Dead Is Not an Option
was teasing.
    "That's not what I mean, Dad," I said. "I mean, who did the car belong to?"
    He shrugged. "Spenser didn't say. He told me that his friend wouldn't be needing it any longer."
    My stomach clenched, but I told myself that it was probably just a coincidence. Then again, exactly how many pink T-birds were there in Nightshade?

    Things seemed to calm down in Nightshade after Elise's attack. At least, I thought so until about a week later, when Sam came up to me after my last class. "Have you heard what they're saying?"
    "That there's going to be a fight in Nightshade. The vamps against the Weres."
    "Where did you hear that?"
    "Penny told me," she said. "Tyler overheard some of the guys talking about it."
    You could count on Penny to know the latest gossip, although she'd tapered off a bit since she and Tyler had gotten serious.
    "What has everyone in an uproar this time?" I asked.
    "Didn't you know?" Sam asked. "There was another one. Two nights ago. They're trying to keep it quiet. Christy Hannigan's mom works at the hospital, and she told Christy all about it."
    "Another Were was attacked?"
    Sam shook her head somberly. "No, it was a vampire this time. One of the young ones. And now the vampires are out for blood. Literally."
    "That can't be good," I said. I couldn't believe I was so behind on the gossip, but then again, we didn't know all the vamps in town since some of them went to night school.
    We walked to the car.
    "Hey, do you want to spend the night at my house?" Sam asked. "My dad's out of town and it's a little spooky there by myself."
    "I thought you'd want to spend every waking moment with Sean," I said.
    "Oh, he and his dad are going on that father-son camping trip with Ryan and the chief."
    "I could use a break from my sisters."
    "I don't blame you," she said. "It must be tough."
    "I was just kidding," I said. "What must be tough?"
    "Forget I said anything," Sam replied.
    "Come on, Sam," I said.
    "It's just, I thought Rose and Poppy might be having some problems," she said. "Since Rose is dating a shifter and Poppy is dating a vampire."
    "They're getting along fine," I said. I was totally in denial. They still weren't getting along at all. Hopefully, Mom's dinner party would solve that problem.
    "Of course they are," she said soothingly.
    She looked so abashed that I couldn't say no to her invitation. "Let me just clear it with my parents," I said.
    We stopped at my house for a change of clothes and my sleeping bag before heading to Sam's. I'd been to Mr. Devereaux's condo a few times, but it had been mostly right after Sam had moved in with him. The place had changed since my last visit.
    "Your father redecorated," I said.
    The condo, which had been nice before, was now opulent. The modest television had been replaced by a gargantuan flat-screen TV that took up one entire wall. When I stepped on the white carpet it felt like I was walking on down pillows, and there was a white silk couch against the other wall that looked too pristine too sit on.
    "Let's put your stuff in my room," Sam suggested. As we walked down the hall, I noticed that snapshots of Sam had been replaced by several paintings. I stopped for a second and examined one with multicolored splatters.
    "This looks like a real Jackson Pollock," I said.
    Sam shrugged. "One of Dad's former students painted it. He said she gave him a good deal."
    Mr. Devereaux seemed to have a lot of cash lately. His book must be doing well, I thought.
    We stashed my stuff in her room, which looked like it was the only part of the place that hadn't had a makeover, and then headed back to the living room.
    "Do you want to go rent a movie or something?" I said.
    "We have plenty of movies here," Sam said. She opened a cabinet full of DVDs. "Dad just bought the newest Matt Damon film," she said.
    "Didn't that just come out?"
    She shrugged. "He buys a lot of movies," she said. "But he never seems to have time to watch them."
    She saw my

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