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Ruby & Noxx 2

Chapter One

Noxx woke from his nap to the sound of his phone going off and he sat up from where he was resting in the grass and fished it out of his pocket. His heart jumped when he saw Ruby’s name. He quickly answered, worried she had had a panic attack or nightmare. He was generally pretty vigilant when it came to her. “Is everything alright?” He asked as he got up. read more

Diya & Romanus 2

Chapter One

He was tired, especially after tonight, after he had found something far worse than he had imagined. The lamp in the living room switching on startled him and he was surprised to see Diya yawning and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. “Diya?”

“You’re home.” She gave him a sleepy smile. She stood, stretching. “Are you hungry?”

“Why are you sleeping on the couch?” He asked. Had something happened?

“Hmm? Oh, just waiting up for you. I was worried.”

“Oh.”

She stopped in front of him, studying his face. “It was a hard one, wasn’t it? Harder than usual I mean.” He nodded. How could she tell? “Could I give you a hug?”

“I…I think I should shower first.”

“Alright, I’ll get you something to eat.”

“I don’t think I can eat. I will later, just not right now. Maybe we could watch something, if you’re not too tired.”

“Of course.”

Diya hated seeing such a distressed look on his face, like he was reliving everything he had ever been subjected to and she wished she knew what to say. She went into the living room and switched the TV on then clicked on Netflix. She went through the comedy section, wanting to find something to help calm him down.

Romanus wanted to hurry to Diya, to her warmth but he couldn’t do anything at first but stand under the hot spray of water. Sometimes when cases ended up this horrible he was tempted to quit, especially now that he had such a wonderful life with Diya and her now seven year old daughter. He wanted to drown himself in their warmth and forget his childhood ever happened to him. He wanted to forget such horrendous things were still going on in the worlds but he couldn’t. He remembered all too well what it felt like to be one of those helpless children, scared and willing to do anything to make them stop. He had to save them, he had to save as many children as he possibly could.

One of the best things to him about Diya was that she understood his need to do this and she was always here, ready to comfort him when he needed it. Finally his desire to be out there with her got him moving. He washed himself thoroughly, dried and put on something comfortable. Diya had settled on a movie and had made them both hot tea, knowing it helped. He sat down, taking a long swig of it before thanking her. “It’s no trouble Romanus. What else can I do for you? Want to lay your head in my lap while we watch the movie and I can rub your back?”

“Honestly…I think I feel like having you in my lap and just clinging to you”

“Okay” she crawled into his lap and he wrapped his arms tightly around her, kissing her shoulder “thank you” She had told him countless times he didn’t need to thank her so much so she just relaxed into him and pressed play on their movie.

Between the movie and Diya, he was able let go of some of the tension in his body. He never realized just how much he was holding until he was with her. “Feeling any better?” She asked as she ran her fingers through his hair.

“Yeah, thanks to you.”

She let out a soft laugh, her breath tickling over his skin. “I’m not doing anything.”

“You’re doing everything. Just being near you makes me feel better. I don’t know what I’d do without you and Melody.” He moved his head so he could press his forehead into her neck. “You’ve been such a gift, both of you have.”

“We wouldn’t trade you for the world, Romanus.” She kiss the top of his head. “I know you don’t like to, but why don’t you take a short break. It’s the weekend so Melody doesn’t have to go to school. We could all go somewhere.”

He took in her scent then breathed out “I think I really need one. Besides, you two are always so patient with how busy I am. You deserve my full attention for at least the weekend”

“You do plenty with us”

“where would you like to take her?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t think that far ahead”

“we could ask her I suppose. I’m happy anywhere as long as I’m with you two”

“are you ready to head to bed then? She gets up early, even on weekends”

“Yeah” he stood, still holding Diya. He carried her to their room and didn’t even take the time to get undressed before settling into bed with her. She didn’t mind, she preferred pajamas but she knew he had dealt with something absolutely stomach churning tonight and she was willing to do whatever he needed to heal from it. They both fell asleep fast and woke to an excited little girl “Mom! Dad! I’m hungry! Can I help you make pancakes mom?” Sleepily her mother answered “sure baby”

Romanus couldn’t help but actually feel whole and normal in these moments with Diya and Melody. He felt love and affection warm him as he followed them and still found it hard to believe how lucky he was. “I’ll make coffee.” He said as they started pulling things out of the pantry and fridge. “Orange juice for the princess?” He asked and Melody giggled.

“Yes please.”

“So what do you think baby? Chocolate chips or blueberries?”

“Can we do both?”

“Sounds perfect.”

Once Romanus had the coffee started and had a glass of juice on the table for Melody, he stepped up behind Diya and wrapped his arms around her. “I love you.” He said and pressed a kiss to her temple.

“I love you too.” She turned just enough to kiss his cheek then went back to helping make batter. “So, Melody, daddy and I want to take you out somewhere this weekend, do you have anywhere you’d like to go or something you’d really like to do?”

“I don’t know”

“Think about it over breakfast.” Romanus said and Melody nodded. Their seven year old happily made breakfast with her mother as she thought about something for them all to do. Meanwhile Romanus just enjoyed watching them, the only beings who had ever brought true happiness into his life. The two made far too many pancakes but Melody liked to have them as snacks anyway. They’d just put the leftover ones in a ziplock in the fridge. They were just eating and talking when Melody said “could we go to a beach?”

“I know the perfect one” Melody squeaked with excitement “when can we go?”

“Lets eat and then we can make a bag of things we will need” Melody began to eat just a little quicker causing her mother to laugh before she said “well we might have to stop by a store. I don’t know if she has a swim suit that fits her”

“That can just be a part of the fun. We can let her pick one” Romanus responded then Diya spoke again, an idea dawning on her “we can have a picnic there too for lunch. You can help me decide what at the store Melody”

Romanus helped Diya clean up and then gather things for the beach. Diya picked out an outfit for Melody and sent her to her room to get changed. They then went to get ready. He didn’t know why he still found himself getting nervous when they changed together. He knew she wouldn’t hurt him or force him into anything, but his heart still stuttered in his chest and he found himself looking away when she pulled her shirt off. “Romanus?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you need me to change in the bathroom?”

“No, sorry, I want to look, but I feel…guilty I guess.” And scared.

“Romanus, I’m gonna come closer, okay?”

“Okay.”

She moved over, one arm across her chest and gently lifted his head. “You don’t have to rush yourself, I’m not going anywhere, so please don’t worry.”

“Okay, I love you and you’re very beautiful Diya, truly.” She gave him a quick kiss then turned away from him and grabbed clean clothes out of her chest of drawers. He changed quickly and they left the room together, both of them smiling when they saw Melody waiting excitedly on the couch.

“can we go now?”

“Yes baby, we’re all ready”

When they arrived at the store Melody easily picked out a swim suit so picking out stuff for lunch was the only thing that took a lot of time. They ended up settling on different fruits they could keep in the small cooler they bought. “seems like we’re ready” Melody made that excited little noise again, bouncing even as they checked out. Melody put the swim suit on under her clothes in the store bathroom since there may not be a place to change at the beach Romanus was taking them to. They didn’t ask if it was in their world or another, both loving surprises.

There was one place Romanus had found after he had escaped from his father and the depraved people who had used him. It had been one of the most peaceful moments of his life until he met Diya and Melody. It was actually connected to the vortex near the actual beach and was the reason why reality sometimes seemed distorted there to the regular human. Melody gave a little squeal of delight when she saw the water, but looked at them in confusion when Romanus kept driving. “We’re not going here?” She asked.

“We’re going somewhere better.” Romanus said. “Somewhere kind of special to me.”

Diya reached over and grabbed his hand when she saw the look on his face. She could always tell when he was thinking of his childhood. Even if there had been any sort of good memory after what had happened, it always came back to his childhood. “What’s it like?” She asked.

“It’s peaceful and beautiful.” He turned onto a side road and pulled over after a few more minutes. They all got out, grabbing things and he lead them over to the center of the vortex.

He picked them both up, not wanting to risk anything happening to them as they went through. He carried them out onto the sand then carefully put them down. The two of them were amazed at the beach they were seeing. It was a thousand times prettier here than back in their world. Diya kissed him on the cheek “thank you” he gave her a small smile “I’m happy to have a family to bring here…as a child…I didn’t think I’d ever have happiness” Melody tugged on him “can I run into the water? Is it safe?”

“yes, just dont go as depe as your waste until your mother and I set up the blanket and picnic stuff”

“Yes sir” she said excitedly then ran to the water. Diya started setting things up where they stood, glancing over at her daughter every now and then to make sure she was listening to Romanus. Once their picnic was set Diya said “lets go play with her” He pulled Diya into his arms “just give me a few moments to hold you first” She glanced over at her daughter again then relaxed into the hug, wondering what he must be thinking about.

“Diya?” Romanus finally said.

“Yeah?”

“I’m sorry I’m still so uncomfortable and nervous doing certain things. I don’t deserve your patience.”

“Hush, you have every right to be and you know you didn’t hurt my feelings right?”

“I know, it’s just…I mean what if you want another child or something.”

Diya pulled back enough to see his face. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, but right now you need to just take your time. It just makes me happy hearing you say you might even want to try.” She gave him a kiss. “You’re making really good progress, you really are, so don’t rush. I’m perfectly happy.”

“I just want to give you everything, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to.”

“You’ve given me more than you know, you saved Melody and you’ve been so amazing to us. I love you, so don’t worry.”

“Okay.”

Diya looked back at Melody. “She looks so happy and that’s all thanks to you, baby.”

 

Chapter Two

She could see how much emotion that stirred up in him “lets go play with her” She gave Romanus another kiss and the two got up to play with Melody “Yes!” she said excitedly, instantly starting to go deeper. Diya laughed, seeing how eager her daughter had been. She went under and Diya instantly noticed how worried Romanus looked. When she popped back up Melody splashed him, he looked surprised a moment then she encouraged with a giggle “come on dad” He splashed back, taking awhile to really give her a good one. It was always sweet and sad to see him interact with her.

It showed all the time he hadn’t had any sort of a normal childhood. While playing at one point Romanus pulled Diya under, holding her against him then coming uip quickly “throw her throw her!” Melody said excitedly. Romanus looked at Diya who giggled “it’s okay” He threw her and Melody laughed. Diya came up laughing as well and Romanus smiled. He wished he could play with them more normally but he was still learning how to play.

They splashed and played until Melody asked for a snack. Romanus made sure she was out safely before following Diya over to their stuff. They sat down together and enjoyed the warm weather as they ate. “We should explore a little.” Diya said. “If that’s okay with you.” She added.

“Alright, but please stay close to me. It’s not really dangerous here, but just in case.” Romanus knew he probably sounded paranoid. “I mean feel free to explore, just don’t got to far.”

“Romanus,” Diya took his hand, “it’s okay.”

“Sorry, I know at some point I’m going to have to learn to let loose, especially as our little Melody gets older.” He didn’t want his little girl to hate him.

She leaned over and kissed his cheek. “You’re an amazing father, she won’t hold it against you.”

“You two never hold anything against me…”

“I cant think of anything we should. We’re happy with you. I mean it” The couple cleaned up their picnic then walked hand in hand as they followed little Melody. He would guide since he knew the area but he wanted them to see everything they wanted to see. Melody gasped as she drew near the water again, going in just to her ankles and collecting the shells that had grabbed her attention “these are so pretty. Can I take them home? Please” Romanus answered “yes, there are many gorgeous shells in that water”

Melody ran over to her mother “will you carry them please?”

“sure baby”

Romanus found himself able to relax near completely as they walked and watched Melody. It wasn’t until he saw his little girl freeze that the tension came back. “Melody, what’s wrong?” He asked as he moved up to stand behind her.

She pointed. “There’s a dog over there.” She said and he followed her gaze.

It wasn’t a dog, but a wolf, and he was surprised she had been able to see it with how well its fur allowed it to blend into the tall grass. He could tell it was young and skinnier than normal. He moved in front of her and it seemed to startle the young wolf who hadn’t noticed him. “Diya, take Melody please.”

Diya gently pulled her daughter closer, watching the wolf. “What does it want?”

“He and I think he’s starving.” Had the wolf been watching Melody because she was the weaker target?

“What should we do?” Diya asked. “Should we feed him?”

Romanus wasn’t so sure, but he couldn’t tell Diya no, not when he knew the creature before them was still a child, twelve at most. “I’ll do it, you two stay back.” They had plenty of snacks so he went through the bag, pulling a couple of granola bars out and and taking their wrappers off. The wolf’s eyes watched the food.

It started to shift and Melody held a little tighter to her mother. They were aware of other beings but Melody had never seen an actual wolf shifter before. The young boy then cautiously came over and took the food. Melody was embarrassed looking at the naked boy so buried her face into her mother. “why are you so thin and why are you alone?” Romanus asked and the boy looked up into Romanus’s eyes, swallowing down his food before saying softly “I’ve been alone as long as I can remember…I just…I just felt like coming to the beach today and then” he looked over at Melody again. He fell silent so Romanus gently grabbed his face, turning it back to him “Please stop staring at my daughter”

“she’s yours?”

“Her mother is my mate now so yes she is mine” The boy looked uncomfortable and Diya said “Romanus, we can’t just leave this boy alone.”

“what do you suggest we do with him?”

“well…our house is plenty big”

Romanus didn’t know how he felt about allowing a stranger into their home, but if he turned the boy away, then it would be a betrayal of everything he had worked for. Not only that, but he knew Diya would be disappointed. He turned his gaze back to the boy who had once again been looking at Melody. “Sorry.” The boy said.

“What’s your name?”

“Tormod.”

“Tormod, do you remember how you came to be alone?”

He shook his head. “I don’t, just that I was running and then it was just me.”

Romanus nodded. “My mate believes that you should come home with us, would you like that?”

Tormod glanced at Melody. “Yes.”

Romanus leaned closer to the boy, hearing his heart skip in his chest. “I am only going to ask you this once child, was it my daughter who brought you here?”

“I…I could smell her and I…I don’t want to hurt her or anything, I just found her scent and followed it from the beach. The wolf…the wolf wanted me to.”

Romanus nodded as he straightened up and released Tormod. “You do know that my mate and daughter are important to me and if anything were to happen to them…”

“I wont hurt them…I promise” the boy seemed harmless and had a healthy fear of him so Romanus decided they could take him home. Besides, he knew about wolves.It sounded as if his daughter might very well be this boys mate. If that ended up being so he knew weather she returned the feelings or not he’d be a protector for her and he still worried about Melody, about another pervert setting his sights on her. Once he got this boy healthy it would be nice to know a wolf was protecting his family and would do so even if it meant his life since he knew how serious wolves were once they found their mate.

“lets go ahead and get home home. I’ll bring you guys back here once he’s healthy” Tormond looked at Melody again “I’ll shift. I’m making her uncomfortable like this”

“alright, first thing we’ll do is get you some clothes for this form” Tormond nodded and shifted back into a wolf, following the family once they began heading back the way they came. Unsurprisingly he ended up by Melodys side but she seemed happy now. Once home Roamus mulled over how he wanted to do this trip. He couldn’t take this boy to the store naked and he couldn’t take a wolf into a store. He also wasn’t so sure he wanted to leave him alone with his family right away despite the fact Romanus was guessing Melody would come to mean to the world to this wolf.

“are you trying to think about what to do when it comes to shopping?”

“Yes”

“I can measure him and look up online what sizes he’ll need. Then you can just go. We’ll be fine alone with him. He’s a kid, a starved child who was just given a home. I don’t feel like he’s going to hurt anybody”

“could you just order him clothes online?”

“same day shipping is expensive but yeah. I really want him to be able to shifts back into a boy when he wants” He was curled up beside Melody who was petting him. Diya whispered “so scary, he totally cant be trusted if you go to the store”

 

Final Chapter

Romanus looked at Tormod and then back at Diya. She was teasing him. He let out a little sigh and she hugged him. “Diya.”

“At least get him a pair of sweats and a shirt. He needs something and it won’t take you long.”

“Alright, alright, I’ll go.” He leaned back and kissed her. “Just, if anything happens, call me.”

“I will, now go, we’ll be fine.”

“Alright.”

Diya got Melody to cover her eyes so Tormod could shift back long enough to be measured. The boy apologized and Diya did he rbest to reassure him it was alright. He shifted back quickly and went back to Melody, which caused Diya to let out a little laugh. She looked up his sizes and then gave them to Romanus so he could get something for him. Romanus left, knowing he shouldn’t be worried, but unable to keep his mind from wandering. Logically, he knew young Tormod was practically harmless. The boy was starved, but after everything he couldn’t help himself. Once he was at the store, he quickly found the right clothing and grabbed them.

He felt relieved when he finally got home and Diya gave him a hug once he was inside. “Sorry.” He said softly.

“Hush, you know it’s okay.” She took the bag from him and went to Tormod. “Here sweetie, why don’t you go put these on.”

He picked up the bag with his mouth and walked off to a room. He wasn’t going to shift infront of Melody any more unless he had to. When he came back he was a boy and seemed to fit perfectly in what Romanus had bought him “thank you”

“whatever you need will be taken care of for now on. You’re a part of this family now. Tormond walked back over to Melody who asked “do you like to color?” he seemed confused a few moments then said “create art?” Diya smiled “sort of, lets go get her coloring books” Diya quickly pulled the box she kept it all in and handed it to Tormod “I have to finish cooking dinner but she’ll show you what she means” He walked back to Melody and set the box down. She grabbed a coloring book then said “you pick one” he just grabbed the top one and she pulled out the crayons. Romanus watched them a few minuets before joining his wife in the kitchen.

“is he taking to coloring?” she asked in an amused tone and he said “he’ll probably take to anything she wants to do with him”

“why’s that?”

“he said his wolf wanted him to come to her. Most likely she’s his mate. You know about wolves right?”

“I don’t know what you mean”

“They are one of the very few beings that know when they’ve found their soulmate. The wolf inside them guides them to whomever they are meant for. I mean I might think the wolf just knew I’d take him in because they have instincts for more than just that but the way he keeps looking at her, I just feel like it’s a mate thing”

“He knows she’s seven right?” a small bit of her momma bear was peeking out. “I wouldn’t have brought him home for a second if I thought he might hurt her. He’ll protect her with his life, honestly if he does anything that hurts her it’ll crush him. Their mates are everything to them. He’ll protect her, always. I’m going to stay home awhile to be absolutely sure about him but if I’m right I’ll feel a lot better with him here to protect you two”

“is it going to be a problem though when she’s older? I mean, will he become aggressive about it?”

“No, like I said, the only thing at risk with those two if she’s his mate is her breaking his heart. He wouldn’t hurt her or anybody she loves”

“I’m really happy you’re taking a break with us” he could tell any concerns were eased. He could understand how that chat at first could be alarming since he was in his early teens and their daughter hadn’t even made it to double digits yet.

He set the table for her while she cooked, then looked in on Melody and Tormod. They were still coloring, Tormod going much slower than Melody and focusing much harder. He went back to Diya and wrapped his arms around her and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “What should we do for the rest of the weekend?”

“Get Tormod completely settled in, help him get used to living a normal life.”

“Normal, I wish I could truly give you all that.”

“You do just fine.”

“I’m sure Tormod can smell death on me, he’ll want to know why at some point.”

“Tell him when you’re ready, I’m sure he’ll understand.” She let out a little laugh as she switched off the stove. “Looks like we don’t have to worry about having a baby.”

“Diya.” She turned in his arms, smiling up at him. “I do want to give you children, I…I love you.”

“It’s okay, really and I love you too.”

He tucked some hair behind her ear “I…we should try…to at least have sex”

“but are you ready for that because I dont care. I’m happy to never have sex if you find you can’t”

“lets try tonight okay”

“Please don’t do this just for me”

“I want to, I want to experience what enjoyable…consensual sex is like”

“alright but we’re taking it slow and you need to tell me right away if you’re getting scared or uncomfortable” He held her tightly to him a few moments, both nervous and eager for the evening. They served the food then called Melody and Tormod in. They both came quickly, Melody holding a picture for each of her parents “thank you honey” Melody sat down in her normal spot, cheerful as ever and Tormod joined her. His eyes widened a bit when he saw all the food on the table and Diya felt bad for him all over again “try to take it slow Tormod” He nodded but seemed to struggle with actually following through with it as he ate.

Tormod let out a little whine after dinner and Diya realized his stomach hurt. “I’m sorry.” He said.

“It’s okay honey, but next time try to eat slow, okay? You’ll never have to go without and no one is going to take your food from you.”

“Okay.”

She patted his back. “Let’s get you to your room.” He looked back at Melody, who was taking her plate to the sink, not wanting to leave her. “Tormod, how about we give you the room next to Melody’s.”

“Really?” She could see him light up at the thought.

“Of course, that way, you know where she is.”

“Alright.”

Romanus sent Melody off to follow them and started cleaning up. As he rinsed dishes and stuck them in the dishwasher, he began to over think things. What if he hurt Diya? What if he got scared? She said it was okay, but was it? He hated he was so scared, it was ridiculous when it was Diya. He heard a cracking sound and looked down to see he had squeezed one of their glasses too hard. He took a deep breath, sighed, then threw it away.

She was still reading to Melody when he was done in the kitchen but he had heard her read this one before and knew it was nearly over so he leaned against the wall and listened. When Diya came out she smiled up at him, easing some of his nerves. She took his hand and guided him into their bedroom. Diya shut then locked the door before saying softly “theres no expectation of you Romanus. We’ll do what you can handle tonight, thats it. You can even still back out if you need to”

“I want to try”

“How do you want to start? You can undress me or I can undress myself” Roamnus nervously answered “I’m too nervous to be able to undress you…could you do it slowly”

“mhm” She took off her shirt first, happy when he didn’t turn away from her as he often did. She then took off her pants, now standing in just her bra and underwear “everything Roamnus or do you maybe want to touch me like this first” Saying Roamnus was traumatized from being a constant sex toy in his childhood was an understatement so Diya felt she needed to be incredibly careful about this, especially since this was their first attempt at doing anything sexual.

It took him awhile but he managed to finally actually touch her bare skin. He tuned his senses into her, feeling a bit of emotion tug at his heart that she obviously like him touching her. He knew she wanted him, logically anyway. All he had known this far was rapists and it made all this hard emotionally. He was mostly touching her arms, back and stomach, seeming careful to avoid her breasts so she tried to help him “Roamnus, you can touch me anywhere” He blushed, seeming a little shaky as he slowly moved his hands to her breasts. She smiled at him, her expression filled with so much love and patience he had to take a moment to hold her against him which she still viewed as progress. He was actually holding her while she was nearly naked. She wondered for a moment if he realized that.

“Are you okay?” She asked softly as she rubbed his back.

“Yeah, sorry, I just…”

“It’s alright.” He pulled back and she gently pulled him down to kiss him, her fingers running through his hair and over his neck to help calm him. “Would you like me to take my bra and underwear off?”

“I…” he took a deep breath to steady himself, “yes.”

She moved back enough to remove them, going slow, watching him as he watched her. He was scared and worried, but he wasn’t turning away. He reached out to her and she stepped into him, letting out a breathy moan when his hands moved over her. “Romanus.” She slid her arms around his neck and he pressed his lips into hers, parting them so he could deepen the kiss.

His hands slid over her warm skin, his fingers moving up her spine, causing her to shiver. He was surprised to feel desire tingling over him, slowly filling him. He wanted to be brave and made himself back her onto the bed. He pulled back and she smiled up at him, so loving and trusting, so patient as she waited for him. “You’re so beautiful.” He whispered, his voice shaking a little.

“and you’re so handsome Romanus. I love you” His heart trembled again and he kissed her. Diya tried not to look as surprised as she was when he began taking off his own clothes, worried surprise might be mistranslated by him right now and he was doing far better than she had expected this evening. They were skin to skin and while they were now not doing anything this progress meant the world to her. Not because she wanted sex, she did but what mattered to her was what this meant for him as far as healing went. On top of that she knew how much trust it took for him to be naked and exposed like this. He didn’t end up being able to do more that evening but he took her under the covers and held her skin to skin all night.

~ The End ~

 

Ruby & Noxx

Chapter One

 Ruby thrashed in her sleep, her breathing growing heavy, sweat dotting her skin. A whimper escaped her lips as the nightmare filled her head. She could hear his voice, feel his hands on her, around her throat, him kicking and hitting her. She woke screaming, sitting bolt upright as her wail of fear filled the room. Then warmth enveloped her, arms pulling her close. “Ruby.” His voice was soft, gentle and she started crying into his chest. “It’s okay Ruby.”

“N…Noxx.” It was the only thing she could say through her tears and he hated how broken and ashamed she sounded.

“Don’t worry, I’m right here.”

He sat there holding her until she was able to get her crying under control and it was only then she realized it was raining outside and her bedroom window was open. She pulled back enough to reach over and switch on the lamp then turned her attention back to him. His hair hung around his face in wet tendrils and drops of water still dotted his skin. “Noxx, you’re soaked. How long were you out there?”

“Awhile, I walked here, I was worried.”

“You could get sick.” She pulled out of his arms and went to close her window. It wasn’t the first time he had come through there. When she had first come home and her nightmares were more frequent, he had practically lived under her window, guarding her and comforting her.

“That’s impossible, my kind don’t get sick.”

“You have to be freezing.” She headed out of her room and he followed. She grabbed a towel out of the hall closet and handed it to him. “Go shower and I’ll dry your clothes.”

“Where are your parents?”

“I told them to take a night out. I know they worry, but I think they needed a break. I didn’t expect to have a nightmare. It’s been four years and I’m still…”

“It’s understandable Ruby, they know that.”

