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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
Luckily Lupine nods. "There is an antidote," he says. "When our cubs reach maturity we give them the choice. Stay with the pack or live the rest of their days as a human. Those who choose humanity are doused with antidote and sent out into the world, never to return."
Hope sparks inside me. "Great! I was hoping you'd say that!" I exclaim. "Do you have any to spare that I can take back to America?"
"We can make some up for you, not a problem. Just takes a little of the old secret ingredient," Lupine says. The men all chuckle and I wonder what joke I'm missing out on.
"Alpha wolf piss," explains Lupine.
I stare at him. "Urn, ew?"
The men laugh.
"Don't worry, luv," says Lupine. "We distill it and by the time it's in antidote form it's only one part of a million. You won't even be able to smell it."
"Oh-kay. I trust you," I say. Actually it's a bit amusing to imagine feeding the cheerleaders wolf piss. "So how's it ad-ministered?"
"Topically. Just let it seep through the skin."
"That sounds easy enough."
"Not really. You see, it can only be applied when they're in wolf form."
"Oh." Yes, I can see where that would be a bit more challenging. What am I supposed to do? Wait 'til homecom-ing and then try to trap them all in the same room? Get out the old Super Soaker and blast them all with it once theystart growing claws and teeth? If it doesn't work right away I'll have some pretty angry, deadly wolves on my ass.
I shake my head. I'll think of something. The important thing now is to get the antidote.
"So when can you have it made?" I ask,
"Give us 'til tomorrow morning," says Lupine. "We'll haveit for you by then."
"Great!" I exclaim. "Thank you, guys. You're really helpful."
"Not a problem. We're sorry this happened to your friends. When we find Lone Wolf we will definitely take him outso this does not happen again."
"One more question," I say. "A few of our football players have been missing since the whole incident.
Do you think it's possible they were . . . eaten?"
The men look at one another, then shake their heads. “Unlikely," they say. "Are these boys attractive to the bitches?"
I know he means female dogs, but I kinda like the innuendo. "Sure. In fact, one of them is the boyfriend of the cheerleader."
"Then it's doubtful they ate them. More likely they're presenting them as a gift to Lone Wolf, their alpha.
Subservient males to put under his control. A rogue wolf like him would like weak, human males because it will not challenge his dominance."
"I see," I say. Hmm, I wonder how I can find out where they stashed the boys. "Thanks, guys. You were really help-ful. I'll come back in the a.m. to get the antidote."
"Not a problem, vampire," says Lupine. "Perhaps some-day our kinds will meet again. You are always welcome to howl with us."
I grin. I'm so not going to turn away from this chance. "Arrroooooo!"
Back at our hotel room, I fill Jareth in on all I've learned from the Lycans.
"So all we have to do is wait 'til tomorrow morning and we'll have our antidote," I inform him. "Of course I have no idea how we're going to douse them with the stuff, seeing as they have to be in wolf form for it to work. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess, right? In any case, I did good, huh?
Mission accomplished. And I didn't even piss them off. Not a single wolf raised his hackles at me. You'd have been so proud."
I pause for breath, hoping to get at least some sort of kudos for all my hard work. I look over at Jareth.
He's staring at a hotel painting on the wall, so intently that if I didn’t know better I'd say it had the secrets of the universe embedded between brushstrokes.
He shakes his head and turns to face me. "You did well," he says. "I'm sure Slayer Inc. will be very pleased with your work."
I sigh. Who gives a care about Slayer Inc.? I want him to say he's pleased with my work. Geez, the guy can really hold a grudge.
I square my shoulders, determined to break him from his bad mood. I've done it before. In fact, it's my specialty. The Get Jareth in a Good Mood and Make Him Forget He's Mad at Me twelve-step program.
I've done it so many times I should be giving seminars at this point. Though, of course, I seem to be the
only one able to piss him off frequently enough to warrant a training session.
"So we should celebrate, don't you think? Maybe go out on the town, tonight? I mean, sure it isn't much of a town, but it could be fun to join the wolves in the pub. Howl at the moon, all that jazz. Or maybe there's someplace nearby that has dancing. Remember how we used to always go dancing? How it relieved all of our problems?"
Before we became blood mates, when I was severely de-pressed, Jareth took me out to Club Fang, promising me that a night of music and dance would be just the ticket to cheer me up. And he was right, too. There's something about the powerof dance that lifts a bad mood. If only I can get him to agree to go.
But he only shakes his head. "Sorry, Rayne," he says. "I thinkour problems are a little more serious than the kind thatcan be cured by a song and dance."