The conclusion to the phenomenally successful Thirst series follows five-thousand-year-old vampire Alisa Perne as she battles a new race of immortals: the Telar. The Telar are a challenging threat. But Alisa is hungry for blood—and thirsty for revenge.
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I hug Seymour and whisper in his ear.
“It’s me, Sita. I’m still here. I’m in Teri’s body.”
Seymour Dorsten does not know how to respond. I can’t blame the guy since I’m basically telling him that I have just reenacted the resurrection and risen on the third day, if it has in fact been three days since Matt shot me in the chest. I’m not too sure of the date. The last few days have been a blur. Sometimes I felt like Teri, other times I thought I was Sita. But most of the time I felt as if I was wandering lost in a twilight realm without any clear sense of self. One thing is for sure: Even though I did technically die, I never went to heaven. I never saw Krishna, which weighs heavily on my heart.
I’m not sure I’m happy to be alive again. When I threw myself in front of the laser beam that was about to slice Seymour in half, and shouted out to Krishna, I believed deep in my soul that I would soon see my Lord. That didn’t happen. Indeed, I don’t know what happened. I have no memory whatsoever of what occurred immediately after I got shot.
Nevertheless, I’m grateful to John, Paula’s son. It was only after the funeral ceremony, when John took my hands and gazed into my eyes, that my confusion lifted and my personality crystallized. With his help, I’m myself again, except for the rather important fact that I’m no longer in the body I was born with.
Where is Teri, I wonder? How did I displace her soul? When Matt shot me, she was deep in the unconscious phase of the conversion cycle from a human being to a vampire. In order to save her life, I had already replaced a large portion of her blood with my own. Matt had been furious at my decision to change her, but he had not fired his weapon at me out of malice.
No, he had shot me in the chest because the Array had overshadowed his will and forced him to kill me. I can only assume Cynthia Brutran had grown weary of me and activated her mind-warping tool in order to rid the world of my presence. I can’t imagine she’ll be happy to see me again, although I suspect she won’t recognize me. But see me she will for I swear I’m going to kill her the first chance I get.
“It can’t be you,” Seymour says.
“But that’s impossible.”
“I know,” I agree.
“You’re confused. Changing into a vampire—I’ve never been through it myself. But it must be a disorientating experience.”
“I’m telling you the truth.”
“It was Sita who changed you. It’s her blood that now flows through your veins. I’m not surprised you’ve inherited some of her memories. That’s what must be throwing you off. You just think you’re Sita.”
“I am Sita.”
Seymour shakes his head firmly. “No. Sita’s dead. She died in my arms, in Matt’s arms. That’s screwed you up as well. She should have been here to teach you what it means to be a vampire. But she’s gone and you don’t have anyone to talk to. I mean, you can talk to me but I just write about vampires, I don’t know shit about them. Not when it comes to the real thing.”
I reach out and hug him. “You know me.”
“Teri . . .”
“Shut up. You know it’s me. We’re too close, you can feel that I’m here. Quit trying to convince yourself otherwise.”
Seymour doesn’t hug me back. Yet his face is suddenly stricken with grief and he is close to tears. “No. I can’t go there. I can’t let myself hope. It hurts too much. Get out of here. Go back to Matt. He’s half vampire, maybe he can tell you what to do.”
I continue to hold on to him. “Matt’s the last person I can talk to. He knows there’s something wrong with me but he’s nowhere close to guessing the truth. Plus he was furious that I gave Teri my blood. Now if he finds out I’ve stolen her body, he’ll want to kill me all over again.”
Seymour does not reply. I feel him trembling in my arms. His breathing is suddenly erratic, his heart pounds. But as I stroke his head and press my lips against his neck, I feel him slowly begin to calm down. It is only then his tears start to flow, their damp saltiness washing over me like an elixir of pain. I know intuitively he has not been able to cry during the last few days. When we’re close like this, we’re practically one mind. I know his grief has been too intense to allow it to come to the surface. For that reason I keep touching him, soothing him, until finally his tears stop. Only then do I release him and take a step back, the heel of my right foot accidentally bumping into my coffin. It’s weird to look at it, from the outside, and imagine what’s on the inside.
