Josep was furious when he gotten word that Vayne was going his separate way. He hated losing anyone who he had under his car for so long. Especially when that someone was as important as Vayne. Josep watched as Lucas packed their supplies including anything medical, which they might need for the journey to the High City. Consort Brayden and the babes were doing well since the ordeal of the birthing day. He was currently secured away with his family until it was time to go.
“He’s going after Simian again, isn’t he?” Lucas didn’t look around as he worked, but Josep knew who he was talking to.
“Yes.” Josep said. “He should have waited until we could send people with him instead of going off half-cocked and unprepared.”
“Who’s Simian?” King Quinlan asked as he entered the room. Josep looked over and smiled when he saw the king was bouncing as if he had a child in his arms. They called it the new born dance. And if anything was sure the king and his consort would be doing it for a long time, seeing as they had two babes to contend with.
“Where’s your family? Don’t tell me you’re hiding from them already?” Josep joked not exactly ignoring the question about Simian, but Josep needed time to work out how to explain. For the most part Simian was a well-kept secret that only three of the children of Varnuse knew about.
Quinlan smiled, “They’re in the back bedroom with Thayer, Fane, and Javier getting reacquainted as a family.”
“That’s good, family is important.” Josep said absently.
Brayden still couldn’t believe ‘Uncle’ Fane was his father’s mate. And as much as his brother, Javier seemed to accept it, Brayden found he couldn’t be as forgiving. He had suffered years of isolation at the hands of this man—a man who was supposed to love him no matter what.
He sat and warily watched on as Fane fussed over his father. The best part was his father had finally woken up two days ago. Brayden couldn’t deny the love he saw between the two men, because it seemed to be exactly the same way he looked at Quinlan anytime they were within sight of each other.
He just didn’t like it. Not when his head was so easily thrown back into the past and all the pain he’d lived through.
“Brayden, come sit by me.” His father patted the side of the bed.
Brayden nodded and walked over and sat. His hand automatically going out to caress the top of his daughter’s head. Petra had been a surprise, but was no less loved than her brother Xavier. Both children lay on the bed between their grandfathers. Smiling, he realised his children were the future; he wondered what their lives would be like. And what Killian and Larkin would make of their new siblings. He smiled as he thought of Quin’s sons. Brayden wasn’t ashamed that he missed them both terribly. He only worried they’d be upset with him for being gone so long and for taking their daddy away.
“Son,” Brayden flinched as Fane reached for him.
“Don’t,” Brayden said as he brought his hand back into his lap.
“Brayden?” Brayden leaned into his brother’s embrace as Javier wrapped an arm around him. “He’s not the bad guy here.”
“Then who is. I saw Ormand where they had us locked up. More than once he told me Fane was a part of their sect.”
“That’s a lie.” Fane choked out. “I would never betray Thayer like that. I love my mate, and my children.”
His father reached out and clasped Brayden’s hand. “Please, for my sake can you try?”
“Okay, I’ll try. I can’t promise any more than that.” Brayden agreed.
“Thank you.” Fane said
Brayden looked up at the knock at the door. Andrej walked in and greeted them all. “I’ve done some research into the birth of females of the old ones. Sadly to say there hasn’t been any female births recorded in the history of the old ones.” Andrej stated apologetically. “I’m afraid we’ll be watching on with everyone else to see where her path lies in life.”
Brayden gazed down at his beautiful children. How would life turn out for an unknown entity? How many enemies would come at her? Luckily she had three older brothers who would look out for her He hoped her life would be a hell of a lot easier than his own had been. Brayden wanted to promise his children—all four of them—he’d be there for them always, but the past few months had proven this was one promise that could easily be broken.
Quinlan made his way back to the bedroom his family was all in. it was time to start getting them ready. Their belongings had already been gathered together, and now it was just a matter of getting his loved ones and making the journey home.
Leaning against the doorframe he watched at the heartbroken look on his husband’s face. “What is wrong my love?” He came and knelt on the floor beside him. Wanting to take away whatever hurt his husband might bear.
“I want to go home. I want to go and get Killian and Larkin and take our family home.” He whispered as he leaned into his Quinlan, Quinlan couldn’t help wrapping his arms around him in return. “Please Quin, can we go and get our boys?”
Quinlan kissed Brayden’s temple. “Of course, my love. The boys will be ecstatic to meet there new brother and sister.”
Quinlan turned toward the door and said to Josep who had followed. “I’m still waiting on an answer. You still haven’t explained who Simian is?”
