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My Sister the Vampire Book 3: Re-Vamped! (Chapter 5)

When Olivia walked out of homeroom on Friday morning, Ivy and Sophia were waiting for her.

Ivy's voice sounded weakly from behind her dark hair. "Can you come to the science hall bathroom for a second?"

Poor Ivy, Olivia thought. All the attention is really getting to her.

A moment later, the three of them were alone in the empty bathroom. Ivy pushed her hair out of her face, and Olivia saw that her eyes were red from crying.

"What happened?" Olivia and Sophia said at the same time.

Ivy smiled for a moment. Then her face crumpled like one of those buildings that gets blown up to make way for a parking lot. "I'm moving to Europe," she sobbed.

Sophia looked sideways at Olivia. "Did she just say she's 'moody like syrup'?"

"I th-think she s-said she's moving to Europe," Olivia stammered.

"What?" Sophia cried.

Ivy nodded in confirmation.

Olivia put out her hand, and Ivy grabbed it as if it were a lifeline. Sophia grasped Ivy's other hand.

"It's okay," Olivia cooed, trying to keep her head.

"When is this happening?" Sophia asked.

It took Ivy three attempts before she could get the answer out. "Winter break," she sobbed.

"But that's barely three weeks away!" exclaimed Sophia, and Olivia's heart plunged into her sneakers.

"Why?" Olivia asked, her voice tight.

Ivy couldn't answer. Not letting go of her hand, Olivia inched over to the dispenser on the wall and pulled out some paper towels. She gave them to Ivy, who took them and blew her nose.

Ivy took a deep breath. "My dad took a job in Luxembourg," she explained. She said "Luxembourg" like it was the North Pole.

Olivia shook her head slowly, the reflection in the bathroom mirror blurring as her own eyes filled with tears. "But you can't go," she said. "I only just found you!"

"You can't go," Sophia repeated. "You're my best friend!"

"I have to," Ivy said, and now they were all sobbing. The three of them flung their arms around one another and bawled.

When Olivia finally pulled away, Sophia and Ivy's faces were both muddy with black mascara. She couldn't help laughing. "You two look like raccoons."

"So do you," Sophia laugh-cried. Olivia looked in the mirror and saw that Sophia was right.Their Goth makeup had rubbed off on her face.

Olivia washed her face and was starting to reapply some blush when something else occurred to her. "Have you told Brendan yet?"

she asked Ivy.

Ivy didn't say anything, but suddenly her skin started turning a color Olivia had never seen before. It was pink, as if she was blushing. "She's going to faint!" Sophia cried.

Ivy's eyelids fluttered and she slumped against the sink. Olivia rushed to hold her up. Sophia turned on the tap and threw a handful of water in Ivy's face. Nothing happened, so Sophia tried again.

"Stop!" Ivy spluttered. "Stop it!" She stood on her own two feet and glared at Sophia. "What are you trying to do – drown me?"

"You fainted," Sophia said apologetically.

"What? I never faint!" Ivy said in disbelief.

"Olivia asked you about Brendan," Sophia explained gently.

Ivy blinked. Then she let out a tortured sigh. "Oh, yeah," she whispered.

"I thought people were supposed to turn white before they faint," Olivia said.

"Not vamps." Sophia shook her head. "We blush."

Ivy started drying her face with a paper towel. "I hadn't even thought about Brendan," she said hoarsely. "I guess I just didn't want to think about it. Losing the two of you is bad enough."

Olivia set her jaw. She didn't want to start crying again.

"I'm going to the arcade with him tonight," Ivy went on forlornly. "I guess I'll have to tell him then."

Facing the mirror, side by side, the three of them silently went about cleaning themselves up. After giving Ivy a hug, Sophia left first, because she had to get a book from her locker before next period.

As Ivy finished reapplying her mascara, Olivia stared at the floor. "Do you think we should keep looking for the truth about our parents?" she asked.

"The fact that you know about vampires' existence isn't going to change when I'm gone," Ivy answered, though she only mouthed the word "vampires." "It's probably even more important to justify your knowing the secret now, since I won't be around to protect you."

Olivia nodded and a small smile found its way to her lips. Her sister was right – and anyway she wanted to know the truth about their parents.

