“Are you sure?” Teague asked as he read the letter Lachlan had received. The message was short, simple: I know who you are, please come see me. “I mean it could be a trick and what if they don’t mean what you think they mean?”
“I’ve thought about that, but what if we have a chance to learn how we happened, to get a better grasp of what we are.”
Teague sighed. “You’re sure you want to go?”
“We have too, even if it’s nothing.” Teague whined and it was Lachlan’s turn to sigh. “I don’t want to leave him either.”
“Who knows how long we’ll be, Lachlan. I want to bring him.”
“You’re afraid it’ll be dangerous, so am I, but we…”
“Need him.” Lachlan finished. “I know.” Teague nodded. “We’ll discuss it with him in the morning, I don’t want to wake him.”
Lachlan put the letter away and he and Teague headed back up to the room they shared with Kennedy. He was still sound asleep when they entered and they both couldn’t help but pause and admire him. Even in sleep he was beautiful and they felt the stirrings of desire for him. He moved in his sleep, grabbing and burying his face in one of the pillows. “No…tired…bad…you’re bad.” He mumbled and they both chuckled as they both climbed in and wrapped an arm protectively around him.
Kennedy woke with a gentle smile when he noticed he was in Lachlan and Teague’s arms. It was his favorite way to wake up. He would have just enjoyed the closeness, but as always, him waking woke the two of them. They set to talking to him right away, Lachlan starting, “We got a letter.”
“A letter? From who?”
“We don’t know them, but they claim to know who we are, how we came to be and we want to check it out. Since we don’t know how long it will take we want you to come. ”
“Of course, you two know I’ll go anywhere you go.” They both smiled, one kissing the top of his head and the other kissing his forehead.
“Then let’s eat something, pack small bags and head out.”
Kennedy made sure they had his sketch book and pencils, getting chuckles from both of them. He insisted on making breakfast for them, blushing when they sat at the table and watched him. They flirted with him while they ate so he was bright red by the time they left. “So…so how far are we going?” He asked as he climbed into the passenger seat, Lachlan taking the driver seat and Teague shifted into a wolf and sat on the floorboard between Kennedy’s feet with his head resting on his lap.
“One state over.” Lachlan answered as he pulled away from their home.
“That’s not so bad.”
Lachlan smiled as he took Kennedy’s hand and brought it to his lips. “It’s the reason we’re taking the car, otherwise we would take turns carrying you.”
Teague huffed and nudged Kennedy’s free hand until he stroked the top of his head. “Don’t be upset, I love when you two carry me, but what if it rains or something.” Kennedy said. He was getting a lot better at reading them.
Teague relaxed, happy just to be close to Kennedy. It may not be holding him, but it felt amazing when Kennedy would stroke his fur like this. They were also on their way to finding out everything about themselves. Beyond Kennedy, there was nothing either of them wanted more than to know how they came to be what they were, two people sharing one soul. Traffic was especially annoying today. Not that it was worse than normal, they just wanted to arrive sooner rather than later. Kennedy was a bit more patient, taking in the scenery as his mind went through all the possibilities.
“We may have to stop at a hotel at this rate.” Lachlan glared at the cars in front of him, willing them to spontaneously combust or move faster. Teague huffed and they both knew he was laughing.
“You shouldn’t drive all through the day and night anyway, it’s bad to sit for so long.” Kennedy replied, his concern warming his mates’ hearts.
“You know we don’t mind as far as we go, it’s you we’re worried about. Neither of us would force you to sleep in the car.”
“Then if we have to, we should stop.”
Lachlan reached over and stroked Kennedy’s cheek and Teague pushed his head against Kennedy’s stomach. “We will, I promise.”
They wound up stopping at a rest stop after awhile so they could all use the restroom and Teague took the time to shift back and stretch. He climbed into the backseat, laying down and reaching between the front seats to make contact with Kennedy. Both he and Lachlan’s thoughts went between their mate and the person who had sent them the letter. They were both already planning an exit strategy in case it was a trap, ready to protect Kennedy and kill anyone who tried to stop them. “What do you think we are?” Teague asked.
