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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
“I’m not,” he replies automatically. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an important phone call to make.” He picks up the plane’s phone for emphasis.
Giving up, I head out the door and into the main cabin of the private plane. Francis and Tanner, Magnus’s bodyguards, are sitting on the couch, drinking from blood bags and watching Jersey Shore reruns, laughing hysterically, while ignoring Jayden’s continued moans from the next room.
“Um, hello?” I cry angrily, stepping in front of the flat screen. “What are you doing?”
Francis strains to look around me. “Checking out the Situation?” he quips.
“Well, maybe you should consider the real situation,” I admonish. “Like the guy you’re supposed to be watching? You know, the one crying out in pain and agony in the next room?”
Tanner rolls his eyes. “Newbie vamps are always like that,” he rationalizes. “Just like babies, sometimes it’s best to let them cry it out.”
I squeeze my hands into fists. “Well, I think maybe we should give him some blood.”
“He ate two hours ago.”
“Well, maybe he needs some more.” “Nobody likes a fat vampire, Sun.”
I grit my teeth. “Just give me the damn syringe, okay? I’ll feed him myself.”
The two meathead vampires exchange glances. “If you move away from the TV...”
I take a deliberate step to the side.
“Oh man!” Tanner cries, pointing at the flat screen. “You made us miss the fight scene!”
I glare at him. “If you don’t give me the syringe this second, I’ll start another one right here in the cabin.”
“Fine, fine,” Francis says, tossing me the kit. “Go to town.” Then he and his buddy turn back to the TV.
Rolling my eyes, I head into the plane’s small second bedroom, where Jayden sits on the decidedly less luxurious bed than the one in the master bedroom. His hands and feet are chained to the bedposts and he’s staring listlessly at the television, which is, for some reason, tuned in to CSPAN.
Jayden’s eyes light up as he sees me. “I think they’re hoping I’ll stake myself from boredom before we get to England,” he says wryly, nodding his head toward the television. I grab the remote and turn the channel to Animal Planet. After all, I know he misses his dog and cat friends back in Vegas.
“Better?” I ask with a small smile as I sit down on the edge of the bed.
He grins. “Much.” But from his look, I’m not sure he’s referring to the TV.
“Are you okay?” I ask, looking him over. “I heard you moaning in here. Are you in pain?”
“Ugh,” he says, looking sheepish. “I didn’t realize anyone could hear me. How embarrassing.”
“It’s okay,” I say, resisting the urge to reach out and give him a comforting touch. After all, I promised Magnus I’d stay at arm’s length. “Are you hungry?”
“Starving,” he admits. “I’ve drunk tons of blood and it doesn’t even begin to satisfy me. The only stuff that does...” He trails off, looking longingly at my neck bandage. “And, let’s just say, I don’t want to be that guy.” He bites his lower lip. “God, I’m already humiliated beyond belief that I just drank from you like that. I don’t know what I was thinking! I mean, I guess I wasn’t thinking at all. I was just so hungry. And once I started—well, I just couldn’t stop myself.” He trails off, his face red as a tomato. “I’m so sorry, Sunny. If I had hurt you...”
“It’s okay,” I assure him, hating to see him so traumatized. “I’m totally fine now. And hey, I don’t blame you one bit! After all, everyone knows I’m just too, too delicious to resist!”
He grins. “Like a hot fudge sundae with extra, extra whipped cream.”
“Really? I was thinking more like a Bloody Mary.” I wink.
“Or maybe a bottle of Sunny D?” “Sunny A-negative, to be precise.”
We both start giggling hysterically and for a moment everything seems like it’s going to be okay. Then reality hits and we both sober.
“I’m so sorry this is happening to you, Jayden,” I say, reaching over to squeeze his hand. Yes, I know I’m not supposed to be touching him. But he’s chained up. What harm could he do?
He squeezes my hand back with a vampire strength that makes me wince. Oh yeah. That harm. “Sorry,” he says quickly, loosening his grip. “I’m just glad you’re here now. All of you. I was completely freaking out back in Vegas, on my own, not knowing what was going on or what I could do. But now I feel like I’ve got this whole vampire family looking out for me. I mean, even if this doesn’t work—even if I’m doomed to be a vampire forever—at least I know the Blood Coven’s got my back.”
I give him a sad smile, my heart wrenching at the hope in his voice. If only he knew the truth. That the Blood Coven isn’t the happy family he so desperately wants it to be. That they would have put him to sleep in five seconds flat if it wasn’t for my intervention.
But he doesn’t need to know that. And once we cure him with blood from the Grail, he’ll never have to deal with vampires again. Even if I can never go back to being normal myself, I can make sure that he does. And he deserves that, at the very least.
“I’m going to give you some of my blood,” I inform him, rising to my feet and walking to a nearby chair. “If I drain it in here, will that bother you?”