“Go get warm, okay, and leave your clothes outside the door so I can dry them.”

“Alright, but call me if you need me.”

“Thank you Noxx.” He hugged her again then walked into the nearby bathroom to strip and shower. Once she saw him drop his clothes out Ruby gathered them and started turning on lights as she walked to the laundry room. She remembered back when she first came home her parents had had to leave every light in the house on for her because she couldn’t handle not seeing everything around her so she knew she had come far from the young girl her captor broke but she still hated being such a burden. Noxx had such a huge heart. They had grown so close and she wished she could just snap out of it and be better so he wouldn’t have to worry over her or do things to himself like sit in the rain.

His clothes were so cold and while he couldn’t get sick she knew that had to have been uncomfortable. He was always forgetting about himself in order to take care of her. Ruby was now starting the dryer, she decided to make coffee and see if there was any sort of snack she could offer Noxx when he got out of the shower. When she opened the fridge there was a touched but sad tug at her heart. Her mother had made her cheesecake brownies. There was a note on it, “Just in case you had trouble I wanted you to have comfort food.”

A few tears slipped out, she was surrounded by such love and warmth and she hoped someday soon she could be just like everyone else. After wiping at her face Ruby brought the cheesecake brownies to the table then started some water for tea. Noxx seemed to prefer hot teas over anything else to drink.

Noxx only stayed in the shower until his skin was warm. His wolf whined at him to check on Ruby and he could do nothing but listen. He got out, quickly dried, and wrapped the towel around his waist. He didn’t want to go to her half naked, but under the circumstances he was sure he would be forgiven. He followed her scent to the kitchen and could sense she was still upset. “Ruby?”

She turned to look at him, her heart stuttering and her cheeks flushing. She quickly looked away, swallowing down her nervousness. “My mom made me some cheesecake bars and…and I was making tea, if you want some.” It was the only thing she could think to say.

Noxx approached her slowly and reached out to gently turn her head so she was looking into his eyes. “I’m sorry, I’ll dress as soon as my clothes are dry, I promise.”

“I know, I was just surprised.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, thank you. So, cheesecake and tea?”

“Sounds good.”

Ruby grabbed Noxx a plate then poured him some hot tea. “That was really thoughtful of you Ruby.”

“It’s the least I could do for you and making tea isn’t hard.”

He took a long sip then said, “Let me check my clothes.”

“I’m really okay Noxx, I trust you more than anybody.”

Noxx gave her a small smile “Maybe we could grab breakfast together in the morning.”

“Sure, we could go to Ihop.”

“Do you think you can go back to sleep tonight or should we do something together? We can play cards or anything you want.”

“Cards sound nice, Do you care what card game?”

“Anything that makes you happy Ruby.” She blushed then hurried off. Noxx sighed, knowing he was too obvious at times with his feelings about her.

Ruby’s parents had bought her some table top games when she couldn’t bring herself to leave home for awhile. Even going to the doctor had been terrifying. She grabbed Gloom and went back to Noxx, finding him already sitting in the living room. “I hope Gloom is okay.”

“Of course.” He patted the couch next to him and she crossed over, her face heating as she dropped down next to him. “Are you alright Ruby?” He could hear her heart thumping quickly in her chest.

“Yeah, I promise, don’t worry.”

He reached out and gently tucked her hair behind her ear, letting his fingers brush her cheek. “You know I don’t mind fussing over you, Ruby.” Her skin heated further and he pulled his hand away. “Sorry.”

“I…it’s okay, really.” She quickly got the game set up and she did her best to calm down as they played. She never wanted him to think he effected her negatively. She was just nervous, not only with the fact he was nearly completely nude, but also because she liked him and didn’t know how to act after what had happened.

The dryer buzzed and Noxx went to grab his clothes, not wanting Ruby becoming frightened of him. His wolf whined at him, wanting him to claim her, to tell her, but he pushed the beast’s needs down. He wanted her, but he feared how she would react to the realization that she was his mate.

He tugged them on quickly in the laundry room then returned to Ruby who was picking her family cards. She handed him half the pile she had so he could pick his four as well. The game helped them both, Ruby calmed down and Noxx’s wolf found some patience again when it came to him talking to Ruby. She was seventeen, not even an adult yet and she had been through so much. She was even still having nightmares. He had to wait and give her more time. He had always told himself to at least wait until she was eighteen. Their first game of Gloom soon began and before they knew it her parents were home from their date.

Ruby’s mother hugged her as soon as she was near enough. “Hey, did you have a hard time?”

“I had another nightmare but Noxx sensed it like he almost always does and came…thanks for making me cheesecake brownies.”

Her mother kissed her head. “Anything for you my sweet girl.”

“Did you enjoy your date”

“We did but we don’t have to go out at night again if it was too hard.”

“I’m good mom, you two should go out on more dates in the future.”

Noxx jumped in when Ruby finished that sentence. “I can always come here when she needs me.”

Ruby’s mother hugged him. “You’ve been such a miracle, Noxx, truly. I don’t know what we would do without you.” She stepped back. “You’re welcome here anytime, I hope you know that.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“Carli, dear, I don’t think you have to be so formal after everything.”

“Of course, thank you.”

“So are you staying the rest of the night, Noxx?” Her father asked.

“Yes, if Ruby wants me to.” There wasn’t anything that could make him truly leave. He would just sleep outside under her window.

Ruby blushed as her parents and Noxx looked at her. “Y…yes, I do, um…we’re going to breakfast in the morning if that’s okay.”

“Of course it is sweetie, just let us know when you leave and keep your phone on.” Her mother said with a warm smile. “We’re going to go to bed, if you need anything, don’t be afraid to get us up.”

“Okay, mom, dad, I love you guys.”

“We love you too sweetheart.” Her dad gave her a tight hug then followed his wife to their room. In all honesty, they were happy she had Noxx. He was the only one who had been able to get her through her panic attacks and nightmares and the only man besides her father who she felt safe with.

“Are you still fine staying up Noxx?”

“One of the perks of being a wolf is I don’t actually need very much sleep.”

“I know, I just like to be sure.”

“Want to play more Gloom or would you rather play something else?”

“Lets play this one more time.”

“Alright” The rest of that evening flew by and just as Ruby promised she woke her parents to tell her they were leaving before grabbing her phone and heading out. Noxx’s heart warmed at how happy and confident she seemed in the moment. She was getting better and better at bouncing back from nightmares. They took Ruby’s car since Noxx hadn’t brought one then went straight for Ihop. Once seated they ordered coffee then began looking over their menus, discussing what sounded good.

Ruby settled on the cupcake pancakes and Noxx on the Belgian pancakes with chocolate mousse. They ordered, both of them getting coffee for their drink. “I thought chocolate was bad for dogs.” Ruby teased and Noxx arched an eyebrow, causing her to blush.

“This coming from the girl who ordered the cutesy sprinkle pancakes.”

“They’re just so good.”

He chuckled. “So is chocolate.”

“So, how’s the pack doing? How are Eliora and Emrys?”

“Good and good, they ask about you, you should visit some time.”

“Would you come with me?” She knew they frequently had pack members and even though she was aware they would never hurt her, it still made her a little nervous.

Noxx’s wolf whined at her slight shift in emotion and he reached across the table, taking her hand. “Of course, I’ll go with you anywhere, all you have to do is say when.”

“Lets see when they are free then.”

“I can text them.” Noxx pulled his phone and searched for his group text with Eliora and Emrys. Once he found it he asked when they were free for a visit and made sure to mention Ruby wanted to come. It was Eliora who responded, “we’re just having a lazy day so if she feels like coming by today you two are welcome. I’d love to see her,” Noxx looked up at Ruby. “Do you feel like going after breakfast? I can text your parents too to update them.”

“Sure.”

“You’re really sure? There’s no pressure Ruby.”

“I’d really like to.” He looked back down at his phone. Letting Eliora know they’d be coming after their breakfast then he let Ruby’s parents know what they were doing.

 

Final Chapter

“They said to have fun and don’t worry about getting home late.” He put his phone away and started eating again.

“They’ve been giving me a lot of freedom lately. I don’t know if it’s because of my age or because they don’t want to feel like they’re locking me up after everything.”

“Maybe it’s a little of both. You’re nearly of age and you were held captive. They don’t want you to feel like a prisoner.”

“Sometimes I still do though, like a prisoner in my own body.” He gave her concerned look. “Sorry, just being negative is all. I know someday I’ll be at least sort of normal.”

“Ruby, there’s nothing abnormal about you, you went through something terrible. Know that I will always be here to protect you, I promise. You’re…” he nearly called her his mate, but forced it down. “You’re very dear to me, I’ll make sure you get to live a happy life.” The wolf huffed, the animal’s instincts telling him to claim her before someone else did. He told himself it didn’t matter if someone else did, that wasn’t up to him, but the thought still made his heart twist.

“Are you alright?” Ruby asked.

“Perfect, eat up so we can get going. It seemed like Eliora was excited about seeing you.”

Ruby still felt something was wrong but decided not to over think it and enjoy her day with him. She found herself excited about seeing Eliora despite her worry about other wolves being around. Elioras ex-husband may have abused her but Eliora had saved her, almost getting herself killed in the process and that meant the world to Ruby and her parents. She also knew her new mate was kind and amazing, he’d never let anybody hurt her either. Going there she would just have to keep reminding herself of how safe she was if there were other wolves.

Once they were both full and Noxx had paid for their breakfast Ruby drove them to Eliora and Emrys’s home. They were on their porch, laughing and talking but started to walk over as they pulled in. When Ruby stepped out of the car Eliora wasted no time hugging her. “It’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too.”

“How are you?” She pulled back to look her in the eye.

“Fine, I mean I still have nightmares, but I’m getting better.” She glanced at Noxx and Eliora did the same.

“That’s really good.” She let Ruby go and Emrys took his turn hugging her.

“Noxx is treating you well?” He asked.

“Of course, but you should order him to not go walking through pouring rain. He came through my window soaked to the bone.”

Emrys chuckled as he let her go. “I don’t think he’d listen, his instincts just take over and he has no choice but to listen.” Noxx shot him a look that told him not to say anymore. “You don’t have to worry so much Ruby, it’s just part of who he is, he has to take care of you.”

Ruby blushed. “Alright, I guess.” She turned to Noxx. “At least remember a jacket next time.”

“I’ll try, I just don’t think about it when I feel like something’s off with you.”

Trying to change the subject Ruby asked Eliora, “So…what were your plans for your lazy day?”

“We just like to do whatever strikes us. Is there something you’d prefer to do?”

“Maybe you could show me around again. It’s been a long time since I came.”

“That sounds fun, come on. I’ll walk you around the then we’ll go inside, maybe have some tea or lemonade and decide whats next from there.” Noxx took his place at Ruby’s side as Emrys took his place beside Eliora.

“Are there any other wolves here?”

“Not today.” There had been but they had asked them to give Ruby some space. They were happy to oblige, all wanting her to get more comfortable at least being there since she was Noxx’s mate.

“Maybe next time you could invite them over?”

“Really?”

“Yeah…I mean…I need to get braver at some point and I know with you three I’m always safe.”

Eliora smiled. “I’m glad you feel that way. Maybe next time I can set something up with a few of the wolves I’m particularly fond of, start you out small and work your way to knowing the entire pack better.”

“I’d like that.”

Ruby relaxed as they toured the property, loving that the had their own little piece of nature. They lead her back along a trail that circled the house and she let herself get lost in how peaceful the woods were. She became so distracted that she nearly tripped over a tree root and Noxx grabbed her without missing a beat, steadying her. “Are you alright?” He asked.

“Yeah, sorry.”

“Could I hold your hand, just in case?”

Her face flushed, her heart stuttering. “Yeah.” She answered softly.

“Are you sure?”

“Mmhmm.”

He laced their fingers together and he delighted in the feel of her skin, his wolf becoming excited so Emrys gave him a look that said tell her. He ignored him, just focusing on making sure she didn’t trip again. It didn’t help that she actually moved closer to him, that he was wrapped in her scent, that he could feel the heat of her body. He wanted her more than he would ever be able to fully express, but he feared scaring her away.

He had even just been telling him again earlier it was her age but he knew that wasn’t really it for him, he was worried it would be too much for her and he’d lose even being her friend. Seventeen was close enough and her parents loved him. Noxx just didn’t know what he’d do if she became uncomfortable around him. He had already watched Emrys go through agony when Eliora was married to someone else. They had been friends but still, he didn’t want to experience that pain first hand. Right now he got to be with her all the time, right now she felt comfortable enough around him to hold his hand like this.

They made their way back to the house once they were finished exploring, Noxx feeling a stab of disappointment when Ruby released his hand once they were inside. “Want to help me get drinks, Ruby?” Eliora asked.

“Yeah, sure.”

“Maybe we could make some cookies if you want.”

“Sounds good. Noxx, do you want to come?”

Emrys draped an arm over Noxx’s shoulder. “I actually need his help with something outside, why don’t you two have a little girl time, we’ll be back before you know it.”

“Alright.”

“If you need me, all you have to do is yell and I’ll come running.” Noxx said.

“I know, go have fun, I’ll be fine with Eliora.”

Outside Emrys said, “Noxx, it really is time you told Ruby how you feel. She can handle it.”

“You don’t know that.”

“She’s come a long way. You know I wouldn’t suggest you telling her if I wasn’t sure. Besides, it’s good to be honest. Eliora was engaged when I met her and I still told her she was my mate.”

“I know”

“Just tell her, I really don’t think you’ll lose her friendship if she doesn’t want to be with you.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Alright.”

“How’s everything going with Noxx?” Eliora asked she mixed cookie batter.

“Good, he’s really sweet and attentive.” She sighed. “I just hate he puts himself through so much. I know he can’t get sick, but what if he got hurt or something because of me?”

“Ruby,” there was a bit of a laugh in Eliora’s voice, “he does those things because he cares about you. He can’t help himself, it’s instinct.”

“I know and honestly, I love that he’s always there when I have a bad night.”

“You like him.”

Ruby blushed. “Who… who wouldn’t. Whoever he picks for his mate is going to be really lucky.” The thought actually made her heart ache. She knew it would mean they wouldn’t see each other as much.

“I think so too.”

Eliora couldn’t wait to tell her mate Emrys. She had planned to talk to him about Rubys feelings after the two left but she decided to just tell Noxx himself when they happened to go into the kitchen at the same time later in the day. “Noxx?” Eliora whispered as she grabbed his arm. He looked down at her, a questioning look on his face so she continued to speak, “I was talking to Ruby earlier, she likes you. I mean it. Talk to her after you two leave here. I promise you she wants to be with you too.”

He knew she wouldn’t joke about something like that so he hugged her out of happiness. “Thanks for telling me.” He whispered gratefully.

That evening while he was walking Ruby to her car he swallowed down his nerves. “Ruby?”

“Yeah?”

“I love you.”

She looked so shocked he almost wanted to back pedal, to pretend she had misheard him until she nervously said, “I…I love you too…”

Noxx gently took her hand and pulled her closer, pressing her palm against his chest, his other hand pressing into her back. “You know what that means, right?” He could hear her heart stutter and his own danced beneath her palm.

“Yeah, it…it means I’m your mate.”

“Does that scare you, Ruby?”

“No, nothing about you scares me, I’m nervous, but…but I’m actually happy. I want to be with you.”

He leaned closer, pressing their foreheads together. “Truly?”

“Yeah, you’ve been so amazing and attentive, everything I could ever ask for, even when I thought I would never want anyone. I want you.” Her entire body was burning with her blush, but she wanted him to know, she felt like he deserved to know.

“May I kiss you?”

“Yes.”

His hands came up to frame her face, his thumbs brushing her cheeks, marveling at how warm and soft she was. He leaned in slowly, giving her time to push away, to change her mind. He listened to her breathing, irregular from nerves and possibly excitement. He pressed his lips against hers, a light delicate touch so as not to frighten her. Just that small taste of her set his body tingling.

It only felt better when he could see how much she had enjoyed that too. He never wanted her to go, but now more than ever it was hard to let Ruby get in her car and drive away from him. He stuck to the more positive once her car was out of view. He could finally kiss her, he could finally express how he truly felt whenever he wanted. Things would be so much better now and all for the better. He hoped when she turned eighteen she’d be comfortable living with him but as excited as he was to have his mate he knew that was a concern for another day and he should just enjoy what was happening right now.

~ The End

Lachlan, Teague, & Kennedy 2

Chapter One

“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.”

“Me too.”

“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.”

“Agreed.”

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.”

“I know.”

“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.”

 

Chapter Two

“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.

“Yeah.”

“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.”

“I’ll help…”

“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.”

“Of course,when?”

“Do you have any books on the world you’d be taking us to?”

“You’d like to read up on everything there first?”

“Yes.”

“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.”

“Really?”

“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.”

 

Final Chapter

“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.

“They…he…”

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.”

“Thank you.”

“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

Nebi & Nathan 2

Chapter One

“Wakey, wakey my precious wolf.” Nebi said as he brushed his fingers through Nathan’s hair, pushing it away from his sleeping face. He knew he would get an earful from his mate, but he couldn’t help but come into the cage once the moon had passed. “Nathan.”

The wolf stirred, letting out a little groan, his single eye opening. “Nebi?” He looked around, remembering where he was. “What are you doing in here? When did you come in here? I…”

Nebi pressed a kiss to his lips, silencing him and causing a little whine to escape his lips. “Hush, I waited until you had shifted back. I wanted to wake you.”

“You could have done that from the other side of the cage.”

“That’s no fun. Besides, I have work today and I really wanted to be a good mate and wake you. I have breakfast upstairs, I’m sure you’re hungry.”

Nathan sighed as he reached up and tucked Nebi’s hair behind his ear. What was he going to do with his leopard. He was too reckless and that scared Nathan. “Alright, I love you.”

“I love you too.” Nebi gave him another kiss then got up and grabbed the pair of sweats he had brought down for Nathan. He waited as his mate pulled them on, letting his gaze sweep over his wolf. “Damn, I almost regret bringing them to you.”

Nathan blushed. “I think you enjoy teasing me a little too much.”

“Perhaps.”

They went upstairs and Nebi had him set down so he could serve him. “So, what kind of work?”

“You know what kind, the messy kind.”

“I thought Fino did that and you simply delivered information.”

“This needs a more delicate touch.”

“Delicate?”

“You know, my cute face.”

Nathan’s wolf bared its teeth in jealousy and he did his best to fight the emotion down. It wasn’t like Nebi was going there to cheat on him or anything. “I see.”

Nebi smiled as he rested his chin in his hand. “Want to come? You seem distressed.”

“I’m not.”

“Nathan, you can’t fool me, I could hear your heart and your scent changed.”

“I’m sorry.”

Nebi leaned over and kissed him, smiling lovingly. “It’s okay, it’s normal to feel jealous. Come with me, I’ll get us a room. It can get lonely when I have to go off alone and you can bail me out if things go south my sweet wolf. The full moon has passed and I’d love to come back to you at the end of the day instead of an empty room.”

Nathan felt relieved he could come and hoped he could control his jealousy. Nebi would just be working, he’d just have to keep reminding himself of it. “Okay, but only if you really want me to come. I trust you.”

“I know you do Nathan.”

Nathan tried not to obsess over the fact Nebi would be flirting with someone else as they ate. Breakfast was amazing and he wanted to simply enjoy it with the wonderful man who prepared it for him. After they ate and had a few cups of coffee together they headed out, Nathan reminding himself again not to be an ass and let his jealousy get to him. In the car Nebi said, “I love you.” Just as a reminder to Nathan that he was his world and nobody else could ever take his place.

“So what all are you going to be doing?”

“Being charming and sweet. From the info I was given, my target loves beautiful, blonde men.”

“I see.”

“Nathan, my love, I just have to get close to him.” He took Nathan’s hand, squeezing it. “I just have to be seductive enough to get him alone.”

“Will he be touching you?”

“There may be a brush here and there.” He chuckled. “How cute.”

“It doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I’m being childish. This is your job, it’s not like you weren’t doing it before me.” Even that thought made his wolf grumble. How many had he tempted and seduced before they had even met?

Nebi stopped at a red light and leaned over, pressing a kiss to Nathan’s cheek and then his lips once he turned his head. He smiled when his wolf kissed back and savored the warmth of his lips until the light turned green. “You should know I’ll be thinking about you the whole time. You’re my everything, my heart and soul. When I’m talking to him it’ll be like I’m talking to you.”

Nathan gave an uneasy smile. “I know…I’m lucky to have you Nebi.”

“I feel the same about you Nathan. I would never jeopardize what we have.” It meant a lot to Nathan just how much Nebi cared if he was comfortable or not. Nebi wasn’t mad or flustered due to the jealousy he felt, he just wanted to be sure he felt okay before starting this job. It showed how loved he was and how much he didn’t have to worry. The drive felt long at first but eventually he was able to relax and just enjoy this time with his leopard. Nebi even continued doing his best to make Nathan feel secure after they checked in by making love to him as soon as they were in their room.

“When do you have to go?” Nathan asked as he held Nebi close, their foreheads pressed together.

“Soon.”

Nathan whined without meaning too and blushed with embarrassment. He felt so childish, but Nebi just chuckled. “Sorry.”

“You’re so adorable my wolf.”

“I’m not.”

“Oh yes you are, even when you’re all covered with fur and grumbling at me from your cage. Your wolf doesn’t even care that I’m there anymore, he likes it when I visit you at night.” He rubbed their noses together when Nathan gave him that all too familiar look of disapproval. “My puppy.”

“Be nice or I’ll make love to you until you can’t move.”

“Promise?” His lips were mere inches from Nathan’s, the anticipation of being kissed stirring the wolf up.

“Absolutely.”

“Good.” He kissed him. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Nebi waited as long as he could before hugging his wolf tightly and telling him goodbye. “If you really need to text me it’s okay but try not to. He could read it over my shoulder. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t though.”

“I won’t, that’s really sweet of you but I’ll just watch something or take a soak.” Nebi gave Nathan one last smile before leaving the room. Nathan’s wolf longed to follow him but he ignored the urge. “This is his job.” Nathan said aloud. Nathan switched on the TV and found something to occupy him before tugging on a pair of sweat pants and settling under the blankets. He hoped sleep might find him since that could kill a lot of time without him even being aware of it. He knew better than to try to force it though. He’d just watch TV and hope.

Nebi hummed to himself as he sat at the bar his target frequented. He looked bored, disappointed even. He glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. He would be here soon. The bell above the door tinkled and he took a brief glance, his eyes momentarily catching those of the one he was waiting for. Raymond Hark was good looking, well built, and immaculately dressed. He was often described as charismatic and charming, easily drawing people in. In truth he was a monster. He hunted men like Nebi, often taking them home under the pretense of a fun night of drinks and sex, only to victimize them, hurting and humiliating them, dominating them without their consent. His plan was to play hard to get, to make sure he was the only one Raymond was concentrating on before allowing himself to be brought home.

“It seems you’ve taken my seat.” Raymond said as he stepped up next to Nebi.

“Oh? I hadn’t noticed.” He brought his drink to his lips, Raymond’s eyes following the motion. “I’m quite comfortable.”

“Are you now?”

Nebi smiled, resting his chin in the palm of his hand as he flicked his gaze briefly to the two men with him then made eye contact with his target. “Mmhm, do you mind if I stay?”

“Since you asked nicely.” Nebi could see buried under lust and possession in Raymond’s eyes, the want to punish him. He wasn’t used to back talk and disobedience.

He wasn’t worried in the slightest, he was confident in his abilities and the abilities of the men backing him up. His mate also wasn’t far and he was the most fearsome wolf he had ever seen. “So why do you like this seat?” Nebi thought he’d ask.

Raymond said, “You can see the rest of the bar best from there.”

Nebi glanced around as if he hadn’t already come to that conclusion before the man got there. “So you can, what type are you checking out when you sit here?”

“Yours.” Raymond cut right to the chase, obviously going for charming in the way he said it and the way he held himself but Nebi could see the monster in him far too clearly to be charmed at all. He needed to be a little more flirtatious so he started thinking of his mate, the kinds of things he would say to him, trying to picture him in his mind to soften his expression.

Raymond took the stool next to him and waved his bodyguards off. They went and stood at the end of the bar, their eyes constantly scanning for signs of trouble. “They’re like puppies.” Nebi said with a little chuckle.

“More like rottweilers.”

“How scary.”

“Not all,” he said as he reached over and ran his fingers over the top of Nebi’s hand, “if they’re well trained.”

“Oh really?”

Raymond nodded. “Pets are easy, all you need is the right incentive.”

“I have a pet, he’s quite adorable.” He pulled out his phone and brought up one of the pictures of Nathan in wolf form. “He’s a rescue and can be quite grumpy.” He showed Raymond.

“And you’re scared of rottweilers? Look at him, is he a wolf?”

“Shepherd mix.” He took his phone back. “Maybe you could give me a few pointers.”

Raymond chuckled. “I’d love too, maybe we could go back to my place and I could show you.” He shifted a little closer, trying to take up space. Nebi saw it a lot with alpha shifters. They claimed what they wanted, letting everyone, even the one they were interested in, know that they belonged to them.

“Are you implying that I’m easy?”

“Not at all, but it might be fun.”

Nebi chuckled as he leaned in, his face close to Raymond’s. “Maybe if you take me out, I might consider it. After all, you do want me, don’t you?” Of course he did, Nebi could smell it, could see the way his pupils dilated, knew he was itching to teach him a lesson. Nebi pulled back, grabbing a napkin and pen from behind the bar and wrote down his name and number. “Call me, I’ll be waiting.”