Lachlan shrugged. “Perhaps we did something terrible in a past life and this was our punishment.”
Teague chuckled. “Oh yes, what a punishment. It backfired if that’s the case.”
Lachlan smiled. “Yes it did, after all we have everything we could ever dream of wanting.”
“I don’t think you two could have possible come from someone evil or bad.” Kennedy interjected. “You’re both too sweet and gentle.”
“With you.” They both said.
Kennedy smiled, his heart warming. “You two are incredibly good men. I’ve been with you long enough to know.” They drove on as far as they could, but the weather also started making the trip harder so they checked into a hotel with good reviews for the night, planning to leave as soon as they woke in the morning. “Thank goodness we didn’t walk.” Kennedy stated as he sat down on their bed.
“Why don’t we shower? It’ll make us feel better after all that time in the car. I hate we made such terrible time.” Lachlan said and Kennedy answered, “I’m eager to meet this person, but it’s alright. We’re together, that’s what matters.” He was irresistibly cute saying something like that and both men took a turn kissing him.
Kennedy stood between his mates under the warm spray of the water, thankful the heat of the water masked his blush. Lachlan and Teague let their hands move over him, unable to keep themselves from teasing and seducing him. “You…you two should get clean too.”
“But we want you.” Teague said and bit down on his shoulder, getting a soft moan in response. “You want us too.”
“Yeah, but…the shower…”
“Please?” Lachlan gently grabbed his chin and turned his head, his lips lightly brushing Kennedy’s.
“I do…want both of you very much.” How could he tell them no, especially knowing they would stop if he asked them to. They made him feel so safe and loved and he gave them his absolute trust. They moved from the shower to the bed, their bodies tangling together, hands and lips exploring.
It was mind blowing just how incredible they could make him feel. They were so lustful, seemingly endlessly hungry for him, but at the same time they made him feel like the most treasured thing in the universe. Once they were spent they cuddled up to one another, Kennedy in the middle as always and got some much needed rest to finish their trip come morning. The traffic wound up being much better and they made it to their destination in good time. Teague spoke as he parked, “Lachlan, just as a precaution why don’t you stay in the car with Kennedy while I check this out. Once I’m sure this isn’t some ambush you two can come.”
Lachlan nodded. “Know that I will come running if you should need me.”
“Why don’t we all go in together?” Kennedy asked worriedly.
Both Lachlan and Teague chuckled. “Because we refuse to risk your safety.” Teague answered.
“You are the most important thing to us so if anything happens, we want you to stay here and keep the doors locked.” Lachlan added.
“I’ll be back before you know it, I promise.” Teague unbuckled and leaned over, giving Kennedy a reassuring kiss. He was out of the car before Kennedy could further protest.
“Come sit back here with me.” Lachlan’s tone was gentle and Kennedy unbuckled and climbed back into the back seat, letting Lachlan hold him. He didn’t like when Teague and Lachlan separated. He had seen them fight side by side and it worried him that alone one of them may become overwhelmed.
Teague let his senses flare out as he cautiously approached the house. He took in every small sound, every subtle scent, searching for any signs of a trap. He felt a slight tingle move over his skin and his wolf alerted him to the magical circle surrounding the property. It didn’t feel dangerous, but he would make sure Lachlan and Kennedy were careful as they crossed that invisible line.
He wasn’t fully up to the door yet when it opened, but that wasn’t surprising, obviously the person was waiting on them. He came out, allowing Teague to take him in. “You came.” He stated then looked over at the car. “Good, you both came. I’m surprised you trust me enough to bring your mate.”
“We couldn’t leave him behind and know with certainty, nothing, no matter what it or you has up its sleeve is ever going to harm Kennedy.”
“Would you like to come in before they come out?”
Teague was silent a few moments, reading the being as best he could. He couldn’t find a trace of threat so he said, “I will bring them now, I want them to be careful of your magic line so I’ll walk back to the car.”
“If you’d feel more comfortable we can talk out here. I want you two open to what I have to say.”
