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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
“Look, Magnus, I—”
He waves me off. “Sunny, I promise I will do everything in my power to find the Grail and save Jayden’s life. But please—try to see the bigger picture here. You want to save one vampire. I’m trying to save the entire vampire race. Don’t put me in the position where I have to choose between the two.”
“I know, I know!” I cry, guilt wracking my insides. “I’m sorry. I know you’re dealing with a lot. And I do trust you. I swear.”
But my boyfriend just looks at me with sad eyes. “I don’t think you do,” he says softly. “You want to, but you can’t. You say you’ve forgiven me. But you still resent me, deep inside. And that’s a problem.”
I feel the tears welling in my eyes. “But I—”
He shakes his head. “We’re going to talk about this when I return, okay?” he says. “Because if you really can’t trust me... If you truly believe I don’t have your best interests at heart...” He swallows hard. “Well, I don’t know if any of this is going to work.”
I look up at him, horrified beyond belief. Did he just imply what I think he did? Oh God, I didn’t mean... My heart starts slamming in my chest. “Magnus—”
But my words are cut off as the chauffeur rolls down the back window. “Sorry to interrupt, m’lord,” he says. “Your plane is scheduled to leave within the hour.”
“Right.” Magnus purses his lips and then turns to me. “I need to give Tanner some instructions. I suggest you go in and find your accommodations. I’ll be in touch as soon as I can.”
His cold voice makes me shiver. I want to say a million things—to apologize a million times—but I know it’s not the time or place and I don’t want to make things more difficult than I’ve already made them. “Okay,” I croak. “Can I just get a—”
But he’s already out of the limo before I can finish my request for a hug good-bye. Maybe it’s for the best. I’m not sure, if I had him in my arms right now, whether I’d be strong enough to let him go.
So instead I reluctantly step out of the limo and into the chilly, predawn air. Jayden bounds over to me, his face still pale, but his eyes alight with excitement. “Sunny, have you seen this place?” he asks, his voice full of wonder. “It’s amazing. Like something out of a fairy tale. I’ve never seen anything like it. I wonder when it was built. I mean, we don’t have anything this old in Vegas.”
“Please. Even I’m older than Las Vegas,” scoffs an approaching female voice.
I look up, my eyes widening as three vampire- supermodel types strut out the front door and down the steps, regarding Jayden with hungry eyes. They stop in front of him, fanning out in a semicircle. There’s a blonde, a redhead, and a brunette. All beautiful. All appearing to be about seventeen. But probably more like seventeen hundred.
“Who are you, handsome?” queries the redhead in a Northern English accent. Her otherworldly blue eyes give Jayden a slow, sultry once-over. As if he’s a steak dinner she’d love to devour. “And what brings you to Vampire Manor?”
Jayden takes a hesitant step back as the three vampire girls circle him like hungry hyenas.
“Um, I’m Jayden,” he stammers. “I’m, um, new.”
The girls exchange amused glances and giggle. “Fresh blood,” coos the brunette. “How lovely.”
Jayden throws a worried look in my direction and I try to break in to save him, but the girls manage to complete their circle, locking their arms around my friend and effectively shutting me out.
“I’m Elizabeth,” introduces the redhead. “And this here is Katie and Susan.” The other two girls bob in refined greeting. They look like Serena and Blair from Gossip Girl, but their mannerisms scream Victorian England. So I’m placing them at about 160 years old, give or take.
“We’re from the Lakes District up north,” explains Katie.
“Lakes District?” Jayden repeats, staring at her, as if mesmerized. I frown. Could vampires use their vampire scents on other vampires? ’Cause I gotta admit, he looks completely smitten by all three of them right about now. A look, I might add, he usually reserves for me.
Not that I’m jealous or anything. I just don’t think it’s a great idea for a sick vampire like Jayden to be looking to hook up right now. He’s got bigger things to worry about—like concentrating on his recovery. Not to mention keeping me company in this godforsaken place until Magnus comes back.
“Have you never been to the Lakes District? It’s a beautiful place, but dreadfully dull in the winter,” Susan explains. “So we come down here for an extended holiday from time to time.”
“Our dear Maker, Professor Lucedio, is the kindest vampire you’ll ever meet in your life,” adds Elizabeth. “He lets us stay anytime, free of charge.” She turns to her friends. “And how lucky it is, girls, that we chose this weekend to come! Otherwise we might have missed our chance to meet Mr. Jayden altogether.” The other two nod in excited agreement. I resist the urge to roll my eyes.
“Well, it’s very nice to meet you,” Jayden replies politely, reaching out to shake all of their hands. This makes them giggle all over again. Not to mention bat their eyelashes and swish their hair. And here I thought vampires could afford to be a bit more subtle.