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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
They get to choose? Man, that’s so unfair. Why can’t it work that way in America? I mean, then at least they’d get slayers who really wanted the gig to begin with—instead of forcing unwilling girls like me to take the job and threatening to kill them if they refuse.
“Is something wrong, Little Slayer?” Corbin asks sweetly. “You look a little pale. I mean, more than usual.”
I can feel Sunny staring at me, but I can’t bring myself to meet her questioning eyes. Instead, I swallow hard and force myself to turn the questions back on the group. “So what made you decide to join up then?” I ask.
“Well, I got in some trouble at school,” Peter confesses. “And my dad told me it was either Slay School or juvie.” He grins. “And slaying vamps just sounded way cooler. Now I’m just like Blade!” he adds, launching into some sort of strange looking kung fu pose I’m positive the real Blade never used.
“Well, I’m a direct descendent of Van Helsing,” Varuka snottily adds. “So vampire slaying is in my blood.”
I don’t have the heart to tell her that according to the Blood Coven files I’ve read, Van Helsing wasn’t the great slayer that Bram Stoker made him out to be. In real life, he was secretly seeing Mina (when her fiancé, Jonathan, was overseas visiting Count Dracula) and when Dracula showed up and chose Mina to be his blood mate, Van Helsing got pissed off and vowed revenge.
Mara looks up from her book. “I’ve just always been Team Jacob.” She shrugs. “It was so unfair that Bella chose that sparkly piece of stalker crap instead of him.”
“But that’s just a—” Sunny starts. I kick her. After all, we have no idea whether the Twilight saga is fictional or not. Why not a Cullen coven?
“And what about you?” I ask, turning to Corbin. “Are you Team Jacob as well?” I tease.
He scowls. “I’m Team Corbin and that’s it,” he snarls. Rising to his feet, he storms off into the woods.
I look at the rest of the Alphas, puzzled.
“It’s a sore subject for him,” Leanna whispers. “His parents were killed by vampires.”
I raise my eyebrows. “How?”
“We’re not sure,” Mara says with a shrug. “He never talks about it. He was only a little kid when it happened though.”
“Becoming a Slayer is his way of getting revenge against the vampire race,” Leanna adds. “And he takes his role very seriously. That’s why it was such a big deal that you got the best of him yesterday.”
“His goal in life is to kill every vampire on the face of this Earth,” adds Peter. “Whether they’re good, evil, or totally Switzerland neutral.”
Wow. I stare after Corbin, a mixture of pity and unease warring through my insides. Pity, because he’s obviously had a rough life. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if my parents were drained dry. Unease, because I’m thinking if he ever finds out what I truly am, stake practice may suddenly turn deadly. And I don’t know if I can guarantee I’ll beat him every time—especially once he has added motivation.
“Yeah, vamps, along with any other otherworld creature he manages to track down,” adds Varuka helpfully. “Werewolf, leprechaun, Santa Claus. You name it: If it’s supernatural, Corbin’s ready to kick its ass.”
“Um, awesome?” I mean, what else can I say to that? Sunny reaches over and squeezes my hand comfortingly. I give her a rueful smile, suddenly very glad she’s here.
“So what are you two doing out here tonight, anyway?” Peter asks. “Trying to go AWOL from Slay School?”
“Of course not!” Sunny interjects, with far too much force to be believable. Once again the “actress” in the family is the worst liar ever. “We’re just ... um ... exploring.”
The Alphas laugh. “Sure you are,” Varuka says patronizingly. “’Cause there’s so much to see at midnight.”
“Don’t worry, we won’t tell,” adds Leanna. “We’ve all tried it once or twice.”
“Yeah, I’d say most new recruits get the idea after a day or two of training,” Peter agrees. “They suddenly aren’t sure what they’ve gotten themselves into. But Riverdale hasn’t lost a student yet. The outside world is just too far to get to on foot. The nearest village is probably a hundred and fifty miles away.”
Sigh. So much for my great navigation skills. I swear, it looked so close on the map!
“The only way to get out is by helicopter,” Leanna says. “And, unfortunately, they keep that locked away, up on the roof of Night School.”
“What’s the deal with Night School anyway?” Sunny interjects curiously. “We passed the building and it looks all creepy and stuff.”
The Alphas glance uneasily at one another. “Um, well, we’re not entirely sure,” Mara says. “We just know that they only accept a small graduating class of the best and brightest slayers.”
“When you graduate, you’re given one of three assignments,” adds Leanna. “A field job where you’re commissioned to go slay vampires out and about, a desk job at Slayer Inc. headquarters in some kind of administration position ...”
“Or,” Varuka butts in, “if you’re really lucky, you can go on to Night School. A continuing education program reserved for the top six slayers of each graduating class.”