When war calls the Sons of Evenmore answer...who else will stand at their side?
Attacks are becoming more frequent. The Sons of Evenmore soon realise all isn't what it appears. The people fighting them seem to be confused about just whose side they're on.
The war continues as Jhex, Mercer, and Dom find out the path to being mates can be as rough as any battle they've ever fought.
Outside help is called in and Alpha Scott Creely answers. It would seem they have the same enemy, and need to share information if they want to survive what's coming for them.
So much had happened in the Evenmore Coven since Mannix had found his mate--especially since his mate had turned out to be the Crimson Grimoire, the keeper of all the truest histories for every known species, and now the most wanted man in the known world. Everyone wanted to get their hands on Jynx and the powers he possessed. Little did they know Jynx didn't have complete control over his gift. At the moment he just blurted out random shit at odd times and then couldn't remember what he had said as soon as he'd finished speaking. As weird as the guy was, Jynx was still one of Jhex's best friends.
Jhex watched the people who were sitting in the cafeteria with him. Once upon a time there was only his family living in the Evenmore Compound, and now there were so many different people it made Jhex's head spin. Lately all he wanted to do was make use of his powers and freeze them all just so he could get five minutes of peace and quiet.
They never had to go out and find the war because the damn thing was coming to them. A lot of people grumbled and placed the blame firmly on the shoulders of the Ring of Olluns, yet it didn't stop them from coming and seeking shelter and protection from them. Since it was now known the Evenmore Coven had taken in the Olluns and joined forces with the Cervola wolf pack, every damn day it seemed like someone new was knocking at the door seeking asylum. Luckily, after a few near assassinations and kidnapping attempts on Jynx's life, there were now measures put in place to weed out those who weren't truly seeking sanctuary.
His gaze locked onto his friend and he smiled. In the past few months Jynx had let his hair grow out. Strangely it seemed to grow a lot faster than a normal person's, and was already brushing against the tops of his shoulders. His midnight dark hair stood out in contrast to the snow white colour of his mate's hair. They appeared deep in conversation and by the frown on Mannix's face Jhex could only assume they were once again discussing Phoenix, the younger brother of Mannix, and Braxx. The poor guy still hadn't woken up from his ordeal with the humans who had captured and tortured him. In fact, Phoenix's ongoing coma was a worry to all. They needed him awake so he could fill them in on who had betrayed him. So many questions left unanswered. Every time they contacted the Challus Coven their answers were always evasive. It seemed almost as if the members were too scared to tell them what was going on. If Phoenix didn't wake up soon, Knox was going to send someone into the Challus Coven's territory to find out what the hell was going on.
Mercer had already volunteered to go--and didn't that just feel like a kick in the arse!
As things now stood, Mercer was still refusing to claim him--the fucker. Each time a full moon was headed their way Mercer was always off on some mission, and then argued how until he was certain there would be no claiming. The problem was without him being around during the full moon there was never going to be a chance for Mercer to be certain. The way things were going it was looking more and more like the man just didn't want to have anything to do with him. Most people thought it was hilarious, but the teasing among his coven was starting to get to him. Now all he did was try and avoid everyone, which was getting harder to do. Hence the reason he was now sitting by himself sipping on a cup of AB negative. At least alone he didn't have to listen to anyone's taunts.
Jhex was really starting to believe there was something wrong with him. You'd think with everyone now living together I'd find it easier to make friends. Why the hell is everyone avoiding me? Even his best friend Jynx always appeared to be busy.
The sound of someone speaking so close made him jump, making him feel foolish. Quickly looking up, he smiled at Dominic Cervola. He wondered how long the man had been standing there.
"Jhex, are you even listening to me?" Dom demanded as he slid into the chair opposite him.
With a shake of his head, he asked, "Could you repeat the question?"
"I asked if I could sit here with you."
"Sure." Jhex smiled. Dominic--or Dom as he preferred to be called--had a way of making everyone around him feel comfortable.
