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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
“Um, maybe the power to help him launch Project Z?” Seriously, my sister’s one-track mind makes her a bit slow at connecting the dots sometimes.
Rayne looks up in surprise. “Oh my God,” she breathes. “That explains everything. She’s not his true love at all! He’s merely using her to help implement his secret plan! Of course! That’s why he never mentioned her when we started dating. She was never really his girlfriend to begin with!”
“Well, we don’t know that for sure…”
“But don’t you see? It makes perfect sense!” Rayne cries, ignoring me, of course. “It explains why he’s been acting all goofy and not like himself. It’s just an act.” She leaps from the bed. “I knew the real Jareth would never play the ‘no, you hang up!’ game.” She turns to me, her face shining with excitement. “This is great. Now all we have to do is stop Project Z and Jareth will be all mine.”
I shake my head. My sister and her priorities…
“Again, easier said than done,” I remind her. “Seeing as we still don’t have a clue as to what this Project Z thingie even is.”
“Right.” Rayne stops bouncing. Then her eyes widen. “Hey, you don’t think it could be—”
A knock sounds on the door, causing her to snap her mouth shut. We definitely don’t need Mom overhearing us talk about the otherworld. Let’s just say, as a fairy princess, she’s not exactly a big fan of the undead.
“Sunny, there’s a boy here to see you,” Mom calls through the door.
My heart skips a beat. I glance over at my sister, eyebrows raised. “Do you think it’s…?”
She shrugs. “Well, I don’t think it’s Jake Wilder…”
Mom knocks a second time. “I think he said his name was Magnus or something?”
“Thanks, Mom.” I swallow hard. “What should I do?” I hiss at Rayne.
Everything inside me tells me to leap off the bed, burst through the door, race downstairs, and throw myself into his arms. But at what price? Could I end up making things even worse?
“Duh. You should go talk to him,” Rayne whispers back. “Maybe you can even get him to tell you what Project Z is. Not to mention get some dirt on this so-called queen.”
“Ooh, yeah,” I agree, a thrill twisting up my spine at the prospect. “Good idea!” I turn to the door. “I’ll be right down, Mom!”
I rush over to the mirror to run a comb through my hair, regretting my choice to not reapply my makeup after gym class this afternoon. At least I changed out of my sweats. Though my ripped jeans and laundry day T-shirt aren’t much of a step up, to be honest.
“You look beautiful!” Rayne interrupts, obviously needing a change in her contact lens prescription. “Now go hook up with your boyfriend and try to save the world!”
I don’t need a second invitation. I burst out the door, taking the steps two at a time until I reach the front foyer where Magnus is standing with my mom. He’s wearing all black, as per usual, with a bright red rose stuck in his lapel. God, he looks so yummy. It’s all I can do not to lick him all over.
“Hey,” I say, trying to sound as casual as possible. “I didn’t know you’d be stopping by.”
“I hope it’s not a problem,” Magnus says gallantly, giving me a small bow. Mom raises an eyebrow.
“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend, Sunny?” she asks.
I force myself not to make a face. “Um, Mom, this is Magnus. Magnus, Mom.” I pray the vampire keeps his fangs concealed until I can get him out the door. And that she doesn’t ask too many questions about what classes he’s taking this year. Unlike the vampires in Twilight, Magnus and the gang learned their algebra and biology the first time around and don’t feel the need to repeat the whole high school experience every year for eternity.
Magnus turns to my mother and takes her hand in his, bringing it to his lips for a kiss. “And here I thought you were her sister,” he says with a small smile.
Mom turns bright red. “Flattery will get you nowhere, young man,” she scolds playfully. “Just have her home before her eleven p.m. It’s a school night, you know.”
I cringe. I can’t believe my mother just lectured a thousand-year-old vampire about my curfew.
“Come on,” I say, grabbing Magnus’s hand, dragging him out the door and then slamming it in my mother’s way-too-curious face. “Parents,” I say, by way of explanation, shaking my head. “Can’t live with them. Can’t shoot them.”
“I wish I could live with mine,” Magnus replies wistfully, much to my surprise. “But they’ve been dead a thousand years.” He looks a little sad as he opens the BMW door for me. Poor guy. I never thought about him having parents before. He must miss them terribly. Yet another reason I don’t understand why people want to become vampires. I can’t imagine having all my friends and family start dropping dead while I live on for a lonely ever after. No wonder the guy’s so desperate for a blood mate.
I sink down into the soft leather passenger seat as Magnus climbs into the driver’s side. He turns up the satellite radio and soft jazz floats from the expensive speakers as we pull away from the curb and start down the road. I’m dying to know where we’re going, but at the same time I kind of like the idea of it being a surprise.