Read Twin spins! Online

Authors: Sienna Mercer

Twin spins! (page 5)

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‘Right, not so much. What about a Mocha Choca Latte? That’s dark.’ Olivia offered a lopsided smile. ‘And you guys are, you know, kind of dark too.’

Ivy looked down at her combat boots and black pleated skirt and shrugged. ‘Good a reason as any.’ She waved to the girl in a bubblegum-pink apron behind the counter.

‘Welcome to Mister Smoothie! We hope you’re having a rock-’n’-rolling day!’ The girl grinned at the twins.

Ivy could barely keep from ‘rock-’n’-rolling’ her eyes. ‘We’ll have one Mocha Choca Latte, please.’ She turned to her sister. ‘What else?’

Olivia muttered a few of the smoothie names under her breath as she read out from the menu, trying to decide what their grandparents might like. ‘Oh, I know! Cherry-O!’ exclaimed Olivia, exaggerating a British accent.

‘What wasthat?’

‘The smoothie name.’ Olivia pointed. ‘See? Like “Cheerio!” only it’scherry. Very English, don’t you think? And,’ she said, lowering her voice, ‘the smoothie will be red, just like you-know-what.’

Ivy cocked her head. ‘Like what?’

‘Like, “I want to suck your bl–”’ Olivia twirled her hand as if to encourage her sister to complete the sentence.

‘It’s not as simple as that!’ Ivy swatted at her sister. ‘We’ll take two Tutti Fruttis and two Beauty-Boosting Blueberries.’

Olivia started laughing. ‘I never thought I’d hear you say “Tutti Frutti”.’

Ivy gave a sly look sideways at her sister. ‘Just don’t tell anyone, OK?’Especially not Brendan, she almost added, but the last thing she needed was to give Olivia any ideas.

‘Can you believe the Transylvanians are here in Franklin Grove, though?’ Olivia glanced over her shoulder towards where their dad and grandparents were sitting erect in the vinyl booth. The Countess’s eyes were wide as she took in the multicoloured surroundings. ‘It’s so . . . so . . .’ Olivia searched for the word. ‘It’s fabulous!’

‘It’s also a little weird,’ Ivy reminded her, just in case her sister was thinking of launching into a backflip, or worse – a cheer.

‘That, too.’ Olivia nodded. ‘But I can’t get over it. We have such a big family now. Can you believe that we were both only-children our entire lives, and nowthis?’

‘Hey!’ Ivy put her fists on her hips. ‘Did you pickpocket my brain? I was thinking the exact same thing only a minute ago.’

Olivia smiled. ‘You know what would make our family gatherings even bigger?’

‘What?’ asked Ivy, watching the girl in the apron pour bright-red slush from a pitcher into a tall cup.

‘Taking the whole family to Aunt Rebecca’s farm! Then we’d really have everyone together.’

The cheerful waitress arranged five frosty glasses on a tray, which Ivy slid from the counter, being careful not to slosh the smoothies. ‘And I thoughtIwas the smart one,’ said Ivy.

Olivia grabbed straws, while Ivy carried the smoothies back and handed them out to her family before slipping into the booth opposite her grandparents.Thank goodness we managed to dodge the singing, Ivy thought.

‘It’s . . . purple,’ said the Countess, making whirlpools with her straw. Olivia giggled.

Ivy was about to tell her grandmother that the smoothie wassupposedto be that colour, when a horrifying sound blasted into her super-vampire ears. Someone was ordering a Rock and Roller, and the song that went with it was at least ten times worse than the Twist and Shout.

Ivy did a quick calculation in her head. Could she get her family out of here in two seconds flat? She scanned the room.No way. The Lazars and Vegas would have to grit their vampire teeth and bear it. Here went nothing . . .

The waitresses and cashiers boogied out, snapping their fingers and getting the other patrons going.

‘Rockin’ around the shop tonight . . . Drinkin’ cold smoothies . . . A chilly delight . . .’

The smoothie shop erupted into song, making Ivy wish she could crawl back into her coffin. No such luck. Reluctantly, she swivelled to check on the Count and Countess, who were bound to be seriously offended. As far as she knew, her grandparents were still into music of the organ variety.

‘Oh my darkness!’ Ivy’s mouth dropped. There were her grandparents, bopping away to the Rock and Roller song with Olivia. The Countess was even clapping.

‘Bravo!’ shouted the Count.

Ivy’s father leaned closer. ‘I guess you never know what will happen on a trip to Mister Smoothie.’

That’s for sure, thought Ivy. The Count and Countess actually seemed disappointed when the song finished.

