Home > Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses #1)(15)

Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses #1)(15)
Author: Ellen Schreiber

"We have till Saturday, right?"

"Yes. Which gives me plenty of time to gather more info and comb the Mansion grounds. And you have plenty of time to--"

"Think of excuses?"

I smiled. "No, to finish your macaroni and cheese."

Chapter 12 Quiting Time

It was better than graduation day: the day my part-time job was over. I had safely cleared $200 after taxes. Enough for dear old dad to buy a sparkling new tennis racket and a new can of bright neon- yellow tennis balls.

I felt a little tinge of melancholy as I picked up my sweater to leave Armstrong Travel, my check safely in my purse. Ruby gave me a huge hug, a real hug, not like Janice's porcelain babydoll hug.

I waved good-bye to Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Hawaiian sunset.

"Feel free to come back anytime!" Ruby said. "I'm really going to miss you. You're one of a kind, Raven."

"You are, too!"

She really was, and it was nice to have finally bonded with someone who was different from the average Dullsvillian.

"Some day you'll find a one-of-a-kind guy who is just like you!"

"Thanks, Ruby!"

It was the most tender thing anyone had ever said to me.

Just then Kyle Garrison, Dullsville's golf pro, came in to flirt with Ruby. She had found a lot of one-of-a-kinds for herself. But she deserved it.

I placed my paycheck on my night table, and I curled up in bed, happy that my prison sentence was over and that I could cash the check tomorrow and proudly hand all my earnings over to Dad. But of course I couldn't sleep. I lay awake all night, wondering what my one- of-a-kind guy would look like. I prayed he didn't wear plaid pants like Kyle the golf pro. Then I thought about the guy at the Mansion. And wondered if I'd already met my one-of-a-kind.

"What are you so smiley about?" Trevor asked me the next day after lunch. I couldn't help but smile, even to Trevor. I was that happy.

"I'm retired." I beamed. "Now I can just live off the interest!"

"Really? Congratulations. But I got so used to seeing you in your cute secretary outfits. You can wear them just for me now," he said, leaning in close.

"Get off," I yelled, pushing him away. "You're not going to spoil my day!"

"I won't spoil your day," he said, standing back. "I'm proud of you." He smiled a gorgeous smile, but it was mixed with underlying evil. "Now you should have enough money to take me out. I like horror films."

"But they're too scary for children like you. I'll call you in a couple years."

I laughed and walked on. This time he didn't stop me. I guess he really wasn't going to spoil my day after all. Eighth period was finally over. I quickly went to meet Becky at my locker for an after-school ice cream and Mansion plan update. There was a crowd of students standing around my locker. Becky tried to lead me away, but I pushed past her, through the gawking students.

As I approached, the gawking students stepped back.

I looked at my locker, and my heart fell to the floor. Hanging by rope attached to silver duct tape was my father's Prince tennis racket and a sign that read, GAME OVER! I WIN! My head started to spin like in The Exorcist. Trevor Mitchell had kept the racket the whole time. Could he have somehow gotten it the day Creepy Man came to school?

My body shook with fury. All those ringing phone lines, all those angry customers, all the boring faxes, the sickening taste of envelopes. Watching people fly, drive, and ski their way out of Dullsville as I handed them their tickets to freedom. All because Trevor had been waiting for the right moment to return the racket.

I let out a scream that started in my boots and ended echoing off the walls.

Several startled teachers ran out to see what had happened.

"Raven, are you okay?" Ms. Lenny asked.

I didn't know if the crowd had dispersed or was still hanging on; I only saw the tennis racket. I couldn't breathe, much less speak.

"What happened?" Mr. Burns shouted.

"Are you choking? Do you have asthma?" Ms. Lenny asked.

"Trevor Mitchell--" I began through gritted teeth.


"He's been beaten up. He's in the hospital!"

"What? How?"

"Where? When?" the panicked teachers inquired alternately.

I took a deep breath. "I don't know how or where!" I turned to them, my body fuming and my head ready to explode. "But I'll tell you this-- it'll be soon!"

The puzzled teachers stared back. I grabbed the tennis racket with all my might, yanking it so hard the duct tape ripped off a band of green paint from my already grungy locker.

I bolted out of school, thirsting for blood.

Students were scattered on the front lawn, waiting for rides. When I didn't find Trevor, I marched around the back.

I spotted him at the bottom of the hill on the soccer field. Waiting for me. He was surrounded by the entire soccer team.

Trevor had planned this. He had patiently waited for this day as I impatiently worked. He knew I'd come after him. He knew I'd be fuming. He knew I'd want to fight. And now he could prove to his buddies that he was king again, that he had gotten Gothic Girl, if not by the tree, then by the racket. And he wanted all his buddies to witness it.

I moved quickly, charged with a bloodthirsty rage. I stormed down the hill to the soccer field, thirteen jocks and one proud antagonist staring at me. Everyone waiting for me to get the bait, and the bait was Trevor.

I pushed past the soccer snobs and walked up to Trevor, clutching my dad's racket, ready for the kill.

"I had it the whole time," he confessed. "I chased that freaky butler dude down that day after school. He wanted to give the racket back himself, but I told him I was your boyfriend. He seemed disappointed."

"You told him you were my boyfriend? Gross!"

"It's grosser for me, babe. You'd be going out with a soccer player. I'd be going out with a freak show!"

I pulled back the racket to take a swing. "I was going to return it sooner, but you looked so happy going to work."

"You're going to have to wear more than a golf glove when I get through with you this time!"

I swung at him and he jumped back.

"I knew you'd come running after me. Girls always do!" he announced proudly.

His crowd of puppets laughed.

"But you're running after me, too, aren't you, Trevor?"

He stared at me, puzzled.

"It's true," I continued. "Tell your friends! They're all here. But I'm sure they knew it all along. Tell them why you're doing this!"

"What are you talking about, freak?" I could see by his expression he was ready for a battle, but he wasn't expecting to play this kind of game.

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