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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
"Sunny, Oakridge High cheerleading squad? They're actually a pack of werewolves."
"What? I—I mean ... Do they even exist? That's crazy!"
"Is it? I mean, we know vampires exist. So why not were-wolves? Hell, at this point I wouldn't even rule out the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy."
Sunny shakes her head in disbelief. "But at Oakridge? I mean, Mandy Matterson and Shantel Jones and the rest? They're werewolves?"
"It appears so." I relate the events of the night to her. She listens, silent and wide-eyed.
"So what are you going to do?" she asks when I'm done.
I shrug. "I'm not sure. This is beyond my expertise, really. It's not like I can stake the entire squad.
Besides, I don't even think that would work. Isn't it, like, silver bullets with were-wolves? Something along those lines? And I don't know about you, but my concealed weapon permit has long expired. Plus there's that whole waiting-period thing—"
Sunny rolls her eyes. "In any case, you don't want to shoot the squad either, right? I mean, who would rally the crowd when we're down 21-3?"
I laugh. "Right. Plus it's one of those things that tends to get a lot of media attention. Not to mention prison time. And imagine if they gave me life in prison as a vampire? Eternity's an awful long time to stay behind bars."
"So what are you going to do then? Is there a cure or something?"
"I don't know. Jareth's going to look into it. And I'm go-ing to have a little chat with the cheerleaders tomorrow— assuming they're back to their nonhairy selves. Maybe they can shed—ha ha, get it?
Shed—some light on where and when they got bitten." I shrug. "Maybe if we know that we can figure out a way to reverse the process."
"Hopefully the cure doesn't involve the Holy Grail again," Sunny says. "That was a total pain in the ass to get our hands on. And expensive, too. Mag paid a million pounds to those druids. I doubt Slayer Inc. has that kind of budget."
"Still, we have to do whatever it takes to stop them," I say. "Who knows what trouble they'll get into out on the streets? I just hope they don't hurt anyone."
"Do you really think they did something to Mike? Like . . . ate him or something?"
I make a face. "I really hope not. But I intend to find out."
"At least you got a while, right? When's the next full moon?"
I grab a calendar off Sunny's wall. It has pictures of silly-looking dogs in costume. Figures. I flip to October. "Accord-ing to this . . . it's October 15th."
Sunny's eyes widen. "Really?"
"Why? What's so significant about that date?" I ask.
"Rayne, that's homecoming."
I walk into the cafeteria the next morning and notice Shantel sitting alone at a far table. While seeing
someone sitting alone in the caf might not normally set off any warning bells, for Shantel, it's a five-alarm fire. When not at cheering prac-tice, the girl is always with her boyfriend, Trevor. And I mean always.
The two of them are constantly locking lips or performing some other disgusting PDA that no one wants to watch before A period.
But today, she's alone and looking pretty distraught, too. Her always perfectly flat-ironed hair is tangled and unbrushed. Her makeup is smeared. And worst of all, she's wearing stripes with plaid. Something's very wrong here.
I approach her cautiously. "What's wrong, Shantel?" I ask, trying to keep my voice light. "You look like someone just killed your best friend." As soon as the joke's left my mouth I realize it's not all that funny.
In fact, it could be exactly her problem.
She looks up at me with mascara-stained eyes. "It's Trevor." She sniffs. "He's missing."
My heart sinks. Another football team member has disap-peared? On the very night the girls turned into werewolves? This is not good. Not good at all.
"Are you sure?" I press, sitting down beside her. "Maybe he just slept in. Or he has a hangover from that party you guys went to last night." I cross my fingers under the table, praying for a logical explanation, even though it's obvious there's not going to be one in this case.
Shantel shakes her head. "No," she says. "His mom called me this morning. Said he never came home last night. She was hoping he was with me."
Little did Trevor's mom know that was the last place she wanted her son.
"Did you see him after the game?" I ask. "I went up to him on the field for a minute to congratu-late him before we headed back to the locker rooms to change for the party. That was the last time I saw him."
Shantel pauses, staring off into space. "And that's the weird-est thing, Rayne. I don't even remember the party. After the locker room, it's, like, a total blank. I don't know if I drank too much or someone slipped something in my drink. But I woke up the next morning naked in my bed. And I was filthy dirty—my hands, my knees, my feet. As if I'd been running around on all fours or something. Really, really weird."
So Jareth was right. She didn't remember a thing about her metamorphosis. Which was probably for the best, now that I think about it. Especially if it turns out Shantel and the others chowed on her boyfriend as a post-game snack. That kind of thing would definitely scar a person for life.
"Don't worry, Shantel," I say, patting her on the arm, try-ing to sound unconcerned and comforting. "He probably just got wasted and passed out somewhere. I'm sure he'll call you any minute now."