‘So tell me,’ said Ivy’s grandmother, nestling back into the booth. ‘How is school at Franklin Grove? What do they teach you there?’

Ivy thought this was an odd question, because Franklin Grove taught the same thing as any other school. ‘You know, the usual stuff. We have Social Studies, Science, Algebra, Media Studies . . .’

Ivy’s grandfather nodded along, as if her list of courses was fascinating. ‘Interesting, interesting. Same for you, Olivia?’

‘Yes, and this year I’m organising the school dance.’ Olivia propped her cable-knit-clad elbows on the table. ‘I’ve a mountain of work. We only found out about it yesterday and now I’m chairing the whole thing.’

Grandma’s eyes brightened. ‘You have great experience after attending the Transylvanian ball.’ She winked, taking a sip from her purple concoction.

Several months before, Olivia and Ivy had travelled far across the Atlantic to meet their long-lost-family in Transylvania. The highlight of the trip had been an elegant vampire ball that even Transylvanian royalty had attended.

Olivia slurped her smoothie. ‘I don’t think it will be as fancy as that.’ Ivy remembered how nervous Olivia had been about making her big debut into vampire society. She’d even worried about clashing with the crimson limousine décor!

Olivia’s chirpy ringtone sounded from her purse. She fished it out, checked the screen and blushed. ‘Sorry, but do you mind if I take this? It’s Jackson.’

Ivy smiled. Olivia looked as if she had been poked with Cupid’s arrow. How could anyone refuse that lovesick face?

The Countess waved Olivia on with ring-adorned hands, eyes crinkling at the corners.

‘Thanks!’ Olivia scooted out of the booth and scurried away from the group, phone pressed to her ear. ‘Hiiiii . . .’

Ivy hoped she never sounded that mushy with Brendan. She took another gulp of her smoothie.

‘Isn’t it sweet,’ said the Count, watching Olivia. ‘It’s so nice to see a young girl who’s found her destiny. Olivia wanted to be an actress and that’s what she’s become.’

Ivy frowned. Since when had the Count cared about Hollywood dreams? She couldn’t remember him ever asking Olivia about her acting career or her romance with Jackson.

Grandma shifted in her seat. ‘That’s right!’ she said brightly. ‘Finding your right path in life is so important.’ There seemed to be something forced about her smile as she watched Ivy closely.

Ivy looked from her grandma to her grandfather, and then across to her dad. He looked as if he’d swallowed a clove of garlic.

‘What’s going on?’ Ivy asked. ‘You guys look like you’ve been staked!’

The Count played with the ruffles of his sleeves, looking thoroughly uncomfortable. ‘Now that we’re alone,’ he said, nodding towards Olivia, who was still chattering on the phone with Jackson, ‘we’d like to have a quiet word with you, Ivy.’

‘With me?’ Ivy got a crawly feeling up the back of her neck. What could they need to tell her that Olivia wasn’t meant to hear?

‘There are some things you must know about being a growing vampire,’ her grandfather continued. ‘You see, when high-born vampires, like you, reach a certain age, their powers can become a bit – well – hard to manage. It can be time to learn to control your vampire skills. Become acquainted with your . . .’ he gave a hard gulp, ‘destiny.’

There’s that word again, Ivy thought.What are they trying to tell me?

‘Like when you hit Horatio with the coffin lid this morning,’ the Countess pointed out.

Ivy winced. She hadn’t meant to greet the day quite so vigorously. She glanced over at Horatio, who was standing a short distance away, watching over the Lazars. His eyes followed the waitress as she wiped down tables, cleared cups and scooted chairs under tables – all Horatio’s usual jobs. He looked positively twitchy. He could do these tasks at twice the pace. Just as Ivy was about to turn back, she noticed a plaster stuck to Horatio’s temple. She shrank back in the booth.Did I do that?Then a worse thought occurred to her. Hitting Horatio was awful, but he was sturdy enough to handle the blow.What if it had been Olivia that I’d hit with the coffin lid? I could have knocked her unconscious!

‘I didn’t mean to!’ Ivy pressed her hand to her chest. She was suddenly feeling panicky. She was a walking natural disaster! ‘Are you sure there wasn’t a defect in the coffin? Maybe we should check.’

‘It’s OK.’ The Countess reached across the table to hold Ivy’s hand. ‘There are ways to control your powers.’

‘Like a pill?’ she asked, envisioning herself as part of some freaky science experiment.

‘No, nothing like that,’ her grandmother reassured her. ‘It’s a school, actually. All Transylvanian vampires go to Wallachia Academy.’

