Jackson tried to get his head in the game as they followed Taser to his office. It was a hard task, because all he could think about was Taylor’s hands all over his body. He needed to get a grip because if Taz thought he wasn’t listening to him, they would be here even longer. Plus they still needed to make the club tonight. Looking down at his watch, he saw that it was a little before three. Good thing they took the food home first. He would have hated for it to go to waste. He was frugal like that. Although he and Taylor had accumulated a lot of money over the last several decades, he still hated to waste even a penny.
Without preamble, Taser got right to it. “I smelled my Nyhiya last night.”
Taylor’s head whipped up so fast at Taz’s words, he almost gave himself whiplash. He must have heard wrong. He stuck his finger in his ear and wiggled it around a bit. Taylor looked over at Jackson, who was looking at Taz like he was speaking another language. Guess he’d heard right...Taz had found his mate.
“So you assholes gonna say something or just keep looking at me with your mouths hanging open? If it’s gonna be the latter, give me a second to whip my dick out so you can at least make yourselves useful.”
Well, what was his damn problem? Once the initial shock wore off, they started to speak.
“Isn’t this supposed to be a good thing?” Jackson asked slowly.
“I’m with Jack on this one, Taz,” Taylor said.
“Under normal circumstances, you jackasses would be right. However, in this case, I never want to run into that bitch again. She’s a Mystic, and those fuckers are nasty,” Taz replied.
Well, damn it all to hell. That was that bullshit right there. Whoever heard of a Dylia and Mystic being Nyhiyas? Shit wasn’t heard of.
“Wait, where were you that you just happened to spot your mate?” Taylor asked.
“I went to the hospital to check on the cause of death of those bodies from the fight. I needed to make sure we didn’t get on the radar of the Mooyer Society. As I was walking the halls, I smelled her and ducked into an open room. She was wearing scrubs. From what I heard, she’s a doctor. One of the nurses called out and she went toward them. Something about a baby delivery. What the hell kind of world are we living in when Mystics are helping human women give birth?”
Taylor blinked his eyes rapidly. There was no way he was processing all this information correctly. Maybe she was draining the little bastards dry as soon as they were born or something. Mystics didn’t try to blend in. Hell, they relished sticking out and screwing everything up. Taylor’s inner ramblings were cut off by Taser’s second announcement.
“Oh, but that’s not all. I smelled my second Nyhiya, and he was a Hyjia.”
Damn, damn, and more damn. Those large cat-like fuckers were just as vicious as any of the other Tarnished—as the Mooyers liked to call them, thought Taylor. Well, their alpha was twice screwed. No wonder he called them to his office. If the pack found out about this shit they would probably try to kill him believing he was cursed. Yeah, the Dylia were a ruthless bunch. You didn’t want to be on their vicious side.
“First of all, how did the Hyjia not smell you? And secondly, what do you need us to do? Do you think they know?” That was Taylor’s Jack, always getting down to business when the situation was serious.
“I don’t know; I got the fuck out of dodge when I smelled them, but I trust both of you with my fucking life and I just needed to tell somebody. He seemed to be shadowing her every move so he may have just been preoccupied. The disinfectant smell was also pretty strong. Our noses are better than the Hyjias. He probably just couldn’t smell me over everything else going on in the hospital, and she seemed clueless. I’ll think of something and let you guys know.”
As Jackson and Taylor left Taz’s office, they agreed to meet at the club before they left for their apartment. Shit just got real fucked up. No way was everything going to end well and they so didn’t need this mess right now. Fuck the Mystics and Hyjias for fucking it up for the Dylias, all these years later. Both factions didn’t like each other, and now the assholes were linked to them. Perfect. Staying in bed while cuddling was starting to look better and better.
Jackson and Taylor pulled up to their condo around four o’clock. Taylor knew his man was worried about their alpha and his mate situation, but there was nothing either of them could do since Taz told them it was cool. He didn’t want to just assume the man wanted his Nyhiyas dead unless he actually said the words. He just wanted to share his burden so he didn’t feel alone. Hearing their alpha’s predicament made him even happier that Jack was not only his best friend but also his fated mate. He was thrilled the day of his transition from pup to man when he first smelled his Nyhiya. He had loved Jackson since he could remember.
The transition from pup to full Dylia was horrible. Some didn’t survive if they were too weak willed. For most, the transition started once they were sixteen, but Taylor was a year late. Even though Jack had transitioned a year earlier, he didn’t sense their mate connection until Taylor had transitioned as well. It was seventy-two hours of hell. The body contorted and the muscle spasms were mind numbing. Bones broke only to heal over and over again until they were as strong as granite. Taylor had heard how some Dylia ended up permanently disfigured from the bones breaking and not healing properly. Unfortunately, those cases were either kicked out of the pack to fend for themselves or they were killed.
