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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
“Just because everything turned out okay doesn’t mean you’re off the hook,” I tell him, crossing my arms over my chest. “I’m still mad at you, you know.”
He looks completely baffled. God, men—even vampire men—can be stupid sometimes. “What did I do?” he asks, his expression worried and anguished. Where to even begin? “You didn’t listen to me. You accused me of being jealous. You completely dismissed everything I said, treating me as if I were just some stupid kid. You never considered the fact that I might be right for even one second.”
His face falls. At least he doesn’t try to deny it. He knows he’s messed up.
“Sunny . . .” he tries. “I don’t know what to say . . . I’m sorry.”
We stare at each other, silently, lost in whirling emotions. Half of me wants to forgive him. To let it all go and allow myself to be pulled into his strong, safe arms once again. It’d be easier, I suppose, at least temporarily. But somehow I don’t think it’d work in the long haul. I can push the resentment down, but I can’t make it entirely go away.
I need time. I need space. I need . . .
“I’m sorry, we’ll have to talk later,” I manage to choke out. “Right now, I need to get to the hospital.”
His eyes widen with worry. “Hospital? Are you hurt?”
“No,” I say, shaking my head. “But someone I know is. And I need to make sure he’s all right.”
“I’ll drive you,” Magnus says automatically. He knows something’s wrong and he’s desperate to make good. “Let me pull the car around.”
“Master, we need you here,” interrupts a tall, suited vampire with dark sunglasses covering his eyes. Looks like one of the Men in Black. “There’s a dead vampire, slain by one of your coven members. Who’s also a slayer, I might add. Do you know how much paperwork this kind of thing entails?”
“Hey, make sure you clarify that it’s an ‘evil’ dead vampire in your report,”
Rayne butts in. “’Cause, I’m so not going down for an unauthorized slay. It was totally legit and necessary. Slayer Inc. will have my back.”
The vampire rolls his eyes at her, then turns back to Magnus. “Master?”
Magnus sighs deeply. “Okay,” he says, letting out a long breath. He turns to me. “Sunny, have Rayne take you to the hospital. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
My heart sinks. Here we go again. See, this is why I can’t just push this under the rug. ’Cause it’s not going to change. Time and time again, no matter what, Magnus is going to choose the Blood Coven over me. I’ll never be his priority. I’ll never be his number one.
And I don’t know if I can live my life as second best anymore. Not now that I know what it feels like to have someone make me a priority, to go as far as risking death for me.
I need to get to the hospital. Pronto.
Rayne and I call a cab to take us back to the hospital and rush into the ER, asking for Jayden. It takes a while for the admissions nurse to find him—
especially since I don’t know his last name. But finally she locates him in a room on the third floor and says if we hurry we can make visiting hours. We race upstairs and I burst into his room. He’s lying on a hospital bed, tubes up his nose and an IV in his arm. He’s pale and his eyes are bruised, but he’s alive. Blessedly alive. And awake, too; his eyes light up when they find me at the door.
“Sunny!” he cries, his voice so happy it breaks my heart. “Did you make it?” he asks. “Did you get there in time?” Typical Jayden. Asking about others when he’s the one lying in the hospital bed.
I nod silently, my words caught in my throat. I have so much to say to him, I don’t know where to start. “Thanks to you,” I finally manage to blurt out. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for you.”
He smiles his sweet, crooked smile and beckons me over. I approach, sitting down on the side of his bed. My sister quietly leaves the room, closing the door behind her, giving us space. I tried to fill her in on the way here, but probably didn’t do a very good job. After all, even I don’t fully understand the connection between Jayden and me.
“Are you okay?” I ask, glancing at the heart monitor.
He shrugs, then winces in pain at the movement. “I think so,” he replies.
“Cornelius helped himself to quite a large amount of my blood, but they gave me a transfusion. So as long as my body doesn’t fight off the new stuff then I should be okay. I might even be able to get out of here by tomorrow morning.”
“You shouldn’t have done that,” I scold. “Cutting yourself like you did. That was really stupid, you know?”
He reaches up and touches my cheek with light, feathery fingers, causing chills to run up and down my spine. “Maybe,” he says, with a shy smile. “But it was worth it, all the same.”
“Worth risking your life to save a vampire you’ve never met?”
“Worth risking my life to save you.”
My heart skips a beat at his words. “Oh, Jayden.” I sigh. “I don’t know what I’d have done if something had happened to you.”
He meets my eyes with his beautiful green ones, his expression solemn. “You’d be okay. You have your boyfriend.”
“Yeah.” I stare down at the floor. “I guess I do.” My boyfriend who’s more concerned with his job than he is about me. I mean, would Magnus have risked his life to save mine? Or would he have been too worried about leaving the coven without a leader? I’m not sure I’d ever want to bet my life on his loyalty to me. And that, I realize, is a huge problem.