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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
“What coven are you from?” Elizabeth purrs, sidling closer.
“Oh!” Jayden looks slightly taken aback by the question. “Well, I’m not from any coven, I guess,” he stammers. “But Lord Magnus, from the Blood Coven, has been nice enough to take me under his wing until we’ve figured things out.”
I scowl. Magnus was nice enough? Magnus wanted to put him down like a dog. I was the one who fought to get him here. Risked my relationship to try to save his life. But hey, name-drop my boyfriend all you want, I guess, if you think it’ll impress the ladies. Forget all about poor old Sunny, who saved your life.
“Oh, Magnus!” the three girls squeal in unison. “We love Lord Magnus.”
“He’s so handsome!” “And so debonair.”
“A former knight in shining armor—it doesn’t get more romantic than that.”
“Not to mention he’s—”
“—MY boyfriend,” I cut in curtly, pushing my way into the circle. The girls’ excited faces twist into scowls.
“And who might you be?” sniffs Elizabeth.
“Oh, sorry!” Jayden looks at me sheepishly, as if he’d forgotten I’d been standing behind him the whole time. Maybe he had. “Um, girls, this is my good friend Sunny.”
The three she-vampires attempt to stare me down with narrow, suspicious eyes. “You look... familiar,” Susan states. “Why is that?”
“Wait—isn’t she that vampire slayer we kicked out of the coven?” Katie asks. “You remember, that bitch who pulled out her stake after we tried to offer her some very expensive blood?”
“Yes, that’s definitely her.” The girls surround me menacingly, baring their fangs. “How dare you show your face here?”
I hold up my hands in protest, suddenly remembering the story my sister told me of her last trip to England. “Hold it. You can stop the lynch mob right there! That wasn’t me. That was my sister, Rayne. We’re twins. Well, on the outside anyway. I swear to you I have much better manners than her. Not to mention I’m not a slayer.”
Susan purses her lips. “You’re not a vampire either.”
“Sunny’s a fairy!” Jayden chimes in, oh so helpfully.
Great. Here we go.
The girls’ eyes widen with interest. Susan grabs my arm and starts sniffing me. Ew. I take a hasty step backward, ripping my arm from her grasp. “Do you mind?”
“Yup. I thought I smelled something,” Susan affirms, wrinkling her annoyingly perky little nose. “Pixie sweat. Smells just like rotten nectar.”
Ooh, that does it. “Look, I’m no freaking pixie, okay?” I say, lifting my chin haughtily. “I’m Princess Sunshine of the Sidhe Light Court. My mother is queen and I’m next in line for the throne, if you must know.”
Take that, vampire commoners. I pause, waiting for the respectful looks such a claim should entitle me to. But instead, the stupid girls burst into laughter. Hmm. So not the reaction I’d been hoping for.
“Well, la-di-da, ladies!” cries Elizabeth. “Who knew little old us would be blessed by a visit from actual royalty.”
“Perhaps we should be bowing down to Her Majesty,” adds Susan. “Paying our respects.”
I can feel my face flame. Why did I have to go and say that? Stupid, Sunny. Way to try to fit in.
“Look, I’m not here on any fairy business,” I attempt. “I’m just acting as Jayden’s donor, that’s all. But I expect a little...” I trail off, catching their faces, which are currently twisted in sudden disgust. “What?”
“Ew,” Katie cries. “Are you serious?”
“You drink fairy blood?” Elizabeth asks, turning to Jayden. “Isn’t it completely gross?”
“I tried deep-fried fairy blood at the Vampire World Fair a few years ago. It’s so disgustingly sweet,” adds Susan. “Not to mention completely fattening, what with all the nectar and crap you lot consume.”
“A friend of mine knows someone who knows someone who got addicted to the stuff. He grew to, like, three hundred pounds before he spontaneously combusted one day.”
“Don’t worry, Jayden,” Elizabeth says, placing a comforting hand on my friend’s shoulder. “We brought some great vintages from our blood cellar up north that we’d love to introduce you to.”
“Wait ’til you taste a 1547 Henry the Eighth,” adds Susan. “You’ll never want to go back to that glorified pixie ripple again.”
“Look,” I interject. “I’ll have you know that my blood is the only thing that—”
But a dark shadow looming behind the girls makes me clamp my mouth shut. I gulp. It’s Dracula. Or, more precisely, the manor’s proprietor, Professor Lucedio, who just happens to look exactly like the legendary count of old, complete with tuxedo and black cape. I remember meeting him the last time I was here and he doesn’t look any less scary, even though Magnus assures me he’s actually quite a marshmallow on the inside.
“Ladies, what is going on here?” he demands. “Don’t you have anything better to do than bother my guests?”
The girls look at one another and titter. Then they look back up at their Maker with wide, overly innocent eyes. “Why, no, Professor,” says Elizabeth. “We have nothing better to do at all.”