately notice three things at once:
- a light on in the kitchen;
- a delicious smell of food wafting through the air;
- the sound of my mom giggling.
I release a sigh. Great. David must have arrived. For some reason I'd been holding out hope that his move-in date was further into the school year and Mom was just giving us ma-jor advanced warning. But not so much, it seems.
I contemplate going in and saying good-night to the two of them, do the dutiful daughter thing and all.
But then I reconsider. Seeing them together will only serve to make me sick. Mom turns into a total Stepford wife when she's around the guy and I can't stomach seeing her batting her eyelashes and saying things like, "Oh, you're so funny, David!" when he's clearly not even the least bit amusing. And then there's the authority figure act she tries to put on in front of him. She used to be Friend Mom—the one we could tell anything to and not worry about being judged. Now that she has David around to impress she's turned into Gestapo Mom—always ready to yell at me about one random thing or another. Stop smoking. Start eating. Why don't you ever come home on time? I can't remember the last time we had a long talk about life and stuff. Oh, and when I try to say anything about David she immediately gets totally defensive. I guess she never completely got over the time I told her he was an evil vampire. But that was an honest mistake and based on some pretty hard evidence. So not something she should hold against me.
I trudge up the steps and down the hall to my bedroom. I push open the door and switch on the light, glad to be back in my sanctuary. After the night I had I just want to decom-press. Maybe play a few hours of World of Warcraft. It's Spider and my favorite online video game and we play every chance we get. In fact, maybe she's online right—
Oh. My. God.
At first I think I've stepped into the wrong room. This can't be my bedroom—my sacred escape from the brutal reality of the world we live in each day. My room has beauti-ful, dark, haunting photos on the wall. My room has a black comforter and is lit only by a single black-light bulb. My room has glow-in-the-dark stars on the walls and fake cob-webs strung from bedposts to ceiling.
The room I just entered is completely generic. The walls are bare, with only pinholes to show there'd ever been any-thing hanging on them. There are several new lamps, each with a gazillion-watt bulb, practically blinding me with brilliance. The bedding has been changed to a neutral navy blue spread and starched white sheets. There's even a few GladePluglns stuck surreptitiously into the plugs meant to charge my cell phone and iPod.
And there's a suitcase sitting on the end of the bed. With men's clothing spilling out of it.
"No, no, no, no!" I cry, horrified beyond belief. "This can't be happening!"
"Itried to stop her, Rayne, but she was a madwoman."
I turn around. Sunny's in the doorway, hair mussed and dressed for bed in flannel pajamas.
"Mom did this?" I cry. "She pulled a Mom Eye for the Live-In Boyfriend Guy on my room?"
Sunny puts a finger to her lips and motions for me to follow her into her room. I do, taking one last shuddering glance at the place formerly known as my bedroom. This time Mom has gone too far.
Kicking me out of my own room! That's got to be breaking some kind of child protec-tion law we have in this state, right? I wonder if DSS could step in here and stage an intervention if I tipped them off to her abusive parenting . . .
I should have never decided to keep living at home after I became a vampire. I should have moved out, gone to live in the coven with Jareth and the rest of my kind. That would have taught her to appreciate me. And I'm sure no one over-doses on Febreze in an underground crypt.
We step into Sunny's bedroom and she shuts the door behind us. I look around. Her room is completely untouched except for some kind of cot wedged in the corner. A cot! Mom expects me to toss and turn and likely suffer permanent back injuries in a rickety cot while her boyfriend snuggles down in a Sealy Posturepedic? That phone call to DSS is looking more and more like an option.
"I leave the house for one football game ..." I mutter, not sure where to begin. I sink down onto the cot.
It tips and groans under my weight. "I mean, at the very least she could have given my room away without the total makeover. Is David too good to sleep in a room with AFI posters on the wall? Is he allergic to fake spiderwebs and glow-in-the-dark stars?"
"It's 'cause you pissed her off by not cleaning it when she asked you to," Sunny explains, sitting cross-legged on her bed. Maybe if I'm really nice to her she'll let me sack out on her queen-sized tonight.
After all, we're twins. We cuddled in the womb. Seems only fair now that one of us has been tossed out into the cold that the other start sharing. "When I came home after school she was up here looking at both of our rooms. Mine was pretty clean, like you see now. So I figured she'd just stick David in here."