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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
Of course she has. “You just have to trust me,” I reply. “We can talk more once we’re free of this place.”
He’s silent, and for a moment I truly think he’s going to turn down my offer of rescue. But eventually he nods his head, though still not looking me in the eye. “Okay,” he says. “Lead the way.”
And so I do, casually wandering through the halls with him, passing various vampire guests (who I catch sniffing the air suspiciously, but thankfully, they don’t attack) until we reach the front door.
“Are you ready?” I ask, pulling out the Mini Cooper key I absconded from Elizabeth’s pocket after knocking her out.
“As I’ll ever be.”
We make a run for the car, jumping in and peeling out of the driveway. As we go, we see Tanner running out the front door, waving the cup, a panicked look on his face.
“Master Jayden!” I hear him cry. “You need to take your blood!”
But I just step on the gas. Once we’re a safe distance away, I shake off the glamour, returning to my own body again. Jayden stares at me with wide eyes. “It really is you!” he cries.
“Yes, I told you that.”
He slumps back in his seat. “Which means I kissed you, not her,” he moans. “This is so embarrassing. Don’t tell Magnus, okay? I don’t want to piss him off.”
I scowl, my mind flashing back to the discussion I overheard with Tanner and Lucedio. Did Magnus really order Jayden to be killed? I want to trust that he wouldn’t do something like that. But he’s lied to me so many times before... And if he didn’t think there was any way for me to find out...
I realize Jayden’s still waiting for an answer.
“It’s no big deal,” I snarl, involuntarily reaching up to touch my fingers to my lips, still swollen from the accidental kiss. “Just don’t do it again.”
But even as I say the words, I wonder if I really mean them...
I run through the Tokyo security exit, throwing my arms around my sister in uncontained excitement. She squeezes me back, so tightly, for a moment I feel like I’m a half who’s just managed to find her whole again.
“Oh, Rayne, it’s so good to see you!” I cry. “Thank you so much for meeting me.”
“Of course!” she exclaims. “How could I not, after what you told me on the phone? My God, what was Magnus thinking, leaving you there like that—with those horrible English bitches? Sometimes I do not know what goes on in that vampire’s head.”
Her words sober my enthusiasm. I’ve been wrestling with questions throughout the twelve-hour flight and I still haven’t come up with any solid answers. Half of me wants to believe there has to be some other kind other explanation—like that Tanner was acting on his own, pretending to be following Magnus’s orders or something. But why would the bodyguard bother to risk his hard-won Blood Coven membership and full-time job just to end some inconsequential vampire’s life? It doesn’t add up.
Unfortunately, the only other option, however, is that Magnus lied to me once again, after swearing he was trustworthy and actually getting mad at me for not trusting him. Sure, he probably had good intentions, knowing I’d never be able to let Jayden go without some kind of closure, even if that meant his actual death. Knowing him like I do, I can just picture his thought process now—realizing that finding the Grail in Tokyo would be like finding a needle in a haystack and that it would be kindest for all involved to just end things quietly and painlessly. So we could all move on. Except, you know, the guy he basically murdered in cold blood.
Seriously, if he lied to me again—even if he truly believed it was for my own good—if he ordered the death of my friend—he and I are done. Forever. End of story. No discussion.
“Hey, Rayne,” Jayden says, walking up to the two of us. My sister regards him with a critical once-over. “Hey, Jayden,” she replies coolly. “You behave yourself on the flight? No snacking on the other passengers?”
Jayden holds up his hands and grins. “Total Vamp Scout,” he says. “Though, to be honest, I wasn’t very prepared. After all, Sunny yanked me out of Vampire Manor so fast I couldn’t even make myself a nice to- go cup.” He chuckles at his own joke. At least he seems to be feeling better, though he still refuses to look me in the eye.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find you some blood about town,” Rayne assures him. “I’d lend you my donor, but I’m guessing you and Sunny need to keep a low profile here.”
I nod. “Yes. If Magnus finds out I defied him and came here, he’ll be so pissed,” I tell her. Not to mention it would give him another opportunity to get rid of the competition. “Best to keep it all on the down-low.”
“No problem,” Rayne replies. “First we need to get you to your hotel. The vampires are all staying at this super amazing Park Hyatt in Shinjuku. It’s where that old Bill Murray movie Lost in Translation was filmed. Completely luxe, with the most amazing views fifty- something stories up. You would have loved it.”
“Sounds sweet. But we’re not on vacation. We just need a place to crash.”
“I know, I know.” She waves me off. “You can’t afford it anyway. And I already maxed out my personal credit card getting you your flights. Normally I’d have used my Blood Coven Black Amex, of course, but I didn’t want Magnus’s moronic secretary to see the charges and put two and two together.”