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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
Sunny reaches over and smoothes my hair, gazing at me with worried eyes. “Poor girl,” she says. “That must have been horrible for you.”
“Please. I wish it were. I wish it were disgusting and horrible and nasty and I never wanted to do it again. But instead, it was amazing. Better than sex. It was all I could do not to drain the guy dry.” I grip my sheets in my fists, making a face. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“Well, it sounds like you’re a vampire,” Sunny says simply. “And that’s what vampires do: They drink blood from people. It’s in your nature. How can you fight it?”
I let out a frustrated breath. “It’s so ridiculous. Now I’m a vampire, vampire slayer, and turning into a fairy to boot. I found out today that I can’t lie anymore. Literally can’t spit out anything but the truth. Isn’t that crazy?”
Sunny stares at me, horror written on her face.
“Yeah,” I admit. “The fairy thing is still happening. I should have never gone and kissed my elbow like that. I’m such an idiot.”
Sunny opens her mouth to say something, but at that moment, the church bells start ringing outside. I glance over at her and she shrugs. A moment later, we hear scuffling outside our door. I get out of bed and peek out the window to see students, en masse, rushing toward the chapel.
“It’s a little early for church,” I remark.
Sunny joins me at the window. “Not to mention it’s not Sunday.”
A sudden knock at the door startles us both. We whirl around. Lilli peeks her head in, carrying her requisite squeeze bottle of Kool-Aid. “Mandatory meeting in the chapel,” she informs us. “Get dressed and get over there quick.”
Ten minutes later, we’re seated in one of the back pews. The place is packed with students, all whispering to one another, trying to figure out why they’ve been called together at the crack of dawn. My heart pounds in my chest and my hands are shaking as I stare up at the still-empty pulpit. As a vampire, setting foot in a church already gives me flu-like symptoms. Add those to my growing trepidation about the meeting’s topic and I’m pretty much a mess.
I feel movement and turn to see Corbin slipping into the pew beside me. The other Alphas take seats a row back. Corbin’s freshly bandaged and looking anemic. But at least he’s alive.
“Hey, baby,” he murmurs, folding his hand into mine. Sunny gives me a knowing look, but I turn away. What am I supposed to do? Reject him in front of his friends? Besides, holding hands isn’t that big of a deal. It’s not like ... kissing. Or, you know, ripping his neck open and sucking out his blood.
“Do you know what this meeting’s about?” I whisper as we watch the headmistress walk down the aisle and to the podium.
Corbin bites his lower lip, looking nervous. “Well, I blacked out yesterday. And so I went back to the nurse for a follow-up appointment.” He swallows. “They think I’ve been bitten a second time.”
I stare at him, horrified. Oh God, why hadn’t I thought about him going back to the infirmary? Now they’re going to know it wasn’t part of some random fairy attack.
“I know!” he says, completely mistaking my look. “It’s awful. I don’t know what’s happening to me.”
I can feel Sunny’s hard stare at my back, but refuse to acknowledge it. I already know what she’s thinking: that I’m a disgusting, horrible monster. And she’s right. To do this to a fellow human being ...
I need to get out of this place and fast. Get back to the coven, get back on synthetic. Or hire a donor even. Whatever it takes to stop this horrible transformation. This horrible hunger.
Corbin smiles at me, completely clueless. “Do you want to grab breakfast after this?” he asks. “I’m starving from all the blood loss and I’d love to spend some time with you.”
What have I done to this guy? Stolen everything. His blood, his dignity. And yet he still comes back for more. I’m so disgusted with myself I can’t even see straight.
“Please?” he adds and the hopefulness in his voice makes me want to stake myself in the heart.
Luckily the headmistress starts talking before I can answer him. We turn our attention to the pulpit.
“Students of Riverdale, thank you for gathering so early this morning for this unannounced assembly,” she says into the microphone. “I know rumors have been flying and I wanted to take this time to address them and also inform you of what’s really going on.”
Murmurs break out, but she silences everyone with a stern gaze.
“As you may have heard, two nights ago, some of our students were illegally partying off campus.” She throws a disapproving look over in the direction of the Alphas, who squirm in their seats. “While outside of school grounds, away from the guards, they were attacked by some winged humanoid creatures that we first believed to be members of the Sidhe. Otherwise known as fairies.”
I stare up at her in confusion. First believed? What does she mean “first believed?” Of course they were fairies. What else could they possibly be?
“However, we analyzed the bite mark one of the students received from these alleged fairies,” she continues and a drip of fear splashes into my empty stomach. “And while it does contain a strain of fairy DNA, it also contains DNA ...” She pauses dramatically and everyone sits with bated breath. “Of a vampire.”
The whole chapel erupts into excited conversation, but the headmistress hushes them with a commanding wave. “I am not finished,” she says and the room falls silent again.