|Home > Mari Mancusi > Blood Coven Series > Blood Ties (Page 38)|
|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
“Yes, this is one of three licensed Blood Bars in Tokyo,” Amaya agrees. “Where vampires are allowed to take blood from humans. The humans pay a lot of money to be drunk from. It feels very good to them.”
My first instinct is to recoil in disgust. But then I flash back to the ryokan last night. Jayden’s mouth on my neck. The ecstasy of the blood draining from me. The horrible withdrawal feeling when he pulled away. I shudder. Maybe I’m just as bad as the rest of them. Though, of course, I was acting on a noble purpose—trying to save someone’s life. They’re just here for kicks.
“Do a lot of humans come here?” Jayden asks. Suki nods. “More than you would think.
Businessmen, tourists. Vampire fanatics from around the world. Many countries have made Blood Bars illegal so if you wanted to try it, you’d have to come here.”
“You make it sound like a brothel,” I say, unable to hide the disgust in my voice.
Amaya shoots me a sharp look. “These workers are honorable vampires. They do not have... relations... with humans. They serve them dinner and suck their blood. And that is all. The vampires are paid a decent wage for their services. And they are no longer hungry, which cuts down on random blood crime on the streets of Tokyo.”
I suppose she’s got a point there. But still, I can’t help think the whole operation is more than a bit sleazy. Maybe it’s the way the vampires are dressed. Or the sultry makeup on their faces. Suddenly this whole thing seems like a bad idea. Jayden, sinking his teeth into some disgusting weird European businessman who’s looking to get his rocks off...
“Jayden, if you don’t want to do this—” I start.
But Rayne cuts me off. “Sunny, can I talk to you for a moment?” she asks. Then adds, “Alone?”
I reluctantly follow her over to an empty corner of the room. She turns to me, her face grave. “Look, you need to chill,” she says. “I’ve done my research on this place. It’s all normal and legal and sanctioned by Japanese Slayer Inc. The humans are all blood tested before they are allowed club membership and there are guards inside to make sure nothing gets out of hand.” She pauses, then adds, “Don’t ruin Jayden’s chance for a decent meal because you’re jealous of the chick he’s going to chow down on.”
I hang my head. Am I that obvious? “I’m not—” “What? Jealous? Do you think I’m an idiot?”
Rayne demands. “Please. I see the way you look at that guy. I know you still have feelings for him, even if you won’t admit it to yourself. I mean, you were just holding hands, for God’s sake!”
“I was afraid of the dark!”
Rayne rolls her eyes. “What would Magnus do if he saw you just now?”
“Magnus can go to hell. He wanted to have Jayden killed.”
“You don’t know that for sure,” Rayne reminds me. “And if he did, I’m sure he had a very good reason.” She shakes her head. “And here they say I’m the one with the trust issues.”
I gnaw at my lower lip, hating that she’s making sense. Since when did my crazy sister become the voice of reason in the family? “Fine,” I relent. “Take Jayden into Bite Club. But don’t let him leave your sight, okay? We’ve come all this way. I don’t want anything to happen to him.”
My sister nods resolutely. “Done and done,” she says, reaching over to give me a quick hug. Then we rejoin our group.
“Sunny, I’ll show you to the café outside,” Amaya says. “You can wait for them there.”
Of course I’m not allowed inside. Typical.
“Don’t worry, Sun,” Rayne adds. “We’ll be back before you know it. And Jayden will be feeling a heck of a lot better.”
And so we part. Amaya leads me out through a door on the right into a small, cheery café, as promised. After she leaves, I order myself a bubble tea, and try to keep my mind from imagining sweet Jayden morphing into a monster and gulping down a stranger’s blood.
It’s just dinner, I try to remind myself. Not sex.
Not that I should care if it was sex. Jayden isn’t my boyfriend. And the more I try to cling to our sort-of half relationship, half friendship, the more unfair it is for him. He should be trying to make new friends, find true love. But every time he makes a move to do so, like with Elizabeth, I end up freaking out like a jealous girlfriend, reeling him back in. Then, every time he does come back to me, telling me he loves me, I push him away.
I need to stop leading him on. To let him go and find his own happiness instead of dragging him down into my misery. I have a boyfriend. Leader of the Blood Coven. Powerful, majestic, beautiful...
And, quite possibly, completely untrustworthy.
An hour goes by and I glumly order another tea. How long do these things usually take? I should have asked Amaya.
Suddenly, I see a flash of movement out of the corner of my eyes. Then a high-pitched scream.
“Where is it? Tell us now!” shouts an angry male voice.
I look up, my eyes widening in horror. A group of red-cloaked individuals have just entered the restaurant, armed to the teeth. One of them has my waiter up against the wall, knife to his throat.
Oh my God. The Alphas are here!?
Horrified, I duck under the table. Could it really be? The Alphas? Invading the Bite Club? Now, of all times? Is this some kind of massive coincidence? Or did someone from the Cosplay Coven sell us out?