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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
Yes, I realize as I trace his silhouette with eager eyes. Without a shadow of a doubt.
He looks even more beautiful than I remembered him. So elegant, dressed in black leather pants, black boots, and billowing white shirt. His cheekbones are like cut glass and in the dim club lights his beautiful emerald eyes seem to glow in the dark. I stare in awe and delight, taking in his smooth, fluid movements on the dance floor, as graceful as the most graceful of cats. If he were a contestant on Dancing with the Vamps, he’d be a first-place winner for sure.
As I watch, it’s all I can do to hang back. To stop myself from running up to him and accosting him with wild abandon, wrapping my arms around him and squeezing him tight as tears roll down my cheeks. But I check myself instead. If I want this to work—if I really want a second chance—I have to play it cool. To him, we’ll be strangers, meeting for the first time. If I go all Stage Five Clinger on him right away, he’ll go screaming off into the night and I’ll lose my chance forever. Sure, it may take some time for him to warm up to me again, but I know if I do this right, it’ll happen. After all, we’re destined to be together. To become blood mates for all eternity. If I screw that up, well, I’m not sure how I’d be able to live with myself—by myself—forever.
My feet feel like lead as I force them to take steps onto the dance floor, dodging other dancers until I somehow manage to reach the center of the room. I’m two feet from him now and suddenly frozen into place. What do I say? What’s my opening line? My tongue ties into knots and my brain refuses to work and I realize I should have come up with a better plan before I made my move. Or, you know, any plan at all.
I start to step backward, to retreat, but at that moment the DJ mixes into a rousing VNV Nation tune. The crowd roars in approval and an albino girl beside me, dressed from head to toe in Victorian steampunk, leaps in excitement, inadvertently shoving me straight into Jareth himself.
Well, that’s one way to make an entrance. In fact, maybe this is just the opening I need. I’ll fall into his strong arms, he’ll reach out to catch me. He won’t be able to help but feel the electric spark from our touch. And as he helps me gently back to my feet, he’ll wonder why he has the strangest feeling that he knows me from somewhere. Somewhere deep in the recesses of time. Shocked, he’ll grip me tighter, searching deep into my eyes, and he’ll say—
“Do you mind removing your clodhopping boot from my foot?”
O-kay then. Not exactly the romantic speech I had in mind. Face flaming, I try to regain my balance without the help, I might add, of those aforementioned, strong, electricity-sparking arms. So much for chivalry. Or recognition. In fact, the only look he’s giving me right now is one that suggests he’s thinking about knocking me down all over again.
“Sorry about that,” I say quickly, finding my center and brushing myself off. I look up at him, offering him my most charming smile. “It’s crowded in here tonight, don’t you think?”
“Not really,” he says stiffly, before starting to turn away.
On instinct I grab his arm, not wanting to lose him now, now that I’ve got my opening, however small. He turns slowly back to me, giving my hand a deliberate look. I sheepishly let go of his shirt. This is not going well, is it?
“Um, do you come here often?” I blurt out, the only thing that comes to my mind at short notice. Which just happens to be about the most unoriginal cliché thing that could come to mind in a circumstance like this. I’m so giving up my improv card.
He raises an eyebrow. “What does it matter to you if I do or I do not?”
Ugh. My smile falters at his rude reply. I guess I’d conveniently forgotten Jareth wasn’t exactly Mr. Sunshine before he fell in love with me and learned it was okay to open up and share his feelings. In fact, now that I remember it, he could be a real jerk. And there was a time when I hated him more than anyone on earth, including that annoying girl from the T-Mobile commercials.
Of course nowadays I understand why he acted so emo. I mean, you try being all Pollyanna after losing your entire family to a Slayer Inc. attack. No wonder he refused a blood mate for so many years—not wanting to risk the pain of losing someone he loved all over again. He even refused blood donors, preferring to get his blood by mail order rather than risk becoming too close to another living soul who could someday die.
And so, until he met me, he chose to walk the world alone. A solitary, noble figure, rising above the petty trappings of relationships and—
My eyes widen as the most tacky Goth girl I’ve ever seen in the history of sight pushes me out of the way and throws her arms around Jareth, planting a sloppy black-lipsticked kiss on his lips. Whoa. Holy fangirl alert. I wait eagerly for Jareth to push her away. To tell her to get the hell out of his sight and then—
—kiss her back?!
“Hey, sweetie, I was wondering what happened to you,” my boyfriend purrs to Miss Elvira, wrapping his arms around her and squeezing her tight. As he kisses the top of her head, it’s all I can do to keep myself from screaming.
Okay, I admit it. I can’t keep myself from screaming. In fact, I start screaming my head off, if you want to know the truth. But still! What would you do if you saw something like that? Your boyfriend, who always swore he hadn’t been with anyone but you for a thousand years, hooking up with some random chick who is, I might add, completely not his type whatsoever?