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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
God, if so, Hamlet was right about the whole frailty your name is woman thing. Poor Magnus.
“And look at him now, all injured and stuff. All because he was protecting me,” Sunny says and her followers all sigh dreamily. “I’m going to go over there. Maybe a back massage will make him feel better.”
And without further ado, my sister leaps from the table, bounding over to the Alphas. She reaches around to cover Peter’s eyes in a “guess who” kind of way. He turns around, sees her, and starts laughing. Plopping herself down at the empty seat next to him, she starts rubbing his shoulders. I just shake my head in disbelief.
Who is this girl and what have they done with my sister?
My stomach growls, dragging my attention away from Sunny’s flirtation and back to my own much more worrisome problem. I swallow hard, trying to ignore the gnawing emptiness inside, growing by the minute. If only I hadn’t tried it once, I’m sure I could have staved it off a little longer. But now that I’ve had a taste—now that I know what I’m missing—I’m having a really hard time controlling my bloodlust.
Well, you’re going to have to wait. It’s not like there’s just a bunch of donors hanging around the slay school—
“Rayne! There you are. I’ve been searching everywhere for you!”
I look up to see Corbin standing in front of me, dressed all in black, save a white bandage at his neck. His hooded emerald eyes lock onto mine with unshielded desire. My mind flashes back to last night in the cave—my lips at his throat, sucking down his sweet, syrupy blood as he moans in ecstasy. My face flushes and my stomach flip-flops in memory.
Oh God, this is not good. I need to get up and walk away. Now. Before it’s too late.
Corbin holds out a hand. I find myself reaching out to take it. His skin is warm, inviting. He wraps his fingers around mine and pulls me to my feet.
“Come with me, Little Slayer,” he commands in a voice that leaves no room for argument.
And, against all my better judgment, I do as he says.
We leave the cafeteria and wander off the cobblestone path, hand in hand, around the buildings and into the woods. Corbin says nothing, just grips my hand, and my heart beats wildly in my chest as he pulls me along. I shouldn’t be doing this—I know where it’s going—where it has to go. Now that I’ve had my taste of forbidden fruit, I won’t be able to stop myself from taking another bite, given the opportunity. And being alone with him in the woods? The guy might as well be wrapping up his neck in a ribbon and putting himself under the Christmas tree.
Just what I always wanted!
I know I should run screaming from the woods and never look back. I should tell him I never want to see him again and it’s best we keep our distance from this point forward. But I can’t. There’s no way. Not when he’s willing to offer me the one thing I need more than anything, even though I know it’s the last thing I should take.
“So, um, how are you feeling?” I ask, trying to still the desire welling up inside of me with casual conversation.
He shrugs. “Better, I guess.” Finding a fallen log in the middle of a small clearing, he sits down on it, gesturing for me to do the same. I sit, as far away as possible from him, but of course he closes the distance between us immediately. Sitting so close that our thighs are touching. I squirm in a mixture of hunger and desire. I hate how attracted I am to him. It makes me feel disloyal to Jareth. Of course, then again, I’m not looking to love Corbin. I just want what he can give me.
But he obviously feels a bit differently, reaching out and taking my chin in his hand and turning my head so our eyes meet, our lips only scarce inches away. “I wanted to thank you,” he says earnestly. “For saving my life last night.”
Oh God. I shake my head free, guilt assaulting me from every angle. He thinks I saved him! When, instead, I’m the one who accidentally almost ended his life altogether with my greediness.
“I ... really didn’t help much,” I say. True.
“I’d lost so much blood,” he continues, not listening to me. “If you hadn’t dragged me away to that cave ...” He shakes his head. “No matter,” he says firmly. “I just wanted you to know that I’m sorry about tormenting you before. I’m an idiot sometimes. You’re a better person than me and I’m now forever in your debt.”
Cool. Then how about a sip of ...
I shake my head. I feel like I’m going crazy here.
“The whole thing is so strange,” he continues, reaching up to touch his bandaged neck. “Why were the fairies there? What did they want? And why would they take my blood? The guardians who interviewed me afterward told me that fairies rarely, if ever, take mortal blood. Most of them are sort of like otherworld vegetarians. Preferring nectar and other things found in nature.”
I gnaw at my lower lip. “Well, maybe they suddenly had a Mac Attack?” I suggest, referring to the old McDonald’s commercial. I guess I can get away with this “truth” because, honestly, I don’t know what was going on in the other fairies’ minds. Heck, maybe one of them WAS craving Big Macs while they were bearing down on us. You never know.
Corbin chuckles. “Well, anyway, the scientists swabbed my neck and are evaluating the saliva. Hopefully they can come up with a DNA match since most fairies are cataloged through the Slayer Inc. databases after the Fairyland Revolt in 2002. Maybe this way we can at least come up with which kingdom is responsible for the attack.”