tagNonHumanTrusting Love Ch. 04

Trusting Love Ch. 04


"You will be the first to find your mate," the ancient seer had predicted, her voice like that of a cadaver who had not uttered a word in several centuries. "Unlike any other before her or to come she will have the choice to refuse you and with her choice no other mate will accept your people." Her eyes had bored into his as she made that devastating pronouncement, uncaring as they studied him for a reaction. She studied him with the detachment of a clinical analyst, as if he a prince of his people was nothing more than an insect of interest. "Whatever happens between you two shall be the standard for all lykae until a new generation is born. So take care how you go about for your very nature will be enough to drive her away. For if you lose her no other will have their mates."

Trevyn cursed the seer as he had since then, more so in the last year as he had endured nights alone in his bed with his body burning for his mate. Nights when he had pictured her in the arms of another knowing he was powerless. He knew many immortals who simply took their mate knowing the destined bond would ensure it all came out right but because of those words he could not, despite the instincts that screamed for him to do just that. He had endured, tried his best to woe her, court her as they had courted women in the old days. Still as she still did, she had preferred another man, when their souls were crying out for each other she had preferred another. He could not bear it anymore, whatever happened; whoever she was he could no longer sit idle.

"Why did you not tell us sooner?" Braeden demanded his anger apparent.

Trevyn had just recounted the events of that fateful meeting centuries back to his fellow Alphas, a meeting they had had the courtesy never to ask about before. Though he had promised himself to inform his fellow alphas he did not owe them an explanation. He turned an uncompromising glare to the other man not appreciating the challenge. What he chose to inform them concerning his life or that of his mate was for him to decide. In all his centuries he had never doubted his ability to claim his mate. Not once had what the old hag said concerned him, not until her anguished voice had wrung in his soul and he had known fear, until she had been lifeless in his arms. So what right did anyone have to question his actions? They could not imagine what he had experienced in those moments, he hoped they never had to, but until then none of them could question him.

He did not need this. Braeden was the most difficult Alpha to deal with; despite the centuries they had known and even lived together Trevyn still found himself aching to strangle the mountain prince. He was as obstinate as the mountains he called home with a volatile temper that came and went with the suddenness of a summer squall. He was forthright to a fault, which grated on Trevyn more circumspective character. Braeden made no apologies for himself and could and did bulldoze his way through any weak characters. He could not abide deceptions or procrastinations. Not to say he was a bully quite the opposite, living in the mountains though made for hardy men and none were hardier than the kurgalykae, mountain lykae. They were uncompromising men who were as patient as stone, as incisive as the wind and generally blunt.

Trevyn being the prince of the city lykae preferred diplomacy and circumspection. Which Braeden thought was mostly a waste of time. Trevyn took a deep breath to calm himself before addressing the other prince.

"And just what did she say to you about your mate?" he asked with an edge to his voice. Braeden held his gaze without flinching or any sign he would answer, tension rose about them, thick, nerve stretching, hair rising tension. It was not often that the alphas fought against each other as they were too equally matched for there to be a winner. After working so hard to bring the different lykan packs closer they could not afford to go back to the infighting and distrust that had prevailed during their predecessors' time.

Trevyn's muscles ached as did his jaw, a precursor to his shifting. His wolf always calm in most situations strained at the bit. Ready for a fight. He could see the same happening to Braeden, his muscles bulging even more until his shirt appeared in danger of being ripped through its seams.

"Enough!" Niall commanded. "You will not undo all we have achieved just when we have hope."

They both turned away, avoiding each other's eyes and the eyes of the others. Niall was right; they had come a long way to risk everything. Finally he had found his mate and had the chance to change history. He needed to concentrate on that, concentrate on her. Lord, he should be with her right now, apologizing and begging her forgiveness. He should be doing all he could to have her forgive him not starting fights he could not afford.

Dammit, couldn't they just leave him alone? Understand that no man wanted to court his woman with a bunch of observers about? He wished he could kick them out of his house.

