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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
I turn my attention back to my sister. “Um, that’s rich coming from a girl who spent the last two weeks in the vampire loony bin,” I remind her.
“Vampire rehab,” Rayne corrects as she plops down on the side of my bed. As if that technicality makes it all okay. “Not loony bin. And let me tell you, rehab is so hot right now. You should have seen all the vampires going through the twelve steps. I felt kind of bad for some of them. I mean, imagine trying to write down the names of all the people you wronged over a fivehundred-year life span. I’m talking lists longer than the fifth Harry Potter. And let’s just say it’s not always easy to make amends with those you sipped on for supper. Turns out, people tend to hold a grudge about that whole throat- ripping-apart thing. If, you know, they survived the act in the first place.”
She shakes her head, remembering. “And then there were the celebs! So many hot vampire celebrities. I wish I could tell you who. But they made me sign this stupid nondisclosure thing saying I couldn’t reveal anyone’s identity. Though... I suppose if you guessed, I might be able to give a nod or something. Or maybe tap my foot...”
To be honest, I couldn’t care less who was hanging at the Bloody Ford Clinic with my sister. But if it distracted her from asking about how I ended up here in the hospital I was willing to play along.
“Billy Joe from Green Day? That chick from Paramore? R-Patz? Justin Bieber?”
“Um, for the record, Sun, Justin Bieber sooo does not make my list of hot celebs. I wouldn’t think I’d have to tell you that.”
“Spencer Pratt? Eminem? Snooki from Jersey Shore?”
“You’re not even trying, are you?”
“Well, if it’s some weirdo Goth singer from 1980s Germany, I’m giving up now.”
Rayne sighs deeply. “Okay, fine. How about charades? Sounds like... Ace... Rameson.”
“Um, have you ever played charades? ’Cause, for one thing, you’re not supposed to talk. In fact, it’s kind of the only real rule.”
“Ace Rameson, Sun. Come on!” I roll my eyes. “Fine, fine. Race Jameson. I get it.” Rayne holds up her hands. “I didn’t say a word.” Right. “Okay, fine. I agree. That’s pretty interesting,” I grudgingly admit. After all, legendary rock star Race Jameson seemed perfectly fine back in October when he helped us with our little cheerleader incident. “I didn’t realize he had a blood addiction.”
“Well, you know how it is,” Rayne says casually. “All those groupies. It must be tough not to take a nibble here and there. And before you know it, you find yourself in the second half hour of your Behind the Music.” She giggles at her own joke, then turns to me, her expression serious. “Speaking of nibbles. Are we going to talk about your neck now?”
“I think I’d rather talk about the other celebs. Did you happen to see Taylor Momsen? I’m pretty sure she could be a vamp—”
“Come on, Sun. What happened? No one will tell me anything. It wasn’t Magnus, was it? ’Cause coven leader or no, I’m pretty sure I could stake his ass if he’s suddenly taken to juicing your jugular.”
I shake my head, not able to look her in the eye. “It was Jayden,” I mutter.
She looks at me sharply. “I’m sorry? For a moment, I thought you said Jayden. But he’s—”
“Currently turning into a vampire.” “Well, there goes the neighborhood.”
I scowl. I know she’s not the hugest Jayden fan— after all, it’s in her best interest to keep me with her boyfriend’s best friend so we can more easily double-date. But still!
“He saved my life, remember? The night you were too busy playing craps? And while he was so selflessly sacrificing himself for me, he might have gotten infected with the virus.” My voice breaks, remembering the frail, pale boy in the alleyway. “If he dies, it’ll be my fault.”
“Um, he won’t die. Vampire, remember? Immortal life, all that jazz? It’s sort of the whole point.”
“Yeah, I know. But what kind of life...?” I trail off. It’s impossible to argue with a girl who, her entire life, wanted nothing more than to be a creature of the night. Even as a kid she refused to eat anything but Count Chocula.
“Jayden didn’t ask for this,” I try instead. “And also, I think there’s something wrong with him. Maybe because he didn’t have anyone to guide him through his initial transformation. But he’s acting... I don’t know... bizarre.”
“Bizarre? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?” Rayne shakes her head in disbelief. “He mistook your neck for a juicy porterhouse, Sunny!”
“Vampires in glass rehabs shouldn’t throw stakes,” I remind her dryly. After all, she was the one who couldn’t control her bloodlust and almost drained Corbin dry back in Ireland. (Which is totally against the Consortium code of conduct, which states vampires can drink only from licensed blood donors.) If Jareth hadn’t stepped in and turned poor Corbin into a vampire at the last minute, the Alpha would have ended up a bloodless corpse. Which, in hindsight, wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing...
She snickers. “Well, I’m out of rehab now, baby. And as a slayer, I consider it my sworn duty to stake any vampire who doesn’t behave around my baby sister.”
Baby. Please. She was born seven minutes earlier than me. And, I might add, has been late to everything ever since. “Even if baby sister gave the vampire in question permission to bite?”