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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
Her wide eyes tell me I’ve surprised her. Good. “Since when did you go all willing-blood-donor chick on me?”
“I’m not. I just thought it might help him.” I explain to her my theory on the Holy Grail blood in my veins. “I thought maybe... just maybe it would cure him.”
“Well, it hasn’t,” interrupts a male voice.
I look up to see Magnus enter the room. My sister takes one look at the expression on his face and takes off running faster than the Road Runner. Coward!
“Hey, hon,” I say casually, trying to will my voice to sound steady and nonchalant. “How’s it going?”
He frowns, plopping down in the chair beside my bed. His usually perfectly pressed Armani suit is rumpled and his hair has come loose from its ponytail. “Not great,” he replies in a disgruntled voice. “I’ve missed my flight to Japan and the Consortium has been ringing me off the hook, wondering why I’m not on it.”
“Okay...” I pause. “And, um, why aren’t you, again?”
He gives me a pointed look. “Because a certain girlfriend of mine is in the hospital undergoing a blood transfusion after she decided to offer herself up as a gourmet treat to some hungry stray?”
Oh, right. That.
“Jayden’s not a stray,” I protest. “He’s my friend. And friends help each other. At least, in my world they do.”
Magnus reaches over and brushes away a lock of hair that’s fallen into my face. He gives me a small smile. “You’re very sweet,” he says. “Always thinking of others before yourself. Honestly, it’s one of the things that made me fall in love with you in the first place.”
Hmm. I’m sensing a big “but” coming in for a landing here...
“But, Sunny!” Magnus continues, not disappointing me. “You could have very well been killed out there, had I not come along. A new vampire like Jayden doesn’t know his own strength. Especially one with no training—he literally wouldn’t know how to stop sucking once he started—even if he wanted to. In fact, if I hadn’t pulled him off of you, I am quite positive he would have drained every last drop out of your body and still been hungry for more.”
I hang my head. When he puts it like that, it does seem like a rather dumb move on my part...
“I mean, look at the mess your sister got herself in,” Magnus continues. “She sucked the entire mortal life out of Corbin, forcing Jareth to turn him into a vampire. What if I had to do that to you? Would you be okay living the rest of your life as a creature of the night, just to give Jayden his afternoon blood and cookies?”
“I guess not,” I mutter, feeling ashamed and stupid. It had seemed like such a good plan at the time...
The two of us fall silent, each lost in our own thoughts. Actually, I’m just trying to work up the courage to ask the question I desperately need answered, but at the same time am afraid to know the answer to.
“How is Jayden, anyway?” I blurt out finally.
Magnus looks weary. “He’s stable now,” he replies. “But I don’t know for how long. I don’t know if it’s because of the manner in which he was bitten or his hemophiliac blood disorder—but his human cells aren’t properly bonding with the vampire ones. Meaning he’s not really a vampire. But he’s not really human either.” Magnus reaches over and takes my hand in his, stroking the back of my palm. “I’m sorry, Sun. I know he’s your friend. But I think it might be kinder to just put him down instead of letting him suffer like this.”
“Put him down?” My heart reels. I yank my hand away. “Magnus, he’s not a dog! You can’t just—”
“He’s sick, Sun. He can’t get proper nutrients from drinking human blood. And so he’s literally starving to death, even though we’ve pumped him with every blood type known to vampire.” He shakes his head. “And a sick vampire can be more dangerous than a rabid dog.”
I cringe. “But maybe he’ll get better! Maybe he just needs more time...”
“Normally I’d say yes, but we’re in Code Red right now, in case you forgot,” Magnus reminds me gently. “The Alphas are readying for battle. And we have no idea what they have in store for us. We need all our top doctors and scientists working on ways to stop them from creating an army of vampiric fairies.” He gives me a pitying look. “We just don’t have the time or resources to deal with one sick vampire when the whole vampire race is in danger of being obliterated by our enemies.”
“But this isn’t just any single vampire,” I whimper, my voice breaking as I think of my poor, sick friend. “This is Jayden.”
Magnus lets out a slow breath as he rises to his feet, his eyes tormented and sad. “Sunny, I know he’s special to you. But I don’t see any alternative in this case. I wish I did. I really do.”
I smile at him, appreciating the effort he’s making for my sake. Especially since he’s not exactly Jayden’s number-one fan. It’d be much easier for him to just let Jayden die—and wipe his only competition off the face of the Earth. But he loves me too much for that. And I love him for loving me that much.
“Master!” A vampire in a white lab coat suddenly bursts into the hospital room, a large clipboard clasped in his hands. He pushes it toward Magnus, pointing down at the charts with a shaky finger. “You said to inform you of any changes. Well, take a look at this.”