Home > Soul Bound (Blood Coven Vampire #7)

Soul Bound (Blood Coven Vampire #7)
Author: Mari Mancusi

1

Charles Teifert looks like your typical high school drama teacher. He’s got wild black hair, thick glasses, and appears to have the inability to button his shirts correctly. (And don’t even get me started on his wacky ties.) He walks around life with a slightly frazzled look on his often unshaven face. To the common passerby, he appears to have nothing more on his mind then how his students will perform on the opening night of the senior class production of Camelot.

Certainly no one meeting Charles Teifert for the first time would ever guess that beneath that carefully structured, stereotypical, nutty drama teacher facade lies one of the top protectors of our generation. But indeed Charles Teifert is that and more; he serves as vice president of Slayer Inc., an international conglomerate with a mission to keep the world safe from vampires, fairies, werewolves, and other supernatural beings. (Including, but not limited to, leprechauns, Sasquatch, and even jolly old Saint Nick, should he ever decide to start dropping bombs instead presents down his constituents’ chimneys.)

Charles Teifert is also my boss. He’s the one who first told me I was destined to become a vampire slayer last spring when his former star slayer, Bertha, had to retire to fat camp due to her inability to stop supersizing her McDonald’s French fries. I didn’t exactly welcome the guy with open arms at first, but somehow he managed to wear down my resistance and train me to use a stake to kick vampire (and other supernatural creature) ass. Since then we’ve had our ups and downs—can’t say I’ve always been an A+ pupil. (Heck, I’m lucky if half the time I deserve a C-!) But over time we’ve managed to develop a sort of grudging respect for one another.

In any case, today I’m meeting him at the back room of the L.A. Sports Club in Vegas. He promised me a little sparring before he heads back to Massachusetts, where he lives and teaches. But when I push open the door to the small yoga studio he told me to meet him at, I realize he’s not wearing his workout sweats, but rather a stiff, three-piece suit.

“Dude, what’s with the outfit?” I ask. “Doesn’t look like something you’d want to get blood on when I kick your butt!”

He doesn’t laugh at my joke. Instead, he motions to a set of nearby chairs. “Sit,” he instructs, without even saying hello.

Worry worms through my insides as I follow his instructions. “What’s going on?”

He pulls out a manila envelope from his briefcase. “The Consortium has sent out a request to Slayer Inc., an official commission from Pyrus himself.”

I make a face at the House Speaker’s name. “What does Mr. Tall, Dark, and Slimy want this time?” I query.

Again Teifert doesn’t laugh. “They’ve got a rogue vampire on the loose and are asking that Slayer Inc. track him down and deliver him for trial,” he explains. “And they’re offering a great deal of money to the slayer who does the job.”

“Money?” My eyes light up. “Are you saying I’ll actually get paid for this gig?” Usually I’m required to do Slayer Inc.’s dirty work all in the name of “destiny” instead of cold, hard cash. Could I really score an actual paycheck this time?

“If you were to bring in this vampire and his companion,” Teifert says carefully, “you’d get ten percent of the commission.” He looks down at his clipboard. “A sum of one million dollars.”

My eyes widen in excitement. One million dollars? Under the table? No taxes required? “Dude, I’ll take it!” I cry, grabbing for the envelope. But Teifert’s fingers lock on and refuse to let go. For an old guy, he’s still got a killer grip. “What?” I ask, making a face. “Don’t bogart my newfound fortune, man.”

“Maybe you should take a closer look before you start racking up any credit card bills,” he suggests in a strange voice that hints that he knows something I don’t.

“What?” I ask indignantly. “Don’t think I can handle the big bad this time? Come on, Teif, you know by now I’m super slayer. Able to stake evil vampires in a single bound.” I try again for the envelope.

Teifert raises it out of my reach. “Trust me when I say I would never doubt your abilities, my dear,” he says slowly. “I simply think you ought to look before you stake.”

I sigh loudly. “Well I’d be simply overjoyed to look, if you would let me see the envelope in question….”

He nods, finally tossing it in my direction. I grab it eagerly and rip it open. Two black-and-white photos fall into my lap.

“Okay, let’s see which naughty little vampires need a talking to this time arou—”

The words die in my throat as I pick up the first photo. I look over at Teifert in horror, my gut wrenching.

“But… there’s got to be some mistake!” I cry.

“No.” He purses his lips. “No mistake.”

“But… but…” I pick up the other photo and a mirror image of my own face stares back at me. “They want me to slay my own sister?”

2

Teifert gives me a grim look. “The official commission,” he corrects, “simply asks that you track down your sister and Magnus and extradite them back to the Consortium for justice. So that the two of them can face the charges that have been brought against them and be judged by a jury of their peers.”

“Right.” I roll my eyes. “In other words, Pyrus doesn’t want me to slay them. Because he wants to have all the fun of killing them himself.”

   
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