Home > Vampireville (Vampire Kisses #3)(10)

Vampireville (Vampire Kisses #3)(10)
Author: Ellen Schreiber

"Adores me?"

"He has the coolest sister ever."

I turned to Alexander and gave him a long kiss. I'd spent my whole life as an outsider. Even though Alexander and I had been dating for a few months, it was still hard to get used to the fact that anyone would think I was normal, much less cool.

"It's getting late," he said. He grabbed my hand and began walking me to the front door. "You get your rest while I figure out where Jagger is."

"The night has just begun," I argued.

"Not for someone who has classes at eight in the morning." "They always go on without me," I said with a shrug.

Alexander smiled at my tireless efforts but then turned serious. "Jagger's somewhere out here," he began, "hidden in a dark, secluded area or building big enough for two coffins," he said. When we reached the front doorstep, he went on, "You understand, I'll have to search for them alone."

"Just because I jumped the fence tonight?"

"I can't risk putting you in danger again."

"But I can't spend the days and nights without you! And you need me--it's like Batman without Robin. I know all the creepy places to hide in this town."

"Well...you're right, but not quite--"

"Why not?"

"It's more like Gomez without Morticia," he said with a wink.

I leaned in to him and gave him a huge squeeze.

"We'll meet at sunset," he said, resigned. "And you can take me to one of those creepy places you are so fond of."

He gave me a lingering kiss, the kind that made my knees weak and my heart flutter like a hovering bat.

I unlocked the front door. "Till sunset," I said in a romantic daze and slowly turned to him.

Alexander had already vanished, just like any great vampire would. I was sitting on my black beanbag chair recording the evening's events in my journal. I was too preoccupied with thoughts of Luna and Jagger to sleep. I imagined the two of them flying through Dullsville's night sky together, looking down on Dullsvillians who would look like tiny nobodies as they got stuck in traffic, played golf, and dined in outdoor restaurants. I imagined the twins hiding in a basement-turned-dungeon, Jagger with pet tarantulas, and Luna dolled up in dresses made out of spiderwebs.

A scratching sound began outside my window. Nightmare jumped up on my computer desk and hissed at the darkness.

I raced to my window. "Alexander?" I called softly.

There were no signs of anything living or undead outside.

I closed the curtains and held an anxious Nightmare in my arms. There could have been a number of vampires lurking outside my window under the night sky. I just didn't know which one. I pondered placing a garlic clove on the windowsill, but I might repel the very vampire I wanted to attract.

Chapter 4 Freaky Factory

The next evening I exclaimed, "I have great news!" as Alexander opened the Mansion door. He was sporting a black Alice Cooper T-shirt and oversized black pants riddled with safety pins. His dark eyes looked tired.

"What's wrong, sweetie?" I asked. "Last night I searched all over town until I could feel the sun rise behind me," he began as we sat on the red-carpeted grand staircase. "I went to a vacant church and the abandoned farmhouse where we found Nightmare. I even found a dried-up well. The only thing in it was a broken bucket. I've been rattling my brain ever since and I didn't sleep all day.

"What's your good news?" he asked.

"Trevor is sick and will be absent from school all week. Plus that means he'll have to miss games and practices. It'll make it very hard for Jagger and Luna to take him to sacred ground if he's stuck inside."

Alexander's weary face came alive. "That's awesome! We'll have more time to find the Maxwells before they find him. But we have to do it quickly. The longer that Jagger and Luna wait for Trevor, the hungrier they will get. Literally."

"I spent all of algebra making a list of places they may be hiding out. It was hard. There aren't that many creepy places in this candy- colored town. I came up with ten--if you include my algebra class itself."

"Where's the list?" he asked eagerly.

"Well, Mr. Miller caught me writing in my notebook instead of figuring out what x plus y equaled and he confiscated my list."

"That's okay. I found a place I'd like to check out. But you have to promise me--"

"That I will love you forever? That's easy," I said, running my finger along one of the safety pins adorning his pants.

"Promise me you will stay out of trouble."

"That one is harder to commit to."

He leaned back. "Then you'll have to stay here." "All right," I reconciled. "I'll behave."

"We won't be on sacred ground, so you'll be safe, but you need to stay close."

"Of course," I agreed..."Where are we going?"

"An abandoned factory at the edge of town."

"The Sinclair mill? That is totally dark, secluded, and big enough for a cemetery full of coffins."

Alexander borrowed his butler Jameson's Mercedes and we embarked on our own Magical Mystery Tour.

We left behind the twisty road of Benson Hill and headed past Dullsville High, through downtown, and finally over the railroad tracks into what the country clubsters called the "wrong" side of town.

"It's just up over there," I reminded him as I pointed to a covered bridge.

We drove over the shaky bridge, around a winding, dark, fog- covered road, until the Mercedes's headlights shone upon a NO TRESPASSING sign on the gravel road leading to the vacant factory.

Spanning thirty-five acres, the Sinclair mill was surrounded by trees, overgrown bushes, and weeds. On the west side, a stagnant, murky creek barely rose during sporadic rainfalls. Fragrant wild flowers never seemed to mask its pungent smell.

The mill thrived in the 1940s, manufacturing uniforms for the war, employing hundreds of Dullsvillians. The once proudly puffing red-tiled S smokestack now stood silent. After the war the mill was bought by a linen company but ultimately couldn't compete with outsourcing, and the factory went bankrupt.

Now the Sinclair mill loomed over Dullsville like a listless monster. Half the factory's windows were blown out, and the others needed a gazillion liters of Windex. Police cars routinely patrolled the area, trying to deny graffiti artists a thirty-acre canvas.

Alexander parked the Mercedes next to several rusty garbage barrels. As soon as we stepped foot onto the grounds, we heard a barking off in the distance. We paused and glanced around. Maybe it was Jagger. Or maybe it was my own boyfriend's presence that was disturbing the dogs.

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