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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“Come on, they can’t be that bad,” I say, trying to twist around to see for myself.
“They’re ... they’re ...” Sunny stumbles. I see her hard swallow. “Rayne, what did you do?” she asks finally, her voice barely a hoarse whisper.
“I just sparred a few times with Corbin. But I totally won. So I don’t see—”
“I’m not talking about that,” she interrupts. “I’m talking about ...” She shakes her head, as if in disbelief.
“What?” I cry, fear starting to creep through me. “Just spit it out!”
“Did you go and kiss your elbow or something?”
I stare at her, suddenly remembering the ritual I performed in the library last night, horror slamming through my insides. Leaping from my bed, I dive for the full-length mirror I installed behind my closet door. Twisting around, I try to catch a glimpse of ...
Well, not wings exactly. Not yet. But there’s definitely some kind of growth going on back there. Two large lumps, protruding from my shoulder blades ...
Covered in white feathers.
My head spins and I force myself to return to my bed, sinking down onto the mattress, a combination of fear and excitement whirling through my brain.
It worked. It actually worked. I can’t believe it.
“Rayne! Why would you do that?” Sunny cries in an anguished voice. “After all Mom and Dad have done, you just, willingly ... UGH!” She buries her eyes in her pillow. “I can’t even look. It’s so grotesque.”
“Nice, Sun,” I snap, feeling a little offended. I turn my head to see the little feathered bumps. “Thanks for making me feel all self-conscious.” They are kind of weird, yeah, but once they grow into full-fledged wings, I bet they’ll look kind of cool. Though a little hard to keep under wraps ...
“Why, Rayne? Why would you do this? I mean, of all the crazy things you’ve—”
“I did it for you, dummy,” I interrupt grumpily. “So how about you lay off the whole judgmental thing for once?”
“Wait, what? For me?” she demands, looking over, her face full of confusion. “What do you mean, ‘for me’?”
“Look, it’s simple, really,” I tell her. “Like you said, if Mom and Dad fail in their talks, one of us is going to have to take the fairy queen gig, right? So who’re the fairies going to choose now—the reluctant mortal who can’t stand the taste of nectar or the full-fledged fairy with amazing wingspan who’s ready and willing to go?”
Sunny shakes her head in disbelief. “Rayne, I never wanted you to have to—”
“You’re my sister, after all,” I interrupt. “And I love you. Even if you are a total crybaby at times.”
“Uh, thanks. I think.”
I grin wickedly, then turn serious. “Sunny, I want you to be able to have the happily ever after you want for yourself. And I know this way you’ll actually have a chance to have it.”
Sunny crosses the room in two seconds flat and throws her arms around me, burying her face in my shoulder.
“Hey, hey! Watch the wings! I don’t want to lose any feathers. After all, fairy pattern baldness is no joke. And I doubt Rogaine would work for something like that.”
Sunny giggles and cautiously reaches out to pet the wings in question. As her hands make contact, she squeals and scampers back to her side of the room.
“I still think it’s totally freaky,” she says, rubbing her palm on her flannel PJ bottoms.
“I do, too,” I admit. “Not to mention once they start growing, they’re going to be a bit of a problem hiding from the student body.”
“And here I thought you concealing the fact that you’re a vampire was bad enough.”
I let out a frustrated breath. “That’s even worse. I’m so hungry for blood I’m going crazy. I had a nightmare that I broke into a blood bank and drained it dry.”
Sunny looks concerned. “There’s no place to get blood here?” she asks. “What about ... from me?” I can tell it takes her effort to say this and I appreciate the grand gesture.
Luckily I can easily turn her down. “Holy Grail blood, remember?” I remind her. “Poisonous to vampires over a few months old.”
“Oh yeah,” she says, relief clear on her face. She’s quiet for a moment, then adds, “So what are we going to do? You can’t stay here and starve to death. And if those wings keep growing they’re going to be a problem.”
“Yeah,” I say, glancing at the mirror at my little winglets. “I have no idea how fast these things are going to grow either.” I shake my head, annoyed with my impulsiveness. Seriously, what was I thinking, going through the ritual like that? I guess it just seemed so ridiculous—I didn’t think it would actually work ...
“I think we have no choice,” Sunny says, interrupting my self-rebuke. “One way or another, we have to get out of here.” She looks over at me, setting her chin determinedly. “We’re breaking out of Slay School tonight.”
“Okay, I think the coast is clear,” I hiss, after peering out the front door of our dorm room and looking left and right, taking special care to make sure Headmistress Roberta isn’t out on her nightly body bag run. (I didn’t mention that whole thing to Sunny ’cause I didn’t want to freak her out too much.) But the campus appears dark and still, with only a crescent moon to light our path. I slip outside, careful to stay in the shadows. My sister steps out beside me, her backpack stuffed to the brim.