“We’ll decide together.” Teague backed towards the car, ready to spring out of the way should this man try anything. He didn’t turn until he was to the car and pulling the door open. “It’s safe as far as I can tell.”
“Alright, are you ready Kennedy?” Lachlan asked.
“Stay close to us.”
They got out and both Lachlan and Teague positioned themselves in front and to each side of Kennedy. “So, would you like to come inside?” Their host asked.
They both looked at each other and something seemed to pass between them as they nodded to each other. “Alright, but if you try anything, we will not hesitate to kill you.” Lachlan answered.
“Kennedy means the world to us and we won’t have you hurting him.” Teague added.
Kennedy took their hands. “It’s okay you two, let’s hear him out.”
They followed him in, both Lachlan and Teague scenting and listening, feeling the magic in this house. “Please make yourselves at home.”
Kennedy kept both their hands, stroking his mates with his thumbs to try to get them to relax a little. He knew it was just out of care for him, but he didn’t want them to come across as rude and have this man change his mind about helping them. He really wanted to know how their souls became split and he knew they would always regret missing this opportunity if they bungled this chance. “I guess we’ll get right down to it.” The man said as he sat down across from them. He settled in a bit then continued, “I hear things now and again, that’s how I came to find you two. It’s honestly exciting to see what happened with Merrik’s split soul, to think it could actually be reborn. It’s astounding really, Drake thought he was going to completely destroy Merrik, make him incapable of even being reborn into a new life but here you two sit, a testament to the souls resilience.”
“I don’t want to be rude but I’m still just as confused as when I opened the letter you sent.”
“Ah yes, I’m sorry, I’m letting how star struck I am get in the way. I’m sorry.”
“Who is Merrik?” Lachlan asked.
“He is who you are, well were, before his soul was torn apart. Merrik was intelligent, charismatic, he had a good sense of humor, yet a resolve of steel. He was a brilliant tactician and a lover of both books and nature. He was a curious young man and he and Drake got along very well. They were incredibly fond of each other, they studied magic together, Merrik helped him with the day to day of his hold, using spells to improve things. He was loyal to Drake until he came across a book of dark spells and incantations. He showed it to Drake, wanted his help in using them, telling him it would give them more power than they could possibly imagine, that their world would benefit from it in the end.”
“He was corrupted.” Lachlan said.
“Not at first. It happened over time. He studied the book on his own, started using the spells inside. He summoned demons and evil spirits and then he started sacrificing people and then he betrayed Drake. The only way Drake could stop him, was to kill him. Merrik died with Drake’s sword in his chest and Drake used magic to tear his soul apart. The fact the he was reborn in you two is amazing.”
Lachlan and Teague both swallowed. “Are you saying we’re evil?” Teague asked.
“Not at all. Being reborn doesn’t mean you will repeat the mistakes of your past life. Many people find redemption the second time around.”
Kennedy gave their hands a reassuring squeeze again “I’ve been with you two a really long time. I know you could never be evil.”
“I only reached out because you two seemed like good beings. I just wanted you to know who you were. Having half a soul had to raise a million questions and maybe I can take you to where you belong one day and maybe, after I talk to Drake, maybe you could meet. Merrik and Drake were so close for such a long time. It might mean a lot to him to build a relationship again.”
“We have no memories of a past life.” Lachlan said.
“That’s normal. Some people never do, they live life without even knowing who they were before. You may or may not start to remember. Even so, they have no bearing on the men you are today.”
“Do you have any stories about Merrik before he betrayed Drake?” Kennedy asked. He was curious.
“Of course. Why don’t you let me get us something to eat and drink and then we can talk.”
“Warrick and you don’t have too.”
“Please? You’ve given Lachlan and Teague so much, I can at least give you a hand.”
Warrick smiled. “I’m guessing they’ll be joining us?” Kennedy felt a blush tint his cheeks and Warrick chuckled. “It’s alright, it’s to be expected.” He stood and they followed him into the kitchen, Lachlan and Teague sitting at the kitchen table while Kennedy helped make sandwiches and lemonade.
