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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“Wait. You’ve met Sunny?” I ask. “In Tír na nÓg?”
“Met her?” The fairy godmother laughs. “I conjured up her wedding gown.”
And with that, she pulls a wand out of her purse and waves it twice, disappearing into a cloud of glitter. I look around the pub, but no one seems to have noticed anything except me.
I sink into the booth. Fairy godmother. Who would have thought? And what was that she said about Sunny ... ?
Oh my God. She said wedding gown! That means ...
I grab the napkin map and run for the door. We need to get to Tír na nÓg now! Before it’s too late!
I run back to the hotel, but realize once I get there that I neglected to take my key. I pound on the hotel room door where Jareth and I are staying, but there’s no answer. Vampires, probably not so surprisingly, sleep like the dead during the day and it’s nearly impossible to wake them up. I thought perhaps Jareth would be an exception, seeing as he no longer has that pesky sun allergy, but I guess not so much.
Frustrated, I pound again. Louder this time. From the next room over, another door opens and Corbin peeks his head out.
“You okay?” he asks.
“Yeah, just trying to wake the undead,” I say, giving up and walking down the hall toward him. “How are you doing?”
He shrugs, but widens the door so I can step inside his room. Part of me thinks this could be a bad idea—being alone with him and all—but at this point I’m stuffed full of Blood Synthetic and not in a snacking mood. I figure if I start feeling the urge to splurge, I’ll check out quick.
So I enter the room and sit down on an old-fashioned cushioned armchair by the window. He sits down on the double bed, which, I note, has not been slept in. “I can’t tell you how weird this all is,” he confesses. “Hanging out with a coven of vampires and all. I never would have thought in a million years.”
“Yeah, but you’ve got to admit, the Blood Coven’s pretty cool, right?” I ask. “I mean, they’re all civilized and law-abiding and stuff.”
He nods. “I had a long talk with Magnus on the plane ride over here,” he says. “He’s a pretty smart guy. He told me all about the consortium’s current politics and how the Blood Coven has been working to develop peaceable solutions when it comes to vampire/human relations.”
My shoulders relax a bit; I’m glad Magnus was able to talk some sense into him. “Yeah, most vampires I’ve met are pretty upstanding citizens. And the ones that aren’t? Well, I stake those.” I give him a grin.
“So you really are a slayer then?” Corbin marvels. “For some reason I just assumed that was a front so you could hide out at Riverdale. Like Lilli—er, Rachel—was.”
“Yup. I’m the real deal. And I’ve had two major vampire slays to my name, not to mention a whole crazy werewolf cheerleader thing I won’t get into.”
“So you’re a fairy, a vampire, and a vampire slayer ...” He ticks off my roles on his fingers. “All rolled into one. That’s a lot to keep track of.”
“You’re telling me.”
He grows silent for a moment, then adds, “And now you’ve been reunited with your true love.” He stares down at his hands and I notice his fingernails are bitten to the quick. “I guess congratulations are in order.”
I sigh. “About that, Corbin. I never meant—”
He waves me off. “It’s okay. I get it. You don’t have to explain again. You needed blood. Mine was available. You seduced me and I let you take it.”
“It’s really not that simple ...” I say, feeling that guilt all over again.
He looks up, questioningly.
“It’s not like you were just some random person I drank from. You’re the only person I’ve drunk from. My first.” I pause, then add, “And as they say, you never forget your first.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better or something?”
I gnaw at my lower lip. “Look, Corbin, I like you. You’re a great guy. You’re passionate, strong, interesting to talk to ...”
“Let me guess, it’s not me, it’s you,” he interrupts. “And you’d love to stay friends.”
I let out a frustrated breath. “I’ve got a boyfriend.”
“So you say.”
“And I love him. As blood mates, we share a very deep bond. Not something easily broken up.”
“Right. You’ve made that very clear.”
“But that doesn’t mean ...”
“We can’t be friends?” He snorts. “Yes, it does, Rayne. It definitely does.”
My eyes well up with tears at the anger I can hear in his voice. “Why not?” I demand. “Why does it have to be all or nothing?”
Corbin rakes a hand through his hair. “Because I don’t feel very friendly toward you,” he admits. “I love you, but I also hate you. I’m torn between kissing you ...” He pauses, then looks up with bloodshot eyes. “And killing you.”
I swallow hard. “Maybe I should go.” I start to rise from my seat.
“You should,” Corbin says slowly. “But you won’t.”
Quick as lightning, he leaps from the bed and grabs something from under the mattress. I gasp.
It’s a stake.
“Corbin, what are you—” I back up and hit the glass window. Crap. Nowhere to go and Corbin’s blocking the door.