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  • Home > Mari Mancusi > Blood Coven Series > Blood Forever (Page 47)     
    Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi
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    “Your future self trusts me with your most painful secrets,” I say gently. “All I’m asking is that you trust me in this as well. Project Z is not what you think. Pyrus will take the zombies Lucifent offers him and wipe out Slayer Inc., yes. But he won’t stop there. He’ll raise more zombies—an army’s worth—and start a war with humanity, relegating humans to nothing more than cattle to be milked for their blood. Vampires will revert back to the monsters they once were. No longer civilized, no longer bettering the world, but destroying it instead. And there will be no one to stop them.” I give him a rueful look. “I know why you hate Slayer Inc. But we need them now. Or everything you’ve worked so hard for over the years will be destroyed.”

    Jareth paces the room like a caged tiger, raking a hand through his tousled hair. “This is impossible,” he mutters under his breath. “It’s got to be a trick somehow.”

    My shoulders slump. Defeated. He’s so stubborn—just like me. And unless I can get him to believe me about the time-travel part, he’ll never believe me about the rest. But how can I prove it to him? How can I show him all I’ve seen? Back when we were blood mates, we had a connection. I could call on him, push messages into his brain. But now…

    That’s it. My mind races with the idea. Could it actually work?

    I have to try. We’re almost out of time.

    “I can prove it!” I blurt out before I can lose my nerve. “I can prove everything I’ve been saying.”

    He spins on his heel, looking down at me, the tiniest shred of hope written on his face. He wants to believe, I realize. Badly. “And how can you do that?” he asks in a voice filled with hesitation.

    I hold out my wrist. “Bite me.”

    “What?”

    “You want to know the truth? Then take it from me. See what I’ve seen. Hear what I’ve heard. Only then will you be convinced that I’m telling you the truth.”

    Jareth shakes his head. “No,” he says. “It’s against the rules. It’s against everything I’ve vowed to uphold.”

    “I can show you your sister,” I say quietly.

    His eyes narrow. “How could you possibly—?”

    “Wouldn’t you prefer to see for yourself?”

    He squeezes his eyes shut, then opens them again. “If you’re lying…”

    “If I’m lying, you can drain me dry. Kill me here and now and be done with me forever. How about that?”

    He sighs.

    “Come on, Jareth. Will you really be able to live your life, knowing you had a chance to see your sister one last time, but you walked away?”

    “No,” he says resignedly. “I suppose not.”

    And so, he takes my wrist in trembling hands and brings it slowly to his mouth. As I hold my breath in anticipation, I feel his fangs slide into my veins. I wait for the ecstasy I know should be coming. The feeling of connection between two people sharing one blood. But instead of the joy, all I feel is a chilling fear and overwhelming suspicion.

    He doesn’t believe. He’s closed his mind. And I’m going to have to work as hard as hell to make sure he sees what he needs to see before he pulls away.

    And so I close my eyes and push, with all my mental might, bringing him back to the morning in Hades when we walked up to his family’s castle. When his sister came bursting from the front door, throwing her arms around him with wild abandon. When she told him the truth about what really happened to her. How her death was not his fault after all.

    “Jareth, I can bend people’s wills,” she explains. “It’s something I’ve been able to do ever since I first turned into a vampire.” She shrugs sheepishly. “That night, well, I knew you’d go in there, fangs blazing, trying to take them all out yourself—even if it meant your own death. So I placed a hold on you. I suggested you stay in one place. I mean, you had all those other vampires in the Blood Coven to worry about. I couldn’t rightly let you sacrifice yourself for me.”

    Jareth stares at her, shaking his head in disbelief. “So I didn’t leave you?”

    “Not of your own free will, anyway. There was no way on earth you could have resisted the power of my suggestion,” she assures him. She reaches out for her brother’s hands again, finding his eyes with her own cool blue ones. “Jareth, you didn’t cause my death. I saved your life.”

    Jareth smiles against my wrist, and I can feel bloody tears splash on my skin. My own eyes water as I realize how much this means to him. How close I feel to him now, linked as one, sharing his overwhelming relief and joy to finally know the truth. I’d love to let him stay here in this memory forever. To give him time with his sister and family, soaking in all the love he’s missed all these years. But we have to move on. We have darker places to go before this is all said and done.

    And so I show him the rest. Pyrus. What he’s capable of. How he plans to turn their democracy into a dictatorship. What he really plans to do with Project Z.

    But we have the power to stop him, I remind Jareth. Stop him now before any of this comes to pass.

    And then, at last, I show him us. I know it’s probably not the most on-target stuff I should be focusing on. But how can I waste my one opportunity to share with him the memories I have of our love? I free my mind and let the images flow, letting him experience all we’ve shared together. I end with that night in Hades, when I was forced to leave him. And the promise I made to find him here and make him love me all over again.

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