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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
I roll over and feel a lump in my pocket. My cell phone. Pulling it out, I sleepily click through to check for messages. But there are none. None from my high-roller of a sister and none from my boyfriend either. I’m not too surprised about Rayne—she seemed pretty preoccupied at the blackjack table—but it is strange that Magnus hasn’t called. On nights we can’t hang out back home he always calls at eleven p.m. on the dot, to wish me good-night and sweet dreams. Guess he’s too busy tonight, distracted by all those consortium sessions.
Or is it by Jane?
I remember her words to Cowboy Man, about giving Magnus some attention since I’m not around to do it, and the lump returns to my throat once again. First Dad, now Magnus. It seems like no matter what I do I can’t stop the men in my life from abandoning me for other women.
I can’t believe I’d been ready to give up my precious virginity for him. To let him go where no man has gone before. That was a pretty big step for me. A step of faith, of trust, of me opening up to him and saying I believe you love me and won’t hurt me as I’ve been hurt before.
And then she shows up and the next thing I know he’s running off to Vegas to get legally hitched, vampire style. How can he say that’s not a big deal? That I shouldn’t be worried or jealous about Jane?
Why hasn’t he called? According to the schedule I looked at, the convention sessions should be over by now. Did Jane talk him into going dancing with her at Rumjungle or some other hot Vegas club maybe? I try to imagine the scene. Magnus, not the best dancer in the world by any stretch of the imagination, would try to keep the beat as best he can while Jane grinds up against him, her sultry, voluptuous body draped in the barest minimum of gauzy fabric required to skirt public nudity laws (which, let’s face it, in Vegas probably aren’t all that strict).
And what happens next, my cruel imagination wonders. They’ll grow tired of the noise of the club and go somewhere quiet to talk? Like his hotel room, perhaps? I’m sure, unlike me, Jane’s no babe in the woods. She’ll seduce him slowly, pulling him down on the bed and doing to him what I’ve never been able to do myself. She’ll rock his world and he’ll forget my name as he’s screaming out hers.
Yeah, no wonder he forgot to call me. I might forget to call me, too, if I were having the best sex of my life.
I consider calling him myself, but find I can’t bring my fingers to punch in his number. Mostly because I don’t think I can handle the chance that she might answer his phone and tell me he’s in the shower or something and can’t come to the phone.
No! I shake my head. I can’t think like this. I can’t spiral down into a delusionary pit of despair based on some ridiculous wild thoughts. Magnus would never cheat on me. Not with Jane, not with anyone. He’s the best boyfriend ever. Loyal, loving, patient, true. Even if he has been distracted lately
. . .
I’m sure there’s a very good explanation for why he didn’t call tonight. Maybe he’s stuck in a session that’s gone over its time. Or he left his cell phone in the room. Or maybe it’s out of batteries or was stolen by a petty thief. There are a million different possibilities for why he didn’t call me that have nothing to do with him hooking up with Jane.
I have to trust him. There’s nothing without trust. And once I figure out who Jane really is—and what her evil game might be—I’ll expose her for the fake she is and save the day. Then Magnus will thank me, grateful tears in his eyes, and he’ll banish Jane from the Blood Coven, never to return. And then he’ll be mine, all mine. Forever.
I sleep surprisingly well, considering all that’s running through my mind, and don’t awake until a cruel burst of bright white light assaults my eyelids the next morning. At first I’m confused—not sure where I am—I’ve been in such a deep sleep. But then I notice the pair of fuzzy dice hanging from a lamp beside me. Ah yes. Vegas. My stepmom and father’s bed to be precise. And the bringer of the unwanted light? My dear, dear prodigal sister, home from her adventures at long last.
“There you are!” she cries, plopping down on the bed. “I had to wake up both Crystal and Stormy looking for you. And let’s just say our lovely stepsister, Crystal, is not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. Why are you in here, sleeping in the den of sin anyway?”
I glance over at the digital clock sitting on the nightstand. Five A.M. Which is, I suppose, eight A.M. back East where we live. But still not a reasonable time to be woken up on a day you don’t have to go to school. I rub my eyes and sit up in bed. “Are you just getting in?” I ask, realizing that’s the only explanation to Rayne’s sudden presence. Sure enough, she’s still wearing her clothes from the night before and smells more than a bit ripe.
“Were you out all night?”
“Of course. I am a vampire, after all,” Rayne replies in a completely unwarranted “duh” voice. “Creature of the night and all that?”
“Right. Except you’re one of the mutant vamps that can go out during the day,”
I remind her. “So really not that perfect of an excuse.”
“Oh my God, Sunny, I love it here so much!” Rayne gushes, completely ignoring my jab. “It’s like the best place ever. A dream come true. I played craps ’til two A.M. over at the Bellagio with a guy who turned out to be an actual Saudi prince. Like a real life sheik, complete with turban. He bought a bottle of this Cristal champagne—costing more than a thousand dollars—and split it with me. And then Paris Hilton showed up to our table wearing the most ridiculous pink and white bunny outfit—like it was Halloween or something. Evidently she knows the guy from some club in Dubai. And so he made her blow on the dice for luck. But she totally got snake eyes and he ended up losing like thirty thousand dollars. But he was all like, ‘Whatever, I make that every five minutes from my dad’s oil biz.’ At three A.M. I was up two thousand dollars.”