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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
I stare at him in horror. Fairy DNA testing? That’s so not good. I mean, sure, it’s not like they’re going to find my fairy DNA in their little database. But what if they figure out during testing that this particular fairy is also a vampire? That’s going to put the whole place on red alert.
It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. Drink from Corbin, heal myself, erase his memory so he’d never know what bit him. But I should have known they’d never just let it go like that. Not at a school full of Slayer Inc. operatives.
And with a developing bloodlust, not to mention an expanding pair of wings and the sudden inability to tell a lie, I’m not going to be able to keep much of a low profile either.
“Don’t worry,” Corbin says, evidently catching a hint of major freak-out on my face. He reaches out to stroke my hand. “I’m sure it’s no big deal.” He brings my hand to his face and nuzzles my palm against his unshaven cheek, causing my stomach to start doing major flip-flops. “I’m fine, you’re fine—that’s what’s important here.”
His skin is so warm. So ... alive ... So human ... “I’m really not that fine, to be honest!” I blurt out, my trembling voice taking on a slightly hysterical screechy tone that makes me sound like my sister. I need to get up and walk away. Now. Before it’s too late. I start to stand, but Corbin grips my hand tighter.
“Please.” He grins wickedly, capturing my eyes with his own flashing green ones. “You’re damn fine, girl. In fact, you’re downright beautiful. Have I ever told you how beautiful I think you are?”
Sure. Right before I bit you and nearly drained you of half your blood. A moment I’m probably going to be forced to repeat if you don’t let me walk away right this very second.
But I can’t say that. And I can’t lie. So I sit there, helplessly silent, suffering miserably as I stare at his neck. Corbin, of course, takes this as a hint, leaning in, closing his eyes, parting his lips ...
I shove him back, nearly knocking him off the log in the process. Oops. Damn vampire strength.
His eyes flutter open, annoyance mixed with hurt confusion. “What?” he asks. “Don’t you like me kissing you?”
Tell him no! Everything inside me screams. Tell him you’d rather just be friends.
“Yes,” I say out loud. Because, unfortunately, that’s the truth. Now if he asked whether I wanted him to kiss me or if he should be kissing me or if I wished he wouldn’t kiss me ever again, I might have had a chance. But did I like his kissing? God, yeah.
He smiles lazily and leans forward again. The electricity between us crackles and I scoot back a few more inches on the log. Any more and I’m going to fall off completely.
“So tell me about your parents,” I blurt out, desperate for a topic change. “The other Alphas told me a vampire killed them?”
He groans, leaning backward on the log. “Wow. Okay, buzz-kill.”
I grimace like that wasn’t exactly what I meant to happen. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay.” He rakes a hand through his black hair. “My parents were young. They had me when they were only eighteen. Obviously not on purpose.” He throws me a rueful smile and shrugs his shoulders. “Anyway, it was tough on them. Mom had to drop out of college and they both ended up moving in with her mom—my grandmother. Dad worked two jobs just to make ends meet. Basically they had to grow up fast. Too fast, I guess.
“When they would get a night off, Grandma would volunteer to babysit. And they’d ... well, try to make up for lost time, you might say. They started going to all these Goth bars and fetish clubs looking for an adult thrill that would make them forget dirty diapers and late-night feedings. And one day they discovered the Blood Bars.”
I swallow hard. Oh God, I can see where this is going and it doesn’t sound pretty.
“Mind you, I knew none of this at the time,” Corbin adds. “I was just a kid, mostly being raised by my grandma, who was wonderful and kind and loving. In fact, I didn’t find out what really happened to my parents until Grandma died a few years ago. I was hiding up in the attic during her funeral—I couldn’t stand all those fake people standing around, pretending to be sad while stuffing their faces with food. I found my mother’s diary hidden above a rafter.”
I think about my diary and imagine my daughter stumbling across it someday. What would she think about all my adventures? Then again, I realize, I’m a vampire. I’m not even sure I can procreate. The thought makes me a bit sad.
I force my attention back to Corbin’s story. “I don’t know if you learned about Blood Bars in your home school lessons,” he continues. “But they’re basically a type of fetish club, where humans sign up willingly to go to get sucked by vampires.” He scowls. “They go into these ... rooms and wait for the vampire to come and ...” He trails off, shuddering. “It’s so disgusting, Rayne. I don’t know why anyone would volunteer for something like that, never mind get off on it, like these people do.”
The indignant look on his face makes me feel like the lowest person in the world. God, what have I done? My stomach swims with nausea.
“Anyway, once I got to Riverdale, I was able to do some more research. Slayer Inc. actually has a file on the case. According to them, one night a Blood Bar vampire got too hungry and wasn’t able to stop feeding on my mother. Drained the life right out of her as my father watched helplessly in a corner. When he realized what was happening, he tried to attack the vampire.” Corbin laughs bitterly. “Which went about as well as you might expect. The vampire in question killed him and ran away, never to be heard of again.” He shakes his head. “Slayer Inc. raided the Blood Bar and shut it down, but besides the surveillance tape they found, which documented the murders, there was no other evidence. It’s still an open case. Unsolved.”