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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
I reach out to brush a smudge of blood from his cheek, gazing at him tenderly. “There’s nothing to forgive,” I whisper. “I’m just glad to see you, even if it’s for the last time.”
He pulls me close again, his breath tickling my ear as his fingers stroke my back. I allow myself to relax in his arms, living in the moment, my heart bursting with the idea that I no longer have to hide behind the lies. He knows the truth. He knows the real me. And he still loves me. Unconditionally. I try to memorize the memories we’re making now—each touch, each caress. They’ll be all I have to keep me warm during countless cold nights to come.
And then he kisses me. Fully and deeply and with a desperation that tells me volumes.
The kiss lasts forever…and yet ends too soon. Magnus pulls away, concern etched in his deep-blue eyes. “We have to talk,” he says. And I know he’s right.
He leads me over to the chaise longue and gestures for me to sit down beside him. “I’ve tried to get in touch with Jareth—to let him know that Lucifent is dead and Pyrus is not to be trusted. But I’ve gotten no answer.”
I frown. “I hope nothing’s happened to him and my sister. She and another slayer went to try to reason with him, just as I tried to do with you.”
Magnus cringes at my words. “I hope Jareth is more open-minded than I was,” he laments. “If only I had believed you, I could have prevented all of this.”
“Yeah, well, I should have taken you up on the blood-mate thing from the beginning,” I reply. “If I were already yours…and already a vampire…then Pyrus couldn’t…”
I trail off, my eyes widening. I look at Magnus, wondering if he’s thinking the same thing as I am. Could it work?
“No.” He shakes his head. “It’s a bad idea. You don’t want to become a vampire, remember? You never signed up to be one. I’m not Pyrus. I’m not going to turn someone against their will.”
“But I’m going to become one anyway,” I argue. “If Pyrus has his way, and you know he always does.” I give him a pleading look. “And trust me, if I have to become a vampire, I’d much rather be your vampire than his.”
But Magnus just shakes his head a second time. “There has to be another way.” He rises from the chaise longue, pacing the room. I watch as he walks over to the window and looks down. Unfortunately we’re probably a hundred stories up.
“If I had my fairy wings—maybe,” I say, realizing what he’s thinking. “But otherwise I’m Rapunzel in this tower—with shoulder-length hair.” In other words, totally helpless.
“What if we just walked out the front door?” he suggests. “You could wear my disguise and—”
Suddenly a knock sounds on the door in question. So much for that idea. We look at one another, our faces mirroring our terror. “Please, Magnus,” I beg. “You’ve got to turn me. It’s the only way to save me now.”
Magnus looks away, tormented. “But he’ll figure it out. And he’ll kill you when he realizes you’re no longer any use to him.”
I shrug. “Then I’ll die. It’s not like I haven’t been there, done that, got the T-shirt. And trust me—an eternity in Hades is a much more inviting prospect than eternal life as Pyrus’s girl.”
Magnus says nothing. There’s another knock on the door. We’re running out of time.
“Magnus!” I hiss. “If you love me—if you care about me at all—you have to do this!”
My words seem to break him from his trance. He rushes to the kitchen, grabbing a knife from a drawer. Oh thank God. “I’ve already taken your blood,” he says as he pushes up his sleeve. “So all you have to do is drink some of mine and the bond will be complete.” He slashes at his wrist with the knife and holds up his bleeding arm to me. He gives me a rueful smile. “Not exactly the romantic way I’d imagined this going down,” he says.
My heart bursts as I approach him. “I love you,” I tell him. “I love you so much.”
I press my mouth to his wound, squeezing my eyes shut and daring to take that first suck. The one that will change me forever. I start slowly, and then, as the power of the exchange starts to consume my senses, I find myself gulping down mouthfuls of sweet blood. My mind races, mingling with his as I drink, and I can almost feel the bond solidifying between us, never to be broken apart. It’s so strong and so overwhelming and so beautiful—it makes me wonder if this wasn’t what was missing from our previous relationship after all.
Too soon, Magnus pulls me away. I look up at him, my eyes full of wonder, my heart bursting with adoration. “I’m yours,” I whisper, reaching out to touch his cheek with my finger. “I’m forever yours.”
Magnus smiles at me with such tenderness I nearly swoon. He kisses me hard on the lips. “Oh, Sunny,” he whispers. “I hope you don’t regret this.”
I shake my head. “Never. I swear it.”
A battering sound interrupts us, followed by a loud cracking as the door splinters inward. Whoever wants to get in is only seconds away.
“Duck!” I command Magnus, wiping the blood from my mouth. “I’ll get him out of here. You find my sister and Jareth. Maybe there’s still a chance we can make this right!”
Magnus doesn’t need a second invitation. He drops down behind the breakfast bar and I run over to the door, pulling it open before they can bust it in. I smile widely as Pyrus steps through the door, looking around suspiciously.