My dead body.
“Why did you decide to bury me?” I ask. “Why didn’t you have me cremated?”
He shrugs as he slowly collects himself. “I guess there was a part of me that kept hoping you would rise from the dead. Like a normal vampire.”
“Cute. Was that the real reason?”
“I couldn’t stand the thought of putting you in the fire.”
“Well, if it’s any consolation, I’m glad you left me intact.”
“Do you think you can get back inside your body?”
“Seymour. I’m a goddamn vampire. I’m not a divine avatar. I can’t work miracles.”
“Maybe John can help. You need to talk to him.”
“John’s the one who just locked me tight in this body. Before he got ahold of me, I was drifting around the ozone.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know exactly. I remember being up in the mountains with you and Matt, outside that cave where Teri was resting. Then I felt the Array coming and saw Matt’s face change, like he was possessed, and I knew Brutran had caught him in her web. I’m sure you saw the same thing.”
“I did. But what happened when you jumped in front of the laser and got shot in the chest?”
“I died. I felt myself dying.”
“What was it like?”
“It was quick. I felt my heart explode. I saw my blood pour out. But it was weird. My blood suddenly turned to gold dust, and floated up to the sky. At least that was how I saw it.”
“I saw the same thing. So did Matt. What happened next?”
“What do you mean, nothing?”
“That’s exactly what I mean. There was a long gap where I didn’t experience anything. Not that I can remember.”
“What is the first thing you do remember?”
“Waking up in bed beside Matt.”
Seymour frowns. “Were you naked?”
“Why do you ask?”
I snort. “Here we’re trying to solve one of the greatest mysteries of all time and all you can worry about is whether I’ve been having sex with Matt the last few days.”
“That’s none of your business.”
“I know you’re attracted to him.”
“Seymour, please, you’ve got to help me. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m in someone else’s body. It’s freaking me out. I don’t even know if that means Teri’s dead or not.”
Seymour considers. “Do you have access to all her memories?”
His question shocks me. Because suddenly I feel as if a computer file has opened deep in my brain—separate from the Sita file—and I can recall the details of Teri’s life. The sudden flood of her nineteen years on earth staggers me and I almost fall over. Seymour reaches out and steadies me.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“I remember!” I cry out, recalling a dozen Christmas mornings and birthdays in the Raines’ happy household. I see Teri’s parents so clearly, they could be standing right in front of me.
“What’s that like?”
“Confusing. I feel like two people. But it’s sort of nice, too. I feel closer to her than ever.”
“That could be the answer. It’s possible Teri’s gone nowhere. Maybe you’re overshadowing her personality. I don’t mean this as an insult but you always were an egomaniac.”
“You’re saying the two of us are in this same body?”
I shake my head. “No, that’s not right. Even though I have her memories, I feel like they happened to someone else—to her, not to me. Trust me, I would love to feel her soul inside. But she’s gone, Seymour. She’s just gone.”
He sighs. “Then chances are she is dead.”
I nod weakly. “That’s what I fear.” The words sound so simple and plain. But a mountain of grief stands behind them. Even though I was with Teri when she was dying, I still can’t accept her death.
“You have to talk to John,” Seymour says.
“John doesn’t talk to people. He just hangs out and plays computer games. You remember on Santorini, he wouldn’t even see me.”
“True. But he came to your funeral today.”
“He came because his mother brought him.”
“Then talk to Paula. She’s a seer. Tell her what’s happened.”
“What good would that do?”
“What harm would it do?”
“Paula warned me to stay away from Teri. She said nothing good would come from the relationship and she was right. She’s always right.”
“I hear ya. Hey, how come you keep putting your hands over your eyes?”
“I didn’t know I was.” I realize he’s right and lower my hands, but I raise them a few seconds later. The glare is bothering me. It appears Teri’s body is more sensitive to the sunlight than my own. Yet she—or it—is not nearly as susceptible as a newborn vampire generally is.
I wonder how much my mind is affecting the new body I’m in, and vice versa. Specifically, I wonder if I’m as strong as I used to be. Going by the way I walk and talk, and the acuity of my senses, I don’t feel nearly as powerful as I normally do.
