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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
“Eternity is a very long time to live,” Pyrus adds. “And I don’t want to spend mine on a postapocalyptic Hell on earth.”
“I know what you’re saying,” Magnus tries to reason. “But genocide isn’t the answer here. We should be educating them. Using our vast resources to fund research programs that can find solutions to these problems. We should be helping the humans, rather than figuring out ways to destroy them. After all,” he adds, his eyes shining with his passion, “we were all humans once ourselves.”
I smile to myself, mentally cheering him on. Go, Magnus! You tell him where it’s at!
“We were humans,” Pyrus corrects. “But we’ve since evolved. And for thousands of years we’ve been helping others evolve, too. Artists, scientists, musicians, politicians—we’ve taken the cream of the human crop and turned them into vampires through our blood-mate program. Those who are left behind are useless. Except, of course, as entrées.”
Ooh, he’s such an ass. I squeeze my hands into fists, unable to fight down the anger welling up inside of me. “That’s ridiculous,” I find myself saying.
Pyrus turns to me, one eyebrow arched. “Is it?” he purrs. “But of course you would say so. Seeing as you’re defending your own kind and all.”
“Actually,” I correct, wondering if I’m making a big mistake by bringing this up, “I’m not. I’m not a human. I’m not mortal. I’m a fairy. Princess Sunshine of the Light Court, if you must know.”
Pyrus gives me a sharp look. “What?” he cries, losing his cool for a second. “But that’s impossible. Where are your wings?”
“My parents left Fairyland before I was born,” I inform him, trying my best to keep my voice from shaking. “They believed there was enough good in humankind to raise their children among them.” I shrug. “Sure, people have made mistakes. Violence, war, destroying natural resources, Keeping up with the Kardashians…” I shudder. “But they’ve also done amazing things. Cured disease, built the Internet, created awe-inspiring art and music. And through it all, they’ve done nothing to harm the vampire race.”
“Um, have you seen Twilight?”
I roll my eyes. “And sure, you can turn someone into a vampire once they’ve shown their genius. That’s easy. But what about all those future geniuses that are yet to come? What if the woman you drain dry today was destined to give birth to a girl who would someday invent a way for vampires to walk in the sunlight?”
The vampires are silent, as if each is lost in his own thoughts. To my surprise, it’s Lucifent who speaks first.
“Maybe this was a bad idea,” he starts, his young voice full of hesitation. “I only wanted to offer up the zombies to destroy Slayer Inc. I’m not sure it’s in our best interests, to be honest, to wage war with humans. In fact, some of my best friends are humans…”
I grin. Score one for the pint-size prince. Maybe we did do a service by saving him after all.
“Perhaps the best thing to do would be to bring this matter to the Consortium,” Lucifent continues. “Let’s have a real vote. See what the membership wants. After all, we are a democr—”
His words are cut off as Pyrus grabs him, rips out his throat, then throws his little body against the wall. I cringe at the sickening crack of his backbone, breaking on contact. The Blood Coven Master crumbles to the ground and remains there, still as the grave. As Magnus and I watch in horror, Pyrus casually walks up to the body, reaches down, and twists off his head.
Then he looks up at us.
“Democracy,” he says, spitting out the word as if it’s poison. “There will be no democracy. You are either for me or against me. This is a pinnacle moment in our history. And I can’t have dissenters bringing me down.” He stalks over to Magnus, his hands still dripping with blood. “What about you?” he demands. “What side are you on?”
Magnus doesn’t answer at first. He’s still staring at his sire’s lifeless body in disbelief. Then he glances over at me—for only a millisecond. But it’s enough for me to catch the regret in his eyes. He knows now he should have listened to me. Not that this knowledge does him any good.
Finally, he turns back to Pyrus, dropping to his knees in front of the Speaker. “I am, as always, your humble servant,” he says meekly. “And I trust your judgment without question. If you believe the humans are worth exterminating, then I will do everything in my power to carry out your wishes.”
I swallow hard, hating to watch him grovel. I know he’s probably just trying to bide his time, gain Pyrus’s trust while figuring out a plan to stop him. But it’s still hard to see the brave and honorable vampire bowing before the evil master.
Luckily, his words seem to work. Pyrus’s lips curl into a smile. He takes Magnus by the shoulders and pulls him to his feet, patting him on the back. “Well, then,” he says. “I guess I should be congratulating you…Master of the Blood Coven.”
Magnus’s shoulders drop in obvious relief. Though I can see he’s still shaken. I suddenly realize that we’re almost back to where we were the first time around. Lucifent’s dead. Magnus is Master. Pyrus is ready to kill me all over again…
“Thank you, m’lord,” Magnus finally manages to say. “Now if you don’t mind, I will take this fairy here”—gesturing to me—“and show her what the Blood Coven does to spies.” He grabs me roughly by the arm and starts dragging me out of the room. I pretend to struggle, going along with the game.