As part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for Mari Mancusi's Night School, today's stop is an excerpt. Clicking the banner will lead you to the tour details. Enjoy! The giveaway is posted below the excerpt.
“This is so not good. So not good!” Sunny moans as she hits disconnect and sets down her cell phone after leaving her gazillionth message for Magnus to please, please call her. After attending the play, her vampire boyfriend had hopped on his private plane back to New England, where the Blood Coven's headquarters are. He’d be incommunicado, he’d told her, for at least five hours. At the time, it hadn’t seemed like a big deal; Sunny had assumed she’d spend a peaceful night with Mom and Dad—a rare treat—and then jump on a plane herself the next morning to join him back home.
Now everything has changed. Our lives have been flipped upside down. And not being able to share the news with Magnus is tearing Sunny apart. My own boyfriend, Jareth, is also traversing the world somewhere without cell phone service, but, to be honest, I am in no great hurry to mention the skeleton wings in our family closet. I mean, fairy princess? Could there be anything more embarrassing for a self-respecting vampire? After all, everyone knows real vampires don’t sparkle.
After hearing the news, we somehow convinced Mom and Dad to let us out of the condo for a few precious moments of decompression. We’d found a local diner and gotten a booth, each ordering a cup of coffee to keep the waitress Nazi at bay. I’d have preferred a vodka straight up but unfortunately my fake ID was confiscated last night at the Excalibur and also as a vampire I can’t get drunk, so the spirits would be worthless anyway.
“Sunny, relax,” I tell my twin as she bangs her head against the table in frustration. I look around and catch the waitress eyeing us suspiciously from across the room. “It’s going to be okay.”
Sunny looks up, tears streaming down her cheeks. “In what freaking universe do you live in that any of this could possibly be okay?” she demands.
“Uh,” I look down at my mug and notice a faint stain of pink lipstick on the rim. Good point.
“Why does this keep happening to me?” Sunny wails. “First I get turned into a freaking vampire. Now I find out I’m an effing fairy princess!”
“At least you’ll probably find the fairy wardrobe preferable,” I mutter, wishing she’d keep her voice down. “Lots of pink?”
Sunny shoots me a glare.
“All I want to be is a human,” she sniffs. “A normal, everyday human who grows up and goes to college, gets married, has babies and lives in a four bedroom two and a half bath house with an open kitchen, granite countertops and a pool out back. Is that so wrong?”
“It’s pretty specific, but I guess it's not wrong,” I say, reaching out to her, squeezing her hand. “But you know, Sun, we can’t always get what we want.”
“Please don’t start quoting Rolling Stones songs. Seriously, I will stake you.”
I let go of her hand. “Look. You gotta have faith. And no--” I hold up a hand “--I’m not quoting George Michael, so don’t even start. Dad’s working on it and he's assured us that everything will be okay."
“Like how he assured us he’d be there for our birthday last spring?” Sunny asks pointedly. She picks up her cell phone. “I’m going to try Magnus again. Maybe he had a stop-over…”
I give up, pushing away from the table and throwing a handful of change down for my un-drunk, lipstick-stained mug of coffee. “You know you’re not even supposed to be telling anyone any of this, remember? Dad and Mom were both pretty clear on that. They said it could be dangerous.”
“It’s not anyone,” Sunny says, phone to ear. “It’s Magnus. If anyone can help, he can."
“Of course. All while achieving world peace and solving the nation's financial crisis while he's at it, I'm sure," I mutter. To my sister, Magnus is not only coven master, but Superman, Batman, and The Incredible Hulk all rolled into one. But I don't buy it. After all, the guy couldn't even tell that his own freaking Blood Mate was an evil imposter. "I'm going home."
I can hear her scrambling after me as I stalk out of the diner and another stab of pity bites into my gut. I don’t mean to be short with her—she has every right to be upset about the situation. But I hate that she won't let me help her. I’m her twin—I’m supposed to be there for her. Yet all she cares about is her stupid boyfriend. Sigh.
She catches up, but still has the damn phone glued to her ear so I ignore her and cross the street, taking a right into Dad’s condo building. I hear her leave yet another co-dependent message as she steps into the elevator behind me.
“I hope he didn’t get in a plane accident,” she comments worriedly as the doors slide close. Argh. If I didn’t love my hair so much I’d be pulling it out until I was bald right about now.
As the doors slide open on the seventeenth floor, I grab her by the shoulder and turn her to face me. “Look, I know you’re upset,” I say, my voice as stern as I can make it. “But try to suck it up in front of Mom and Dad, okay? They’re doing all they can and Mom’s clearly freaking out. So don’t go and make her feel even worse.”
Sunny scowls. “I won't. Geez. Give me a little credit here."
Shaking my head, I push open the apartment door. Mom, Dad and Heather are curled up together on the couch, eating a big bowl of popcorn and watching that eighties movie Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. Mom bursts out laughing.
"Oh that Ferris!" she says, giggling. "He's such a scamp."
“Clearly freaking out, huh?” Sunny mutters in my ear.
“So, uh, what’s the plan anyway?” I ask. Dad grabs the remote and pauses the movie and the three of them look over at us, surprised.
“Your mother and I are going back to fairyland tomorrow with our Slayer Inc lawyer,” Dad says, “to plead our case. You guys are going to stay here with Heather.”
“What about school?” Sunny asks. “We’re supposed to go back Monday.”
"Consider it a bonus vacation. I’ll talk to your teachers,” Mom replies.
“But I’ve got a field hockey game on Tuesday!”
“Then you’ll have to miss it,” Dad butts in firmly. “I'm sorry, but you can’t go back. It’s not safe.”
“The court knows where you live,” Heather adds. “Their soldiers been watching the house. If you hadn’t had that super security system installed, I’m not sure your mom would have gotten out so easily."
David. I’ve had my squabbles with the guy, but thank goodness he was there for Mom while we were away. I should have never come to Vegas in the first place after he told me she might be in danger. What kind of slayer/daughter does that?
“Then when can we go home?” Sunny cries, sinking to a nearby chair, her face ashen. I realize she’s back to thinking about Magnus again.
Mom rises to her feet and goes over to give her a hug. “I don’t know, honey,” she says, smoothing her hair. “But we’re together and that's the important part. And there’s no way the fairies know we’re here.”
Suddenly, as if on cue, a weird thundering noise assaults the apartment. Like the buzzing of a thousand bees. I look over to the window and my jaw drops as I see a shirtless man hovering outside, peering in...
Beating his wings.
“Um,” I say, pointing. “Are you sure about that?”
© Mari Mancusi
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© Mari Mancusi
That's it, I'm hooked. Are you? :)
Courtesy of Teen Book Scene, and Mari Mancusi, I have a finished copy of Night School (Blood Coven #5) to giveaway. Thank you, Mari for providing this copy!
Contest is US/Canada only. Sorry to those of you who are international. :(
Contest ends December 27, 2010.
Giveaway has ENDED. Thank you to those who participated!