Delevan has seen almost everyone in the pride find their mate and live happily ever after, and he’s tired of waiting for his turn. He might be happier than he’s ever been before, but he’s still missing something, and he wants to find it.
The last thing Blair expected when he moved to Whitedell to train was to meet his mate, and he certainly didn’t expect to be paired to Alpha Dominic Nash’s son. Not only is Blair a bit intimidated by Alpha Nash, but he’s also committed an unpardonable faux pas—before meeting Delevan, he slept with Benjamin, one of the few single pride members.
Before Delevan and Blair manage to dissipate the tension between them, the mole finally reveals himself and puts Delevan’s life in danger. Delevan survives, but how will what happened to him, and the mole’s identity, influence his relationship with Blair? Will Delevan finally find the piece he’s been missing, or will he lose everything to the hunters?
Delevan mixed the sauce again, and the scent of garlic and basil wafted up from the pot. Someone entered the kitchen and he turned to look. It was Adan, and as much as Delevan might like the guy, he didn’t really feel up to chatting. He couldn’t tell Adan to leave, though, so he kept his mouth shut and turned back to his pot.
“That smells good,” Adan said.
“Is it lunch?”
Delevan nodded and added a bit more basil to the sauce. In his opinion, there was no such thing as too much basil. “Yeah.”
“I thought lunch was everyone on their own?”
“It is, but I like to cook. Helps me relax.”
And most of all, the pots and pans didn’t want Delevan to talk. He guessed that even if they did, his whining would bore them. He’d tried to stop, but how could he when people kept pairing off while he remained pathetically alone?
Delevan loved his dad, and even Ani, his dad’s mate. He loved living in the mansion, even with all the people in it, but that didn’t mean he felt like he belonged. He didn’t, most of the time. He hadn’t found out he was a shifter until he’d been thirteen and had shifted in his room. He’d had no idea what was happening, and most of the time he still didn’t.
He had friends, but they were all mated, so Delevan spent most of his time on his own, when he wasn’t working or swimming. He hated it. He was also jealous as fuck, but more than that, it made him sad. Would his turn ever arrive?
“Can I sit?” Adan asked, reminding Delevan of his presence.
Delevan knew he wasn’t making things easy for Adan, and it made him feel guilty. The guy had just woken up after spending a year in a catatonic state. He probably wanted to make friends, and Delevan would usually have been nicer, but he was bitchy these days. He didn’t think Adan wanted to hear him whine, so it was probably a good idea for him to keep his mouth shut, if anything to avoid offending Adan.
“You’re Dominic’s son?” Adan asked, breaking the silence.
Delevan smiled at his pot. He loved his dad, so much, and that wasn’t something he’d expected could happen only a year before. “Yeah.” The best thing Delevan had ever done was leaving his mother to find his dad. He’d not only found an entire family in the pride, but also the man who was the most important person in Delevan’s life right now.
Adan sounded like he didn’t know how to finish that sentence. Delevan took pity on him. “It’s cool. I didn’t know he was my dad until a year ago.”
“Yeah. My mom never told me my father was still alive. Well, I’m not sure she knew where he was, but she did know who he was. She should have told me.” She definitely should have. That was the reason Delevan hadn’t talked to her ever since he’d left home—her house.
“But you found him.”
“And now you’re happy.”
“Yeah. I’m happy.” Mostly. Delevan liked his job, loved his family, but he still felt like a huge piece was missing from his life. He knew it was his mate, and it still stunned him. He’d never been one for dreams of family and kids, but ever since he’d found out about mates, he’d wanted to meet his. He still hadn’t, and it made him sad every time he thought about it.
Silence fell again, and Delevan decided to make an effort. “So, you just woke up?”
“Uh, yes. I was in a catatonic state.”
“I have no idea what that is.” Jared had tried to explain, but Delevan’s mind had checked out when he’d started talking.
Delevan added a pinch of salt to the sauce and checked whether the water in the other pot was boiling. It was, so he dumped the pasta in and stirred it so it wouldn’t stick.
“It’s, well, I was there, but not really. Like I couldn’t move, even though I was awake. It’s kind of hard to explain.”
“You don’t have to.”
“It’s a great conversation topic, though.”
Delevan frowned and looked at Adan. He couldn’t really think catatonia was a good topic, right?
Adan grinned, and Delevan smiled back without thinking about it. “Right. That was sarcasm?”
“More like I was trying to get your attention, and since I’m not a pot...”
“I don’t think you want that, not if you want to eat lunch.”
“Oh, you’re right. Check the pots, please.”
Delevan smiled again and did as he was told. The sauce was ready, so he turned off the heat under it and stirred the pasta again. “Do you know who’s eating with us?”
“Yanis and Ira for sure. I’m guessing Shad, too, but I don’t know about the rest.”
“Dad and Ani will probably come down, and maybe Gabriel.” Delevan was relieved he’d dumped enough pasta into the pot. It was true that lunch was everyone for themselves, but he was cooking, and he didn’t want anyone to have to cook and eat something else just because he hadn’t cooked enough.
“Should I go fetch Yanis and Ira?”
Adan left the kitchen and Delevan left a pile of plates, silverware, and glasses out on the counter for the others to set the table.
Adan was back almost right away and he started setting the table, so Delevan went back to the stove. The kitchen door opened again, but Delevan didn’t turn, not until someone asked, “Can I do something to help?”
Delevan jerked toward the voice. “Who are you?”
The man blinked. “Blair Stanley.”
Delevan put his spoon down and cleaned his hands on the towel he kept hooked at his belt. “You’re not a pride member.”