Coven’s End: Kane
EXCERPT BOOK 1:
“You will choose a mate, and then take the throne.” Lilith’s voice resonated with a finality that made me cringe. I held in my irritation and scanned the great throne room. When she put her power into her words, no one—not even me—could disobey.
Lilith was my mother—and Lucifer knew I loved her—but I couldn’t rule the vampires while under her thumb and no more than her puppet. When I did become the High King of the vampires, there were going to be changes. The old ways didn’t work for us as they once did.
I fisted my hands over the arms of my throne. Why we were meeting in the great room to discuss my mating situation was beyond me. Mother was supposed to be gone already, but The Blood—the vampire council—demanded I find a mate first. They never gave their reasons, which made me suspicious.
“Mother, it isn’t that easy.” My chest tightened with an unfamiliar feeling. Longing and loneliness stirred within. I’d already met my mate, not that it would do me any good. I couldn’t claim my one true mate, ever.
It was several years ago. My guard had convinced me to go to a local bar owned by one of their own that catered to both vampires and lycans. Many of the lycans attended public schools with the humans, able to blend in all but one night a month when the moon was full. The younger lycans were notorious for bar-hopping, and vampires weren’t much different.
A vampire-owned bar wasn’t unusual. We owned the night, after all, and humans in bars made poor choices, leaving us open to feed without detection or having to use our telepathic abilities. Using telepathy to mask our feeding always drained us.
We’d entered a local bar that particular night, and I’d almost left when I smelled them. Lycans. A growl escaped me as I walked through the door, my guard flanking me. It was no secret that vampires and lycans had warred since the beginning of time. Well, maybe not that long, but there were times it felt that way.
Scanning every dark corner of the place, I spotted several of the wolves crammed into booths in near the back of the bar. The entire establishment reeked of them, so I slowed my breathing to minimize the overwhelming scent of dog.
Ignoring the lycans, my guard and I made our way to the bar where a small group of vampires close to my age gathered. They met my gaze briefly and nodded their heads once in a slight bow. I nodded back in greeting. One thing I hated about being the vampire prince was my people insisted on being at attention in my presence. It was annoying. My people weren’t fucking puppets.
They were people with lives. As long as they didn’t expose us to the humans, I didn’t care what they did.
It was one thing I was already starting to change—I only wanted them to address me formally when I was sitting on my throne.
Once seated, the bartender took our drink orders and left. My guard rested against the bar so he could watch the door and my back simultaneously. “You know there are large factions of younger vampires in favor of ending our centuries-long feud with the lycans.”
Yeah, I knew. However, I had little interest. “Nothing I can do about it at the moment.”
My time to rule would come soon enough—three to four years to be exact – and I didn’t want to waste my free years worrying about vampire-lycan politics.
The air conditioning kicked on, blowing cool air through the bar and mixing the scents of vampire and lycans. That was when her scent hit me full-force, nearly knocking me off my stool. Rose water and mint, mixed with an intoxicating earthy spice that called to my soul. My body heated and my heart pulsed, pumping blood straight to my dick. What the fuck?
My head whipped around, searching for the owner of that scent—the scent of my mate. When I spotted her, the noise from the bar around me seemed to disappear for a few moments. Her wavy chestnut hair was pulled back in a high ponytail, and two thick strands of hair framed her oval face. She wore a pair of faded blue jeans with tears cut into the thighs and a black T-shirt that said, “I howl at the moon.”
She was a lycan. Fuck me.
“Who is she?” I nudged my guard. He came to the bar frequently and was more likely to know. I suspected he was one of the ones encouraging vampires to give lycans a chance.
My guard followed my line of sight and grunted. “Jillian,” he said. “She’s hot, but she’s too hot. Trouble. She’s the lycan princess, only heir to the High Alpha.”
Fuck me. She was my mate. I knew it as surely as I knew I could never be with her. An ache formed in my soul at that thought. Normally I didn’t have a problem with breaking the rules and taking what was mine. But this was different.
I had to take the vampire throne one day soon and choose a vampire mate. It was the law and my future. A future I’d have to live without my fated mate. I’d never be accepted if I had a lycan as my mate, much less the lycan princess.