“The sun is almost up and we need to get you home.” Bishop holds out his hand to me and I go to take it, but Valen grabs mine instead.

“This isn’t over,” he tells me as his dark eyes bore into mine.

“Is that a threat?” I raise my chin in challenge to him.

“No, princess. That’s a promise.”

Eight

Ravana

I sit on my bed unsure what to do. Between finding out about Bishop and Valen and now this hunger deep inside me that’s mounting by the second.

Why did every man in my life hide who they really were to me? I go to my closet and find something to wear, knowing Bishop is likely downstairs pacing, waiting for me to come down. I didn’t have it in me when we left the hotel to get into it with him about everything.

Being a younger vampire, it’s harder for me to stay awake when the sun starts to rise. Normally I hate that, but I was thankful for it today. I was able to crash without having to go over everything in my mind. I settle on a simple dress before going into the bathroom and brushing out my hair. I stare at myself in the mirror. Something feels off. It’s not the pain of being apart from Valen either. It’s something more and I can’t figure it out. It’s hard to focus on what it might be when my heart is shredded. I’ve never felt more out of control than I do right now. It’s unsettling.

Leaving my room, I head downstairs into the living room where Bishop is pacing back and forth as I knew he would be. He stops when I enter the room. “Ravana.” He clears the distance between us. “I’m sorry. I should have told you.” His normally perfect suit looks crumpled, like he slept in it. Though I don’t think he slept at all.

“Why didn’t you?” I ask. I could see not telling me when I was human, but not after I was changed. There was no need to hide it then.

“I failed you. I wasn’t there to stop that man from hurting you.” He runs his hand through his hair. “When I brought you back you looked at me like I was a father figure to you. Always so trusting. You knew I would keep you safe, let me guide you into learning this new life. I didn’t want to lose that. You may not be my daughter, but since that day you have felt like it. You lost your life that day, but I gained something I thought I’d never have. A child.”

My heart clenches because I can relate to that. “You might find a mate, Bishop. Look at Kane, his mate is human and now he’s going to be a father.” I try to give him hope, not wanting anyone to feel the loss I feel.

“I don’t think there is a mate out there for me, Ravana.” He says it with such certainty. I go to rebuff him, but he cuts me off. “I’ve been doing some reading since Kane and Juliet. With her being pregnant and all, I need to know everything I can.”

Always our protector. Watching out for all of us. It had all been a shock to all of us when we found out Juliet was pregnant.

“It’s rare for a vampire to mate with a human, and in the cases where the male was the vampire, the human females had become pregnant.”

“I think that’s pretty clear.” I laugh, but it’s forced. I noticed he said when the vampire was the male, the human woman became pregnant. Not the other way around. I still can’t help myself from asking, certain now that Valen is my mate. Ever since I woke I can feel him more and more. We’re connected. A hunger nags at me. I need him. More than that, I need to bite him badly. My mouth waters thinking about it. It’s been so long since I’ve experienced the feeling of hunger.

“Has it ever happened the other way? The female vampire becoming pregnant?” I ask, already knowing the answer.

“I’ve sorry, Ravana. There wasn’t anything documented, and I actually couldn’t even find a vampire female-human male mated pair.” I see the sadness in his eyes for me. I know it’s hurting him, too, because he thinks me being childless lies on his shoulders because he didn’t stop what happened to me. I could have been out there married as a human living a normal life with a house filled with kids. “That’s why I wasn’t sure if you two really were even mated for sure,” he adds. I can hear an almost hopeful note to his words. Yeah, I can see why he wouldn’t want me to mate to a slayer.

“It’s fine.” I wave my hand. “It’s something I’ve learned to accept.” Children aren’t in my future. I need to actually let that go and maybe I can live a happier life, come to terms with everything.

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