That worries me. I’ll have to be at full strength to deal with Brutran and the IIC, never mind the Telar. However, there might be some advantage in their thinking I’m dead. I tell Seymour as much but he is doubtful.
“The only way we can deal with those two groups is to hide from them,” he says. “That battle we had with the Telar three days ago proved that. You and Matt hit them with everything you had in your arsenal and they kept coming. Their organization is too big, too deeply entrenched in too many countries. The same with Brutran and the IIC. There’s no way we can fight them. At least not directly.”
I point to the blisters he has on the back of his right hand.
“Are you forgetting about the X6X6 virus the Telar are planning to release? If we sit back and do nothing, seven billion people will die.”
“I didn’t mean we should find a cave in the Rockies and hibernate. We still have a vial of the T-11 vaccine and we have Charlie on our side. We need to put him in touch with other scientists who can help him reproduce the vaccine on a massive scale.”
“Is that vaccine even working?” I study his blisters more closely. They’re dark and look plump with dead blood. “Have you given yourself another shot?”
“Yesterday. It slowed down the spread of the blisters but it didn’t get rid of them. Shanti has blisters as well, on her face, especially on the skin that she had grafted on. I was planning to give her another dose today.”
“Have you talked to Charlie about what’s going on?”
“I haven’t had a chance. It took all my time to plan your funeral.”
“I suppose I should be grateful.”
“Don’t mention it. But I’m serious when I say we have to keep a low profile when it comes to the Telar and IIC. We can’t fight ten thousand immortals and we can’t fight Brutran’s Array.”
“I wonder how Brutran was able to lock the Array on Matt.”
“Why should he be immune?”
“First off he’s a Telar/vampire hybrid, and his father, Yaksha, was not just any vampire. Matt’s stronger and faster than I am. Also, we assumed Brutran was able to attack because she collected blood from me at her Malibu office. But I can’t see how she could have gotten ahold of a sample of Matt’s blood.”
“The relationship between your blood and the Array is just a theory of yours. It might be wrong. We’re still not sure what the Array is or how it works. Brutran might be able to target whoever she wants.”
“Brutran went to a lot of trouble to get a sample of my blood. Then she went out of her way to avoid me until my blood had been disbursed to her people. That I’m sure of.”
“Matt could have run into her people in the past, without knowing it. Ask him when you’re in bed tonight. He might remember something.”
“I can’t ask him that. It’s not a question Teri would ask.”
“So you’re going to keep Matt in the dark? How long do you think that will last? You have to tell him the truth.”
“I’m afraid. He has a temper. I told you, he was furious at me for trying to change Teri into a vampire, even if it was to save her life. Right now, he’s probably just learning to accept her as a vampire. Now, if I tell him that not only did the change not work, but I just happened to steal Teri’s body in the process, he’ll explode. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to kill me.”
“He’s not going to kill his old girlfriend’s body.”
“He might if he’s convinced she’s not coming back.”
“But you didn’t choose for this to happen.”
“He won’t care! He’s not going to react logically. He’s emotionally on fire.”
“I understand all that. But he needs you and you need him. You two are the only ones who can save the world from these maniacs. It doesn’t have to be now, but at some point you’re going to have to risk telling him the truth.”
“Agreed. Later. A lot later. Let’s give it a few days. Or weeks.” I stare down at my coffin. “I need to be alone for a few minutes.”
He hesitates. “All right.” He turns and walks toward his car. “Don’t do anything disgusting,” he calls over his shoulder.
When he’s gone, I kneel beside the coffin and put my hands on the top. I’m sitting in the same position John was when he did whatever it was he did to my body. Or should I say my old body? Chances are this change is permanent.
The coffin has been nailed shut. Even though I lack my old strength, I’m still a vampire with Sita’s blood flowing through my veins. That makes me stronger than a dozen men combined. I snap the top off without effort and set it aside. For the first time in my long life, I stare at myself from the outside. The effect is overwhelming. I shake, feel a wave of dizziness, and for a moment I fear I will faint.
