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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
I do, however, get Magnus’s chest as a pillow, which, let’s face it, is better than cookies and OJ any day of the week. I guess he feels bad about my suffering for his sake because after the transfusion, he cares for my wound as best he can in these unsanitary conditions, ripping off a swatch of fabric from his pants and wrapping it around my wrist. Then he pulls me close to him, cuddling me in his nook, arms wrapped around my body, hands softly stroking my back. As I curl up against him, breathing in his warm, familiar scent, I feel a strange sense of peace wash over me. Sure, we’re in a bad situation. We may even be in danger of our lives. But here and now, with Magnus gently running a hand through my hair, his fingernails lightly scraping my scalp, I have to admit, I haven’t felt this good—this at ease—for a very long time.
I’m not sure of the moment I fall asleep. Or how long I’m out once I do. But at some point I’m awakened by a loud clattering noise outside the cell. I jerk up in bed, peering out into the dimly lit jail. Magnus rouses beside me, looking a little sleepy himself.
“Who’s there?” he demands.
“Magnus? Is that you?” a male voice calls out through the darkness.
Magnus is on his feet in a flash. “Jareth?”
Sure enough, a moment later, my sister and Jareth step into view. Seeing us, Rayne turns to her vampire companion, a smug smile on her face. “See? I told you they’d be down here!”
“I never said they wouldn’t be,” Jareth grumps back. “So save the ‘I told you so’s’ for someone who cares.”
Ah, yes. Rayne and Jareth and their infamous bickering. Some things even time travel can’t change.
“Sis!” I cry, leaping off the bed with a burst of energy I didn’t know I had. “Thank God you’ve come!” I do my best to hug her through the bars.
“Yeah, well, if you had invited me to begin with…”
Oh, here we go. “If I had invited you to begin with, you would be stuck in here with us and thus not available to help us stage our rescue.”
She grins. “Touché, sis.” As we part from our hug, I catch her gazing at my bandaged wrist with a questioning look on her face. Feeling my face heat, I quickly yank down my sleeve. I don’t want her to get the wrong impression.
“Magnus, what were you thinking?” Jareth demands, crossing his arms over his chest. “Coming here alone—without backup. You could have been killed.”
“I could have been,” Magnus agrees. “But I wasn’t. Thanks to my blood mate here.” He gives me an affectionate look. “She not only rescued me from a slayer but allowed me to drink her blood to heal my wounds.”
Rayne fist-bumps me through the bars. “Score yet another one for us mere mortals!” she crows at Jareth. The vampire general only sighs.
“You do realize that sharing blood with an unlicensed mortal is strictly forbidden,” he reminds Magnus.
“It was a matter of life or death,” Magnus replies quickly, throwing me a knowing look. “Now are you here to report me or rescue me?”
“Don’t be daft. Of course I’m here to rescue you,” Jareth retorts, heading over to a nearby desk and rummaging through the drawers, presumably looking for a key. Rayne joins him on the hunt. “I’m just surprised,” he continues. “First you run off here on a crazy whim. Then you manage to get yourself captured. And, if that’s not bad enough, you decide to drink blood from a practical stranger. I have to say, it’s not like you to take such risks.”
“Well, we can discuss my risky behavior another time,” Magnus declares. “Right now we must get out of here and get to the Blood Coven crypt as fast as possible. Slayer Inc. plans to slay Lucifent tonight. And we must figure out a way to stop them.”
Jareth stops his search to look over at Magnus in surprise. “Tonight?” he repeats. “Earlier you said a month from now.”
Magnus looks sheepish. “Right. Well, I’m afraid our little…intrusion…may have forced their hand. Sped things up a little.”
“Oh, Sis,” Rayne tsks disapprovingly.
“Don’t blame us,” I declare. “It’s Mr. High and Mighty Vampire General who demanded proof. If we just could have met with Lucifent to begin with…”
Rayne holds up a key that she’s found hanging in a dark nook. “Ta-da!” she cries. “Score another for—”
Jareth yanks the key from her grasp. “Mere mortals, yes, yes, we get it. God, you’re like a pit bull with a bone.” He slips the key in the lock and turns. The door creaks open. Magnus and I are free.
“Come on,” Magnus says, grabbing me by the arm and hurrying me along. “Let’s go save Lucifent.”
At first I assume Magnus and Jareth plan to take Rayne and me with them as they attempt to stop their Master’s murder back at the coven crypt. But it seems they have somehow convinced themselves that we’re of no use to them in this fight and they’re better off going at it alone. Which is ridiculous, seeing as I saved Magnus’s life not hours before and Rayne totally helped Jareth break into Slayer Inc. Manor. But, sadly, they don’t seem to recognize our obvious advantages as they take off in their luxury automobiles and leave Rayne and me on the side of the road with our rusty Volkswagen Bug.
But maybe it’s for the best. After all, I’ve got a lot to debrief my sister on. Once we get into the vehicle and close the doors, I turn to her. “We have a problem.”