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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
What if he's an axe mur-derer? common sense demands. What if he wants to chop you up into little bits and feed them to his pigs?
My common sense can be way overdramatic. Which is why I barely ever listen to it. Instead, I remind it that I am a vampire, and thus immortal. The axe may tickle a bit, but it won't render me helpless. And he really doesn't look like a pig farmer to me. So unless the guy's got a wooden stake in his pocket (or is he just happy to see me?) I'm totally safe.
Unless this guy is actually Lone Wolf. The one who infected all the cheerleaders . . .
But no, that's stupid, I remind myself. Shantel said that guy was a total jock. Blond and beefy and Brad Pittesque. This guy is dark and thin and looks much more like Ville from HIM than Brad. There's no way it's the same person.
"Okay. Sounds like a plan."
I wonder for a moment if I should tell Jareth where I'm going. But I have no idea where he is or how to reach him. Not to mention he'll probably get allpissy if I tell him I'm go-ing to a rave in the middle of the woods. He's worse than my common sense when it comes to things like that.
The bartender comes over to drop off the bill. Orpheus plunks down a couple of brightly colored English bills and tells the guy to keep the change before I can even reach in my purse. Nice.
"If some surfer dude with a dumb Batman shirt comes looking for me," I tell the bartender, "just say me and my new friend Orpheus went to a rave. Tell him I'll be back by morning." There, that ought to cover me. By the time he starts looking I'll already be back.
"Ready?" I ask Orpheus. He nods. "Then let's go dancing."
We're only out in the woods about ten minutes before I can feel the bass deep in my bones. A few minutes later I start seeing flashing lights through the trees. I smile. Orpheus wasn't lying. There is a rave.
And it sounds like it's hop-ping. I'm about to have a very good night. I'm going to dance and party and not think about Jareth for one second. Starting now.
We step into the clearing. There are probably two hun-dred kids here, all gyrating to a hard techno beat.
A makeshift tent in one corner houses the DJ booth, and a large dreadlocked man wearing headphones on one ear master-fully spins the tunes. They've got generators set up to run the flashing, multicolored lights and there's even a refreshment stand serving water and juice.
"Wow!" I say, though of course my voice is completely drowned out by the music. "This is amazing."
Orpheus grabs my hand and drags me into the center of the action. We're soon enveloped in a pool of sweaty people— black, white, Indian, Asian, fat, athletic, Nicole Richie-thin. All together, dancing as if there's no tomorrow, no world out-side this circle. It's as if they're one mind, one body, all serving a common purpose. All worshipping the techno beat. I'm to-tally digging the vibe already and I start dancing, determined to have a good time.
Orpheus beckons one of the dancers over and they talk in each other's ears for a moment. I can't hear what they're say-ing over the music, but watch as Orpheus gives the kid a wad of bills and the kid slips something in my new friend's palm. Hmm. I'm pretty sure I know what's going on here.
Sure enough, Orpheus turns back to me, smiling, and in-structs me to open my mouth. I shake my head.
One, I'm not really the druggie kind of girl. I'm mean, sure I've experi-mented, but only in safe, controlled environments, sur-rounded by friends.
His face falls and then he offers again.
"Come on," he says. "It'll help you forget your troubles and just enjoy the night."
I hedge. I mean, technically I am a vampire. I'm immortal. The drugs won't hurt me. And it would be nice to just leave everything behind and float away in a drug-induced haze. All I've done lately is work. I mean, why did I become a vampire in the first place if I intended on living life the same way I al-ways have?
But all the justification in the world won't reconcile that years of "just say no" that were beaten into me through televised PSAs as a child. And logic keeps reminding me that I'm out in the middle of the woods with a stranger. The last thing I need to do is lose my head.
"No thanks. I'm good," I tell him, though I'm sorely tempted to just say yes. "Let's just dance, okay?"
He looks annoyed, but stuffs the pills in his pocket and wraps his hands around my waist. His touch is electric and soon I'm lost in the dance, the music tickling my earlobes and the flashing, colored lights
seducing my eyes in a spell more powerful than any drug. For the first time in months I just feel good.
Right. Enjoying the moment instead of stressing over every little thing. All my problems seem a million miles away. I'm here. Now. Happy. Forever.
Well, maybe not forever. But for now. And that's good enough.
Orpheus pulls me closer. We grind against each other, gig-gling as we gyrate to the beat. He's so sexy.
So cool. I'm totally in lust. I try to summon up a guilty feeling for Jareth, who's probably sitting alone in his hotel room, watching infomercials or something, but the music prohibits any feelings of remorse. And in any case, what do I care what he thinks? He broke up with me. His choice. So screw him.
We dance for hours, sucking down bottle after bottle of water. (Even vamps need hydration.) I meet several other ravers who hug me and welcome me and offer me lollypops and small toys and stickers. I feel like I'm part of some happy family that's invited me into their home with open arms. No one judges me here. For how I look, how I act, where I come from. They simply accept me into their hazy, drug-induced circle.