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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
“Vampire’s honor,” he says, holding his fingers up in Boy Scout pose. Then he grabs me and pulls me close to him, kissing me hungrily on the mouth. I kiss him back, enjoying the feel of his soft lips moving against my own. It’s so good to have him back in my arms. I just pray he doesn’t have to leave again.
“So, I may have to leave again,” he announces suddenly, pulling away from the kiss.
He slumps back in his seat. “The Consortium may have found a lead as to where the Alpha Slayers are hiding out. The House Speaker, Pyrus, has requested my presence to help with the investigation.” He makes a face. Ever since Pyrus took over as House Speaker of the Consortium, he’s seemed determined to make Magnus’s life as difficult as possible. And this seems no exception.
“Isn’t that more like Jareth’s job? You know, the hands-on kind of stuff? No offense, baby, but you’re more politician than warrior.”
He scowls. “Um, former knight in shining armor, remember?” he says, patting his chest. “And in any case, Jareth’s coming along, too. In fact, the majority of coven leaders are mobilizing for this. It’s just too big a risk to be taken lightly. Especially now that Corbin’s stolen some valuable information from the Blood Coven that can be used against us.”
Corbin. The slayer my sister almost drained dry when suffering from blood addiction back at Riverdale Academy. Jareth saved him by turning him into a vampire. But let’s just say the guy wasn’t so grateful for the favor, seeing as now he’s basically turned into the very monster he’s so desperate to eliminate from the planet.
“Okay then,” I say, gearing up for the challenge. I guess normal high school life will have to be put on hold once again. “Let’s swing by the house and I’ll pack a bag.”
Magnus frowns. “What?” I ask. “Sunny, you’re not coming.”
“Um, excuse me?” Is he for real?
“It’s going to be war,” Magnus reminds me. “It’s too dangerous for you.”
“Hello, Magnus!” I wave to him. “Fairy princess, remember? No longer the fragile human girl you need to protect from harm? I want to help.”
But my boyfriend just shakes his head. “I don’t think it’s a good idea, Sunny. If anything were to happen to you, I’d never forgive myself. Not to mention, just having you there would be... a distraction.”
I stare at him, mouth agape. I can’t believe it. Once again I’m being shut out.
“Look, Sun, I’m not trying to be a jerk here...” “Well, then you’re failing miserably,” I retort.
“Driver, stop the car. I’m going to walk the rest of the way!” The driver slows down.
“No!” Magnus corrects. “Keep going.” The driver sighs, then speeds up again.
As if that’s going to stop me. “Fine, have it your way.” I press the button to open the skylight, then push my head through. I can hear Magnus protesting below as I crawl out the window, unfurl my wings out the sides of my tank top, flutter off the moving vehicle, and float down onto the nearby sidewalk, leaving my sun-allergic boyfriend stuck in the car, trying desperately to close the skylight.
Fairies one, vampires zilch.
“Sunny!” Magnus cries furiously, banging on the window. I ignore him, instead addressing the group of tourists that has gathered, gawking at my wings. I give them a little bow before stuffing them back under my shirt. (Just another Vegas freak here, people, nothing to see!) Then I storm off down the street heading toward my family’s high-rise condo just off the Strip.
“Stay at home, Sunny,” I mutter under my breath. “It’s way too dangerous, Sunny.” I’m so sick of everyone thinking I’m the weak one. After all, no one ever says stuff like that to Rayne. As an official vampire slayer, not to mention an actual vampire, she goes on death-defying adventures for a living. (Yes, I know, I know—a vampire who works as a vampire slayer—seems like a conflict of interest, right? Luckily she’s only assigned to take out the bad vamps who don’t follow the rules.) But as for me, I might as well be made of freaking glass, according to Magnus and the rest of the sorry vampire race.
It’s so unfair.
I walk down an alley through a shortcut off the Strip. About halfway through I wonder if I’ve made a wise choice. The shadows in the dark seem to claw at me menacingly and I keep hearing strange catlike mews echoing through the air. I wrap my arms around my body and pick up the pace.
A loud clattering makes me jump out of my skin. I whirl around, my eyes catching movement in the darkness. A shadow that can only be human.
“Who’s there?” I demand. “Stay back! I’ve got Mace and I know how to use it.” I don’t really, of course. But I do have some fairy powers to unfurl if push comes to shove.
“S-S-Sunny?” a weak but familiar voice cries. “Is that really you?”
“Jayden?” I exclaim, rushing toward the shadow, shocked beyond belief. What’s he doing here?
I stop short as my eyes fall upon the figure on the ground. While it’s definitely Jayden—my best Vegas friend and maybe something more—at the same time he looks... wrong somehow. Scarily skinny, all bones and sinew, his eyes are black and hollow looking and his mouth is bloodstained. I realize in horror he’s holding something furry and dead and half-eaten in his hands.
“Oh my God!” I cry. “What happened to you?”