They all sat at the kitchen table once it was all prepared, each with a large, cold glass of lemonade and two sandwich’s a piece with a few stacked in the middle of the table. They were captivated by Warrick’s stories and while they couldn’t remember them themselves Teague and Lachlan felt they were true. Regardless, there wasn’t any reason for this man to lie that was apparent. It was adorable and sweet to them just how curious Kennedy seemed to be about their past life. He was always attentive though, caring constantly about their lives and feelings.
“So, do they look like him?” Kennedy asked.
“A bit yes. Merrik had really long hair, down to his waist and his eyes were blue rather than grey. He was also a bit shorter and he didn’t dress like them of course. The fashion in his home world isn’t exactly modern.”
“Now I’m going to have to draw him.” Teague let out a little growl and Lachlan sighed, the sounds drawing Kennedy’s attention. “What?”
“They’re jealous.” Warrick chuckled.
“Why?” Kennedy asked. “It’s you two.”
“Not really.” Teague answered.
“He’s who we were and…” Lachlan sighed. “How childish of us, Teague.”
“I know, but we can’t help it.”
Kennedy smiled and hugged both of them. “Don’t be silly, I love who you are now, it’s just the past you sounds so interesting and the more Warrick describes him, the more I can see him in you two. I can’t wait to meet Drake, I bet he has even more stories.”
“I suppose we could go if you’d guide us Warrick.”
“Do you have any books on the world you’d be taking us to?”
“You’d like to read up on everything there first?”
“Understandable, just a moment.” Warrick got up, coming back some time later with two books. “That’s all you really need to know. You’re welcome to read them here, but I can give you directions to a good hotel if you’d like. I can’t imagine you three are going to drive all the way home just to drive back when you finish two books.”
“Would we be an imposition here?” Kennedy asked.
“Not at all.”
Kennedy looked at his mates who seemed to speak wordlessly to each other before saying, “We will stay here, it seems Kennedy would be more comfortable. Besides, we can each read one so most likely we’ll rip through these two books before tomorrow even comes.”
Kennedy asked for some paper and a pencil and got to sketching a picture of Merrik. He did his best to capture both Lachlan and Teague’s temperaments in his face, giving him an air of authority, but making his eyes twinkle with mischievousness. “Warrick, can you describe the kind of clothes Merrik wore?” He asked as he drew in a long braid.
“Think fantasy mage.”
Kennedy nodded, drawing everything from his boots and pants to a loose shirt and even a cloak. He wanted to give the picture more life so drew magic swirling around him. Just looking at his picture, it was hard to believe the man he had created could have turned on his best friend. “So, what do you think?” He gave the picture to Warrick.
“Amazing, you’re incredibly talented and you’ve captured him perfectly.”
“Yeah, you’re an amazing artist.”
“Well you described him well and I just put aspects of both of my mates in him.” At breakfast the next morning Lachlan and Teague announced they had read up on the place and felt prepared to take Kennedy there.
“Wonderful.” Warrick answered then Lachlan added, “Do we need to warn anybody we’re coming?”
“Let’s keep it a surprise. I assure you I can handle the situation when we get there. I think he’ll honestly be happy. The only reason he tried to destroy his soul is he didn’t know the extent his old friend had dabbled into dark magic and didn’t want him coming back to life still corrupted.” Teague nodded and soon they were locking up Warrick’s home and following him. “We don’t have to walk far. I’ve made a special portal.”
“A portal?” Kennedy looked between his two mates. “There are portals?”
“It would seem so.” Lachlan replied and both he and Teague tightened their grips on his hands.
“You two have nothing to fear.” Warrick said. “It’s perfectly stable and safe. I wouldn’t ask you to go through anything I wouldn’t go through first.”
“I hope we’re not coming off as rude.” Teague replied.
“Not at all, I understand your need to protect him.” They followed him down a path behind his home and into a little wooded area. It was beautiful, everything was strangely in bloom and it took Kennedy a moment to realize it must be Warrick’s magic at work. His eyes were then drawn to the circle of white stones. Warrick stepped in first to show them it was safe and they soon followed, Lachlan and Teague moving so he was pressed between them. “Remember to breathe you three and since this is your first time traveling between worlds, you might throw up on the other side.”