"You know Braeden," he reflected with his back to the other Alpha, "When you do find you mate I am going to take a front row seat and make your life as miserable as you are presently making mine." He turned to meet Braeden's steady eyes.

He lifted an arrogant brow at him. "I would think you will be too busy enjoying your mate to bother."

"I will make the sacrifice."

"Let me save you the trouble and tell you I will not be claiming my mate."

At that Trevyn froze as did the other alphas and the enforcers. No lykan would ever contemplate not claiming his mate let alone a Lykan prince; his wolf would demand nothing else. The silence in the room was deafening, full of so much there was no way to describe it. Trevyn kept his eyes locked with Braeden waiting for whatever the Alpha prince had to say.

"She asked if I would ever be the cause for the end of our race. I was outraged that she would even have to ask but she insisted on an answer and of course I said no."

Braeden broke eye contact to go to the side bar and poured a shot of whiskey for himself raising the decanter in question if anyone wanted any. The others all shook their heads and he replaced it, took a sip from his glass savouring it before continuing with his story. "She then asked if I believed that I would immediately claim her once I saw her. Of course it was not a question per se, more statement. I asked what she was implying and she told me without flinching." He lifted his head a notch higher, a defensive move Trevyn was sure he was not aware of making. "If I claimed my mate I would ensure a fate worse than any machinations the council ever has or could dream for our race. And if I do not I would ensure at least six generations of our race but no more than twenty." If the silence of before had been deafening the one that followed was ear shattering. No one moved or seemed to breathe, shocked and shattered by the new troubles they now had to face.

Trevyn could understand why Braeden would have wanted to keep that to himself. His own situation was far much better and he had not wanted the others to know. It must have been killing him to have such a burden on top of those he had as an alpha of a race a step away from extinction. That fact would have been indelibly written in his mind for centuries, knowing he had to give up his very soul just for a little more time for the rest of them. As an alpha though there would be no question of what he had to do, Trevyn himself had endured a year of knowing his mate was letting another make love to her just for a better future for his people. Lord, how his race had been reduced to this was unfathomable.

"So you see Trevyn, I am here to secure the best future for our race. If I badger the rest of you into securing your mates we have a better chance of survival and where there is life there is hope. I had not considered she had told a doomsday prophesy for the rest of you."

Niall gave a humourless laugh and every eye turned to him. "So we have six chances of destroying our race?"

"Seven." One of the enforcers corrected.

"Oh yes, Ken'ichi was with us when we saw the seer. I keep forgetting him." He turned to Trevyn and Braeden. "Do you suppose this prophetess of doom had something to do with why he chose such solitude?"

"I would say definitely." Braeden answered for the both of them.

'Thought as much."

"And you?" Braeden asked "What did she say to you?"

"This show and tell has been a ball," Niall replied as he stood up. "But I think we have had enough to mull over for a while don't you? Suffice to say my disaster will not play itself out for a long while as I will be the last Alpha to find his mate. I will get around to sharing though." Opening the door he left.

As the others left Trevyn turned to the view of his gardens afforded by the bay windows of his study. He had had the gardens designed to remind him of who he was, redolent with evergreen shrubs and trees it was somewhat wild in its beauty and covered a greater portion of his property. Strictly speaking it was a forest but as the zoning district frowned upon forests in the neighborhood it was listed as a garden. He had bought two adjacent properties so as to have the little piece of freedom that allowed him and his people to shift and run without fear but as vast as the humans thought it, it wasn't enough for them. Which was why the pack owned a more than a thousand acres up in the Rockies just outside of town.

More than anything he wanted to shift and run, lose himself in his wolf and forget all his troubles, to remember that wildness his ancestors had revered before there ever were cities. In his mind he pictured Tara running alongside him, experiencing the freedom and wonder of the forest with him.

"Why not just tell her."

