Lorcan knows Devon is his mate. What he doesn’t know is what to do with that. If it had been anyone else, he would have talked to them, but Devon is on the run from his abusive ex, a man who is planning to attack Gillham and the pack, and Lorcan doesn’t want to spook Devon more than he already is.
Devon never wants to see his ex again. He hates the man, even though they’re mates—or are they? That’s what Elroy said, but as time passes and he finds himself drawn to Lorcan, Devon starts to wonder.
Lorcan and Devon know they have a lot of work to do if they want to be together. Devon needs to understand that Lorcan isn’t going to hurt him and that he’s nothing like Elroy, but he’s not sure he can. Then there’s Elroy, who’s still in the background, threatening Devon.
Devon wants a future with Lorcan, but is it too much to hope for? Elroy won’t let go of him easily, and neither will fear. He’ll have to fight both of them to get the life he wants. The only problem is that he’s not sure he’s strong enough.
Devon was Lorcan’s mate. That was the only thing Lorcan knew for sure right now.
He had no idea what to do about it, either. He’d sat in the meeting where Devon had explained what his ex-boyfriend—if the man could even be called that—had done to him. He’d been terrified, and Lorcan doubted that would change anytime soon. That meant he had to stay away from Devon, no matter how much he wanted to rush to him and tell him what they were to each other. The last thing he wanted was to scare Devon even more, and no matter how much it hurt not to do it, he knew it was the best thing he could do for Devon.
“Okay. Something is going on, and we need to know what it is,” Jonathan said as he sat on the couch opposite Lorcan.
Lorcan blinked at him. He hadn’t even heard Jonathan and Tanner come in, which made him a lousy enforcer. Of course, he was in the enforcers’ building, so he knew he was safe. Still, he should have known. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he tried.
Tanner rolled his eyes. “Sure you don’t. That’s why you’ve been moping around for the past few weeks.” His teasing smile dropped. “But you know you can talk to us, right? I mean, we’re team members, but we’re also friends. Or at least, I’d like to think we are.”
Lorcan shook himself. He didn’t want his friends to think he didn’t care about them or that he didn’t trust them. “Of course we’re friends.”
Tanner nodded. “Good. Tell us, then.”
Lorcan hesitated. He didn’t want to say anything about Devon, just in case Devon wouldn’t want anyone to know. Hell, considering how frightened Devon was, he probably didn’t.
But Lorcan also needed to talk to someone. He needed a sounding board, someone to tell him what to do. Right now, the only thing he’d managed to decide was that he needed to stay away from Devon, but it was becoming harder and harder. Devon hadn’t rejected him, and Lorcan felt the bond between them keenly. It made him and his eagle want to go to their mate, want to push through the pain and fear to get Devon to see, but he doubted it would help. If anything, it would probably scare Devon even more, and that was the last thing Lorcan wanted. He never wanted his mate to be afraid of him.
“Lorcan?” Jonathan asked. There was so much doubt in his voice, as if he wasn’t sure what was happening and not knowing hurt him. It probably did. They were friends, even though they’d begun as team members.
Lorcan sighed. “Okay. I’ll tell you. But you can’t tell anyone.”
“Do we look like we’re going to gossip? You know we won’t tell anyone. It’s your thing to confess, both to us and to anyone else.”
“And you can’t do anything about it, either.”
Jonathan blinked. “What would we want to do about it? We don’t even know what it is.”
“Not yet, but you will soon. You’re here because you want to find out, aren’t you?”
“Only if it makes you feel better. We’re worried about you, Lorcan. You haven’t been yourself the past few weeks, and while we gave you space until now, we’re starting to think that it’s not what you need.”
It wasn’t what Lorcan needed. What Lorcan needed was his mate, but he knew he wouldn’t get him.
He sucked in a breath. “I met my mate,” he finally said. He might as well just say the words and see what happened.
There was a pause, then Tanner asked, “I take it that it wasn’t a happy meeting?”
Lorcan shook his head. “It’s Devon.”
“Shit. You mean the Devon who came here to talk to Kameron? The one who’s dating the guy who wants to destroy Gillham?”
“Was dating,” Lorcan snapped. He gave Tanner an apologetic glance. “Sorry. But he was dating Elroy. He’s not anymore.”
“Because he was an abusive dick. We know. We were there when he talked to Kameron.” Tanner bit his lower lip, which was an odd gesture for such a big man. “I don’t know if I should congratulate you or if I should feel sorry for you,” he admitted.
Tanner was human, so he couldn’t fully understand how bad Lorcan felt about all this. He’d been around shifters long enough to know what Lorcan was talking about, but still. He’d never gone through it, and he never would.
“Does he know?” Jonathan asked.
Lorcan shook his head. “I haven’t told him. You saw him. You heard him. He’s terrified, and I didn’t want to make it worse.”
Jonathan slowly nodded.
Lorcan could tell he was turning over what Lorcan had told him in his mind, trying to find a solution. There probably wasn’t one.
“Shouldn’t you tell him?” Tanner asked.
“I should, but he’s terrified. What do you think he’s going to think if a shifter he doesn’t know tells him he’s his mate? After what Elroy put him through, I doubt he trusts anyone, let alone guys who want to get in his pants.”
Jonathan barked out a laugh. “That’s not the only thing you want to do, though. I mean, yes, you’re attracted to him, and I can see why. He’s cute. But more importantly, he’s your mate.” He paused and cocked his head. “Unless you do only want to get in his pants?”
Lorcan glared at him. “Of course not. What would you want if you met your mate? Just to have sex with him?” Lorcan shook his head. “I want everything with him. I know it’s ridiculous because we haven’t even talked, but I’ve been thinking about him nonstop for the past few weeks, and I’m getting desperate. I want to at least talk to him.”
“Then do it. Talk to him.”