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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
Vacate the premises!"
Mom narrows her eyes. "Why are you so anxious for us to leave, Rayne?" she asks. "Are you planning something?"
"Yeah, to watch the new vampire movie I Netflixed. It's supposed to befangfully fresh."
"Rayne's fine," David interjects. "But we're late. Let's get a move on."
Of course Mom listens to him and a moment later they're out the door and I can hear their car driving away.
Not five minutes later, the doorbell rings. I rush to answer it. It's Cait, accompanied by Shantel, Nancy, Mandy, and a couple of the other girls. They're dressed for a party and they carry goodies. Shantel's brought a plate of cupcakes and the others have chips, soda, and candy. Too bad I can't eat anything.
"Come on in," I say. "Put the stuff down on the table here. Let me take your coats."
I can't believe I, Rayne McDonald, am playing party host-ess for the Oakridge High cheerleading squad.
But, hey, when you're saving the world, sometimes you have to break char-acter.
Shantel sets down her cupcakes and turns to me, eyes shining. "You'll never believe it, Rayne," she says.
"Trevor's back! And Mike's with him! The two of them just showed up last night, wandering through town. It's the craziest thing. They don't remember where they've been or anything."
"Wow. That's insane," I say, giving her my best innocent surprise look. "But I'm glad they're back before the home-coming game! What would we have done without them?"
The doorbell rings. More guests, armed with goodies. I turn up the music and several people move back the couch to clear the living room for dancing. Others gather around the food and sodas, talking amicably amongst themselves. It's like a real party and everyone's having a good time. Almost a shame it's going to end soon—with raining werewolf antidote.
I notice Mandy standing away from the other girls, as if she feels an outsider to all the action. I consider going over and talking to her, maybe even trying to make some sort of peace between us. But I realize my well-meaning attempts may end with her bolting from the house and thus missing out on her cure.
There'll be time to talk later. To apologize. And I plan to do so.
I glance at my watch, too nervous to enjoy myself. Sunny should be back by now. I hope she didn't run into any trou-ble picking up our bait.
Then, as if on cue, headlights swing into the driveway. They're here. Operation Save the Cheerleaders can begin. I do a quick head count. Yup, everyone's here.
I turn to the front door. Sunny walks in the house first, a silly grin on her face. She's obviously enjoyed her trip in the car with our special guest. She shuts the door behind her and throws me a nod, indicating everything's ready. I turn down the music and address the crowd.
"Thank you all for coming," I say. "Cait really appreci-ates everyone coming to her good-bye party."
There's a spattering of applause. Cait blushes.
"But this isn't just your ordinary chips and dips affair," I continue. "Tonight, we have a special surprise for you."
The doorbell rings. I walk over to the door. Everyone's watching.
"Tonight," I say theatrically, "tonight I give you Race Jameson!" I whip open the door and everyone gasps as they lay eyes on the rock star standing behind it.
Race is wearing tight black leather pants and a silk black shirt, halfway unbuttoned down the front. Way too tacky for my taste, but I can hear the oohs and aahs as he flashes the cheerleaders his trademark grin. "Hey, girls," he says saucily. "I'm Race Jameson. And I'm here to light your fires!"
I roll my eyes. Could he be any cheesier? He's a vampire, for goodness sake, didn't he learn any class from the old days? But, whatever, he's not here to read Shakespeare or im-press us with his intellect.
He's here to put these wolves in heat.
Race slips a CD in the CD player and soon saucy jazz spills from the speakers. He starts gyrating to the beat, pulling off his shirt slowly, revealing his muscular chest. The girls scream and squeal as they realize what's going on. Their idol, the number-one rock star in the country, is doing a striptease, just for them.
"I can't believe Race agreed to do this," Sunny whispers.
"Actually, he looks like he's enjoying himself."
"Just make sure he doesn't take a bite out of one of the girls. Magnus says he's always hoping to add a pretty face to his harem of blood donors."
I laugh. "Look, Sun, I think it's working!"
We switch our focus from the stripper rock star to his squealing fans. Sure enough, some of them are starting to sprout hair. Just a bit here and there and none of the others have noticed yet. A few tufts billowing from their chests, a few hairs sprouting from their cheeks.
"Oh, Race!" Mandy cries. She's the hairiest of them all at this point. She's even started growing a snout.
"You rock my world!"
The others laugh and turn to look at her. Then they freeze.
"Oh my God, Mandy!" cries Shantel. "You're—you're!" She stares at her, horrified. "What a big nose you have!"
Mandy looks back at her, equal horror on her snouty face. "Shantel! What big teeth you have!"
Panic ensues. Girls are running, screaming, freaking out. Each thinking they look normal, but their squad mate has be-come a monster.
"Now!" I cry to Sunny. My twin hits the remote, effec-tively locking everyone in the house. I climb up on a chair and put a lighter to the sprinkler system. A moment later the place is raining werewolf antidote, which David installed in the plumbing. There's more shrieking as the girls are doused with the cure.