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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
Which brings us to our most current conflict. The one where Magnus and I stopped a fringe group of slayers known as the Alphas from creating an army of vampire-fairy hybrids, using my sister’s blood, and letting them loose on the world. A mission impossible that should have made us heroes in the end. But instead we were cast out of the Vampire Consortium for insubordination. Mostly because we had decided that saving vampire kind was more important than playing by power-hungry House Speaker Pyrus’s rules.
To make a long story (somewhat) short, we were accused of treason by Pyrus and forced into exile. We hid underneath the streets of New York City, in fear of our lives.
Unfortunately we weren’t as safe and sound as we thought we’d be.
Which brings us to where we are today.
Or should I say…when.
Rayne’s desperate cries echo through the dark, dank tunnels of the New York City underground as the slayer throws her to the ground, scrambling on top of her and digging her nails into my twin’s already bleeding flesh. My sister struggles to free herself, but Bertha’s got her pinned between muscular thighs, and this time there’s no easy escape. I watch in horror, frozen in place, as the slayer rips a wooden stake from its holster and raises it high, ready to bring it down on my sister and steal her away from me forever.
Noooo! I don’t even realize I’ve made the move. But somehow I find myself wrestling Bertha from behind, latching on to her long brown hair and yanking her backward as hard as I can.
“No one stakes my sister, you bitch!” I cry in a voice that doesn’t even sound like mine. I grab her arm and slam it against a nearby cement support beam over and over, until her hand opens and the stake goes clattering to the ground. All I can taste is blood and I realize I must have bitten my own tongue while taking her down.
In the background, I see Rayne struggling to get up, to regain her balance. But she’s wounded and woozy and I can tell for a fact she’s not ready to jump back into the fray just yet. It’s up to me to be the strong one this time. To save my sister as she has always saved me.
Using all my strength, I drag the slayer away, putting distance between her and my twin. If I can only give Rayne enough time to recover, I’m sure she can finish her off. But time is a luxury we don’t have. And even with my fairy powers, I don’t have the strength to stave off a vampire slayer for long.
Sure enough, with a raging scream, Bertha manages to break free from my grasp, leaving me with nothing more than a handful of nasty hair extensions.
Disgusted, I drop the hair and raise my fists to fight. Bertha grins evilly, my sister forgotten, and makes a deliberate step in my direction. I lunge with all my might, hoping to be able to knock her out somehow. But as I crash into her, she’s like solid rock, and a moment later I feel something burning at my forearm. Did she cut me? I can’t afford to look down. Instead, I dig my thumbs into her neck as hard as I can, a desperate attempt to cut off her air passageways—something I learned in a self-defense class a long time ago.
My sister joins the fight now, wrestling Bertha away from me. I try to watch, but I’m overcome by dizziness. It’s then that I see the knife in the slayer’s hand. The one I realize must be made of iron—a deadly substance to fairies. I dare glance down at my arm and see the cut I already guessed was there. A small one, barely visible to the naked eye, but I know, in my heart, it’s enough. The poison swims through my veins in dancing blue lines and I find myself falling backward onto the subway rails, just as my sister takes out the slayer once and for all, spilling her blood all over the ground.
“Rayne,” I cry, my vision growing spotty. Oh God. I’m going to die. I try to reach for my sister, but my arms have become useless and broken. I can vaguely feel Rayne above me, begging me to hold on as she attempts to suck the toxins from my wound. But it’s too late. My body convulses as the poison consumes me and a chill seeps through my bones.
“I’m so cold, Rayne,” I sob as my sister pulls me into her arms, rocking me close as bloody tears stream down her cheeks. “So…cold.”
“It’s going to be okay,” she murmurs. But I know, from the hoarse tone of her voice, that she’s lying. It’s not going to be okay. This is it. My final moments. When my eyes close, they won’t open again. My thoughts flash to Magnus and I wonder, fleetingly, if he survived the fight back at the base with the werewolves, realizing I’ll probably never know. The thought hurts worse than the poison.
My beautiful Magnus. My soul mate without a soul. How can I die without saying good-bye? Without feeling his arms around me one last time. His lips brushing my own, with impossible tenderness. His voice whispering how much he loves me.
But Magnus isn’t here. My sister is.
“Rayne,” I try to say through chattering teeth. My final words—I need to make them count. I need my sister to know how grateful I am to her, for all she’s done for me. For the risks she’s taken to keep me safe. I know her all too well—she’ll blame herself, decide she’s the one responsible for my death, not Bertha. That she could have somehow done more to save me.
But she’s wrong. It’s not her fault. And it’s vital I convince her of this before I take my final breath.
My tongue is thick in my mouth, my brain has gone sluggish, and every word has become the ultimate struggle for release. “You’re the best sister a girl could have,” I manage to say with great effort. “I…love you.”