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|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
“If I can’t have you,” he snarls, “then I’m going to make sure no one can.”
“Corbin, listen,” I plead, trying desperately to keep my voice calm while my mind races for an escape plan. “You’re just feeling the aftereffects of my vampire scent. You actually hate me, remember? You think I’m a pathetic home-schooled slayer vamp. Don’t throw everything away on a feeling that’s not even real.”
His face turns purple with rage. “Vampire scent?” he repeats. Uh-oh. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone there, now that I think about it. “I should have known! All this anguish I feel inside ... all this agony and pain ... it’s been your evil pheromones this whole time, hasn’t it?”
I nod weakly. This is so not good.
“I should have never trusted you,” he growls, brandishing his stake as he takes a step closer. “You’re just like the rest of them. A sick, twisted, disgusting bloodsucking beast. And just like the rest of them, you don’t deserve to live.”
He flies at me so fast I barely have time to react. I manage to duck a split second before his stake makes contact with my heart. Instead, he crashes into the window, the impact shattering the glass and cutting his hand. Blood drips from the wound and I can feel my fangs elongate in eagerness.
I head for the door, but he’s too quick, diving at me and managing to latch on to my ankle. I lose my balance and slam to the ground. As he yanks me back toward him, I claw at the carpet, but can’t seem to get a handhold. So I kick backward with my free foot, my steel-toed Doc Marten boot connecting with his nose. I hear a crack, followed by a scream of pain, and my ankle is now free.
I flip myself over and leap to my feet, grabbing him by the shoulders and smashing him against the wall. His head slams with a thud and he slumps to the ground, unconscious, as blood fountains from his nose, hands, and head. The smell and sight of it all overwhelms my senses, and the next moment I find myself on top of him, fangs buried deep into his neck, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I can feel his feeble thrashes beneath me as he regains consciousness, but he has all the strength of a premature baby. I taste his anger, his pain, his agony—each sip more delicious than the last and I find I can barely form a conscious thought over the ever-flowing ecstasy. His heart thuds beneath me, strong at first, then weakening as I gulp mouthful after mouthful of his spicy, hot blood.
Soon his protests stop and his body grows limp, his pulse slows and the blood gets even more delicious, if that’s possible. I’m drinking his essence now, I dimly realize, his very soul and life are draining into me. And it’s so, so good.
No! I can’t do this. I can’t hurt him any more than I already have. If I do, I’ll be proving to him what he believed all along. That vampires are evil. And I’m not evil. I just ...
I just need help!
It takes every ounce of my strength, but I force myself to pull away. I look down at him, horrified, praying I wasn’t too late. That I didn’t take a life. Corbin’s life, of all people. To hurt him—after he saved me from Slayer Inc. back at Night School ...
I really would be a monster.
My eyes catch a slight rise and fall from his chest. He’s alive, but maybe barely. And maybe not for long. I summon up everything inside me in a psychic scream, begging Jareth to wake up and help me as I try to press a towel to the wound to stop the flow of blood.
He bursts into the room a moment later, his eyes wide and horrified when he sees what I’ve done. “Please,” I beg. “Please help him. I didn’t mean to ...”
“Move aside,” he instructs and I comply, whimpering in a mixture of horror and fear as I crawl into the corner of the room, pulling my knees to my chest and hugging them tightly. Blood—Corbin’s blood—drips onto my skirt, staining it crimson, and I want to throw up.
Jareth was right all along: I need help. And if I get out of this mess—if Corbin lives—I swear I will suck up my pride and ask for it. I will accept any help I can get. Counseling, blood rehab, whatever it takes. I admit it—I can’t do it alone. The monster inside is too strong.
I watch as Jareth checks Corbin’s pulse, then puts his ear to his mouth to feel for any breath. Please, please be okay! I bite my lower lip, forgetting my fangs are still out, and my own blood fills my mouth, mixing with my victim’s.
“Oh, Rayne,” Jareth says hoarsely, rising from Corbin’s limp body and turning to look at me. “What have you done?”
“Jareth, please save him,” I beg. “I didn’t mean to ...”
But Jareth isn’t listening to my reply. His attention is back on Corbin, his movements frantic as he tries to perform CPR. My stomach swims with nausea. “Listen to me, Corbin,” I vaguely hear Jareth saying, over my own troubled thoughts. “You’ve lost a lot of blood. I need you to make a decision for me.”
Horror slams into my gut as I realize exactly what Jareth is going to ask him. “No!” I cry, stumbling blindly to my feet. “He doesn’t want that! Anything but that!” After all, Corbin hates vampires. They killed his parents. He’d rather die than become one of us monsters.
Which, it appears, thanks to me, is his only other option.
“Rayne, leave the room. Now!” Jareth growls at me, baring his fangs. I shrink back in horror, my beautiful boyfriend morphing into a menacing beast. Is that what I looked like to Corbin? No wonder he tried to kill me.