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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
It’s Friday night, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sunny and I are feeling pretty darn awesome. After all, together we just saved the Blood Coven (yet again) and have been proclaimed heroes of the free vampire world. In other words, life is good.
Okay, fine, technically Sunny did most of the actual saving of the coven. I was, um, well, let’s just say I have been a bit preoccupied. (I mean, Vegas, baby! Those penny slots don’t just go and play themselves, you know!) But hey, I swung by at the pinnacle moment and saved the day, so that has to count for something, right?
In any case, evil’s been vanquished, Magnus and Sunny are back together, and hell has frozen over (aka my mother and father are in the same room together, actually speaking like civilized adults.) We’ve returned to stepmom Heather and Dad’s luxury condo after watching this Dracula revue Sunny is starring in. (She did a good job, I have to admit, though the play’s dialogue was more than a little cringe-worthy.)
So here we are, hanging out in the contemporary-styled living room, sipping mugs of steaming green tea, assuming soon we’ll go to bed and wake up in the morning and head home to Massachusetts, Vegas adventure over for good.
We couldn’t be more wrong.
“So guys,” Mom says, settling down in a small, white leather chair. It must kill her vegetarian butt to sit on a dead, skinned animal like that, but she’s too polite to call Heather out on her barbarian ways. “You’re probably surprised to see me here in Vegas.”
“Uh, yeah,” I say. I mean, understatement much? “What’s the deal? Did you miss us too much? I mean, really, Mom, we’ve only been gone a couple of days. But I know how you can be about your daughters.” I pause then add, “Unlike some relatives I know,” while shooting Dad a glare. He squirms in his seat, obviously uncomfortable, which is fine by me. Any guy who’s perfectly willing to abandon his daughters for years on end should, by right, feel a little prickly about it.
Mom shakes her head, as if she wants to defend him but knows as well as I do the guy isn’t exactly up for Dad of the Year any time soon. “I wish that were it, Rayne.”
Her pale face suddenly has me worried. Right before we left for Vegas, my Slayer Inc. guardian, aka David, Mom’s boyfriend, told me that his company had word of a new threat sweeping into town. A threat that might be against our mother.
There’s more to your mom than you know, David had told me.
“Mom, what are you trying to say?” Sunny asks, before I can find my voice. “What’s going on here? Are you in some kind of trouble?”
I catch Mom and Dad exchanging glances. He nods at her, urging her to continue. “Look, let’s just say things aren’t exactly ... safe ... for us in Massachusetts anymore,” she says, seeming to choose each word with care. “That’s partially why I was so willing to have you two come out here this week. I figured it’d keep you out of harm’s way until I figured out our best move.”
“Mom, you’re scaring us,” Sunny says, her face white as a ghost. “What’s not safe?”
Mom swallows hard. “You have to believe me—the last thing I ever wanted was to involve you two in any of this. In fact, that’s why your dad and I moved to Massachusetts to begin with. I didn’t want you to grow up in the world we did. I wanted us to be a happy, normal, everyday family. And they left us alone for so long, I’d really begun to think that we’d actually escaped them for good.” She bites her lower lip nervously. “But now, war has broken out between two families and they’re demanding we return to aid them in their fight. And if we don’t, they have promised to make things very difficult for us.”
I raise an eyebrow. Is she going to tell us we’re like part of the mafia, or something? Do they even have Scottish mafia?
“I don’t understand,” Sunny cries in that high-pitched Minnie Mouse voice she gets when she’s freaking out. “Some family feud? Why do they need us for that?”
“Dear, you’re speaking to them in riddles,” Dad chides our mother gently. “It’s best if you just tell them the whole story, no matter how hard it will be to believe at first.” He turns to us. “Look, guys, we’ve always told you that you come from Irish and Scottish ancestors, right? Well, there’s a little more to it than that. Our families are actually descended from a people living on a small island off the coast of Ireland, known as Tír na nÓg.” He pauses, then adds, “Some know us as the Sidhe.”
I stare at him, horrified. Sidhe? Does he mean like ... ?
“What the hell is a Sidhe?” Sunny demands.
But I know what Dad’s going to say before the words leave his mouth. “The term you might be more familiar with,” he tells Sunny gently, “is fairy.”
“So let me get this straight,” I interject, my mind whirling to make sense of it all. “You’re trying to tell me that we’re descended from fairies? Actual fairies?”
“We’re not just descended,” Mom clarifies. “We’re full-blooded fairies. And now the royal court is demanding we return to fairyland immediately.”
“Or else,” Dad adds, “they have promised to kill us all.”
The room is silent. You could hear a pin drop. Mom wrings her hands together worriedly. Dad bites his lower lip. Sunny looks as if she’s going to pass out. Poor girl—she just went through a life-or-death supernatural situation and now we’re back there all over again.