When the past calls Storm Gennaro for assistance he willingly comes to help the man who walked away from him. Thirty years is a long time to be parted from the one person meant to stand at your side forever.
Heath Madden is sick, and his family call Storm to help save him. All the hurt and betrayal suffered at the man’s hands resurfaces, but not everything is as it seems.
The past has come back to wreak havoc on their lives and as they dig deeper they realise they aren’t the only ones whose lives are being played with.
The murmuring of voices in the room pulled Heath back into the land of the living. His heart raced as he wondered if Storm was still there. Part of him hoped that the man had left to allow him some peace, but the more selfish part of him wanted Storm to still be there, worrying over him. Blinking rapidly, he waited for his eyes to adjust to the light.
“He’s awake,” Ian said from somewhere nearby.
Callie came over and peered down at him. “How are you feeling?” There was such sadness in her eyes.
“Where’s Storm?” His throat felt dry. These days, he could never quite seem to quench his constant thirst.
“Gone,” Trace stated as he came and joined the others beside the bed. “He left as soon as he told us what was wrong with you.”
There was something going on, something they were afraid to tell him. “And?”
Tears leaked out of Callie’s eyes and ran down her face. “Storm says you’ve been poisoned. Someone is trying to kill you.”
Trace glared down at Heath, and he cringed. “You knew what our safety rules have always been—don’t eat or drink anything we haven’t prepared ourselves. What the hell were you thinking?”
“I haven’t. I mean, I, along with all the rest of you, know the danger. There isn’t anything I have ingested that one of us didn’t prepare.” He stared at them all, and it hit him hard that once Storm had found out he was dying, he’d walked away. Being mates obviously didn’t mean that much to the man. He was probably out there right now, fucking someone else without even giving Heath a minute’s thought. Lucky he hadn’t let Storm know how much his being back hurt. He wouldn’t give his so-called mate the satisfaction of laughing in his face. Still, he couldn’t help but ask, “Is he coming back?”
“I don’t think so,” Ian said quietly. “He was very pissed off and angry when he told us what was wrong with you. We may have had some words, and he isn’t very happy with any of us right now.”
Heath wondered what could have gone down that had them all so upset. “What happened?” He grimaced as another wave of nausea rushed through him like a tidal wave.
“Um…he may have told us that not everything we’ve heard about him is true,” Trace said
Callie jumped into the conversation. “He told us to sit down and think about all the things we have heard about him, and where he was at those times. Once we did, we would see the truth.”
“And?” he asked when they all fell silent.
Ian coughed and looked ashamed. “When we sat down and did what he asked, we realised there was no way he could have done those things. Especially the ones immediately after we all turned away from him.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” There was no way Storm was innocent. Heath didn’t want to hear that he had wronged his mate for all those years for no reason.
Trace frowned. “We did a little digging. When we walked away and left Storm in the nightclub the night of the fight, he was arrested. Storm spent the next year behind bars in a human prison, so there was no way he could have been in any of those photos you received. The time frame isn’t possible. As much as I hate to admit it, I think Storm is innocent.”
“But Ian and I saw him practically fucking that woman, didn’t we? We saw it with our own eyes.”
Ian nodded, “But he did try and explain to us that she was his working partner, and we didn’t believe him. It turns out Storm owns a detective agency, and the woman we saw was Maggie Margaret–she really was his business partner. She was killed that same night. The job they were on was a setup, and all hell broke loose. About a year later he got a new partner by the name of Dean Birkwell, and no, I don’t think they are in any sort of relationship. I think that if we keep digging we will find out he hasn’t done most, and maybe not any, of the things he’s been accused of.”
Pain arced through Heath as he finally understood what was happening. “Fuck me, what have I done?”
“Don’t you mean what have we all done?” Callie said sadly. “We turned our backs on him when he needed us most, and then when we finally track him down, it’s only to use him for his abilities.”
“I hate to admit it, but he was really cut when he left here. I know he wanted to stay, but he left so you wouldn’t have to see him when you woke up,” Trace told Heath.
Dizziness swamped Heath when he tried to sit up. It took three attempts for him to complete the task. “I need to find him.” He turned to his sister. “How did you find him?”
“I called his Skype name. Surprisingly, he’s never changed it.”
“Get me to the computer. I need to talk to him.” He waited impatiently as Callie gently pushed him back onto the bed and Trace went to grab the laptop. He dialled in the contact name he had known so well and used so often. Back then, before the fateful night, he and Storm had been the best of friends.
