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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
He grimaces. “I’m fine. I’m a vampire. I’ll heal.”
“The knife that cut you was silver plated. The cut won’t heal fast enough and you’re losing too much blood. You need a transfusion or something.”
“Good idea,” he says sarcastically. “Why don’t you text my blood donors? Tell them to swing by the dungeon for a quick bite.” He winces in pain.
I let out a slow breath, sinking down beside him on the bed. I can’t bear to see him in such agony. Not to mention, even if he does manage to survive, there is no way we can stage any prison break with him so weakened.
I rise to my feet, walking over to the cell door, grabbing the bars in my hands. Peering left and right, I search for a guard or someone else in charge. But the place is deserted.
“Hello?” I cry. “Anyone there? We need some blood down here. Now!”
My demands echo through the hallways but there’s no answer.
“Hello,” I try again, not ready to give up. “Anyone? Please?”
Magnus waves a weak hand in my direction, beckoning me away from the bars. “It’s no use,” he says. “Even if there were someone there to help, it’s not like they would. I’m better off to them when I’m weak and vulnerable.”
“Right.” I plop back down onto the bed, dropping my head into my hands, feeling helpless and weak. I stare at our cell phones, sitting on a nearby table, outside the cell—so close and yet so far away. If only I had been gifted with those mental telepathy powers that twins always seem to have in the movies. Then I could summon my sister and let her know the mess we’re in.
“Why did you stay?” Magnus asks suddenly.
I lift my head, turning to the vampire in surprise. “What?”
“You could have left. When I had Bertha pinned. And again when Teifert told you to walk out the door. Why didn’t you?”
Why didn’t I indeed? Maybe I could have gone and gotten help. But still…
“What was I supposed to do? Just abandon you here with a slayer who wanted you dead?”
“Well, yes,” Magnus says simply. “Actually that was exactly what you were supposed to do.”
“Well, I couldn’t,” I reply, trying to keep my voice emotionless. “Like I said, you’re my intended blood mate. I couldn’t simply walk away and…” I trail off as a lump forms in my throat and tears threaten my eyes. He has no idea what I would have gone through to save him. Heck, I would have gladly given up my own life to let him live. But to him, I’m practically a stranger who owes him nothing. In his mind, there’s no real reason I should have stayed behind.
I feel a hand on my shoulder. Magnus has managed to rise to a sitting position and is peering at me with large, beautiful eyes. “You willingly risked your life to save me,” he whispers. “No one has ever done that for me before.” His voice is full of wonder, and it breaks my heart to hear the loneliness creep in at the edges.
“Yeah, well, get used to it,” I mutter, trying and failing to sound gruff. “After all, you’re stuck with me for a very long time.”
He smiles shyly. “I like the sound of that,” he says. Then he frowns. “Of course, first I have to live through the night.” He collapses back onto the bed, pressing the blood-soaked shirt against his wound. I watch him, everything inside me aching to see him in such pain. If only there were a way I could—
I swallow hard, suddenly realizing exactly what I need to do.
“I’ve got an idea,” I tell him, pulling up my sleeve and holding my wrist out to him. I’m not sure exactly how this is done, but I remember this is what Sookie did during an episode of True Blood. “Here.”
He cocks his head in question. “Here what? Your hand is empty.”
“Actually it’s full of delicious, nutritious O negative.”
I wait for his eyes to light up as he realizes what I’m saying. Instead all I get is a frown. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Of course it is,” I insist. “In fact, it’s a very good idea. The best idea possible at this point in time. And probably the only one. I mean, let’s be practical here. You’re injured. You need blood to heal. I’ve got plenty to spare.”
“But we’re not supposed to take blood from our blood mates until the official biting ceremony,” he protests. “It’s against the rules.”
Oh, Magnus and his sense of propriety. It’d be cute if it weren’t so life-threatening in this case. “Well, look at it this way,” I say. “There won’t be a biting ceremony if you don’t last the night. So I think maybe a special dispensation is in order.” I drag a fingernail down my wrist, trying not to wince as I draw a drop of blood. I can see the hunger on Magnus’s face as the red liquid drips down onto the stained cot. “Come on,” I urge. “Sweet, syrupy blood. You know you want it. What could go wrong?”
“I could lose control and drain you dry,” Magnus points out.
Touché. “Well,” I say, pushing all doubts from my head. “I trust you. You’re going to be my blood mate, after all. Just take what you need and leave me a little for the ride home and we’ll be all set.”
He chuckles softly. “All right,” he says. “If you’re sure…”
I watch as, hands trembling, he carefully draws my wrist to his mouth, soft lips brushing against my delicate flesh and causing an involuntary shiver. I swallow hard, bracing myself for the next part. The part that isn’t so soft and sweet.