Nathan was pacing their room, eventually deciding to get room service. It wasn’t healthy to eat for the entertainment or distraction of it, but he was a wolf and an active enough ones he could afford a meal just to keep himself busy. He ordered everything that sounded good, giving the man that brought it a nice tip before sitting down to enjoy, as much as he could anyway while he was worried about Nebi. Nebi sauntered out, hoping to tease Raymond a little more, wanting to be absolutely sure he had hooked him. He then drove in a random direction. He wasn’t sure if this man had his prey followed but he wanted to be sure not to lead Raymond or his goons back to Nathan. He’d drive around and maybe park somewhere for a bit before going back to where they were staying.

 

Chapter Two

Nebi let out a sigh when he finally made it back to the hotel and made sure to lock his car before heading up. The smell of food hit his nose the moment he opened their room door, his stomach giving a little growl, but before he could even think of asking what Nathan was eating, the wolf had him pulled into a tight hug. “Well hello to you too.” He said with a laugh. “Miss me?”

“I was worried.”

“I can tell.”

“You have a strange scent on you.”

“It’s his, he touched me and we were in close proximity so my clothes probably absorbed his cologne.”

The wolf growled, but Nathan held it in, instead pressing a kiss to Nebi’s neck and then gently biting him. He wanted to mark him where that man could see it, but stopped himself. All that mattered what that he was safely back. He wouldn’t mess up his job by making it obvious Nebi was with someone. “I…I don’t like it.”

Nebi chuckled as he pulled back, smiling lovingly at him as he leaned in, letting his lips lightly brush Nathan’s, delighting in the goosebumps that covered his mate’s skin. “Maybe you could replace it with yours.”

“But, the food.”

“It does smell pretty good, I guess we could eat first if that’s what you want.”

Nathan whined. “You’re not playing fair.”

Nebi grinned, almost chuckling. Nathan had no idea how instantly he was able to lift the tension off his shoulders. He could suppress it so others wouldn’t know, but dealing with horrible men like that man at the bar wound his muscles pretty tight. Now here, messing with Nathan all he felt was happiness and lust, well, hunger from smelling the amazing food in the room was there too, but that wasn’t what he was focusing on. “Come on, it’ll still be there when you’ve taken that monster off me.” Nathan’s wolf urged him to just tear Nebi’s clothes off and take him, to mark what was his once again. He gave into the desire, tugging off his mates clothes then his own before going over to the bed with him.

His lips moved hungrily against his mate’s, his tongue diving in, tasting liquor and lust. His hand moved over him, caressing and claiming him. Nebi clung to him, urging him closer, wanting his wolf’s dominance. “Nathan.” He rolled his hips, begging him to hurry and Nathan growled as he slammed into him. Nebi had to bite down on his shoulder to muffle the loud cry that rose in his throat. Nathan sat back, lifting Nebi’s hips as he rocked into him, watching as his leopard’s back arched off the bed. He stroked Nebi’s length, watching his face as he pushed him closer to the edge. Nebi reached for him and Nathan leaned down, their lips pressing together, Nebi’s fingers gripping his back as he came. Nathan picked up the pace and as he neared his released his teeth found Nebi’s shoulder. “Nathan, my wolf, I love you.” He let his fingers stroke Nathan’s neck when the wolf dropped his head on his chest and they laid there for a moment, catching their breath and letting the air cool their damp skin.

Nathan pressed a kiss to his shoulder and then his neck and finally his lips, his fingers sliding through Nebi’s hair. “I love you too, more than you know.”

“I think I know.”

“You don’t.” He stroked Nebi’s cheek. “Nothing I do can ever fully express how much I love and need you.”

“I think you do a pretty amazing job.” He rubbed their noses together.

“At least I can’t smell him anymore.”

Nebi chuckled. “So jealous, it really is adorable. Let’s not talk about him right now, it’s just us.”

“Want to enjoy this food and watch something?” Nebi gave a small nod and the two got up to replenish their energy. Nebi had no way of knowing when that monster would call him away tomorrow so he wanted to spend all the time he could with Nathan tonight. Once they finished eating they shut the television back off, just talking and joking around with one another until they both knew it was time to get some rest so Nebi wouldn’t be yawning when he was with Raymond tomorrow. They were surprised at how late they had slept when a phone call woke them. Nebi cleared his throat and walked onto the balcony of their room to make sure Raymond didn’t hear Nathan.

“Hello Mr. Hark, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Call me Raymond, please.”

Nebi chuckled. “Okay, Raymond.”

“Did you sleep well last night?”

“I always sleep well, and you?”

Raymond huffed. “I have to confess, I didn’t.”

“Oh?”

“Too busy thinking of you.”

Nebi rolled his eyes. What a line, he thought, and one that was far more charming and endearing when it came from Nathan’s lips. “Only good thoughts I hope.”

“Of course. Now to why I called. I want to take you out on a date tonight.”

“That eager are we?” He said in a teasing tone.

“Can you blame me? I’ve never met a man as beautiful as you, let me take you out.”

“Hmm…I wonder if I should?” He was sure Raymond was seething, but he couldn’t help himself. He was a literal cat playing with its prey. “Alright, pick the place and I’ll meet you there, Raymond and perhaps I’ll consider rewarding you for treating me.”

The sound Raymond made caused Nebi to smile, he was definitely annoyed. This was probably the most fun he had ever had pissing someone off. Raymond was the only one on this phone call about to be punished for his behavior and he couldn’t wait for Raymond to find that out. “I’ll send someone to get you, where do you live?” Raymond asked, obviously trying to hide his annoyance.

“No, I’ll drive myself.” Nebi said with a grin.

“Come on now, I invited you out. It’s courtesy to pick you up.”

“Ah but that’s one of the dating rules from long ago. I prefer to live in the now. I’ll drive myself.”

Raymond gave in. “Fine then, meet me at the bar and we’ll go from there.”

“Why the bar?” Raymond hung up, probably struggling not to yell at Nebi for how much he had resisted.

“You shouldn’t play with him Nebi.” Nathan’s tone was full of worry as he stepped out onto the balcony and wrapped his arms around his mate from behind.

“I’m just throwing him off, baby.”

“But he’s dangerous right?” He dropped his head onto Nebi’s shoulder and kissed his neck. “He could hurt you.”

“Maybe if I were human, my love,” he said as he turned to face his wolf, “but I’m the great and powerful Nebi, leopard extraordinaire.”

“Nebi.”

“Trust me, I know you’re worried, but this is what I do. I play, they let their guard down and I kill them. He’s trapped in my web and doesn’t even know it. Besides, he doesn’t even know I’m a leopard. Even if he does manage to restrain me, I can easily slip out.”

“I’m sorry I’ve been so whiny and possessive. I just don’t want to lose you.”

“You won’t, I’m yours forever.”

“I love you, Nebi.”

“I love you too, now shower with me, I have to prepare for my date with that idiot.”

Nathan whined. “But you’re going to pick up his scent again.”

Nebi chuckled. “Then I guess you’ll just have to get rid of it again.”

They took a long shower, the two doing more cuddling and fooling around than actually getting clean but Nathan needed it and Nebi was just enjoying the fun before work beckoned him again. It was a long goodbye when Nebi absolutely had to leave, but Nebi wasn’t sure how long this would all take. Nathan unlocked his cellphone then went to his Kindle. He decided today instead of zoning out to TV that he’d try to get through a book or two. There were so many he wanted to read and currently, he had no excuse not to sit down and do it. He also felt it would be more successful at keeping away all his worries.

Nebi wasn’t surprised to find Raymond waiting for him when he stepped into the bar. The man looked his way and Nebi smiled as he made his way over to his prey. “You beat me here.” He said as he slipped onto the stool next to Raymond.

“You took longer than I expected.” Raymond replied.

“Well, I wanted to make sure I looked good for you.” He let his eyes move over Raymond. “I don’t feel quite as put together as you, maybe I should go back and change.”

Raymond grinned as he reached over, letting his fingers slide over Nebi’s cheek and down to grab his chin. “I doubt you have to worry about your clothes.”

“So, what do you have planned, for our date I mean?”

“If you come with me, I’ll show you.” He let his hand drop to Nebi’s and the leopard could feel the possession there. “You’ll like it, I promise.”

“Did you plan something romantic?”

Raymond shrugged. “It’s a surprise, come with me.”

“How mysterious and romantic. Alright, I’m intrigued, let’s go.”

Nebi’s leopard was ready to fight, it felt it coming. This date was going to quickly go south, but that was part of the plan. He needed to see precisely where he was taking these men, he needed to get all the evidence needed to finally convict Raymond of everything he had done. Nathan could sense the imminent danger as well even though he wasn’t even there. He wanted to run after Nebi, to protect him from harm but he was managing to make himself stay in their room. Nebi had worked a long time before him, he didn’t need nor did he desire protecting. Nathan knew he needed to respect his mate’s wishes, as hard as that was right now.

Nebi wasn’t surprised when Raymond pulled up the gate in front of his house. Of course the “surprise” would be in his home, it was the only way to ensure his victims didn’t escape. “I thought you were taking me out?”

“Trust me, this is better.” Raymond reached out the driver side window, punching in the code for the gate and then drove through when it swung open. “It’s much more intimate when it’s just us instead of a room full of people.”

He pulled into the driveway, parking his car right at the front steps and got out and went around to let Nebi out. Nebi smiled, feigning surprise that he was being so polite and allowed himself to be guided in. “So, what’s the surprise?”

“I had a meal specially prepared for you, dessert and drinks that I hope you’ll like.” He pulled Nebi close, let his fingers sliding over his cheek and tuck his hair behind his ear.

“I can’t wait.” Nebi could see how people could so easily fall for him. He knew exactly how to play his victims. He was like a viper, slowly stalking his prey, moving in close and then striking and sinking his fangs in. Nebi could see it, smell it, and feel the dark energy coming off of Raymond. It wasn’t just him, it was the bodyguards as well. They stood by and let this all happen, not caring as long as they were paid.

It took especially sick people to just sit there and watch, possibly help get a victim back under control if they managed to slip away. Nebi readied himself as he was taken to the room, pretending once more when he saw the food out and arranged by candle light. “You really are a sweet man, maybe I was the lucky one we met.” His energy was already growing darker. They sat down to eat, but Nebi’s nose told him not to consume anything. This was part of how he did it, this food was drugged, would make him less able to defend himself.

 

Final Chapter

“You should try the salmon.” Raymond said as he poured Nebi some wine.

Nebi could smell that was drugged too. He really had all his bases covered. “Maybe a drink first.” He replied with a smile.

“Of course.”

Nebi lifted his glass. “To an evening of fun.”

“To an evening of fun.”

Nebi shifted his feet as he started to bring the glass to his lips. He threw the wine in Raymond’s face, surprising him then pushed up, bringing his other fist up to connect with his chin, knocking him back, chair and all. He tossed the glass then reached into his coat and pulled out his knife. “Raymond, Raymond, Raymond, drugs?”

“You son of a bitch.”Raymond said as he pushed himself to his hands and knees. “Who are you?”

Nebi kicked him in the stomach so he fell over again then he rolled him onto his back and crouched over him. “I’m retribution, Raymond. Did you really think you could get away with hurting all those young men?”

“Wait.” Nebi grabbed his throat. “W…wa…please.”

“Where do you keep all your little toys and trophies?”

“My…room…drawers.”

“Thank you, Raymond, I had a good time.”

“Wait!”

Nebi drove the knife into his solar plexus and up into his heart, holding tightly to his throat until he bled out. He was almost surprised when no guards came rushing in, then he remembered they had probably heard a few people fall down in here. They were next and then he needed to take photos of everything Raymond had hidden in his room so he could send it to his boss who would give it to the authorities.

He rushed down, barely giving them time to register what was happening before they laid lifeless on the floor. He then collected the evidence he needed and rushed off, ready to be with his wolf again. The first words he uttered once his wolf wasn’t holding him too tight to speak was, “I’m done, he’s dead and I have what I need for the authorities to officially tell the families who is responsible.”

“Thank god.” Nathan said, holding him tightly again.

“I’m sorry if this was hard Nathan.”

“It’s your job, I know I should be better about being jealous.”

“Well, it’s harder for you. Wolves are notoriously the jealous type.”

“But I love and trust you implicitly.”

“Being jealous isn’t always about lack of trust baby. It’s an emotion almost impossible to control. It’s how you act when you’re jealous that matters and you were amazing.”

“When can we go?”

“Homesick already?”

“I’m more comfortable there, in our bed, it’s more familiar and I can relax.”

“Tomorrow, but for now I need a shower.” He had blood on him from those men and Raymond’s scent permeated his clothing.

“Of course, sorry.”

“Hush, it’s sweet how worried you were.” He pressed a kiss to Nathan’s lips then pulled him into the bathroom. Nathan let out a little growling whine when Nebi started pulling his clothes off and got the water started. He couldn’t keep himself from pulling the leopard against him and biting the back of his neck. Nebi chuckled and turned his head to give his wolf another kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” He pressed his forehead against Nebi’s.

Nathan made himself let Nebi go so he could pull his own clothes off. They climbed in together and held each other under the relaxing warmth of the water. Nathan slept with his arms wrapped tightly around Nebi that night, his nose pressed into his leopard’s hair, his body completely relaxed now that his mate was out of harm’s way. Nebi fell asleep with a smile on his face and kissed Nathan awake the next morning so they could get ready to go home.

“I don’t know how Allon stays put while Fino works.” Nathan said once they were checked out.

“You’re two different people baby, with different needs. You need the security of being close to me because of everything you’ve been through. That’s why I invited you.” He put their luggage in the trunk of his car then wrapped his arms around Nathan’s neck and rubbed their noses together. “Having you waiting here for me made me incredibly happy. You’re my home away from home, my love and I hope you’ll always come with me from now on.”

“I’d really like to”

“Then it’s settled.” Nebi said with a comforting smile. Nathan had always wanted to go and was glad he could from now on. Though at the moment he was happiest simply to be heading home with the love of his life. This case would soon be completely closed and they could go back to normalcy. Well, as much normalcy as you can have between a werewolf and leopard.

~ The End

Nila & Guy 2

Chapter One

Guy walked at a leisurely pace down the road between home and one of the major cities. It was one of the biggest trade routes and had been plagued by bandits of late. His father and cousin covered his flank and all three of their senses were wide open, taking in every smell and sound. The sound of rustling brush on either side of them caught their attention, but they continued onward, pretending like they were nothing more than travelling merchants. They had disguised themselves accordingly, not wanting the bandits to realize who they were attacking. When the leader stepped out into their path, they all came to a stop, standing tall even when bandits circled them.

“We’ll be asking you to hand over your bags now.” The leader said.

“If you want them,” Guy said as all three of them dropped their packs on the ground, “then take them.”

The leader laughed, his men joining in. “Looks like we have us a band of heroes boys. You know what to do.”

Guy pulled the scarf wrapped around his head and face off as he moved forward, wrapping the cloth around the face of the first of his attackers and slamming him into another. He wanted to end this quickly and return to Nila. She had so much responsibility these days and he wished to take as much of the burden as possible, especially since she was pregnant. He knew what stress could do to his pups and he refused to risk them or her. He was sure she wasn’t resting as he had suggested, so hard working and stubborn, his beautiful, beloved mate. He would have to think of something to do for her when he returned.

They handled the bandits easily, making the road clear for people to travel safely. Guy tied them up and his father dragged them behind so they could lock them in jail for their crimes. They’d be further marked up by path, but they had hurt and stolen from so many people the wolves didn’t care and didn’t want to waste their efforts carrying them all the way back. His father spoke when they were near home, “I’ll take care of these miscreants, you go find your mate son.”

“Thank you.”

“She’s carrying my grandpups and I know she doesn’t rest unless you make her so hurry up.”

Guy ran off, only slowing when he entered the castle. He followed her scent, finding her in yet another meeting. Seeing him home she wrapped it up then asked, “How did it go? You don’t have a mark on you.”

“My father is locking them away as we speak. The way will be clear now for your people.”

“Thank you.”

“Anything to make your life easier. Speaking of which, come with me to our room, I’ll massage you.”

“Still worrying about me?” She asked with a loving smile.

“Always, especially since you’re carrying twins.” He reached up and gently tugged on the end of her braid. “You have so much responsibility, I just want to make things easier for you.”

“You go out and fight bandits and go on patrols, I just run meetings and sign papers.”

He rubbed their noses. “Keeping a kingdom running smoothly is much harder than what I do, trust me.” He picked her up and carried her to their room, hoping everyone in the castle knew to stay away unless it was absolutely necessary to interrupt them. He laid her gently down, unable to keep himself from pressing his lips into hers.

“I thought I was getting a massage.” She teased.

“There are many different kinds of massages.”

She laughed, rubbing their noses together. “Well maybe you’ll have to show me later.”

“Maybe, but first,” he said as he leaned back and pulled her feet into his lap, “let me rub you down.”

She smiled, soon feeling the tension of carrying twins and walking so much release from her feet. “Thank you Guy.”

“Thank you for giving me pups, I’m so eager to meet them.”

“These babies are the only thing that could possibly make my life more amazing. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever.”

“I think that’s normal, especially for first time mothers.” He moved on to her legs, hating when she’d wince but kept on since he knew she’d feel better after. When he was done with her legs he laid down beside her. “Do you have anything else you’ll need to do today?”

“That meeting is the end of it.”

“Good.”

“Did you have any plans?”

“Just spending time with you.” He rubbed his nose in her hair, inhaling her scent. He let his hand slide over her belly, amazed at how rounded she already was. He tuned into their heartbeats, relieved that they sounded strong. “I miss you when I’m out working.” He let his lips brush her neck, grinning at the goosebumps that covered her skin. “I just want to come home and lose myself in you.”

“I miss you too.”

Her skin warmed and his lips moved up to her cheek then she turned her head so he could claim her lips. She turned fully into him and his hand cupped her breast, his thumb brushing her nipple through the soft material. Her breathy moan sent heat straight to his groin, hunger rising instantly in him for her. She was so much more sensitive in her pregnant state and had stopped wearing bras because they made her uncomfortable. Even though he enjoyed the easy access, he couldn’t help but feel a little jealous and territorial at the thought of other men knowing she was without one.

“I thought I was supposed to be relaxing.” She teased.

“You can’t relax under me?”

“Guy.” She giggled, her face bright red.

“Nila.” His voice was adoring and seductive, his hands gentle yet possessive as he slid them under her dress to squeeze her bottom. “Let’s go on a date, just us. It’s been awhile since we’ve actually been on one. I’ll take you anywhere my beautiful queen.”

“I’d like that a lot Guy.” He kissed her hungrily, his final attempt to seduce her. She smiled a moment then lost herself in the kiss. Guy could so easily seduce her, especially since he was amazing at making love. He kept it short and sweet, the two taking a nap together then heading for the library to find a good book to read together. On their way he said, “So our date, what should we do?”

“Hm, something far from the castle. That way work is far from our minds.”

“Alright, as long as you take traveling easy and allow me to carry you.”

“Of course I will.”

“Should we bring a healer just to be safe? I know you don’t like being fussed over, but if anything went wrong with our babies it would kill me.”

“One of the wolves then since they’re not, you know…”

“Shy?” Guy finished.

“Yeah, it’s not like they’d get too embarrassed about nudity or anything.”

He chuckled. “I’m surprised you’re not used to it. What are you going to do when the little ones are running around the castle naked, refusing to get dressed?”

“Hope I can catch them before they flash too many people.”

He laughed as he brushed a kiss to her cheek. “Maybe we’ll make you moon born and then you can be naked all the time.”

“Guy, stop being a perv.”

“I can’t help it, I love seeing you and feeling you, you’re the only one who can tame the beast.” He rubbed his nose against her ear, giving her goosebumps. “Thank you for letting me fuss. We’ll only bring the one healer, I promise. Let’s go somewhere beautiful and peaceful, there are a lot of lakes and waterfalls we can visit.”

After they had their book they prepared a fire, stoking it until it was burning bright and warming their library. Guy fetched a blanket as well which had her laughing. “Guy, its not freezing in here.”

“I want you comfortable my love.” They cuddled up to one another and Nila took the first turn reading out loud. Their night was peaceful and when Nila was sleeping Guy approached one of his wolves about coming with them the next day. “Sure, I’ll lay low too so it’s still like a date for you two.”

“Thanks.”

“We’re all eager to meet those pups. I’m honored to have the task of making sure she and the babies come home just as healthy as when they left.” Guy returned to his mate, pulling her into him protectively as he rested. The next thing Guy knew she was pushing away from him to rush to the bathroom, another wave of morning sickness hitting her.

He was close behind her, one hand rubbing her back as the other helped hold her hair back. The vomiting was one of the things he hated the most about her pregnancy. It came on so quickly, almost violently and the times she puked until she was dry heaving worried him the most. Once she had everything out and the toilet flushed, he helped her to her feet and she quickly brushed her teeth and washed around her mouth. “That sucked.” She said with a little laugh.

“Are you alright?” He lifted her and took her back to bed. “Want me to get the healer?”

She smiled. “Silly, just some water and crackers would be nice.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah and maybe you can see if we have some of that candied ginger.”

“Of course my love, anything you want.” She pulled him down for a kiss and he pressed their foreheads together for a moment before moving down to her belly and pressing a kiss to it. It nearly moved her to tears how sweet he was. “I’ll be right back.”

He hurried off to the kitchen. First he poured her a glass of water then grabbed a pack of crackers before searching the cupboards for candied ginger. Happiness rushed through him when he discovered some. He picked it up and began walking back to their room. “Oh you found some.” She said happily as she sat back up in bed.

“We’ll need more, but I was glad to find some for this morning.” She ate a few crackers, drank her glass of water then popped one into her mouth.

“You should tell the wolf coming with us we’re up.”

“Alright.” He kissed her temple then left the room again. By the time he returned she was dressed and ready to go. “I didn’t get to see you change, how unfair.”

She giggled, “Maybe that was to make sure we left this morning.”

He smiled, finding his own clothes he wanted to travel in and tugging them on. “Do you have an appetite?”

“Not yet, but I can sit with you while you eat.”

“I’ll make sure the cook packs you something light.”

“You don’t have to.”

“I want to.” He scooped her up and made his way to the dining room where their companion was already sitting and eating.” He smiled at them and gestured at the other plates sitting across from him. “I’ll take yours back real quick.” Guy said as he lowered her feet to the floor and pulled her chair out for her.

She smiled, shaking her head. “How are you feeling this morning, my queen?” The healer asked.

“I had a little morning sickness and please call me Nila uh…” She frowned. “I’m sorry, I’m drawing a blank on your name. I should spend more time with the wolves.”

“It’s quite alright, I am Galenos or Galen if you prefer, I was told it means calm.”

“It’s very nice to meet you then.”

Guy returned and sat down next to her, quickly pressing a kiss to her cheek before picking up his fork. “The cook says she’ll make you grilled chicken and salad to pack with us.”

“Thank you.” She rubbed her belly.

“If you like, once I’m finished eating, I can make you something for your morning sickness.” Galen said.

“Thank you, Galen, that way Guy doesn’t have to worry so much.”

 

Chapter Two

“It’s no trouble.” Galenos quickly finished his food then excused himself from the table.

“Thanks again Galen.” Nila said and he smiled.

“It wont take me long.”

When it was them she said, ” He seems so nice, I really want to spend more time with the wolves when we get back.”

“You wont be able to keep them away once our pups come.”

“I’d like to see them more before that though.”

“Alright, we will then. They adore you, they really do even though they haven’t seen you much. You’ve been an amazing leader. A few have expressed they are glad I found a good mate to help me if my parents ever want to step down and let me guide the pack.”

“Do you want that?”

He shrugged. “I’m happy just helping you and my dad keeps me very involved in what he does too so I don’t much care if things change. I don’t see them ever wanting to regardless, especially since they had to take such a long break from this life when we ran with your family.”

Nila frowned and he quickly wrapped his arms around her. “Sorry.”

“Hey none of that Princess Nila, it’s not your fault.”

She felt her face warm even as she giggled. He hadn’t called her that since she had been crowned. “Stop, I’m not a princess.”

“Oh sorry, Queen Nila, forgive your King, he’s a bit of a dunce.”

“Guy, you dork.”

He grinned as he brought her hand to his lips then pressed it to his chest where she could feel his racing heartbeat. It still amazed her that she did that to him. “That’s better, laughter suits you so much better than sadness.”

“You’re really the sweetest.”

When Galen returned, he was carrying a bag with two containers in it as well as a cup with steam curling off of it and a white ceramic container. “The cook said one of these had your chicken and salad in it and the other has pastries.” He sat the bag on the table then put the cup in front of her. “That will help with your nausea, I also made extra so you can drink while we’re gone, it’s tea.”

“Thank you.” Nila said as she lifted the cup and took a sip. “It’s good.”

“I’m happy to make it any time.”

“You could always teach me too.” Guy suggested and Galenos said, “Alright, when we get back I will.” They waited for Nila to finish her cup before they headed out and she found herself ready to eat about an hour later.

“I love our kitchen staff, this is so good.” She noted and Guy smiled. “I’m just happy to see you eating.” Nila glanced around, sighing happily as she took in her gorgeous, now peaceful land. There were problems here and there but nothing that her amazing wolf and his pack couldn’t manage. They lingered, even after she finished her meal. They weren’t in a hurry and she stayed so busy she didn’t often just get to sit in the beautiful world around her.