Jhex had always believed the man would have been more suited as the omega rather than the pack beta. He supposed being the alpha's brother determined his destiny since he was young. Dom wasn't exactly pretty, yet in Jhex's opinion he did have the most amazing tawny coloured eyes which appeared almost molten when you looked into their depths. Dom usually had well-trimmed, dark if somewhat scraggly chic, long hair. The way it was now had Jhex believing the guy had lost a bet and had let someone cut it blindfolded. For being a pack beta the guy was all right; not uptight like other pack betas he'd met in his life time, mainly because he was one of the few people who didn't mind sitting and having a conversation with Jhex.
"Where's Mercer? Haven't seen him around lately."
"How would I know?" Jhex shrugged. "The man hardly ever talks to me--it's like I have the black plague or something. In case you haven't noticed, most people act like I don't exist anymore." He couldn't help the bitterness which saturated his voice.
Dom grinned at him. "I don't know why people treat you that way. I think you're a hoot to be around."
At least someone didn't mind being in his presence. Lately his own coven hadn't been ignoring him exactly, but since the fiasco at the pack mall they had kept him under a watchful eye, and just like Jynx, he'd been banned from leaving the coven compound. You get kidnapped by the enemy once and no one lets you live it down--he was dubbed a screw-up for life. His attention came back to the here and now when Dom spoke.
"Do you want to go to the movies with me? I hear Thor: The Dark World is supposed to be pretty good."
The question threw Jhex for a moment and his brain had to do a double take for the words to sink in. "Are you asking me out on a date? A real date?"
"Yeah, yeah I am. I've been cooped up in this place for way too long and I feel the need to get out before I go bat-shit-crazy."
"I'm in." Jhex wanted to fist pump the air. This one small invitation had lightened his mood considerably. "What time do you want to sneak out of here? Because I can guarantee you the coven won't want me going out into the populace on my own. Three months since I was taken and they are still watching me like a hawk."
A deep chuckle resonated from Dom. "Have you ever thought they worry about you so much because they care what happens to you?"
"More like they don't want me to screw-up again. Mercer is still blaming me for getting kidnapped from the mall all those months ago when we went to rescue Jynx. Was it my fault someone knocked me out and carried my arse away?" Jhex snorted in disgust.
Again Dom chuckled before he spoke. "That day was pretty crazy." Leaning in, he added, "If you want to know the truth I'm a touch freaked out by Mannix's mate."
"Jynx? Why? He's one of the sweetest and most trustworthy guys I've ever met." Jhex was quick to jump in and defend his friend.
A blush made its way across Dom's skin; weirdly Jhex thought it made the man more appealing, if that was possible. Dom took a deep breath and Jhex wondered if he was trying to work out what to say. "He says stuff which has a way of coming true. I know he's the Grimoire, but he seems to know the future as well as the past."
Jhex had to wonder. "Did he say something about you?"
Dom's blush deepened. "He said some things--I'm not sure whether I quite believe them or not."
"Like what?" He then smacked himself on the forehead for his bluntness. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but know I'm here if you ever need to talk. Jynx tells me I'm a good listener," Jhex offered. He wanted to make sure Dom knew he was serious. "I promise anything you tell me will just remain between us."
"Thanks. Actually, he was the one who suggested I should ask you out."
Jhex sat there and sipped at his cup of blood, studying Dom as he ate his lunch. He wanted to know what his friend had said to Dom, but knew Dom wouldn't tell him until he was ready to. Instead of asking, he changed the subject. "So, what time are we going on our date?"
Swallowing the food in his mouth, Dom replied, "If we catch an earlier viewing, maybe we could go out for dinner afterward, what do you think?"
"Oooh, dinner and a movie. I'd like that, but sadly, I doubt there is anywhere that caters to my dietary needs."
The flush on Dom's cheeks deepened further. "Yeah, I guess I didn't really think about those needs. Pretty stupid, huh?"
The sincerity in Dom's voice had Jhex fighting not to laugh at the man. "We can still go out and watch the movie though. I'd really like to go out with you--as a friend, I mean."
