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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
Teifert turns to me. “While we don’t exactly endorse the idea of children being turned into creatures of the night, we certainly wouldn’t advocate their murder—not to mention disruption of an entire vampire coven’s governing body—for that simple reason alone. This is the twenty-first century, after all.”
“And if we did for some ridiculous reason, wouldn’t we have seen fit to have done the deed years ago?” Teifert continues to reason, pacing the room from one side to the other. “It’s not as if he hasn’t been a child vampire for several millennia, you know.”
Ugh. Good point. Why didn’t Rayne and I think of that?
Teifert’s gaze settles on me. “And you,” he says. “What are you even doing here? This is not your battle to fight. You should leave now.” He gestures to the door. “Leave and forget all you’ve seen here tonight. We’ll talk in the morning at school.”
I bite my lower lip. His offer is more than a bit tempting. Walk out the door and have it all forgiven. Forget everything that we tried to do, which maybe, judging from what Teifert is hinting at, may not have been a good idea to begin with.
But then I catch Magnus’s desperate look out of the corner of my eye. It’s my fault he’s in this mess. If I leave now, I’m basically abandoning him. Betraying him in his hour of need. If I walk out the door, it’ll be over between us forever. I’ll never gain his trust. I’ll never gain his love.
So instead, I cross my arms over my chest. “I’m Magnus’s intended blood mate,” I inform Teifert staunchly, praying I’m not making a huge mistake. “His battles are my battles. And I won’t abandon him to Slayer Inc.”
Teifert sighs again, running a hand through his hair, as if weary of the world. “Wonderful,” he mutters, walking over to the desk and tossing the folder back inside. “This is just what I needed to cap off my already terrific day.”
“Can I kill them now?” Bertha asks eagerly.
“No,” Teifert says. He surveys the two of us with solemn eyes. “Despite what these two seem to believe, we’re not monsters here at Slayer Inc. and we don’t go around murdering vampires and humans for no just cause.”
Bertha scowls. Evidently she doesn’t agree with the current administration’s policies on senseless monster murder.
“So, um, then can we go then?” I ask, daring to hope for a split second. Will he let us just walk out of here? Can I get Magnus to his donors before it’s too late?
But Teifert dashes that idea with a quick shake of his head. “I’m sorry. You know too much,” he says, addressing Magnus more than me. “Making you a danger to your people.” He sheathes the dagger and slips it into his pocket. “Until we finish this order of business I’m afraid we can’t let you free.”
I’m sure there are very few dungeons, if any, in this world that could be mistaken for five-star hotels. But, I have to say, the Slayer Inc. dungeon is particularly nasty. First of all, it probably hasn’t been cleaned since the Reagan era. And the walls and floors are covered in bloodstains. But the worst part? Since vampires don’t have the same kind of bodily functions as humans, there’s not a toilet to be found. And I’m starting to deeply regret that Big Gulp I drank on the way to Club Fang.
Magnus collapses onto the lumpy, stained cot at the back of the cell, groaning softly to himself. He’s ripped off his shirt and pressed the cloth to the wound, which still isn’t healing as fast as it should be. He’s lost a ton of blood already and I’m starting to get more than a little concerned as a crimson stain starts seeping into the cloth.
“What was I thinking?” he laments, staring up at the ceiling. “Coming here was a fool’s mission. And now I’m stuck here, helpless, while Slayer Inc. goes to kill my Master.”
“Why do they want to kill Lucifent?” I ask. “Do you know?”
“Because they’re an evil organization with a lust for power?”
I wrinkle my nose. “But they aren’t. They’re peacekeepers, for the most part. At least the U.S. chapter. If they say Lucifent is a danger to the coven, they must have a reason.” I pace the cell back and forth. “Do you know what he could be involved in?”
“Lucifent doesn’t share his plans with me,” Magnus says with a shrug. “If anyone would know, it’d probably be Jareth, him being general of the army and all. If only we could contact him. At least to let him know he should beef up his security team and protect the Master.”
“Yeah, well, if he had believed me in the first place, this wouldn’t be an issue,” I say absently, though half of me now wonders if Jareth’s disbelief might not have been a good thing after all. What if Teifert was telling the truth—that there really was another reason Lucifent needed to be slain, besides the fact that he was a child vampire? Here we are, trying to change history for the better; what if we almost made things much, much worse?
I shake my head, telling myself it doesn’t matter in the end. We’re stuck in jail. Bertha and Teifert have gone on to expedite the Master’s murder. So things will end up working out exactly how they did the first time around, give or take a few weeks. Maybe it’s for the best we were caught after all.
Except for Magnus’s wound. His shirt is now drenched in blood.
“That doesn’t look good,” I say worriedly. “We need to do something about that.”