Sighing, Josep rubbed his hands roughly over his face. “Simian is special. Simian is—actually even we—the children of Varnuse, aren’t quite sure what Simian is. He came to us five years ago when he was in his teens, he’s twenty three now. Simian disappeared six months ago. It has recently come to light Simian is also Vayne’s fated mate—Vayne hid it well.”
“And now he’s gone after this Simian, his mate?” Quinlan asked.
“Yes, Arron overheard Ormand tell Vayne he was the one who had gotten rid of Simian. He also heard Vayne threaten to kill Ormand.”
Quinlan growled at the madness of the whole thing. They should be banding together instead of breaking up into smaller groups. “Should we be worried?”
“Yes,” Thayer shuddered, “If he takes Ormand’s life, Tondran will seek vengeance. He may say he doesn’t care whether or not his son lives, but if Ormand dies then there’ll be hell to pay.”
“We need to get home,” Quinlan stated matter of factly. “We also need to send people to back up Vayne. But if they are going to bring the fight to us then I want it to be on our grounds where we have the best advantage.”
“You better send someone good at tracking. If they can find him…” Josep paused and appeared to be caught up in his own thoughts before he continued. “Vayne is a master of being unseen. If he wants to stay hidden there’s no hope in hell anyone we send will find him. No matter how hard they search. There’s only one person I can think of who might have a chance in tracking him down.”
“And just who is that?” Quinlan asked.
“Arron… Simian’s other mate. The only problem with that situation is Vayne and Arron rarely see eye to eye on anything.”
Lucas snorted. “More like they hate each other.”
“Exactly!” Josep agreed.
“So what do we do?” Quinlan asked.
“We wait. Arron will follow Vayne regardless of what anyone tells him. They’ll come back to us once they find Simian, or find his body.”
Quinlan stood up. “Then we go home.” He looked around the room at all his troupe who had seemed to gather in the bedroom with them. “We go home and prepare for any new old ones who will come to us for protection.”
“Why do you think they’ll come to us?” Lucas asked.
“Because, home is where the sentinels are. Home is where they’ll find their mates.”
Quinlan hated the way they’d left and hadn’t confronted Tondran for his part in all of this. He’d wanted to call all his sentinels in and wipe Tondran and his followers off the face of the world. They didn’t deserve to live after what they’d done to his husband and his family. Quinlan had finally gotten the Children of Varnuse to agree to make a hit on Tondran and his inner circle. But when they got back to the compound, it had been cleaned out. Not a single living soul was there to be found. The only thing they did find was Ormand’s body with the symbol for revenge carved into his chest. Quinlan shivered and wondered if it was Vayne or Arron who had done it, as both men had since disappeared without a trace.
“Do you think Vayne did this? Or Arron?” Quinlan asked as he tore down the drapes and tossed them atop the lifeless body.
Lucas shrugged, “If they did, then I hope they found out what they needed to know about Simian before they killed him.”
“I just hope they find Simian.” Josep added.
Standing Quinlan looked around the trashed room, “Where do you think Tondran has gone?”
“We stole back the old ones. My best guess is Tondran wants Brayden back, and will do anything to get him—Tondran doesn’t like to lose.” Quinlan watched as Lucas ran a hand through his hair then walked over to lean against Josep’s side. “I’d say he’s probably out recruiting more warriors to launch his attack on the High City.”
“Then I say we break camp and head home.” Quinlan thought it was a bit early to be travelling with his new born children, but he also needed to get home so that his other sons were also kept safe. Larkin and Killian would be worried about him having been gone so long, and whether or not he’d rescued Brayden.
“You seemed so far away,” Josep laid a gentle hand on Quinlan’s shoulder.
Quinlan smiled sadly, “I’m missing my sons, Killian and Larkin. They’ll have grown so much since I’ve been gone.”
“How old are they?” Lucas asked.
“Larkin is almost five-years-old and Killian is just about to turn three.”
Lucas smiled. “And by the look on your face I can tell that you are missing them a great deal.”
“To be honest before Brayden came back to me I didn’t have much interaction with my children at all—well not as much as I would’ve liked. Since Brayden and I married they’ve been with us every day,” Quinlan replied honestly.
“Then we should hurry and return home to our sons.” They turned at the sound of Brayden’s voice. “I’ve had enough of this damn compound to last me several lifetimes.”
“As have I, love.” Quinlan held out his hand and pulled Brayden to his side. “Let’s head home so our family can be whole.”