Ivy had never heard of Wallachia. She couldn’t even guess how to spell it.

‘It’s like a finishing school,’ explained the Count. ‘In fact, Wallachia is the premier place to learn to control powers and be a good vampire.’

Charles nodded. ‘I studied there.’ He straightened his shoulders, suddenly looking like a proud alumnus. Ivy was shocked. She had never known her dad had attended finishing school!

‘And we met there.’ Ivy’s grandfather winked at the Countess and Ivy blushed. She had never seen her grandparents act so lovey-dovey in public! ‘In fact,’ the Count continued, ‘everyone in the entire Lazar line has attended Wallachia. Oh, it’s beautiful! Wrought-iron gates, towering castle spires, you’ll love it!’

‘I will?’ asked Ivy, confused.

The Countess placed her hand on her husband’s arm. ‘We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Ivy, we’d like it if you would come to Transylvania to study there, too.’

Ivy sat stunned. She knew she should say something and yet the only thought in her head was that shedidn’thave one thought in her head. She turned to look at Olivia. She’d been cornered by Charlotte, who’d just arrived, dressed head-to-toe in pink – pink cardigan, pink hair-ribbon and shiny pink lipgloss.

‘Olivia!’ Charlotte circled her interview subject, camera in hand. ‘Can you tell us about the progress being made on the dance? Do we have a theme yet? What about a colour palette?’ Charlotte asked the questions at rapid-fire speed.

Even though Olivia gave a swift eye roll, Ivy could still tell her sister was happy to be in front of the camera. Her face lit up, her posture straightened – Olivia was a total natural.

The Countess followed Ivy’s stare. ‘Whois that girl with the orange skin?’ she asked, pressing her hand over her mouth.

Ivy snickered. ‘Thatis Charlotte.’

Her grandmother squinted to peer closer. ‘Oh my. Well, that certainly is an interesting look.’

Charlotte shuffled around Olivia to shoot a new angle. ‘FYI, this issoyour good side. Now, give me a look that says, “I’m overworked.”’

The corners of Olivia mouth curved down and she scrunched her face. ‘Huh?’

‘That’s perfect!’ Charlotte took a step back, knocking over a glass with her elbow. Ivy spotted a blur of motion and the corner of a tablecloth whipping up. It was Horatio. Like a superhero, he lunged for the smoothie cup that had been knocked from the table, catching it in a split second. His reflexes had been so fast, not one of the bunnies had even seen him in action. But there he was, adjusting the glass like he’d been there all along. Ivy looked on, amazed. So maybe therewereadvantages to honing her powers.

Ivy returned her attention to her grandparents, noticing that the Count had nearly drained his Tutti Frutti smoothie already. ‘So it’s like vamp summer school?’ she asked.

The Countess pursed her lips, sharing a look with Ivy’s grandfather. ‘Well . . . you may have to attend a bit longer than that. The teachers give their assessment only after an initial appraisal.’

‘Longer? Longer than a summer?’ Ivy chewed her lip, thankful her fangs were filed. She wished this conversation wasn’t happening behind Olivia’s back. This had come as such a surprise; she was badly in need of some sister-support. All this talk was stressing her out. Ivy could actually feel her blood pressure spike. She slid her smoothie closer and took another long sip. Every muscle in her body was tense. Her hands tightened around her glass and then –crack!– it shattered, and bright red smoothie flooded the table like molten lava from a volcano.

‘Oops.’ Ivy’s cheeks felt warm. ‘Maybe I do have a bit of that super-strength.’ She tried to scoop the broken glass into a pile, but it was no use. There was smoothie everywhere!

Ivy’s dad chuckled. ‘A bit?’

Thankfully, Horatio appeared with a small bottle of Spray and Shine and began wiping up Ivy’s mess. ‘Not to worry, Miss Ivy. I can take care of this straight away.’

Where does he keep that thing?Ivy wondered. In a flash, the table was spotless. Meanwhile, Olivia had finished her interview with Charlotte and was walking over to rejoin the family.

To Ivy’s surprise, though, her grandparents looked alarmed. ‘Ivy, listen.’ Her grandmother leaned over the table. ‘You can’t tell your sister about Wallachia Academy under any circumstances.’ She glanced quickly in Olivia’s direction. ‘It’s one of the greatest vampire academies. Non-vampires can never know about it.’ The Countess looked seriously grave over this last point.

‘But she’s my sister!’ Ivy wanted to remind them that bunnies weren’t supposed to know about vampires at all, but Olivia did andthathad worked out perfectly.

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