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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
“Vampires of the Consortium!” I cry. “You must listen to me. I have something very important to tell you!”
“What are you doing?” Pyrus demands, looking at me with wild, panicked eyes. Guess he wasn’t expecting me to suddenly go rogue. And now he doesn’t know what to do. Sure, he could snap my neck on the spot and shut me up. But that would pretty much ruin any chance at gaining a partnership with the fairy kingdom. After all, most people aren’t too keen on aligning with those who go and kill their kin. Not to mention that an act of violence out of the blue like that would definitively reveal his true colors to the rest of the Consortium, who still think of him as their nice, normal House Speaker, not a crazy insane vampire out to destroy the world.
Until I set them straight, that is.
“You have been deceived and blindsided by this man who stands before you,” I continue. “You should see the things he’s planning behind your backs! You think you’re a democracy. But you haven’t voted on any of this!”
“You idiot!” Pyrus hisses furiously. But he’s drowned out by conversation coming from the audience. Pyrus turns to the assembled vampire leaders, still trying to play it cool. “You must excuse my blood mate. She’s obviously under a lot of stress and—”
“Ask him about the zombies!” I cry. “Or his declaration of war against Slayer Inc. Ask him about the slayer he murdered in cold blood. Or better yet, ask him where the Blood Coven Master, Lucifent, is. I’ll give you a hint. He’s lying on the—”
“Silence!” Pyrus screeches, grabbing me and twisting me around so I’m flush against him. In one fluid motion, he sweeps my hair from my neck and sinks his fangs into my flesh. I can dimly hear the other vampires gasp in horror at this violent display of power. But Pyrus doesn’t seem to care. He’s gulping mouthfuls of my blood, pushing commands at me with all his might. Telling me to be silent, to be a good vampire, to be seen and not heard. To be his slave forever and bend my mind to his. The orders come strong and hard and fast, tidal waves of suggestion threatening to consume my brain and leave me with no thoughts of my own.
But he doesn’t know my secret weapon. And my mind pushes back. My blood cells refusing to bond with his own. Namely because they’ve already bonded to another. And Pyrus is too late.
He rips his fangs from my neck, staring down at me with fury flashing in his eyes. “Why you…” he stammers. “You already…”
“Have a blood mate? Yes, she does.”
The crowd erupts in excitement as Magnus gallantly sweeps into the room, like a knight in shining armor staging a heroic rescue. He throws me a confident grin and my heart bursts with excitement. He came. And just in time, too.
“Everything she says is true,” he tells the vampires. “Pyrus has abused his power and taken advantage of our trust. He must be stopped before it’s too late.” He holds up his phone. “But don’t take my word for it. I’ve just texted you all photos of his atrocities. The murder of Lucifent, Master of the Blood Coven. And the zombies he plans to use to take down Slayer Inc. and the world.”
There’s a shuffling as the vampires all reach for their phones at once. Thank goodness for modern technology and group text. One by one, they look up from their phones, furious as they realize the depth of their leader’s deception.
But Pyrus ignores them all, looking only at Magnus. “Clever boy,” he spits out. “But none of this will save your precious blood mate.” He makes a move toward me. I try to leap out of the way, but he’s too fast, charging at me, hands outstretched, ready to kill me once and for all.
In a blur of my mind’s eye, Magnus is suddenly standing in front of me, blocking Pyrus’s reach. The Speaker slams into him full force and the two vampires tumble to the ground, growling and flashing fangs, locked in immortal combat as the rest of the Consortium looks on, frozen in place.
“You gotta help him!” I beg the audience. “He’s fighting for you. For all of us!”
But just as the vampires begin to spring into action, Pyrus’s guards step in, surrounding their master in a protective circle. Allowing no one to reach him. Two of them grab me—one by each arm—holding me helpless on the stage. I wonder, at first, why they don’t just kill me and be done with it. But then I realize they’re probably saving the honor for their master.
Pyrus takes his advantage, flipping Magnus over and pinning him to the ground. He glares down at him with ugly, red-rimmed eyes. “You could have had everything,” he sneers, spit flying from his mouth as he speaks. “You could have ruled by my side. We could have taken over the world. But no. You throw it all away for some stupid girl.”
“She’s worth it,” Magnus growls back. “She’s worth everything.”
My heart soars at the same time my stomach sinks. There’s nothing that can stop Pyrus now. In one moment Magnus will be dead. And then it’ll likely be my turn. Maybe we can meet up in Hades. See if they’ll let us live together there. That would be something, at least.
As I squeeze my eyes shut, not willing to watch the death of my true love, a voice suddenly echoes through the chapel.
“What, did you start the party without us?” my sister demands.
My eyes fly open and my mouth drops as I see Rayne step through the doorway, flanked by Jareth and Spider. “Now that’s just rude,” she scolds.