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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
Magnus groans. “Your sister,” he says,“... well, let’s just say, true to form, she exhibited some... behavior unbecoming to a vampire... last time she was across the pond. The English Rose Coven has made it very clear she is not welcomed anywhere near their jurisdiction.”
Of course. Leave it to Rayne to piss off the welcoming committee. “But that was before she went to rehab,” I remind him. “The girl’s reformed. A new vampire. I’m sure she’d behave herself if they let her back in.” Well, okay, technically I’m not 100 percent sure of this. After all, if you look up “loose cannon” in the urban dictionary, I’m pretty sure you’d find her picture. But I’d be here to keep her line. And if it would keep her out of danger...
“Actually...” Magnus purses his lips, looking pained.
“It’s been decided... against my better judgment, of course...”
Sudden realization hits me hard. “You’re taking her to Japan,” I finish dully. Of course they are. Once again my sister gets to be in the midst of all the action while I’m left behind to be babysat by Vampire Poppins. It’s so not fair.
“Like I said, it wasn’t my decision,” Magnus restates. “But your sister is the only known vampiric fae in existence today. We may have need of her.” He pauses, then adds, “Anyway, I thought you’d prefer to stay with Jayden.”
“Jayden could come to Japan,” I reply automatically. “This way if we find the Grail, he can just drink the blood right away, instead of you having to FedEx it back across the world. ’Cause imagine if it got lost in the mail! That would be—”
“Sunny, look at him,” Magnus interrupts, pointing to my friend, who’s currently leaning up against the limo. “Does he look in any shape to travel to the front lines of a supernatural war?”
I reluctantly look over, realizing he’s right. Jayden looks frail and sick, with hollow eyes and trembling hands. He needs to stay somewhere safe and comfortable if he has any chance of surviving all of this. And I need to stay with him to keep supplying him with my blood. Which offers Magnus the perfect excuse to keep me here and out of harm’s way.
“Don’t think I don’t see what you’re doing,” I growl. “But fine. I guess I’ve got no choice. I’ll stay with Jayden and give him his transfusions. But you’d better stay on the ball out there in Japan,” I add. “Don’t get so caught up in the war that you forget about me and the Grail.”
Magnus sighs, suddenly looking weary. “When are you going to learn to trust me, Sunny?”
“I do trust you. It’s just—”
He gives me a pointed look.
“Look, I know you love me,” I try to explain. “But I also know how loyal you are to the Blood Coven. And I’m totally cool with that, really. I want you to be able to protect your people and all. But sometimes— I wonder. If push came to shove...”
“Yes...?” He’s going to force me to spit it out. “Would you pick me over the Consortium? If Pyrus handed you a direct order, I mean.”
He groans. “Why do you do this to me, Sunny?” “That’s not exactly an answer.”
His eyes narrow. “What do you want me to say? That I’d choose you? No matter what? That’s a little immature, don’t you think?”
I can feel my hackles rise. “Well, no offense, dude, but let’s just say you don’t exactly have the best track record. In fact, you outright dismissed me when I tried to warn you about Jane back in Vegas. Hell, you were too busy being the Consortium’s lap dog to even consider the fact that I might be on to something. So, sorry for wanting a little reassurance this time around.”
“Yes, I was wrong. You were right. And I apologized for that. Many times, in fact. And you said you forgave me,” he reminds me bitterly. “Which, from what I understand about forgiveness, means you’re no longer able to hold the incident over my head every time you don’t get your own way.”
“My own way?” I repeat, fury burning inside me now. “You think that’s what this is about? You think I want to be stuck here, in some creepy vampire holiday house, draining my blood daily to help a sick vampire, all the while wondering if my boyfriend is dead or alive? Please. I’d much rather be back in Vegas, playing field hockey with my new friends, enjoying a normal, everyday life. But I’ve put normalcy on hold. All because of you. Which is fine— I’m totally cool with doing that. But I want the same in return.”
“Oh, right. Because my life is never disrupted because of you,” Magnus retorts sarcastically. “Let me tell you, I had a jolly Carnival Cruise holiday scouring the globe after I found out you’d been kidnapped by fairies. Oh and filing that report to the coven, letting them know I was keeping a sick, unlicensed, possibly dangerous vampire alive because my girlfriend had feelings for him? That was a bloody picnic, let me tell you. Not to mention getting written up by Pyrus for disobeying their orders to head directly to Japan...” He yanks at his ponytail, freeing his hair. “Yes, you’ve got it all figured out, Sunny. I’m a bloody selfish bastard and Pyrus’s flunky and you’re always getting screwed.”
The raw anger in his voice cuts me like a knife— and his words are salt in the wound. I cringe. What was I thinking—challenging his loyalty? Sure, he’s made mistakes. But it’s not like I haven’t, too.