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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
I rush over to Mom and give her a huge hug. The kind I couldn’t give her behind bars. “Don’t worry, Mom,” I murmur as I take in her soft body and warm scent. “Sunny’s going to be okay.”
She kisses me on the head. “I know, dear,” she says. “Now go ahead and check on your boyfriend.”
I flash her a thankful grin, then sprint to Jareth’s side. The vampires have moved him to the cot and he’s lying there weakly, his face still really white. “How are you feeling, baby?” I ask.
“Like I’ve been run over by a truck,” he mutters.
“He’ll heal,” Magnus says, looking over. “But it may take a while. I’m going to have Tanner take him out of here and back to Donegal.”
“I want to help you rescue Sunny,” Jareth protests weakly.
“You won’t be any help in your condition,” Magnus says. “I’m sorry.”
“We got it, baby,” I murmur, holding him close and kissing him about a hundred times in a row. “You just concentrate on getting well.”
About ten minutes later, we’re ready to go. Francis and his friends have cut three long lengths of iron and sharpened them into metal spears. If only I was able to wield one. “Okay, let’s do this,” Magnus says, taking weapon in hand. “Tanner, you take Rayne’s parents and Jareth back to Donegal. We’ll meet you there when we’re done. Francis, Stilton, and Rayne, let’s head out.”
“Wait a second!” Mom interrupts. “We’re not going anywhere with them.”
Magnus turns to look at her in question. “What?” he asks.
Dad steps up to face him, his expression fierce. “That’s my daughter they’ve got up there. And we’re not leaving fairyland without her.”
Magnus frowns and a silence comes over the jail. For a moment, I think he’s going to refuse them—force them to head back with Tanner and Jareth anyway.
“Please,” Mom begs. “After all, you’re not the only one who pledged to keep Sunny safe.”
Magnus turns to her, his expression softening. He thankfully nods his head. “Very well,” he says. “Lead the way, fairies. Let’s go rescue your daughter.”
Mom, having grown up in fairyland, knows all the shortcuts. And all the ways to avoid the guards, too, for that matter. She says she and my dad used to sneak down in these tunnels late at night when they were lovesick teens, forbidden to see one another. They’d wander, hand in hand, through the darkness, talking about everything and anything and making big plans for their futures.
“Your father would take me to some very-out-of-the-way spot, deep within the labyrinth, and surprise me with lighted candles and nectar picnics,” Mom remembers dreamily. “He was so romantic back then.”
I steal a glance at Dad, who’s looking at Mom with fondness in his eyes. It seems their time together in jail has rekindled their friendship. I love that. Almost as much as I love knowing Dad didn’t abandon us like we always thought he did. And now if only we can get my sister back—we can actually have a chance at living happily ever after.
“So what’s the deal with the Light Court of fairyland looking exactly like Disney World?” I ask curiously as we head down a long corridor.
Mom glances at Dad. “I was wondering when you’d ask that,” she says. “Do you remember the story of Peter Pan, when Tinkerbell is going to drink poison because not enough humans believe fairies exist?”
“Yeah ...” I remember our Mom reading us the story when we were little. We had to clap our hands to prove we believed in fairies to save Tink’s life. Of course, now that I know what a bitch she is, I totally regret doing it.
“Well, twenty years ago, fairyland was literally dying just like that—people on Earth stopped believing in us and we started fading away. We were in danger of losing our entire kingdom. So Tatiana, your grandmother, had to figure out what people did still believe in. And that turned out to be the Disney happily ever after. It’s practically guaranteed ...” She smiles. “So she did a major remodel of the fairyland Light Court and it’s looked like this ever since.”
“Wow,” I reply, shaking my head in disbelief. “That’s quite ... quite a story.”
“And you might have noticed, the new fairyland’s not just for fairies either,” Mom continues. “Your grandmother wanted it to be a safe haven—a refuge—for all fairy-tale creatures from all over the world.” She smiles. “It’s really amazing if you think about it. A kingdom for endangered creatures that most people believe are imaginary. Pretty crazy, huh?”
Crazy doesn’t even begin to explain it. But if we survive all of this, I’m so going to hit Space Mountain before we leave. Think they have Fast Passes here?
“And what about the Dark Court? Do they look like Disney, too?”
Mom shakes her head. “More like Universal Studios.”
We stop short at an intersection and Mom looks from left to right. Then she turns back to us. “We’re almost there,” she announces. “The castle entrance is just through this—”
“Not so fast!” commands a familiar-sounding voice. We whirl around and my eyes widen as they fall on none other than our old friend Apple Crisp. Evidently he survived my staking him back at Dad’s condo. I don’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved. Behind him stand about twenty fairy warriors, armed with flaming swords and looking pretty darn bloodthirsty to boot. So perhaps “disappointed” is the way to go here.