The fight is coming to Gillham.
That’s what Jonathan should be focusing on. Instead, he’s picking up Cedric, a mouse shifter who’s running from the Beasts and happens to have information on what the Beasts’ next step will be.
Cedric just wants to save his brother, who’s still in the Beasts’ hands. He knows he can’t do it on his own, which is why he decides to keep the date of the attack on Gillham to himself unless they help him get Archie back.
Neither of them had planned on being each other’s mate. Jonathan has to choose whether he’ll be there for Gillham or for his mate, while Cedric needs to decide what’s more important—saving his brother’s life, or saving the lives of everyone in Gillham?
Jonathan wasn’t sure how to behave when it came to Devon. He didn’t know the man, but he was one of his teammates’ mates, so he was part of the family. It was strange to think of Devon with Elroy after seeing him with Lorcan, even though Jonathan was aware of the fact that Devon hadn’t been with Elroy because he wanted to.
That made Jonathan want to strangle Elroy even more than he already did, which was a lot, since Elroy threatened his home and the people he cared about. The man needed to pay for what he’d done, and not just to Devon. Devon was worried sick about his friend, and Jonathan wanted to help. He didn’t know how, though. He didn’t know anything when it came to Devon, unfortunately.
“Relax,” Tanner murmured.
Jonathan swallowed. “How can I relax? We know something’s going to happen, but we don’t know what or when.”
“It’s not going to help if you’re nervous. For now, we don’t know what Elroy’s planning, and we have to wait. You can’t be hypervigilant the entire time.”
He was right, so Jonathan forced himself to smile and relax against the couch.
Lorcan and Devon had moved in together, and they’d invited the team to celebrate with them. Devon’s cheeks were flushed with happiness, and it hurt Jonathan’s heart to think that something might happen to him or anyone else in the house right now. Both Lorcan and Devon were worried, and so was he.
He got to his feet. “I’m grabbing another beer. Do you want one?” he asked Tanner.
Tanner shook his head. “I’m fine. Don’t drink too much, though. I don’t want to have to drag your ass back to the enforcers’ building.”
Jonathan rolled his eyes but didn’t answer. Instead, he headed to the kitchen. He did want another beer, but more importantly, he wanted a moment to breathe. He knew all of them were nervous, even though they were trying to act as if nothing was happening.
Jonathan had just stepped into the kitchen when he heard someone behind him. He turned around, smiling at Devon. “You could have told me you wanted something else to drink.”
Devon smiled back, but it was obvious he was nervous. Jonathan hoped he wasn’t the one making him feel that way.
“I just want some water.”
Jonathan leaned his hip against the counter. He suspected that was only part of the reason Devon had to hide in the kitchen. “Everyone loves you. You don’t have to worry about the team.”
“It’s not that.” Jonathan arched a brow, and Devon’s smile widened. “All right. It’s not only that.”
Of course it wasn’t. Jonathan knew as well as the others that Devon hadn’t been alone when he’d gone back to Elroy. A friend had been with him, and Devon hadn’t heard from that friend since then. “I’m sorry about Cedric.”
Devon’s eyes widened. “How do you know I was thinking about him?”
“I didn’t know for sure. But you’re worried, and I’d hoped it wasn’t because of me.”
“It’s not. You and the other team members are Lorcan’s family.”
“He already has a family,” Jonathan pointed out.
“But you’re a second family. The way I see it, he can have two families. I’m not worried about you or any other team members, though. I’m worried about Cedric.”
“Are you okay?”
“Physically, yes. But I can’t stop thinking about Cedric and what’s going on with him.”
“Are the two of you close?”
“In a way. We were never friends. We couldn’t afford to be, but we also couldn’t afford to stay away from each other. I only had him, and he only had me, even though we knew that if anyone found out we were close, they would separate us, and they would do so as cruelly as possible.”
“He hasn’t tried contacting you?”
Devon shook his head. “Not as far as I know. I gave him Lorcan’s phone number before he ran away, and I hoped he’d use it, but so far, I haven’t heard from him.”
“It doesn’t mean he’s not okay. He’s on the run. It can’t be easy, and he might be trying to protect you since he knows Elroy wants you back.”
“I’m sure that’s the case. There’s more, though, and I wish I knew what it was.”
Jonathan tapped his fingertips on the counter. He didn’t know the entire story, even though he’d been debriefed. He wasn’t sure Devon knew the entire story. “He didn’t run away the first time you did?”
“No. He was still there. That’s how they got me back. They hurt him.”
“Do you know why he didn’t run away?” Because it didn’t make sense. Jonathan didn’t understand why anyone would stay with Elroy and the men working with him. Devon hadn’t wanted to, but he’d been abused. Still, he’d managed to escape, and as far as Jonathan knew, Cedric could have done the same. He hadn’t, though. He’d stayed there, and he’d been used against Devon.
“He never told me. Again, we weren’t friends.”
“Do you think he went back?”
Devon paled. It was a feat, since his skin was already pale, and Jonathan hoped he wasn’t about to faint. “I hope not.”
“But you’re not sure.”
“I can’t be. He hasn’t called me. I don’t know why he would go back, but then I don’t know why he decided to stay. I don’t know what to tell you. I wish I could do more for him, but if he doesn’t contact me, I can’t.”
Jonathan hadn’t wanted to stress Devon out, especially not today. He was sorry he had, but he was intrigued about Cedric and the reason why he would stay with Elroy. He had questions, but he knew now wasn’t the time to ask Devon, and besides, he wasn’t sure Devon would be the best man to answer them. “We’ll help him if he contacts you,” he promised.