Lachlan and Teague nodded and soon they were all pulled through. They managed not to spill their stomachs but Kennedy had to admit to himself he was certainly nauseous. Lachlan lifted him, Teague whining that he missed the chance to carry him first. Kennedy smiled, the adorable look on his face causing the wolf’s heart to dance, mostly forgetting his brief moment of jealously. Sharing was sometimes hard but Kennedy was worth it, he was worth anything. Both Lachlan and Teague felt confident in this place, feeling like they could take on anything they had read about should trouble arise.
“Everything’s so beautiful.” Kennedy itched to draw the environment. It was so wild and untamed, alive in a different way than the city. “Did Merrik ever visit these woods?”
“All the time, he and Drake collected ingredients, hunted, and hiked together. You would swear they were brothers. In a way, I believe they were soulmates.” He chuckled when they all three gave him questioning looks. “Not like you three. There are different kinds of soulmates. You three are lovers, but he and Drake were like siblings born to different mothers.”
“How do you know so much about souls?” Lachlan asked.
“Believe it or not I’ve spent centuries researching souls. I became curious about what happens when people die. I met Drake and Merrik before their falling out and afterwards, when Drake was sure he had destroyed Merrik, I kept my eyes and ears open, wanting to see if the soul could truly be wiped off the face of the universe. I was amazed that he survived, not just in one person, but two. Not only were you reborn, but you’ve managed to retain that part of Merrik that was kind and generous, that was curious and intelligent and mischievous. It’s fascinating.”
They continued admiring their surroundings, stopping when Kennedy wanted a closer look at something and letting Teague take his turn carrying him. He rubbed his nose against Kennedy’s making him laugh. “I know it’s stupid to be jealous of myself, but I can’t help it sometimes.”
“It’s not stupid.” Lachlan said. “I’ve felt that way when I have to go out and do things and you two get to spend most of the day together. I know logically that Kennedy would never put one of us over the other, but for just a moment I feel left out. Then I come home and he’s so happy to see me it wipes away all of those doubts.”
“You three are irrevocably bound, bodies, souls, and hearts. I can tell that there is nothing that will be able to separate you three.”
When they arrived at Drake’s home Lachlan and Teague finally felt the first stirring from their soul that they knew this place. They still had no memories, but this all felt so much more real now. “What is it?” Warrick asked and Lachlan answered, ” I suppose a soul never forgets a best friend. While I still hold no memories my half of our soul is stirring.”
“Yeah.” Teague said, taking in the outside of Drake’s home.
“Well lets knock and see what meeting Drake does, perhaps you will remember a thing or two.” Warrick knocked and Teague set Kennedy down so he could take both their hands again.
Drake answered, seeming surprised. “It’s been awhile.”
“It has, I’m sorry, I brought some people I feel you’d like to get to know once I explain them.”
“Oh?” He smiled until his eyes rested on Lachlan and Teague, shock and confusion playing across his face as he reached for a sword that wasn’t there. He realized he was unarmed and started to backpedal when Warrick grabbed his arm.
“Easy my friend.” Warrick said.
Both Lachlan and Teague’s hands tightened around Kennedy’s and he looked at them both. They both looked just as surprised as Drake, their eyes wide as they studied his face. “Guys?” He said gently and they blinked, that moment of revelation gone. They both looked at him, eyes warming, both of them apologizing.
“Drake, let’s go in and sit before you fall down, you’re pale.” Warrick said as he gently pushed Drake back into his own home and gestured for the three of them to follow.
They did, all still feeling the confusion that had settled in when their souls recognized one another. Warrick explained everything, how he found them and what they were. A tense silence filled the room until Lachlan spoke. “We don’t remember anything…we’re sorry for what happened though.”
Drake sighed. “He wouldn’t have brought you here if you still had a darkness in your heart…I am glad you’re on a good path…I pray you stick to it this time.”
“I don’t think we could ever go down a dark path, not with a mate like Kennedy.”
Drake nodded. “I’m sorry, I don’t want to be rude to people who don’t deserve it, but I need a little space to think. I’m going to go on a walk…make yourselves at home…Warrick should remember where everything is.”