"Can I come visit you?" Olivia asked in a small voice.

Ivy's reflection looked her in the eye. "You'd better." She spun around, and they hugged.

In unison, they swung their bags onto their shoulders and prepared to walk out. "Are you still coming over for lunch tomorrow?" said Olivia. "My mom's all excited to go shopping."

"Absolutely." Ivy grinned as she swung open the door and led Olivia into the bustling hallway.

"I'm not gone yet."

Friday night, Ivy stood in the shadows near the doorway of the mall arcade, squeezed between the wall and the side of a hulking airplane cockpit game. From there she could watch Brendan undetected, as he stood waiting for her by the air hockey table across the room.

His broad shoulders were cloaked in a dark gray, military-style jacket over a bright ghoulgreen T-shirt. His curly black hair, still wet from the rain, glistened in the dim blue light of the arcade. He was drop-dead in every way. He tapped an air hockey panel on the edge of the table absentmindedly.

Their first date had been here, not so long ago.

Brendan had surprised Ivy by challenging her to a running air hockey competition, and Ivy had never had so much fun in her life. As their relationship had grown, so had their tournament: the score now stood at Ivy 23, Brendan 22.They were always neck and neck. Ivy wanted to be neck and neck forever.

She had spent so many years pining over Brendan Daniels without having the nerve to speak to him, and now he was her boyfriend. How am I going to leave him? she thought, a sharp pain piercing her heart. But she knew she didn't have a choice.

Ivy was prepared for the possibility that tonight would be their final date. How could they stay together when an ocean was going to separate them?

Bracing herself, Ivy stepped out of the corner.

Brendan spotted her right away. Bounding over, he kissed her on the cheek, grabbed her hand, and dragged her back to the air hockey table.

"I've been waiting all week to take the headlines away from you!" he announced. He paused at the side of the table, spreading his hands in the air as if imagining the cover of the next Scribe: "Daniels Beats Vega in Air Hockey Hullabaloo!"

Brendan reached into his pocket and took out some tokens. He bent down to put them into the slot, but Ivy forced herself to put her hand on top of his at the last moment.

"Wait," she said quietly.

Brendan stopped and looked at her. Ivy entwined her pale fingers in his own and led him away from the table, deeper into the arcade.

Finally they stood in the corner near the retro games, where it was quieter.

"Brendan" – her voice shook – "my dad has got a new job."

"That's great!" he responded, but his smile started to fade as his eyes searched her face.

"Isn't it?"

"It's in Europe," Ivy answered. She took a deep breath. "We're moving in three weeks."

Something dark flickered in Brendan's eyes.

Suddenly, he looked down at their hands. "You're leaving?" he said without looking up.

Ivy nodded. He shook his head without meeting her eye.

This is the end, thought Ivy.

Then Brendan started to stroke Ivy's fingers thoughtfully. Suddenly he looked up at her with determination. "Distance doesn't matter," he declared.

"Brendan . . ." she began, feeling for some reason like she should argue.

"It doesn't," he said forcefully. "We can call and e-mail and IM."

"There's a time difference," Ivy cautioned.

"I've always wanted to visit Europe," Brendan said, unfazed. "Everyone says it sucks."

"You'd visit me?" Ivy quavered. Brendan looked into her eyes, put his arms around her, and pulled her close.

Ivy buried her face in his chest. "I don't know how I'm going to say good-bye to you," she whispered.

"You don't have to," Brendan said into her hair. Ivy looked up at him, and her heart fluttered.

He smiled down at her easily."I think we need a new game," Brendan said, looking around, "one that we can play when we're apart and then compare scores." Suddenly his eyes focused across the room, and his eyebrows shot up. "Skee-Ball!"

He started pulling her across the arcade, but Ivy hung back; somehow, it didn't seem right to play a game. "I don't know," she murmured.

"Ivy," Brendan said firmly, "we only have three weeks. It's okay to be sad when you're gone. But I don't want to spend time being sad while you're still here."

You're right, Ivy thought. And you're mine! She smiled, and together they raced across the arcade.

"I'm warning you," Brendan told her, "my high score is unbeatable!"