Trevyn turned to see Braeden standing at the door with his hand on it. "The seer assured me that if I tell her, her right to free will is being used against her I will lose her."

"Of course," the cynicism in the other Alpha's voice matched how he felt. He turned back to the garden view as Braeden walked out and closed the door. Nothing in life, he had learned, was ever easy. The more you wanted it the harder it was to obtain.

* * * * *

Tara woke up to an empty bed, her hand sliding over to where Trev should have been besides her and the pain sleep had kept at bay returned at the feel of the too cold sheets. He had not come back, but how could she have expected him to, after all to him she was a slut who thought only of another man no matter who she was with. Hadn't she thrown herself at him when she was supposed to be in love with Ray? Now she had broken it off with Ray to immediately fall into bed with him and then call out another man's name. What self-respecting man would stay with a woman like that?

How could she have been so stupid? He must think she was a floozy, a cheap bed hoping floozy. But then what did she care what he thought of her? She was her own woman and it was time she stood on her own, who needed him anyway? All he could bring was misery.

Misery was a beautiful thing though, she realized, in its thrall you saw things much more clearly. Like how useless most things were, love for example, really, who needed love anyway? It was the root of all evil, not money or the love of it, love was, simply love. She was done with it, she decided, love don't live here no more! What did she need with it anyway? No man was worth the heartache it brought, they were all users at any rate. All a girl had to do was believe this one was better than the last and soon enough she would be heartbroken. Well she was not going through that again. It wasn't like she was in love with Trevyn, sure she had convinced herself she loved him but that was understandable, she had a rebound. The angel next door always sounded better than the demon in the house until you met him. And Trev was definitely no angel nor was he a prince. She was done looking for a prince.

Determined to leave in spite of what he had decreed she got out of bed wincing as some of her muscles protested. Though he had not been inside her at any time during the night he had stretched and explored her body in ways that brought a blush to her face. He had been so thorough, so talented taking her to heights she had never dreamed existed, schooled her in the art of love as if she had never been touched. In all honesty she had only thought she knew about sex, even the one erotic novel she had blushingly read had not prepared her for Trev. Lord the man knew how to use that gorgeous body of his and he had not been shy about what he had wanted.

A delicious shudder went through her body as she recalled the places her hands had been. She wanted to explore those same places with her mouth, tongue and teeth, needed to explore him in new ways.

No he was a snake! She did not need him and her body was most definitely not heating up at the thought of doing things to him that would make her mama blush. She had no intentions of finding him and having her way with him, none whatsoever. And those were not tears warming a trail down her cheeks or teardrops splashing onto the floor as she made her way to the bathroom. She could see just as well as she did on any given day because tears were not misting her eyes. She was fine and he still was not worth it, her heart was not breaking, no, not at all.

She avoided looking in the mirror as she brushed her teeth, avoided the one in the shower room as she took a quick shower she even managed to avoid looking into one as she brushed her hair, lathered on her lotion and dressed.

All there was for her to put on was a bikini she had left behind and Trev's shirt, the one he had been wearing last night and with the belt she had once left here on one of her stay overs cinched onto her waist she was ready to face the world. While the shirt came down to mid-thigh and the open sides came close to exposing her hips it was decent enough. It was summer and people went about with lesser clothes. Who would know that she had spent the night in the arms of the owner of the shirt, came close to having her heart broken and imprisoned by said guy with nothing to wear but his clothes? Clothes that held his clean masculine scent and nearly broke her with desire with every breath she took, no one.

Putting on a pair of slip-ons she kept for the times they took a dive in his massive pool or enjoyed his very private beach she walked to the door vowing to forget all about the one night stand that wasn't really she had had. Most people had one night stands and it was no big deal. In fact she had read once that it could be the ultimate high in a woman's sexual experience. Of course the article had talked about anonymous mind blowing sex with no names exchanged but really her experience had been just as mind-blowing and as it was going to be a one-time only thing it counted.