Drake walked out and Warrick apologized, explaining, “This has to be really hard.”
“We get it, it’s alright.” Teague answered.
“Killing Merrik was probably the hardest thing he’s ever done. Imagine looking into the face of the person you trusted the most and no longer seeing them there.”
“I don’t think either of us could handle it.” Lachlan said, sighing.
“I think it would kill us.” They both rested a hand on one of Kennedy’s knees.
“You know I’d never hurt you two, not on purpose.” Kennedy rested his hands on theirs, hoping they felt reassured. He could see something in their eyes, a bit of pain beneath the shock.
“We know.” They said as one and hugged him.
“Anyway, are you three hungry or thirsty?”
“No.” Lachlan and Teague said then looked at Kennedy.
“Maybe some tea or water if he doesn’t have it?”
“Of course.” He left them in the living room and went into the kitchen.
“How does this make you feel, Kennedy?” Teague asked.
“It doesn’t worry you does it?” Lachlan added.
“Of course not, you two are amazing mates, I couldn’t ask for better. It’s just sad, the look on his face, how he almost looked like he had seen a ghost.”
“Yeah, I hope it’s good we came.”
Warrick was now re-entering the room. “It is good, I think this will be good for all of you.” He handed Kennedy a glass of sweet tea and Kennedy finally moved his hands off theirs, happy Drake actually had some. They waited patiently for their host, honestly surprised when he came back that he hadn’t stayed gone more than about an hour and a half.
“Once again, I’m sorry, you’re new…people now.” He had taken a short pause, still seeming in shock that the soul he divided hadn’t just vanished, but had gone into two beings. “It was rude to walk out, but I truly did need it to be able to deal with this…I don’t think I’ve ever completely stopped mourning my friend. I never wanted to kill him but he gave me no other choice so I did the hard thing for the sake of the many who live here.”
“We get that, truly.” Lachlan said.
Drake swallowed. “So, um, you found love in this life…Merrick never had any luck…”
“Kennedy means the world to us.”
Drake offered his hand and Kennedy shook it. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s good to meet you too.”
“The two that Merrik’s soul chose as its vessels are Lachlan and Teague. Lachlan is a vampire and Teague a werewolf. Kennedy is also a vampire.” Warrick explained.
“I see.” Drake replied, shaking their hands. “Do you remember me?”
“It’s more an impression.” Lachlan answered then looked to Teague. “It’s almost like…”
“A familiar scent.” Teague finished. “Like even though we don’t know you, it’s still there.”
Drake nodded as he finally took a seat. “What do you three do then?”
“We hunt down and kill beings who harm others.” Teague answered. “That’s how we met Kennedy.”
“He had been forcefully changed into a vampire.” Lachlan said as he placed a hand on Kennedy’s shoulder. “He nearly starved himself into a blood lust, unaware of what was happening to him.”
“I didn’t even know creatures like them existed until then. They saved me and fed me, gave me a home.” Kennedy smiled at him and both Lachlan and Teague felt jealousy rear its head, but managed to push it down. “I know you’re worried, but they’re both incredibly kind and loving. I hope you can get to know each other again, I hope you can learn to trust them.”
“I can, your work sounds honorable and as I said, you share a soul with my old friend but you’ve lived a different life now, obviously have made different choices and I think it will help me finally find true peace if I can form some sort of relationship with you guys. Though, any crazy could have written you three, luring you into a trap, you’d really follow a letter?”
“We were cautious, but we’ve been so curious about how we came to be.”
Drake nodded. “Yeah, I doubt you’ve met anybody like you.” There was still a hint of awkward tension in the air, but they were in a situation that would take time to get truly comfortable.
“No, we were afraid to bring our mate, but we were also afraid to leave him behind. It’s also just hard to be away from him.”
“Is your world very dangerous?”
“In our line of work you get on the bad side of some nasty people. I doubt anybody is stupid enough to try anything, but Kennedy’s life isn’t something to gamble on.”
Drake nodded. “And you Kennedy, what do you do?”
