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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
"That's not my synthetic!"
Jareth sighs. "Sorry. But we don't have any synthetic on board. I didn't know you were coming, remember?"
I stare at the bottle. "So you gave me real blood? From a . . . real person?"
"That's usually where blood comes from, Rayne."
"But you know I don't drink it. How could you trick me like that?" I throw the bottle across the cabin in disgust.
"You're going to have to get over your aversion sooner or later. I thought now might be a good time to try."
"Thanks, but no thanks. Maybe they have some synthetic at the coven. I'm so not ready to be downing someone's vital bodily fluids."
"Rayne, you're a vampire," Jareth says. "That's what vampires do. You knew that before you turned. If you don't start drinking blood, you're going to waste away to nothing. And I'm sure the lack of sustenance has been one of the fac-tors affecting your moods."
"No, you're one of the factors affecting my moods," I retort, annoyed as all hell that he tried to trick me like that. "Always being so pushy. I'll get there in my own time and I don't need to be rushed into something I'm not ready for."
Jareth sighs wearily, as if I'm the one being unreasonable.
"Fine. I won't bother you again," he says stiffly. "Just go get ready. We're due to be at the English coven in a half hour and I don't want to be late."
"Fine, I'll—" I stop short when I take a good look at him. "Hang on a second. You're going in that?" I ask, incredu-lous. "To the English coven?"
My vampire boyfriend, the once coolest Goth in the known universe, is currently dressed in an old faded Batman T-shirt and a pair of ripped jeans.
He shrugs. "Batman," he says, pointing to his chest. "Like me." He does a little flying imitation with his hands and grins. "I thought it was ironic."
Ironic? Ironic? "Dude! You can't show up to the coven looking like that!" I cry, panicked, my dreams of making a grand entrance going up in smoke. They'll laugh at us. They'll think I'm crazy for being at his side. They'll wonder why I didn't insist he change clothes.
" 'Cause, well, 'cause," What am I supposed to say? 'Cause I'll be embarrassed to be seen with him?
'Cause the other vampires will think he's a total nerd and a half?
"Look, Rayne. It's not a big deal," Jareth reasons. "They're just vampires. Like the ones from our own coven. They won't care what we're wearing."
"They may not say they care, but they're going to judge us by what we look like. That's what people do.
Do you want them to think you're some dork who just stepped out of Comic Con?"
"Frankly, my dear, I don't really care what they think. Rayne, we're not attending a fashion show. It's going to be a long night and I for one would like to be comfortable. What's the big deal?"
Argh! Did the blood virus somehow rob him of all cool-ness points along with his superpowers? First the beach, now stupid outfits. What's next? A sudden love for watching sports with his buddies while chugging beer and chowing on chips?
"What's wrong with you?" I demand, furious. "I mean, you used to be cool! You used to wear Armani and be all brooding and dark and stuff. Ever since we became blood mates it's like you've undergone a personality transplant. You've totally changed. Become a whole new person. In fact, half the time I feel like I don't even know you anymore."
Jareth's grin fades, replaced by a hurt expression, and I instantly regret what I said. "Well you certainly haven't changed." He sniffs. "You're your same nasty, bitter, angry old self who thinks the world owes her a favor. Sometimes I don't know why I bother."
I stare at him, my face hot with fury. I want to slap him, hurt him in some way. Make him feel as unhappy as I feel inside. But I force myself to suck in a breath before reacting. After all, this is my boyfriend. My blood mate. The one I love more than anyone in the world. Why am I so torn up inside?
What's wrong with me?
"I know you're pissed off at the world, but I don't see why that means I have to bear the brunt of it.
You've been nasty to me since school started," Jareth retorts. "And I'm sick of it. I'm not some doormat
for you to walk over and ridicule and abuse because you've had a bad day. I'm sorry if me being happy for once in my life offends you so greatly."
"It's not that," I start, then stop. Is it that? Is that why I'm so mad at him? 'Cause he's happy and I'm not?
I burst into tears, furious at myself for being so messed up. Why can't I be a normal person? Like Sunny or someone. Why am I so angry and hateful? It's like I have this blackness in me. A burning pit of hatred that can't help but bubble up to the surface and lash out at those I love for no reason. I love Jareth. So much. And yet he's the one I'm most mean to.
You always hurt the ones you love. ..
"I just . . ." My voice cracks. "I just want them to like me," I admit, remembering the promise we made each other when we first got together. To share things. Even painful, hurtful things. "The other vampires. I want them to accept me as one of them."
Jareth's expression softens. He reaches over and puts a hand on my shoulder. "Raynie, luv," he says, "of course they'll like you. And acceptance has nothing to do with wardrobe, I swear." He pulls me close and strokes my head. "Sweetie, outside appearance doesn't matter. It's what's in-side that counts," he says, again spouting self-helpisms.