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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
His face turns crimson as he realizes we're all staring at him. "Uh, I've, uh, got to go see a man about a dog," he mut-ters, turning and fleeing the bar.
The men break out into laughter, slapping each other on the back.
"John's always been a bit of a lady's wolf," Lupine says with a chuckle.
"So he . . . ?"
"Yes, lass. Basically, you see, when we get horny, we get, well, hairy!"
Um,ewh . I wonder what the womenfolk think of that. Though, I guess they're probably in the same fuzzy boat. Of course, this would mean it's a lot harder to hide the fact that your partner just isn't doing it for you anymore.
Sorry, dear, I just can't seem to get hairy tonight.
Don't worry, dear. It happens to all wolves once in a while.
One of the men leans in to sniff me. (No, not my butt, thank goodness.) "You're not human yourself, lass," he pro-claims. "Your blood smells funny."
Now it's my turn to blush. Should I tell them the truth? I guess it's okay. After all, these guys just admitted they regularly howl at the moon. A little fang will seem like nothing to them.
"I'm a vampire," I confess. "Just turned last spring."
They look at me, wide-eyed and interested. "A vampire, eh?" says one. "I've never met a real one before."
"Do you sleep in a coffin?"
I laugh. "No, I have a room at Appleby Manor."
"Can you not see your own reflection?"
"Do you think my hair would look this good if I couldn't?"
“What about crosses? Do they burn you like fire?"
"Totally. And I'm really grossed out by garlic. But I never liked that before my conversion either, so no big loss."
"Do you die if someone stakes you through the heart?"
I groan. "Jeez, guys, give it a rest. I'm a vampire, not a freak show. And besides, you guys are werewolves. Do silver bullets work? Do you howl at the moon? Is the American Werewolf in London based on any of your kin?"
They laugh and slap me on the back. "Touché, vampire lass," one says. "Touché."
"So one more question," says Lupine. "Why is a Yank vampire like you looking for Lycans in our humble bar?"
"Well, I'm glad you asked," I say. "Do you remember a group of American girls coming this way last summer? They would have been here for some cheerleading competition."
The men groan in sync. "Can't forget them," says one. "Meears wereringin ' from the blasted noise they made for near three weeks after they left."
I laugh. "Yup, that would be them," I say. "Well, they're nowback in Massachusetts, of course, but they've. . . changed."
"What do you mean?"
"Um, simply put, I think they're werewolves."
The men erupt in concerned murmurs. I wait patiently, lighting another cigarette.
Finally Lupine speaks. "That's impossible," he says.
I shrug. "Impossible or not, I'm telling you the truth. And this is the one place where they could have become infected."
"But we haven't turned a wolf in more than five hundred years," Lupine says. "Bringing in new mouths to feed would be counterproductive. It would destroy the pack. The only way you can enter the Order of the Gray Wolf is to be born into it."
I scratch my head. That doesn't make any sense. If they don't turn people into werewolves, how was the squad in-fected?
"Is there any way there could be someone outside your pack who could have done an unauthorized bite or some-thing?"
The men talk amongst themselves again. "What about the Lone Wolf?" I hear one ask.
"There was a boy who challenged Lupine, our alpha," the man explains. "He had delusions of grandeur.
Decided he wanted to take over the pack. Of course he was defeated." The men all look gratefully at Lupine, who I imagine was the one who kicked this guy's ass. "And sent away, tail between his legs."
"But as he left, he vowed revenge. Said he would start his own pack and eventually destroy us."
"Perhaps he found your girls and decided to make them his mates."
Lupine squeezes his hands into fists. "I knew I should not have let him leave alive."
I'm beginning to get a sick, excited feeling in my stomach. "That's got to be it. He must have somehow bitten all the cheerleaders while they were here for their tournament."
"Kiss 'em is all he'd have to do," explains a bearded guy in the front. "Lycanthropy is spread through saliva."
I remember Shantel talking about the party they all went to. How they got so drunk they didn't remember how they got home.
"But why wouldn't he keep them here in England? Why let them go back to America?"
"He's weak. Not born to be an alpha. He may have not been able to stop them. But you can be sure he's sending them telepathic messages. And once he gains more strength, he will call to them. And they
"The situation is grave indeed," says Lupine, his yellow-ish eyes squinting in worry. "Untrained wolves running around. They could cause serious problems when the moon is full."
"Yeah, they already are. That's why I'm here. We have to figure out a way to cure them. Is there one?" I cross my fin-gers, praying for an affirmative answer.