“I’m an art student, I have a couple of years left at university actually. Some people have already asked me to do commissions for them. These two want me to get my work out there, so we’ll see how things go.”
“He’s incredibly talented.” Warrick said. “He drew a perfect likeness of Merrik.”
“If you would like I can take all three of you to places he and I used to frequent, perhaps you’ll find some inspiration while we’re out.” Drake offered.
“I might have to get me another sketch book. I left mine back in our world, but we’d love too.” He looked between his mates.
“Of course love.” Lachlan said.
“Whatever you want.” Teague added.
“Besides we want to know more, maybe even trigger some memories.” Lachlan said. “And if you don’t mind, we would appreciate it if you would let us see anything of Merrik’s.”
“Yeah…I’m sure I still have some things of his. Let’s work on getting Kennedy a sketch book first. An artist shouldn’t be without his tools.” He walked into another room, coming back with one. “I thought one was left here awhile back.” He said then also handed him a pen. “I once had a noble family stay with me, one of their children left it. It’s been here at least a year so I don’t think they’ll want it back.”
“Do you four feel ready to go? Hungry, thirsty?” They established all were ready to travel around so they went out back to the horses Drake owned. He got them all situated and they started on their way. So many memories were stirring up for Drake, it was painful but he really did want to remember the good times over the bad at the end.
He took them to a place where he and Merrik would gather plants for Merrik’s experiments. Kennedy took to drawing one of the plants, a beautiful purple flower with a yellow and red center. He had never seen anything like it. He reached out to touch it and was startled when Lachlan grabbed his hand and Teague pulled him back a little. “What?”
“Are you alright? You didn’t touch it before did you?” They both looked him over, concerned.
“No, I didn’t. Hey, what’s wrong?”
His mates looked at each other and then back at him, confused. “We don’t know.” Lachlan said.
“They’re toxic.” Drake said as he crouched down to look at the flower. “There is an oil on the petals that seeps into the skin. Merrik found that out the hard way. It nearly killed him.” He stood. “You remember.”
“Not a memory as such.” Teague replied.
“More an impression.” Lachlan added.
Teague nodded. “It was like something in us was giving off a warning.”
“Well thankfully for Kennedy you did. I’d hate for his first trip here to be so miserable.”
“It would have been my fault. I’m not from here so I shouldn’t have let my curiosity get the better of me without asking.”
“I’ll try to make sure to disclose more of that sort of information. I’m not accustomed to being with people not from here.” They moved on, taking in as much as they could until night had them returning to Drake’s home. Warrick made dinner leaving Lachlan, Teague and Kennedy sitting in the living room together while Drake tried to find the photos of them he still had. When he found the album he brought it out, his heart feeling a little heavy already. He would give anything to go back in time and keep his best friend from finding that book.
“This was you two.” He handed the album to Kennedy since he was in the middle.
Kennedy smiled. “Wow, Warrick wasn’t lying. He looks so mischievous.” He let his finger brush over the picture. He then let his eyes drift to Drake who was standing next to him. “Why do you look so irritated?”
Drake sighed. “Well, it was our first outing together and he may have gotten us into a bit of trouble. All he could do was laugh. At least he go the data he wanted.”
“He really is a perfect mix of you two.” Kennedy said to Lachlan and Teague as he turned the page. “What’s this?”
“We were tanning hides.” He reached over and flipped to another page, tapping it. “He made those boots.”
“Wow, they look nice. I bet because of it my mates would be naturals if they tried.”
“The soul does keep a lot with it.” Warrick noted.
“I’ve always known the soul was amazing but this…really makes you come to terms with how much we probably don’t even know about souls.” Drake said.
They spent their days continuing to go through things, discussing the past and how they spent their lives currently. Drake found it truly helping him as he grew closer to Kennedy, Lachlan and Teague. He had to destroy his friend, but at least he knew, in the end, he really did help him. His old friend was free of the evil that over took his heart, was living a happy life and had obviously found true, meaningful love this time around. It had all turned out as good as it possibly could have and Drake looked forward to the days to come for the first time since his old friend departed from his world.
~ The End