Kyle's world is falling apart. His mate saved his long lost brother at the expense of his life and every hour Jay slips a little further away. He can't stand to do nothing and simply wait for the end, so he goes after the witch that hurt his mate. If there's a chance, just the slightest chance he can bring Jay back to him, he'll take it. No matter what the cost.
Forcing his alpha powers to manifest is dangerous and his jaguar becomes unstable without their mate to ground them. Kyle is losing the ability to tell friend from foe.
Jay speaks to him in his dreams and that small contact lends him the strength to take on Katrianna and all her stolen evil power. He'll do anything it takes to save Jay, even burn the world to ashes.
So it had come to this. Kyle didn’t know what the hell was going on, only that things had turned to shit. Utterly and completely Fubar.
When his father had come to get them saying Nikko was dying and the doctor had suggested they say their goodbyes he’d been so shell shocked that he’d shut down and gone numb. The only thing Kyle had been thinking about was getting to his brother as fast as he could.
Without bothering to pull on more clothes, he’d just run through the house in his boxers. While nudity wasn’t a big thing for shifters, he usually tried to respect Jay’s wishes for others not to see him naked. It wasn’t until he’d reached the medical hall that he realised Jay wasn’t with him.
He couldn’t feel Jay through their bond either, but that wasn’t unusual these days. With all the crap that had been thrown at them he didn’t blame Jay for shutting him out.
It hurt, but he understood.
At first Kyle wanted to go back and check that Jay was alright. He was about to give in and turn back to get his mate when he spotted Mam weeping over Nikko’s bedside and he stopped thinking altogether and ran over to his mother and brother.
The medical bed Nikko lay in had bars on the side that were folded down and there were more machines than there had been earlier, all attached to Nikko by a labyrinth of thin wires.
The heart monitor still beeped and registered a heartbeat, but it was sluggish and getting slower even as he stood there. Mam cried quietly and he put a hand on her shoulder in support and comfort.
Kyle was just sort of numb.
After everything, they’d still been too late. Nikko was going to die and he couldn’t stop it. How useless was he? He was an Alpha. He should be able to protect his family.
Instead, anything he did seemed to be one step forward two steps back. And now he was losing his brother and his mate was pulling away from him, too. Their mate bond was so quiet it almost felt as if he were alone like before he and Jay had reconnected. It was lonely and cold. His jaguar wanted to roar at the injustice.
When did things start going to hell?
“Come on, Nikko. You have to wake up. I’ve always wanted a brother to run and explore the forest with. You need to wake up and meet Mam, Papa and my mate. We came as soon as we knew about you, I swear we did.” He kept talking, staring down at Nikko’s pale, gaunt face and it was as if he was speaking to an empty shell. He couldn’t even pick up any scent of jaguar on the man lying in the bed. “Please wake up.”
If Nikko’s cat was gone then there was no hope at all. Nikko was just too frail and weak to fight any longer.
“Kyle,” Papa called, snapping him out of the misery. His father was standing next to the chair where Mam was sitting in a daze. Papa hadn’t been exaggerating when he said she’d been sedated. His father held out a shirt and a pair of jeans for him.
“We’re losing him, aren’t we?” He pulled on the clothes and looked to his father for answers even though he was scared to hear them.
“Yes. We got him out as soon as we could but what they did to him, the condition he was in...it was just too much damage and trauma for him to take after being kept in such conditions,” Papa said quietly looking down at his mate with deep sorrow and pain.
Mam was going to lose it.
“What are we going to do?”
“I don’t know, son. I just don’t know,” Papa answered hoarsely, holding out his hand for Kyle to take.
Kyle took the offered hand and let his father pull him in close. The three of them stayed that way as the beeps continued to slow.
Over the past few days more shifters had turned up at their door, tired, hungry and needing sanctuary and heeling. Every pack they could contact had hit at least one of the hunter hold-outs, but not all of them had the means to support the extra shifters in need of a lot of help.
So the rescued shifters were being divided between Pack Valley, Moonlight Mountain and a few of the smaller packs that had a lot of territory.
The state of some of the shifters was truly shocking. None of them had been there quite as long as Nikko from what they could tell but some of them were as young as eight years old. Several couples and families in the pack had come forward to see if any of the children wanted to come home with them and most had found the right fit. However there were one or two older children that refused to go anywhere else and were staying here.
One little boy, Kane, was nine years old and remembered his parents being killed in front of him when he was about four. He could even recount the screams and the smell of burning flesh as he watched the hunters burn his house to the ground.
Just hearing the story had Kyle’s jaguar up and roaring at the injustice and cruelty of such a sweet little boy having his childhood stolen from him.