And then he had hurt him.
The face appearing on the screen was not one he knew, but one he’d seen before, and a surge of jealousy washed over him. “I want to talk to Storm.”
“He’s sleeping right now, and I won’t wake him up. Not even for you.” The man glared out from the screen at him.
“You don’t even know me,” Heath snarled.
The other man snorted in disgust. “I may not have personally met you, but I’ve been guarding you ever since Storm and I hooked up.”
The words “hooked up” clamped around Heath’s heart and squeezed tight. “Are you fucking him?”
“That, sir, is none of your business. Who the hell do you think you are to make a claim on him now?” The anger rolling off the other man had Heath almost willing to shut the link.
“Please, Dean, I really need to see Storm. I need to talk to him.” If Dean was startled by the use of his name, he didn’t show it.
Dean stared back at him thoughtfully. “Things aren’t always what they seem. I think it might be best if I bring you here because this link may not be safe, and Storm has already had someone following him today. I won’t risk him going out again this soon. If you can get to the transport station on Elkin Street in the next ten minutes, I’ll swing by and pick you all up. Be waiting at the side entrance.” He paused as if in thought. “Yes, it’s best if all of you come, because whoever started this whole mess thirty years ago isn’t done playing with any of you yet.”
“But I want—”
Dean cut him off. “Just be there. This is your one and only chance of making things right with Storm, and if you are playing him—then you will regret it, because I will make you pay for the rest of your miserable life.”
Heath inhaled sharply as Dean’s eyes bled out until they were solely black. The vision only lasted for a second before Dean blinked, and his gaze was once again his silver-grey colour. “Okay, we’ll be there.”
Dean disconnected, and Heath pulled in a slow breath before he spoke to the others in the room. “You heard the man. We need to get to the station on time.”
“Do you think it’s a trap?” Ian asked as he began gathering their belongings.
“No,” Trace said. “Whatever we assumed, I don’t believe Storm would be involved in what’s happening to Heath now. I think he was sincere in what he told us earlier.” Heath sat there and watched the others get things organised when a thought struck him. “Am I really dying?” he asked the room at large. When they remained silent, he had the answer.
If he was going to die, he wanted to finally tell the man who was his mate exactly how he felt about him. He didn’t want to leave this world without first having told Storm that he had always loved him, even when he was pissed beyond belief at him. In the last twenty-nine years they had crossed paths exactly three times, and each time they had wound up having sex, yet never once did the words “I love you” pass either man’s lips. The sexual encounters were a need that struck them every nine years, and so far they had avoided each other in between. Heath knew that he had callously used the man who would have quite willingly offered him the world. At the time he had felt justified in holding onto the hurt and betrayal he thought Storm had incurred, and couldn’t even allow himself to offer the slightest bit of comfort in return. Every time they parted, he knew, he took another piece of Storm’s heart with him.
The reason he couldn’t comfort his mate was that each time he left Storm, something terrible always happened to him. The first time he had nearly been run over, and to this day, he believed the driver was aiming with the intent to kill. The second time, he had been beaten so severely that he had ended up in a hospital for the next two weeks. The third time, in the middle of the previous year, he had no sooner left Storm than he saw another man entering his mate’s lodgings, and as he stood there, he had watched them embrace. After witnessing this, Heath had turned and walked away, determined never again to go near his mate. Now he had a name to go with the man who had torn his heart apart almost a year earlier–Dean Birkwell.
The Gaean Prophecies: Admetus Gaea
Jarkebb Arindad: The banished son of Lord Jondalar Arindad, ruler of the Elven-kind, was sent to find the saviour the prophecies foretold of. He came back with his foster brother and best friend—Grayson.
Grayson Gellespie: Finds himself thrust into the role as the saviour of a world he believed was nothing but an imaginative story. What does he do when he finds out it’s all real? How will he find the way to save them all?
Bailin Greer: Warrior of the Deepwoods Faerie Glenn was tasked by the Lady to be the saviour’s eyes behind enemy lines. What happens when the bad guy isn’t the enemy?
Alone they’ll fail. Together, their combined forces will have the power to forever change the world in which they live Three stories woven together to tell the beginning of the Gaean Prophecies... Apart from saving the world—our heroes have to fight to be with their bond mates along the way.
Until next time, take care!