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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“Fine,” Magnus relents, still not sounding like he’s going to be signing up for the Corbin fan club anytime soon. “He can come. But technically he’ll be our prisoner until we can figure out what to do with him. One false move and we will take him out. No questions asked.”
“No problem,” I say, relief washing through me. “You won’t have to do anything, I promise. He’ll be so well-behaved you won’t even notice him.”
“Well, then,” Jareth says. “If that’s settled, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to fairyland and rescue your sister!”
“Wake up, sleepyhead. We’re going to land in a few minutes.” I yawn and stretch my arms over my head, reluctantly opening my eyes. I smile as they fall on Jareth, who’s kneeling above me on the private plane’s cushy, velvet-covered bed (I so don’t sleep in coffins!), looking down at me with his beautiful, loving eyes.
“Are you okay?” he asks, handing me a squeeze bottle of Blood Synthetic. “You slept like the dead.”
“Stands to figure, since I’m a vampire and all,” I tease.
He grins. “That’s my Rayne.”
He lies down beside me and takes me into his arms, pulling me into a comfortable embrace, his body pressed against mine. I deeply breathe in his rich, dark scent. I’ve missed him so much. My heart feels as if it might literally explode with love.
He strokes my back, his gentle hands running over my feathery wings, which have grown almost to full size. Luckily they also tuck in very well and with my shirt on, you can’t really notice them.
“I was so worried,” he whispers, his mouth brushing up against my ear. His toes intertwine with mine. He nuzzles my cheek, as if he’s still checking to see if I’m really here, in the flesh. “When Rachel called and said you were in danger, I almost died.”
“It’s a good thing I’m such a kick-ass, don’t-need-a-guy-to-rescue-me type of girl, huh?” I tease, but at the same time I can feel the tears well up into my eyes. The fact that he put everything on pause, just for me, is beyond wonderful. For all our past fights and difficulties, he loves me. More than anything in the world. And I need to appreciate that with all my heart.
Because I feel the same way about him.
The moments spent with Corbin now seem a pale imitation, a parody of romance on the weakest level. A mere lusty need, not a deep, mature love like I have with Jareth. The thought now of Corbin’s lips on mine only serves to make me sick. I wish I had never touched the guy. I wish I could forget it ever happened. I wish I had never drunk anything but the synthetic as long as I lived. Then I wouldn’t know how the other stuff can be.
I let out an involuntary sob.
“Don’t worry, my dearest,” Jareth murmurs, misunderstanding my tears and wiping them away with a gentle thumb. “We’ll find Sunny. And she’ll be fine. She’s their queen, after all. Hell, she’s probably being treated like royalty right about now. All the nectar she can drink.”
“But she doesn’t want that,” I remind him, grateful to switch topics. “Sunny just wants to be human.”
“I know,” Jareth says, planting a fond kiss on my forehead. “And that’s why we’re going to get her back. We’ll bring her back to the Blood Coven and all four of us can live happily ever after.”
“Mmm,” I say dreamily. “That sounds amazing.” I tangle myself deeper into his arms. “Happily ever after for everyone,” I murmur as I plant my lips on Jareth’s and we begin to kiss.
The sound of a clearing throat causes us to break away. I look up. Corbin’s standing at the door, looking really uncomfortable. He shifts from foot to foot. Instinctively, I put a little space between Jareth and myself. “What’s up?” I ask.
“Sorry,” he stammers. “Magnus told me to tell you to buckle up for landing. We’ll be on the ground in six minutes.” He turns quickly and walks away.
I glance guiltily over at Jareth, who’s looking at me with worried eyes. “I’m really not sure it was the best decision to bring him along,” he says in a low voice. “He has much anger inside of him. And for good reason, too.”
I hang my head and grab the blood substitute, taking a swig. Yuck. This stuff is disgusting. How have I been drinking it for so long?
“I know,” I say. “I feel terrible about what I did to him.”
“He’s also got a lot of power and training,” Jareth adds. “He could be dangerous.”
“No.” I shake my head stubbornly. “He’s a good guy. I swear. He’s just hurt because of the whole blood thing. He thinks he’s in love with me.”
“Oh Rayne,” Jareth says with a deep sigh. “How do you always manage to get yourself into these kinds of situations?”
I shrug, grinning impishly at him. “Just lucky, I guess. Just like you’re lucky to have me!”
He laughs and grabs me, playfully wrestling me into submission. “Am I?” he asks, tickling my ribs. I squeal and giggle in protest. “Am I lucky to have you?”
“YES!” I cry. “Now stop! We’ve got to follow FAA regulations and buckle up for safety. Seatbacks and tray tables and all that.”
He snorts and stops tickling me. “Oh fine,” he says in a mock huff. “Be that way!” Jumping off the bed, we head into the main cabin to take our seats for landing. As we descend, I glance out the window at the expanse of green below me.