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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
But my feelings of pity are short-lived as a female zombie dressed in ragged Armani charges down the aisle at me. Thinking fast, I grab an overhead compartment and flip it open.
“Objects may have shifted during flight, bitch!” I cry as a heavy suitcase flies from the compartment and smacks her on the head. She falls into the row of seats to her left, colliding into another zombie. Two for one, baby. I’m on fire.
“Rayne, behind you!” Spider shouts. I whirl around to find the now one-armed door zombie stumbling down the aisle toward me, single arm outstretched and a pissed-off look on his face. I grab a seat cushion and use it as a shield as I charge in his direction, succeeding in knocking him backward into the galley kitchenette. A pot of hot coffee comes crashing down, scalding his remaining arm. He bellows in rage.
I kick him in the gut for good measure, then rejoin Spider, who’s fighting her way to the front of the plane. I watch, admiringly, as she takes out zombie after zombie, knocking each back into their rows, with only a tray table. Maybe Slayer Inc. wasn’t wrong to choose her after all.
I try to follow, but it’s like a game of Whac-A-Mole. She knocks them down, they get up behind her. Realizing she’s now in the best position to reach the queen, I decide for the first time in my life to play sidekick instead of hero.
“Hey, uglies! Over here!” I cry, waving my arms. “Fresh brain. No waiting!”
The zombies turn in my direction and abandon Spider to start stumbling toward me instead. I back up slowly, keeping their attention. From the front of the plane I can see that Spider has reached Glenda.
“Call your creatures off,” she demands, sounding fiercer than I’ve ever heard her sound before. “Or I won’t be held responsible for what I’m about to do.”
To my surprise, Glenda bursts into a fresh set of tears. “Do your worst,” she sobs. “It doesn’t matter anymore. My Jareth has betrayed me. What else is there to live for?”
Even from back here, I can see my friend soften. She had a bad break up with her boyfriend after he cheated on her with some chick he met during a WoW raid and is extra sensitive to the notion of guys doing their women wrong.
But we don’t have time for female bonding now. The first zombie has reached me, pawing at me with filthy, clawlike hands. Behind me, One Arm has recovered and is also on the move. And I’m trapped between them. I wait for the last second, and then, as they both lunge together, I dive sideways into an empty row, forcing them to bang into one another instead, knocking heads and falling down. I’m saved for the short term but also trapped as two more zombies approach.
“Guys can be total jerks,” I can hear Spider assuring our arch enemy over the din. “But you have so much going for you! I mean, you’re a zombie queen—how cool is that? That alone should be worth living for.”
My eyes fall upon the discarded brain on the seat in front of me. I realize, dimly, that I’m in my row. The one with my bag under the seat. I know Jareth said we shouldn’t be using firearms on the plane, but at this point I’m thinking we might want to risk it. I drop to my knees, shuffling under the seat in front of me for my gun. Above me, three zombies loom, ready to pounce.
“I know,” Glenda says mournfully. “It’s just that I’ve been so lonely…”
Got it! I rip the weapon from my bag and dive between one zombie’s legs, trying not to be grossed out by the slime. By the time he realizes where I’ve gone, I’m halfway down the aisle again.
“Spider!” I cry, waving the gun. “Stand back!” I stop in my tracks to aim. I can hear the zombies shuffling behind me. I don’t have much time to make this shot.
“Wait!” Spider cries. To my surprise she leaps in front of Glenda.
“What are you doing?” I scream.
My friend’s face takes on a determined look. One I’ve seen way too many times before. When she’s on a rampage, fighting for some kind of cause. “She doesn’t deserve to die!” she tells me in a clear, strong voice. “The poor woman’s been played. Just like everyone else.”
A zombie grabs my ponytail, yanking me backward. I can feel its hot, stinky breath on my neck. Oh God.
“Spider!” I beg. The zombie opens his mouth, dragging me closer to get a good bite.
My friend turns to Glenda, giving her a beseeching look. The zombie queen sighs loudly.
“Fine, fine,” she says. “But for the record, this is for you, not her.” She raises her hands and claps twice, chanting something in a language I don’t recognize. The zombie freezes, midchomp, then falls lifelessly to my feet. All around him the other zombies do the same. As if they’ve been deflated. I let out a breath of relief and collapse myself, onto a nearby seat.
“That was way too close,” I mutter. I lean into the aisle to catch Glenda staring at Spider with a look of amazement on her (still tacky, I’m sorry!) face. “You saved my life,” she whispers. “No one has ever done that for me before.”
Spider puts an arm around the zombie queen and leads her to a nearby seat. “We girls got to stick together,” she assures her. “Not let the bastards get us down.”
Glenda smiles at her. “You are a good person,” she says. “I would love to repay you for your kindness.”
“Nah, you don’t have to,” Spider says modestly. “It’s, like, my destiny and stuff.”
“No. Your destiny would have had you kill me,” Glenda reminds her. “But you showed compassion. That’s a rare thing.” She purses her lips. “And so I will grant you one wish. Whatever is in my power to give, you shall have it. No matter what it may be.”