Raineo exhaled as all the tension in his body slowly flowed out of him. His hands tingled as he realised one of his new brethren was inching his way towards him. Perhaps brethren was too broad of a term the fiery warmth in his groin and the horses galloping through his chest told him this man was his Rathe – his destined mate. The look in the man’s eyes was both compelling yet terrifying. How was it possible to want to embrace the man and run from him all at the same time?
The rapid staccato playing in his chest grew louder when the man reached out and ran the back of his fingertips gently down his cheek.
“What is your name?” Laughter bubbled out of Raineo as faint tinges of embarrassment coloured the man’s face “Wait, you already told us that, didn’t you?”
“Yes, but what of your name? I am still yet to learn who you are.” The fear from earlier washed away with the first touch of his Rathe’s hand.
The stranger bowed in his direction. “My name is Geven Briggs. I am in service to the king of our coven and our people.”
“What duties do you perform?”
A twisted smile graced his rugged face. “I am known as the life-taker. I am the hand who enforces our people.”
Raineo’s eyes widened in surprise, “You are the justice keeper?”
“No. I am the last stand between them, and death.” Coldness filled his face for but a moment and Raineo understood that his Rathe did not enjoy his job, yet he performed it to perfection because that was what his king asked of him.
“In my people you would be called the gate keeper, as you are the one who helps them through the gate to the next stage in life. You have one of the hardest jobs to perform of all.”
With a slight nod of his head Geven agreed. “Only the strong can survive in this job…too many succumb to the nightmares of what they have been charged to do.”
Taking a deep breath Raineo stepped closer to Geven and leant in enough to press his lips to the man’s neck, it was the Faeo way of respect for someone you consider your equal. He smiled into Geven’s neck when his people gasped in shock that their prince and heir apparent would consider such a person as his equal. Stepping back away and breaking contact he simple announced. “Geven Briggs is my Rathe,” this resulted in even more gasps of astonishment.
Confusion settled on Geven’s face. “Your what now?”
“And what exactly is a Rathe?”
It was Jettermane who stepped forward and answered as he slapped Geven on the shoulder. “Congratulations, big guy. He just told his people you are his mate… his equal. As in you just got married.” Peals of laughter fell from Jettermane as they both watched Geven’s eyes roll back into his head, his body dropping like a stone in a dead faint.
Blayze was in total shock as everything unfolded around him. So much was happening in a short space of time. He had just accepted these beings into his vampiric sect without really finding out who they were; or even what species they were. He was just so used to Jetter taking control of such things that he automatically agreed with whatever his Xerx wanted.
He got the feeling Jetter had a specific reason as to why he wanted them to take in these beautiful creatures. There was no denying that they were the most exquisite things in any given world; except of course for his beloved Xerx, no one could hold a candle to his beauty.
“I need to know exactly what kind of beings you are. I have welcomed you into our world because my Xerx believes you are needed, but I need to know if you being among my people will cause them harm in any way.” Blayze didn’t exactly demand but there was enough force behind his words everyone knew he would not be denied an answer.
“I and my people wish to cause you no harm. I believe that we may be of great service to you. My people have many abilities which yours do not.” Blayze watched as apprehension or maybe a touch of fear washed over Raineo. “There is one small thing you need to know. Each of my men will need to be mated to two of yours. We are The Faeo and we need the bonding of two people to keep us whole.”
Silence fell around them and it was as if the air itself had stilled. It didn’t last long as laughter once again bubbled out of his Xerx who was pointing in over Blayze’s shoulder. What the hell was so funny? Oh fuck me sideways. Blayze ceased breathing as he turned and his gaze locked onto the man standing there.
The man placed a hand over his heart and bowed.
They had another mate.