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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
“It’s shameful,” declares Elizabeth. “His Maker turning him and then just letting him loose like that. It’s just not done.”
“His Maker is dead,” I say weakly, still horrified at the sight of Jayden with blood dripping from his mouth.
He wipes it on his sleeve and grins over at me, evidently super pleased with himself. “Now you don’t have to worry about me accidentally hurting you,” he announces, as if he’s just discovered how to turn straw into gold. “I can drink and stop at will. Watch!” He turns to the blond girl. “Ready, Aleisha?” he asks.
“Yes, Master,” she coos. “Bite me, baby!”
“It’s okay! You don’t have to,” I quickly interject. “I get it, I believe you. Way to go.”
He laughs. “Oh, and watch this!” he adds.
I squint at him. “Um, watch what?” “You didn’t see?” He sounds disappointed.
“Huh?” I am so lost here. “See what? You haven’t done anything.”
To my annoyance, the girls start laughing again. “Jayden just ran around the room three times,” Katie explains. “Not that someone like you could ever hope to see it.”
“It’s not her fault,” Susan tells Jayden. “Her weak fairy eyes can’t track super speed.”
“I’m, like, the Speedy Gonzales of vampires!” Jayden chimes in. “It’s one of my vampire powers. Cool, huh?”
“Um, sure,” I mutter, feeling stupid and lame and out of place. “Congrats, I guess.”
Jayden beams. “Maybe I’m not such a vampire failure after all, huh?”
“Failure!?” Elizabeth and Katie and Susan squeal all at once. “As if!”
“You make an amazing vampire!” Susan insists. “It just takes time,” adds Katie. “And training.”
“And we’re just the girls to teach you,” Elizabeth finishes, possessively putting an arm around his shoulders. “Stick with us, kid. We’ll make you into a super vamp.”
“Super vamp!” Jayden exclaims. “I like the sound of that.”
I feel sick to my stomach as I watch Elizabeth nuzzle up against him, as if he’s her boyfriend or something. I know I have no right to say anything— Jayden and I are just friends—and I have Magnus. But at the same time, I have to admit it’s killing me to see him so happy with another girl. I mean, it’s not like I want him to be unhappy, of course. It’s just...
Oh God, I’m totally losing it.
“Well, that’s all fine and good,” I manage to say, trying to push all the unwelcomed thoughts from my head. “But Jayden isn’t going to need any of these lessons. ’Cause he’s going to become mortal again—just as soon as Magnus brings back the Grail from Japan.”
“If,” Jayden corrects. “And I think that’s a big if. To be honest, Sun, I don’t think I’m very high on the guy’s priority list.”
My shoulders slump. I’ve been trying to keep the doubts from my head—trying to trust Magnus as he claims he deserves to be trusted. But at the same time, logic keeps rearing its ugly head. After all, even with the best intentions, could Magnus just tell the Consortium to shove their orders because he’s still on the quest for the Holy Grail? I mean, that’s like vampire treason. And as much as I want Jayden to have the chance to regain his humanity, I don’t want Magnus to get in trouble, either. ’Cause I’m pretty sure the punishment for outright treason is death by stake.
It’s not fair to put him in that position. To distract him from his important duties. Not when someone else could easily take over the task, freeing him up to concentrate on the war at hand.
Someone like the McDonald twins, for example. “Jayden, can I talk to you for a minute?” I ask.
He looks up, surprised. “Of course,” he says as he rises from his seat.
But Elizabeth stops him. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she says. “After all, we were specifically told by your bodyguard not to let the two of you alone.”
“In fact, if I remember right, I believe it was decided you should stay in your room,” adds Katie. “Until morning.”
Crap. In all the excitement, I forgot that I was still technically a prisoner. “Oh, right,” I say quickly, before they can alert Rufus or the professor. “They let me out for a bathroom break. But I best be getting back! Sorry to disturb you guys. Have fun! I’ll catch you later!”
Jayden looks at me, confused. “But, Sunny—”
I cut him off with a loud laugh. “Good luck with your lessons!” I tell him as I back out of the room. The girls watch me go with suspicious eyes, but thankfully none of them make a move to stop me. Once I’m far enough away for comfort I break out into a run, back toward the dusty parlor I came in from, to try to contemplate my next move.
How the hell am I going to get us out of here? I mean, just getting Jayden away from his own attractive jailers will be hard enough. And we probably aren’t going to be able to just walk out the front door without being noticed. I’d use the window, but my friend Cujo is still outside, patiently awaiting my return. And while, once my wings are dry, I’ll be able to fly again, that doesn’t help Jayden at all. And I can’t leave him here. Without my blood transfusions, he’ll have no hope at all.