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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
My face burns. "You know, like fake blood. It delivers the proper nutrients, but is made in a lab."
The three vampires look at me and then each other, burst-ing into laughter.
"Why on earth would you want that?"
"Especially when you've got one of the top bloods in the world sitting in front of you!"
I grit my teeth, my stomach churning with embarrass-ment. I never should have said anything. Should have told them I wasn't hungry or something. Anything but admit I don't exactly drink real blood on a regular basis.
"I just do, okay?" I say.
But the girls aren't listening to me anymore. They've found another reason to put me down and they're relishing it. First my clothes, then my American accent, now my aver-sion to blood. They're having a field day at my expense.
"A vampire who doesn't drink blood."
"Jareth, wherever did you pick up this girl? She's precious!"
"They're definitely scraping at the bottom of the barrel for new recruits these days!"
"And she's your blood mate, Jareth? Bad luck, luv. Bad luck indeed."
"What kind of vampire are you, anyway?" giggles Eliza-beth. "A vegetarian? Do you suck tomatoes dry?"
I squeeze my hands into fists. Why do I have to take this abuse? So we're in their coven. Whatever.
That doesn't mean I deserve this rude behavior. I've been nothing but polite to them since I walked in the place. I answered them respect-fully, I put up with their abuse. I even kept my mouth shut when they openly poked fun at me.
But now I, Rayne McDonald, have had enough.
"What kind of vampire am I?" I ask, rising from my seat. I reach in my back pocket and rip out my stake. The one I carved last semester when training to be a slayer. It catches the candlelight and flashes a white glow, illuminating the sud-denly freaked out, pale white faces of my new friends.
"I," I say, holding the stake out in front of me, leaping to battle stance, "am a vampirevampire slayer."
Well, that was a bloody genius move, that was," Jareth proclaims a few minutes later as we walk down the driveway, escorted by a big, burly, human guard. It's started to rain (damn English weather!) and my hair is already plastered to my head.
"Sorry," I mutter. It's dark. I can't see where I'm going and I've just stepped into a puddle with my definitely not wa-terproof ballet flats. I'm not a happy camper. "But they were totally asking for it. I've never met such a catty group of women in all my life. Sue me for losing my temper."
"Losing your temper is one thing. Brandishing a wooden stake while standing in the center of one of the most prestigious vampire covens in the western hemisphere is quite another," Jareth says. "You're lucky I was able to talk them out of executing you on the spot. I can assure you, they've snuffed out vampires for far more minor indiscretions than yours."
"Oh, whatever. It's not like I was going tostake them. I just wanted to scare them a bit. Make them see I wasn't some tool to be trifled with."
"Well, they certainly are not trifling with you now, are they? And I'd wager a thousand pounds they won't trifle with you ever again. A little advice, my dear: When you're plan-ning on living for the rest of eternity, it's not such a great idea to alienate your fellow vamps your first year out."
I sigh. "I know, I know. I'm sorry. But you gotta admit, they were totally rude and nasty to me. And by the way, what's with you just standing by and letting them make fun of me, huh? Some blood mate you are."
Jareth sighs. "We weren't there on a social call, Rayne. We needed information from them. Being polite and excusing some bad behavior was the only way to go about getting it. You've got to toughen up. Get a thicker skin. You're far too
I open my mouth to respond, but am interrupted by the security guard. We've reached the gate and he's requesting we step through. Leave the premises, don't come back, all that jazz. He presses a button and the wrought-iron monstrosity creaks open. We have no choice; we walk outside the perime-ter. A moment later the gate clangs shut behind us.
I look around, squinting through the fog and rain. The dirt road leading up to the mansion stretches endlessly in each direction with no other houses in sight. We're in the middle of nowhere.
"Where do we go now?" I ask, my teeth chattering. I didn't dress for the cold, rainy weather, that's for sure. And all my baggage is still in chez vampire.
"I haven't the slightest idea." Jareth turns around, scanning the landscape. "I told the limo driver not to come back until to-morrow and we're miles from any sort of civilization."
"Ican call a cab ..." I rummage into my coffin purse to pull out my cell phone. But as I flip it open, I suddenly remember we're in another country. And sad to say, Mom hadn't seen a reason to sign up her
teenage daughter to an international calling plan. Go figure. "Or not." I sigh.
I'm beginning to realize that perhaps I was a bit hasty whipping out my stake in front of the English coven.
After all, I'd rather be called every name in the book than spend a night out in the wilds of the northern English moors.
But as they say, hindsight is 20/20 and I'm SOL.
The rain starts coming down harder. Pelting me from all di-rections, the wind whipping through my hair and battering my face. I hug my arms against my chest in a desperate attempt to get warm, looking over at Jareth, praying he has a plan.