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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
Corbin and Rayne. Trapped in Night School. In danger. Need rescuing!
I open my eyes.
“Any luck?” Corbin asks, his voice betraying his eagerness. “Any vampires respond?”
“Um,” I say sheepishly, “I don’t actually know.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I can send. But I can’t receive. So I don’t exactly get an answer back.”
“Now I’m positive I would have held out for a kung fu grip.”
“Well, you may get your chance if we don’t get out of here,” I remind him, which sobers the mood. We fall into an uneasy silence, each listening to the still air, straining to hear a sound of rescue. For about a half hour we hear nothing. Then ...
The door creaks open. I look over in shock, my eyes widening as none other than Lilli herself steps through the entrance. She grins widely, showing off her fangs. “The vampire cavalry is here,” she announces. “Prepare for rescue.”
“Lilli?” I cry in shock. “You’re a vampire?” I can’t believe it. Nor can I believe her outfit. I almost don’t even recognize her. Gone is her cute little Catholic schoolgirl skirt and Little Orphan Annie hair, which I now realize must have been a wig. In its place is Goth Barbie’s dream outfit, complete with black corset top, vinyl miniskirt, fishnet stockings, and platform boots, her long black hair pulled back into a ponytail.
She pulls out a pair of black leather gloves from her messenger bag and slips them on before attempting to break my silver chains. “My name’s not actually Lilli,” she says. “I’m Rachel.”
“Rachel?” I repeat in shock. I knew she looked familiar. “Like, Rachel and Charity? Magnus’s blood donors?”
“Former blood donors,” she corrects, grabbing a pair of pliers out of her bag and cutting my chains. “We got infected by the blood virus, remember? So they turned us into vampires to save our lives, much like Jareth did with you. And just like you, we can go out in the sun.”
“But why have I never heard of this? I thought Jareth and I were the only ones.”
“Because we’re working undercover, still living in the human world and pretending to be normal, mortal teenage girls. We can gain access to a lot of places that vampires can’t, but at the same time, we’re stronger than humans so we can get ourselves out of trouble.” The chains snap and fall to the ground. I rub my wrists gratefully and she starts working on my feet. “I was assigned here six months ago. The Vampire Consortium believed some high-up Slayer Inc. operatives had broken off from the main agency and were working to stage a coup.” She looks up at me ruefully as the chains clatter to the ground. “Which, of course, seems to be true.”
“Didn’t you recognize us? Why didn’t you tell us who you were?”
“I’m not supposed to break cover,” she says. “No matter what. I did try to give you some hints. I even tried to share my stash of synthetic with you. But you kept refusing it.”
I suddenly remember all her offers of getting me lunch. The gifts of red Kool-Aid that I never drank. Could I have prevented all of this, just by taking a sip?
“Oh man,” I moan. “I’m such an idiot.” I stagger to my feet, gripping the wall for support. My body’s weak from all that blood they took and my toes have fallen asleep. Is this what Corbin felt like after I nearly drained him dry? I look over at him guiltily. At least if we get out of here he’ll never have to go through something like that again.
“And then when I heard Corbin over there had been bit, it was pretty easy to put two and two together. So I contacted the Blood Coven and told them we were going to have to spring you, even if it meant breaking cover and aborting the mission. But by the time Magnus gave me permission, your sister had already turned you in.”
“Not my sister,” I correct. “A changeling pretending to be her.”
Rachel nods. “Well, all I can say is thank the Goth gods you sent me that cry for help. Without it, I’d never have known where they’d taken you.”
I throw Corbin a smirk. “Kung fu grip my ass,” I quip.
Corbin just rolls his eyes. Rachel approaches, kneeling in front of him and examining his chains. She grabs his arm and he grunts in pain.
“Sorry,” she says. “Sometimes I forget how fragile you humans are.”
He scowls at her, his muscles contracting as he tries to break his own chains. “I don’t need your help, vampire,” he snarls.
“Oh relax, Mortal One.” Rachel smiles sweetly at him. “I don’t bite.” Then she laughs. “Well, okay, that’s not exactly true, but in your case, I promise to make an exception.”
“Come on, Corbin,” I beg. “We need to get out of here. Rachel’s the only hope we have.”
He lets out a long breath. “Fine,” he says through gritted teeth. “Do what you have to do.”
“Such gratitude,” she muses out loud. “No wonder you guys remain at the bottom of the food chain.” She cuts through the shackles and they clatter to the ground. “Now, try not to stake me while I continue to save your life, okay?”
“I don’t make promises to vampires,” Corbin mutters as he staggers to his feet.
“Come on, you two,” I cry. “Less bickering, more getting the hell out of here.” I make a dash for the open door.