Taylor could still sometimes feel his bones breaking in the middle of the night. The pain as fresh and real as the day of his transition. And in the year 1883, there were no real medicines or ways to help curb the pain. Now when pups went through their transitions, they could at least be made somewhat comfortable. Medicines worked differently on supernatural species because of their different genetic makeups. And if the bone breaking didn’t almost kill them, the extreme rise in their core temperature would. Even now, they ran a bit hotter than humans. He remembered how scared he was a year earlier watching Jackson go through his transition. Those screams still haunted him. They went from scrawny little boys to putting on over a hundred extra pounds of muscle and growing several inches in three days time.
The only pleasant memory from the year between Jackson’s and Taylor’s transitions was the fact that they were mates. The body’s scent changes after its transition and so do the senses. It’s how they were finally able to determine they were mates and the pull they always had to each other finally made sense. It was a fight when the truth finally came out. Their parents weren’t happy that their older sons were gay let alone fated mates. It’s one of the reasons they left their birth pack and joined up with Taser, who also was a part of their birth pack.
Jackson’s deep, timbre voice broke through his disturbing thoughts. “What are you thinking, babe? I can feel it.”
“Just thinking that I love you.”
“I love you too,” was whispered into his head. Then Taylor remembered the gift he owed his mate and sent the image to him telepathically. Before he knew it, he was being hauled off his feet and rushed into their house giggling like a madman. Seems he would be spending the time before the club tonight on his back and a number of other positions before it was all said and done.
Jenny was bored. She planned on going to Heaven’s Angles tonight, but until then she had nothing to do. Well...that’s not exactly true. She could transcribe her notes from her sessions with the children, but she’d save that until the last minute like always. She was on a mini vacation and she’d promised herself no work. Instead, she went into her room and started going through her closet for something to wear. She wished Krista hadn’t rushed off this morning after breakfast. She could have helped her find something. It wasn’t easy trying to find an outfit that went perfectly with her five-feet-seven height. She also had to make sure it didn’t clash with her auburn hair and green eyes. Halfway through her search she said fuck it. She’d just go shopping. Hell, she could afford it. A nice new shirt and some form fitting pants would be perfect.
She was the worst when it came to shopping for herself. She could shop for others all day long but herself, forget it. Jennifer kept throwing shirt after shirt out of the closet in her search for something decent to wear. She really didn’t want to go shopping if she could avoid it. Where the hell did this pink shirt come from? Jenny thought to herself. She fucking hated pink and purple. They looked awful on her. That’s it, guess it couldn’t be avoided. She had to go to the damned mall. She was giving herself thirty minutes max. If she didn’t find anything in that timeframe, she would just have to trudge back through her closet or raid Krista’s.
He watched what would soon be his from afar. He didn’t want to get too close. She would see him when he was ready and not a minute before. He had been watching her for months after finally finding her. Years were spent looking for her and one day, out of the blue, he saw her. Since then, he had never let her out of his sight and had placed a small tracking spell on her for those times he couldn’t be in two places at once. He even went so far as to buy the townhouse across the street from her. Soon he would reveal himself. Soon she would come willingly, or he would take what was his after taking what was most important to her. No one was going to stand in his way. If they did, he would kill them. No questions asked, and he would enjoy it immensely. They would die and he really didn’t care whom he killed, never did. He was a Mystic, and people had an obligation to fear him because he was everything people believed they were. Maybe even the worst of them all.
As he watched her, he knew she was going hunting tonight. He loved watching her hunt. He hoped she lost control. He had only seen it happen once in the nine months he’d been watching, but it was a most gracious sight. So beautiful was she in her reckless abandon. The torture she put herself through afterward was the sweetest. Punishing herself for giving into what sang to her blood. Made him hard just thinking about it. Yes, he would definitely have to make her his. It was his right, one denied to him for far too long. A promise that would be made right very soon. Quite honestly, he needed to feed as well so tonight while his prey was hunting, he would too. Now what to wear for the occasion?
Jackson felt his heart skip a beat. Something big was coming. He just didn’t know what. He felt his lover’s eyes on him and all he could do was shake his head. He didn’t have a clue what to watch out for and he didn’t want to worry Taylor for nothing. If the feeling didn’t go away or got worse, he would then say something. So he shook it off and finished getting dressed for the night. Still, he didn’t think he would enjoy it. If only he’d been given a bigger clue as to what was making him jumpy. The last time he felt like this his twin brothers had been killed. The site of their broken bodies would haunt him for as long as he lived. He kept those memories locked up tight. So tight even Taylor didn’t know. He didn’t want to burden his lover with those morbid and vivid thoughts. One person being tortured by them was enough.
Some days he wished he’d not been the one to find the bodies. He could still hear his mother’s howls echoing through the woods they were found in. Beaten and broken, discarded like old, used toys. Sadistic ass Mooyer Society. They were worse than any animal or supernatural Jackson had ever met. He would have to be extra vigilant until he pinpointed why he felt like someone he knew was in danger. Taylor was going to be glued to his side until whatever this feeling was passed. His lover would just have to be annoyed with him because it was non-negotiable. He was putting his foot down for once.