“Do you two have an idea of where you would like to go?” Galenos asked.

“Not really, we just wanted to go.” Nila answered.

“I guess we got a little ahead of ourselves.” Guy added with a chuckle.

“Why don’t we take her to Hiwot Valley.”

“What’s that?” Nila asked, curiously.

“It’s also called the Valley of Life.” Guy said. “Healers like Galen often travel there to collect plants that are out of season. Anything can grow there and it gives off a very warm, peaceful energy.”

“I was told that sometimes couples who were having trouble conceiving would go there.” Galenos added. “It’s an amazing place.”

“Then lets go.” She agreed happily. Guy helped Nila to her feet, keeping her hand so he could hold it as they walked. He wanted to carry her, but she looked so happy. He’d let her walk for a short time then he’d lift her. After awhile she laughed, knowing that look. “Just pick me up.”

“You wont mind.”

“It’s sweet that you want to so much and I suppose I shouldn’t wait until I’m actually hurting.”

“How’s your stomach?” Galenos inquired and she answered, “It’s fine, I’m lucky in the fact its mostly only a problem right when I wake up.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen some women just ill constantly from carrying babies.”

“They’re good little pups.”

“Do you know what their names will be yet?”

“We both just want to be inspired when we look at them.”

“Do you know the sex yet?”

Guy nodded. “Luol said a boy and a girl. I’m hoping the latter isn’t nearly as beautiful as her mother or might have to kill someone.”

“Guy, be nice.” Nila giggled. “She’s not even born yet. Besides, they’re both going to be strong.”

“I know, I just also know how some races view their women.”

“She’ll have you and her brother and an entire pack of wolves and even guards behind her.”

“She’s right, we’d tear someone to pieces if they hurt your children.” Galenos said.

“I wouldn’t think a healer would hurt anyone.” Guy replied, his tone teasing.

“I may be a healer, but I’m also a wolf and part of the pack, I would defend your pups with my life. I’ll also make sure to keep my supplies fully stocked for any accidents they might have.”

Nila didn’t know if Guy felt comforted yet, but she for one had absolute faith that both her children would grow up safe and happy. They would probably be the most well protected children in the land and incredibly loved. She would give anything for them to come today so she could have them in her arms if it would be safe for them. She would never wish them early, she hoped they’d stay inside her the entire time they needed to so they’d be healthy. Giving birth of course made her nervous too. It was hard to imagine humans could actually fit through there, but obviously they could, countless women before her had done this so she’d just trust nature to do it’s job when her water broke.

It was noon by the time they got to Hiwot Valley and Nila immediately let out a surprised gasp. She could feel the warmth coming off of this place. It tingled over her skin in a wave of serenity. “Has this really been here the whole time?” She asked as Guy lifted her.

“Since before we were born and even before our parents. As far as I know it dates back to even before there were beings inhabiting this place.” He answered then brushed a kiss to her temple.

“It’ll do you and the babies good to spend time here.” Galenos said. “The life giving energy will ensure the health of your pups.”

“Everything looks so much more vibrant and that’s saying something. Can we look around?”

“Of course we can baby, but would you let me rub your feet first. You walked all the way here, you must be sore.” Guy said with an almost pleading look.

She wasn’t, but Nila couldn’t tell him no when he was making that face. He was so loving and attentive. “Alright, sounds good.”

He seemed so happy and it touched her heart that he would feel so eager to do something solely for her comfort. He was always like that, but it never warmed her heart any less. He sat there and rubbed her feet until he was sure they didn’t carry the slightest amount of pain then went onward to enjoy the beauty they had traveled to. He wanted to see it all with Nila and hoped in some small way his pups were enjoying this too. Maybe they were enjoying the smells through their mother or maybe even her happiness due to being here was giving them comfort in her stomach.

“I’m going to set up my sleeping area in the trees on the other side of the valley so you two can have privacy while we’re here. I’ll also be gathering herbs so if you need me, please call for me.” Galenos said. “You two take your time here.”

“You don’t have to separate yourself.” Nila replied.

“Please, you two need to spend as much time together as you can. When the pups get here it will be awhile before you will want to leave them with anyone.”

“He’s right, my love.” Guy said as he brought her hand to his lips.

“And please don’t worry, I won’t avoid you two. I just know that you both work hard for our world so please spend time together.”

 

Final Chapter

With that Galenos walked over to the trees he was talking about so his sleeping area would be ready for him as soon as he was ready to rest for the evening. Guy ran his fingers down Nila’s arm. “It is good to have you to myself, mostly anyway for the moment.”

“What’re you thinking?” She asked, amusement in her voice.

He chuckled. “Nothing sexual my love.” he pulled her into his arms, giving Nila a long hug. “You’re my world Nila.”

“And you’re mine Guy.”

They cuddled together, hidden by the tall, soft grass, surrounded by the scent of sweet smelling flowers and the soft buzz of honey bees. Guy swept his fingers through her hair, reveling in its softness and the loving smile that pulled at her lips, lighting up her beautiful face. He loved moments like this where they could just be together uninterrupted. It didn’t happen often at the castle so he soaked up every second of it. He could hear Galenos moving around the other end of the valley and appreciated the healer giving them as much privacy as possible. He rested his hand on Nila’s belly and gently rubbed, hoping their little ones could feel how loved they were.

“What’s on your mind?” Nila asked softly.

“You and our pups. It’s nice getting this time with you. No meetings, no bandits, no one waking us up for any reason. Just us and this place.”

“And one very sweet healer.”

He chuckled. “I may get jealous at this rate if you keep acting so sweetly towards him.”

“Guy.”

“I’m kidding my love, I promise. Even if I do want to watch over and protect you, I know no other wolf could take you from me.” He snuggled closer, pressing their foreheads together. “How are you feeling?”

“Wonderful. This place is just so calming.”

“We should bring our children when they are old enough to enjoy it.”

“I’m sure even as babies it could bring them calm, it’s truly not that far from home. They just have to be old enough for us to camp.”

“There are so many good places we can take them to play and explore.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to think of names?”

“We can if you like.”

“I was just asking, I’m happy to see their faces first.” They talked to one another as they laid cuddled up until Nila fell asleep. Guy covered her up before kissing her head and settling down to rest with her. In the morning they gathered some eggs and soon had breakfast.

“I can’t believe I didn’t throw up this morning.” She said with relief.

Galenos smiled before he spoke, “Would you like more tea anyway? Just to be sure?”

“I should be fine.”

“If you change your mind, please say so.”

“I think being here has been helping honestly.”

“It’s all that healing energy. May I check the pups?”

“Of course.”

Galenos moved to sit next to her and rested his hand on her stomach. He closed his eyes, listening for their heartbeats and also feeling the life beneath his palm. He nodded, a smile pulling at his lips. “They’re very healthy and they seem to be enjoying this place.”

“That’s wonderful.”

“So, find any names that stuck?”

“Not yet.” Guy chuckled. “Not for lack of trying.”

“Well, if it helps any, the girl’s energy is wilder than her brother’s.”

Guy groaned. “Oh please no. Why can’t she be shy?”

Nila laughed. “Guy, be good.”

His expression only made her laugh more. She was delighted to hear her daughter had a wild energy. She couldn’t wait to experience life with her and their little boy. Now she only wondered what he would be like. He may be wild too, just his sister’s stood out more for now. She could see Guy stressing over the two now while they performed daring stunts around their world. They talked about the babies a lot that day and over the rest of their visit, even as they started home, hoping their journey back would be as uneventful as their journey there. Nila was glad they had finally had some alone time and wasn’t sure she wanted to jump back to work when they returned, maybe she’d take it easier until they pups came.

Guy stayed closer as the months passed, making sure she rested when she needed too. As she drew closer to the end of her pregnancy, he asked Galenos to stay in the castle and his wolf became more protective, sometimes even whining to him. Even his parents and cousin came, wanting to be there for the birth of the pups. She was in the middle of a meeting when she went into labor and his heart nearly exploded with her first contraction. Galenos was calm and collected, directing him to get her up to their room. He was grateful for the wolf’s help and would find a way to repay him. Abeni, Brogan, and Luol came to the room once they had been alerted and Abeni sent her husband and nephew to get towels, water, and blankets while she assisted.

Guy sat behind Nila, his fingers laced with hers so she could squeeze his hands through the pain. He brushed kisses to her temple, coaching her through each contraction and push. Brogan and Luol stood at the ready and as soon as the first of the twins was out, Abeni getting her breathing and crying while Galenos clamped and cut her cord, Brogan had her in his arms and took her to clean her up.

“You’re doing so good, Nila, can you hear our daughter?” Guy said softly. “Now our son and then you can rest my love.” He could tell Nila was already exhausted, but she was so strong and had their son out after a couple of pushes. The little boy was handed to Luol and Abeni and Galenos started the process of cleaning up. “You did it baby, I’m so proud of you.”

Brogan and Luol brought the little ones over and Guy helped her hold them. Nila started crying as she pressed kisses to both of their heads and Guy felt himself tear up at how beautiful they both were. Their little boy was smaller than his sister and quieter than she was. She fussed and made little crying sounds while he slept. “I think I like the name Shula for her.” Nila said softly.

“That’s beautiful baby.”

“What about for him?”

“Stellan. I think it suits him.”

“The pack is going to be so excited.” Brogan said.

“I’ll say a blessing over them when you two are ready.” Luol said. “I know you’re all exhausted.”

“You can while my mother and Galen are cleaning up.” Guy replied.

Luol began his blessing, his face soft as he admired the adorable new pups. They waited a few days then began showing off their babies to everyone in the pack and the area around who wanted to come spend time with the little ones. Still emotional from being pregnant not long ago it brought Nila to tears just how happy everyone truly was about her little ones. She knew they would always be well loved and protected. This first week was going amazing and she would treasure every moment to come being their mother.

~ The End

Zorion & Renato 2

Chapter One

“You want to take a week away?” Renato asked.

“Yeah, just you and me. Cam and Neith said they would watch the pack and that little group of protesters.”

“I’m sorry about them.”

“Hey, none of that.” He took Renato’s hand and drew him closer, grinning at the way his heart stuttered. “Besides, a couple of the wolves have been taking them cookies, it’s pretty amusing.”

“You shouldn’t stir the pot.”

“They started it and you asked me to not get violent if I can help it, so a couple of the wolves decided maybe baking for them would help. At least I didn’t sic Neith on them, she’d scare the daylights out of them. She practically treats you like you’re her pup.” He gently stroked Renato’s cheek. “So, how about a trip?”

“To where?”

“I was thinking another world. You could meet another god, it’d be fun.” He leaned in closer. “Plus, we’d get some alone time.” Renato blushed as Zorion rubbed their noses together. They still hadn’t taken that step in their relationship, Renato was still too shy and nervous and even a little scared. Zorion didn’t blame him, but he hoped that maybe he could get him to come further out of his shell if they went away for a few days.

Renato’s heart was going crazy at the word alone, he knew how badly his mate wanted him. it was obvious despite the fact Zorion never pressured him. He decided just to say yes. He wanted away from the protesters anyway and Renato knew he had to push himself if they were ever going to get farther in their relationship. He couldn’t stay afraid to be more intimate, Zorion, his sweet, patient wolf deserved more than that. “Let’s go.” He was surprised he could answer so clearly.

Zorion gave Renato a gentle kiss. “Lets start getting ready now then. You’re going to have an amazing time, I promise Renato.” Renato smiled, his heart warming at Zorion’s euphoric face. He was such a good man and he felt relief again that his wolf was impossible to push away.

Zorion was in high spirits as they packed everything they would need in their hiking bags. He kept stealing glances at Renato who seemed deep in thought and he couldn’t help but lean in and brush a kiss to his cheek, smiling when he received a blush in return. “You know, your face is going to get stuck that way if you don’t stop thinking so hard.” He teased and chuckled when Renato’s heart stuttered.

“I didn’t even realize I was making a face.”

“A cute one. What’s on your mind?”

“N…nothing, I mean nothing important.” Zorion knew when he was lying, Renato was just that easy to read, but he decided not to call him on it, knowing he was still getting used to things, to freedom and the ability to be open.

“Are you happy to be going somewhere?”

“Yeah and nervous. I mean what if my parents come by looking for me again? You don’t think anyone would hurt them do you? What if they find out I’m not here?”

Zorion stopped what he was doing and pulled Renato into a hug. “Hey, breathe baby, it’s okay.” He gently stroked his mate’s hair then moved to press a kiss to his lips. “Better?”

“Yeah, sorry.”

“No apologizing, not to me, ever. I’ll talk to Cam and Neith before we leave and make sure they know that they are only allowed to defend themselves and the pack if violence breaks out and they are to subdue not kill.”

“Thank you.”

“Of course, I know they will always be your parents and those people were once your friends.”

“I know you think I’m worth it Zorion, but I’m sorry it’s been so much trouble…I really am.”

“You are absolutely worth dealing with this protest and if you are talking about yourself you’re not difficult, you’ve never been. You were confused thanks to your parents and some people just take longer to be ready for sex than others. I have you and that’s all I need to be happy. You’re not being difficult.” Renato initiated another hug and Zorion held him happily a few moments before going to talk to his betas about how to handle things while he was away. When Zorion returned to their room he comforted Renato. “They understand and promise they will do their best to not harm your parents at all if they come here. All the wolves know as well and will be reminded that they aren’t to use any more force than necessary.”

“Before we leave this world do you want to go to our favorite ice cream place?”

“Of course I do.”

Renato was nervous as they left and Zorion insisted on driving them through what protesters there were. He smiled at them as they pulled up to them and when they didn’t move, his eyes glared death at them and they moved involuntarily so he could pull through. “I wish I could do that.” Renato said once they were on the road.

“Hmm?”

“You know, scare people like that.”

Zorion chuckled. “I prefer you continue to act the way you do.” He took Renato’s hand and brought it to his lips, kissing his fingers so he blushed and his heart danced. “Let me be the aggressive one, it’s what I’m good at.” He winked and Renato’s face flamed a deeper red.

“O…okay.”

Zorion loved the way Renato reacted to him, to his touch and kisses, to the way he constantly flirted because he couldn’t help himself. He loved the sound of his heart and how shy he could be, especially when he smelled of desire. He laughed when they pulled up to the little ice cream shop and Renato had trouble getting out of his seat belt. “Easy, slow down baby.”

“It’s your fault.”

Zorion gave another little chuckle as he clicked the button on the seat belt for him then pulled him close to kiss him. “Is that better?”

“Ye…yeah.” He stuttered, his cheeks growing redder. Feeling nervous as desire swam in Zorion’s eyes, Renato quickly got out the car and they walked inside, ordering what they normally did then sat down. There was only two other people here, but that was normal. This place was either packed or almost empty, it didn’t seem to have an in-between. The rushes would come due to groups meeting here. Sometimes it was packed because of a book club while other days it may be packed because of a school’s spirit night. It was sometimes fun to see the other families and it seemed that nobody outside Renato’s old church condemned them for being together. Zorion was always affectionate, holding his hand or caressing him so people knew that came here and nobody had said an ugly word to them.

“So where are we going?” Renato asked. “You said there would be another god.”

“There’s actually more than one, all of them control different things. They have elemental gods there as well as luck gods and those of the sun and moon.”

“That’s a lot.”

“Don’t be so nervous my love, I’ll only take you to meet one so you won’t be overwhelmed. Besides,” he said as he stroked his fingers over Renato’s hand, “most of our time will be spent alone.”

Renato blushed. “Okay.”

Zorion chuckled. “You’re so cute when you’re nervous.”

How else was he supposed to act? Renato thought. Everything Zorion did was pure seduction. His smile, the way his eyes moved over him, every brush of his fingers. It was hard to act normal when he was so affectionate. “What’s it like there?”

Zorion huffed out a laugh. “It’s beautiful. It should be fall there now, you’ll love it.”

“When do you want to get going?”

“I told our betas that we might leave right after ice cream so we can, but if you want to wait for tomorrow I’m okay with that.”

“We already made it past those protesters, we should probably go.”

“It means a lot you’re willing to do this with me.”

“It should be fun, I know it will be because you’ll be there.” Zorion’s grin grew larger and Renato blushed more intensely. When they were done they got back into Zorions car and began to drive.

“I’m sure we can’t drive there so how are we going to get there?”

“We sort of can, just wait and see. I want to see you surprised.” That made Renato a little nervous but still, he trusted Zorion. Anybody willing to go through as much to be with his as this wolf had deserved complete trust.

Renato asked, “Will we be in the car long enough for me to plug up my ipod?”

“Yeah, play whatever you want.”

Renato hummed along to his music as Zorion drove, but stopped when he pulled off onto a dirt road. “It’s out here?”

“The portal is.”

“Portal?”

“You’ll see.” Renato found himself getting lost in the woods around him and was a little surprised when Zorion stopped at a gate. He quickly got out, pulled it open, pulled through and then got back out and closed it. “We’re almost there.” Zorion said with a big smile. Another surprise came in the form of an old barn that Zorion got out to open and pulled the car into. “Come on.” He said as he switched the engine off and Renato followed him out. Zorion pulled out their backpacks and handed Renato his then he closed the big barn door and took Renato’s hand. “Ready?”

“Yes.”

“Please allow us into your realm and grant us safe passage as we walk through it.” He then said something in a language Renato didn’t understand. An odd sensation passed through him and he gripped Zorion’s hand. His stomach felt strange like it was being shaken around and his head swam a little bit. Zorion pulled him closer, his arms wrapping around him. “Breathe my love, it’ll pass.” When the feeling subsided and Renato was sure he wasn’t going to throw up, Zorion gave him a kiss and smiled lovingly at him. “Now let me show you something amazing.” He let Renato go and pulled the barn door open, smiling when he heard Renato’s gasp.

“What? How?” Renato asked as they stepped out into the crisp fall air.

“Magic, my love.”

“Wow.” Renato said in breathless wonder as he looked around.

“Let’s walk around and take everything in before we find the god I intend to introduce you to.”

“So there really are other gods…” Zorion knew Renato didn’t think him a liar, he understood that he came from a household with almost fanatical christian views and those views taught there was but one god. Everything wrong with his parents was still sinking in so he knew that was more of a note to himself than anything Zorion should take personally. “How does it feel so perfect here?”

“Their falls are amazing, it’ll be like this the entire season. It’s my favorite time to come. I would have brought you sooner, but I didn’t think it would go over well before.”

“When you met me I was pretty closed in my beliefs so I get that.”

 

Chapter Two

“So? Do you like it?” He took Renato’s hand in his, gently pulling him along.

“It’s just so beautiful, really and truly. I never imagined there could be something like this, a whole other world just a drive away.”

“There are many others, some the same, some far different, but all of them worth exploring. Some with gods, some without, and some with beings like gods.”

“I feel so foolish.”

“Don’t. The way you were taught to believe was wrong, it left you so closed off to so many wonderful things, but I hope to show you every single one of them.” He kissed his mate’s cheek, adoring the blush already tinting his skin.

“So, where will we be staying?”

“You’ll see later, you’ll love it, I promise.”

Renato didn’t push the subject, this place was too beautiful to linger on the topic. He wanted to keep taking everything in, he wanted to see what kind of animals lived here and hopefully what the flowers looked like. Even if they ended up the same as his own world he wanted to see everything this place had to offer. They soon stumbled upon little rabbits. “They wont be afraid like at home, you can touch them.” Zorion said and Renato didn’t waste a moment picking one up. He looked adorably happy so Zorion just admired his mate as he played with and stroked the rabbits. Renato was burning with a blush all over again when he noticed Zorion was just watching him.

Once Renato put down the rabbit, Zorion took his hand and they continued on. He let his mate explore when he wanted to, following him around and staying alert so Renato could just enjoy himself. He slowly guided Renato through woods until they came to a little valley. Steam rolled over the ground from a hot spring and tucked into the trees was a little cottage. “Is this where we’re staying?” Renato asked.

“I hope you like it, my love.” He pulled him gently through the soft grass and smiled when Renato admired the bright flowers dotting the ground. Even in fall, they were kept blooming, looking beautiful next to the orange and yellow leaves. “I thought we could drop our things off.”

“Did you build this place?”

“No, but I furnished it. I asked if I could have it and when I got permission, I made it my second home.”

“It’s beautiful.”

“It’s better inside.”

Renato wanted to linger outside, to explore every corner of this place, but he knew this had taken a lot of effort on Zorion’s part so he went with him. Zorion had been right when he said the interior of the cottage was even more beautiful. A lot of love had been put into the construction and even more so to make it warm and inviting. Zorion pulled him further in and into the bedroom. “Wow.” He turned to take in everything from the large bed to the full length mirror setting in the corner. Everything was perfectly set up, making this place even more charming.

“You like it.”

“I love it.” He sat his backpack at the foot of the bed.

“I’m glad.” He wrapped his arms around Renato from behind, nuzzling his neck, satisfied at how hard his mate’s heart was beating, how hot he suddenly was. “You’re blushing.”

“I’m not.”

Zorion chuckled and turned Renato’s head so he was looking in the mirror. “Completely red.”

“W…we should meet that god of yours.” He hated he was practically running, that he was so self conscious. It wasn’t just his embarrassment, but also seeing the way Zorion was looking at him, the reflection of his desire.

“Okay my love.” Zorion said, seeming alright, but Renato still worried, even if just a little. Zorion had seemed alright back when Renato didn’t realize he was gay and it turned out he had been being tortured all that time. Zorion could be miserable and would never say anything. “Stop that, it’s okay Renato.”

“I love you Zorion…I”

“You’re mine now, that’s all I need. I get to hold and kiss you all I want, I’m happy, I promise.”

“You’re such a good person.”

Zorion chuckled. “This is supposed to be a fun trip Renato, everything is okay. I’d love to finally have sex with you, but if it doesn’t happen this trip it doesn’t happen. As long as you never leave my side I am immensely happy. I don’t feel like I’m lacking anything.”

“But you would say that. You’re always so kind and considerate and…I’m…”

Zorion gently grabbed his chin, turning his head to kiss him. He felt the flames of desire lick over him and pulled back before his instincts got the best of him. “Now, no more being upset. I fall more and more in love with you every single day, so please be happy for me.”

“Okay, I love you too.”

Zorion ran his nose along Renato’s cheek. “My sweet mate, let’s go.”

They left the house hand in hand, Zorion finding relief in the cool air. He could so easily get lost in Renato, in the heat of his body, the scent of his skin. He fantasized about too many things when it came to his mate, but remained patient. Renato was incredibly inexperienced and he didn’t want to scare him. “So what kind of person is this god?” Renato asked.

“He’s an earth god and part of the reason the seasons look the way they do.”

The walk was gorgeous and incredibly peaceful. He half wondered if anybody or much else besides rabbits lived in this area until he saw a few foxes but where there were rabbits, there was undoubtedly foxes somewhere. They were cute, playing and tumbling around with each other. They looked soft, but Renato didn’t want to stop again, he was eager to meet this god. He wondered what sort of person he was. He knew he was at least decent or Zorion wouldn’t want to introduce them but this was a god. What sort of interests did a god have? What did a god like to wear? Millions of questions flew through his head so he would put off stopping for animals until after he got to meet him.

The large wolf startled Renato when they came upon it and he would have run when the beast opened its eyes if Zorion hadn’t held onto him. “Easy, that’s him.”

“You’re serious?”

“Of course and it seems he’s with his mate.”

“His mate?”

Zorion nodded toward the wolf and Renato watched as a beautiful young woman stood up from the shelter of the wolf’s body. She smiled, her striking crimson eyes lighting up. “Hello Anahita.” He said with a smile of his own.

“Damek, shift back, the man with him looks scared.” She said and the wolf stretched, yawning then shifted back. He stood next to his mate, his fingers lacing through hers. Renato’s eyes were drawn to the wolf ears a top his head.

“Zorion, it’s good to see you again.” He held out his hand and Zorion shook it.

“You as well. May I have a hug Anahita?”

“Of course.” She hugged him then went back to her mate.

“This is your mate.” Damek made it a statement.

“Yes. Renato, the earth god Damek and his mate, luck goddess Anahita.”

“Half luck goddess, you exaggerate.” She turned her eyes to Renato. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“You too, both of you.” He was nervous. “I…I’ve never met a god or goddess before.”

“Well, when you’d like Damek has siblings we can introduce you to.” She said cheerfully.

“Oh, thank you”

“My father is also the god of the underworld, my mother is merely human but my father made her immortal when he fell for her.” Before his mind would have jumped to thinking his father must be the devil. In Christianity that could be the only answer, but lately, Renato didn’t even read his bible. He wasn’t so sure he wanted to follow the religion anymore, especially coming here. All this just made what he had been taught all his life to be bogus. Zorion had a good point just in the fact why hadn’t his god ever showed himself.

Zorion spoke up, “Just you two for today, he’s new to all this stuff so I don’t want to overwhelm him.”

“Very well, but if you change your mind, Renato, I can call them.”

“Alright, thank you.”

“Why don’t we take him to that cave you created.” Anahita said.

“Would you like that, Renato?” Zorion asked.

“Yeah, it sounds fun.”

Zorion brought Renato’s hand to his lips. “Don’t be nervous, you’re safe with me.”

“I know, sorry.”

“Come on, you’ll love it.” Anahita said. “Damek created it as a gift, it’s like standing in stars.”

“That sounds amazing. Um…would you mind if I asked you two questions about being gods. Since I’ve never actually met any, I’m just a little curious.”

Anahita answered again, “Go right ahead, we don’t mind, right Damek?”

