I wake slowly and realize I'm shivering. Evidently I've fallen asleep on the picnic blanket next to what feels like a vampire-sized glacier.
"Wave, don't go. Please. I'm sorry. I didn't ..." The glacier speaks.
"You're sorry about what?" I say, trying to get hold of the edge of the blanket to capture some of my own body heat.
Pierce's eyes pop open, and he looks at me sheepishly. "Nothing ... I was just ... dreaming." He wraps his arms around me and squeezes.
"Pierce, a little lighter. I need to breathe."
"Sorry, Wave. And you're cold!" In less than a second, the remnants of our picnic are stacked neatly on the ground, and we're cocooned inside the blanket. It's still cold, I mean vampires have little body heat, but then he presses those full lips on to mine and kisses me, slowly, until I'm practically panting. Oh, right, I'm totally not cold now. He wrinkles his nose. "You smell like garlic."
"And you still kissed me?"
"I forced myself," he says, grinning.
"Just so I understand, the garlic does make my blood all tainted and stuff, right?" I say, hopefully.
"No, Waverly," he says. "Your blood still smells delectable." His stomach actually growls.
An owl screeches from a nearby tree. The full moon is just rising in the sky. "Eels meals! Pierce, we slept through two classes! I'm gonna get a five-hour lecture from my dad, and then he'll make me graph parabolas on the beach this weekend until I either die of sun-exposure or boredom."
"I'm sure he'll understand," says Pierce.
"You don't know my dad," I say.
"Of course I don't," says Pierce, looking strangely guilty again. "Why would you think I did?"
"I don't. Pierce, are you okay?"
"Yes, but we should get back." He looks up at the moon. "It's almost time for Enchanted Dance."
Oh, right. The class where you dance until your shoes are bloody. No thanks! "Maybe we should stay here and watch the moon rise. I mean we've missed so much already. What's one more class?"
"I think you should go. No sense getting on Fairy Princess Iridessa's Bad List. And I have an idea."
"What do you mean I should go? Aren't you coming?"
"The whole school will be at the dance. It'll be a great opportunity for me to sneak into the Headmaster's office. I could try to do it during the day, but there might be less chance of getting caught if I go now."
"What about you being on Iridessa's Bad List?"
"I'm already on it. One more incident won't make any difference."
He gives me that crooked grin with full-on dimple action. I scramble out of the cocoon.
As soon as we are both free from the blanket, everything disappears in a sparkly tornado of fairy dust-the blanket, the pillows, the empty pizza pan, the ... um ... bottles. "Wow, Pickles thinks of everything," I say.
Pierce pulls me into his arms, facing him this time, and suddenly we're a meteor streaking across a sky dominated by a lemon moon.
As we approach the glade where the dance is to take place, I can feel the magic of the fairy dust buzzing against my skin, like diving into ocean foam.
We alight in back of the chattering mass of students, who are gathered at the base of a stage made from an enormous tree stump. Fairy Princess Iridessa, in full pink ball gown attire, is perched on top of it, wearing her crown of live butterflies over her fuchsia hair, and smoking her ever-present pipe. Some of the teachers are there too, seated on smaller stump next to the stage. My dad isn't here. Thank Neptune! He never was much for land-based dancing.
YOU ARE READING
Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them (Winner Watty Award 2014)Vampire
"Everyone knows mermaid blood is like vampire crack ..." Right before her senior year, mermaid Waverly Marie Fishwater's parents inform her they're moving to the Bay Area in Northern California. She's to attend a cross-cultural experimental high sch...