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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
Corbin strikes again, jabbing the stake in my direction. I respond with a roundhouse kick, slamming my foot into his extended arm. He howls and the stake goes flying down the field. He dives after it, but I’m too quick, cartwheeling toward the stake (and yes, showing off a little!) and grabbing it mid-second-cartwheel. When I flip back to a standing position, he’s right in front of me. Without even a pause, I shove him squarely in the chest, pushing him back. Then I throw myself on top of him, using my entire body weight to bring him down.
A moment later, I’m straddling him, my hands pinning his shoulders to the grass, my mouth at his neck for the mock vampire bite. I’ve won!
Or have I? As my lips graze his neck, I freeze. He’s so warm. And he smells really good. Like vanilla, mixed with sandalwood. I pull back a bit, watching the artery in his neck pulse, circulating blood through his body. My stomach groans in protest and I feel my fangs slide into position. God, I’m so hungry. If only I could take a small nibble. I lean in, opening my mouth wide ...
I sit up with a start, my face on fire and my breathing labored. What the hell am I doing? I don’t drink real blood—especially not directly from a human. Especially not from a human Slayer in Training attending a school run by Slayer Inc. One bite and I’d be dusted before I could even swallow down the sweet stuff.
“Rayne . . .”
I realize, suddenly, that Corbin’s staring up at me, his eyes glazed and his breathing as heavy as mine. His arrogance has faded away, replaced by some kind of deep admiration, mixed with desire. Is he okay? Oh no, did I accidentally vampire scent him when I was daydreaming about his blood? Vampires have very enticing pheromones, you see, designed to bewitch hapless mortals if they’re not careful.
And I, wrapped up in my bloodlust, was so not careful just then.
Embarrassed and horrified, I roll off of Corbin and scramble to my feet. “I ... um ... I win!” I say, while waving a hand around my body, trying to fan away any residual scent, praying my teeth will retract before anyone sees them.
Corbin just stares up at me, totally bewitched.
Suddenly I find myself surrounded by the other Alphas. “Wow, that was rockin’,” Varuka cries.
“Yeah, we’ve never seen anyone take down Corbin before,” Mara agrees.
“You’re one tough slayer chick.”
“Maybe you’ll be our next Alpha.”
I smile helplessly, not able to speak and hide my fangs at the same time. I steal another worried glance down at Corbin. Is he okay?
“Hey Corbin,” Peter says, nudging him with his foot. “You got beat by Home School.”
The spell seems to break and Corbin scrambles to his feet. He glares at me with vile hatred deep in his emerald eyes. Guess the vampire scent has worn off. And he’s so not looking pleased about the new girl kicking his ass in front of his friends.
“Good job, Little Slayer,” he manages to grind out, while brushing himself off. “But I’m afraid next time you won’t be so lucky.” He gathers his friends and together they head down the field.
I watch them go, feeling my fangs finally retract. Lucky? He doesn’t know how lucky he just was. And as for next time? Well, the hunger is growing. And I don’t know how I’m going to be able to stop myself.
“Oh my God, everything in my entire body hurts,” Sunny moans as she limps down the cafeteria aisle, tray of food in hand. She sits down across from me and Lilli, who has invited us to her table to eat with her and her friends.
“I thought you were in a class with twelve-year-olds,” I remark, pushing my food around my plate to make it look like I’m eating. I ordered a burger extra, extra rare and tried to suck the blood out of it before the others showed up, but it just made me puke. If I don’t find Blood Synthetic soon, I’m in big trouble.
“Yeah. Try huge, strong, ridiculously well-trained twelve-year-olds,” she moans, holding out an arm so I can see all the blue-and-black bruises already starting to form. “Who don’t have a drop of respect for their elders.” She sighs.
“How did you get to be a slayer?” one of the girls at the table asks curiously. “If you’re totally not into the fighting thing?”
“Long story. Don’t ask,” Sunny mutters, shoveling a big spoonful of mashed potatoes into her mouth.
“Hey Rayne, do you want to come grab some more Kool-Aid with me?” Lilli asks, after slurping down the last of her drink. Man, the girl’s addicted to the stuff. “You must be really thirsty after all that practice out on the field.”
“No thanks, I’m good,” I reply, pretending to take a sip of my water, not wanting to hurt her feelings. Even as a mortal, Kool-Aid was never my thing.
Lilli shrugs and jumps up from her seat. “Suit yourself,” she says as she skips down the aisle.
“Don’t look now,” hisses her friend Evelyn to my right, “but Corbin’s looking over here.”
Of course, she said don’t look, which always makes me automatically turn around to do just that. I see Corbin and his friends sitting a few tables away, their table piled high with food. Sure enough, the Alpha slayer has turned away from the group and is watching me intently with longing green eyes. When he catches me looking, he scowls and turns away.
I shiver involuntarily. What have I done to him? And is there a way to undo it? If only Jareth were here. He’d know what to do.
“I heard you took him down this morning,” Evelyn says, forcing my attention back to my new friends. “No one’s ever done that before.”