Home > Homecoming (Vampire Academy #6.5)(10)

Homecoming (Vampire Academy #6.5)(10)
Author: Richelle Mead

"So, yeah, Mark ... if you, um, come visit ... we can go out to eat and you can try some American food. No more cabbage." I gave an uneasy laugh and tried not to stare at Dimitri as he disappeared around a rocky corner. "We could, you know, go out for hot dogs. Don't worry-they're not actually dogs. It's just a name. They're these meat things that you put on buns-that's a kind of bread-and then you top them with other things and-"

"I know what a hot dog is," interrupted Mark. His tone was light for the sake of our observer, but his stake had replaced the whittling knife.

"You do?" I asked, legitimately surprised. "How?"

"We're not that remote. We have TV and movies. Besides, I've left Siberia, you know. I've been to the U.S."

"Really?" I hadn't known that. I knew very little about his history, really. "Did you try a hot dog?"

Chapter 5

"No," he said. His eyes were on the spot where Dimitri had vanished, but they briefly flicked to me. "I was offered one ... but it didn't look that appetizing."

"What!" I exclaimed. "Blasphemy. They're delicious."

"Aren't they compressed animal parts?" he pushed.

"Well, yeah ... I think so. But so is sausage."

Mark shook his head. "I don't know. Something's just not right about a hot dog."

"Not right? I think you mean so right. They're like the-"

My righteous indignation was interrupted by a yelp, reminding me that there'd been another purpose here besides my defense of one of the greatest foods in the universe. Mark and I moved as one, both sprinting over to the rock pile and source of the noise. There, we found Dimitri pinning down a wriggling guy in a leather jacket and worn blue jeans. I couldn't tell much else about him because Dimitri had the guy's faced pressed into the dirt. Seeing us, Dimitri eased his hold so that the guy could look up. When he did, I saw that he was my age-and human.

He glanced between me and Mark-or, more accurately, he glanced between the silver stakes we both held. Gray-blue eyes went wide, and the captive began babbling in Russian. Mark frowned and asked a question, but didn't lower his stake. The human answered, sounding near-panicked. Dimitri scoffed and released his grip altogether. The human scrambled away, only to trip and land hard on his butt. Mark made some comment in Russian, which Dimitri responded to with a laugh.

"Will someone please tell me what's going on?" I demanded. "In English?"

To my surprise, it wasn't either of my colleagues that answered. "You ... you're American!" exclaimed the boy, regarding me wonderingly. He spoke with a heavy accent. "I knew the Blood King's reputation had spread, but I didn't know it had gone that far! "

"Well, it hasn't. Not exactly," I said. I noticed then that both Dimitri and Mark had put their stakes away. "I just happened to be in the neighborhood."

"I told you," said Dimitri, speaking to the human. "This is no place for you. Leave now."

The boy shook his head, making his unruly blond hair seem that much messier. "No! We can work together. We're all here for the same reason. We're here to kill the Blood King."

I met Dimitri's eyes questioningly but received no help. "What's your name?" I asked.

"Ivan. Ivan Grigorovitch."

"Well, Ivan, I'm Rose, and while we appreciate the offer of help, we've got this under control. There's no need for you to stick around."

Ivan looked skeptical. "You didn't look like you had it under control. You looked like you were having a picnic."

I repressed a grimace. "We were, uh, just getting ready to go into action."

He brightened. "Then I'm in time."

Mark sighed, clearly out of patience with this. "Boy, this isn't a game. Do you have anything like this?" He pulled out his silver stake again, making sure the point caught the light. Ivan gaped. "I didn't think so. Let me guess. You have a wooden stake, right?"

Ivan flushed. "Well, yes, but I'm very good at-"

"Very good at getting yourself killed," declared Mark. "You don't have the skills or weapons for this."

"Teach me," Ivan said eagerly. "I told you, I'm willing to help! It's what I've dreamed of-being a famous vampire hunter! "

"This isn't a field trip," said Dimitri. Like Mark, he no longer found Ivan so comical. "If you don't leave this area now, we'll carry you out ourselves."

     Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
     Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
     Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
     Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)
     Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
     Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)
     The Meeting (Vampire Academy 0.9)      Homecoming (Vampire Academy #6.5)