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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
"But ..." That's it? After all my training and world-saving it's just Adios, Rayne, don't let the door hit you on the way out? That doesn't seem right. And what about David's warning that something evil was on its way? Don't they need me to face it?
"Are you sure you wouldn't like, um, a backup slayer?" I ask. "I mean, David was telling me you guys got some great evil swinging into town sometime soon. What if Bertha's ... out of practice? Or she needs someone to stand in at dinner-time when there's a big line at the drive-through?"
Teifert sighs. "Let me discuss it with the rest of Slayer Inc. But yes, I think if you want to stay on as a consultant of some sort, it can probably be arranged."
"Thanks!" I grin, not sure why this makes me happy. Maybe I just like knowing I'm needed. "Don't worry, T, I won't let you down. And I'll be totally unobtrusive. You won't even know I'm slaying."
"That's what I'm afraid of." He shakes his head. "I'll be seeing you around, Rayne," he says, then turns and walks toward the parking lot.
I return to where my family's hanging out a few feet away.
"Wasn't that the drama coach?" Mom asks. "What did he want?"
"Nothing much," I bluff. "Tried to convince me I'd make a kick-ass Morgan Le Fay in his King Arthur play. Which I would. But I told him I'm pretty overcommitted at the moment."
"So you're staying on the . . . team?" Sunny asks point-edly. And I realize she doesn't mean as a cheerleader.
"Yeah," I say. "I think so. At least for a bit. Why not, right? After all, they definitely need me."
"Well, congratulations again, Rayne," my mom says, kissing me on the forehead. "I'm really proud of you."
"Yes," David says. "I am as well." And I can tell he means more than my ability to do splits.
"We're going to head home now," Mom says. "It was great to see you perform."
"Thanks, guys!" I say. "Have a good night. I'll catch you later."
Mom and David turn to go. Sunny grins at me.
"A cheerleader," she says. "Who would have thought?"
"Yup. That's me. Multitalented." I grin. "But listen to this. Teifert just tried to get me to quit the slayer thing. I guess Bertha's all recovered and ready to come back. But I told him he should keep me on retainer. After all, he might need me."
"Yeah, especially if what you told me David was saying is true," Sunny says. "You know, about the new danger coming into town."
"Exactly. Bertha's out of practice. And I'm not putting our family in danger just because we have an incompetent, burger-loving slayer on the payroll."
"Well, I know I feel safer knowing you're still on patrol," Sunny assures me. Then she lowers her voice.
"By the way," she says, "I've decided to do it."
"Do what?" I ask, feigning complete innocence. As if I don't know exactly what she's talking about. Still, it's amus-ing to watch her squirm.
"It," she says, her face reddening. "You know, with Magnus."
"Ahhh," I say, realizing what she means. "My little twin is going to lose her innocence once and for all."
Sunny punches me in the shoulder. "Don't put it like that!" she squeals.
"I'm sorry," I say mockingly. "My sister is going to bonk her boyfriend for the first time."
"Rayne! I'm telling you a huge thing! And you—"
I laugh. "I'm just teasing, Sun. I think it's great. You and Magnus are a wonderful couple. He's completely loyal and devoted to you and he loves you with all his heart. It's obvi-ous just by watching you together. And if you think you're ready and have really given it a lot of thought, then I say go for it."
Sunny beams. "I mean, I know we're not blood mates like you and Jareth. We're not linked by blood to stay together forever with none to tear us apart. But we're really close. I love him so much, Rayne. I don't even know how to explain it."
I watch as Jareth approaches from across the field. "It's okay, Sun," I say. "I know exactly how you feel."
"Hey, darling," Jareth says, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me close. He plants a soft kiss on my mouth and then releases me. I lean my head against his chest. I love this man. "You were great on the field," he tells me. "I thought you said you weren't cheerleading material."
"Rayne underestimates herself," Sunny says. "She always has."
"Oh whatever, pot calling kettle black," I tease back.
"Hey, don't start the party without me," Magnus says, coming up behind Sunny. She turns around and throws her-self in his arms. They look so happy. I wonder if she's told him yet. He's going to be even happier.
I cuddle against Jareth. Happy like me. For once in my life I'm not thinking of the future or the past. I'm living in the present. And for the first time ever I really don't care what people think about me. I can be a Goth. I can be a cheer-leader. I can be a vampire. And I can be a slayer. Whatever I want to be, I can be. And no one can tell me that those things don't mix.