It wasn’t fair. But then again life never was. Nico couldn’t seem to ease the itch inside him no matter what he tried. The feeling was as if something was clawing him from the insides wanting to get out; not even caring if it ripped him to shreds in the process. What did it even matter, if he was going to be alone? He had been gone for hours and no one had even looked for him.
“I see you never made it home. Nico Redhawk.” The man he had met earlier in the day was suddenly right beside him, and Nico had no clue how the man even got there.
“W-What is your name?” he stammered. This guy was freaking him out.
The man smiled as he held out his hand to be shaken, “You can call me Haydrian.”
“It’s nice to meet you.” Nico rubbed his hand over his stomach trying to calm his nerves. This man was nice but there was something about him that just seemed off and it made Nico’s shifter nature go on high alert.
“Are you in pain?”
What the fuck! How had Haydrian known that? “H-how?”
“I see the pain ripple beneath your skin. I know for a fact how unsettling that can be. Would you like me to ease it for you?” Haydrian took a step closer. While Nico stepped further away. The pain in his body intensified as he doubled over and gripped his stomach. He couldn’t stop the groan from escaping his lips. He flinched when he felt Haydrian’s hand run smoothly down his back. “Let me ease you pain young one. The mating heat is upon you.”
“My mate doesn’t want me.” Nico ground out. “So make the pain stop if you can.”
“Close your eyes young one. Think of your mate and see the truth. Think back and see if what you heard was really what was said.”
The calming voice in which Haydrian spoke made Nico want to snap and bite. How did this guy even know what he had heard, especially when he wasn’t even in the house with them? What gave him the right to question what he knew he heard?
“Shh, young one,” his hands rubbed circles across his back and Nico grudgingly admitted that whatever Haydrian was doing was kind of helping.
“My name is Nico, not young one.”
“I apologise, youn… Nico, but at my age you are a young one.” A deep chuckle resonated around them.
“You’re not old, you can’t be that much older than me.” Nico whispered when he finally got his breathing under control. He stood when the pain finally eased enough for him to do so. Thank you.”
Haydrian gestured towards the bench. It was only then that Nico realised he was no longer anywhere near where he had first started talking with the man “Where the hell are we?” he asked as he took in the room. It was obviously someone’s home.
“This is my home. Trust me Nico you are safe. I will let no harm come to you. You can rest here until you can be with your mate again.”
Tears sprang to Nico’s eyes but he wouldn’t let them fall. “I already told you, my mate doesn’t want me.”
“Dominic wants you very much. I think you may have left before you heard everything that was said. Dominic feels bad for claiming you without fully explaining what he is. His kind is very rare. He has hidden himself away for so long that his creature claimed you before he could warn you.”
Confusion filled Nico. “What the hell are you talking about?”
A sad smile rested on Haydrian’s face. “Your Dominic is a member of the kasharan… well he is a half breed as his mother wasn’t one of them. It was a sad day when we lost so many members of the Manse clan. Dominic is the last in the line – unless Shayler decides to come out of hiding. Though I don’t think he would be willing to leave Malacyte.”
“Dom’s brother is still alive? Who is Malacyte?” Nico asked, curiosity was creeping in and taking away his anger. He had always been the sucker for a good story.
“Malacyte, you could say that he is my cousin, or my brother. When the Manse family was annihilated Malacyte rescued Shayler and took him away to heal. That was the last I saw of either of them.” Haydrian gestured around the room. “Simian took your Dominic and brought him to the castle to be cared for. All attempts to contact Malacyte have gone unanswered. It seems my wayward cousin doesn’t want to be found.”
“Has anyone ever told Dominic that his brother is still alive?”
“Why would we, without burden of proof it would only be a guess on our part. Dominic was better off not knowing.”
“What a crock of shit!” Nico snapped. “You are just playing with someone’s heart. My mate grieves ever still for his brother. The not knowing s eating him away inside.”
“Why do you even care? Didn’t you say your mate didn’t want you? Why would you even want him to know? Let him hurt what does it matter.”
Nico spun around and glared at Haydrian. “He is my mate. Why the hell would I want him to hurt when I could ease the pain in his heart?”
Laugher bubbled out of Haydrian. “Young Nico. I am a sentinel of Varnuse. All other sentinels are descended from the linage of the five cousins. Their blood is so watered down and mixed that none truly know where they came from. Each of us is given two mates – except for Raevyn. Raevyn is special and I’m not even sure he knows the extent of who he is.”
“Where are your mates?”
A frown formed on Haydrian’s face. “Thanks to Raevyn’s interference my mates were separated and their memories altered. I have to find a way to make them remember without. Causing them harm.”
“By the Gods… Kendal and Mohali are your mates.” Nico blurted out in amazement.
“That they are.”