I look so much like me, and yet I’m a stranger to myself. It frightens me to gaze at my face. I could be staring at a mirror that lies under a foot of water. I look like a ghost.
I have a hole in my chest, in my heart. The long white dress the morgue has dressed me in does not hide the fact. There is a dark red and gold stain where the material brushes the skin near my left breast. I know I should not touch the wound but feel I must. My shaking hand reaches out and pops two buttons off the dress as my fingers probe the rim of the wound that ended five thousand years of life.
The hole feels narrow, too narrow. Of course I have no clear idea how wide it should be, yet it doesn’t seem right. Plus my dress is stained because the wound is still damp, when it should be dry.
I smell not a hint of formaldehyde. I know Seymour would not have allowed me to be embalmed, on the off chance someone might have tried to steal my blood.
There’s just something about the wound that’s unnatural.
I get the impression it’s slowly healing.
Yet the dead do not heal.
Not even dead vampires.
On impulse, I let go of the bloody hole and reach up with my other hand and open my eyes. Leaning forward on my knees, I stare down into them, and here I note a definite change. They are darker than before. The blue is closer to black, and they gaze back at me with a reflectivity that no mirror could match. However, I don’t see myself in them.
I see Krishna. I see his face, his eyes, his divine dark-blue light. The weight on my heart partially lifts and I shed my first tears for dead Sita. I finally realize I’m alive only because he wills it, and that this respite won’t last forever, or even a great many days. He has sent me back for a purpose and I have a limited amount of time to accomplish it.
© 2011 Christopher Pike
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In Thirst 3, Pike accomplished something many of his biggest fans never dreamed possible: he returned Sita to us. Full color, full passion, full fight. In Thirst 4, he does something even more incredible: he gives her to us full soul. Literally. A newborn vampire, fresh from the afterlife, Sita must come to terms with herself as she is on earth and in heaven.or is that hell? On earth: She's forced to deal with her doe-fresh vampire body, find a clandestine way to sate that burning thirst she hasn't felt in ages and duck the rage likely to erupt from gorgeous and powerful Matt if he ever discovers she's slipped into his beloved's skin. Oh, and she's also responsible for a little thing called saving the world. Her enemies remain twofold, an ancient race of immortals and a corrupt global corporation, and both entwine the planet. Determined to crush them one by one, Sita uncovers their shockingly similar roots-roots that take her down into the secrets of the human mind and through the mysteries of the divine. In heaven: What did she experience in the moment between her death and her resurrection? What waits in the afterlife for a 5,000 year-old vampire with oceans of blood on her hands? Darkness, awe.and three questions we should all be asking ourselves. In fact, when the answers-and judgment-finally do come for Sita, it's hard not to stop and wonder how we'd all measure up. Though I was determined to read slow and make this rare gem of a book last, it became impossible not to devour it. Pike makes it easy to want more and more, masterfully infusing spirituality with fringe science with the end of the world as our favorite vampire knows it. The final chapter of Sita's 5,000 year long tale is earthshaking, sharp, dark, edgy, beautiful-but if Thirst 4 is truly the conclusion of this series as touted, it's easy to find deep tragedy in it, as well. Sita and her adventures will once again be missed. A spectacular book. An unforgettable series. An author proving himself again and again.
Not your regular vampire story. if your looking for somthing like twighlit (though a fan of it myself) you are DEFINATELY in the wrong place. I absoulutely LOVE this series and this author one of my favorties ever!! I Pre- ordered this book like three months ago and so ready for it to be released just a week after my birthday!!
This was a truely beautiful series. And i am glad the day i picked up the first book and started resading it. This series made me laugh,cry,eage of my seat action and suspence. I feel this series was like a part of my life and inspired me to be tough and strong and never give up on the tricky and hard things in life. I speak for every singel book of this series when i give it a five star all the way!!. One of the best series i have read and probaly will EVER read. I recmund this series to the world and hope it will be remberd throughout time and history. Yours truly ~ Sloane jackson
I have been waiting for this book since about 3 days after book 3. Yeah book 3 only took me 3 days to read. I just LOVE this series and Sita is such a great character. I also read the books were optioned and can not wait to here more on when the movie comes out. Thanks again Christopher for the Great Birthday Present.