“We may as well be talking as we travel.” Renato swallowed, trying not to be nervous as he walked with actual gods. Anahita already seemed so upbeat, it was odd to have a god so approachable when even back when he was fully devoted he never really imagined his god as approachable. When you truly knew the bible his god could be blood thirsty and didn’t seem to do much else besides spread his message. He hadn’t dated, it wasn’t recorded he did anything a normal person would do, but Anahita had this comforting feel, this lightness that wrapped others in warmth even though he still couldn’t help but feel nervous.

Damek’s demeanor was a little more like he expected from a god but still, the way he looked at Anahita was also filled with such warmth, such humanness. He had a obviously deep love for her and while his god loved his children it didn’t seem the same to him as human love. His god was the kind who could kill all the first born in Egypt out of anger despite the fact those children were yet to do anything, children he would so claim to love.

 

Final Chapter

“So, what’s it like being a god or goddess?”

“Exciting.” Damek said with a smile.

“You didn’t look very excited when we met.” Anahita pointed out.

“Well, except for then. Anahita came upon after I had escaped captivity.”

“Captivity?”

“Even Gods are not immune to harm. They wanted my immortality, but they received only death. They tortured and tormented me. Anahita saved my life and I fell in love with her instantly.”

Anahita blushed. “Damek.”

“It’s true my love.” He kissed her cheek. “Anyway, I control the earth; soil, rock and stones, even earthquakes.”

Renato couldn’t help but find their relationship sweet. Anahita was so gentle and cute, complementing Damek’s seeming wildness. “How about you, Anahita?”

“Well, I didn’t even know I was part god at first. I only found out after meeting Damek. I bring good fortune to those around me. My entire village has prospered just from my presence.”

“Wow.”

“She’s such a gift.” Damek said, getting another blush from Anahita.

Renato’s questions continued until they arrived at the cave and it was only it’s beauty that silenced him. The deeper they went the more gorgeous their surroundings became and he was once again grateful to his mate for bringing him. Zorion suddenly lifted him. “I just don’t want you tripping on something.” Zorion explained in a whisper.

Renato was bright red and embarrassed, but he leaned into Zorion anyway, enjoying his warmth. He allowed himself to once again get lost in the cave, amazed at how the walls and ceiling shimmered and shined even without a direct source of light. He found himself reaching out and brushing the stones with his fingers, surprised that they were warm. “This is…I’ve never seen something so amazing. Is this your magic, Damek?” He asked.

“Yes, I put light into them so they would glitter no matter how dark it is and they keep the cave a nice temperature.”

“I’ve never seen magic before, this is just so cool.”

“Let me show you.” Damek stopped and squatted down, pressing his fingers into the soft earth beneath them. He wrapped them around something and when he pulled his hand back and opened it, a shiny stone rested in his palm. “I can make anything bound to the earth. I often do so for Anahita.”

“He spoils me too much.”

“There is no such thing.” He reached down and plucked another stone from the ground and handed them to her. “Would you make them into necklaces and put some of your luck into them for our friends?”

“Of course.”

“So, would you two like to go to the village?”

“Since Renato has never been, yes. I want him to experience everything this place has to offer. Would you like that, my love?”

“Of course, anything you want to show me, I want to see.”

“Oh?” He brushed his nose against Renato’s cheek, chuckling at his blush.

“Be good, we’re with people.”

Zorion gave an amused smile “I assure you Damek and Anahita don’t mind. He’s just as flirtatious as me.”

“It’s true.” Anahita said glancing happily over at Damek who lovingly slid his hand into her hair and kissed her cheek. As they walked out of the cave and toward the village Renato found himself feeling so normal here. It was a nice feeling after spending his life, up until now, full of shame and sadness. He felt a small tug at his heart to stay, but he knew they couldn’t. Zorion could never move away from his pack, he was the alpha and they were all so close. He knew that Zorion would take him here as much as he wanted though and that alone made him happy. Truly, it was close enough they didn’t have to live here to come frequently.

Damek and Anahita took them on a tour of the village, the latter waving at people as they walked by. They took them to the bakery, the owner having nothing but smiles for them as he gave them free pastries hot out of the oven. Renato had never had something so delicious and wound up eating it a little too fast. They continued on, stopping at a shop that sold all manner of trinkets and gifts. When Renato took interest in a little crystal wolf, Zorion insisted on getting it for him. “You don’t have too.”

“I do.” Zorion picked it up. “You were making this face, the one that says you really want something, but you’re not going to say anything.”

“But, do we even have the right currency?”

“Many places have learned to accommodate other world money.” Damek said. “I’m sure it won’t be an issue.”

“See, so let me get it for you.”

“But what if it’s too expensive?” Renato asked.

“Then I’ll settle the difference.” Anahita answered. “He’s a lot like Damek, he likes spoiling you. It’s cute. I can never talk Damek out of anything, especially if I really want something. Sometimes it’s better to just let them have their way, they’re so endearingly stubborn.”

Renato smiled as he agreed. Once they had his crystal wolf purchased they continued touring the village, Renato finding everyone to be friendly and not phased in the slightest by him and Zorion obviously being together. Zorion was so affectionate you’d have to be blind to not see they were a couple. That night Damek offered their home but Zorion said, “I’d like to take him to my place.”

“I understand, It’s nice to be alone with your mate. Meet us tomorrow?”

“Yes, how about for lunch, we could picnic somewhere.”

“Where you met us today?”

“That’s good with me.”

“Alright, so we meet tomorrow at lunch for a picnic.” They separated, Renato’s mind on having sex again since they would be alone once more. He was half thinking of just doing it, powering through his nerves and letting Zorion take him. He had always been so patient and loving, Renato truly felt he deserved more from him and he knew he could trust Zorion to stop if he needed him to.

“You’re thinking too hard again.” Zorion said as he lead him back to the valley. The sun was down and the night sky was dotted with millions of stars. It was beautiful, dazzling, like walking through a dream. “Is it about us?”

“Yeah.”

“You shouldn’t work yourself up about it so much.”

“I can’t help it.” He pulled Zorion to a stop in front of the cottage. “I…I hate that I’m so scared and insecure. I look at myself sometimes and I feel so useless and cowardly just because of what my parents did to me.”

“Renato, that’s enough.” He took his mate’s face in his hands and pressed a gentle kiss to his lips. “I can wait for as long as you need me too.”

“But I don’t want you too, I want you to make love to me, I’m just nervous about my inexperience and what if I react badly or something. I want you so maybe we could just try.”

Zorion pressed their foreheads together, letting out a little sigh. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“You have to promise me that you will tell me to stop if you need me too. I don’t want you to keep going just because you think I need sex to be satisfied.”

“I promise.”

“Alright.” He pulled Renato inside and back into the bedroom. He pressed their lips together, let his hands slip beneath his mate’s shirt to brush his skin. He felt goosebumps and smiled, loving Renato was so responsive. “Could I undress you?”

“Y…yeah.” He started to pull Renato’s shirt off and Renato stopped him. “What’s wrong?”

“Just…I don’t really think I look that good, I mean compared to you.”

“Renato.” He forced the amusement out of his voice. There was something adorable about his shyness. “Can I show you something?” Renato nodded and Zorion turned him to face the mirror. “Trust me okay?”

“Okay.”

He slowly started to remove his shirt again and once he had it off, he let his fingers trace over his skin, his eyes watching Renato’s in the mirror. “How could you think for even a moment that I would find you unattractive? I’ve never desired someone as much as I do you.”

Renato could see that hunger again, burning, undying lust in his boyfriend’s eyes. It made his heart stutter and his skin flush even more. Zorion began kissing his neck as he felt his mate. He couldn’t get enough of his warm skin and the goosebumps forming. Zorion gently bit down and Renato’s whine only excited him more. He wanted to start removing his pants but he waited, giving him more time at this stage in hopes it would help him be more comfortable when he tried for more. Zorion licked Renato’s ear then almost shakily asked due to how much control he was having to use, “Can I take your pants off, please?”

“Ye…yeah.”

Zorion slowly undid his belt then slowly pushed down his pants and boxers so he could appreciate the feel of every inch of his mates legs. Zorion knelt in front of Renato, now feeling, nibbling at and kissing all over his legs. He was hard as hard as he could possibly be, they both were but Zorion was still hesitant to ask if he could enter his mate so he asked, “Can I take you in my mouth?” Hoping sucking him off first would help Renato be more willing to let him finally fully have him. Even if Renato still refused it was another thing Zorion had been deeply wanting to do.

Renato nodded, too nervous to say anything. His entire body was shivering so Zorion placed a kiss to his abdomen just below his bellybutton then over to his hip where he lightly bit him, receiving another little whine. Renato jumped when Zorion drew him into his mouth and might have stepped back if Zorion hadn’t grabbed his hips and held him in place. Renato let out shaky breaths as Zorion swallowed him, his tongue sliding over his length as he moaned, the light vibrations causing Renato’s hips to rock into him. He burst in Zorion’s mouth with a whimpering moan, his entire body flushed, his legs threatening to give out on him. Zorion swallowed then drew back and gently pulled Renato down to straddle him.

“Good?” Zorion asked as he brushed his lips lightly over Renato’s.

“Yes.” Renato’s voice came out breathy and needy even through his embarrassment.

“Can I make love to you?”

Renato could feel him shaking as he held onto his self control and couldn’t help how loved and cherished he felt. “W…will it hurt?”

“I promise to give you nothing but pleasure my love.”

“O..okay then, I want to.” Zorion kissed him, passionately moving his tongue against his mate’s before he began working him loose, trying to find whatever spot gave Renato the most pleasure. When he felt his mate was ready he carried him over to their bags, fishing out some lube he kept with him just in case Renato ever said yes. The last thing he ever wanted to do was hurt him and since he had never been with a man before he wouldn’t be willing to try without it. Out of relief and pleasure that this was finally happening Zorion almost yelled with pleasure when he pulled Renato down on him. Renato’s moan was mixed with his and even now Zorion asked huskily, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah.”

With further assurance Zorion thrust his hips as he worked Renato up and down. He held Renato tightly when he finally came, emotion overwhelming his heart. When he could think, Zorion cuddled up under the covers in bed with Renato and began raining kisses all over him. “Be honest, how are you feeling?”

“That was amazing…I liked it.”

“I’m glad.”

Renato teared up and covered his face. “I actually liked it, thank goodness.”

“Oh Renato, it’s okay.” He brushed his fingers through Renato’s hair as he held him, doing his best to comfort his mate. He hated Renato’s parents even more. They had made him so insecure.

“I’m sorry.” Renato finally said as he wiped his face. “How stupid.”

“No it’s not, baby. I understand and I want you to always be honest with how you’re feeling. If you have to cry then cry.”

“I feel like I ruined the moment.”

“Never.” He planted gentle kiss on his lips, his hand drifting up and down his back in a soothing massage. “You have no idea how happy I am right now, Renato, how much I need you every moment of every day. Sometimes I wake up and see you lying there and can’t help but admire you and realize how lucky I am to have you. I love you more than anything. My heart belongs to you and only you, Renato, no one will ever change that.”

Renato snuggled closer, feeling safe and loved when Zorion held him a little tighter than he had been before. “I will always love you Renato.” Zorion said softly, needing to be sure his mate understood. They laid like that even after they were both sound asleep and when morning came it was Renato’s sleepy eyes that opened first. He almost got emotional again as the memories came flooding in. He was happier than he could have ever dreamed was possible and he wasn’t going to let anything hold him back any longer. His parents had been wrong, possibly about everything they ever told him and he wasn’t going to hate himself any longer because a certain religion in one world told him too. Renato was determined to live his life without shame and he knew with Zorion by his side it would be an easy thing to do now that he knew completely his parents had been wrong all along.

~ The End

Julian & Lucius 4

Chapter One

“Do we really have to do this, I mean I have other family we could see.” Julian said as he walked side by side with Lucius, their fingers laced together.

“You said anything.” Lucius replied with a warm smile.

“Yeah, but I didn’t think you would pick my parents.”

“I’m sure your mother misses you.”

“It’s not my mother I’m worried about.” He sighed, running his fingers through his hair. “You know I could…”

“Don’t you dare use one of your tears to get out of this, you know I’d be pissed when you get back. I’ll cut you off if you do.”

Julian chuckled. “You wish you could.” He leaned in and pressed a kiss to Lucius’s cheek, grinning at how his heart raced. “See, that’s all it takes and you’re jello.”

“Shut up jerk, you can’t seduce your way out of this. I want at least your mother to meet me.”

“Alright, alright, just don’t be surprised if my dad says something stupid.”

“You know I’ll be fine. I’m one of those beings that I have to truly care about your opinion for it to bother me. Unless of course they are rude to you, then I’ll set them straight.”

“My entire pack sucks except my mother. Sometimes I feel it’s a shame wolves mate for life. She deserves better than that pack.” Lucius took his hand in hopes it would make his wolf feel better. It did, Julian held on tightly to his mate, hoping this all went at least okay. He knew good was completely out of the question but he could dream of a not wholly terrible visit. He took comfort in the fact his mate truly had the thickest skin of anybody he had ever known. It had been hard to even get into his heart when they first found each other so he knew Lucius really could take whatever his father did.

Julian became more tense as they drew closer to his parents home, every muscles was wound tight and ready in case he had to jump to his mate’s defense. He wasn’t surprised to find a couple of his father’s pack members wrestling on the front lawn and they both stopped as soon as they noticed him. The older of the two shoved the other one off of him and they both stood, dusting themselves of and meeting them as they crossed the yard. “Well, well, if it isn’t little Julian.” His eyes moved to Lucius. “And who is this?”

Julian moved in between them so the other wolf had no choice but to look into his eyes. “He’s my mate, I would move back if I were you.” The wolf growled, but Julian held his gaze, not intimidated in the least. “How about you tell me if my mom’s inside.”

The wolf huffed. “Yeah, making lunch. I’m sure she’s excited to see her wayward, homo son and his freak vampire lover.” Julian grabbed him by the throat and slammed him onto the ground to Lucius’s surprise. “You forget who you talk to, I might not spend every moment humping every female that looks at me sideways as some proof of manhood, but you can bet your ass I’ll send you into a dimension so dark not even your night vision will save you.”

“Julian, that’s enough, you made your point baby.” Lucius said as he rested a hand on Julian’s back. “Let’s just go in an see your mother.”

“You’re lucky today, Terry, if it wasn’t for him I would have made you apologize.”

The wolf didn’t even dare to growl as Julian let him go roughly and began walking with his mate inside. Julian’s father was sitting on the couch when they walked in. “Julian.”

“Father.”

“This is your mate?”

“Yes, his name is Lucius.” The wolf on the couch looked him over then went back to the magazine he had been reading so Julian guided his mate into the kitchen to see the one wolf around worth seeing. She was wiping off her hands when they entered so she wouldn’t get anything on them.

“Julian.” She said happily, a far different demeanor than everyone else.

“Hey mom.” He held her tightly, wishing deeply he could see her more without seeing the other wolves. She hugged Lucius next which surprised him even though he had heard so many pleasant things about her. “Welcome, I’m so happy he’s finally letting me meet you. I can tell how happy he is when I talk to him.”

“It’s nice to meet you too. I hope you’re well.”

“Very well, especially now. Lunch won’t be long. My name is Xin, in case my son hadn’t told you yet.”

Lucius smiled “I like that name, it’s really pretty.” These wolves had such bad attitudes he wondered how often she heard something nice so he wanted to compliment her and he truly did like her name.

“So, how was the trip?” Xin asked as she went back to cooking.

“Uneventful, but it usually is.” Julian answered.

“Staying out of trouble?”

“Define trouble.” She gave him a look and he cracked a smile. “The only trouble I get into is work related, but other than that, yes, I’m not doing anything illegal. Lucius would try killing me.”

“Try?” Lucius said.

“Yes, try because you and I both know it would be nothing but a tongue lashing.”

“I heard your scuffle outside with Terry.” Xin said.

Julian shrugged. “He was being rude, I just put him in his place.”

“I know you don’t get along with them, but please try not to get into any fights. I talked to your father too, hopefully it won’t get too out of hand. You know how he is and I can see what you’re thinking, I stay because I love him and he loves me, he’s never raised a hand to me.” She smiled lovingly at her son. “I know it’s hard for you, but I’ll try to help keep the peace.”

“Well I love you, I know nobody around here ever hits you..I just…I want you to be happy.”

“I know, you’re the best son a mother could have asked for.” They continued talking to his mother until food was served. His father joined and Julian was grateful no other wolves were coming to eat. It was nice eating his mothers cooking again. He had amazing meals with his mate and Uri, but there just wasn’t anything like eating a meal your mother made. He knew most people felt that way, people that grew up close to their mother anyway. His father was mostly silent as they ate but that was another win. His mother truly must have spoken to him because normally there would already be tension between them. It seemed silence was his way of trying to make things peaceful so Xin would be happy.

“So what is it you do again, Lucius?” Xin asked.

“Solve crimes dealing with the occult and preternatural. There’s generally some sort of magic involved, sometimes ghosts and demons, or shifters running amok.” He glanced at Julian.

“It’s how he met me mom, remember my old job?”

She sighed. “Not until after you had stopped.”

“I know, I know, but that how we met.”

“I can only imagine how that went.”

“He got upset when I pushed him into a clown.” Lucius said.

“Oh, I see.” She gave a laugh.

“What’s that all about anyway?”

Julian grumbled and Xin looked to Julian’s father. “Would you like to tell him, Ivan?”

“It may make our son mad at me all over again.”

“Oh Julian, that was years back, don’t hold a grudge alright?”

Julian sighed, “Just tell it dad. I guess my mate has been asking for the story long enough.”

“I was just trying to have fun with the boy. It was a little after Halloween so everywhere was clearance out costumes and I bought a few scary clown costumes along with one regular one. My Betas and I dressed up as the scary ones and we got another male to be the normal one. For about a week , the wolf with the normal costume would just pop up, in costume where my son was and then eventually we set it up to where one second he saw the nice looking clown and the next he saw the scary one holding a severed head, then of course my Betas joined me. He was never okay with clowns after that.”

“It was terrible and it scarred me for life. I started having nightmares. Anytime I saw one after it was like walking past hell personified.”

Lucius had to clear his throat to keep from laughing at such a dramatic description. “Now I feel really bad.” He finally managed to say. “What would you do if you walked into our room and I was dressed like a clown?”

“Send you through the same tear as last time.”

“Come now son, it wasn’t that bad. They’re just clowns.” Ivan said. “It could have been worse.”

“Worse would have been better. Those wigs and the faces.” He shivered. “I just can’t.”

“And I of course gave Ivan hell for it. Poor Julian was shaking and crying and when Ivan tried to explain to him that it was fake by showing him the masks he nearly hurt himself trying to get away. He was maybe ten at the time.”

“It wasn’t the most fun I ever had.” Julian added. “I guess if anything it taught me to run fast.”

“See, there’s a silver lining.” Ivan said.

“Oh yes, very silver dear.” Xin replied. “Anyway, that’s the clown story. So are you two planning on staying here?”

“If it’s not too much trouble mom, can we use my old room?”

“You know you don’t have to ask baby, that room will always be yours.” She cleared her throat. “Just um you know, keep it down.”

“Come on mom.”

“Well, you are an adult and you’re are mates.”

Julian glanced at his father who was looking at his plate and not saying anything even though Julian could tell he wanted to. “Yeah, alright.”

“Maybe after we eat we can look at some old photos. I’m dying to show your mate how adorable you were when you were little.” He really didn’t want to let her do that, but Julian could tell how happy it would make her and it was a normal thing for a mother to want to do.

“Okay but promise me you wont let him take any home with us. I don’t want his brother teaming up with him to tease me.”

Xin smiled, “I think Julian said you two were twins right?”

“Yes mam, we look basically identical. It’s why I have to wear this collar. Your son can tell us apart but besides him, nobody outside our family can.”

“Have you tried to trick him?”

“My brother tried once, just to see if he could, curiosity gets away with him sometimes, but Julian didn’t fall for it for a second. He should have known, wolves are hard to fool.”

“It’s more than just because I’m a wolf. You two are different, I’ve spent enough time looking at you to know without doubt who is who.”

“Like what?”

“The way you walk when you approach me, your brother doesn’t have that shy hesitation, your speech patterns are different and Uri never loses his temper. You should see him try to cross his arms like he’s irritated, he looks so awkward. Then there’s your scent, even though you’re identical, your scents differ. He even tried wearing some of your clothes, but it didn’t mask his scent and the fact mine wasn’t on him at all.”

Lucius blushed and glanced at Julian’s parents. “So how about we finish eating and I tease you for a bit.”

Julian chuckled. “Awe, but I’m enjoying how embarrassed you are.” Lucius shot him a little glare and Julian leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Alright, I’m sorry, I’ll be good.”

They continued to chat with his parents, mostly with his mother who included Ivan in the conversation when she wanted him to add to any storied she told. Lucius could see that Ivan was holding a lot back and he had to give him some credit for it. Julian had been worried his father would explode the moment he saw them together, but he was actually keeping his thoughts to himself. It wasn’t like Lucius didn’t get it. He understood that it was sometimes hard for people to accept that their child was gay, but Ivan hadn’t thrown them out or badmouthed them like the wolf outside had.

He knew he might get his head bitten off for it later, but he felt like he should point out how much his father was trying to Julian. If not for that relationship, for the relationship he had with his mother. If Julian didn’t feel so bitter when it came to his father they would come more and Lucius could tell it would make both him and Xin much happier. Lucius could see how badly Xin wanted this visit to go well so her son would come around more. His father would still be head of a pack of man whores and assholes but he knew if the relationship with his father could be mended the other wolves wouldn’t hinder Julian’s relationship with Xin.

 

Chapter Two

Once they were finished eating, Julian helped his mother clean up then he and Lucius sat down in the living room with Ivan while Xin went upstairs to grab the photo albums. Julian and Ivan were silent, not looking at each other and Lucius cleared his throat. “So, Ivan, you’re an alpha, that must be hard work.”

“Not particularly.” Ivan replied.

“You never have anyone fight you for your position?”

“Every now and then, but it’s easy to put them in their place. Wolf packs understand dominance and once you show the more wily of them that you won’t be pushed around, the others tend to fall in line.”

Lucius cracked a smile. “So that’s where Julian gets it.”

“Gets what?” Julian asked.

“That dominating nature of yours.”

Julian huffed. “I do not.”

“Found them.” Xin said as she came down and let her eyes move over all three of them. “What did you say to embarrass them so bad?”

“I’m not embarrassed.” Julian and Ivan said at the same time, causing both Lucius and Xin to laugh as she came down and sat next to Lucius.

“So, baby pictures first then?” She asked.

“Yes, absolutely.” Lucius replied as she flipped the first album open.

Julian was soon glad he hadn’t fought his mother when it came to showing his mate these pictures. Lucius looked so happy and it was rare for him not to look serious so while Lucius studied the pictures Julian just admired him. Xin seemed happy too as she talked about what was going on when she took each photo. Another note Lucius took was Ivan looked at Xin much like Julian looked at him and knew his mate probably didn’t see his parents relationship for what it was because he had such bad feelings towards his father. He knew he hadn’t grown up with them but Ivan did seem to love Xin quite a bit, just the way he looked at her said that clearly.

“He really does look a lot like, Ivan.” Lucius said when they got into the pictures of Julian’s teens. “I mean look at that scowl.”

Xin laughed. “That’s what I told him.”

“Come on you two, you don’t have to rub it in.” Julian said.

“But you look so cute.” Lucius teased and Julian arched an eyebrow.

“You just wait, I’ll show you cute. My parents can’t keep you safe forever.” He gave Lucius a devious grin.

“Hey, be good.” He felt heat crawling up his neck and into his face, turning his pale skin red.

“I’m always good.”

Once they were finished looking at pictures, Xin said. “Why don’t you take Lucius on a tour of our property, I’m sure he’d like to see where you used to play.”

“What about you and dad?”

“We’ll stay here baby, besides, I’m sure you need a break from all of this embarrassment.”

“Alright.” Julian walked over and kissed his mother’s forehead before giving her a long hug.

“I’m so happy you’re here Julian.” She told him again because she truly was.

They walked out and Julian sighed, “Sometimes I wish cameras didn’t exist, but you and my mother seem to be getting along well.”

“She’s wonderful and maybe your dad isn’t so bad either.”

“Okay, I know that last part was a joke.”

Lucius sighed, “We’ve never been a couple who didn’t talk about things or point out when we thought the other was wrong Julian. I mean, I can see you’re right about your dad’s pack. From the two I’ve met it’s clear you don’t have to be any kind of a decent wolf to be accepted into this pack but maybe, your dad himself isn’t as bad as you feel he is.”

“He was horrible to me, I mean you heard the clown story.”

“Maybe these kinds of wolves are what he grew up around so he had a hard time learning how to play with you without doing something like that.” Julian was obviously frustrated and feeling defensive but Lucius was proud of how well he was managing to talk without yelling.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Well at the very least you should accept your mother is happy with him. He looks at Xin the way you look at me and even she says she’s happy. You can look at her and see she’s happy.”

Julian sighed. “You keep comparing us.”

“You have a lot of similarities, Julian and there’s nothing wrong with that.” He laced his fingers through Julian’s, letting his thumb brush over his skin to soothe him. “He hasn’t said anything negative to us, in fact he’s been incredibly civil. I know you’re mad about some things, the way he traumatized you as a child and how he and his pack treated you over being gay, but can’t you just forgive him.” He smiled. “Please try?”

Julian let out a grumble. “I should just shift and hide in the woods.”