Tara wondered why he hadn't filled her body with his during their long night of passion. Was it that he hadn't wanted her as much as she had assumed? Had he not wanted her at all? After all she had given him carte blanche on her body. She cringed as she recalled telling him how she wanted him every which way. No wonder he did not want to let her go, what man would?

Well since it was a one-time thing he could forget about having a willing sex slave! Who knew maybe the next guy would be much better, better looking, better character and better in bed. That would show Trev a thing. He probably thought he was a gift to women and she should be grateful for his attentions. She most definitely did not need Trevyn st Jerome. There were plenty of men out there just as likely to nuke her mind with a kiss, who no doubt knew how to find surprising erogenous points on her body. Plenty of men would know how to swirl their tongue inside her creaming channel, there was no need to assume he was the only one with fingers long enough to touch that electrifying spot deep inside her. Just because Ray had never in four years been able to do any of that did not mean Trevyn was unique. Besides she was done with love, sex and all that so it was a moot point.

Tara slid down to the floor next to the bed, drawing her legs up to hug them. No matter how much she tried she could not stop her mind from replaying the long sensual hours she had spent in his arms. Her traitorous body could not stop burning at the knowledge he was somewhere nearby. Whatever she might try to convince herself the truth was that the idea of leaving Trev made her want to cry, the thought of never seeing him again ushered a wave of depression that threatened to swallow her into a dark bottomless abyss.

The wounded woman in her wanted to wash her hands of him, to maybe even have a string of flings just to show him how little he meant to her. But whatever it was that her core was made of, be it her soul or spirit, that intractable bit of self beyond comprehension, common sense or logic clung to him. That part of her understood him without need for words; defended him when she did not want to, insisting that all she needed was to apologize and she would be wrapped in his arms about her and all would be well.

But she had nothing to apologize for. Okay fine, so she had said another man's name whilst with him but it wasn't like she had called out in a moment of passion. The least he could have done was ask her about it. Instead he had totally flipped out and went psycho on her. Well she was not sitting around waiting for a repeat cycle.

With determination she stood back up and walked to the door. Her hand on the handle she squared her shoulders and reminded herself of how far women had come and the obstacles they had overcome. Five or so centuries back it was a commonly held belief that women had no brains and two centuries back they had no rights to vote. She might not be historian enough to know the names of the women who had fought for all that she had taken for granted but she wasn't going to let them down. She was strong enough to stand on her own, to fight for her God given, and hard won, right to go where she pleased and do as she willed. With that little pep talk in mind she took a fortifying breath and opened the door.

The hallway was deserted; a part of her had believed Trev would have one of his bodyguards stationed just outside her room to prevent her escape. She definitely needed to cut down on her action movie fixes too much Jason Stratham could do that. On the other hand Trev did have a suspiciously high number of bodyguards and he seemed to change them on a weekly basis. In the year she had known him she had yet to see the same group twice. His only constants were Callan Hughes who was some sort of personal assistant, though he was unlike any PA she had ever met, and Raphael Gutierrez who was his doctor. Tara had wondered, but never asked, why he would keep a doctor about him. Why did he even need bodyguards anyway? He had never answered that question to her satisfaction and she had been too trusting to persist. As he was extremely wealthy he probably made a habit of seducing gullible women then imprisoning them and doing God-knows-what to them. He changed bodyguards every other week left no credible witnesses and with a doctor about no evidence of abuse. Not to mention with his money and connections he could cover up anything. Well there was no way she would be his latest victim.

Ok so maybe she was being paranoid but he had some issues and she was not sticking around to find out what they were. What right did he have to keep her against her will?

As she was halfway down the stairs he turned the corner on his way up. Their eyes met there was a pause in time, a moment clear and riddled with beauty, recognition of something that was greater than she was. Something incomprehensibly perfect drawing her, drawing him. She was breathless, held by intangible threads she could neither break nor see only feel. Nothing existed beyond the two of them; if it did it did not matter.

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