I have read all of the latest vampire novels and I have read the classics. The Thirst Series is unlike any of them. I found it to be very refreshing and is currently my favorite vampire read. I am anxiously waiting for #4 and I really hope that Christopher Pike doesnt have any plans to end this series any time soon. Thanks Chris! Keep'em comming!
I love these books wish the story would not end
book 3 left me heart broken.. i thought my life was goin to end! but then it all came back with a fast and threatening pulse! you would not be able to put this book down! its amazing! i really LOVED this one alot! ~young reader
I absolutely LOVE the series & am on my 2nd reread of them! Sooo happy to see another book will release in 2013!! Hope there are more to follow! The characters are amazing! Even the supporting and backround characters...the author is amazing & I CANT UNDERSTAND WHY THIS ISNT ALSO CROSSED INTO THE ADULT PARANORMAL AND/OR HORROR genre?? Ive loaned my series to many friends who are book worms or just vampire lovers....all of them agree that the series is utterly amazing and books are page turners causing me to allow the kids to have pizza or take out more than once which is a very rare treat in our home!! I read the rights were purchased in 2009-10 for a movie ofThe Last Vampire to be made...Ive searched the internet with no luck on a release date or even if its filmed or cast yet...such a pitty! I sincerely do suggest this series to all! Deserves MORE THAN 5 STARS!
I love the thirst series! Was never really a big reader until i read these books. They are the best books that i have ever read! I love Chritopher Pikes books in general, he is a FANTASTIC author. This is the best series ever!
I didn't realize when I read the beginning of the series that they would have a book 4, but I'm glad they did. Couldn't put it down till I had finished it! Loved the book! Can't wait for book 5 hopefully!!!
All I can say is that Christopher Pike, did not leave me disappointed.
Pike is an awesomw writer. This series is really good and i i couldnt put it down
I loved every single book but the end of this book i wasnt quite sure. When it ended i thought there would be more to the story. Overall this is my favorite book series and i didnt want it to end.
Oh my goodness i loved it that definitely satisfied my reading that was the way to end such a fantastic series. I love this..the ending though to me was mind blowing it left me excited and questions to what happens next. I am so pleased with this series and Christopher Pike did wonderful there's no other way to put it. I may be exaggerating but this entire series deserves 10+ stars. You like books you'll love this one :)
I gave read the whole series and loved every minute of it. It was VERY hard for me to put the book down and i had read for so ling i finished the whole series in a month. I also read his book Rember Me and i am on another one of his books now witch is called untill the end witch is great i far. I recomend theese books for everyone!~ Christophers number onbe reader Riss
This book is one of the best i've read yet
From the 1st Thirst book to the latest, you never know what's going to happen next so you don't want to put the book down until you're done reading it, then you can't wait for the next one to come out.
this book was the best in the series. There is however a lot of unnecessary content explaining things to the point where I often became bored and almost skipped reading certain areas. However I read through these dull parts as I didn't want to miss anything that may have been pivotal to the story line, which mostly it wasn't. When you get down to the meat and potatoes of the book I loved it! I can't wait till the next one.
I have read all of Pike's books and The Last vampire series are my favorites. When I originally read the series it was six small books, this was years and years ago when they first came out. I thought Pike ended the series very well after Sita went back in time and killed Yaksha before he was born. It was a perfect wrap up. I enjoyed the 2 new books but felt that Sita's story already ended. This almost seemed a way for yet another author to cash in on the vampire hype. While I can see the appeal to the new readers just discovering this story it is great, for me it was overkill
I CANT WAIT!
i love your books i have been dieing to read book for i have all the books besides book 2 due to loseing it in a move. i so cant wait to see where the next book takes sita and her group. my children love for me to read them the books also i wish you didnt have to end the sires tho but there is always the movie when it comes out and i so cant wait and either can my kids.wonderful story and i feel like i know sita personally just by reading the books cant wait to dive into book five and then on to another book collection of yours any suggestion on witch on