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At Graves End, Page 34

Jeaniene Frost



  WE BURIEDRANDY A WEEK LATER. DON falsified documents to make it appear that Randy had been the victim of a tragic car accident. One that had necessitated a closed coffin. Denise was staying with Bones and me, at my insistence. She blamed herself for not forcing Randy to stay with her instead of leaving that room to help us. I tried to comfort her, but in reality, I was helpless. There was nothing I could do but be there for her. I couldn't do much, but I could do that.

  Mencheres buried Patra himself. Where, I didn't know. Bones didn't, either, and he didn't care. She was dead, that was enough for him.

  It was enough for the remainder of her people as well. Some sought refuge under other Masters' lines. Some struck out on their own, and some even contacted Bones to throw themselves on his mercy. Depending on their place in her hierarchy, he granted it. After all, Patra had been around for a long time, and killing every remaining person under her line would have been mass murder on an epic scale.

  A few were underlings who'd followed her with no choice, so for them, Bones negotiated truces. They gave him the details on her fortune, and he gave them the right to live without looking over their shoulders. Those higher in Patra's rule, however, Bones didn't negotiate with. No, he used some of Patra's staggering wealth to offer bounties on them. Mercenaries were crawling out of the proverbial woodwork to hunt them down with the prices they had on their heads.

  We hadn't seen Mencheres since the night he'd gathered Patra's body and left. That had been over two months ago. He kept in touch by phone, but he was holed up somewhere. Bones didn't press him, though he told me he couldn't understand what on earth had made Mencheres love Patra to begin with, let alone after everything she'd done. I didn't understand, either, but love had no sense sometimes. Pondering the why of it was futile.

  So far there had been no repercussions for the forbidden magic Mencheres unleashed. Some notable Master vampires had grumbled, but since Patra had pulled two no-nos to our one, there weren't many who wanted to do anything about it. Or they were afraid of Mencheres, since he was one of the few people who was both old enough to know those spells-and strong enough to work them. Maybe they were concerned they'd be next. I knew I was pretty glad to be on Mencheres's good side, after seeing all I had. The idea that one day Bones might be able to wield similar power bothered me. Some things shouldn't be possible, and it was scary to know they were.

  But for now, I wasn't going to worry about it. I had the man I loved by my side, and my best friend to help through her grief. The future would have to worry about itself.