“You wouldn’t do that.”

“I know.” He sighed again. “I’ll try, for you and my mother, okay?”

“I know it’s hard, but if I can come to terms with your constant need to show me affection and your sarcastic mouth, then you can do this.”

“You like my sarcastic mouth, it’s very good at what it does.”

“Julian.”

He chuckled as he brushed a kiss to Lucius’s cheek. “I love you and I’ll try, I really will. Now, come on, I have somewhere special I want to take you.”

“Oh? Where?”

“It’s a secret, I used to go there when I wanted to get away from my dad and the pack. I’d cover up my scent and tracks so they couldn’t follow me.”

Lucius happily let his mate guide him along. He couldn’t believe how well that went and was relived Julian was willing to try to forgive his father. His mother deserved more visits and living with hating a parent was a burden Lucius couldn’t wait to see lifted from the wolf’s shoulders. Julian eventually pulled them deep into the woods where he started feeling the ground. “There we go.” Julian pulled open a door that even up still looked like a piece of ground. “Who knows what’s in there now, but I know little critters and bugs wont bother you…as you know…sometimes I just needed to disappear.”

“I bet your dad would be proud of this.”

“I guess we could tell him about it now that I don’t need it. For now let’s go in, I’ll go first and take the cobwebs that might be around. I haven’t entered here since I was a teenager.” They went in, Julian touching what looked like little stones that glowed when he pressed. There surprisingly wasn’t many intruders but moles had obviously been through a few times.

“This is really cool.” Lucius had to note again.

“I worked hard on it.”

“How old were you when you started this?”

“Seven.”

“I’m sorry.”

Julian shrugged at Lucius’s apology. “I really am going to try to let it go.”

“Still, it sucks you were this unhappy so young, but it also shows how smart and resourceful you were even that young.”

They continued further in until they came to a room. There was a pile of old blankets and pillows in one corner and a small bookcase in another. There was a rug in the center and some old toys in a box that had Lucius smiling. It was a little dusty, but everything was surprisingly dry. “Wow, look at this place.” He said.

“I used to play here when I was a kid. I’d just get lost in my imagination and forget about everything. Sometimes I would open tears just to see where they went.”

“Such a daredevil.”

“I just wanted to escape. When I was a teen, I started to get a sense for where they all went and I could step into any world with ease.” He looked around at everything. “I need to shake all of this stuff out, maybe get some new blankets down here.”

“Do you plan on escaping again?”

“Only if I get to do it with you.” Lucius felt a blush crawling up his neck and Julian smiled. “I could patch up the walls with something more durable like stone or brick, I could get more lighting and some flooring. We could just hide here all alone for awhile.”

“I have a feeling we’d never leave.”

“That wouldn’t be so bad.” Julian said with a chuckle.

Julian pulled Lucius close to him, hungrily moving his lips against his mates then spoke amorously, “I don’t want to have sex in my old bedroom, but here would be perfect.”

“I swear there can’t be a moment that is ever far from your mind.” Julian began to kiss and gently nibble at Lucius’s neck. It caused goosebumps to already start forming on his skin. After this long together he knew the perfect way to do that. Julian had learned just the right way to do everything with Lucius to make him putty in his hands. Lucius gave in without any more prompting and began taking off Julian’s pants. Julian bit his shoulder, hard, marking what was his before sliding his hands into his pants. Julian felt his soft skin and reveled in the feel of squeezing his bottom.

He pulled him up, making Lucius wrap his legs around him as they kissed. Julian sat down on the old blankets then jerked Lucius’s pants down so he could work him loose, all the while still hungrily kissing his mate. He relished the slow change in how Lucius kissed him and when he was obviously ready Julian plunged himself inside, his heart going wild with Lucius’s first, deep moan. Julian bit his other shoulder now, feeling more territorial than normal now that he was around his pack. It wasn’t rational since none of them were gay like he was, but he still wanted to make sure any wolf around knew Lucius was his and his alone.

Julian kept him right on the edge of release, wanting to prolong their lovemaking as long as possible. He couldn’t help himself, losing himself completely to his need for his mate, even making Lucius unbutton his shirt so he could mark his chest. Lucius whimpered when Julian turned him around, the fingers of one hand coming up to hook in his collar, the other sliding between his legs to stroke him. Lucius’s body shook with his release, his loud cry filling the room as tears filled his eyes at the overwhelming pleasure. Julian’s teeth clamped down on his shoulder and he let out a growl as he came. Lucius collapsed back against him, panting loudly, unsure if he would ever be able to walk again.

“I think we should stay away from here.” Lucius finally managed to say.

Julian chuckled as he pressed a kiss to his shoulder. “Oh? Why?”

“I won’t be able to move if we keep coming here.”

Julian lifted him and turned him so he could kiss his lips. “Good, that means you can’t get away.”

“Be good.”

Julian grinned. “You know I can’t when I’m with you. I need you always, it’s a craving that can never be sated.” He ran his fingers gently through Lucius’s hair. “You’re just such a temptation, I love you.”

“I love you too.”

 

Chapter Three

Julian held Lucius until Lucius insisted they had been gone too long and needed to head back. “We can just go home you know, we saw them.”

“Julian, you said you’d forgive the past and try to just see him as he is now. We’re going to stay and give this a real chance. Just keep telling yourself how happy your mom will be if you were able to come more.” Julian kissed Lucius, mostly for strength then they walked out together, making sure the door looked as natural as it always had before Julian swept Lucius off his feet. He was going to carry his mate back to his parents house and he dared any of his fathers rotten pack to say a word to him. This would be part of him coming more. They would have to learn that he wasn’t going to hide how much he loved Lucius to make them comfortable.

“Did you two have fun?” Xin asked when they walked in, causing Lucius to blush.

“Yeah, I showed him my hideout.” Julian said.

“Hideout?” Ivan asked.

“Yeah, I built it a long time ago. It was a home away from home, clubhouse sort of thing.” He was doing his best not to let the real reason it had been built slip out, but he could see the knowing look on his father’s face regardless.

“Hmm, I had no idea.”

“I hid it. Maybe later I’ll show it to you or something.”

“You don’t have to, it’s your place, I wouldn’t want to intrude.”

Julian shrugged. “I mean maybe you could look it over for me and help me rebuild some stuff. A few moles dug into it so, you know, it might not be up to code.”

Ivan nodded. “If you want me to.”

“Just, could you maybe keep the other wolves away from it. You can use it for emergencies, but can you not let them trash it.”

“Sure.”

Xin wore a grateful expression as she looked over at Lucius. She knew that had to have something to do with him. When they did return to Julian’s old hideaway Ivan noted, “This is very well made son. These stones, I’m impressed you were able to collect them. I know where they come from and therefor know it was no easy task.”

“I needed a good source of light. They’ve been worth the effort.”

“I wish I could have helped you with this place back then, but I know this was a hideaway from me too.”

“Well, you can help me with it now.” The way his father almost steered the conversation made Julian too uncomfortable. He knew they’d have to talk about it at some point but not yet, he had only just gotten home.

His father took the hint and just continued inspecting. “Ah, I see what you mean about the moles”

“What can we do?”

“We can reinforce the walls with wood and then brick over it. We can also lay stones into the floor and make a venting system to fresh air can get in here.” He looked around and noticed the box of toys. “Look at this. I thought you lost all these.”

“No, I just brought them down here.”

“They’re still in good shape, a little dusty, but there’s no mold or anything.”

“Yeah.”

“Anyway, I could also look into some bedding, maybe some cushions or animal hides, a new bookshelf. I mean if you’re going to escape to somewhere then it might as well be comfortable. I’m sure your mate would appreciate it.”

Julian was surprised at how much his dad seemed to truly want to help and thought of this as a good way for them to attempt to get along. “Do you want to maybe start now working on it?”

“Sure, your mate can hangout with your mother right or would you prefer them stay with us?”

“That’s up to him.”

“I’d love to spend time with your mom. Hopefully there’s more pictures somewhere.”

“Oh there is.” she said cheerfully.

“Then it’s settled. We will work on making this place more comfortable and our mates can get to know each other better. Your mother has been eager to spend time with the man you’ve chosen to spend your life with.”

Soon after the four parted ways Xin hugged Luciu.s “I hope hugging you is okay..I’m just so grateful to you.”

“Why?”

“I’m not stupid, you’re pushing him to hangout with his father”

“He doesn’t seem so bad”

“He’s not, he did mess up quite a lot as a father but it was never because he didn’t love Julian. You have to be loved to know how to love and before me his father never had that. His parents were as cold and selfish as the rest of this pack and truly at this point, he’d make a great father. I think we just had kids too fast. We should have waited but then again who knows, maybe he had to push Julian so far away to really learn how to be better. He’s missed his son and even though I tell him not to he feels guilty over the pain it causes me that Julian won’t come very often due to his childhood. I want us to be a normal, close family so badly and because of you that might actually happen.” She had let him go now so he could see her tearing up.

Lucius wiped the tears away. “I’ll do my best if there are any bumps to keep Julian’s heart open to him.”

Julian started to feel a little more comfortable around his father while they worked on fixing his hideaway and they even chatted a little here and there, though it was awkward. “So, you and Lucius, planning on kids or anything?” His father asked without looking up from what he was doing.

Julian shrugged. “Don’t know, we haven’t really discussed it. Our jobs are pretty dangerous and I don’t even know how he feels about kids. Besides, I probably wouldn’t be a good dad.”

Ivan raised his head then and turned his gaze on his son. “That’s probably the stupidest thing you’ve ever said.”

“Really? I’m sure I’ve said worse.”

Ivan sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck. “We need to talk.”

“Why?”

“Because, your mother would want us to and I’m sure your mate would too.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. I’m the gay son of the alpha, the disappointment.”

“Julian.”

“Can’t we just save it for later? I don’t want to end up getting in a fight with you. Lucius would get upset if I lost my temper after I promised I’d try.”

Ivan nodded. “Alright, once we’re done fixing this place up then.” He turned back to what he had been working on, but added quietly, “You were never a disappointment.”

His father had backed down but Julian couldn’t let that comment sit “The way you treated me said I was. The way you’ve never stood up for me with the pack said I was! You let them talk to me however they want.”

“I always knew you could handle yourself.”

“I could, but if you didn’t agree with them you would have said something. They are your pack, you’re the alpha.”

“If I would have stepped in it would have only gotten worse. You needed to defend yourself.”

“They won’t change and they are who you are. Mom may buy your crap and maybe even my mate now, but you choose to stay in this pack and you repeatedly choose to let them, for lack of a better term be dogs. I’ve met many packs in my travels and wolves or not there’s no excuse to be as horrible as this pack is.”

“I grew up in this pack. They are family.”

“You’re just as cowardly as they are.”

He didn’t even hear his father move. One moment he was facing the wall, the next he was eye to eye with his father. “You have no idea what the burdens of my responsibilities are. You think I don’t control my pack? You’re wrong. Trust me when I say that they could be a hell of a lot worse. They may be dogs, but I have lines that will never be crossed. You don’t know how many I’ve had to put in their place.”

“Then you should have done it when I was a boy instead of letting them push me around, instead of telling me to mate with some woman and have puppies.”

“I’m sorry I made you feel isolated, but you didn’t have it nearly as bad as you could have. Do you want to know what kind of man your grandfather was? He was the kind that beat his son when he was disappointed, who let bigger wolves beat me up to teach me a lesson, who left me out in the wild to fend for myself because I was weak and incompetent. He was the kind of man that threatened to rip my throat out during a training exercise. He had his teeth right here, clamped down on my throat. I may have been a bastard, but at least you grew up tough enough to stand up for yourself instead of letting some…some animal threaten you. I didn’t do the things I did because I was disappointed, but because I wanted you to able to walk through this world without worry.” He stepped back, taking a deep breath. “I said some things to you I should have never said, done things no father should ever do and I am sorry. So stop avoiding this place because of me, hate me if you wish, but at least visit more often for your mother.”

“I don’t want to hate you anymore, I’m trying.”

“Good because I love you. As hard as it might be to believe I have always loved you son.”

“Well…I guess I’m starting to see that now…this place is going to look good…I can already see it.”

“I want to make things right between us Julian. I want to do much more than just fix up this place for you.” They didn’t talk much as they continued working. Neither knew what else to add since they both felt so awkward after their heated discussion but the tension had faded by the time they went to the house for something to eat.

“How’re things going?” Xin asked hopefully at the table.

“Good.” Julian answered and his father nodded, “Yeah.”

“How did everything really go today?” Lucius asked that night after they were showered and cuddling in Julian’s old bed.

“It went good. We had a discussion and my dad told me a few things that I wasn’t aware of.”

“Like what?”

“That he was severely abused by his father.”

“Oh, your mom mentioned his parents weren’t exactly the best.”

Julian sighed. “I want to forgive him, I want to be understanding, but it’s still hard. On one hand he had it a hundred times worse, but his methods with me were wrong.”

Lucius propped himself on one elbow and let his other hand run gently up and down Julian’s chest. “I know, but look at it this way, you’re strong and stubborn thanks to him and if you had never left, we would have never met.”

“That’s a little unfair, you don’t know that.”

“It’s just a thought.”

Julian huffed. “Yeah I know.” He reached up stroked Lucius’s cheek. “He asked me something today that I wanted to run by you and see what you think.”

“What?”

“Just know, you’re under no obligation to say yes, I don’t even know if I…”

“Julian, tell me.”

“He asked if we ever planned on kids. Do you maybe want to adopt a couple or maybe find someone to carry a couple or something? I mean I don’t even know if I’d be a good father, but if you want kids then I’d be more than willing to try.”

 

Chapter Four

“I think I’d rather adopt. In my line of work I’ve seen so many children who ended up in horrible situations due to being cast into the foster system. If you want kids I’d rather save some than pay a surrogate to help us make more. Beyond that I know you’d make a good dad because you don’t make any excuses for how your dad treated you. You know you didn’t grow up right so you won’t make those same choices with your children. People that continue the abuse normally made a bunch of excuses for their parents but I’m struggling to get you to forgive him at all.”

“How many would you want to adopt?”

“With our lifestyle? I’d say no more than two. We live such dangerous lives. I think it would be too stressful to have more than one or two to worry about.”

“Then maybe after this trip we can go to an orphanage and see what we have to do to adopt a child or two. I wonder how your brother will feel about kids in the house.”

“He’s a softie, he’ll like it.”

“He’ll probably spoil them rotten.”

“With knowledge more than likely.”

Julian huffed out a laugh as he pulled Lucius down to kiss him. “You’re lucky we’re in here or I’d make love to you again.”

“Maybe I’ll stay here forever then.” Lucius teased as he rested his head on Julian’s chest.

“I’d just toss you over my shoulder and carry you out to the woods. I might not even take you into the hideout.”

“You better be good.”

He kissed the top Lucius’s head. “As long as you don’t tempt me my sweet little vampire.”

Over the following days Julian and Ivan worked on their relationship along with the hideout as Lucius and Xin grew closer. Their final day there he let his parents know they were going to look into adopting which excited Xin even more than Julian expected it to. “Please bring them as soon as you have them, please. We’ll make sure the pack doesn’t come around.” She said, knowing that would be a big concern of Julian’s with a child.

“We’ll bring them, don’t worry mom. I’m going to be coming back a lot more in general.” She looked like she might cry and Ivan just looked relieved.

First thing they did upon arriving home was talk to Uri about the addition of children. “That sounds amazing, I’d love to see some kids around here. I can go ahead and start looking into nannies that can keep them when we’re working. I’m going to be picky as hell with who we trust and they’ll be my nieces or nephews or whatever so I do get to be picky.”

“Of course, choose whoever you want, we trust your judgement.” Lucius said.

“Come on baby, I want to go to the orphanage before it gets dark.” Julian said.

“Alright, would you like to come with us Uri?”

“Sure, it’d probably best they know all three of us. I wouldn’t want you bringing any children home and them get confused by there being two of you.”

“I doubt that would ever happen. Like I told Lucius, you two are very different, it’d be easy to tell you apart.”

“Still, better to be safe and sorry.” They headed out, Uri deciding to hold off on the nanny until they knew the exact ages of the children they would be adopting. “What age were you two thinking anyway?” Uri asked.

“Possibly older children. I know they don’t get adopted as much as babies do and I would like to give them a good home.” Julian answered. “Though if I’m not careful I might adopt enough to form my own pack.”

Uri chuckled. “That sounds more terrifying than an actual pack of wolves. Can you imagine a bunch of kids just running and jumping on you. Lucius would be taken down in an instant, you could just step through a tear, and I’d have to lock myself in the library.”

They discussed different scenarios happily until they arrived at the nearest orphanage. They were spoken to right away and were given all the paper work they’d need which the woman told them to start filling out after they finished speaking with her. They explained Lucius’s twin lived with them and then proceeded to tell her about their house and how they were financially. The entire conversation seemed to go well and they arranged a visit to their home by a social worker. It felt like the process took forever but all the while they were getting to know the kids and knew precisely who they wanted by the time it was all over. The one or two Lucius was originally talking about turned into five but they truly felt like they needed those children in their lives.

Weldon was eight and the youngest child they adopted. They were told he was incredibly smart and it showed because he had a robotic dog that even the adults there attested to he built himself. He was human and had shoulder length brown hair that they were told he was very attached to. Terina would be the second youngest of their children. She was a cat demon who frequently kept her cat ears out when she was in human form. She had tugged at their hearts with her constant need to show them her paintings and talk to them when they’d come. The third youngest they’d be adopting was Taryn. She had been dropped at a police station when she was only days old and they eventually figured out she was a Naiad. They warned them about the fact she liked to take multiple baths a day so she might run up their water bill a considerable amount but they didn’t care about that and assured the staff they wouldn’t bring her back because of it.

They were already planning where to put a swimming pool for her and guessed if she had one she might not be wanting to sit in a bathtub most of her day. Aban, the second oldest was an interesting mixture of things. He apparently had panther, wolf and fairy in him. Eline was just shy of being seventeen, only just old enough to be considered older than Aban and she was a pure blooded fairy which was mostly important information due to how she came to them. She had apparently been sold as a baby to an underground group that imprisoned fairies for vampires to feed on. Learning this surprised Lucius since he was a vampire, she’d be living with two vampires and she had never seemed afraid of them. She had even seemed happy when they asked her if she wanted to go home with them. The orphanage seemed to try to talk them out of her as they had Taryn but that only made Julian want her more “she wants to go home with us and we’ll take good care of her” They understood though, people returned children all the time like they were some toaster they didn’t like from Target and they knew the pain that must cause these children.

Uri got to work on hiring a nanny, making sure to find one that would work well with the children, especially the oldest who they all wanted to have her independence. “I can’t believe we adopted five.” Lucius said as they relaxed at home. “But just looking into their faces and reading their files, I just couldn’t leave them.”

Julian chuckled as he wrapped him in a tight hug. “You’re really more of a softy than I am.”

“Am not and now I have to work even harder because we both know you’d probably let them get away with anything short of murder.”

“What? Me? No.” He brushed his nose against Lucius’s cheek. “We’re finalizing everything tomorrow.”

“Mmhmm.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Yeah, a little. I want everything to be perfect for them.”

“It will be, you’re already an amazing father.”

Lucius huffed out a laugh. “You too, the kids already really like you. I knew they would, you have such an easy going nature, it’s hard not to like you.”

“I plan on working extra hard for them. I want them to always feel loved and like they can come to me if they need anything.”

“You’re going to be perfect, Julian, no matter what you might think and now you’re on better terms with your father so the kids can know both of your parents.”

“My mom is going to be ecstatic when she finds out she gets five grand kids.”

The next day they went into the orphanage and were happy to see all five of their children waiting eagerly for them in one of the offices. Terina instantly ran to Julian and asked if she could ride on his shoulders for the walk home. The social worker smiled as they signed off on everything and set up a date for their first visit to ensure the children were adjusting well. Walking home together felt like such a wonderful dream, with Terina riding on Julian’s shoulders and Weldon chatting nonstop with Uri. The others chatted about their new home and asked questions about their new parents and uncle. When they finally got home, they showed the kids all the things they had bought for them based on their interests. Taryn was the most excited about the swimming pool and wanted to get in immediately. The rest of the day was busy and by the time it was over, they were all exhausted.

“I hope every day is this crazy.” Julian said when they settled into bed that night.

“Me too, I’m so happy and Weldon seemed extremely excited with the library. I think he and Uri spent most of the time going through books.” He snuggled close to his mate. “Thank you for bringing up kids, I don’t think I would have given them a thought if you hadn’t.”

“Thank my dad.”

“I definitely will, count on it.”

Julian let out a blissful sigh as he pressed a kiss to Lucius’s forehead. Everyday with his love was a new adventure and he had never been happier for this new chapter in their life. He planned to make the most of it and he swore he would never fail his family.

THE END

Aadi & Remus 2

Chapter One

Remus growled at the male, his teeth bared, his body placed directly between him and Aadi. He could smell the wolf on him and he didn’t like the speed at which he had approached. “What do you want?” He asked.

The young wolf stepped back, his hands coming up in a placating way. “Please, I wasn’t trying to frighten you.”

Remus growled again. “I am not afraid.”

“Of course, s…sorry.”

“Who are you?”

“My name is Titus and I…I’m your son.”

Remus’s eyes widened and Aadi grabbed his arm. “His son?” She asked.

“Yes, I’m sorry.” He bowed. “Titus of Rome, I…I’ve been looking for you, sorry.”

Remus swallowed. “I…Aadi, what do I do?”

“Invite him in?”

“But, how did you find me?”

“I researched. Once I was of age, I found out where you went and started from there. There have been stories of a man who never ages so I just followed them.”

Remus didn’t trust him, especially around Aadi. What if he tried hurting her? He hadn’t even changed her yet, so any injury could be potentially fatal. His heart was beating far too fast. “Remus, let’s let him in.”

He whined. “But…”

“It’ll be alright, you’re here.”

He was worried she was actually disappointed in him. He had told her all about his past and the women who had been in it, but now it was staring them literally in the face and he worried she wouldn’t be able to look at him the same. “Fine, but do not dare touch my mate.”

“I wouldn’t even think of it. I know how important she must be to you. I can feel your protectiveness coming off in waves. I doubt anybody would be dumb enough to hurt someone so cared about when they are so cared about by such an old and powerful wolf.” Titus wouldn’t hurt anybody who didn’t deserve it regardless, but he was going for what would be most comforting to his dad. He understood the mistrust but he really wanted to get to know him.

Titus walked in when they moved out of the way and Aadi asked, “Can I get you anything? ”

“I’m alright.” He was thirsty but he felt so awkward and worried he’d do something wrong when it came to her he couldn’t ask her to get him one.

“If you change your mind let me know. I want you to be comfortable.” Titus was surprised how at ease she seemed. She didn’t know him and on top of that he was a pup of Remus from another woman but he felt no bad feelings or worry at all coming off of her.

“I will, thank you so much.”

“So is it just you?”

“Just me?”

“Do you have any family still?”

“No, my mother was human until the end. I have some friends I’d consider family though.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.” Aadi said.

“It’s alright, but thank you.” Titus shifted nervously. He didn’t really know what else to say. He had so many questions, but he was afraid to offend his father.

Aadi could see he was having a hard time and rested a hand on Remus’s knee and nodded towards him. “So, what did your mother tell you about me?” Remus asked.

“Just that you and my uncle were Gods, that you were a good man, that you blessed her with me, that you blessed many women.” He held up his hands. “Not that I’m mad or anything, it was normal back then when you were face to face with the Gods.”

“I’m not a God.”

“I…I know, but she never spoke ill of you. I don’t even think she wanted me to meet you, probably thought you wouldn’t want to see me. I’ll understand if you want me to leave.”

“Nonsense.” Aadi said. “Please stay for as long as you like.”

“I’m sorry if I’m coming off as rude, Titus, it’s just a lot for me to wrap my head around. Aadi is right, please stay, we’ll find something to do together.”

Titus felt relief, he hadn’t hunted down his father for nothing and his mate seemed okay with him. He wouldn’t have blamed her for feeling uncomfortable with his presence, but she seemed absolutely fine. If anything she seemed to want them to talk. “You’re fine, I understand, really.”

He nervously sat down with them. “How long have you two been mates?”

“A few years now, she’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

“Having a mate is an amazing feeling I hope to actually experience one day.”

“Do you date at all?”

“Not really, I mean, I don’t see the point. I’ll know when I find the one so why bother until then. I mean, I know some wolves never find their soulmate just like any other species, but I just don’t want to settle, I want to find the one meant for me eventually. Though, for now my main focus has been finding you Remus.”

“That may be smart, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. I may not have been so bitter for awhile.”

“Bitter?”

“All that meaningless sex, maybe some of them like your mother weren’t trying to lead me on but, I still wound up hurt a lot. I thought things were more than just sex, but time and time again they just wanted babies.”

“Oh, well, I know at least with my mom she wasn’t necessarily trying to use you. By her you already had a reputation so she thought that’s just what you wanted.”

“I believe that, I do, I was an idiot back then. I was an idiot for a long time. My brother found his brain much faster than me.”

“It’s understandable, really.”

Aadi let out a little laugh. “I don’t think I’ve seen two people look so nervous and awkward. You’re even making the same face.” She pressed a kiss to Remus’s cheek. “How about we take him out hiking tomorrow and have a picnic. We can show him our favorite spots, I think he’ll love it.”

Remus couldn’t help the smile that pulled at his lips. While he was still trying to play catch up, Aadi was making plans, wanting them to really get to know each other. “Alright, is that okay with you Titus?”

