Peregrine has been on the run most of his life. His ability to heal makes him a target, and some people will go to any lengths to get their hands on him. But as long as he doesn’t heal anyone, his magic can’t be used to locate him. He’s safe in Rosewood, and for the first time in his twenty-nine years, he’s able to make friends.
Jarvis is dull. He’s not athletic or popular like his siblings, and he’s always been aware of that. Even his job at the coffee shop is boring, but he enjoys it, and it allows him to watch the people he wishes he could be friends with, including the newcomer, Peregrine.
Peregrine doesn’t understand why he’s intrigued by Jarvis until they get close and they realize they’re mates. It’s not just that, though. No matter how ordinary Jarvis thinks he is, he’s anything but, and Peregrine falls for the man he is, not for the bond between them.
When Jarvis is hurt, Peregrine doesn’t think twice about helping him. He can’t heal him, but he can take his pain away, even though it means the people who are after him will find him. Peregrine has to run again so he can keep Jarvis and the pack safe, but Jarvis is stubborn and follows him.
Will they be able to run fast enough that the people trying to capture Peregrine won’t get their hands on him? Or will Peregrine lose everything he never allowed himself to wish for right after he found it?
Peregrine peeked out of his bedroom. He could smell the delicious scents of coffee and bacon, and he yearned to go to the kitchen and have breakfast. He could hear Toby and Cam were still in the house, though, which was why he hadn’t headed that way. He knew they’d want to talk to him and try to be his friend, and while he understood why and was grateful, he couldn’t allow that to happen. The last thing he needed was to want to stay here in Rosewood.
Peregrine had never stayed anywhere for any length of time. He couldn’t afford to, not when he was still in danger. He’d been hunted all his life, and he would continue being hunted until he died. He’d accepted that a long time ago, and while he didn’t like it, by now, he knew how to make it easier.
Not having friends made it easy. Not having anyone to leave behind, anyone to put in danger, made it easy.
But Peregrine was sick of it.
He left his bedroom, but instead of going to the kitchen, he turned the other way and headed toward the back door and the forest. Ever since he’d arrived in Rosewood, he’d been spending as much time as possible there. Sometimes he shifted and slept in a tree. Sometimes he just walked around, relieved that he knew he was safe and that nothing would happen to him. He was still vigilant, but he couldn’t deny his life was easier now that he was in Rosewood.
It wouldn’t last long. It never did. The few times he’d stayed with people, everything had been fine in the beginning, but then things had changed. Someone got sick, and they begged Peregrine to heal them. Peregrine couldn’t say no. No matter how much he wanted to, he was a caladrius shifter, with everything that entailed. He had the ability to heal people, and he truly wanted to help. He hated that it was at the sacrifice of his own safety and happiness, but that had never stopped him.
He didn’t know how long it would be before the pack asked him to heal someone. They had two unicorn shifters, and at least one of them was studying to be a healer. That was good, and it meant that Peregrine might not be called to help for a while. If he didn’t heal, the people looking for him wouldn’t be able to find him.
That was what they looked for. They had a way to follow the magic he used to heal, and they always found him. The only times they hadn’t was when he hadn’t told anyone what he was and hadn’t healed anyone. It was tempting to do just that here in Rosewood, and Peregrine hoped the alpha wouldn’t ask him to heal anyone. He’d promised that wouldn’t be the case, but Peregrine had heard too many promises. If it came to it, Peregrine would have to run.
But in the meantime, no one knew he was here. No one knew who he was or what he was. That meant he didn’t have to stay in pack territory. Several people had already asked him if he wanted to go into town, but so far, he’d said no. He’d stuck to the forest, too scared of what could happen. He was still frightened, but for once, he wanted to live. He wanted to feel like he was a normal person, at least for a few hours. He couldn’t be sure what would happen tomorrow or the day after that, or even in the next hour. What he could be sure of was how he behaved, and he’d had enough of being locked inside. Even though he’d been the one to lock himself up, he was bored, and he wanted more.
He was already outside. Instead of going back into the house and telling Cam what he was doing, he looked around and headed to the road. The Rosewood pack was small, and it consisted of only a handful of houses clustered together with a big fire pit in the middle. The fact that there were so many rare shifters living here was stunning, and it made Peregrine feel like maybe he’d found a home.
He pushed that thought away as he walked down the road. No matter how much he wanted to find a place where he belonged and where he could stay, he knew better than to allow himself to believe that. It was too dangerous. What would happen if someone found out what he was? Then he would have to run, and he would lose it. It was best for him not to think of Rosewood as a home, not when he already knew what the future held for him. It didn’t take a seer to know. He’d allowed himself to hope too many times, and every single time, that hope had been squashed. He was done with hope, and he’d decided to focus on the present. It was the only thing he could do.
Thankfully, Rosewood wasn’t far from the pack. It was a nice day, and Peregrine enjoyed the sounds of the forest. Usually he hid in big cities so it would be harder for the people to catch him. There were more people, and he could vanish in the crowd much more easily than he ever could here in Rosewood.