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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
me. I look up at him. "Jareth? The way you morphed into a bat... do you ... do you somehow have your powers back?"
Jareth blushes. "Uh," he says. "About that."
"You do!" I exclaim. "How did you get your powers back? And when?"
He shrugs. "I've actually had them back for a few months now. Remember when I opened the locker-room door you couldn't and tried to brush it off like it was no big deal? One day I woke up and realized I'd returned to my former self. Well, I can still go out in the sun, but I'm okay otherwise. I can do everything I used to. I'm not sure why or how, but there it is."
"But that's so great! Why didn't you tell me?"
He hangs his head. "I felt bad. You were all 'we're power-less vamps together' and I didn't want to disappoint you. I kept hoping you'd develop some powers, too, but maybe be-cause you already had the blood virus when I bit you ... I don't know."
"Jareth, I can't believe you were afraid to tell me! I'm so happy you got your powers back. That's awesome. Maybe you can go be Magnus's general again."
"I'm so glad you're not annoyed, my love."
"No way. I'm thrilled for you. I love you, Jareth. Forever and always. Let's never fight again."
He laughs. "How about we just say let's always make up if we do?" he suggests. "Seems a bit more reasonable a prom-ise to make."
"Hey, Rayne! When you're done with the mushy crap can you get back here and untie us?"
"Yeah. We want to get the hell out of here, too, you know."
Oh yeah. Lost in makeupville, I almost forgotten about Mike and Trevor.
"The missing football players," I explain to Jareth. "They're here. In the cave."
"Excellent," Jareth says, moving to the back of the cave. "It's looking like we might have our happy ending after all."
I smile to myself and hug my arms across my chest. Hap-pily ever after. I like the sound of that.
But first we have some cheerleader wolves to vaccinate.
We untie Mike and Trevor, who are obviously still a bit shell-shocked, and head back to Appleby. We bring the boys to Lupine and he checks them over for signs of lycan-thropy. Sure enough, they've got traces of the virus in their systems. So Lupine sends them into a full-moon simulator shack at the edge of town and once the moon's pull shape-shifts them to their feral forms, they're sprayed with the anti-dote
and are humanized once again.
The wolves drug them and have a courier escort them back to America before they wake up. The boys won't know what happened to them, they tell us, and so it's better that they don't regain consciousness until they're safe in their hometowns. Sure, people will ask them where they've been all this time—after all, their disappearances have garnered a lot of media attention. But in the end, all that really matters is they're back and not dead.
Unfortunately for me, the cheerleaders are already in America and there's no way to ship them all over to England to put them in the full-moon simulator and administer the antidote on site. But I have an idea of how we might get them to go all hairy and so I take the vials of antidote they made for us, thank the wolves, and Jareth and I head back to America. We spend most of the plane ride in each other's arms and let's just say I'm now a member of a certain exclusive club one can only join when one finds herself mile high.
Mom is overjoyed when I walk in the front door. Says she was worried to death about me and begs me never to run away again.
"I'm sorry about David," she says, sitting me down at the kitchen table and handing me a big bowl of some kind of unidentified food stuff. Even starved me isn't about to take a bite of that. "It was selfish of me to have him move in before you two were ready. This is a new experience for all of us and I have to be more considerate of you and your feelings. After all, this is your house, too. And the last thing I want is for you to feel uncomfortable in your own home. I should have talked to you two before making my decision. Especially be-fore kicking you out of your own room. I don't know what I was thinking. We're a family. A democracy." She swallows hard. "If you want me to stop seeing David, I will. You girls are the most important thing in my life and if you're not ready for me to date, I won't date."
I think for a moment. In a way it would be great to have Mom back to ourselves. To get rid of the stranger invading our space. But I take one look at her face and realize I could never do that to her. She loves him. Like I love Jareth. And yet she's willing to sacrifice everything she wants to make us happy.
But that's not fair. She's Mom, not some tortured saint. She de-serves to have her own happiness. And even if David is kind of a dork, he's her dork. And I'm suddenly okay with that.
"Oh, Mom," I say, trying to sound all business. "David's not that bad, I guess. Could be a lot worse.
And he can cook. We need someone in this house with some culinary expertise."
Mom's face lights up like Christmas morning. "So you . . . you don't mind if he stays?"
I shrug nonchalantly. "Yeah, might as well. I'm getting pretty used to sharing a room with Sunny and we wouldn't want the extra bedroom to go to waste."
Mom reaches over and pulls me into a hug. "Oh, Rayne," she whispers in my ear. "Thank you, sweetie.
You're the best daughter a mother could ever hope to have."