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|Bad Blood(Blood Coven Vampire,book 4) by Mari Mancusi|
“Well, she did. Protocol or not.” I sulk, knowing deep in my heart I should be trying to be more understanding about the whole situation, but not finding the energy to do so. “And I was totally blindsided since I didn’t even have any idea you were in line for a new blood mate to begin with. In fact, from what Rayne’s said, I thought a vampire only got one chance at a blood mate in a lifetime and your chance was with me.”
“No. That’s just what they tell the noobs,” Magnus says gently. “In order to get them to take the relationship seriously. In reality, if a partnership is broken, a vampire can take on a new mate at any time. It just doesn’t normally happen.”
“Vampires don’t normally take on new blood mates?”
“The partnership isn’t normally broken.”
Oh. So once again, it all comes down to this being my fault. Great. Just great. The waitress sets my black coffee down in front of me, but I no longer feel much like drinking it.
“Sunny, you had to know that this would someday become a reality,” Magnus says, not helping matters by his logic. “I’m the Master of the Blood Coven, one of the largest vampire conglomerates in the nation. That’s a huge responsibility for one person to uphold and I could really use a partner to rule by my side. In fact, in a way it’ll be better for us. I know you hate how I’m always stuck in meetings all night. Just think, this way Jane can shoulder some of the load and I’ll have more time to spend with you.”
Please. As if Jane will go for that. My mind flashes back to her possessive little fingers clinging tightly to my boyfriend. He may only want her as a second in command, but she obviously has other plans.
“What about Lucifent?” I ask, remembering the coven’s previous Master. The one who Rayne’s predecessor, Bertha the Vampire Slayer, had dusted back on my second evening as a vampire. “He didn’t have a blood mate.”
“Actually he did at one time,” Magnus corrects. “A young vampire named Tabitha. She came as a referral from the High Stakes Coven out in Vegas. A beautiful girl with long, white-blond hair and big blue eyes. Everyone was shocked when she applied to be Lucifent’s blood mate. She could have had any vampire in the world.”
“Yeah, Lucifent wasn’t exactly Casanova incarnate.” In fact, he looked like a young Macaulay Culkin—having been turned into a vampire when still a child.
“It does seem weird that she’d pick him out of all the really hot vampires out there.”
“Well, it didn’t take long for us to figure out why she did,” Magnus says, shaking his head. “In addition to her beauty, she had ambition. Too much ambition. And once she was permanently installed as blood mate, she started working to supersede her sire’s powers and take control of the coven. She abused my master, treating him like the child he only appeared to be and overpowering him physically when he protested her actions.”
“So what happened?”
“A fire broke out one night in her chambers. She burned to death. Many believe that Lucifent set the fire himself. Killed his very own blood mate. Which, of course,” he adds, “is completely unacceptable under our laws.”
Something dawns on me. “Is that why Slayer Inc. had him killed?” I had always wondered that—since Rayne swears the company only goes after the baddie vamps who don’t play by the rules.
Magnus shrugs. “Perhaps. Though I imagine they’d been looking for an excuse for quite some time. As you know, child vampires are considered mutants—an abomination in their eyes.”
It was true. Once upon a time Slayer Inc. killed Jareth’s little sister simply because she was living as a mini-vamp. It took hundreds of years and Rayne’s declaration of love for the guy to get over that one, let me tell you.
“Look, Sunny, let’s try to focus here,” Magnus says. “Jane will never take your place in my heart. She will never be more than a business partner to me and you are so much more than that. I love you and need you and cherish our relationship more than you can ever know. After all, I waited a thousand years to find you; do you think I would give you up so easily?”
He looks at me with pleading eyes and I can feel my icy heart melting as fast as Jack Frost in Miami.
“That said, I have no choice but to go forward with this,” he continues. “It’s my job and the lives of a lot of vampires hinge on how well I do my job. Sometimes, though I don’t like it, my duty as Master must come first.”
“Don’t you think I know that?” I manage to choke out. After all, I don’t want him to think I’m some idiot selfish high school girl here. “I do. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less, okay?”
Magnus rises from his seat and walks around the table to pull me into his arms. I bury my face in his shoulder as the sobs overtake me. I know I have to be mature here and accept what’s going on but, at the same time, I can’t shake the fact that things are going to be different from here on out. He’ll have a blood mate. A partner in crime to share things with. Things that, as a mortal, I’m not allowed to know. Sure, they might be strangers now, but soon they’ll grow to have secrets and inside jokes and stories they share with one another and I’ll just be that aging human, on the outside, looking in.
This whole thing really sucks. Maybe I should have just stayed with high school sex god Jake Wilder when I had the chance. Sure, he may have been a little slobbery with his kisses, but at least he was around my own age and would stay that way!