Read Twin spins! Online

Authors: Sienna Mercer

Twin spins! (page 6)

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The Lazars shook their heads. Even Ivy’s father whispered, ‘Your grandparents are right, Ivy. We need to keep this conversation private.’ How could he agree with them? He had broken the First Law of the Night with her mother as well. She started to protest, but a quick shake of his head stopped her.

Olivia slid into the booth next to Ivy, retrieving her barely touched smoothie. ‘Um . . .’ She looked from face to face. ‘Did I miss something?’ Olivia slurped her purple concoction. ‘You look like you all just got back from the morgue.’

Olivia had hit the nail in the coffin. That was exactly how Ivy felt.

The Countess, however, rushed to explain. ‘No, no, Olivia, we were just chatting about how different things are here. Much more . . .’

‘. . . enthusiastic,’ the Count finished off her sentence.

‘Oh,’ said Olivia. She flattened her cheek into her palm and stared off into space. ‘Yeah, really different.’

‘OK,’ said Ivy, poking her sister. ‘Nowwho looks like they’ve just got back from the morgue?’

Olivia’s shoulders sagged. ‘I’m going to tell you something.’ Olivia squeezed Ivy’s leg. ‘But you can’t laugh.’

‘Cross my heart,’ Ivy promised, trying to guess at what Olivia could have to say. She checked to make sure the adults at the table were happily occupied in conversation.

Olivia took a deep breath. ‘Jackson fell asleep on the phone with me.’

Ivy almost spewed a mouthful of smoothie on to Olivia’s lap. ‘He what?’

‘He actually fell asleep!’ She dropped her head into her hand. ‘He was in Hawaii and it was like five o’clock in the morning.’

Ivy glanced to make sure the adults were still talking amongst themselves. ‘Wait, why did he call if it was five o’clock in the morning?’

Olivia didn’t meet her sister’s eye. ‘I may have texted and said I had something important to tell him.’

‘And . . .’ Ivy prodded, trying to piece together her sister’s story.

‘And that he simply had to call me.’ Olivia scrunched her shoulders up to her ears.

‘Well, what was it?’

Olivia was almost as pink as her sweater. ‘Um, that I miss him.’

Ivy cracked up and pulled her sister into a hug. Ivy wishedshecould text Olivia that there was something big to tellher. Something like:There’s a vampire academy in Transylvania and I might have to go to it. Ivy glanced at her father, who was busy explaining the menu to the Lazars. She hated keeping secrets from Olivia. The thought of it made her stomach twist like a handful of curly fries, but she couldn’t say anything. Not yet anyway.

Two waitresses walked by with rags and bottles of Spray and Shine. ‘I think I’m going crazy,’ said the waitress in the bubblegum-pink apron. ‘Two of the tables in my section have been cleared and I can’t for the life of me remember doing them.’

Ivy fought back the urge to laugh. Horatio had been hard at work again.

Chapter Four

Olivia’s heartbeat had been steadily increasing the nearer the car got to school. As her adoptive dad, Mr Abbott, edged the wheels to the curb, Olivia teetered dangerously close to full freak-out mode.

‘But, Dad,’ she said, unbuckling her seatbelt, ‘how can I possibly organise a school dance that will please everyone?’ Olivia had been racking her brain ever since she took on the job as chairperson, and yet she hadn’t come up with one theme idea that would please both the goths and the bunnies.

Mr Abbott put his hand on his daughter’s shoulder. ‘Olivia, a wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion. Make your own decisions and I know you will do wonderfully.’

Olivia gave her dad a weak smile. She always appreciated his Zen advice, but sometimes she thought it might be better suited to yoga class than to real life. She climbed out and waved goodbye, smoothing her lilac minidress as Mr Abbott’s car disappeared around a corner.

Olivia hesitated in front of Franklin Grove School, suddenly struck with the memory of heroldschool, where she’d been studying before moving here – before she even knew she had a twin. The modern school building had looked like a box, painted a combination of ugly beige and dirt-brown. Franklin Grove was ancient in comparison. Leafy vines draped from the huge columns that framed the entrance and a heavy oak front door led into a yawning hallway. Olivia smiled, recalling her first day here. She had been terrified that she would stay the friendless new girl forever.But look at me now – I’m head of the biggest event at this school!She could do this.

With one more shaky breath, she stepped inside for her first school-dance committee meeting.

‘Right on time, Miss Chairperson,’ Jenny greeted Olivia cheerfully at the door to the school common room. The janitor had been kind enough to open it for use over the weekend and Olivia felt like a businesswoman conducting a meeting in some fancy corporate conference room. If fancy corporate conference rooms came decorated with spirit week posters.

Jenny opened the door for Olivia. ‘So, um . . . how is the planning coming?’ She raised her eyebrows, looking hopeful.

‘I guess we’ll find out,’ Olivia said, smiling.

‘So, what are you wearing to the dance?’ Jenny asked, keeping pace alongside Olivia as she made her way around the room, trying to figure out the best place to set up for the meeting.

‘I haven’t even had time to think about it! But I can’t be the worst dressed when I’m chairing the whole dance!’

‘Don’t worry,’ Jenny replied quickly. ‘You’ve still got plenty of time. I’m sure you’ll find something that Jackson Caulfield will totally love.’

‘If he can come,’ Olivia murmured.

Inside the common room, three girls from the grade above Olivia had taken a huddle of comfy seats. Olivia thought she recognised them from the cafeteria.That’s odd.I didn’t think people from the grades above us got involved with the committee. She pulled her shoulders back and strode up to the front of the room. The girl in the middle of the three stood up, extending a hand to Olivia.

‘Well, hello . . . Olivia, is it?’ The girl wore a pair of cropped white jeans, to-die-for wedges, and a bright yellow halter top that matched her long ponytail. ‘I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Lucrezia. And this is Melinda and Veronica.’

