Home > Love Bites (My Sister the Vampire #6)(4)

Love Bites (My Sister the Vampire #6)(4)
Author: Sienna Mercer

‘So what’s the burger special today?’ Ivy asked innocently, seeing how far he would go to conceal where he was. Olivia covered her mouth to stifle a giggle.

‘It’s, uh . . .’ Brendan looked around frantically. ‘Green leather madness,’ he blurted.

Ivy snorted. ‘That doesn’t sound very appetising.’

‘Well, I’m not going to order one,’ he replied.

‘It doesn’t sound like you’re at the Meat and Greet,’ Ivy tried again. ‘I can’t hear any music in the background.’

‘I think they’ve turned it off for a minute,’ Brendan replied, talking faster and faster.

Ivy decided to let him off the hook. He wasn’t going to confess. ‘OK, well, I’ll see you at noon,’ she said.

‘OK, bye,’ he almost shouted and Ivy watched him collapse against the wall.

‘He would not keep it a secret if he wasn’t shopping for you,’ Olivia pointed out.

Ivy saw him stride away. ‘I’m going after him,’ she declared.

‘I’ll be here,’ Olivia said, looking morosely at the line in front of her.

‘With me!’ said Janie. ‘Another candy heart?’

Ivy darted across the lobby after Brendan, pressing herself against the walls. She followed him at a safe distance down the east wing of the mall. She had to be extra careful; Brendan was a vampire, after all, and might be able to sense her if she got too close.

What do spies in movies do? Ivy thought. Melt into the crowd. She looked down at her black skirt and heavy boots. Well, that’s not gonna happen. She’d just have to be . . . discreet.

Brendan went into Trudy’s Beauty Palace and Ivy ducked in and hid behind a rack of shampoo bottles. She peered between two mannequin heads displaying blonde wigs to see Brendan browsing the accessories in the glass counter. There were sparkly bracelets, dangly earrings, rings and brooches – nothing that her gorgeous goth boyfriend would ever buy for himself.

Oh my darkness! Ivy thought. He must be shopping for Valentine’s.

Brendan turned around and Ivy ducked behind the hair pieces, just in time.

If he’s buying me something, I have to buy him something, Ivy realised. A present that is as good as whatever he gets me. As Brendan left the store empty-handed, Ivy decided she had to follow him until she saw what he bought.

She crept along behind him, staying out of sight.

Be like water, Ivy told herself. Olivia’s martial-arts-obsessed dad had taught her that. She slid from a tall fern to a marble column to a sunglasses stall.

It was going well until, just outside the camera store, Brendan looked back over his shoulder. Ivy was next to a booth selling self-help books, so she ducked behind it. An old woman with a wart on her chin, sitting on the stool and tending the booth, looked at her.

Ivy smiled like nothing was abnormal, but then she noticed a security guard on the other side of the walkway staring at her. He pointed two stubby fingers at her, and then pointed them at his own eyes. I’m watching you, he was saying.

Ivy immediately straightened up and tried to look innocent by grabbing one of the books from the display and opening it to a random page. Bald is Beautiful! it declared in large print.

Ivy panicked, slammed the book shut and shoved it back on the shelf.

‘Can I help you?’ the old lady said in a scratchy voice.

‘Uh, just browsing!’ Ivy turned away to check where Brendan was, but the one thing she really didn’t need to happen had happened.

Brendan had disappeared!

Chapter Two

I can only feel two of my toes, Olivia thought. Ivy had been gone for half an hour and the line hadn’t even started moving yet.

‘Ohmigosh, I just can’t believe you got to be in a movie with him!’ said Janie. ‘So, how come you have to wait in line with the rest of us?’

Olivia wondered if there was actual steam coming out of her ears. ‘That’s a very good question, Janie.’

Just then a huge collective shriek erupted from the front of the line. Olivia stood on her tiptoes to see that the doors to the bookstore had finally opened.

The line surged forward and, despite being about 200th in line, she got all the way to the front door of the store very quickly. There must have been another 200 people behind her. She tried to peer past the window display, to see if she could catch Jackson’s attention – or even see him – but the store was so packed with people clutching copies of his new book, Jackson’s Journal, that his signing desk was hidden from view.

‘Look what he gave me!’ squealed a girl who was leaving the store. She was the ice skater from the front of the line and was waving something red and heart-shaped over her head. ‘It’s a picture frame and he signed it: “Love, Jackson”. He loves me!’

The girls still waiting for their chance to meet Jackson all crowded around her, desperate to see. Olivia got jostled around like she was holding the last purse in a sale.

Janie turned to Olivia and clutched her hands. ‘I have to have one,’ she said. ‘I just have to!’

Olivia sighed. Even though Valentine’s Day wasn’t until the end of the week, this was her only chance to see Jackson before she left for Transylvania.

It doesn’t matter, Olivia thought to herself. Once I get to the front of the line and give him his V-Day present, this will all be worth it. She touched the crinkly wrapping paper on the small box in her jacket pocket and smiled. The Valentine’s present she’d bought for Jackson was silly, but sentimental. It was a little pair of ceramic cowboy boots. She’d painted a red heart on the front of both and put her initials on one and his initials on the other. The first thing she’d ever said to Jackson was, ‘Yeehaw’ and ‘I like your boots’ and he teased her about it all the time.

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