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  • Home > Mari Mancusi > Blood Coven Series > Bad Blood (Page 23)     
  • Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4)(23) by Mari Mancusi
  • He sounds almost reluctant and suddenly I realize I’m wishing I could talk to him longer as well. “It was nice to meet you. Hopefully we’ll have a show for you to catch on Saturday.”

    He starts toward the door, but I stop him. “Hey, can I keep this playbill?” I ask. After all, this is proof of Jane’s double life. I need to show it to Rayne. “You know, in case I want to . . . come back and audition tomorrow? This way I’ll have all the information.”

    He shrugs. “Sure, no problem. We have to print new ones anyway when we get our new Mina. If we get her.” He sighs deeply. “Please consider auditioning,”

    he says. “You’d be perfect for the role.”

    “What is the role, anyway?” I ask curiously.

    “Oh, just this virgin girl who accidentally gets bitten by a vampire.”

    Yup. Got the resume for that one all right.

    9

    It’s harder to find a cab this far off the Strip, but eventually I get lucky and am able to hail one over. The driver looks a little suspicious until I tell him I’m headed down to the MGM Grand Hotel, which is, I guess, a nice sensible place for normal suburban teenagers to hang out at when in Vegas. (Unlike Hotel Sun, which seems to have a “degenerates only” door policy.) Tucking the Dracula show playbill securely under my arm, I settle in my seat and we begin the long drive back to civilization. At this rate I’m going to burn my entire savings account on taxis this trip. But this particular adventure uptown was worth it. I finally have solid evidence that there’s something very wrong about Jane.

    I text my sister to let her know I’m on my way. While I’ve been working my ass off to solve this mystery and save the Blood Coven, she’s evidently been hanging at the MGM, ripping it up at the blackjack tables. But maybe she’ll be more on board once she sees the playbill. Sees that I’m not just a crazy jealous girlfriend with paranoid delusions.

    The cab drops me off at the hotel, which appears to have stepped off the pages of the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City. The whole place is striped with neon green. There’s a huge bronze lion—MGM studio’s symbol—guarding the place, which I think is kind of cool.

    Stepping into the casino, I find myself engulfed by a sea of light and sound. The place is packed with gamblers—the kind that seem like they can actually afford to lose a few bucks and still have enough money to go out on the town later, unlike the ones at Hotel Sun, who were maybe, possibly gambling away the last pennies of their welfare checks. Sexy cocktail waitresses weave around the tables, balancing trays piled high with cocktails, while meaty pit bosses dressed in tuxedos take in each tourist with watchful eyes. I scan the gigantic room, no clue where to even start looking for my sister. Guess I’d better start wandering. It takes me ages to even find the blackjack tables and even more time to locate her dyed black head of hair. She’s at a tendollar table, surrounded by a crowd of much older men, a huge stack of chips piled in front of her and a big smile on her face.

    “Twenty-one, bay-bee!” she cries, high-fiving the greasy-haired guy next to her. “Twenty-one! I’m on fire tonight.” She turns to the cocktail waitress who has approached the table. “Another vodka soda, please.”

    “Going well?” I ask, approaching the table once the waitress leaves to fill the orders.

    “Oh hells yeah,” she replies, tossing two chips onto the felt circle in front of her. The dealer gives her two cards in return—an eight and six. “I’ve won two hundred bucks tonight.” She takes a handful of chips and starts restacking them one by one.

    I look at her skeptically. “And how much did you have to spend to win that?”

    She stops stacking. “Um, I don’t remember exactly how much I took out of the ATM . . .”

    “Rayne!”

    “What?” she asks, defensiveness creeping into her voice. “I just didn’t count it, okay? All I know is I’m ahead. I’m winning, baby! I’m a winner!”

    The dealer deals her another king. “Bust,” he says, sweeping her cards and her chips away.

    “Winner with a capital W,” I observe.

    She scowls. “Dude, you’re totally bad luck,” she scolds me. “Go away. Shoo.”

    I stand my ground. “Not until you see what I’ve discovered about Jane.”

    “Oh fine.” Rolling her eyes, she turns to her seatmates. “I’m sitting this one out, boys,” she informs them. Oddly they don’t seem that broken up about this information. “Save my seat.” She hops off her stool and drags me a few feet away. “So what?” she asks. “What’s this big find you couldn’t wait to show me?”

    I ignore her impatient tone and take my time opening the playbill. Rayne raises an eyebrow as she scans the page. “Um, hate to break it to you, Sun, but these aren’t real vampires,” she says in a patronizing tone. “In fact, I believe they’re .

    . . actors.” She says “actors” as if she’s trying to explain the meaning of the universe to a dim-witted child and it’s all I can do not to smack her upside the head to get her to take me seriously for once.

    “Yeah, thanks. I know they’re actors,” I reply, feeling a bit grouchy. To think I’d been so excited to show her my discovery. “But take a look at this particular actor.” I point to Jane. “Does Sasha here look like anyone you might know?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire