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|Blood Ties(Blood Coven Vampire,book 6) by Mari Mancusi|
He nods slowly, as if he had already known my answer. Heck, he probably had. “Right,” he says.
“I actually came to say good-bye,” I confess. “Pyrus is furious that Magnus and I infiltrated the Alphas after he told us not to get involved. He has denounced us as traitors, using some crazy trumped-up charge, and putting a price on both of our heads. If we’re found, we’re going to have to stand trial for treason.”
Jayden stares at me, horrified. “And if you’re convicted...?”
“Magnus will be staked. And I’ll either be deported back to Fairyland or killed.”
“But you guys did the right thing. You stopped a war. You saved innocent people.”
I nod glumly. “I know. It seems like a happily ever after. Roberta and Dr. Franken in jail. The Alpha students being retrained by Slayer Inc....”
“But the Consortium doesn’t agree?”
“Who knows what they think? They’re all too scared to speak up against Pyrus. Magnus isn’t the first vampire he’s kicked out of the Consortium. They’re afraid if they take a stand, their vampires will suffer.” I scowl. “Can you believe he still bombed the temple? Even though Magnus called him and told him he didn’t have to? A beautiful historic landmark—just obliterated for no reason. Not to mention, the Holy Grail itself was still in there when it blew. I’m really glad I made you drink when I did.” I shake my head, thinking of Pyrus’s ugly smirk. “There’s something wrong with that guy. Someone’s got to get him out of power—or I’m afraid things are only going to get worse.”
“So what now?”
“Jareth’s still leading the Blood Coven, which is something, I guess. Pyrus doesn’t know he helped us. Right now he’s working on rallying the other Consortium members to our side, which is dangerous, to say the least. If Pyrus gets word of what he’s doing, who knows what will happen to him... and the Blood Coven.” I sigh. “But we’ve got to try.”
“Oh, Sunny,” Jayden cries, grabbing my hands in his. “Promise me you’ll stay safe.”
“I’ll try my best,” I say, attempting a small smile, but it’s not easy.
He pulls me into a hug, squeezing me so tight it takes my breath away. The tears stream down my cheeks. When he pulls away, he searches my face with concerned eyes.
“I do love you,” he says. “I know we can’t be together. I understand and accept that. But I will never stop loving you. And I want you to know that.”
“I know,” I manage to squeak.
“And if you ever need me—for anything at all—I will be there for you. No matter what,” he says firmly. “I may not be a superstrong vampire. But I am powerful in many other ways.”
I try to smile. “Believe me, I know,” I say. “I really do.” I pause, then add, “And Jayden?”
“I care about you, too. I don’t know if I should say that. I mean, it can’t change how things are between us. Or the fact that I belong with Magnus. I love him and need to stick with him. But that doesn’t mean my feelings for you aren’t strong as hell.”
His face breaks in happiness. “Oh, Sunny,” he says. “That’s all I ever wanted to hear.” He reaches out and presses a warm hand against my cheek. It’s nice to feel his humanity again. “We share a bond, you and I,” he says fervently. “And no matter where we are or who we’re with, that’s never going to go away.”
I smile at him and give him another hug. We grip onto each other so tightly it’s amazing neither of us breaks in two.
“I’m not going to say good-bye,” he says earnestly, finding my eyes with his own green ones. “Because I know our paths will cross again. You take care of yourself. Be safe. And tell Magnus if he lets the Consortium touch even a hair on your head he will have me to answer to.” He grins shyly. “I don’t care if he is a creature with supernatural powers. I’m sure somehow I could kick his ass.”
I rise to my feet, my legs threatening to buckle and give way from the effort it takes. “I bet you could,” I say with a small laugh as I turn to walk out of the theater and out of his life forever.
As I step out into the night, a limo pulls up to the curb. The door swings open and I scramble inside. “You okay?” Magnus asks, looking at me with worried eyes.
I shake my head, the sobs bursting out, and he pulls me to him as the driver shuts the door, rocking me in his arms as we head to the airport.
“I’m sorry,” I say, trying to regain my composure. Magnus looks at me lovingly. “Don’t be,” he says.
“I know how hard this is for you. Leaving everything behind.” He slams a fist against the leather seat. “I hate taking you away from everyone you love. I wish to God there was some other way.”
“But there’s not,” I remind him gently. “We both know that. And I love you, Magnus. More than anything in the entire world. Where you go—I go. End of story.”
“Still! All you wanted was to be normal. And I feel like I’ve stolen that from you... time and time again.” He searches my face. “Are you sure you want to come with me?” he asks. “It’s not going to be an easy life. And definitely not a normal one.”
“Meh,” I say, forcing my voice to sound breezy. “Normal is so overrated anyway.”