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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
Magnus studies the chart carefully, his face a mask of solemnity. Then he looks up at the doctor and nods his head. “Thank you,” he says. “Keep me posted of any other changes.”
The doctor agrees and heads out of the room, clipboard still in hand. I look up at Magnus, who is watching him go, a thoughtful expression on his face. “What?” I demand, my heart thudding in my chest.
“Is this about Jayden?”
Magnus pauses, then nods reluctantly, as if he doesn’t really want to tell me the news. As if he has a choice...
“Come on, Mag, spill!”
“It would seem...” he says slowly. “That your blood actually did do some good for him after all.”
My eyes widen. “You mean because of the Holy
Grail antibodies in my bloodstream?”
He nods. “While a fully formed vampire would die from receiving a transfusion of Holy Grail–infused blood, since Jayden’s still partially mortal, the Grail antibodies actually seem to be helping his human cells fight off the vampire cells. Much like an antibiotic might kill harmful bacteria.”
“I knew it!” I cry. “That’s awesome news!”
“Don’t break out the celebratory champagne just yet,” Magnus warns. “He’s still got a long fight ahead of him. Vampire cells are extremely strong and he’s going to need a lot more antibodies if he has any hope of destroying them altogether.”
“Well, I can help. I can give more blood. Whatever he needs!”
My boyfriend shoots me a sharp look. “Believe me, I’m well aware of your willingness to slash open a vein for this guy,” he replies. “But it may not be enough to save him. After all, you’ve only got a trace amount of antibodies in your blood. He’d have to drink gallons for a chance at a real cure. And you just don’t have that much to give.”
My heart sinks. Was all this hope for nothing then? “What we need is a very concentrated dose,”
Magnus muses. “Straight from the source.”
The source? “You mean like the actual Grail?” I ask. “Going back to the druids and asking for another drop?”
“Maybe,” Magnus hedges. “I just wish this wasn’t happening now. The druids are not going to just talk to any vampire who walks up to their door. But I don’t know if I can take the time out to go myself.” He rakes a hand through his hair. “I’ve got my duties to the Blood Coven to consider. The Consortium needs me in Japan, like, yesterday.”
“Well, the Consortium can hold their vampire horses,” I growl, not willing to let this shred of hope be ripped away. “I mean, England’s on the way to Japan anyway.”
Magnus raises an eyebrow. “Now I know why you’re getting a C in geography.”
“I meant, if you go around the long way,” I correct hastily. “It’s just a short side trip. Swing by Glastonbury, grab the Grail blood, cure Jayden, then hop back on the plane to Japan. The most it’ll take is a day. And seeing that Japan is a day ahead of us anyway, you’ll end up getting there exactly when you’re supposed to.”
“Your logic never ceases to amaze,” Magnus replies dryly. “But yes, I suppose it won’t take too much time. And I can work from the plane and keep in touch with phone and e-mail until I’m able to arrive in person.”
Yes! “Oh, Magnus, thank you! Thank you, thank you, you thank you!” I cry, throwing my arms around him and squeezing him with all my might. “You won’t be sorry. I promise.”
“One thing, though, Sunny,” Magnus says, pulling away to look me in the eyes. His expression is serious. “You’re going to have to come along, too. We may need to give Jayden some small blood transfusions to keep his body fighting until we get the real blood.”
I nod eagerly. Happy to be able to help. Happy to not be left at home. Finally, for once in my life, I have an actual purpose. I’m useful to the Blood Coven. Or at least to Jayden.
“Of course I’ll do it!” I tell Magnus. “Whatever it takes, I don’t care.”
My boyfriend gives me a small smile. “You really do care about him, don’t you?” he says softly, his voice threaded with envy.
My smile fades as I realize I’ve inadvertently hurt his feelings with my overt excitement. He knows I still retain a soft spot for the boy who saved my life. A place in my heart where he can never enter.
“I do care about him,” I admit, reaching around to pull Magnus close to me. “But not in the way I care about you. My love. My friend.” I kiss him softly on the mouth. “And I will never forget this act of kindness you’ve shown today as long as I shall live.”
“And as a fairy princess,” Magnus teases, reaching around to stroke my wings through my hospital gown, “that should hopefully be a very, very long time.”
“The captain has turned off the ‘Fasten seat belt’ signs,” drones a bored-sounding stewardess, “indicating it’s now safe to walk around the cabin.”
I click out of my seat belt and make my way over to the private plane’s bedroom, where Magnus is lounging on his back in the queen-sized bed. (Immortal vampires are always claiming they don’t need to buckle up.) He’s going over some briefs faxed over by the Consortium, but looks up and smiles as I enter, and pats the side of the bed, inviting me to sit, as he stacks the briefs on a nearby table. I acquiesce, crawling up onto the bed and melting into his waiting arms, resting my head in the crook of his shoulder. He looks down at me and smiles lovingly.