Nestor didn’t expect much when he left his parents behind because they couldn’t accept him for who he was, but when he found his brother, he also found a new home and a family.
And now, a mate.
Nestor freaks out. His parents couldn’t accept him for who he was, and he’s terrified Jordan won’t be able to, either. The fact that his mother keeps texting and threatening him doesn’t help, and neither does having to get used to living in a new town, going to a new school, and meeting new people every day. Nestor needs to stop running, but can he?
Jordan and the Green Hill pride are finally free of their old alpha, and he’s taking advantage of it. For the first time in his life, he has a new apartment and a job, and he loves both of them. He’d also love it if his mate would talk to him instead of running every time they’re in the same room.
Nestor is only eighteen, and Jordan is just a couple of years older. They’re way too young to bond, but can they be together anyway? And can Nestor leave his past and his parents behind to focus on the future he has in Green Hill?
Nestor knew where he was when he woke up. For the first time since he could remember, he wasn’t wary. He didn’t wonder what would happen today, what reason his parents would find to yell at him and tell him how much of a disappointment he was. He couldn’t be sure his brother wouldn’t do the same, since he barely knew him, but what had happened yesterday gave him hope.
He’d left his parents’ home. He’d found his long-lost brother.
Nestor stretched and stared at the ceiling. When he’d decided to find his brother, he hadn’t expected Jude to give him a home. He thought he’d have to spend the night in his car, even after talking to Jude, but instead, here he was. Jude had given him a warm bed, and even though they had a lot to talk about, Nestor had been able to explain what was going on. He’d expected Jude to be like their parents, even though he’d hoped that wouldn’t be the case.
Jude was nothing like them.
Even though Nestor knew nothing about his future and Jude could decide to kick him out at any moment, he found himself smiling. This was so much better than he’d expected, and he had every intention of taking advantage of anything Jude wanted to give him.
Jude hadn’t been angry at the way Nestor looked. He hadn’t told him he looked like a girl, that he had to get the makeup off his face. Their parents had never physically forced Nestor to do anything, mainly because Nestor was taller than both of them by the time he was fourteen, but they’d been vocal about what they thought of the way he looked. Jude, on the other hand, hadn’t batted an eyelash. He’d accepted Nestor the way he was, and even if he didn’t allow Nestor to stay, Nestor would always be grateful for that.
He stretched and pushed the blankets away. He hadn’t had a lot of time to look around yesterday, and now he found himself curious. He knew Jude hadn’t been here for long and that he’d only moved to Green Hill recently. He’d found a lot of that information on social media, which was how he’d found his brother.
He wouldn’t have known where to start otherwise. Their parents had kicked Jude out when Nestor was only four, and the thought of how many years they’d spent apart made Nestor want to go back and yell at them. They’d robbed Jude and Nestor of so much time together, and it was time they’d never recover. That didn’t mean they couldn’t have a relationship, though, and Nestor hoped whatever happened next, he and Jude would become close. He wanted a brother. He wanted a family, and hopefully, he’d found it.
He paused and listened for a moment, but everyone else in the apartment seemed to still be asleep. He started sliding his legs out of bed, but something heavy moved at the bottom of the mattress, making him freeze. The bundle of blanket that he’d pushed away seconds before moved, and a big head appeared from under it.
Nestor relaxed, finding himself smiling. “Hey, Duke.” How could Nestor not have felt the dog there? Duke was a gentle giant, but a giant. His body was stretched out over most of the bottom of the bed, and if Nestor hadn’t been so preoccupied, he’d have noticed him.
Duke yawned and started to untangle himself. Nestor reached out and tugged, helping him until Duke was able to get to his feet and started stretching. He was a big dog, but Nestor wasn’t intimidated. If anything, he liked that Duke wasn’t a yappy Chihuahua or a dog so small Nestor would be afraid to sit on him accidentally.
When Nestor opened the door, he paused and listened for a moment, but the apartment was silent. He had no idea what time it was. It would be easy for him to find out, but he was afraid of turning on his phone. He had no doubt his parents would have something to say about the fact that he’d run away, and he wasn’t ready to face any of it.
He padded out of the living room. He remembered where the bathroom was, so he paused there, taking care of business and washing his hands and face. He’d taken off his makeup yesterday, but there were still traces of color under his eyes. He rubbed extra hard, just in case Jude didn’t want to be reminded of how Nestor usually looked.
Nestor sighed. He supposed that if he and Jude were going to have any kind of relationship, Jude would know anyway. He might as well show himself in all his glory, and if Jude wasn’t happy with the way Nestor looked, Nestor would have to deal with it.
He swallowed. He’d have to face the music sooner rather than later. The thought was terrifying, especially since he hoped he’d found a family, but there was no way out of it.
Nestor wasn’t sure what to do. He’d never been comfortable spending time in the houses of people he didn’t know. And even though he and Jude were brothers, they hadn’t seen each other since Nestor was four. The fourteen years they’d lost meant they might as well be strangers, and the place felt like a stranger’s home.
Nestor supposed he should go back to the guest room, but instead, he walked around the living room. There wasn’t much to see. There were boxes still lining the wall, but several were open, as if someone had needed something they knew was in there. He didn’t dare poke into the boxes, and what they contained wasn’t his business, so instead, he headed to the kitchen. He needed coffee.