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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
“Um, are you deaf?” Marcia demands, her face twisting into a scowl. “I said, what is your name?”
Yup. She’s exactly the same. I bite back a frown, pinning my arms to my sides so as to avoid reaching my hands out and involuntarily strangling that haughty look right off her face. Bitch. After all, it’s because of her that Pyrus learned of our secret location under the streets of New York City. Because of her that I’m dead in the future. But what can I do? Accuse her of a crime she’s yet to commit? That’ll be sure to go off well. And besides, seeing as she’s a vampire and I’m just a puny mortal, I admit I might have a tough time cutting off her air supply using nothing more than my bare hands.
Gotta live and let live, I suppose. At least for now.
“S—I mean Rayne McDonald,” I reply instead, trying my best to sound as bored as she. She scans her list and checks me off, snapping her gum in an apparent effort to let me know how insignificant I am to her existence. If only she knew.
“You can go over and sit there,” she informs me, pointing a perfectly manicured finger to the left side of the church, where another group of Goths have congregated. Across the aisle, I notice a much more mainstream crowd hanging out chatting. The vampires themselves, I realize. Unlike their trying-too-hard mortal trainees, the vampires are dressed casually. Jeans, T-shirts, sundresses…and…I do a double take…is that really the same pink Bite Me tank top I ended up wearing on that fateful trip to Club Fang? The one that started all the trouble in the first place? I remember Rayne telling me she borrowed it off some vampire she met in training…
As I make my way over to the mortal section, I suddenly catch a glimpse of a door at the front of the church swinging open. I stop in my tracks, my heart skipping a beat, as a lone vampire steps out into the sanctuary.
My world spins off its axis as I watch him stop and stand just behind the altar, scanning the room with disinterested eyes. He looks bored, a little annoyed, and totally and utterly hot. My mind treats me to a vivid flashback of that first night we met at Club Fang. He was dressed in simple but elegant Armani, just like today, and I remember thinking he looked exactly like Orlando Bloom from the first Pirates movie, with his shoulder-length chestnut-colored hair tied back with a simple leather strap.
Tonight his hair hangs free, falling into his elfish blue eyes, brushing against his perfectly sculptured cheekbones and ending just short of his sensuous mouth. Suddenly I find myself with the inability to think of anything else in the world except for him, taking me into his arms and pressing those full, soft lips against my own, with a reverence and worship I’ve never fully deserved.
Oh, Magnus…I find myself stepping forward, my heart aching in my chest. Oh, my love…
He turns, raking a hand through his hair and clearing it from his face. His gaze locks onto mine, his eyes zeroing in on my own. I swallow hard and find myself giving him a small, hopeful wave and smile. But instead of smiling back—instead of his eyes lighting up as they fall upon my face—he merely raises a perfectly arched eyebrow, his beautiful lips curling into a small sneer as he gives me a critical once-over before turning away.
My heart plummets as reality comes crashing back down on me. He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t love me. All he can see is some stupid overdressed vampire wannabe stranger, just like the rest, making googly eyes at him from across the room. Ugh. What possessed me to dress like my sister tonight? I’ve only succeeded in repulsing my own boyfriend with a tacky outfit that isn’t even me.
Which is a good thing, I try to remind myself. The last thing I want is for him to be attracted to me when I’m supposed to stay far, far away.
But still, it hurts. Especially as I watch him walk over to one of the other vampires—the girl in the Bite Me tank—and whisper something in her ear. She turns and looks over in my direction, chuckling. Are they really making fun of me? My face burns in a mixture of embarrassment and fury.
What am I doing? Why am I even here? I should have stayed away—then I could have lived out the rest of my life, only remembering Magnus gazing upon me with adoration and love. Now I’ll be forced to remember his look of scorn and derision until my dying day.
I stumble toward the exit, my vision blurring with tears. I need to get out of here and fast. Before I dissolve in a pathetic puddle of lovelorn goo.
Unfortunately my escape attempt does not go as smoothly as I planned—mostly because I’m just not used to running around in boots with six-inch soles. So instead of slipping out the door and vanishing into the night, I find myself stumbling head over heels, crashing into a standing candelabra before becoming one with the marble floor.
The room, predictably, erupts in laughter. And here I thought my face couldn’t get any redder.
“Are you okay?”
I look up toward the sound of a familiar female voice. My eyes widen as I find none other than Charity herself—one of Magnus’s blood donors—looming above me, a worried look on her face. Without waiting for me to answer, she helps me up and leads me over to a nearby pew. I can feel the amused stares of all the vampires and mortals as I collapse onto the bench, but I force myself to ignore them.
“Thanks,” I say, letting out a long breath. “Sorry, just lost my footing there for a moment.”
She plops down beside me and reaches into her bag, pulling out a large chocolate chip cookie. “Eat this,” she instructs. “I find a little sugar helps when you’re all weak in the knees.”