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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
"Oh yes. Extensive makeout session, actually," Jareth says with a thoughtful smile. "I was actually wondering if you'd been practicing, you were so improved—"
I grab the air phone off its receiver. "Oh, I am so having a word with her!"
Jareth starts laughing and grabs the phone from my hand. "I'm kidding!" he says, looking pleased with himself. "She didn't kiss me."
I narrow my eyes. "Are you sure? You're not just trying to cover for her, are you?"
"I wouldn't dream of it," Jareth says, still chuckling. "You know, Rayne, you're something else. You really are. I can't believe you managed to break out of the coven and onto the plane."
"The plane thing was easy. Just show up with a little bot-tle of blood laced withAmbien and the guard was down for the count."
"Well, you're creative, I'll give you that."
"So you're not mad?" I ask.
He sighs. "Not mad. Just. . . well, worried. It's not like I locked you up for no reason. I really do think it's for the best that you take some time off. Get used to being a vampire."
"I'm fine. Really I am. I just had a rough day. Too many people giving me a hard time. It happens to everyone."
"Everyone doesn't get into their car afterward and smash it into a guardrail."
"That was a total accident caused by lack of decent satel-lite radio stations. It had nothing to do with me being in a bad mood."
"Mmhm." Jareth doesn't sound too convinced. "You know, I still have half a mind to turn this plane around and drop you back off stateside."
"Oh, come on! Don't do that! I've been so looking for-ward to this trip. I want to meet all the English vampires. I mean, they're my peeps! And not in a weird, parasite-driven, ScottWesterfeld -novel type way, either. They're . . . well, they're my new family."
"Fine," Jareth relents. "But, please, I beg you, be on your best behavior on this trip. Remember we are representing our coven. The English vampires are very old and set in their ways. And we are their guests.
We must be polite at all times. No flying into rages or telling them off. No matter what."
"Yes, yes, of course. God, what type of vampire do you think I am?"
Jareth grins wryly. "A Raynie type."
"And what, may I ask, is that?" I ask, hands on my hips.
"Unique. One of a kind." He grabs me and pulls me into an embrace. I allow myself to melt into his arms.
He strokes my back. "Beautiful, stubborn, absolutely able to drive me crazy in two seconds flat."
"And?" I press.
"And the love of my unlife. Someone I never want to spend a day apart from."
"You'll never have to," I murmur, tilting my head up-ward. He smiles and leans down, kissing me softly.
Mmm. I love this vamp of mine.
"I'm very glad to hear it."
After chatting for a while longer, we curl up on the plane's couch and fall asleep watching the surfing movie Endless Summer. (Jareth claims he only Netflixed it because he thought I wouldn't be along to complain and if he'd had any idea I'd be stowing away he would have rented the digitally remastered Nightmare Before Christmas collector's edition for sure.) I sleep well, for the first time in a while actually feeling somewhat content.
Sure I've still got problems. Cait's angry with me, Mandy's probably about to kick me off the squad, and my mother's ready to ship me off to my Vegas playboy of a dad so I won't harass her new boyfriend.
Oh, and there's the car thing. Both she and Sunny are going to kill me when they find out I totaled it. (I sort of neglected to mention that to my twin when I was convincing her to trade places with me.) And, of course, my boyfriend thinks I need psychiatric inter-vention to cope with my vampire rage.
But cuddled up against Jareth, flying on a private jet to jolly old England where I will meet my undead brothers and sisters, find a werewolf antidote, and save the world again, I feel pretty darn good. Go ahead, life. Throw something at me. I, Rayne McDonald, can handle it.
I fall into a restful sleep, dreaming of Jareth and me walking into the English coven. It's decorated like some eighteenth-century ball and everyone curtsies when we enter. They announce us as Lord and Lady and we're seated at the head table, as guests of honor. One by one the English vamps approach us, bowing low and welcoming me to England. Vowing to spend their entire lifetimes, if necessary, to make sure I'm—
"Get up, get up, you sleepyhead!"
What the . . . ? The dream fades as an obnoxious cry invades my ears. I roll over, pulling the afghan over my head. But Jareth will have none of it. He grabs the blanket, ruthlessly ripping it from my body, and starts tickling me awake, which, if no one's ever done it to you, is by far the worst way of being woken up in the history of wake-up tech-niques.
"Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!" he says. Yes, these words actually come out of his mouth.
"Ugh. It's the middle of the night!" I protest, trying to squirm away from his fingers. "And we're vampires.
We don't eat eggs or bakey." Not that it doesn't sound amazingly yummy right about now. But I'm so not going to admit that.
"I know," Jareth says. "Which is why I brought you some real breakfast." He holds out a squeeze bottle filled with red liquid.
"Ah, thanks!" I grab the bottle and suck through the straw greedily. Then I spit it out. "Argh!" I cry.