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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“Yes,” I say. What good would it be to deny it now, even if I could? “Look, Corbin—”
“Oh God.” He slams his head against the concrete wall. “I can’t believe this is happening.” He looks over at me with sick revulsion on his face. “How could you do this to me? After all we shared—after what I told you about my parents ...”
I cringe, feeling the ravaging guilt trying to swallow me whole. “I know. And I’m sorry. I know that probably sounds totally lame, but I am seriously really freaking sorry. Believe me, it was the last thing I ever wanted to do. And if it wasn’t a life-or-death situation ... well ...” I hang my head. “I know, it doesn’t matter. I still should have asked.” I give him a brief play-by-play on the night the fairies attacked in the woods.
“I didn’t want to do it,” I conclude. “Not to you. Not to anyone. In fact, before that night, I’d never even drunk human blood. I’m a freaking vegetarian after all. But when Sunny and I were dumped here to hide out from the fairy army, there was no Blood Synthetic on campus. So it was basically drink human or die.” I make a face, disgusted with myself even now. “And you just happened to win the vampire victim lottery.”
Corbin is silent for a moment, digesting my story. “How do I know you’re not lying to me now?” he says at last, in a tired voice.
“Evidently fairies can’t lie,” I admit. “It’s one of our more annoying traits.”
“Yeah. I can see how that might cramp a vampire’s style,” Corbin snarls sarcastically.
I let out a frustrated sigh. “Look, I don’t expect you to forgive me. Hell, I don’t even forgive myself at this point. I’m going to have to live with what I did to you ’til the day I die.” I pause, then add, “Which will likely be very soon unless we figure out a way to get out of here.”
“We?” Corbin repeats bitterly. “There’s no ‘we’ in this scenario.”
Right. Of course he’d feel that way. I’d feel that way if I were him. But in this case, it’s counterproductive. I draw in a breath, trying to keep my patience. “Look, Corbin, I don’t think you understand how much trouble we’re in here.”
“You almost killed me twice this week. How much worse could this be?”
I hang my head, not blaming him one bit for his anger. He feels betrayed and confused—and deserves to feel all that and more. But, at the same time, all this emotion is wasted energy. We have to work together to get out of here. For his own good as well as mine. How can I convince him of that?
Of course I could just re-glamour the guy. Make him fall in love with me again and do whatever I say. That’d be the easy way out. But looking at his angry, hurt face, I just can’t bring myself to do that. To trick him again.
No, I have to be more honorable if possible. Only do that as a last resort.
“Corbin, listen to me,” I say, trying another tact. “I’ve wronged you. Badly, horribly, unforgivably wronged you. I know that. And I will pay for it, one way or another. But right now, this isn’t about me. It’s about getting you out of Night School. Because tomorrow morning they plan to inject you with my blood. To make you into the same kind of monster I’ve become.”
“I don’t believe you,” he snarls back at me. “They wouldn’t do that.”
“They’ve been doing it,” I insist, gritting my teeth. “I heard them talking about failed experiments. And if we stay here, you’re going to become one of them.”
“No,” Corbin says stubbornly. There’s a hysterical edge to his voice. “You don’t understand. I’m an Alpha. I’m going to Night School!”
I swallow hard. “Corbin, we’re in Night School now. Does this look anything like what they promised you?”
He shakes his head miserably. Gone is all the cocky arrogance. He’s just a confused little boy who’s had the rug pulled out from under him.
I take a deep breath. “Look, Corbin, I know this is a lot to deal with. But we have to figure out a way to escape, okay? Then we can deal with the rest of it.”
He nods slowly. Good. “But how?” he asks.
I think for a moment. “What about the other Alphas? Would they help?”
“If they knew we were here, probably,” Corbin says with a shrug. “But they don’t. I was alone when they captured me. And we can’t exactly text them our location now.”
Right. Of course. I bite at my lower lip, thinking. My vampire strength has already dwindled and I don’t think—even if I could reach him—Corbin’s going to let me bite him again, even if it means regaining my vampire strength for a quick escape. “If only there were other vampires on campus,” I muse.
“I have, like, one vampire power,” I explain. “I can submit psychic cries for help that can be heard by other vampires.”
He snorts. “That’s a power? I think I would have held out for a kung fu grip or something.”
I give him a half smile. At least he’s making jokes.
“Well, it’s not like I got to choose,” I tell him. “But at times it is useful.”
“Well, give it a try then. Maybe there’s a wandering vamp out there in the woods. You never know.”
“Okay.” I’m not optimistic about that, but what the hell. We’ve got nothing better. I close my eyes and lean my head back against the wall. Concentrating, I push my mental message as hard as I can.