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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“We originally assumed that it was a random attack. But last night, the bitten student came back for a follow-up examination. He’d blacked out and lost more blood. We believe he may have been bitten a second time by this vampiric Sidhe. Which means the creature is likely still at large and may be hiding around campus.”
This time, the students aren’t so easy to quiet down and the din of conversation reaches an almost deafening level.
“I promise you we’re taking this very seriously,” the headmistress says, her voice commanding over the chaos. “We’ve informed all your parents of the incident and they’ve agreed, for the time being, it’s best to go into lockdown until we flush the monster out. No classes for the rest of the week and you will all stay in your dorms, under the watchful eyes of our best guardians.”
This elicits initial cheers, quickly followed by disappointed groans. No classes—good. Stuck in the dorms? Definitely not.
The headmistress isn’t done, either. “In addition to scouring the campus, we will be interviewing each and every one of you,” she adds. “To learn if any of you has any information on this predator. If you can think of anything unusual, please come and see me at any time.”
“Ow!” Corbin cries beside me. I look over and am embarrassed to realize that I’ve been squeezing his hand way too tight.
“Sorry,” I whisper. “It’s just ... scary.”
But scary isn’t even the half of it. I’m stuck here now, under lock and key, making the possibility of escape even more difficult. And when they bring me in for questioning and I find myself unable to tell a lie?
Well, it’s good-bye Rayne.
We’re dismissed by the headmistress and black-clad guardians armed with stakes and other assorted weaponry escort us over to the library. They tell us we’re to spend the day here and the night back in our rooms. As if anyone’s interested in studying at this point.
The Alphas invite Sunny and I to the private back room. There, among expensive collections and dusty tomes, they’ve set up camp. It should feel like a sanctuary—dressed in fine, soft leather and rich, elegant wood. Instead it feels like a prison. Not to mention it’s stuffy as hell and making me sneeze.
“I’m freaking out here!” Mara says, as she closes the door behind us and turns the key. “I mean, basically what they’re saying is there’s a murderer out there!”
“Well, not a murderer per se,” I point out, before realizing I should just sit and keep my mouth shut.
Too late. All the Alphas turn to look at me.
“I mean, no one’s actually dead,” I finish lamely. If only they knew they’d just locked the monster in with them, instead of out.
“Yeah, for now,” Peter butts in. “But how do we know this vampire-fairy mutant thing won’t strike again? And what if this time he drains his victim dry?”
“I was pretty close to death,” Corbin adds wearily and another pang of guilt stabs in my gut. He’s plopped himself down in a nearby armchair, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. “That’s what they told me in the infirmary anyway.”
“Are you sure you don’t remember anything, Corbin?” Varuka asks, peering at him with anxious eyes.
“No,” he says, shaking his head, eyes still closed. “It’s all a complete and utter blank.”
The others let out frustrated sighs. “It’s so maddening,” Leanna complains. “To sit here and do nothing. Maybe we could research or something?” She grabs an ancient-looking book from a nearby shelf and starts thumbing through.
“It’s not going to do any good,” Sunny interjects. I can feel her looking directly at me and wish she wouldn’t. “As the headmistress said, this creature is a totally new thing no one’s ever heard of or seen before.”
“It sounds so horrible!” Mara says, making a disgusted face. “Some disgusting vile monster putting its claws in poor Corbin and sucking his—”
I can’t take it anymore. I burst up from my seat. “I’ve got to ... go ... check out a book,” I mutter as I head for the door. I meant to say go to the bathroom, but unfortunately as a vampire, I no longer have the need to pee. And as a fairy I can’t lie about it. What a winning combination.
I can feel the stares at my back as I unlock and push open the door, then head out into the library hallway, bloody tears welling up in my eyes. What am I going to do? How am I going to get out of here? I catch a guardian watching me from across the room with suspicious eyes so I swipe my tears away and turn the corner.
I’m trapped. A sitting duck. It’s only a matter of time before they discover who I really am. What I really am.
I make a mad dash for the front door, but it’s locked and the windows are all barred. And, I soon realize, even if I could just walk out, it wouldn’t do me any good. There are slayer operatives everywhere, milling about outside, heavily armed with crossbows and stakes and scary-looking medieval axes. I wouldn’t make it ten feet before being cut down.
I lean against the wall, feeling defeated. I’m going to die here. I’ll never see my parents again. Never see Jareth again ...
Oh God, what now? I turn to see Corbin, rushing down the hall toward me, his emerald eyes full of worry. “Are you okay?” he asks.
I try to nod, but that would be a lie. So instead I resign myself to shaking my head.