"Really?" The smiled aimed at Jhex lit up Dom's face like a Christmas tree, making Jhex feel all warm inside.
"Yeah, really. So what time is good for you?" Jhex asked.
Dom pulled out his phone and Jhex assumed he was looking up session times. "They have the movie playing at four-thirty, seven, or nine-thirty p.m. Which would you prefer?"
"If we go to the one at seven maybe we can get back before anyone realises we aren't here."
A frown formed on Dom's face. "Don't you want anyone knowing we're going on a date?"
"I swear it's not like that. I told you; since I got kidnapped the coven has basically kept me in lockdown. I'm the youngest person in our coven and everyone thinks it gives them the right to boss me around and run my life." And seriously I'm getting sick to fucking death of it.
"If you tell them you're going to be with me they shouldn't worry. Would they be more lenient if we take some of the pack enforcers with us as guards?"
"No!" Jhex blurted out a little more forcefully than he intended. This time it was his turn to blush as more than a few people focused on him and Dom. Taking a deep breath, he tried again. "What I meant was I want to go out on a date with you. I don't want a chaperone to follow us around."
Dom nodded and Jhex felt himself relax when his companion spoke, "So how's your day been? Anything exciting happen while I was out on patrol?"
Nervous laughter bubbled out of him. "Same ol'--same ol'. Me doing my job and everyone ignoring me, or making--" Jhex bit his words off, not wanting to let all his insecurities show before their date. No need to scare off a potential friendship before it even really started.
The fire in Dom's eyes flared for a moment. "Finish the sentence, Jhex. I want to hear the rest of what you were going to say."
"It's nothing. No use complaining because no one wants to hear about all my problems," he answered with a shrug. Why can't I keep my mouth shut and stop every little thought from falling out of my head?
"I wouldn't have asked if I truly didn't want to know." The honesty in Dom's voice was compelling. "Now finish your sentence."
His internal argument slowed to a whisper as he got the nerve to reply. "Mercer's still refusing to claim me like the rest of the Olluns did with my coven. It's not like I want the big galute to mate with me anyway--good riddance I say." It was a lie, but Jhex was trying to hold onto his pride. He didn't need everyone else knowing how much it pissed him off to be shunned by the Ollun. He honestly understood Mercer's reasoning--but still...
"But it smarts," Dom stated as if he saw right through Jhex's lie, "because everyone else agreed to the connection, except Mercer."
How Dom hit the nail on the top of the head simply amazed Jhex. The longer he knew Dom the more he realised how much the man understood him. He wished his own coven knew him half as well as Dom did. Maybe then they would pull their heads out of their arses and see how much their actions hurt and pissed him off by the way they were treating him. So far he'd kept his temper in check. How much longer he was able to do so was anyone's guess.
"You're right. I can't work out what's so wrong with me--why he keeps rejecting me." And that right there was the whole crux of the situation, wasn't it?
Mercer didn't want him.
Dom snorted as he pushed his now empty plate to the side of the table. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with you. For what it's worth--I think you're perfect the way you are."
Heat suffused Jhex's whole body at the compliment. He wanted to believe Dom's words, but he knew real life wasn't always happily ever-after--that rarely happened. Take what happened to Mannix and Jynx when they first met. As much as they loved each other, even their relationship hadn't run smoothly. Jynx had almost killed himself when he thought Mannix didn't want him. Jynx's body had begun the ending process to shut down and free Mannix of their bond, it'd taken tracking him down and one hell of a battle with the enemy before Jynx worked out he wasn't going to die, and then it took some convincing on top of it.
Now didn't that scenario sound familiar?
"Thank you," Jhex mumbled when he finally found his voice. "You're a really good friend. I appreciate you trying to cheer me up, and for asking me on a date. It feels like I haven't done anything fun in ages." The way Dom smiled at him in return was a mixture of emotions and Jhex couldn't quite put his finger on what was happening.