Dawn was fast approaching and Brayden feared what was coming their way. He knew Tondran was a man with an evil so pure in his heart that he would allow nothing and no one stand in his way to get what he wanted. It had taken him since the day he’d first been kidnapped to this very moment to work out why Tondran seemed so familiar to him.
“Father?” Brayden patted his father’s face gently. “Father, I need to ask you something important.”
His father’s eyes slowly opened as he blinked up at him. Brayden could tell his father was filled with sorrow and pain. “Father, is Tondran, Ormand’s father?”
“Yes,” His father rasped out. “Ormand is Tondran’s son.”
Brayden nodded. His thoughts scrambled as he tried to make sense of everything—it seems the apple truly didn’t fall far from the tree. Now so many of the things Ormand had done to him throughout the years was beginning to make some kind of sense. “Father, did…” his words trailed off as the cell door opened and their guard Josep stepped in.
“It would seem fate is smiling down upon you today. Tondran has been called away and he has postponed the king’s death until his return. I’ll let nothing happen to you between now and then.” He bowed in Brayden’s direction.
“Do you know when he’ll be back?” Brayden asked. He tried to put as much bravery into his words as possible, even though his insides quaked. He needed to know exactly how much time he had to figure out a plan of escape for both him and his father.
“At this stage Tondran’s return is undetermined.” A smile appeared on Josep’s face. “It seems there’s a small group of people in town asking questions about you. Tondran has personally gone out to see if it’s true. Once he knows for sure he will be back.”
“Quin!” Brayden blurted out. Both excitement and fear flooded him as he thought of his husband being so close. How he’d missed the man.
Josep nodded, “It seems you were right all along—your husband really did come for you. Not that it matters much because from what I’ve heard in the tunnels word is he’s greatly outnumbered.”
“Tondran is setting a trap, isn’t he?” Brayden gently stroked his father’s arm. He needed some sort of touch stone to keep him sane. Brayden knew he needed to get word to Quin, but how? “Quinlan needs to be warned.”
“Yes, at least that’s what I’ve heard. And yes, the King needs to know what he’s walking into.” Josep walked over and knelt beside Brayden and his father as he spoke. Handing him a piece of paper and a pen he continued. “I may not succeed in getting to him, but I need you to write something on here for King Quinlan so he knows I’ve come to him in regards to you. If I could take the two of you out of here with me I would, but this place is still too well guarded. I’m leaving someone I trust to keep you safe while I’m gone. His name is Lucas… he’s my… he’ll look after you, I promise.”
Brayden grabbed the paper and pen and hastily scribbled a note to his husband. He poured out all his love and fear in those few short paragraphs, and then he wrote the one thing to let Quinlan know it was from him. Folding the paper he handed it back to Josep.
“Go in peace. May the fates keep you safe upon your journey.” Brayden squeezed Josep’s hand and watched him leave. Hopefully Quinlan wouldn’t kill the man on sight—hopefully his husband would take the time listen to what Josep had to say.
“I’m telling you they know we’re coming,” Talon threw his hands in the air as he ranted. “Somehow they know where we are. We have to get out of here—not leave, just move somewhere else. Somewhere they won’t expect us to be.”
Quinlan was frustrated as hell at this turn of events. He was so close to getting Brayden back, and this little set back was beginning to piss him off. Quinlan knew Brayden was somewhere in this town. For the pure fact his double heart beat was almost now completely in sync. He’d never even truly noticed he’d had two heart beats until after Brayden was taken from him. Strangely he liked knowing the out of sync beat meant something had happened to Brayden. The truth was it was like his early warning signal, and if he reacted fast enough he could stop events from happening before Brayden was forced from the castle again.
“Where do you think we should go? I agree to move as long as you all remember one thing. I’m not going home until my husband is once more safe in my arms. I won’t leave here without Brayden.” Quinlan growled at the eleven men and one woman that surrounded him. They all needed to know his thoughts because no one was going to change his mind.
“No one expects you to Quin,” Ingrid clamped a hand on his shoulder. “None of us want to leave without the return of our loved ones.”
The movement of her fingers against his collar bone were subtle but Quin knew exactly what she was saying. Someone was watching them. The sentinels with them also had their eyes glued to Ingrid’s fingers and the message they told. With very little movement everyone went on alert. Hands slowly reaching for weapons as they listened for what was out there.
Josep stood further back in the shadows and watched the group of people standing just a few feet away from him. He knew somewhere else in the dark he had three other people watching this group, and they all were in the same situation he was in—under Tondran’s thumb, with no means of escape. That was until Brayden had come into their lives. Each of these three men present here, and the few who remained on alert helping Lucas keep Brayden safe had sworn on their lives to serve the old ones. Since King Thayer had been captured they had been activated, and now it was their now sworn duty to help this group rescue the two men being held captive.
Taking a deep breath he stepped out of the shadows and spoke.
“I have a message for King Quinlan,” he held his hands out in front of him and slowly turned showing he wore no weapons. “Consort Brayden has written a note, so you can see I tell no lies.” He took a step towards them. “The note is in my breast pocket. If one of you could come and get it I would be grateful. I don’t wish to make any sudden moves that might cause me to end up dead.”
Quinlan strode over and relieved the man of his note, opening it he began to read.
My love, if you are reading this now you know I’m still alive and that the babe is okay. I cannot say the same for my Father. He’s been beaten to within an inch of his life. The man that gives you this note is called Josep MacLean… he’s a good man who has been kind to me. He’s come to tell you of a trap being set for you my love. It turns out Tondran who is the father of Ormand, has decided he’s going to be my new mate. Father says you cannot allow this to happen. If you die then I do as well. So stay safe my love, because I need you still. Both the babe and I need you in our lives.
I felt Xavier kick again today. I know our son is also fighting to get back to you. I hate it here. I want to come home to you and our sons. Please let Josep help you. I think when we leave this place we may have a few more people going with us than who you came with.
I love you so much… your husband… Bray.
With that one mention of his unborn son’s name relief flooded him when Quinlan knew for certain Josep was telling the truth.
“Take me to my husband.”