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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
“I can’t tell you what it was like,” she says, choking on her words. “To have to sit there and tell him I’m leaving him, only moments after promising I’d stay by his side forever.” Her voice cracks on the word forever and I realize she’s lost something else in addition to her love. She’s no longer a vampire. No longer immortal. Everything she’s ever wanted in life has been ripped away. For me.
“Why did you do it?” I ask. “I mean, you could have just left me there…” Her sacrifice is so stunning, it’s hard for me to come to terms with it.
“Because I knew in my heart it was for the best,” she says simply. “It wasn’t just your death. Everything was bad. Magnus had been caught by Pyrus’s wolves and would be tried for treason. The vampires in the Blood Coven had been kicked out of the Consortium and would have had to live a life of starvation and exile.” She turns her head to look at me, her eyes pleading for my understanding. “I couldn’t bear to let everyone suffer because of my mistakes.”
“Rayne, it wasn’t your fault—”
But she waves me off. “That’s not important now. What’s important is you have a second chance,” she insists. “A chance to live the life you were supposed to live. A normal life without vampires and other supernatural surprises. Without all the darkness I dragged you into that night when Magnus bit you instead of me.”
My mind flashes back to that fateful night at Club Fang. The moment my life changed forever. Would I have done things differently if I knew then what I know now?
I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
“Hey, Sunny, you ready for the big game tonight?”
I turn around as my old friend and field hockey teammate Amanda taps me on the shoulder in the lunch line at school that afternoon. Wow. I haven’t seen her since—
Yesterday. Sunny, you haven’t seen her since yesterday. At least in her mind.
“Oh, totally,” I force myself to say, trying to keep my voice as casual as possible. It’s been so weird seeing all these people I haven’t seen since Rayne and I left Oakridge High for Vegas last November. Especially since to them, no time has passed at all. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
“Good,” Amanda pronounces, looking relieved. “When you weren’t in homeroom first period, I got worried. We have got to win this match against Haverhill tonight or we are totally screwed for the rest of the season.”
“I know, right?” I find myself saying, trying hard to muster up an appropriate level of concern over some random high school sporting event that I couldn’t care less about. I mean, really. Winning? Losing? What did it matter in the long run? It wasn’t as if anyone’s life were at stake. As if an evil vampire would take over the town and cause mass destruction if we didn’t score a goal. Heck, I played the same game the first time around and I can’t even remember what the outcome was.
It’s funny. I thought I’d be so psyched to get back to school. To go back to my former life and see all my old friends. But so far the first day back had been nothing short of a total nightmare. And not one of those dramatic, freaky nightmares that at least would be interesting. It was more like that movie Groundhog Day, where I felt as if I’d already lived it a thousand times before.
“By the way, I heard Jake Wilder might be stopping by the game tonight,” Amanda adds, giving me a not-so-subtle wink.
Jake Wilder. Wow. I’d almost forgotten he even existed. It’s hard to believe the resident school Sex God—the one I crushed on hardcore back in the day—was once a very important person in my life. Thinking back, I can’t even remember what I saw in him. I guess he was good looking. And popular. But he couldn’t hold a candle to Magnus. The most wonderful boyfriend in the entire universe.
Who I’d probably never see again.
Before heading to school, Rayne and I had made a pact. To live a normal, vampire-free life from this point forward. Too much badness had happened, my sister reasoned, because of our dalliances in the otherworld. It was better for all involved if we stayed out of it altogether and lived normal, everyday lives from this point forward.
But though in my head I knew she was right, my heart was singing a different song. How could I ever waste time going after someone like Jake Wilder, when I knew someone like Magnus existed on the fringes of my reality?
I get my lunch—some nasty, dried-up chicken nuggets and fries—and follow Amanda over to the table where the rest of my team appears to be debating the various pros and cons of different brands of lip gloss with quite a bit of venom, considering the subject matter.
“Oh-Em-Gee, are you for real?” Olivia cries in disgust. “That stuff is like liquid glue! The one time I wore it, I almost got stuck to Carter permanently when I kissed him!”
“As if that’s a bad thing,” Ava shot back with a devious smile on her lips.
“Please,” cut in Jessica. “I make my own lip gloss. All you need is a little beeswax. A little honey…”
“So, um, anyone hear about that crazy terrorist attack over in Syria this weekend?” I butt in, after checking my phone for a time-appropriate current event. “Pretty scary, right?”
The girls turn to look at me as if I have three heads and have just announced that I enjoy waterboarding over the weekends for fun.
“Um, yeah. Scary,” Olivia says quickly. Then she turns back to Jessica. “So wait. You make your own? But can you tint it that way? I much prefer tinted gloss…”