York doesn’t know what he’s doing with the clan. He kidnapped a clan member, kept him under a spell, and almost killed him. Why did the clan welcome him with open arms and forgive him when he can’t forgive himself? How can they stand to look at him when he’s useless?
But maybe he doesn’t have to be.
Leo has kept an eye on York since he moved in with the clan. York had kidnapped Leo’s best friend, but if Marcel can forgive him, so can Leo. The fact that York is adorably cute and vulnerable helps, and when Leo allows him in, it doesn’t take him long to start falling for him.
York wants everything the clan and Leo are offering, but he needs to give them more in return. The only thing he can think of is to go to Curt, the clan’s enemy, and attempt to fool him into giving him information.
When Curt sees right through York and locks him up, York realizes how stupid his plan is. He’s away from the clan, unable to free himself and completely alone.
Or is he?
York could hear people walk past his bedroom door. It was almost dinner time, and he held his breath, wondering if someone would knock.
He wouldn’t be surprised if they did. Most of the clan hadn’t tried talking to him and usually stared at him from afar, but a few clan members had made a point of trying to befriend him. He wasn’t sure why, but he knew it was better if he stayed away from them.
He didn’t deserve their friendship. Hell, he didn’t deserve to be here, safe and with a roof over his head, after what he’d done. He didn’t understand why Tim and Marcel, along with Marcel’s parents, seemed to want him to truly become part of the clan. It didn’t make sense, but he was too afraid to ask.
It was much easier to hide in his bedroom.
He looked around the room from where he was curled on the window seat. He hadn’t understood what was happening when he'd been brought here. It didn’t make sense to him that the clan was offering him a place to live after what he’d done. He doubted anyone else would have been welcomed into the clan after kidnapping one of their members and almost killing him, yet here he was.
But he was terrified.
The clan hadn’t done anything to hurt him, and he didn’t think they would. He might not understand them, but they seemed like good people. Maybe that was why they were so ready to give him a second chance. He wasn’t giving himself a second chance, so it was odd. He hoped to make it easier for everyone by staying in his bedroom, but he also felt guilty. They were giving him so much, and he wasn’t giving them anything in return. The very least he could do was make himself useful, but how?
He sighed and turned back to look out the window, where he could see Leo finishing up his work in the yard.
What could York do? He’d told the clan everything he knew about Curt, but as far as he was aware, they still didn’t know where he was hiding. There was nothing else York could do, so maybe he should leave.
It would make life easier for everyone but himself, but he deserved not to have a home and a family. The only family he’d ever had was his brother, and Cooper was gone. He was the reason York had done what he’d done, and even though York regretted hurting Marcel, if it meant he’d eventually get Cooper back, he’d do it again. His brother would hate him if he found out, but York was starting to wonder if he ever would.
He pushed that thought away. He never allowed himself to dwell on it, not even when he was all alone in the darkness of the night. He would find Cooper. He had to convince himself of that because if he couldn’t, all of this would have been pointless. He’d have hurt Marcel for nothing, and he didn’t think he could live with that.
He sucked in a breath and closed his eyes. He had no idea what he was doing, but he knew it was possible for a psychic to pull a ghost toward them. He’d seen other psychics do it, and he’d been convinced Curt would teach him how to do the same. He should have known better, but he’d been desperate.
And he still was.
He thought of Cooper and how his brother had protected him after their parents passed. He thought of how warm his brother had been, how loving, of how Cooper had made sure York had everything he needed, even if it meant not having it himself. It had taken York some time to see it, but now, he knew that sometimes, Cooper had gone without food so that he could have it. Cooper had kept York safe, and then, he’d died.
York ignored that thought, too, and focused on his brother again. He tried to make the image in his mind as realistic as he could, even thinking of the way Cooper used to tuck his hair behind his ear and smile. Then he imagined having Cooper in front of him, pulling him into his arms and hugging him for the first time in years. He held his breath as he opened his eyes, but the room was empty except for him.
York stopped smiling.
He thumped his forehead against the cold window. He should have known it wouldn’t work. He wasn’t a great psychic, and he didn’t have any training. Victor, an experienced psychic who worked with the clan, had offered to teach him, but York didn’t want to take advantage of him. He was tempted, though. It might be the only way for him to get Cooper back, and he’d do anything to make that happen.
A knock on his door startled him. He stared at it as if it might burst, but that wasn’t what happened. Instead, the person on the other side knocked again, and York knew that whoever it was wouldn’t leave until he talked to him.
He licked his lips and got up from the window seat. He’d been in that position for so long that his legs felt wobbly, but he ignored it as he went to the door and put his hand on the handle. He sucked in a breath and slowly opened it, wondering what was about to happen.
No one in the clan had mistreated him, but he wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually had enough of him and decided to kick him out. After all, he’d kick himself out if he were in their position. Cooper had been the nice one between them. York was uncomfortable with most people and had done something he could never atone for.