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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
Spider thinks for a moment, then glances back to me, her eyes full of mischief. I give her a bewildered shrug, having zero clue what she’s trying to convey. Knowing her, it could be anything. Spider grins, then turns back to the zombie queen.
“I’ve got the perfect thing,” she says. Leaning in close, she whispers something into Glenda’s ear. I strain to catch what she’s saying but can’t quite get it.
But Glenda does. And she bursts out laughing. She slaps Spider on the back and rises from her seat. “Absolutely,” she says, smiling at my friend. “That can absolutely be arranged.”
At first I think Pyrus is going to grab me and bite me—transform me into his blood mate right here, right now, no waiting. But it turns out, he’s a bit more bridezilla than that, preferring Will and Kate–size nuptials rather than a down-and-dirty Vegas elopement. And all the vampire masters in town for the symposium have been invited. After all, he’s got to milk this whole fairy-vampire alliance thing he’s out to create for all it’s worth.
Not that I should worry my pretty little head over any of it, he tells me. He’ll take care of the invitations and the location, and even find me a gorgeous dress.
But that doesn’t mean I get to hang out and play the slots while waiting for my big moment. After announcing his intentions, Pyrus dismisses me almost immediately, ordering his guards to lock me in a palatial-looking prison of a penthouse right on the strip. All done up in honeymoon whites and pinks and silvers, it’s got a luxurious king-size canopy bed with five-hundred-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and gauzy, sparkling curtains. There’s a pool table in one room and a massive Jacuzzi tub in another. And the full kitchen is stocked with every food I can possibly think of and some I’ve never even heard of. Which is nice, I suppose, seeing as after the ceremony I’ll be on a blood-only diet for eternity.
Dejected, I sink down onto the velvet chaise longue, staring out onto the dazzling strip, wondering how on earth I keep ending up with guys who want to marry me against my will. At least back in Fairyland, I was under a magical spell and was oblivious to the fact that I didn’t want anything to do with my future groom. Not that the clarity I’m experiencing now will help me much in my current predicament.
Half of me wonders if I should have just kept my mouth shut—not speaking up about my nonhuman ancestry. But no, then Pyrus would have just killed me on the spot. At least this way I’ve bought myself some time. Bought myself an eternity, actually. Though what the heck I’m going to do with it, I have no idea. Will Pyrus actually treat me like a real blood mate—allowing me to voice my opinion and rule by his side? Somehow, knowing his personality, I’m kind of doubting it.
Let’s face it—I’m the trophy fairy. To be kept in an ivory tower and only trotted out during times of pomp and circumstance and political chess. Meaning I’ll be living most of my eternity alone. And I’ll probably never see any of my friends or family again. Maybe a quick death would have been preferable, now that I think about it.
The thoughts tumble around in my head, not allowing me any rest. I try to eat something—the food looks delicious—but it tastes like cardboard in my mouth. There are no clocks, so I can’t tell how much time has passed, and I wonder how long he’s going to keep me here before the big event. Not that I’m anxious or anything. I also wonder about my sister. Has she had better luck than me? If she can persuade Jareth to call off the zombies, well, at least that would be something. Even as a vampire, I’d much rather live out my eternity knowing the human race still exists and thrives as a dominant species.
Lastly, I wonder about Magnus. I can’t help it. I know that he betrayed me—turned me over to Pyrus, of all people. I know that it’s technically his fault that I’m in this whole mess to begin with. But all I can seem to focus on is the guilt I saw in his eyes as he learned that everything I told him was true. How must he feel, knowing that his disbelief led to his Master’s death, not to mention my eternal damnation?
A knock on the door interrupts my reverie and my heart pounds in my chest as I tell the caller to enter. Will it be Pyrus? Or one of his flunkies, letting me know they’re ready to begin the ceremony? Will I still be human come dawn?
A man dressed in a waiter’s uniform walks into the room, carrying a tray of fruit. My shoulders relax. It’s not Pyrus. The man closes the door behind him, sets the tray on the breakfast bar, then turns to me, pulling off his hat. I gasp as I realize it’s not a waiter at all…but Magnus himself.
I don’t know exactly how it happens, but before I know it, the two of us are tangled in one another’s arms. Magnus squeezes me tight, his hands running through my hair, his lips kissing my face. I return his kisses with my own, rejoicing at the feeling of his cool skin against my mouth. This may be the last time I ever get to feel him. I’m going to make the most of it.
“Are you okay?” he asks, pulling away from our embrace and studying me with worried eyes. “They haven’t…hurt you…have they?” He walks over to the door and locks it from the inside.
I shake my head, reaching out to clasp his hands in my own. “No,” I assure him. “I’m fine. I mean, at least physically.”
“Oh, Sunny. Oh, my love.” Magnus shakes his head, dropping my hands and staring at the floor. “Can you ever forgive me? I’ve been such a fool. I should have listened to you. I should have believed you. You are my blood mate, after all. What I did was inexcusable.” He looks up, his eyes rimmed with blood tears. “Can you ever find it in your heart to forgive me?”