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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
"At least two hundred years," she says, pulling away from the hug and shaking a scolding finger. "Way too long."
My heart sinks. Two hundred years? There's no other explanation. She's a vampire. One of the English coven I'd been so looking forward to meeting. I can't believe it. I thought if anywhere there'd be cool, Gothy vamps, it would be in England. Evidently not so much.
Once again, I don't fit in.
Two more vampires, both looking like teen characters from a Gossip Girls novel, burst from the door.
"Jareth!" they cry in unison.
"Ladies," my boyfriend says, debonairly. He bows to both of them. They giggle in response.
I narrow my eyes. Are they flirting with him? Don't they see me standing here, obviously his girlfriend? I glance down at myself, making sure I haven't somehow turned invisible or something. After all, not one of them has yet acknowledged my presence.
"You look great, Jareth," the blonde dressed in skinny-jeans, slouchy boots, and a long cashmere sweater gushes, batting her obviously fake eyelashes at him. "As always."
"And what a funny shirt," adds the Lindsay Lohan red-head, currently dressed in a lacy, baby blue camisole top and low-rise capris. "Batman! How utterly clever!"
Oh come on! You have got to be kidding me.
"Thank you," Jareth says, beaming. "I've always been quite fond of this shirt." He turns to me. "Rayne, here, on the other hand, thinks it could be a bit of a fashion faux pas."
Three pairs of eyes turn to stare at me. I'm given a com-plete once-over by each of them.
"Shethinks it could be a fashion faux pas?" sniffs Katie. "The girl wearing black legwarmers with fishnets?"
I flush, suddenly wishing I could crawl under the pave-ment and die. I'd picked out this outfit especially to impress the English vamps and now it looked like it was going to be the object of ridicule.
"Is it Halloween already?" asks the blonde. "And here I thought that wasn't 'til October."
"Maybe she can't afford nice clothes," says the redhead."Imean, look at that sweater she's wearing. Lots of rips and tears. In fact, I think it's only held together by safety pins."
"That's intentional," I mutter, looking down at the porch and kicking a floorboard with my toe. If only the porch would somehow magically open up and swallow me now.
"Ah! She's a Yank!" Katie squeals. "That explains it then."
"A vampire Yank. How utterly plebeian," sniffs Blondie.
I glance over at Jareth, waiting for him to defend me. But all he comes up with is "Katie, Susan, Elizabeth, this is Rayne. Rayne has only recently been reborn."
Recently reborn? Jeez. Why doesn't he just come right out and call me a vampire newbie or something?
The girls giggle, using his words as an excuse to bat their eyelashes at him a few more times. They are so transparent it's not even funny. No wonder Jareth moved to America and hasn't been back for a visit in two hundred years. I'd have stayed away for at least a thousand.
"Ah," says Elizabeth, the redhead. "She's young. That explains it then."
"Yes, the new ones always have this inexplicable urge to cater to Hollywood stereotypes," adds Katie.
"I find it so amusing."
I glare at her. Amusing indeed. Well, maybe I find it so amusing that you all still have such sucky fashion sense even after a thousand years of practice.
I think this, but don't say it aloud. After all, I haven't forgotten Jareth's lecture on being on my best behavior. I've already let him down way too much. Got to prove I'm wor-thy of his trust. That he didn't make a mistake by not turning the plane around.
So I bite my tongue, even when Susan chimes in, "Imag-ine if all vampires wandered around dressed like they were dead. How utterly gloomy a way that would be to spend eternity."
"Too right." The girls nod in sync.
God, how long will we be roasting Rayne tonight? Don't you guys have coffins to climb into before sunrise? Maybe we could at least move off the porch and make fun of me inside the crypt?
I glance over at Jareth, who in turn avoids my stare. I've no doubt what he's probably thinking. Here I went on and on about his wardrobe not being cool enough. And it turns out it's me who ends up being the dork in this situation. He's probably laughing like crazy on the inside.
Not to mention he can't defend me in this case. As he said on the plane, we're guests here and we need to be on our best behaviors. Coven ambassadors from America. Besides, these vampires may be able to
help us find the Lycans. And that's more important than my dignity at this juncture.
Just think of them like the cheerleaders, I tell myself. They're stupid and they don't know any better. But even the Wolves are cooler than these vampires. And way more open-minded. In fact, now that I think of it, once I made the team, not one of them had a snide comment about my wardrobe. Even that day I forgot and wore fishnets under my uniform. And when I wore that skull belt to keep up my shorts, Shantel actually told me she thought it looked kind of cool. And Nancy asked if she could borrow my Manic Panic blue dye to paint streaks in her hair for spirit week.
I can't believe I'm standing at the entrance of one of the oldest vampire covens in the world and I'm missing the Oakridge High cheerleading squad.
"Shall we go in?" Jareth questions. Of course his sugges-tion is met with more giggles and gushing agreement. We step over the threshold and into a large, high-ceiled entryway, complete with a Cone With the Wind sweeping staircase and elaborate chandelier. I twirl around, forgetting the rude vam-pires for a moment, just taking it all in. The rich, jewel-toned walls, the elaborate gilded portraits of unidentified vampires. There are doors leading off in seemingly every direction, but not a single window. Guess they need to keep the place light-proof.