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|Girls That Growl(Blood Coven Vampire,book 3) by Mari Mancusi|
They are? Since when? This is getting a bit worrisome.
"Why are you so down, Jareth?" I ask, walking over to him,searching his face for answers."Imean, we're going to accomplish our mission. Save the day once again. You should behappy."
He stares back at me blankly and I can't tell what he's thinkingat all. Geez. Back in America I couldn't get him to stop smilingfor five seconds. Yet now that I'm happy, he's total Emo boyagain. Why can't we just get mood-synced for once?
I put my arms around his waist, trying to pull him close. But his body is stiff and unyielding. He grabs my hands and pulls them away, then pushes by me and walks over to the bed and sits down.
"Jareth, what's wrong?" I ask, a scared tickle creeping through my insides. I shiver, hugging my arms to my chest. The room's suddenly as cold as Christmas and I have the horrible feeling there's no Santa Claus on his way.
Jareth draws in a deep breath, folding his hands in his lap. "Rayne, we need to talk," he says at last. His voice sounds a bit hoarse.
I freeze. A talk? A talk? But that's relationship code for . . .
Oh my God. He's going to break up with me.
I lean against the wall and slump down to a sitting posi-tion, hugging my knees to my chest, fighting off the panicky feeling inside—the icy electricity thrumming through my veins, my heart pounding like mad against my chest.
I've finally done it. I've managed to scare him off. My boyfriend. My blood mate. The one who promised to live with me for all time. Problem is, when he made that promise he had no idea what living with me would actually be like. Stupid, pig-headed, angry-at-the-world me.
"Please don't leave me," I whisper. It's an effort to even speak, what with the apple-sized lump in my throat and all. "I love you."
He bows his head, placing it in his hands, and then scrubs his face. When he looks up I realize he may be holding back tears of his own. "I'm sorry, Rayne," he says. "But I just can't do this anymore."
"But we're . . . we're blood mates. We're bound together for eternity!" I protest, not willing to give in without a fight. "You can't just leave me. It's . . . it's like in my contract, right?"
"Contracts can be voided. Of course I'll make sure you have everything you need to live out your days in comfort. The coven does have strict rules about blood mate alimony and of course I will adhere to them."
My stomach twists in knots. I feel like I'm going to be sick. He's really doing it. Really and truly breaking up with me. "Jareth, please!" I beg. "Don't leave me. I want to be with you. Forever."
"Do you?" He suddenly looks over at me, his eyes sharp and piercing. "Because I don't get that vibe from you."
I swallow hard. "Uh, what do you mean?" I ask, wanting, yet not wanting to hear all the details of why I suck.
"Oh, I don't know," Jareth retorts. "Maybe it's because when I'm nice to you you're a total bitch back to me. When I worry about you, you accuse me of smothering you. When I'm happy and having fun you get annoyed. You're only sweet to me when you want something or it suits your mood."
I stare at my feet, wanting to protest, wanting to defend myself, but having no idea how to do it.
Because, I realize, every last thing he says is true. Why would he want me as a blood mate? I don't think I'd want myself.
"Look," he continues. "I just don't think this is going to work out. We gave it the old college try, but it's not happen-ing. When we get back from England I'll petition the council to release us from our bounds."
"But... but ..." But I can't come up with any more arguments.
"Don't worry, Rayne," Jareth says, his voice softening. "They won't cast you out. They'll try to set you up with a new blood mate. One you'll be more compatible with."
"But I don't want a new blood mate," I sob. "Please, Jareth. I don't want to lose you."
"Don't you get it, Rayne?" he asks, tears in his beautiful blue eyes. "You already have."
Ifeel like I've been crying for days. Curled up in the king-sized, four-poster bed at Appleby Manor, sobbing hysterically, barely able to breathe. Jareth took off soon after he made his pronouncement, saying he would be staying in an-other room tonight and would meet me to pick up the anti-dote tomorrow morning. I begged him to stay, made a complete fool of myself with my groveling, but it did no good.
Night falls and I realize I'm starving. I consider room ser-vice, but then decide that it might be best to leave the hotel room. Maybe I'll find Jareth in a local pub or something. Then I can talk to him again.
Maybe he just needed some time alone. Maybe he'll forgive me.
Yeah, right, Rayne. Keep dreaming.
I choose a simple black dress from the wardrobe and pull it over my head. Then I slip on some black tights and a pair of boots. I don't bother with makeup and just throw my hair up in a ponytail. There's no one I want to impress here and, besides, there's nothing I can do about my puffy, tear-stained face and red eyes.
I lock the hotel room door behind me and head down to the lobby. I ask the concierge if he can recommend a place to eat. Somewhere that serves burgers extra rare. He suggests several pubs, including the one the wolves hang out at. But I want to avoid that place—don't want them to see me in my current state.
As I'm walking to the second pub the concierge mentioned, I pass a cyber cafe. I decide to go in and write a couple e-mails. E-mails to other people I've pissed off for no reason this past week. Maybe if I preempt them with an apology they won't write me off for life like Jareth has.