Sage is in love with Reece, and he knows Reece is in love with him, even though Reece does his best to hide it. That’s what being an empath means for Sage—being able to feel other people’s emotions even if he doesn’t want to. It also means hiding what he is so people can’t take advantage of him like his alpha did, and now, he doesn’t know how to tell Reece—or if he should.
Carey is in Rosewood to protect two unicorn shifters. As a phoenix shifter, it’s an easy job for him, and he’s looking forward to discovering the town and the pack. He didn’t expect to meet his mate, but he’s over the moon. He doesn’t even care that Sage is in love with another guy. If anything, he’s happy about it. Who wouldn’t want two boyfriends, right?
Reece has been mourning since he lost his mate and their little girl. He’s been in love with Sage for almost as long as he’s been back in Rosewood, but he’s never done anything about it. He never planned to, either.
But then Carey barges into his and Sage’s life.
Reece doesn’t know if he can be with two men, especially since Sage and Carey share a mate bond, but it’s either try or be alone for the rest of his life—and he doesn’t know if he can do that, either.
Sage was in love with Reece.
He’d been in love with Reece since what felt like forever, even though he’d only been with the pack a few years. Reece had burrowed his way under Sage’s skin, though. It had always been that way, since the first time they saw each other, and Sage wasn’t sure what to do.
He knew Reece wanted him just as much. He could feel it. That was one of the curses that came with Sage’s gift.
He wasn’t a unicorn shifter. He couldn’t heal. Instead, he was an empath. He could feel what other people felt, and that made his life hell. He was used to it, and living with the pack had helped, because it didn’t have many members and no one thought anything of Sage mostly keeping to his house and the forest, but he still could feel what Reece felt for him every time he was with him, along with everything else he felt, which was why he hadn’t talked to him about it.
He knew Reece loved him, but he was also sad and wary, and he kept his distance. Sage might be able to feel his emotions, but he didn’t know why Reece felt the way he felt, and he wasn’t about to ask. If Reece wanted to tell him, he knew where to find him. He would come.
Except he hadn’t, not yet. Sage had stopped hoping he would. He’d stopped hoping there ever would be more between them than friendship.
“Sage? Are you okay?” Reece asked, waving his hand in front of Sage’s face.
Sage blinked and took a sip of soda to make it look like he knew what he was doing when he didn’t. “I’m fine.”
“You are? Because it doesn’t look like it.” Reece leaned closer. “What’s going on? Do you need anything?”
And that was one of the reasons Sage loved Reece. He was so caring, even though they were nothing to each other except neighbors. Reece was always there for Sage, whatever Sage needed. The same could be said about the rest of the pack, or at least, most of them, but Sage only had feelings for Reece.
And he didn’t know what to do about them.
Sage knew something was wrong. He also knew that there would never be anything between them, even though he couldn’t say why.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Reece continued. “Because it doesn’t look like it.”
Sage didn’t know what to tell Reece. It wasn’t like he could explain what his real problem was. That would probably send him running, and that was the last thing Sage needed.
He forced himself to smile. “I’m fine. How about you? How do you feel about your best friend finding his mate?”
Reece blinked. “How should I feel about that?”
“I don’t know. It probably isn’t easy for you, considering you and Frederic seemed to be attached at the hip until recently.”
Reece wrinkled his nose. “That’s not true.”
“But it is true that you’re best friends.”
“That doesn’t mean we were attached at the hip. We’re both adults. We both had other things to do. Besides, I spent years away from him and the pack. I can deal with this. Hell, I’ve dealt with worse.”
Sage raised his free hand. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
Reece shook his head. “You didn’t offend me. I just wasn’t aware that people thought we were so close. We are close, but we can survive without the other.”
Sage was sorry he’d asked. “Don’t mind me. I was trying to make conversation, and I’m clearly not good at it.”
Reece opened his mouth to speak, but just then someone approached them rapidly and Sage turned to look at him, puzzled. The man exuded a series of emotions Sage couldn’t read, or rather, they were too muddled for him to read them.
The man—Sage knew he was one of the twins who’d arrived to help protect the pack, and more importantly, Toby and his brother Sam—held a hand out to Sage.
Sage blinked and reached out to take it, thinking the man wanted to shake it, but instead, he pulled Sage closer, so close that his nose brushed against the skin of Sage’s neck as he leaned against him.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Reece snapped. He grabbed Sage’s arm and pulled him back, and to Sage’s relief, the man let him go.
“I’m Carey,” the twin said.
“I’m Sage, and this is Reece,” Sage said.
“And you haven’t told us what the fuck you were doing,” Reece said, his voice hard.
Sage wasn’t surprised to find Reece overprotective. He always was. That didn’t mean there was anything else to it, though.
Carey’s smile widened, which puzzled Sage. He was so used to being able to read people’s emotions that the other man’s feelings left him unsteady.
“He’s my mate,” Carey declared.
There was a moment of silence, and Sage tried to make sense of what Carey had said. He had to be talking about him, right? That was the only thing that made sense, since he’d pulled Sage close to sniff him.
“I’m sorry?” Reece asked, his voice slightly softer, hurt.
Sage’s chest tightened painfully. It was hard to breathe.
He hadn’t expected to meet his mate. He knew he had a mate out there somewhere, but what were the odds that he would find the man? On the other hand, he never expected anything to happen between him and Reece, so did that really matter? He and Reece might be in love with each other, but Carey was Sage’s mate. Sage should give him a chance.
“I said, he’s my mate,” Carey repeated.