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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“I thought we agreed we’d travel light,” I remark, raising an eyebrow at the nearly overflowing bag on her back.
“I need all this stuff,” she protests. A moment later, a string bikini top falls out of the bag. She grabs it with a sheepish look. “It’s designer,” she explains. “And Magnus gave it to me, so it’s sentimental.”
I sigh and shake my head, then begin slinking around the side of the dorm, back up against the cold stone walls. The temperature has dropped at least twenty degrees and I’m hoping that, in addition to her Calvin Klein resort collection, Sunny has a big warm parka in her overstuffed escape luggage. After all, we have no way of knowing just how far we may have to travel tonight.
Earlier in the day, I hit the library, trying to do some research on exactly where in the world we are here at Riverdale Slay School. Lilli had said the only way out was by helicopter, but my guess is that’s something they say to all the new students to encourage them to stay put. After all, they don’t want them slipping out at night and heading to the nearby town tavern to get wasted and dance on tables. So not behavior becoming of a Slayer in Training.
And sure enough, after paging through a billion cryptic texts—no books in this library are less than a hundred years old, I swear—I was able to get a general idea of where the school resides and information about a small village probably located somewhere in the vicinity.
Sadly, “somewhere in the vicinity” isn’t exactly GPS coordinates so we may be wandering for a bit. Still, it’s better than staying put and having my fairy vampire status discovered by the student body and faculty. Because I’m guessing that’s grounds for immediate expulsion. And not the kind where you’re just sent home in shame, either.
We reach the back of the dorm and settle into complete darkness. I look over at my sister and nod. “Okay, now!” I cry, breaking out into a run. The cold air whips against my face as we dash for the nearby forest, crashing through the underbrush. Only after a few hundred feet of “dodge the big pine tree” do I dare stop and turn around to look, hands on my knees, panting to catch my breath. Sunny catches up to me a moment later. The forest behind us is silent and still. I grin at my sister. We did it.
“Piece of cake,” I say. “We should have tried this our first day here.”
“Yeah, but ...” Sunny looks around the woods. “Now what? Do you have any idea where we’re supposed to be going?”
“Well ...” I tap my chin with my finger. “Look! There’s a path. Let’s follow it. It has to lead to somewhere, right?”
“Sure. Like to the gingerbread house where the evil witch waits to throw us in the oven.”
“Please. That was totally Germany. We’re in Switzerland. A whole ‘nother country.” I step over a rotting log and head for the path. “In fact, I bet this is the road they use to bring in weekly supplies. After all, they have to get the students’ food from somewhere and helicoptering it all in isn’t exactly economical.”
Sunny looks at me doubtfully, but falls into step anyway. Reaching in my pocket, I pull out a small LED pocket light/lighter combo—all I could find at short notice. I flick it on and point it down toward the ground, keeping the light low. Don’t want someone back at school to see it flickering and alert the guards.
As we walk down the windy path, the wind whistles through the trees and tall shadows, cast by my light, dance madly across the road. Sunny grips onto my shoulder, her fingernails digging into my flesh. “Should we be dropping bread crumbs or something?” she whispers, still on her little Hansel and Gretel kick, I guess.
I open my mouth to answer her, but a crashing noise behind us makes me shut it again. I whirl around, shakily shining my flashlight into the bushes. A wild animal? Or something more deadly? From beside me, Sunny whimpers in fear.
We wait, holding our breaths, but are greeted with nothing but silence. I shrug at Sunny and motion for us to continue. After all, it’s too late to turn back now.
But a moment later, another noise erupts—a low growling sound, somewhere to our left. Sunny looks over at me with wild, frightened eyes. “What was that?” she hisses.
I shrug, hand in my bag, reaching for the stake they gave me with my Riverdale enrollment papers. Though what good a small hunk of carved wood is going to do against a big, snarly wolf or lumbering bear is anyone’s guess. Fear pounds through my heart as I shine the flashlight into the woods. Maybe the light will scare the creature off ...
Suddenly I’m grabbed from behind. I scream, but my voice is muffled by a smelly rag, stuffed into my mouth, and a black hood, pulled over my head. Two hands grab my shoulders, two more grab me by the ankles. I kick as hard as I can, but they’re too strong.
I can hear my sister thrashing behind me. Oh God—whoever these people are, they’ve got her, too.
After what seems an eternity, our captors stop and I’m plopped unceremoniously onto the ground, my butt slamming against hard rock. I can smell something here. Something like ... burning flesh. The hood is ripped from my eyes and the gag pulled from my mouth. I look up, catching sight of the glowing eyes of the ...
More precisely, the laughing-their-asses-off Alphas.
“Oh man, we got you!” Varuka crows, high-fiving Mara. Leanna does a little dance around the bonfire while Peter works to untie my sister.
“You should have seen your faces!” Mara cries. “You were totally freaking out.”