Home > Kissing Coffins (Vampire Kisses #2)(4)

Kissing Coffins (Vampire Kisses #2)(4)
Author: Ellen Schreiber

"Ruby White?" he asked.

"I'm Ruby," she said, her hand waving in the air like she'd just won the coverall at bingo.

He handed Ruby a bouquet of white roses. She blushed as she took the flowers.

Flowers for Ruby? They could have been sent from any number of Dullsvillian suitors.

"What does the card say?" Janice asked eagerly. "I wonder if they're from Kyle the golf pro."

" 'I'm sorry these had to greet you instead of me,'" Ruby read. She looked up in astonishment. "'Fondly, Jameson.'"

"Jameson?" I asked, suddenly wide-eyed.

"How sweet!" Janice said, filling a glass vase from the watercooler. "I told you all along he was wonderful."

"Can you believe this?" Ruby wondered aloud, holding the bouquet close.

"What else does it say?" I asked.

"Isn't that enough?" Janice said, inhaling the scent and placing the flowers in the vase. "They're beautiful!"

"No info on where the order was placed from?" I inquired.

Ruby shook her head, distracted.

"But there has to be--" I mumbled. I looked out the window and saw the deliveryman stepping into a white van with the words FLOWER POWER spelled out in daisies. I raced out the door as the van began to drive off.

"Wait!" I called, running hard in my combat boots. "You forgot something!"

But it was too late. The van sped around the corner.

Breathless and frustrated, I retreated back to the travel agency. I began to open the door when I noticed a piece of paper lying on the sidewalk. It was a Flower Power delivery order. It must have fallen out of the van. I quickly grabbed it, scanning the document for any vital info. The travel agency address was fully disclosed. But the sender's address was blank. No name. No e-mail. Nothing.

Then, hidden in the right-hand corner, I noticed a ten-digit number.

"Can I use your phone, Ruby?" I asked, running inside. "I'll only be a minute."

"Of course," she said, arranging the roses. At that moment, I could have called Africa and she wouldn't have cared.

The area code seemed oddly familiar. I racked my brain. It belonged to a town a couple hundred miles away, where my aunt Libby lived.

I dialed. Would Alexander's voice greet me? Ring. Or Creepy Man's? Ring. Or would it be a dead end? Ring.

"Thank you for calling the Coffin Club," a zombie-like voice finally answered. "Our business hours are nightly from sunset to sunrise. Leave a message--if you dare!"

I let the phone slip from my hand. Ruby was still arranging her flowers.

"Good goth!" I whispered. "The Coffin Club!"

Chapter 3 Final Depature

At school I now experienced a newfound popularity. It wasn't as if I were a celebrity, but schoolmates who had never even looked my way before called, "What's up, Raven?"

But besides a hello wave, nothing had changed. No one except Matt and Becky invited me to eat lunch, offered me a ride home, or asked me to join their study group. Not one classmate secretly passed me a note or bothered to share his pack of gum. Thankfully, I was too distracted to appreciate any rise in status and spent a morbidly long afternoon in front of the library computer searching the Internet for the Coffin Club.

"I want to visit Aunt Libby," I told my parents that night at dinner.

"Aunt Libby?" my dad asked. "We haven't seen her in ages."

"I know. And it's about time. Spring break starts Wednesday. I'd like to leave tomorrow afternoon."

"I can't imagine you'd want to be away from Alexander for a minute, much less a few days," my mom said.

"Of course I'll die being away from Alexander," I exclaimed, rolling my eyes. I could feel my family staring at me, waiting for my next response. "But he's going to be tied up with his homeschooling exams. So I thought I'd take the opportunity to see Aunt Libby."

My parents looked at each other. "Are you sure you're not going there to see a Wicked Wiccas concert?"

"Dad! They broke up five years ago."

"Well, Libby's not a very good role model," my dad remarked. "And who knows what neurotic guy she's involved with this time."

"Dad, she's more like you than you think. You just don't drive a hippie mobile anymore."

"I remember visiting my aunt when I was a teenager," my mom said. "She took me to see Hair."

"See--I need these memorable teen experiences to shape my life."

"Libby gets such a kick out of Raven," she admitted. "It would be good for her as well."

"All right," Dad said reluctantly. "I'll call her tonight. But if she's still practicing voodoo, you're not going."

After dinner I met Becky by the swings at Evans Park.

"I had to talk to you, pronto," I began.

"Me, too! Life is so good. Can you believe we both have boyfriends?"

Even if Alexander weren't a vampire, the idea of us having boyfriends was still unreal. We'd both been social outcasts for so many years, it was incomprehensible to be accepted by anyone but each other.

"I need you to come on a little trip with me," I told her. "Trip?"

"I'm going to visit my aunt Libby and I need you to come!" I exclaimed excitedly.

"This weekend? I'll have to ask."

"No, I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon."

"Matt asked me to watch his soccer game after school."

"You just started seeing him!" I argued.

"I thought you'd be happy for me. Besides, I was going to ask you to come."

The thought of watching a soccer game made me want to hurl, but Becky's glow made me realize I was being selfish. "I am happy for you, but--"

"Can't you go another time?" she begged. "We have all spring break to hang out with Matt and Alexander."

There was no point arguing. Becky was going to watch Matt's game tomorrow, just as I was going to search for Alexander. No amount of pleading would make us change our minds. Now that Matt had abandoned his best friend, my nemesis, Trevor, the thorn in my side since kindergarten, he would hang out with Becky all the time. And I was jealous of Becky for having a boyfriend who hadn't disappeared into the night.

"Why is this trip so important?" she asked.

"It's top secret."

"What's top secret?" Matt inquired, appearing behind us.

"What are you doing here?" I asked, startled. "This is a private meeting." "Becky and I are going to Ace's Arcade. She told me to meet her here."

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