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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
Yeah, I know what I’m doing all right. Risking the future of the world, as well as my own life, in order to avoid disappointing a single vampire. A single vampire, I might add, who would not exactly appreciate the gesture, if he knew what I was doing. Magnus has always been perfectly clear about the idea that his own happiness comes second to that of the Blood Coven vampires under his care. I remember him freaking out at Jareth under the streets of New York City, moments before my death, because Jareth chose to try to save him—out of love and friendship—and inadvertently endangered his people.
But they’re not his people now, I realize. At this point in time, the former Blood Coven Master, Lucifent, is still alive. And Magnus is simply another member of the coven, with no responsibility to anyone but himself. I sigh. If only he could stay that way. If only Slayer Inc. didn’t have to go and slay Lucifent and force Magnus to take over in his stead.
Oh my God, that’s it! My mind races with the possibility. If we could prevent Lucifent’s murder somehow, then Magnus wouldn’t become Master. And if Magnus doesn’t become Master, he won’t run the risk of pissing off Pyrus. And if he doesn’t piss off Pyrus, then the Blood Coven won’t be kicked out of the Consortium. Magnus won’t be tried for treason and Bertha will have no reason to kill me.
Everyone will live happily ever after. And Magnus will be free to be my boyfriend forever.
My heart pounds with excitement as a plan forms in my mind. Could something like this really work? I mean, I know we’re talking about dangerous history-changing stuff here, which, let’s face it, didn’t work out all that well in any of the Back to the Future movies. But in this case, the future is going to change regardless, right? So what would be the big deal about tweaking it a little bit more to ensure the absolute best outcome?
What if Lucifent didn’t have to die? I mean, the reason for his death was pretty ridiculous to begin with. Who goes and murders someone just because he’s trapped in a body of a child? Slayer Inc. says child vampires are an abomination. But Magnus always told me Lucifent was a good leader and didn’t deserve what came his way. If we could stop his death, we could make everything right!
My excited thoughts are interrupted as a tall, thin vampire, dressed in a Fangtasia T-shirt, walks up the pulpit and bangs his gavel. A hush falls over the crowd as humans and vampires look up expectantly. “It is time,” he announces in a gravelly voice. He reaches for a remote control and holds it up to a projector screen. The words Biting 101 appear, soundtracked by some pretty cheesy elevator music.
“There’s an instructional video?” I ask incredulously, forgetting my plan for a moment. “Really? I mean, can’t you just point and chomp?” After all, it looks pretty easy in the movies…
Magnus chuckles. “Sure. But point and chomp on the wrong vein and your blood mate won’t live long enough to earn her fangs.”
Yikes. “Well, I guess we should practice then,” I say resignedly. “Lots and lots of practice.” Great. As if having his lips touch my neck once isn’t already one time too many.
The video cuts to a blond vampire, dressed in black and sitting in a cushy armchair. My eyes widen as I realize who it is. None other than Pyrus himself. The Consortium House Speaker. The man who, in the future, will issue our death warrants. A shiver trips down my spine and it’s all I can do not to drop down and try to hide under a pew. I have to remind myself that one, this is a prerecorded video and he’s actually not in the room, and two, even if he were, he doesn’t have a crystal ball to see into the future. To him, I’m simply another Twilight-loving vamp wannabe, of no significance to his unlife whatsoever.
But still. Super-creepy to see him on the big screen. Especially since no one in the room besides me knows what he’s capable of. Or will be capable of, that is. “Good evening, vampires,” he says in a deep, throaty voice. “And congratulations on reaching the one-thousand-year mark.”
The room erupts in applause as mortals clap for their future blood mates. Wow, I’d totally forgotten about that part. A vampire literally has to live a thousand years before they let him or her have a partner in crime. Which is a long time not to date, if you ask me.
“It’s quite an accomplishment,” Pyrus continues. “And we’re looking forward to spending the next thousand years with you and your blood mates in our service.” I scowl. Yeah, servicing Pyrus and his dictatorship. If only these people knew what they were really signing up for when they cast their lot with this jerk.
“And welcome to our new recruits as well,” Pyrus purrs, his eyes seeming to rove the audience. “You are the best of the best. Hand chosen by our experts for your superior DNA and high-level IQ. I am certain each and every one of you will make fine additions to your new covens, and become loyal servants to the Worldwide Vampire Consortium for all eternity.”
A spattering of applause ripples through the crowd. Eager mortals who have no idea what they’re actually clapping for cheer for the man on the screen. As I sit there, listening to Pyrus drone on about responsibility and dedication, a feeling of dread and realization starts creeping into my bones.
Right now I’m the only one on earth who knows what this vampire is capable of. What will happen if his reign is allowed to continue unchecked. Well, my sister and I, that is. We’re the only ones who know how much damage he can cause if allowed to stay in power.
So even putting aside the whole selfish I-want-Magnus-as-my-boyfriend-again thing, how can we rightly sit back and go on living normal lives, forgetting vampires exist, when Pyrus is still in charge? Sure, if we stay out of it, he won’t be coming after us. Or maybe not even the Blood Coven. But judging from his track record, he’s bound to hurt someone else instead.