Basil is sick. He doesn’t know what his illness is, but he knows he’s slowly dying, which is the only reason he reached out to his estranged father.
Who manages to get himself killed before finding a way to heal Basil.
Lucian is on his way to visit his brother when he sees a man fall on the side of the road. He’s stunned when that man turns out to be his mate. He just found his brother after thinking he was dead for most of his life, and now his mate, too?
Everything isn’t okay once Basil and Lucian find each other, though. Basil is still sick, and not even the unicorn shifters of the Rosewood pack can help. He’s running out of time, and that’s one thing Lucian can’t provide him with, no matter how much he wants to.
Basil’s head felt like it was about to explode. He did his best to act as if nothing was wrong and smiled at his mother. “I’m sure he’ll be back soon.”
His mom peeked out the window of their motel room. “He said he would be back a while ago.” She turned to face Basil. “What if he changed his mind?”
It was a legitimate worry. Basil shared it, but he didn’t want his mother to worry even more. “He told us he might have some trouble coming back. I’m sure it’s only that.”
“I hope you’re right.”
Basil reclined back onto the pillows on his bed. He hoped he was right, too. He didn’t know what he would do if John didn’t find a way to heal him.
He couldn’t think of John as his father. John wasn’t his father, except for the biological aspect. Basil had never even met him until he’d gotten sick and his mother had freaked out. Now they were in Springfield, waiting for a man who had cheated on his wife and had a child out of wedlock, hoping he’d find a way to heal Basil.
It was a disaster waiting to happen.
They didn’t know what else to do, though. Basil and his mother had tried everything. They couldn’t exactly go to normal doctors, since Basil’s mom was a gorgon. Basil wasn’t, but he was pretty sure he also wasn’t merely human, especially since his father was a wolf shifter. Doctors would find out if they examined him, and who knew what would happen then. No, Basil’s only hope was his father, and the man had disappeared.
He licked his dry lips. He was starting to wonder if they had to forget about John and focus on something else to try to heal him. Neither he nor his mother knew what was going on with him. Their only hope was supernatural healers, which was why Basil’s mom had brought him to Springfield. She’d hoped his father’s pack would be able to help, and John had promised they would once he’d found out about Basil, but he’d vanished.
Basil couldn’t wait forever. He didn’t know what his illness was, but he wasn’t stupid. It was getting worse, which could only mean one thing. He didn’t say it out loud because his mother was already worried enough as it was, but eventually, they were both going to have to face the likelihood that he might not make it.
He wasn’t done fighting, though.
“He said he would come back,” his mother murmured. She moved away from the window toward him. “We should have faith in him.”
Basil snorted, and even that hurt. “I want to, but he’s been gone for a while now. It’s been days since the last time we heard from him, and it’s obvious something happened to him. We can’t just stay here and do nothing, not when he might never come back.” And why would he? Basil was his son, but he’d never met him until Basil needed him.
Basil’s mom had told him the story once he was old enough to understand. She hadn’t known John was married when they met, and she’d been in love. But then she’d seen him in Springfield with his wife and she’d left, not wanting to confront him and have to listen to stupid excuses. She’d found out she was pregnant several weeks later, but she’d never gone back, and she hadn’t let John know about Basil. Basil still wasn’t sure how he felt about that, but he couldn’t say he regretted not knowing John after finally talking to him.
Basil’s mom sat on the edge of the mattress and wrapped her fingers around Basil’s ankle, squeezing gently. “I know. What else can we do, though?”
“I should go to Rosewood.”
Basil’s mom shook her head. “You can’t go there on your own. You heard what your father said. Rosewood and Springfield are at odds, and the Rosewood pack wouldn’t take it well if John’s son invaded their territory.”
“John said the Rosewood pack doesn’t like him, but it doesn’t mean Rosewood is in the wrong.”
“It also doesn’t mean they’re in the right. If you go, I need to go with you.”
Basil knew that couldn’t happen. His mother was a gorgon, and gorgons were extremely rare in the paranormal world. It would be too easy for the Rosewood pack to capture her, and Basil didn’t want that on his conscience. He might not trust John entirely, and maybe he’d lied, but it was a risk they couldn’t take. “I’ll go on my own.”
His mother’s eyes narrowed. “You can’t. You’re too weak, and we don’t have a car. Are you going to walk there? You need my help, Basil.”
Unfortunately, she was right. Basil was ill, and that made it hard to move. His head was pounding, and his entire body hurt as if he were eighty instead of twenty-six. Still, he wouldn’t put his mother in danger, not if he could avoid it. “You can’t come, and you know why. I’ll go on my own. I’m sure I can find a bus or something, and if I can’t, Rosewood isn’t that far. I promise I’ll call.”
“Like your father did?”
She had him there. “You know you can’t trust him and that you can trust me. I wouldn’t ignore you, not when I know you’re freaking out.”
She grimaced. “I know you wouldn’t. I still can’t let you go on your own, though. I don’t trust your father. I know you’ll call if you can, but what if you can’t? We don’t know anything about the Rosewood pack. Your father said—”