My Sister the Vampire Book 2: Fangtastic! (Chapter 8)

Having looked everywhere else for Brendan's book, Olivia kicked aside a pile of black clothes and crouched down to peer under Ivy's bed. Pulling up the black velvet bed skirt, it took her a moment to realize the only thing under there was her sister's shiny coffin.

She bolted upright. "Of course it's not under there," she said, rolling her eyes like Ivy might. Brendan just looked at her, frowning. She couldn't tell whether he was amused, suspicious, or worried that his girlfriend had completely lost her mind.

Olivia peered around Ivy's room desperately. It was a complete mess–the floor was so littered with black shoes and clothes that she could barely see the carpet; the bed was a nest of bags, pillows, and cosmetics; and Ivy's desk looked like it had been hit by an avalanche of paper and CDs. Olivia had been looking for Brendan's book for twenty minutes already.

All she knew was she had to get him out of the house before Ivy came home. He's bound to figure everything out if he sees two Ivys in one place, she thought, and that won't be good! It had been stress- ful enough getting to Ivy's basement bedroom in the first place. Olivia had had to try three differ- ent keys before she found the one that opened the front door, and then she'd had to stand there awkwardly while Brendan and Ivy's dad chatted amicably in the front hall.

Suddenly, Olivia spotted the corner of a book peeking out from underneath a gray towel on the floor. She dashed over, pulling the soggy towel aside to reveal a waterlogged paperback.

Olivia had never felt so relieved to see a ruined book in her entire life. "Oh, no," she said, carry- ing the book over to Brendan, "it got wet." She held it out with an apologetic frown.

Brendan glanced down at the book. "Ivy," he said, "this is from social studies. I need the English book I gave you last week."

I am so dead, thought Olivia. She had to find Brendan's book fast, or he was going to realize something was up–if he hadn't already!

Ivy turned a corner and glanced forlornly up at her house, which loomed atop the hill at the end of the cul-de-sac. Right away, she saw that Toby Decker was lurking in front of Charlotte Brown's house, right next door to her own.

Ivy dove behind an oak tree.

Peeking out carefully, she saw Toby walking along the curb as if it were a balance beam. He hopped off, looked up toward Ivy's house hope- fully, and then hopped on again and teetered in the other direction.

Hasn't he given up yet? Ivy thought. Seriously, she'd had enough frustration for one afternoon. She was certainly in no mood to wander around the neighborhood for all eternity, waiting for Toby Decker to call it a day.

Unfortunately, the alternatives were just as O negative. If Toby spotted her going into the house dressed like Olivia, he might get suspicious. And even if Ivy could make herself look normal again, Toby might guess that he'd been following around an impostor all afternoon. Worse, he might run and tell Serena Star that there were legions of identical queens of the damned roam- ing Franklin Grove.

This bites! Ivy thought, leaning back against the tree.

Charlotte was Ivy's neighbor on one side; on the other lived the Carltons. Their property ran up the length of the hill, to where a line of bushes sepa- rated the two yards. Ivy had no choice. It was risky, but she decided to try and sneak behind the Carlton's house, up the hill, through the bushes, and into her own backyard. Then she could climb in her bedroom window without Toby seeing.There wouldn't be many trees to hide behind on the way, but luckily she had vampire speed on her side.

Ivy peeked out again. She held her breath, waiting for Toby to turn his back on her in his walk along the curb.

Wait . . . wait . . . go! she thought, sprinting out from behind the tree and dashing for the Carlton's backyard as fast as Olivia's pink mules could carry her. A weather vane planted in the grass spun wildly as she zipped past.

"You know what?" Olivia said desperately, tossing a tangled black skirt in the air. "I'm really sorry, Brendan, but I don't know what I did with that book." She pointed to her head. "Cobwebs!" she sang manically. "But I promise I'll keep looking and bring it to you tomorrow in school. Okay?" Olivia glanced anxiously up the stairs toward the door. Ivy's going to be here any second! she thought.

Meanwhile, Brendan just kept staring at her with that same impenetrable look.

"Okay?" Olivia pleaded again. "I promised my dad I'd set the table for dinner, so you really, really have to go now."

Without a word, Brendan started for the stairs. He's finally leaving! Olivia thought, nearly over- come by relief. Then he appeared to think better of it.

"Something's not right," he muttered to him- self.

He turned around at the bottom of the stairs. "You've been acting weird since the moment I saw you in the mall," he told her. "The way you talk, the way you move . . .You're not acting like– like my girlfriend." He looked at Olivia, his eyes filled with concern. "Are you sure you're feeling okay, Ivy?"

Olivia gulped and nodded.

Suddenly, a totally horrified look spread across Brendan's face.

Olivia's heart stopped. He's figured it out, she thought. Ivy is so going to kill me!

"Are you mad at me about something?" Brendan asked shakily.

Olivia is not going to be happy, Ivy thought with a grimace as she stood panting at the back of her house. She'd run so fast that one of her sister's pink mules had shot off her foot like a rocket and flown way up in the air. Ivy didn't even know where it had landed. Still, she was seriously relieved to have successfully made it into her backyard without Toby seeing her.

Ivy hopped along the back of her house to her bedroom window, which sat at ground level. Kneeling down, she glimpsed her sister in the room below. Good thing I left this window open this morning! she thought. She got down on her belly and scooted through the window feet first.

"Hey, Olivia!" she called. "I'm back!" As she felt for the landing with her feet, the other mule fell off and clattered down the stairs. She contin- ued loudly, "Toby Decker should be the one everyone's worried about. What a stalker!"

Olivia didn't answer.

"Olivia?" Ivy called. "Olivia!" She found her footing, shut the window, and turned around.

Right away, Ivy noticed the panicked look on her sister's face, and she froze. For a moment, she couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then some- one stepped out of the shadows. It was Brendan, staring up at her from beside the foot of the stairs.

Ivy watched her boyfriend look from her to Olivia and back again, a wrinkle of confusion spreading across his brow. He just heard me call Olivia "Olivia"! Ivy thought in panic. Several times! And she's supposed to be me! As she stared at Brendan, she realized that it was time to tell him the truth, but her heart sank. Once he finds out I've been keeping this a secret, she thought, he probably won't want to see me ever again!