Crimson Redhawk shook his head in wonder. He watched the three men who had stopped in for supplies leave his village and he had the strange urge to call out to them and get them to stay. Vayne and Arron were two of the strangest men he’d ever met in his life. Honestly, it seemed as though they both loved and hated each other at the same time—confusing as hell if you asked Crimson. Dominic Bourke was another matter entirely. Not only was a strange one, Crimson had yet to work out what the hell was going on. Dominic was quiet yet he seemed to always be near. Lately every time he turned around Dominic was either watching every move he made. His brother, Nico, said he thought maybe the sentinel was infatuated with Crimson.
“You looked troubled young one.”
Crimson turned and looked up into the face of his father and shrugged. “I’m okay, there’s not much I can do to change things.” As the words left his mouth sorrow washed over him.
Crimson and Nico were from the same nesting. Though, Nico was older by about ten minutes. Not that they looked anything alike. Crimson could feel his brother’s worry—he knew Nico could feel his pain over Dominic leaving with the others.
“Your path lies elsewhere, it won’t take long for you to follow your heart,” his father said softly. “I will be sad to see you go, but I cannot watch you stay here and lose this chance at a better life.”
Shock raced through Crimson. “You want me to leave?”
What would he do without his father and his nest mate? He and Nico had been inseparable in the entire twenty-six years they’d been alive. If he left Nico behind it would be like leaving behind a huge part of himself. Out of the four hatchlings in their nesting, he and Nico were the closest; it could be because they both had similar tastes in all aspects of their life, from the way they dressed to their sexual preferences. Their other nest mates Terrell and Loren never did understand either of them.
His father nodded, he reached and placed a gentle hand on Crimsons shoulder. “You will need to take Nico with you. He won’t survive here alone. His destiny is to keep you sane and whole. You’ll need to enhance the mind link that you share. As you know it’s a rare and cherished gift among our kind.” Squeezing crimson’s shoulder his dad went on. “By following you Nico will find his own heart. Somewhere out there is the man that will love him as he was meant to be.”
Without another word his father walked from the room. Crimson stared after him, his mouth opening and closing rapidly in sync with the fluttering beat of his heart. He was shocked to find out that his father even knew about his and Nico’s tastes in men. To date all his rendezvous had been in secret and kept well away from his village and especially his family. In stunned silence Crimson made his way to the small hut that he shared with Nico.
“Are you okay?” Nico asked as soon as Crimson walked into the room and collapsed on the bed across from him. “Are you ill?”
Crimson shook his head he was still trying to digest the fact his father wanted them to leave, and he knew they were both gay. More so that their father didn’t seem to be disgusted or disappointed by the fact.
“Then what is it, Crim?” Nico sounded worried.
“Dad, knows that we’re gay… he… he says that we’re leaving the village—that I need to follow Dominic, and that I have to take you with me.”
Nico stared at him in stunned silence. “I was thinking about leaving anyway. I talked to your Dominic while he was here. He told me about all the places and things he’s seen. I want to see what is outside the perimeter of our village.”
Crimson stood up and paced around the room. His brother sat and watched as him thought hard about the conversation with his father and the implications of what it meant. Once his decision was made he nodded and pulled out his travel backpack. Walking to his dresser he opened the drawer and began shoving clothes into it. He turned and grinned, “Well are you getting your shit together? They’ll get too far ahead of us if we wait.”
Getting up Nico blushed as he pulled an already filled bag from under his bed. “I might have already packed mine,” Nico said softly as he pulled the bag onto his back and waited for Crimson to finish and do the same. “Do we tell the others?”
Crimson shook his head as he shrugged into his own backpack. “Why? Dad already knows we’re leaving, we have his blessing and that’s all that matters.”
It felt like a load had been lifted from his shoulders as they made their way past the outer guard’s perimeter and into the jungle fully. Nico could feel the eyes of the guards following them and knew one set belonged to Terrell, their brother. It was kind of nice knowing that he would not have to put up with the hate filled glares of their brothers and Mother. Marion Redhawk detested both him and Nico. He never found out why. All he was certain of was were never good enough for her. Instead she doted on Terrell and Loren, the two sons that shared her hatred for him and Nico. It saddened him that Nico suffered right alongside him. Nico was a gentler person than Crimson and took their brother’s disdain to heart, whereas Crimson hated them right back.
“Stop thinking so hard.” Crimson snapped at the worry on Nico’s face. “Those arseholes aren’t worth it.” He stopped and turned and stared straight at Nico. “We’re better than them all. Dad’s the only decent one among them and he encouraged us to leave before things got worse.”
“It just worries me that they might turn on him now that we have gone,” Nico said so softly.
Crimson shook his head. “Dad, basically told us to leave, he knew we would never be able to advance through the Redhawk line with our sexual preferences. He knew the only way for us to truly live was if we left the village. He wanted us to leave all the crap we’ve endured at the hands of our siblings over the years, and moved on with our lives. He”—Crimson fell silent for a moment—“You know Nico; I never thought dad knew I was gay, but I guess he’s always known.”
Nico blushed as he confessed. “He knew, I told him when we were in our early teens. But I think he even knew before then.”
“What do you mean?”
Nico smiled, “Dad always told me that the bond you and I share was a precious gift, one to be cherished. He said not many people were given this gift, especially not siblings. He told me no matter what else happened in our lives we would always have each other to count on. Dad believed we had this connection because we're gay.”
Crimson grinned as they bumped shoulders. “Well I guess he was right. Together we leave the past behind and take the first into the future we were always meant to live.”