‘Nice to meet –’ Olivia started.

‘But don’t worry about learning our names. You can just call each of us “Boss”.’

Boss?A worm of anxiety burrowed into Olivia’s stomach. She glanced over at Jenny for support, but her eyes were glued to the floor. Was this why she had been so eager to give up her position? Other committee members were walking into the room now, settling into seats.

‘It’s so nice of you to join us.’ Olivia put on a big smile.

‘You two can go ahead and show yourselves to your seats.’ Lucrezia’s tone was sickly-sweet. Olivia looked around, but now that the other committee members had arrived, there was only a pair of hard wooden stools standing isolated in the corner. ‘Those will do.’ Lucrezia had noticed Olivia looking at the stools.

Jenny went obediently over to one of the empty stools. But Olivia didn’t budge.

‘Let’s cut to the chase.’ Lucrezia twirled a strand of her ponytail around one finger. ‘We’rein charge of this dance, no matter who’s officially on the committee, got it? We ran it last year and we’re going to do the exact same thing this year. We just want to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Are we?’

Perched sadly on her stool, Jenny looked like a moulting parakeet. Was Olivia really going to join her? Then she remembered her dad’s cryptic Zen advice: ‘A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion.’

‘Excuse me,’ Olivia piped up, smiling her brightest smile. ‘I think there must be some confusion. Girls in my grade organise the dance, so, if you don’t mind scooting over, I can get to organising.’

Melinda – or was it Veronica? – jumped out of her chair and looked ready to say something, when she froze. Olivia traced her gaze to the back of the room. The door was swinging shut behind Charlotte, and she had a camera on her shoulder.

‘Sorry,’ Charlotte mouthed, and then her loud voice cut the tense atmosphere. ‘Pretend I’m not here. Act natural!’

When Olivia turned back, Melinda, Lucrezia and Veronica were acting anything but natural. All three had bright smiles plastered across their lips. Clearly, none of them wanted to be caught on camera acting like total bullies.Which is exactly what they are, Olivia reminded herself.No way are they pushing me around!

Lucrezia patted Olivia on the back. ‘How silly of us to forget that it was your grade in charge of the dance.’ She levelled her stare, meeting Olivia’s eyes. ‘Please call us if you need any help.’

To Olivia’s relief, the girls traipsed out one after the other. Jenny watched them depart, then cast Olivia an apologetic glance.

‘I’m sorry,’ she said, standing up off the stool. ‘Those girls . . .’

Olivia cleared her throat and rolled her eyes towards the camera that Charlotte still had trained on them.

‘I know!’ she said in a bright voice. ‘They’re so kind to offer to help.’

A shiver ran down Olivia’s spine.Of course. Those girls don’t want to look mean in front of the camera! But how long will Charlotte’s filming be able to hold them off?Olivia’s guess was not long, because at the doorway Melinda span on her heel and shot her a look so nasty it made her want to take a bath.

‘Yikes,’ Jenny muttered under her breath. ‘Well . . . I knew I chose the right chairperson.’

Olivia wasn’t so sure. She’d started feeling a little woozy. She may have won this battle, but she definitely had not won the war.

‘Hey, Olivia!’ Charlotte beckoned her over. ‘Want to get a sneak peek of our interview from the other day?’

‘Absolutely!’ Olivia said, feeling her enthusiasm come back. This was supposed to be fun, and she wasn’t going to let three wannabe pageant-queens on a power trip ruin that.

Charlotte flipped open the screen on the side of the camera and the interview loaded. Olivia watched, nervously. To her relief, she was pleased with her answers, and she didn’t look like a total dork on camera, even without a crew of stylists and make-up artists behind her. She must have gained more than a hot celebrity boyfriend on set after all! Learning poise and a little screen presence were added perks!

Just as she was about to compliment Charlotte on her filming skills, she spotted Ivy in the background of the scene. Her sister’s hand was squeezing around a super-thick Mister Smoothie glass and, then . . .pow! It shattered in a big oozing mess. That had to be vampire super-strength! No normal girl could break a glass with her bare hands. Olivia could hardly squeeze an aluminium can. Why hadn’t she noticed the commotion back in the café? No way could she let this stay on camera – everyone would find out about her sister’s secret vampire skills and her vamp family would be exposed.

Olivia eyed Charlotte carefully, trying to judge whether she had noticed Ivy’s show of super-strength. Charlotte’s face lit up every time she heard her own voice come through the audio, which, for once, was perfectly OK with Olivia. Charlotte was so focused onCharlottethat she hadn’t seemed to notice Ivy in the background. Still, Olivia was going to have to do something about this.

‘You think I could take a look at your camera?’ asked Olivia. It would only take her a second to go through the footage and delete the scene.

‘Sure. It’s the best my dad could buy,’ Charlotte said, beaming. She shifted the camera into Olivia’s hands but, as soon as she got hold of it, Olivia heard a beeping noise. A red light on the side of the camera flashed and the screen flickered to blank. Olivia shook the camera, hoping it would come back to life like a zombie from the dead.

‘Hey, be careful!’ Charlotte protested. ‘Do you know how much this thing cost?’ She snatched the camera back. It must have been out of batteries.How utterly great. Olivia had lost her chance. Now she would have to find another way to delete the interview before anyone saw it.

Charlotte squinted at the blank camera screen.

‘This sucks,’ she said, fiddling with the battery compartment. ‘I was hoping to get some behind-the-scenes footage and I may not make any of the other committee meetings – I’ll be super-busy planning my outfit.’

‘That is a shame,’ Olivia said. She meant it, too. It seemed as if that camera was the only thing that could fend off the Mean Musketeers. In the meantime, she still had a committee meeting to manage . . .

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