A few minutes later, Ivy had sunk her second five-hundred-point bull's-eye in a row. "She's . . . killing . . . me," Brendan croaked. He slumped onto the empty next lane, his eyes closed and his tongue lolling out of his mouth.

Grinning, Ivy prepared for her next throw. She was just releasing the ball when Brendan sprang up and hissed at her, baring imaginary fangs.The wooden ball careened wildly up the slope, shot up against the top of the cage, and bounced out of the alley.

"Brendan!" Ivy scolded.

The ball rolled onto the floor, and Ivy chased after it. For a moment she lost sight of it among people's legs, but then she spotted the ball as it collided with someone's black wingtip shoe with a hollow thump.

The man whose foot she'd hit leaned down and scooped up the ball. He held it out in front of him, staring at Ivy curiously. Underneath a gray wool overcoat, he was wearing a dark blue shirt.

He wore round glasses, and he had wild, graying curly hair that emanated from his head in all directions. He looked like a maniacal genius.

"S-sorry," Ivy stammered.

The man dropped the ball into her hand.

"Dad!" Brendan exclaimed, coming over to join Ivy. "What are you doing here?"

Ivy turned to look at Brendan and then back at the man standing before her. She couldn't believe her luck. Not only was Brendan being more A positive about her move to Europe than she could ever have hoped but now she was getting to meet his father without even asking!

Brendan inched up to his dad. "I'm on a date," he murmured in a low voice.

Somehow, Ivy thought, embarrassment makes him even more gorgeous.

"Your mother asked me to tell you to be home in time for dinner," Mr. Daniels said haltingly. He glanced at Ivy again, then stared expectantly at Brendan.

"Dad, this is Ivy. Ivy, this is my dad," Brendan muttered.

Brendan's father extended his hand. "It is a great pleasure to meet you," he said, turning Ivy's hand over in his own curiously. He looked up at her with sparkling eyes. "I understand you have a twin sister?"

"Dad!" Brendan scolded. He looked at Ivy apologetically. "My dad's a geneticist."

"It's okay," Ivy said. Mr. Daniels seems just as eager to talk to me as Olivia and I are to talk to him! she thought excitedly. "Great to meet you, Mr. Daniels."

He peered into her eyes. "Any health problems as a child?" he asked clinically.

Ivy thought about it. "No. I got a marble stuck in my ear once."

"Are you allergic to garlic?" he asked.

"Of course," Ivy answered.

"Inconceivable," Mr. Daniels muttered to himself.

"Sorry to interrupt," Brendan said, sounding annoyed, "but did I mention that Ivy and I are on a date?" He grabbed his father's arm and dragged him away.

A minute later, Brendan reappeared, unaccompanied, next to Ivy at the Skee-Ball game.

"Sorry about that," he said sheepishly as Ivy handed him a ball. "Ever since he heard about you and Olivia, he's been desperate to meet you."

Brendan shot the ball, and it bounced into the circle just outside the bull's-eye. "Four hundred points," he announced.

"You want to hear something deadly?" Ivy said, taking a ball. "I was actually going to ask if I could talk to your dad." She shot one hundred points and grimaced.

"How come?" Brendan asked.

"Olivia and I found a research study that he wrote about whether vamps and humans can have babies.We kind of wanted to ask him about that."

"Then you would actually be willing to come over to our house for lunch on Sunday?" Brendan said with a hint of relief. "My dad asked me to invite you and Olivia."

"That would be killer!" Ivy said.

"Maybe to you," remarked Brendan. "You don't have to listen to him talk about work all the time! But at least this way he can get all his scientific mumbo jumbo out in one dose, and you and Olivia can ask any questions you want."

"He doesn't know that Olivia knows about, you know, though, right?" Ivy said cryptically.

"Ivy," Brendan assured her, "I would never tell anyone your secrets. Especially my parents."

Smiling, Ivy picked up the ball and aimed for the bull's-eye. She'd invite Olivia to lunch with Brendan's family when she went to Olivia's house for lunch tomorrow. Ivy bowled the ball up the ramp, and it sailed into the five-hundred-point hole in the center. "Yes!" she cried.

Brendan sighed. "At least when you go," he said, "I can have the high-score record for North America back."

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