“Yes, of course.”

“You should also give your brother a call.” She said. “I’m sure he’ll want to know his nephew’s visiting.”

“Of course love.”

“Now, how about I make us something to eat.”

“Could I help while my dads on the phone? I’m actually pretty good in the kitchen.”

“Sure, thank you so much.” She could tell he was really asking so he could get to know her too. She was relieved when Remus left them in the kitchen. She hadn’t been sure if he’d trust his son enough for her to be alone with him and it would have broke her heart to see him hurt Titus’s feelings like that. “I really need to use the two rabbits we have. How do you like rabbit?”

“I love rabbit and dumplings.”

She smiled, looking amused. “Remus likes that too, he asks for it quite a bit.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“So how did you two meet, if you don’t mine me asking?”

“Well, I was attacked by a couple of men. You know the type.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright, your father rescued me. I’m thankful he was there that night, it could have been so much worse than a couple of bruises and scrapes.” She smiled. “Everything’s fine now though, it seems like nothing more than a bad dream.”

“That’s good. Um…how come you two don’t have any kids?”

“We haven’t talked about it really.” She answered as he helped her make dumplings.

“Do you want any?”

“I do, but I don’t want to rush your father.”

He didn’t have to ask farther, he wasn’t an idiot. She didn’t want to ask because he had been used for children for so long. Most likely she didn’t want to risk hurting his feelings or wondered if he even wanted kids anytime soon due to all that. When Remus came back he asked, “You don’t mind that he’s coming for dinner do you Aadi?” He walked over and put his arms around her from behind, placing a gentle kiss on her head.

“Of course I don’t.” She answered as she continued to make their meal.

“Good, he and his mate are excited to actually meet one of my children.”

“Can I help?”

“No, why don’t you two go and just talk. I have it from here.” Remus still felt a bit awkward but they weren’t going to move past the awkward phase if they didn’t talk so the two men went back to the couch and sat down.

“So your mate says you like rabbit and dumplings too.”

“Yes, but you’ll enjoy anything she makes.”

“So, what else do you like.”

“The woods, it’s the only other place I feel at home when I’m not with Aadi. I’ve also developed a fondness for books.”

“What kind?”

“Older books like the Count of Monte Cristo and Moby Dick and even Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.”

“Do you think I could borrow a few, I mean if Aadi says it’s okay? I know some people are pretty particular about their books.”

“Oh? Did you meet someone like that?”

“A librarian, a long time ago. He didn’t mind you reading them, but he was very uptight so it was hard to get immersed in the stories.”

Aadi smiled as she listened to them talking. She was proud of Remus for being so kind to Titus. The boy didn’t look much older than nineteen and it seemed that even though he was far older, he was still in that mindset. A child stuck in time, looking for his father. It was a little sad and she was glad he didn’t resent Remus.

Aadi was well into cooking by the time Romulus and Isobel showed up, their own child in Isobel’s arms. She was only two, but she already resembled her mother. Aadi felt like little Zarya was going to look identical to her when she grew up. Moments later the little one wandered into the kitchen, Isobel following, “Could I set the table?”

“Sure, thank you.”

Zarya ran up to Aadi and said adorably, “Hiiii.”

“Hello beautiful.”

Zarya put her hands over her own eyes and Aadi said, “She’s too cute.” Isobel laughed as she pulled down plates. They talked about Isobel’s daughter and how their life had been going while they finished up then called the men in to eat.

“It smells amazing Aadi, thank you for letting us join you.” Romulus said.

And Titus chimed in, “Yeah, it really does smell good. Thank you.”

 

Chapter Two

Zarya seemed fascinated with Titus and Aadi found herself laughing at the little girl’s perplexed look. Her eyes kept moving from Remus to Romulus and then back to Titus like she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “I think she’s a little confused.” Aadi finally said when she could stop the giggling.

“Why?” Titus asked. “Is it because I’m new?”

“It’s because you look like us.” Romulus said.

“She’s seeing triple.” Isobel added.

Titus looked right at Zarya and pointed at himself. “Titus.” The little girl blinked at him then started grinning. Titus smiled back. “She’s cute.”

“Unfortunately.” Romulus said and Isobel nudged him. “Sorry, but I’m going to be scaring men left and right.”

“Be good.”

“I am, I’m doing exactly what I should be, practicing being scary. Right Zarya?” He raised his hands, forming them into claws and growled at her. She did the same and growled back, making everyone laugh. “That’s right, that’s what we say to those pesky boys when they come sniffing around.” He tussled his daughter’s hair then looked at Titus. “So, has my brother been nice to you?”

“Yes, this whole thing has been quite the experience for me so far. Would it be alright if I ask you a few questions?”

“Of course, I am an open book.”

“Have any of your children come to find you? The ones you had way back when.”

“Nope, but if any ever did want to meet me I’d happily accept them into my life.”

Titus smiled. “I’m glad you two are as nice as my mother said.”

“We weren’t intending back then just to father tons of children and leave the mothers to themselves. As your dad has probably pointed out given how badly it hurt him that that’s what they wanted and we just weren’t that smart. I mean we should have put two and two together after the first couple children, but we were men thinking with our penis’s with women throwing themselves at us for babies.”

“You’re so honest.”

“No point in not being honest…I’m just glad I ended up blessed with Isobel and he with Aadi. This is a much better way to live and I love actually being a part of one of my children’s lives. We were stupid and caused our own hurt by not thinking with our brains instead of our lower parts. It’s the past and we can only live a better future.”

Remus seemed to relax more over dinner, finding himself enjoying the stories his son told them of his journey to where he was now. He knew that he himself would have never gone so far for his biological father, but then he hadn’t abandoned his son in the same way that he and Romulus had been abandoned. It wasn’t even that he had never wanted children, he had just wished for more and in the end it had left a bad taste in his mouth, until Aadi. “So, are you two planning on having any?” Isobel asked and Remus realized the conversation had drifted to babies.

“Oh I don’t know, I mean now we have Titus.” Aadi joked. “I got a pup and full grown too.”

Titus blushed. “You really see me as yours?”

“Of course I do, you’re Remus’s son and that makes you my son too. I would never try replacing your mother, but I want you to know you can talk to me about anything and you’ll always be welcome here.”

“Thank you.”

Remus’s eyes met Romulus’s and he frowned. Romulus’s eyes flicked to Aadi and then back to his brother and Remus nodded. He hated the apprehension he felt. It was Aadi, not some woman wanting him for breeding. She was kind and patient, always giving him time and space when he needed it. “Are you alright?” Aadi asked.

“Hmm? Oh, yes, I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, just got lost in thought. It’s this ancient brain of mine, it can be kind of slow.”

She kissed his cheek. “Alright.” She didn’t press him, always willing to give him whatever time he needed to talk about anything. She really did want children, but it wasn’t worth upsetting him. She didn’t need children to be happy and she knew Remus leaving her would be a wound that would never heal. Now they also had Titus and she couldn’t wait to get to know him. After dinner they simply set the dishes in the sink so they could spend time together. “Why don’t we take Zarya outside so she can tire herself out for bed?” Aadi suggested, always eager to play with her.

“Okay.” Isobel agreed so they went outside to play with the little two year old.

“She looks truly happy brother.” Romulus said as he sat next to his twin.

“I try to keep her that way.” They sat for a moment in silence, just watching their mates and Titus playing with Zarya. Remus sighed. “Am I broken brother?”

Romulus slapped his back. “Don’t be stupid. You took things harder than I, you were always the more sensitive of us.”

“Shut up.” He shoved Romulus, getting a laugh out of him.

“You’re a good mate, Remus, she wouldn’t smile like that if you were not.” He stood stretching. “You should consider a pup or two, it’s such a joy watching them grow.” He ran over and scooped Zarya up, tossing her into the air, leaving the little girl laughing and Isobel, Aadi, and Titus all looking worried.

“Hey Romulus, toss her up again, I want to try something.” Remus said as he got to his feet to spend time with them.

“Try what?” Isobel asked.

“Trust us.” Romulus said. “You know there is nothing in the world that could hurt our daughter.” He looked at Zarya. “Ready?” He asked. “Want to go up?” She nodded excitedly and Romulus tossed her much higher this time as Remus sprinted toward his brother. Romulus cupped his hands and launched his brother into the air where he caught Zarya and landed on his feet.

“I still got it.” He held Zarya up in the air. She giggled at him. “See, a little daredevil just like her dad and uncle. You’re going to scare the pants off your mom aren’t you sweetie?”

“That was amazing.” Titus said. “Could you teach me how to do stuff like that?”

“Sure.” Remus lowered Zarya and handed her over to Romulus. “Just not with my niece, I think Isobel might kill us.”

That night his brother’s words were still on his mind. He turned over, watching Aadi sleep. She probably did want kids and he felt a little guilt. It wasn’t fair to punish her because of his past. It had hurt him greatly, but she obviously wanted him for more than children. If she didn’t she would be gone. He sighed, seeing the obvious solution in his past would have just been to stop having sex with all the females who wanted it. None of them had raped him, he had had the ability to say no to sex, but he had kept just making love to them from the get go and expecting a different result besides them moving on. Even his son had said his mother just thought that was what he wanted because that’s what he had been engaging in. Aadi loved him and she deserved children if she wanted them. He had to stop letting the past make him sour towards having a child.

In the morning he wasted no time asking, “Aadi, do you want kids?”

“What?” She was just waking up and felt she must have heard the question wrong.

“Do you want kids?”

“I’m okay, I said so over dinner.”

“But are you just saying that because you think I’ll be hurt you want them?”

She knew this was the time to be honest. “Well…yeah, but I love you more than I want children. I’m fine never having them. I can just enjoy Titus and my niece.”

“You deserve kids Aadi, you’re amazing.”

“I want you to be happy.”

“Then let me give you a baby.”

She let out a soft laugh and took his face in her hands. “Silly wolf.” She pulled him down into a kiss and he wrapped his arms tightly around her.

“Is that a yes?”

“Is that really what you want? You can’t be worried for nine months that I’ll just up and leave you. I don’t want to have to ask Romulus to beat you up.”

“I do, I want to give you a child, as many as you like.” He pressed their foreheads together. “I’m scared, but I want to make you happy. I want to be with you forever, so would you let me change you and give you a baby?”

She nodded, feeling a lump forming in her throat. She didn’t know why she was suddenly feeling so emotional and she wound up kissing him again, not wanting to worry him. His hands pushed at her pajamas and he let out a little whine that she found adorable. “What?”

“Stop wearing clothes to bed, they always get in my way.” She giggled and he growled, his teeth biting down on her shoulder so she moaned and clung to him. It was easy to get lost in her, in the way she moved and the sounds she made. She was breathtakingly beautiful and he couldn’t help but admire her, his hands sliding over her to explore every inch of her. “I love you, Aadi. I love you so much it drives me crazy.”

“I love you so much too Remus. Thank you for trusting me enough to have a baby with me.” He let himself get lost in making love to her, ejaculating into her warmth multiple times in hopes he would definitely get her pregnant. She deserved this, she deserved everything. When they were done he cuddled her until they felt like getting up to shower. They wound up making love in there as well. He simply couldn’t resist her when she was naked, her gorgeous, flawless skin exposed to him.

She giggled when they got out. “You know that’s why I wear pajamas right? It’s so I can get some sleep, but I do love you find me so irresistible.”

“After breakfast I’m going to go ahead and talk to my brother about arranging for us to change you. We can do Isobel at the same time since I’m sure he never wants to lose her either.”

The smell of food hit their noses as they started downstairs and they were surprised to find Titus in the kitchen when they came down and he gave them an awkward, nervous smile. “I thought I’d make breakfast for you two.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I hope that’s okay.”

“Of course, but you didn’t have too.” Aadi said.

“I wanted to, I mean you’ve both been so kind. I wanted to thank you. I learned a little bit in my travels doing odd jobs for money.”

“You’re incredibly sweet, Titus, just like your father.”

“I made coffee too.”

Remus reached out and tussled his hair, surprising him. “Thank you.”

“Y…yeah, you’re welcome.”

They enjoyed breakfast together Remus made a quick call to his brother who said he’d arrange everything and how proud he was of Remus for finally moving on from the past. When he hung up the phone they took his son to one of their favorite places, planning to take him to a new one every day as they got to know him. “So what brought you to this place?”

“Just walking around.”

“I’m sure you two do that a lot.”

“Wolves definitely weren’t meant to be kept inside.”

Titus laughed, “Nope, they definitely weren’t.” They showed him the best things about this area, heading home when lunch came around. He cooked for them again and it was just as delicious as breakfast had been.

“You’re definitely going to make your mate happy.” Aadi said when they finished cleaning up.

“Really?”

“You’re kind and considerate and you can cook. I mean that’s a big plus, especially if she’s sick or pregnant.”

“Can you cook uh dad?”

“I can, but Aadi’s food tastes better. I can never get the seasoning right.” Remus answered as he put the last dry dish away. “And please call me whatever you wish, there’s no reason to hesitate.”

“Sorry.”

“You don’t have to apologize. Now, we are going to be changing Aadi soon, have you ever seen the ritual?”

“No, but I’ve heard of it.”

“Then it will be a treat for both of you.”

“Don’t you usually have to have a group of wolves to pull it off though?”

“Not for Romulus and I, but since this is a special occasion, I’m sure he’ll gather a few.”

“Are you excited Aadi?”

“Incredibly so, I’m glad I get to be with your dad forever and with my children.”

“Are you two going to be trying?”

“We are.” Remus answered.

Then Aadi added, “You ready to be a big brother?” Titus smiled, feeling blessed to be a part of this family. He truly already felt like he belonged. They all made him feel like he had grown up with them instead of only finding them yesterday. A few days later Romulus and Remus were ready to change Aadi and Isobel. Titus was eager to watch, this wasn’t something that happened all the time so there was a chance this would be the only time he witnessed such a thing occur.

Titus’s eyes were riveted to the beautiful ceremony, the way the wolves howled, calling their brethren to them for Aadi and Isobel. It stunned everyone, but Romulus and Remus when Aadi’s wolf turned its gaze on him. There was a warmth there as it turned away, going to Aadi who sat between Remus’s legs. Titus’s heart danced when the wolves howled as both women were made moon born and some of them started laughing when little Zarya joined in, dancing excitedly around. He had truly never seen anything so beautiful and the wolf within himself rejoiced at the sight.

“Why did her wolf look at me like that?” Titus asked once they were on their way home.

“She was acknowledging you as her child.” Remus answered softly since Aadi was sleeping on his shoulder. “Have you ever seen an animal take on the responsibilities of caring for one that has been orphaned? It’s like that, you are her pup no matter the blood that runs through your veins.”

“That’s…wow.” He was touched by the gesture and had to clear his throat to stop the knot forming there.

When they arrived at the house Remus spoke gently again. “I’m going to lay with my mate so I’m there when she needs me. Help yourself to anything.”

“Okay, don’t worry about breakfast in the morning, I have it. Do you want me to make a snack for you now?”

“No, I just want to lay with her.”

“Goodnight then dad.”

“Goodnight son.” Remus watched over Aadi through the night. He knew it had all gone well, but she was his mate so he couldn’t help but worry over her with what she had just been through. It was a painful and taxing experience. He had no doubt his brother was fussing over his mate the same way. When those beautiful green eyes fluttered open he kissed her then asked, “How do you feel?”

“A little sore for some reason.”

“Then I’ll let Titus know we’re up so he can start on breakfast so I can just massage you and we can soak.”

“He shouldn’t have to cook again. I can do it after the bath.”

“He specifically said he wanted to last night Aadi.”

“Okay, if he wants to.” Remus left the room, finding his son in the living room. “She’s awake if you want to start cooking. We’ll be awhile though. I’m going to massage her then get a hot bath drawn so she can soak.”

“I’ll make one of my favorites then. It takes a long time, but I have it and I really want to do something nice for her…”

Remus smiled then returned to Aadi. “Lay on your stomach sweetheart.” she did, groaning a little as she did it. He started on her legs then worked out the tension in her back before kissing between her shoulder blades. “I’m going to run the bath now.”

“Mhm.” It was so faint he happily chuckled, he loved he could relax her like that. Soon she was in his arms. Remus carried her to their tub then settled them in it so she was laying against him “We shouldn’t stay in long if Titus is cooking.”

“He said he was making something that would take a long time.”

“What a sweetie.”

“He adores you already.”

They relaxed there until the water began to cool then drained the tub and got out. Remus dried both of them and Aadi giggled when his hands lingered on her, surprised when he a light blush tinted his cheeks. “Sorry, you just drive me crazy. All I want to do is keep you to myself for awhile.”

“You’re amazing, Remus, I love you.”

He let his hand slide over her belly and she rested hers over his, smiling lovingly at him. “I cannot wait to see you pregnant.”

“You mean fat and hormonal?”

“You’ll be the most beautiful pregnant woman in the world.” He pressed their foreheads together. “Just try not to have any girls.”

“Remus.”

He chuckled. “I’m kidding, I just want a healthy you and a healthy baby, that’s all.”

She felt herself tear up. “You silly wolf.” She pressed a kiss to his lips. “Let’s get dressed and get downstairs to Titus.”

Their days with Titus were amazing and filled with laughter and smiles. A few months later Aadi was with child and incredibly excited. Everyone was happy at the news and eager to meet the new little one when they came into this world. There was so much change recently but it was all incredible.

~ The End

Lachlan, Teague, & Kennedy

Chapter One

Kennedy sat in the alley, the hunger beat through him, pounded like a drum, causing tremor after tremor to run through him as he forced himself to stay put in the dark corner of the alley. The urge to feed whispered to him like a siren, tempting him to the pedestrians, to the sound of their hearts and the rush of blood just beneath the surface of their warm skin. He whimpered, fists clenching as he felt his canines lengthen. He didn’t want this, didn’t know what he had done to deserve this curse. He remembered the attack, the feel of being hit from behind, the fingers bunching in his hair and wrenching his head back, the sharp pain blossoming at his throat. No one had cared for the strangled cries of one young man, no one had come to save him as he slipped into the terrifying abyss of nothingness. Then he had woke face down, cold cement beneath his cheek, rain soaking into his clothes, the taste of blood on his tongue.

The pulsing, pounding beat of blood echoed in his ears, vibrated through his body causing his nose to flare and his pupils to dilate. Something animalistic in him told him to go, to feed, to sink fangs into flesh and drain the life from his prey. He stood, his body taking over, his mind seeming to shut down as he stumbled down the alley, following the smell of food. He could see himself reaching out, his fingers so close when an arm wrapped around his waist, a hand clenched his throat and he was being pulled back. He snarled as he struggled, but whoever was behind him had him in a death grip, the fingers tightened, cutting off the blood flow to his brain. “Relax.” A voice said close to his ear. “I’m here to help.”

Darkness, it seemed so welcoming, so comforting. It wrapped around him, cradled him, rocking him in its cool embrace. Why had it become the theme of his existence? Warmth suddenly burst through him, every nerve ending coming to tingling life and he breathed, his eyes blinking open to an unfamiliar ceiling. He didn’t understand. He let out a groan, squeezing his eyes shut and when he opened them there was a face looking back at him. He jumped, startled, his heart tripping over itself. “Oh good, you’re awake little alley cat.”

The man talking to him had short black hair and grey eyes. It was all he could really tell about him at the moment “Why did you take me?”

“You were going to hurt somebody. I could tell you didn’t want to.”

“I didn’t…I didn’t even chose to be this.”

“A vampire?”

“No, I was turned by someone.”

“I see, I’m sorry.”

“Where are we?”

“A hotel.”

“Are you going to let me go?”

“When you learn how to manage yourself. A vampire who gets lost to their urges is a dangerous thing.”

Kennedy sat up, glad to see he wasn’t chained or tied down in anyway. The man seemed nice but there were a lot of serial killers who seemed nice to their victims. It was only then he noticed the other man. His hair was the same black except this man had green tips and looked a little more serious. “I’m Lachlan.” This new man said

Kennedy answered “I’m Kennedy.”

“And I’m Teague, werewolf extraordinaire. Lachlan, like you, is a vampire.”

Kennedy rubbed his temples. Vampires. Werewolves. Why him? Their scents were overwhelming, but even as they filled his nose, he realized he was no longer hungry. He raised his head. “Did I…”

“Drink blood?” Lachlan finished. “We both fed you some of ours.” He was so calm as he said it.

“How long have you been without?” Teague asked.

“Since I was changed.” Both men shared a glance. “What?”

“We’re surprised you hadn’t killed someone sooner.” Teague answered. “You must have quite a strong will.”

“I didn’t want to hurt anyone, I don’t even want this. Drinking blood, attacking people, lurking in the shadows. I…I hate this.”

Lachlan stood and crossed over to him and sitting on the edge of the bed. Kennedy was frozen by the vampire’s gaze. “You’re scared, I get it, but you’re not allowed to wallow. This is your life now. You’ll stay with us to be trained and we’ll also be hunting the vampire who forced this upon you. He had no right to do such a thing and I hope it doesn’t put a bad taste in your mouth for creatures like us.”

“We’re actually quite pissed.” Teague added.

Kennedy looked between them. It was strange, but it was almost like looking at one person, like their personalities had been split down the middle. Same eyes, nearly the same hair, same height, the same, but separate. “We’re not brothers.” Lachlan said.

“How did you…”

“Creepy isn’t it?” Teague asked with an amused look on his face.

“Don’t scare him, Teague, he’s been through enough.”

“Sorry, I’ll be good, but don’t think I don’t know you weren’t thinking the same thing.” He chuckled as he turned his attention back to Kennedy. “You need to eat, food, then we’ll explain everything.”

“Okay” he was nervous but he felt better than he had in a long time and it was thanks to these two. He decided he could trust them, after all, they spared him from finally having to hurt someone. They took him to a nearby restaurant that served breakfast “order whatever you want, we know you don’t have money and the tabs on us.” It felt incredibly weird to him to be so cared about by two strangers “I’m sorry, I guess I have been wallowing. I sort of gave up on everything when I was turned.”

“We can understand that but as I said earlier, wallowing is over. You need to accept this life, there’s no going back to how things were for you” Lachlan said.

Then Teague asked “What did you do before you were changed?”

“I was going to art school. I took any work I could which thankfully there’s more work for artists than most people think.”

“That sounds fun.”

“It was.”

“Your hair by the way, you used to be human right?”

“Yeah, I know, the white is odd but it actually did come in this way.”

“Wild, I like it. Most the time poor humans get stuck with such simple colors.”

Kennedy blushed. “Thanks.”

“What do you think, Lachlan?”

“He has an ethereal beauty. His hair and eyes and pale skin are quite alluring. Are you sure you were human?”

“Uh, y…yes. Both of my parents have dark hair and before you ask, my father is my father. I’m just a genetic rarity.”

“And you have so many tattoos.” Teague said.

“Yeah, I hope that doesn’t bother either of you.”

“Not at all. They’re amazing.” Kennedy smiled and both Lachlan and Teague paused mid bite, their hearts both skipping a beat. They shared another look and it almost seemed like they were reading each others minds.

“Is everything okay?” Kennedy asked.

“Yes, of course.” Lachlan said as he cleared his throat. “You wanted to know about us. Teague and I are the same person.”

“I don’t understand.”

Teague continued for Lachlan “He’s saying we each have half a soul. Something went wrong I guess, either in the after life or whoever we were in a past life just did something incredibly stupid that split their soul. We hope to one day find out, but we were born even on the same night and were compelled to seek each other out. It effects us in multiple ways, one of the larger things is we are stronger when we’re together.”

“Wow, that explains why you look so similar.”

“Our personalities are different though.” Lachlan went on, taking over the explaining again. “I’m more calm and even tempered unless provoked. Teague is very instinct driven and tends to come off more friendly than I do.”

“I guess because you were both raised by different beings or maybe each of you just got some of the traits you had in your past life.”

“It works out in our favor honestly. Lachlan is an amazing strategist and when it comes to subtle, yet terrifying threats, he’s a natural at it.”

“And if we need someone to be more sociable with the ability to rip someone’s head off, Teague is the one you want.”

“You make me sound so terrifying.”

“You know that’s not true. I admire your abilities. We balance each other out. People often say that when we are in the same room, it’s like talking to one man. He makes joke, I speak of serious matters. I also dress us because if I let him, he would wear jeans to every event.”

“That never gets in the way of life?” Kennedy asked. “Like with relationships?”

“Not at all. Since our souls are connected, we have the same mate.” Teague answered.

“Mate?”

“The one we’re meant to be with. Beings like us all have one.” Lachlan said.

Kennedy blushed as it dawned on him what he meant. “Oh, I…I see, you mean you’d share?” They both nodded and Kennedy’s heart skipped a beat. “That’s…talk about overwhelming.” He gave a nervous laugh.

“It wouldn’t be so bad. Two people looking out for the one they love, nothing could touch them. We’d be like a couple of wild animals. Well I would, Lachlan would probably stare them to death.”

Lachlan glared at him and it caused Kennedy to laugh. Knowing now that they were the same person brought up a lot of humorous thoughts. They were literally talking to themselves. “It’s good to see you smile.” Lachlan said. “Moping about won’t get you anywhere.”

“Thank you, both of you. I’m still terrified of what’s happened, but I feel better knowing you’re going to stick around and not let me kill anyone.”

“We’ll start your training tomorrow. You’ll see that being a vampire isn’t all that bad and if you ever feel the urge to feed, you can take it from us. We don’t mind. Between the two of us, we have more than enough.” Teague said with a warm smile. He could feel Lachlan’s heart racing and knew he had come to the same conclusion about the little vampire. His wolf was whining, urging both of them forward. The only thing keeping them back was the fact Kennedy had a lot on his plate at the moment. He would even have to come to terms with his immortality.

