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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
She nods, reaching over to hug me, holding on a second too long. Professor Pornstar clears his throat impatiently. Reluctantly, Sunny lets go and shuffles down the field at a snail’s pace. I let out a frustrated breath. I gotta figure out a way to get her to snap out of this funk or she’s going to get us both in serious trouble.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Little Slayer.”
Speaking of trouble. I whirl around, not surprised to see Corbin standing behind me, a smug smile on his face and his arms crossed over his chest. He’s forgone his red robe for today’s training and is wearing black sweatpants and a tight white T-shirt, which annoyingly accentuates his abs. I mean, yeah, the guy’s a total a-hole, but that doesn’t mean he’s not ripped. In fact, he looks just like freaking Jason Stackhouse on that True Blood show. If only he were just as dumb, too.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Big Dick,” I mimic in my sweetest voice. “Are you in my class?”
“I’m way above you in class,” he replies with a sneer. “But yes, I will be your partner today.”
Wait, what? I try to mask my surprise. “Excuse me?”
“Mr. Klaus assigned me to show you the ropes,” he explains. “So we’ll be sparring partners.” He grins. “In other words, you’re about to get your ass kicked, Little Slayer.”
“By you and what army?”
A few of his friends step up behind him, looking down at me with scornful expressions on their faces. Oh, right. That army.
He laughs. “Actually, I don’t need an army to take you,” he assures me. “In case you didn’t know, I’m an Alpha here at Riverdale.”
“Alpha?” There was that term again.
“Alphas are the best of the best,” Leanna says haughtily. “First-tier slayers on the front lines, after they graduate Night School.”
Night School? A vision of that creepy building across from the admin office flashes into my brain. “Wait. You guys go to Night School?” I ask.
“Um, well, not yet,” Corbin replies, looking a tad sheepish for the first time since I’ve met him. “But we will,” he adds. “Hopefully very soon. We’re just waiting for our official invitation.”
Interesting. I open my mouth to ask more, but Professor Pornstar, aka Mr. Klaus, blows the whistle. Guess it’s time for fight club. I suck in a breath and turn to our teacher, who’s passing out wooden stakes from a red velvet bag.
“Okay,” he says. “You guys know the drill. One of you is the slayer, the other the vamp. Slayers try to slay your opponent by touching the tip of your stake to your vampire’s chest. Don’t forget to dip them in red paint first, so we’ll be able to judge your accuracy. Vampires, try to bite your slayer. If you get neck contact first, you win. Get a red mark anywhere near your heart, that means you’re dead and need to leave the field.”
Okay then. We’re playing vampire paintball. Or paint-stake, I guess.
He looks around “Any questions?” he asks, throwing me a stake. “Now, on the count of three ...”
I turn to Corbin, who, as it turns out, must be counting challenged. Before Mr. Klaus even gets to one, he grabs me, pinning my arms behind me, his hot lips searing my neck.
“You’re dead!” he crows. His little lackeys cheer.
“Wait a second!” I cry. “I wasn’t ready. Mr. Klaus didn’t even blow his whistle yet,” I protest, slapping at him to get him off of me. God, what an ass.
“I’ve got news for you, chickie.” Corbin laughs, shoving me unceremoniously to the ground. I land on my knees and pain reverberates up my spine. Jerk. “In real life, vampires don’t wait for any whistle.” He pauses, then adds, “Guess they didn’t teach you that in home school.”
He holds out a hand and I stupidly reach for it, assuming he’s trying to help me up. He laughs. “Your stake,” he clarifies.
Oh. I can feel my face burning as I hand him the weapon and scramble to my feet unaided. I watch him dip his stake in the bucket of paint, not feeling all that great about having my new mortal enemy casually wielding in his hand the one thing that can kill me.
Not that I’m going to let him win so easily this time.
“Are you ready, Little Slayer?” he asks patronizingly. “I wouldn’t want to dare begin before you were completely ready. Should I count to three? Maybe a hundred?”
I roll my eyes. “Bring it, Slayer Boy,” I snarl. “If you think you can.”
“Oh, I know I can.”
He charges forward, so quick I have no choice but to duck his strike. Once down on the ground, I throw my arms around his shins and yank them forward with all my might. His momentum interrupted, he lurches backward, slamming down on the field, butt first. He lets out a cry of surprise—guess he figured he’d have it as easy as he did before. But I’m ready for him now.
He rolls over and leaps easily to his feet. His eyes are dancing with laughter. “Oh, you’re more fun than I thought, Little Slayer,” he purrs, circling me with the stake clutched firmly in his hand. “I am going to enjoy taking you down.”
“Enjoy this,” I reply saucily, giving him the bird, feeling better already. This is kind of fun.
I follow his moves, studying carefully, watching and waiting for weaknesses, as Teifert taught me to do. All the recent cheerleading has made me limber and strong, and I know I can take him. I just need to wait for the right—