“Are you here to apologize?” Vin tried to harden his heart toward his bonded but he knew he’d eventually give in. The past few days had proven he couldn’t stay away from Loren for long.
Loren nodded. “If you will excuse us nephew.”
Jessie jumped to his feet. “Sure, I’ll go to the library and study.”
Loren waited until Jessie left before speaking. “I am sorry. You were right. I shouldn’t be trying to run your life.” He paused before he continued. “I want you to be happy.”
Vin sighed, letting out the air in his lungs. “I want us to be happy together.” He had no wish to be on the outs with his mate. He wanted them to move forward with the same goals but he wouldn’t be pushed into a corner by anyone.
“We will be. I just have to learn to compromise.” Loren made the word compromise sound as if it tasted like ash in his mouth.
“Did that hurt?” Vin asked. He couldn’t resist poking at Loren’s obvious discomfort.
“Yes. I will no doubt be regretting this moment for the rest of our lives.”
Vin laughed. He walked over to Loren and wrapped his arms around him. Relief swept through him. The tension he’d been fighting eased, then popped like a champagne bubble only leaving the fizzy, heady rush of being close to his mate. “How can I make it worth your while?”
Loren unbent enough to offer a quick smile. “The gods have a wicked sense of humor the day they sent you to me.”
“How do you know they weren’t sending you to me?”
“Can’t give me an inch can you.”
“No.” If he gave his mate any room at all Loren would take every opportunity to keep Vin under his thumb. He liked his mate but he wasn’t fooled into thinking a powerful ancient vampire would be an easy mate.
“What are we going to do?” He didn’t think they’d resolved anything except their wish to be together.
“I will buy a place closer to campus and you can live with me and still attend school. On the weekends we will go to my estate so I can manage things there.”
“You don’t want me living on campus do you?” Vin could see the struggle in Loren’s eyes.
“No. The thought of so many unattached people interacting with you makes me uneasy.”
Vin thought over everything he was giving up but a sideways glance at Loren showed a tight jaw and new frown lines around his eyes. Loren wasn’t as relaxed about Vin’s answer as he tried to appear.
“You don’t have to buy a place nearby.” Vin said, a slow sigh eased out of him, hidden stress going free.
“I won’t leave you. I know you’d prefer to hang out with your friends but I have to have you near.”
“No. That’s not it. I can teleport to visit you. I’d like to keep my room here. It’s a good place to keep track of everything and I can crash when I’ve studied too long. However, I can still come to you every night.”
Loren took so long to answer Vin worried he’d turn down his offer.
“Very well. I don’t want to take you completely from you friends but we will have dinner together every evening. Understood.”
“I agree to those terms.”
“Good, now let’s move on to more important things.”
Vin smiled. “It’s nice to have such a smart mate.”