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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“I’m so sorry,” I cry. “I had no idea ...”
“The prime minister didn’t appreciate the fact that we fought back when his soldiers came to collect you two the first time,” Dad explains. “We never got a chance to negotiate as we had planned to.”
Horror sweeps through me as I remember the fight. How I stabbed Apple Butter. How everyone freaked out about it. “It’s my fault!” I realize, guilt stabbing me like a sharp stake to the heart. “It’s my fault you’re here.”
“No, no!” Mom cries, shaking her head vehemently. “Rayne, don’t blame yourself for one second. We were the ones who ran away from fairyland to begin with. We put you in this position. You only did what you thought was right to protect your family. And you should never, ever be ashamed of that.”
I don’t know if I can completely accept this, but I decide to move on anyway. I’ve learned the hard way that guilt is just way too unproductive in these kinds of scenarios. “What about Heather?” I ask. “I thought she was going to go help you with negotiations.”
Mom and Dad glance at one another and I catch the worry in their faces. “We haven’t seen or heard from her since that night at the condo,” Dad says at last. “We sort of figured she stayed with you two.”
I shake my head. “I hope she’s okay ...”
“Rayne McDonald!” Mom says suddenly, her voice sharp. “You have wings!”
My face heats. “Oh yeah,” I say, positive I’m blushing deep red. “I ... um ... well, it’s a long story, really.”
Mom opens her mouth—probably to lecture me some more—but at that moment, Jareth lets out another loud groan. I whirl around, praying he’s at least regained consciousness. Happy family reunion or not, I have to get him out of those chains.
“Jareth!” I cry.
“Is that your boyfriend, Rayne?” Mom asks, squinting her eyes at the unconscious vampire. “He looks familiar.”
I nod miserably. “Yeah, that’s Jareth.”
“What is he doing here? Rayne, we told you not to mix up any mortals in this,” Dad rebukes me sternly. “It’s too dangerous.”
I draw in a breath. Here goes nothing. “He’s not mortal, Dad. Look at those silver chains burning his skin.”
Dad’s eyes widen in realization. “He’s not a ...?”
“Vampire? Yes. He is.”
Both my parents shriek in unison and shrink back in their cells.
“You’re dating a vampire?” Mom cries. “Oh, Rayne! How could you? First you turn yourself into a fairy after I specifically told you not to, and then you tell me you’re dating a vile, disgusting creature of the—”
“Mom, stop it!” I interrupt, more than a little annoyed at their reactions. “You can yell at me all you want later. Ground me—whatever. But right now, we need to focus on getting out of here so we can save Sunny.” I mean, they’re both freaking fairies, for goodness’ sake! How can they be so prejudiced against vampires? And what would they do if they knew yours truly was also one of these so-called disgusting creatures of the night?
Mom falls silent, but she doesn’t look too happy. Geez, even trapped in a fairy jail, I manage to get the parental units mad at me. I have such a knack.
I turn to my dad, realizing he’s shaking his head. “Honey, there’s no way out of here,” he informs me, his voice filled with sorrow. “We’ve tried, believe me. Since the day we got here.”
I frown, refusing to accept his words. I’ve been in tight situations before and I’ve always managed to come through. Even at Night School, where I was sure we were doomed. I just called for help and ...
That’s it! I can try to channel Magnus. Let him know where we are. I wonder if it’s dark yet. I don’t think Jareth can hold off much longer. I close my eyes and picture the coven leader in my mind, then push my cry for help, just in case.
I open my eyes. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I could really use Corbin’s whole kung fu grip thing right about now. I wonder if he’ll have normal vampire powers or be gimped like me, since he was bitten by Jareth. Poor Corbin. If only I hadn’t vampire scented him to begin with ...
“Hey!” I start screaming at the top of my lungs. I take off my shoe and bang it against the cell bars. “Guard! I need some water. Come here and give me some water!”
Mom and Dad look at one another, then at me. “What are you doing?” Dad hisses.
“Trust me,” I mouth, then bang some more. “Hey, jailkeeper dude! Get your ass over here. Now!”
It takes about five minutes, but finally a grumpy-looking dwarf (maybe Grumpy himself?) waddles up to the cell, peering at me with an annoyed look on his pockmarked face. “Cut the racket, Fairy!” he snarls. “I’m trying to read.” He holds up a brand-new copy of Snow White.
“The prince kisses her awake and they live happily ever after,” I say. “Now focus. I need you to let me out of this cell.”
He rolls his eyes. “And why should I do that?” he demands.
Here goes nothing. I turn on the vampire scent full blast and get down on my knees so I’m eye level to him. “Please, my height-challenged friend,” I say. “I would be oh so appreciative.” I bat my eyelashes at him seductively.
“Do you have something in your eye?” he asks gruffly, not even remotely taking the bait. Damn it. It must not work on dwarves. Just my luck.