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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“Mom!” Sunny screams from behind me. It takes me a moment to realize I’m screaming, too. In fact, I can’t stop. And I can’t look away, either. Mom. White as a ghost, not moving at all. Is she ... Could she be ...
I can feel Dad grabbing me and dragging me away from the action. “We’re going to Plan B,” he shouts at Heather, who’s busy facing off with the remaining fairies.
“Plan B?” I whirl around. “What’s Plan B?”
But Dad doesn’t answer. Instead, he reaches into a bag and blows some sparkly dust in our direction.
I accidentally inhale some of the dust and my lungs seize up. I start choking, my vision fading fast and my muscles atrophying at an alarming rate. “Don’t fight it,” I hear Heather say, as blackness races toward me at top speed. “I’ll see you on the other side.”
“Mom!” I cry one last time before succumbing to the encroaching night.
There’s no reply.
I wake to the sound of birds, cheerfully chirping to one another in a nearby tree. Probably gossiping about some worm one of them managed to procure, just by getting out of bed early. So annoying. I try to pull the pillow over my head to drown them out, but then remember I’m supposed to be in Vegas, a place where even birds see the merits of sleeping in.
Birds ... feathers ... fairies ... It all comes racing back to me. Flashes of wings, flaming swords, and screams of pain. My mother, jumping in front of me to shield me from the fairies’ blades ...
I sit up with a jolt. “Mom!” I cry.
“Shh,” Heather says in a soothing voice. I look over to find her sitting in a small folding chair, by the side of my bed. “You’re safe.”
Heart in my throat, I glance worriedly around the room, not recognizing anything I see. Where am I? Not Heather and Dad’s apartment, that’s for sure. My stepmom would never approve of such Spartan decor. Plain white walls, two twin beds—one on which I’m lying—a pile of boxes in the corner, and a small window. Outside I can see the tops of what appear to be large pine trees, blowing in the wind.
Definitely not Vegas.
“Where are we?” I demand. The place smells like bleach, like a hospital ward. But I don’t appear to be injured in any way. “Where’s Mom? Where’s Dad? What happened to the fairies?” The questions spill from my lips, fast and furious, and I realize I need to stop asking and allow Heather a chance to answer.
Heather swallows before replying, her eyes betraying her concern. “Those were messengers of the Light Court,” she explains. “Evidently the prime minister has grown short on patience, waiting for your parents to turn you over to the court to begin your training. He decided to take matters into his own hands.”
My mind flashes back to the dive-bombing fairies, with flaming swords, slamming into my mother, hitting her square in the chest. She crumples to the ground, writhing in pain.
“Is Mom ...” I trail off, not being able to vocalize my greatest fear. A large lump wells up in my throat and tears blur my vision. “I mean, is she ... ?”
Heather reaches out and touches my arm. “She’s alive,” she assures me. “It’s very hard to kill a fairy, unless you wield weapons of iron. Something other fairies can’t touch.”
Relief washes over me like a tidal wave. My mother and I have had our moments, that’s for sure, but at the end of the day, she’s like my best friend and I love her to death. If anything were to happen to her ...
I shake my head. I can’t even think that way. “So where is she then?” I demand. “I need to talk to her!”
“That won’t be possible. She and your dad surrendered to the fairies and were escorted back to fairyland.”
Horror slams into my gut and I feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. “Wh-why would they do that?” I cry.
Heather gives me a steely look. “To buy me enough time to scurry you two away.” She glances over at the other bed and I suddenly realize the lump under the blankets must be my sister.
On cue, Sunny sits up with a start. “Where am I?” she cries, looking around, her tear-stained face white with fear.
Heather gestures for her to cross the room over to my bed. “They call this place Riverdale,” she explains. “Hidden deep in a remote valley, nestled within a large mountain range in the Alps, only a handful of people know of its existence.”
I stare at her, shocked beyond belief. Not only are we not in Vegas anymore, we’re not even in the United States? That pixie dust crap must have knocked me the hell out.
“It’s a type of boarding school,” Heather continues as Sunny joins us on the bed. “Run by an international affiliate of Slayer Inc. Here, they prepare teenagers to become slayers. Assassins who police otherworld creatures who don’t follow the rules.” She looks over at me pointedly. “But you know all about that, right, Rayne?”
Well, that answers the question on whether she knows I’m a slayer. But does she know about my other ... condition ... as well? I mean, Slayer Inc. vice president Teifert does, but he swore to secrecy. (Seeing as not everyone in the organization would be pleased about having a vampire-vampire slayer on the payroll.)
I decide it’s best not to ask, just in case.
“A school for slayers?” Sunny pipes in. “What about that whole ‘once a generation is born a girl destined to slay vampires’ thingie?”