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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
At first I think somehow this is related to the werewolves, but then I notice the razor blade she's trying to hide behind her back.
"What are you doing?" I cry. "Are you trying to kill your-self? I'm calling 911!"
"No!" she says, jumping up, blood droplets splattering everywhere, some landing on my own cheering sweater as she grabs my arm. Argh. I feel like I'm going to pass out from the irresistibleness of the sight and smell of fresh blood— getting the nearly overwhelming urge to just latch onto her wound with my little fangs and start sucking away.
Sometimes being a vampire is really sick.
"Rayne, stop!" Cait begs, her eyes as wide and frightened as I'm sure mine are. "I'm not trying to kill myself! I swear."
I stare at her, suspiciously, while my insides war for blood-drinking dominance. "Cait, you're sitting in the bath-room holding a razor. You're bleeding. What else would you be doing?"
She turns deep red, leaning back against the wall and sink-ing down to a seated position. I scramble down on my knees and grab her arm for a better look. It's then that I notice the scars. There have to be hundreds of them. Crisscrossing up and down her arm—tiny silver threads, permanent reminders of past cuts from days gone by. Either she's attempted and failed suicide many, many times before or . . .
"You're a cutter!" I whisper, horrified and fascinated all at the same time.
I've read about girls like her. Those who get comfort from self-mutilation. When they get stressed or upset or scared or helpless they reach for a razor. The physical pain is supposed to soothe them emotionally. A lot of Goths and Emos do it for attention—for some pathetic reason they think it's cool—but real cutters simply can't help themselves.
Cait bursts into tears and wrenches her arm away from my grasp, pulling down her sleeve to cover the cuts and scars. "Please don't tell anyone!" she cries, tears stream-ing down her cheeks, smudging her makeup. "It's so embar-rassing."
"Embarrassing?" I stare at her. "Cait, it's dangerous! You could seriously hurt yourself. Even if you don't mean to. You need to stop."
"I... I can't stop." Her blush deepens and she stares down at her lap. "I've . . . I've tried. I just can't."
Wow. This is more serious than I thought. Poor Cait. Suffering in secret for God knows how long. I grab her and pull her into a hug, trying to ignore the blood that's pulsating from her arm and radiating desire to all the pleasure sensors in my brain.
"Drink!"the vampire in me begs. But I ignore it. I have to.
"You can stop. But maybe you need help. We can get you some. Maybe your mother could get you an appointment with—"
"No!" Cait says, pulling away from the hug, her eyes wide as saucers. "Not my mother. She'd kill me!"
"If you don't get help, you're going to end up killing your-self."
Cait hangs her head."Iknow," she says. "But please don't tell my mother. She was so happy when I made the cheerleading squad. For the first time in my life she's actually proud of me. I don't want to disappoint her again."
I squeeze my hands into fists, frustrated beyond belief. How stupid some parents are! Forcing their children to live the lives they want them to lead, even if those lives are far from what the children actually want for themselves. And for what? So the parents can look good when bragging about their offspring at cocktail parties? So they can relive their own glory days through their children? All her life Cait's been belittled by her mom. For not being cool enough, not being pretty enough, not being good enough to become a cheer-leader like she was. No wonder the girl's mutilating herself. She has to release the pressure somehow.
"Cait, if your mom loves you she's going to understand you need help," I say, crossing my fingers that this is true. "Cutting is a sickness. Like diabetes or cancer. You can't help it. And you can't cure it on your own. You need help. Surely she will get that and find you some. And if she's disappointed in you—well, that's her problem. Not yours. You're awe-some. You rock. Anyone who doesn't see that is a blind-ass moron who should be shot."
Cait giggles a bit through her tears. "Maybe you're right," she says. "I don't know. I just— Well, I just don't want to let my mom down, you know? Since my dad died, I'm all she has in the world."
"Maybe you could start by going to a school counselor or something. I think they have to be confidential, right? Unless you tell them you want to kill yourself, which I don't think is what's going on here. In any case, they could at least point you in the right direction and maybe help you figure out the best way to eventually break the news to your mom."
Cait opens her mouth to speak, but at that moment the locker-room door bangs open. Great. Just what I need. An interruption right before Cait promises she'll go get help.
Ah, even better. An interruption from my dear friend Mandy.
"I'll get rid of her," I say to Cait. "Get back in the bath-room so she doesn't see you."
Cait obeys, closing the stall door behind her. I breathe a sigh of relief. The last thing Mandy needs to see is Cait in this state—crying and bleeding. She'd probably use it as an excuse to kick her off the squad.
Mandy turns the corner and I jump in front of the stall door. She frowns. "What are you doing?" she demands, hands on her hips.