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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
“Well, she should,” he huffs. “Though luckily I’ve figured out a way to reverse it all. Once I’ve finished here I’m heading back to Switzerland to meet up with my chemist friend. He can make the Holy Grail into a nice little antidote for me. I’ll turn back into a human and live a happily-ever-after normal mortal life with Leanna here.” He turns to the other Alpha and smiles at her fondly. Seriously, when did the two of them start hooking up?
Normal. I remember wanting that so badly... I almost feel bad for the guy. If, you know, he wasn’t planning to kill me and my sister.
“Mortal or vampire, you’ll never be normal,” I spit out. “You’ll always be a monster.”
He lunges at me, but Leanna yanks him back just in time. “Come on,” she says. “Don’t waste your time with this nobody. We’ve got to get ready. The sacrament is scheduled to begin any moment now.”
Corbin lets out a breath. “You’re right,” he says. Then he turns to me. “I’m going to enjoy disemboweling your sister,” he spits. And then, with that lovely sentiment, he follows Leanna out, closing the door behind him and leaving me in darkness.
Once their footsteps fade away, I work to try to break my bonds. But it’s no use. I’m stuck fast and I succeed only in making my wrists bleed. If only I had that kind of mental telepathy with Magnus that Rayne has with Jareth. Then at least I could warn him.
He and Jareth are probably out there right now in the ceremony room with the other initiates, with no idea what’s going on. Which means they might be forced to take a sip from my sister. And while I’m not sure if her poisonous blood can kill full-blooded vampires, I’m so not ready to take that chance. I’ve got to warn them somehow.
And then there’s my sister. My sweet Rayne. My best friend in the world, lying unconscious on a table, her blood swimming with poison. If the poison doesn’t kill her, the thousand bites from the initiates will drain her dry. And then she’ll be gone... forever.
Meaning half of me will be gone, too.
A lump forms in my throat. I feel so damn helpless. If only there was a way to get out. I’d trade every bit of “normal” to just have some kind of crazy superpower right about now to get me out of this mess so I can save my family.
But just as I’m about to give in to my despair, the door squeaks open and light shines into the room. I look up, assuming it’s Corbin or Leanna, back for more. But it’s not.
“Oh my God! Jayden!” I cry. I don’t think I could be happier to see anyone—even the Bergdorf shoe fairy—at this point. “How did you—?”
He runs into the room and goes right to work on my bindings. “When Jareth hypnotized me he opened a two-way link between me and Corbin,” he explains as he unties. “Once you guys left I kept getting visions of him and what he was doing. Which was annoying, at first. Until I caught a glimpse of you and I realized you were in trouble.” He yanks the rope free. “So, of course, I had to rescue you,” he adds shyly. “I hope that’s okay.”
I leap from my seat, throwing my arms around him in a huge hug. “Thank you so much! I don’t know what I would have done without you!”
He smiles his crooked smile. “You won’t ever have to find out.”
My heart melts at his naked vulnerability. Half of me just wants to kiss him all over again. To tell him I forgive him. But it’s more complicated than that. And I need to stay focused here.
“We have to go find Magnus and Jareth,” I tell him. “Corbin’s planning to poison everyone here.”
Jayden nods and we rush out of the closet and back into the makeshift lab. The good news—it’s now totally deserted. The bad news—my sister’s gone, too. Which means they must have moved her body to the main hall for the ceremony. We don’t have much time left.
But something out of the corner of my eye causes me to pause at the door. The Holy Grail. It’s still sitting in its glass case. I run over, grabbing a metal bar off the counter, and start smashing at the glass.
“What are you doing?” Jayden cries.
The glass shatters. I reach in and pull out the cup. Then I try to hand it to him. “This is it,” I tell him. “Drink this and you’ll be mortal again. You won’t have to live this vampiric nightmare anymore.”
To my surprise Jayden refuses the goblet. “No,” he says, shaking his head. “As long as I remain a vampire, I share Corbin’s link. I can read his mind and help you defeat the Alphas and save your sister.
I can’t do that if I go back to being a weak-ass, powerless human.”
“But...” My heart wrenches at his words. I know he’s doing this for me. To prove his love. To offer protection at the expense of his own happiness. But the price he’ll pay for his devotion may be too high to bear. “Look, Jayden, as much as I appreciate your willingness to help, you’re running out of time. Once your vampire cells bond completely with your human ones, that’s it. There’s no turning back. What if this is your last chance to regain your mortality?”
He shrugs. “Then I’ll miss my last chance. I’ll deal.” He sounds so confident. And half of me wants to agree with him. Just let him be a vampire—my immortal protector—for the rest of eternity. But no, I can’t do that to him. I can’t let him make the ultimate sacrifice for me when I still don’t even know what it is I want from him.