 

Chapter Two

They finished breakfast, Kennedy feeling a little bad they had to pay for him to eat but it did feel fantastic to not be craving blood and to have a full stomach on top of it. “Since we’re not training until tomorrow what are we going to do today?”

“Get to know each other better and let you have some fun. You’ve been through a lot and we’ll get to learn things you like to do if you just tell us where to go.”

“Oh…” it was actually hard to think of what he liked to do since he had just given up living for awhile now. “There’s this nature park that has hiking trails I like” Lachlan swept Kennedy off his feet, causing him to blush.

“Let’s not bother with a car.” He said with a smile then asked, “Where is it? We know this area fairly well. ”

“Um, its called Umpstead, it’s just after that really big Wendy’s.” Kennedy was surprised how fast they were able to make it there.

“See, a good perk when it comes to being like us huh?” Teague asked as Lachlan reluctantly let Kennedy out of his arms.

“Yeah, that was cool.”

“We’ll teach you to do the same, though we wouldn’t mind getting to carry you everywhere.” Teague said, causing Kennedy’s pale skin to grow bright red.

“You don’t have to do that, I have feet.”

“But we would hate for them to get tired.” Lachlan replied. Both he and Teague placed a hand on his back and guided him forward. “Try relaxing.”

“I can smell everything, it’s so odd and overwhelming.” Kennedy said as they walked.

“You have to learn to tune out the smells you don’t want.” Teague explained.

“How?”

“By focusing.” Lachlan said and they both pulled him to a stop. “Close your eyes.”

“Um…”

“Trust us, we won’t hurt you and we won’t let anyone touch you. Just close your eyes.” Teague said.

They both waited patiently for him to decide and he finally closed his eyes. “Now take in the smells, everything around you, the flowers, the animals, even us.” Lachlan said, his voice calm, patient. “Now, ignore each smell until you only have us. Single us out among everything else.”

“It…it’s hard.”

“It is for all of us when we’re learning, but you’ll get it, just go slow and be patient. Focus on only us, on our scent, the soap we wash with, the smell of blood beneath the surface of our skin. Hear our hearts, our breathing, even our voices. Remember us and you will be able to find us anywhere even in a garden full of the strongest flowers.”

Kennedy took a deep breath in then let it out, keeping his eyes closed to really concentrate. It truly was much easier said than done to sort through all the smells and try to isolate theirs. Just when he was worried he wouldn’t be able to do it today he was able to focus on them. It was crazy to Kennedy how all the other smells just fell away and he was just smelling them. Soon his hearing followed. It was just the sound of their breathing and their hearts in his ears. It caused him to blush at the fast rate. He wondered what had their hearts going like that. He decided not to concentrate on that though. He focused on their scents like they told him to so he’d be able to find them should they get separated.

He hadn’t realized until just then how comforting their scents were to him. Taking them in had this feeling of home. His heart tugged, never wanting to leave them. It had him blushing worse so he opened his eyes. “You okay?”

“You did it right?” They both asked right after each other.

“Yeah, I was able to.”

“Good.” Teague said with a smile.

“This place is quite beautiful.” Lachlan said as they walked.

“I used to come here all the time before…before the attack. I would bring my sketchbook and draw.” He gave them a sad little smile. “Sorry, I just miss it.”

“You mean art?”

“Yeah.”

“Then we’ll buy you all of the supplies you want.” Teague said.

“I couldn’t ask you to do that.”

“We want to. You should be able to follow your passions.” Lachlan said as he and Teague both took one of his hands.

Kennedy’s heart was hammering hard in his chest at the contact and his blush became worse when he noticed people watching them. “I…thank you.”

“Just worry about getting stronger, we’ll take care of everything else.”

It felt nice walking with them, especially since they were holding his hands. His heart was going wild and his face was warm but nothing had ever felt so right. It was nice to think his life might become at least a little like it was. He felt guilty they’d have to buy him stuff to get his art back on track but he’d repay them as fast as he could. He knew that was possible once he was able to control himself. He began trying to take in possible locations here to paint. This had been one of the places he hadn’t hit yet and done artwork of. Lachlan and Teague didn’t say much as they walked. They were just enjoying contact with their mate and how adorable he looked taking everything in.

“Thank you for bringing me.” Kennedy said at the end of their walk.

“Anytime you wish to come back please let us know.” Lachlan said.

“You don’t have to come with me, you might get bored.”

“We could never get bored with you.” Teague replied.

He blushed at how they were looking at him. It was like he was the most interesting man in the world, like he was all that mattered, and beneath all of it was the steady gaze of predators. He swallowed. “Um, so would you like to take me to the art store?”

“Anything you wish.” Lachlan answered, his thumb gently stroking Kennedy’s hand so goosebumps covered his skin.

“And afterwards we’ll take you to get new clothes.” Teague said as he brushed Kennedy’s bangs back. They couldn’t help but want to spoil their sweet mate. They would have to find the vampire who had hurt him soon.

“You don’t…”

“Let us, you deserve it.”

“O…okay.”

They both smiled and this time Teague lifted him. He didn’t understand why he felt so secure with them, the warmth of their skin, their scent and heartbeats. They stuck close to him when they arrived at the art store, insisting that he grab what he wished. They gave him little touches here and there as if they couldn’t help themselves and smiled when his skin flushed or his heart jumped. Both Lachlan and Teague became lost in him, the wolf demanding they rub their scents all over him.

After they checked out they went to the mall so Kennedy would have a large selection of clothes. Kennedy felt self conscious knowing clothes would be a bit more expensive here but he had already learned at the art store that they would insist it was alright and they wanted him to have anything he wanted. It turned out to honestly be a lot of fun since they were eager to help him pick. They kept pulling out clothes and begging him to show case them on his body. It may have been a bit embarrassing but it truly made his day amazing. When they left the mall he felt like they bought too much, they had seemed to like pretty much anything on him. He probably now had enough clothes for two more men besides himself which they also insisted on carrying “We’re taking you to our home now. We only took you to a hotel because we were in a hurry to get you inside somewhere.”

“Okay.” Kennedy hadn’t thought he would actually be staying in their home, but a big part of him was relieved. He didn’t know if he would feel safe alone in a hotel room. All he could think about was the person who had attacked him crawling through a window or breaking down the door to get to him.

Lachlan waved down a taxi and they put their things in the trunk before climbing into the backseat. They would have walked, but they didn’t want Kennedy getting too tired and since their hands had been full, they couldn’t carry him. Kennedy felt protected sitting between them and relaxed into the taxi’s seat. “Do you have any preference for lunch?” Lachlan asked.

“Anything’s fine. I just like food. I’m really glad I didn’t have to give that up.”

“Food?”

“Yeah. I don’t know if I could have handled hunting humans or anything.”

Teague chuckled. “Well you won’t have to, hunting humans is cliche and not something good vampires do unless it’s an emergency and even then, they don’t kill the person, just knock them out.”

“Oh, I see.”

“You can consider us a food source if you would like, but if that makes you uncomfortable, we also have bottled blood.”

“Not that we would mind you taking a nibble here and there.” Teague teased, causing his blush to return.

Lachlan smiled saying “We really don’t mind giving you the blood you need. Fresh, warm blood will feel better to you.”

“Do you two help people this much often?”

“Maybe not this much, but you’re special.” Teague gave him a brief look, letting him know his mouth was getting away with him a bit. This was still Kennedy’s first day coming to terms to thing though Teague understood completely how hard it was to resist telling Kennedy he was their mate.

“Special.”

Lachlan seemed to think a minute. “Well, there’s something about you that makes us really want to help in every way we can.” It wasn’t a lie and it wasn’t too much, at least that’s what Lachlan felt. Kennedy was curious, eager to see their home and how they lived when the cab finally stopped. Their home was beautiful but for whatever reason he had expected it to be.

Lachlan paid the driver as they exited then helped Teague carry Kennedy’s things in. “I can help.”

“Don’t worry about it, let’s just get you settled in.” Teague said as they lead him upstairs and into the room right between theirs. “You’re right between us, so if you need anything, all you have to do is yell and we’ll come running.”

“Both of you?”

“Of course, it’s only instinct.” Lachlan said then cleared his throat. “You’re both of our responsibility and besides, if one of us wakes then the other more than likely will too.”

“I see.” He replied. “I don’t know why, but I half expected you to share the same room.”

Lachlan and Teague glanced at each other. “Well, we probably would if we had someone to share it with.” Teague finally said. “There’s no way both of us wouldn’t be cuddling up to our mate at night.”

“I still don’t understand the whole mate thing.”

“Think of it as sort of like being married. There will only be one mate for us for all eternity. It’s like finding a huge chunk of your soul that was missing.” Lachlan explained.

“It’s like being struck by lightening. You feel it to the very core of your being.” Teague added.

“But what if it’s a man?”

They both chuckled. “That’s not really a problem for us, all that matters is that we found the one and because we share the same soul, we’ll both know.” Teague answered. “My wolf has an incredible sense about that sort of thing.”

“Anyway, why don’t we give you a tour then we can cook for you.” Lachlan said with a warm smile.

“You two should stop spoiling me before I get used to it.” Kennedy said with a laugh.

“Please do, we’d love nothing more.” Those words and their sincerity made Kennedy’s heart dance and his face grow red.

“He’s kind of cute when he blushes, isn’t he?” Teague asked as they took his hands and lead him out.

“Oh yes, quite.” Lachlan smiled at him. “You’ll never be able to hide anything from us.”

“You two are kind of mean.”

“Only in the best way, we swear.” Teague said.

 

Chapter Three

He enjoyed being pulled around their home. It was sweet how they tried not to miss anything when it came to telling him where stuff was. They ended the tour in the kitchen since they wanted to make Kennedy something to eat. “If you forget anything let us know. We want you to be comfortable and to feel free to just get whatever you want here.”

“Thank you.”

“Now about lunch, do you like chicken?”

“Yeah.”

“Then I know what we’re going to make. Why don’t you just go take a nap or a nice relaxing bath while we cook. You deserve some down time, living like you were had to take a major toll.”

“I think a bath sounds nice.”

“Towels are under the sink and if you like bubbles you can find stuff for that under the sink as well.” Kennedy walked back to his room and picked something to wear before heading to the bathroom. Once he got the water how he liked it he plugged the drain then checked under the sink to be sure everything was there. Confident he wouldn’t have an awkward situation about towels he simply waited for the tub to fill up.

“This is harder than I thought it would be.” Lachlan said as he mixed up a rub for the chicken. “And this is coming from me.”

“So I know it’s bad.” Teague chuckled as he trimmed the chicken. “My wolf is restless. I’m sorry if it’s being bothersome.”

“Not at all, it’s good to know we found him. It’s terrifying to think of what may have happened to him if we had not. To have missed him in this life would have been tragic.”

“Such a poet.” Teague teased as he passed the chicken over then washed his hands. “It’s strange to fall so hard so fast. The way my parents explained it doesn’t even compare to how it feels to actually be face to face with the love of your life.”

“He’s hard to resist.”

Kennedy sighed as he relaxed into the warmth of the water, letting sore muscles loosen. He closed his eyes, just letting go of all his worries for a moment. He had been so overwhelmed since he had been changed, but he was finally getting a chance to start over and he owed it all to Lachlan and Teague. He hadn’t expected to have two handsome, attentive men take him in. He blushed at his thoughts, but it’s not like they were helping any with how sweet they were being.

It also didn’t help they said they wouldn’t mind if their mate was a man. He couldn’t help but feel a bit envious of whomever ended up being their mate. It was that very thought as he relaxed that made Kenendy realize he was attracted to them. They talked about this mate like they hadn’t found him yet but at the same time they seemed so fond of him. He didn’t know what to think because he knew he could just be misinterpreting incredibly kind people. He didn’t want to look stupid or presumptuous, especially not when he was going to need to spend a lot of time with them for awhile so he could learn how to live like this. He soaked until he feared he might fall asleep then dried and dressed, soon after heading down to hangout with them or eat if dinner was ready.

“There he is.” Teague said when he stepped into the living room.

“Feel better?” Lachlan asked.

“Yes, thank you.” He breathed in. “Something smells amazing.”

“That would be dinner cooking.” Teague said. “Come sit and I’ll go check on it.” He patted the empty space between him and Lachlan.

Kennedy felt nervous as he crossed over and sat down. Their smiles warmed him and had butterflies tickling his insides. Teague left him alone with Lachlan and he hazarded a glance at the vampire. Lachlan was watching him, studying him. “Is everything o…okay?” He asked.

“Admiring your tattoos. I can see them much better with this shirt.”

“Oh.”

“Did the one on your neck hurt?”

“A bit, the ones on my hand hurt worse.” He held out his hand, showing off the tattoo on top of it.

“How many do you have?”

“Eight total. The biggest one is on my back.”

“You’ll have to show us later then.” Teague said as he came back into the living room. “Dinner’s ready.”

Kennedy got up and Lachlan followed, getting ahead of Kennedy to pull his chair out for him “Thank you” Kennedy said a bit nervously. Teague was serving plates and soon they were all sitting together. “This is amazing.” Kennedy remarked just before taking another bite.

“Good, did you find everything for your bath okay?”

“Yeah.”

“We should probably start training you after breakfast tomorrow.”

“That’s fine with me.”

“Have you had trouble controlling your newfound strength?”

“A little.”

“You really do show amazing control already. I mean, I’m still a little stunned you hadn’t fed on anybody yet.”

“I guess I’ve always been patient and in control of myself.”

“You seemed really taken during our hike today.”

“I want to go paint there.”

“We can train until lunch and then go.”

“You would want to watch me paint? You could get bored.”

“We could never get bored with you Kennedy.”

He looked at his plate as he shoved more food in his mouth, his face reddening. Why did they have to talk like that? Why did they have to use such a gentle, almost adoring tone? He barely even knew them, but they were wreaking havoc on his emotions. “So, do you two do anything besides rescue helpless vampires?”

“Hunt down and kill evil preternatural creatures.” Lachlan answered.

“Does it pay well? I mean considering the house and everything you bought for me…I’m not going to put you guys in massive debt or anything right?”

Teague chuckled. “Not at all. Fifty years has given us more than enough time to make more than enough money.”

“You two are fifty?”

They both started laughing. “Yes, is that surprising?”

“I mean you both look, well…um…” He wasn’t sure what to say. That they were hot? Would they think it the wrong way or would it make them happy? “You look amazing.”

“We’ll always look this way.” Lachlan said then reached up and stroked Kennedy’s cheek. “As will you. Beautiful forever.”

His heart stuttered and he couldn’t find the nerve to ask if they really thought he was attractive. They simply finished their dinner then hung out until they all needed to get to bed. Both men struggled not to crawl into Kennedy’s bed that night but they managed. He was such a strong pull but they already loved him enough to give him time to transition to his new life. When morning came Teague and Lachlan had never been so excited to get out of their beds. Night was finally over and training could begin, putting them that much closer to being able to talk to their mate about everything. It went well, much better than they expected. It showed he had already been a very focused and patient man before he was forcibly changed. It was about a week later that Lachlan suggested, “You are coming along so well Kennedy…maybe it’s time we take care of the bastard who hurt you.”

Teague quickly added, “And I want it to be clear we don’t want you to help us. We just want you to come with us. You seem to be a lot more comfortable in your own skin and we just want that…horrible thing taken care of.” It still surprised Kennedy how angry they seemed to be at the man who changed him. At this point they still had known him such a short time but still, they were so mad at the man who hurt him.

“So what should I do? I don’t want to be useless.” He said as they headed out.

“That’s impossible.” Lachlan said as he lifted him. “You could never be useless to us.”

“He’s right, you’re far more important than you think. So please, just let us handle the violence.” Teague added.

“Alright.”

“We want you safe, Kennedy. We would hate for you to be harmed by this man a second time.”

Kennedy was nervous as they made their way to the hunting grounds of the vampire who had changed him. Lachlan and Teague had used both the scent of the vampire’s blood on him as well as researching any similar attacks to pinpoint the area he frequented. It was a little terrifying knowing he would come face to face with his attacker, but he knew he could trust Lachlan and Teague to protect him. Lachlan lowered his feet to the ground when they made it to their destination and both he and Teague took one of his hands, lacing their fingers through his.

“Don’t be afraid.” Lachlan whispered in his ear, causing goosebumps to rise on his skin.

“We’re right here and no one can touch you. They’d have to go through us.” Teague said from his other side, his warm breath causing Kennedy to give a little shiver.

“Are you cold?”

“No.” Kennedy answered, shaking his head. What was wrong with him? This situation was serious and here he was acting like some hormonal teen. “I’m just nervous.”

They began searching, keeping a firm hold of his hands in hopes he’d feel they truly wouldn’t let anything come anywhere near him. Especially not this vampire, they were on too high alert for that. Kennedy knew the second they spotted him despite the fact he couldn’t tell where he was. The tension in the air almost instantly rose to levels that actually made him tense up. He knew they were mad but he had apparently not been aware just how mad and ready they were to take care of the man that hurt him. It was Lachlan who initially challenged him, Teague staying close so to be absolutely sure Kennedy wouldn’t be touched again. Upon noticing Kennedy the vampire easily put two and two together “Hey, I let him live. Why are you two ready to kill me?”

“You forcibly took his blood and then changed him against his will.”

The vampire shrugged, “He’s sexy isn’t he? I thought the preternatural world could use something as good looking as him. Most of my kind of stumbled upon lately leave one wanting in the looks department.”

“That wasn’t your choice to make.”

“And you two are the police or just stupid enough to stick your nose in my business?”

“We do not follow human law when it comes to one of our own and trust me when I say, that stupidity has nothing to do with it. We cannot allow you to continue hurting the innocent.” Lachlan said as he raised his thumb and slid it across one sharp canine. “You also touched the wrong man.” He rubbed the blood on his ring and Kennedy marveled at the red wire that appeared from it.

“It’s amazing isn’t it?” Teague said as they watched Lachlan and the vampire face off.

“Like magic.” Something suddenly occurred to him. “What did he mean by wrong man?”

“He meant you of course.”

“I don’t understand.”

Teague reached up and stroked Kennedy’s cheek. “You will.”

They found their attention back on Lachlan as the vampire launched his attack. Kennedy grew fearful when Lachlan found himself grappling with his attacker and started to call out to him when the red wire wrapped around the vampire’s throat and jerked him back, sending him flying. Lachlan rushed him, Teague suddenly moving to join him and Kennedy’s hands came up to cover his mouth as he watched them move in unison. It was like a dance, both of them becoming one as they fought the vampire. His heart tripped over itself and he found himself admiring them. Teague shifted in mid jump, landing on the vampire’s chest and Lachlan’s wire once again wrapped around his throat, tightening more and more until Kennedy had to cover his eyes. He knew what they were doing and he couldn’t watch. It wasn’t until he felt them hugging him that he could even bare to open his eyes.

“Is…is it over?”

“Yes, we’re sorry if we scared you.” Lachlan said.

“Don’t look, okay?” Teague said then looked at Lachlan. “Would you like to dispose of the body or should I?”

“Go on ahead, I’ll worry about that bastard then catch up.”

“I’ll come back of you need me.” Lachlan nodded and Teague lifted Kennedy and started away. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, you two are pretty amazing. I don’t think I could ever do what you do.”

“We don’t expect you to.” Teague leaned down and pressed a kiss to his forehead, causing Kennedy to blush.

“Wh…what was that for?”

Teague looked embarrassed. “Sorry, let’s wait until we’re all home then Lachlan and I will explain.” He wanted to do more than give him kisses and he could feel the same desire from Lachlan, but Kennedy deserved and explanation for their attentiveness and protectiveness.

When they arrived back home Teague set Kennedy on the couch. “I’m going to wash up from that fight. Do you need anything before I take my shower?”

“I’ll be fine.” Teague felt the desire stir up to kiss him again, but this time he managed to resist and walk up the stairs to his room. Teague hadn’t been out and back with Kennedy long when Lachlan returned. “Lachlan, we need to talk to Kennedy.” Lachlan didn’t have to ask about what, he could see it in Teague’s face. He sat down on the other side of Kennedy.

“Have you said anything at all yet?”

“No.”

They each took one of his hands but it was Lachlan who spoke, “We’re sorry we didn’t tell you sooner before we say anything…we don’t want you to feel like we were being dishonest. We just thought we should wait until you were more comfortable in your own skin and that pest was gone.”

Teague held a little tighter as he said, “You’re our mate Kennedy…it’s why we’re so protective…why we honestly enjoy taking care of you and why I accidentally kissed your forehead. You’re something we have to consistently resist.”

Lachlan was speaking again, “It’s even hard for us to sleep with you just a room away. It’s hard not to hold our mate every night…but it is certainly harder not to touch you all the time. We want to do much more than kiss you but we’re fine going any pace you need for us too…right now we’re just hoping the thought of being our mate doesn’t scare you.”

Teague punctuated it with, “Especially after what you saw tonight.”

Kennedy’s heart was thundering with nerves and happiness. “I actually…I’ve actually thought multiple times how lucky your mate would be when he or she found you…I’m happy its me.” They were both suddenly hugging him and he just relaxed into it, finding such comfort in their arms.

“Would it be too much to ask for a kiss?” Lachlan said with a warm smile.

Kennedy’s entire body heated. “N…no, but who should I kiss first?” They both gave him a questioning look. “What I mean is, you won’t get mad or jealous?”

“That would be stupid.” Teague replied. “You’re the boss so do whatever you want.”

“Really?” They both nodded. He was a little nervous, but he managed to work up the courage to press his lips into Lachlan’s and then shaking as he turned to Teague and did the same. He was sure his heart was going to explode and both Lachlan and Teague just sat there for a moment, their breath caught in their lungs. “Say something.” Kennedy finally managed to get out.

“Sorry, that was…” Teague started.

“Amazing. Magical.” Lachlan finished.

“It wasn’t.”

“It was, just being close to you drives us wild.” Teague said. “Can’t you hear it? The way our hearts are racing, the change in our scents. Just from one little kiss.”

Kennedy realized he could sense it, what he did to them. “Can we make love to you Kennedy? My wolf is so hungry for it’s mate. Lachlan aches for you too.” Teague said, causing Kennedy to blush more. He nodded, unable to speak. Next thing he knew Lachlan was lifting him.

“Our first time with you wont be on a couch.” They took Kennedy to the bedroom they had given him then set him down. “We want you to initiate things okay Kennedy. We can tell you’re nervous.”

“Do you want us to get naked or do you want to undress us?” Teague asked and Kennedy answered by moving closer to him. Lachlan smiled at how adorably embarrassed their mate was by this. They were both happy and eager right now, only kept in control at all because they didn’t want to overwhelm Kennedy during their first time with him. Kennedy slipped off Teague’s shirt then removed Lachlan’s jacket so he could take his shirt off as well. Kennedy took a small, sharp inhale of air. They were so incredibly sexy. Kennedy was almost surprised at how turned on even he was when they had barely done anything yet.

It was such an intense feeling being mates now that he was recognizing it and he couldn’t believe Lachlan and Teague had kept so much control. He placed a hand on each of them, letting it slowly slide up to feel their amazing bodies. He felt goosebumps form under his fingers and blushed. They both smiled, having to ask, “Can you take off at least your shirt too Kennedy?” It was only fair, no matter how nervous he was so he did it quickly. He could see the predator in their eyes again, hungry, ready to pounce on him if he told them they could.

“May we touch you?” Lachlan asked and Kennedy nodded, feeling a bit self conscious next to them. He shivered when their hands slid over him, their touch feather light and teasing. Their lips soon followed, skimming over his neck and shoulders, causing a moan to slip past his lips. They both smiled, Teague pulling Kennedy back against him and Lachlan pressing a hungry kiss to his lips.

Teague bit down on his shoulder and Kennedy let out a little whine. “How cute.” Teague said with a chuckle.

“You’re incredibly sensitive.” Lachlan teased.

“I…I can’t help it.”

“We didn’t say it was a bad thing.”

Kennedy was burning up as they touched and kissed him, their hands staying on the bare skin of his torso even though they wanted to get at more of him. He was finally able to push past the nervousness and ask them to take their pants off. He was so shaky he wasn’t sure he’d be able to. “Your’s too?” Teague asked.

“Yeah, I don’t think I can.”

Teague made quick work of his jeans and the two of them gently pulled him onto his bed. “If at any moment you feel scared or uncomfortable, tell us and we’ll stop.” Lachlan said in a gentle, loving tone.

“Making you feel safe and loved is all that matters.” Teague added softly.

“I will, I promise. I’m nervous, but I want both of you very much.”

They took their time, working him up with nibbles, caresses and kisses all over his exposed body until they finally let them remove his boxers and theirs. His heart was pounding so fast they had to ask again, “Are you okay? Do you need us to stop baby?”

“No, I still want this…what do I do now though? ”

“Just let us lead if that’s okay.”

“That’s okay.” They just let themselves go, feeling confident now he was okay. They made love to him until they could tell he was exhausted then cuddled up to Kennedy. Lachlan laid his head on Kennedy’s chest while Teague’s head was more on Kennedy’s shoulder. The three fell asleep soundly, all happy they were finally together. In the morning Kennedy was sore, but he simply felt lucky. He still could barely believe he was their mate. Kennedy knew they were still at the beginning of his training but he felt confident in the future. He knew that no matter what happened or how long it took him to train that he was going to live an incredibly happy life.

~ The End