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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
Magnus squeezes his hands into frustrated fists. “Hell, sometimes I hate being a vampire.”
“Don’t worry, m’lord,” Jareth interjects. “We’ll go.” He glances over at me and I nod in agreement. I may not have a kung fu grip, but being able to go out in the sunshine definitely has its advantages. “We’ll find her and bring her back safe.”
Magnus doesn’t look too pleased by this—obviously he envisioned himself being Sunny’s big, heroic rescuer—but eventually he nods his head in agreement. “Very well,” he says. “But if you’re not back by nightfall, we’re coming in after you.”
“Sure, whatever you gotta do,” I say impatiently. “Now let’s go. Sunny’s waiting.”
“One moment, please.” Magnus gestures for one of the other vampires to hand him his brown leather satchel. “Before you go,” he says, “you need to suit up.” He rummages through the bag and finally manages to pull out a pair of fluorescent pink marabou wings. He tries to hand them to me.
“No way, dude. I’ve got my own built-ins,” I remind him, reaching back and ripping my shirt so I can let my freak flags fly. My wings have gotten a lot larger in the last twenty-four hours—perhaps due to my closer proximity to fairyland—and it’s started becoming painful trying to keep them under wraps. I wiggle my back as they unfurl to their full glory. It feels good to let them free.
Magnus nods, then turns to my boyfriend, holding out the hideous fake wings to him instead. What, did he steal them off a Vegas stripper or something?
“Oh no,” my Gothy but manly boyfriend protests, holding up his hands. “Definitely not.”
“You’re going into fairyland,” Magnus reminds him. “Look outside. Everyone here has some sort of wings. Do you want to stick out like a bloody thumb and get caught before you can rescue my girlfriend?” His question leaves no room for argument.
“Fine,” Jareth grumbles, grabbing the wings and reluctantly affixing them to his back. He looks so miserable and ridiculous I burst out laughing and fumble for my phone.
“Hold still! I need a photo!” I cry, grabbing my new cell phone and clicking a photo before he can cover the lens with his hand. I look down at the view screen. “Aw, how pwwetty you look!”
“If you dare post that on the Blood Coven forums—”
“Oh, so now you’re concerned with your image?” I tease. “Just yesterday you were wearing that dirty old Batman shirt again!”
“I’ll have you know that’s a very rare vintage tee—”
“Enough, you two,” Magnus cries in a commanding voice, effectively shutting us up. “Stop wasting time and go get Sunny!”
So we say our good-byes and step out the door and into the sunshine. It feels warm and tingly against my skin and I suddenly feel bad for the other vampires who can’t abide it. I can’t believe I almost willingly gave up the ability to go out during the day. Sometimes things have a way of working out in a manner you don’t expect.
“You look kind of sexy with wings,” Jareth says, giving me a wink.
“I’d love to say the same ...” I tease. He groans. I poke him playfully.
“Okay, so which way should we go, oh Disney expert?” he asks.
“There’s only one way in,” I say, pointing to the entrance. “Suck in your fangs, vamp boy. Let’s go rescue Sunny.”
We head toward the entrance of the park, but are stopped by a gated turnstile. A burly dwarf dressed in a rather silly Robin Hood-esque green suit mans the gate. I guess not only fairies live in fairyland. “Tickets?” he asks as we approach.
I glance at Jareth. Fairyland charges admission?
“How much are tickets?” Jareth asks, reaching for his wallet.
“Three hundred drops of nectar,” the dwarf replies. “After all, it’s a special day.”
Great. Jareth drops his hand. “Do you have a currency exchange on the premises?”
The dwarf shakes his head.
“Will you take human cash? American Express?”
Another shake. “Sorry, man,” he says apologetically. “The bosses are pretty strict about all that.”
I exchange worried looks with Jareth, then turn back to the dwarf. “What’s so special about today?” I query.
He looks at us incredulously. “Don’t you know?” he asks. “I assumed that’s why you came.” He grins. “It’s a special day in fairyland today. Our new queen is getting married at midnight.”
Ugh. I was afraid he was going to say that. Though at least that means we’re not too late. If we can get in ...
Suddenly, I realize just what I have to do.
“Of course we’ve heard,” I say in my most authoritative voice. “Seeing as I am ...”
I stop, unable to continue. Damn it, I forgot I still can’t lie. This is going to be more difficult than I thought. I stamp on Jareth’s foot to get his attention. Maybe he can lie for me ...
“Ow,” he says instead. “What did you do that for?”
“What I’m saying is ...” I turn back to the dwarf. “I am the one who is ...” I shoot Jareth a pleading look. For a thousand-year-old vampire, sometimes he’s a bit slow.
“Oh! Right!” he cries, recognition flashing over his face at last. “She’s the one who’s getting married. Have you not met our beautiful queen? Sunny McDonald?”