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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
I shake my head in disbelief. Fairies. Actual fairies. It’s hard to wrap my head around. I mean, sure, I always figured since vampires and werewolves are real there’s got to be other things out there going bump in the night, but I never thought they’d turn out to be close relatives.
“Look,” Dad says, breaking the silence. “You don’t have to worry. It’s not going to come to that. We’ll figure out a diplomatic solution to all of this. You’ll see.”
“And it won’t involve us moving back to fairyland,” Mom adds, taking a sip of her now-cold tea. “I can promise you that. No daughters of mine are going to grow up to be fairy princesses, that’s for sure.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Princesses?”
“Oh.” She blushes. “I guess I didn’t mention that part. Before I ran away, I was technically a fairy princess. Heir to the Light Court throne. Your dad was my bodyguard. We fell in love, but my parents disapproved. They wanted me to marry Apple Blossom, general of the royal fairy army.”
“Apple Blossom?” I snort. “He sounds, um, real masculine.”
Mom shrugs. “Fairy names are all like that. I mean, your dad’s real name is—”
“ANYWAY!” Dad interjects, effectively cutting her off. “I wasn’t about to let your mother go off with that slimy Rotten Apple. So we eloped and left fairyland behind forever. We had our wings surgically removed and your mother soon became pregnant with the two of you. We thought we’d live happily ever after.”
“Except you left,” I remind him pointedly. “Before, you know, the ever after part.”
Dad hangs his head. “Yes,” he says. “As it turns out, fairytale romances aren’t always able to survive the harshness of the real world.”
I open my mouth to retort, but Mom effectively cuts me off. “You have to understand,” she continues, “we’d never been outside fairyland before. And we definitely weren’t prepared for what we found there. With no money, no skills, no education—heck, we didn’t even have social security numbers—we soon found ourselves in dire straits. Like any other illegal immigrant, we struggled to find work and put food on the table for you two. It was a tough time and our relationship suffered because of it.”
“We were so young and stupid,” Dad says, shaking his head. “It’s hard to believe we thought we could make it on our own with no help.”
“But you did,” Sunny reminds him. “I mean, obviously you must have worked it out somehow. We live pretty well.”
My two parents look at one another and smile. “Thanks to Heather,” they say in unison.
Sunny and I glance over at our stepmom, who up until now has been quiet. She nods. “Guilty as charged,” she quips, raising her right hand. “I was able to relocate them.”
“Heather works for Slayer Inc.,” Dad explains, shooting me a knowing look. “In their fairy division. They help out fairy refugees trying to make it in the real world.”
I stare at my stepmom, pretty sure my jaw has dropped to the floor at this point. Heather works for Slayer Inc.? And here I thought she was a stripper or something. Also—they have a fairy division?
“Heather was able to secure us our first apartment in Massachusetts, new jobs, social security numbers—the works,” Mom says, looking over at the woman formerly known as Home Wrecking Bitch with grateful eyes. “She saved all our lives. We wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for her kindness.”
“And so you went and made a baby with her to show your gratitude?” I query sarcastically.
Dad’s face turns bright red. He glances over at our mother who is also blushing furiously.
“Back then even though we were living as humans, we were still thinking like fairies,” she confesses. “And fairies—quite simply—believe in the free expression of love. We’d both grown really close to Heather after she literally saved our lives and so, at the time, it just ... seemed natural, I guess.”
I stare at her in disbelief. Here I thought Mom was going to be torn apart if she knew of Stormy’s existence. But it turns out she not only knew—she approved of it, too!
Seriously, fairies are worse than hippies!
“Of course then I made the mistake of telling one of the PTA mothers about the whole thing,” Mom remembers with a sheepish cringe. “You should have seen the look on her face. I started to worry that we’d done something wrong. Something that would make us stand out as different—maybe even give away our whereabouts to the Light Court. So I told your father he had to stop seeing Heather altogether. And that we could never tell you two the truth about your half sister.”
“And that’s why Dad ended up leaving with Heather in the end?” I conclude. “He couldn’t deal with being apart from her?”
But Dad surprises me with a shake of his head. “Not exactly,” he says, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a piece of paper. After unfolding it, he hands it over to Sunny and me. I scan through it, my eyes widening at its contents.
“A contract?” I ask, looking up.
“About four years ago, our cover was blown and the fairies found us,” he explains. “Your grandmother was still furious at me—a commoner—for taking her daughter away. I begged them to leave us alone and finally she agreed, with one stipulation. I had to step out of the picture.” He hangs his head. “I knew your mother would try to stop me if I told her the situation. And I loved her too much to let her put her own life—and yours—in danger because of me. So I packed up my things and moved to Vegas—with Heather serving once again as my Relocator.” He shook his head. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life.”