|Home > Mari Mancusi > Blood Coven Series > Night School (Page 49)|
|Night School(Blood Coven Vampire,book 5) by Mari Mancusi|
I back out of the room, closing the door behind me. I collapse onto the hall floor, not sure where to go or what to do. Inside, I can hear noises. Jareth murmuring to Corbin in a voice too low to understand. Corbin, evidently having regained consciousness, murmuring back. I try to swallow, but the lump in my throat is too big. What will he decide? And is he really capable of making this important decision in his current state?
After what seems an eternity, Jareth steps outside the room. He nods his head at me and I scramble to my feet to follow him down the hall and into our hotel room. If only I hadn’t forgotten my key. None of this would have happened.
“Is he okay?” I ask.
“Depends on your definition of okay.”
“Is he ... dead?”
“Technically he will be soon. He’s lost way too much blood to live.”
“Technically?” Fear wells up inside of me. “So you mean ... ?”
Jareth slumps down on the bed. He looks exhausted. It’s then I see a swath of bloody cloth tied to his wrist and I know exactly what he’s done.
“But Corbin never wanted to be a vampire,” I protest, the horror growing inside of me at a mind-numbing rate. “He hates vampires more than anything. He wants to slay the entire race.”
“He may feel differently once he turns into one,” Jareth says wearily, reaching down to grab a blood bag he’d stored in the minibar. Evidently he needs a refill.
I draw in a breath. “But I thought vampires were only supposed to turn one person in their lives. Their blood mate. And you’ve already done that with me.”
Jareth nods. “According to the consortium’s rules, yes, one offspring per vampire. But in some situations the rules must be ... bent. And as co-master of the Blood Coven, I have the authority to make that call.”
I fall backward into an armchair, guilt ripping through me, so sharp I feel like I’m going to be sick.
“I couldn’t stop myself,” I say at last. “It was scary. I ... I think I need help.”
Jareth turns to me, his eyes full of an emotion I can’t explain. “Yes,” he says simply. “You do. Are you finally ready to accept it?”
I swallow hard, feeling embarrassed and stupid and weak. “Yes. Yes, I am.”
He smiles sadly at me, then pulls me toward him. I collapse into his arms. “I’m such an idiot!” I wail. “I should have taken a donor from the start. I should have listened to you when I wrecked my car back in October, after that fight with David and my mom. But I was too ashamed to admit I couldn’t handle it. That I wasn’t cut out to be a vampire.”
Jareth strokes my head lovingly, shushing me in my ear. “Being a young vampire is tough in the best of circumstances,” he soothes. “And your transition hasn’t been easy from the start.” He takes my head in his hands, tilting it up so he can meet my eyes with his own deep ones. “You’re not Supervamp, Rayne McDonald. And admitting that is the first step.”
I nod, giving him a rueful smile. “I admit it,” I say, swallowing hard. “I admit it from the bottom of my no-longer-beating heart.”
He smiles and leans down, pressing his cool lips against mine, and I can feel the blood tears drip from my eyes at his tenderness. What would I do without my Jareth?
“Don’t be scared,” he murmurs. “We’ll put you in a program—get you the help you need. And everything will be okay. I’ll be there every step of the way. I’ll never leave your side.”
“But what about Corbin?” I can’t help but ask. “I think he’s going to need more than a twelve-step program to come to terms with his new undead status.”
Jareth looks weary. “I got him to sign an agreement saying he willingly gives his life over to the Blood Coven. So he can’t sue us or anything if he changes his mind once he turns. And I’ll assign a few of my men to bring him back to headquarters, once he’s completed his death and transformation, which will take about seven days. There, he’ll be assigned a trainer and he’ll learn how to become a vampire.” He shrugs. “He’s very strong. I’m sure he’ll be okay, once he accepts his fate.”
Okay isn’t the word I’d use. And I doubt very much Corbin will ever be able to completely accept his fate. And I’ll have to live with that guilt for the rest of my life.
“What if he tells everyone I’m the one who did it to him?”
“He won’t. I’m going to have the doctors back at the coven erase his memory,” Jareth says. “After that, he won’t know anything about you. In fact, he’ll never even remember meeting you. So don’t go all confessional on him when you do see him again, okay?”
“Okay,” I manage to squeak out. Poor Corbin. Poor, poor Corbin. I gave my life to become a vampire. But his was stolen from him, along with his identity. It wasn’t fair.
“And as for you,” Jareth adds, “you’re going back as well. Straight to rehab to start getting the help you need.”
I look at him, confused. I can’t go now! “Jareth,” I say, trying to keep my trembling voice calm. “I promise to go to rehab. But before I do, I have to save my sister.”
“She’s in fairyland and I’m the only one here who can break into their dimension. I have the location now and even the URL with the magic words. I’m her only hope.” Tears well up in my eyes again. “Please, Jareth, I’m begging you. I’ll get help when I get back. But right now my sister needs me.”