Ivy Vega and her best friend, Sophia Hewitt, hustled through the oldest cemetery in Franklin Grove on their way to school Monday morning. The grassy path, stiff with frost, crunched loudly beneath their heavy boots, and Ivy pushed her hands into the pockets of her full-length, black down jacket to keep them warm.
I’m going to miss this old graveyard when I move to Europe, Ivy thought. Even though it was still a little dark, in the distance she could make out the low silhouette of her boyfriend’s family crypt, where she and her friends had spent so much time hanging out. Outside the cemetery gates, the lights of nearby houses twinkled.
“Such a killer party!” Sophia exclaimed, interrupting Ivy’s thoughts. It seemed like forever ago, but on Saturday, Ivy’s human twin, Olivia, had been initiated into the vampire community, and they’d had a little celebration. “You must be seriously excited,” Sophia went on, “that Olivia knowing about vampires isn’t a secret anymore. It’s all over the Vorld Vide Veb.”
Ivy pressed her mouth down into her black knitted scarf and exhaled, warming her neck. That’s not the only thing that isn’t a secret any longer, she thought. “Sophia,” she said aloud, “there’s something I have to tell you.”
Olivia Abbott was met by a hot blast of indoor air as she opened one of the huge oak front doors of Franklin Grove Middle School. Scanning the lobby, she pulled off her hat and swung it around by one of the pink pom-poms that hung from its earflaps. She jumped up and down to get the cold out. Olivia had worn her cheerleading uniform for a school spirit assembly, but even with leggings, she felt like an icicle.
Where are you, Camilla? Olivia thought as she hopped from foot to foot, keeping her eyes peeled for her friend. I have huge news!
The door to the outside swung open, and Olivia looked over eagerly. Unfortunately, it was just Charlotte Brown, Olivia’s snotty cheerleading captain. She was wearing fluffy white earmuffs.
“Hi, Charlotte,” Olivia said, unable to keep the disappointment out of her voice. Charlotte let the door swing shut behind her, but her cheerleading cronies, Katie and Alison, hurried in on her heels. They were wearing fluffy earmuffs, too.
“Oh, Olivia, I’m so totally cold!” Charlotte whined.
“We’re cold, too!” said Katie and Alison, who had a talent for always thinking the same thing as Charlotte.
“Then you’d all better get inside right away and warm up!” Olivia said, switching on her smile. They skipped past without another word.
One person after another trickled into school, and every time the door to the outside opened, Olivia’s heart leaped. Finally she caught sight of Camilla’s bouncy blond curls.
“Camilla!” Olivia called.
“Hey,” Camilla said, her face breaking into an easy smile when she saw Olivia. “Sorry I’m a little late. You sounded so excited on the phone last night. What’s up?”
Olivia grinned. “Only the biggest news of my entire life!”
Camilla looked at her skeptically. “Bigger than finding out you have a long-lost twin sister?”
Olivia wrinkled her nose; Camilla had a point. Olivia and Ivy hadn’t even known they each had a twin until Olivia’s first day of school in Franklin Grove a few months ago. Come to think of it, the whole my-sister-is-a-vampire thing was big news, too, but of course Camilla didn’t know anything about that. Olivia was one of the only humans in the world who did.
“Just as big,” Olivia decided, pulling Camilla behind the enormous potted ferns in the corner of the lobby.
Olivia took a deep breath. “You can’t tell anyone,” she said. “Promise?”
“Promise,” Camilla said solemnly. “Just tell me already!”
“I am telling you,” Ivy protested.
“No,” Sophia said, “what you’re doing is trying to tell me. So far you’re just sighing a lot.”
Ivy sighed again, sending a tiny cloud into the cold air. “I still can’t believe it,” Ivy murmured by way of explanation.
“Ivy,” Sophia said sternly, “I’m freezing my fangs off here.”
“You don’t have fangs,” replied Ivy, peering around the cemetery to make sure no one else was lurking nearby. “You file them like the rest of us.”
“It’s an expression,” Sophia said, her voice rising with frustration. “Now tell me your big revelation!”
“I found...” Ivy gulped. “Olivia and I found out...”
Sophia stared at her impatiently.
“Who my real father is,” Ivy blurted at last.
“Really?” Camilla cried, her eyes widening. Olivia nodded, biting her lip to contain her smile. “I’m so happy for you!” Camilla threw her arms around Olivia, accidentally knocking one of the ferns. Olivia giggled.
“I knew you and Ivy would find some answers if you kept looking,” Camilla said proudly.
Olivia had to admit that their perseverance had paid off. She and her sister had been trying to solve the mystery of who their parents were since they’d first realized they were twins.
“Thanks, Camilla,” Olivia said, hugging her again. “I wanted to tell you in person.”
“So who is he? Who’s your dad?” Camilla asked, her voice bursting with curiosity.
Olivia pursed her lips, savoring the moment.
Camilla read her face. “I knew it!” she squealed. “It’s a celebrity! I always thought you two had George Clooney’s nose!”
“Nope,” Olivia shook her head coyly. “Even better.”