Brayden watched as a myriad of emotions washed over his brother’s face. He hated seeing the hurt and uncertainty there. What Talon said blew him away, Brayden could feel his anger rising.
“Not to worry little one I’m going to teach you how to defend yourself.” Talon spoke softly to Javier.
Brayden stared at the fierce looking warrior stunned. “He’s blind, how are you going to teach him?” Brayden flinched as he the warrior’s face harden. Cold grey eyes stared through him and it sent a shiver running down the length of Brayden's spine. If looks could kill he would already be dead.
“Just because he can’t see doesn’t mean that he can’t use his other sense to protect himself.” Talon replied coldly. His hand taking possession of Javier’s arm as Talon pulled Javier closer to him. Javier smiled and leant further back into Talon’s hand.
“What will you teach him first?” Ingrid enquired. Brayden thought she seemed a little too pleased with this turn of events.
Talon didn’t even seem to think about it before answering. “I’ll start him off with his fists. Once he has that mastered we’ll move onto weaponry.”
“Weapons?” Quinlan asked. His surprise evident.
Again Talon answered with surety in his voice. “First the dagger, and then the sword. I will move onto everything else after that. He needs to be proficient in all of them.” When he heard a few gasps of disbelief he continued. “It’s not the eyes that will win you the fight. Fighting is instinctual. His hearing, and sense of smell are just as good in a battle. By the time I’m done Prince Javier will wield a sword just as good as any in the king’s guard.”
“With you teaching him, I dare say he will be better than most in the king’s guard.” Ingrid countered.
Talon bowed in her direction, “I thank you for that compliment.”
“I’m just stating a fact.” Ingrid replied.
“Are you all fucking nuts?” Brayden snapped. “This is my brother’s life you’re talking about. Are you purposely trying to get him killed?”
At the sound of the king’s consorts anger Talon moved Javier closer to him. Not that he thought Brayden would harm his own brother but Talon wanted to be ready non-the-less. Javier was his to protect now and that was something he was determined to do. “Your brother isn’t broken. He is fully capable of taking care of himself.”
The man in his arms turned and whispered so only Talon could hear. “I want to go back now. I don’t want to be here and listen to this… Please.”
Talon didn’t even have to think before he gently led his charge from the room. The other would soon learn that where Javier was concerned people would have to go through him if they planned on insulting the man—no matter who they were. Family or not—Javier would be protected.
A soft moan escaped Javier’s lips as the travelled through the castle corridors back to Javier’s residence.
“Are you alright, my prince?” Talon asked as he slipped his arm around his companion’s wist in support. He could feel the tension building in Javier’s body. Before another word could be spoken Talon swooped him up and raced toward the privacy of the prince’s rooms.
“Something’s wrong.” Javier ground out, and Talon felt the spasms arcing through his body.
By the time he placed Javier on his bed Talon knew they were in deep shit. The man’s body was pulsing and talon could feel the heat pouring off of the man. Shock filled his eyes s short bristly hairs punched through his skin then receded just as fast as they appeared. Pain was etched on the beautiful man. When Javier snatched out a hand and grabbed his forearm, Talon held back a shout of alarm as claws protruded from Javier’s fingertips and bit into Talon’s flesh. More shocking yet was the yowl which filled the room as Javier’s eyes flashed from human to resemble those of the wild panthers associated with the ancient ones. In that moment Talon was sure Javier could see in his newer form.
“Don’t tell anyone.” Javier begged him as another wave of pain washed through his body.
Talon didn’t speak as he lay on the bed and gathered the young man into his arms and held him close. If Javier wanted to keep his secrets than nothing and no one would hear anything from his lips. He would die before he betrayed his new found reason for living. Before he had come across Javier in the garden Talon had been seriously considering ending his life by his own hands. The fate of meeting Javier had changed everything Talon thought he knew about himself. He only hoped that if he was correct and Javier could see in his other form than he didn’t get scared by what he saw. Talon never wanted to be rejected by the man whose friendship had come to mean everything to him. How many hours had he sat and listened while Javier talked about his life and his dreams.
Before long the tremors changed and in an instant Talon found himself with his arms full of a very large black panther. His fur was a dark as the midnight sky. His eyes held a golden cast to them as he stared back at Talon. So the rumours were true. The ancient ones were being reborn… or was it re awakened? If this part of the legacy was true than what about the other parts. Once long ago many different shifter breeds co-existed in their world but over the centuries they were believed to have died out. But what he was seeing right now just proved how very wrong he truly was. If the ancient ones were still in existence then Talon could only assume the guild would once again be reawakening. They were the hunter of all shifter, believing them to be an abomination upon society.
The deep rumbling purr brought Talon back to the present as he realised the panther in his arms had snuggled closer and had fallen asleep. Content to rest where he was. When Talon tried to extract himself a low growl assaulted his ears and he stilled until the rumbling purr once again filled the room. Weirdly the sensation of it vibrating through Talon’s chest was comforting. As if the panther knew he was there for his protection.
“You are so beautiful. Even in this form you hold all my attention. I know now why I survived what happened to me in my youth. My mother tried to destroy who I was. The years have been hard yet now I know I survived because of you. I must have known one day you would come into my life and change my world.” Talon whispered as he nuzzled his face against the cats head.
As he lay there his thoughts drifted to something else he’d once read about. The true sentinels of Varnuse the five cousins who were destined to watch over the world. Were they real or just some child story written long ago? In truth he hoped they were real. With everything coming to pass they would need the help of Simian, Malacyte, Haydrian, Scarpeous, and Raevyn. The last was said to be the most feared as his destiny was as the punisher. If he were true than Talon knew they needed the five cousins on their side in what was to come.