My inspiration for Merek
“Running?” Jace asked with a raised brow. “I thought you were stronger than that.”
Jacob froze in his rushed packing, his deep gray eyes narrowed in Jace’s direction.
“What would give you that idea?” The mocking sarcasm in Jacob’s voice was thick in the air.
“Could be that duffle full of rank smelling clothes, or perhaps the look of guilt stamped on your face.”
Jacob growled at him and sank down onto the edge of the bed his hands buried in the short strands of his silver hair. Anyone who didn’t know him would think he merely looked tired but Jace knew what was beneath and felt a wave of strong confusion.
“Jacob—” he moved into the room.
“It isn’t over.” Jacob stared up at him. “Even with Erikson dead they won’t be safe.” Jacob’s eyes closed on a pained expression. “Cory won’t be safe.”
“You think he’ll be safer if you leave him here?” Jace stepped in front of Jacob and stared down at the top of his head. Jacob was a strong man, like iron in his ability to keep from bending to others, but in Cory he had found a flame that weakened him. Jace knew that is what had Jacob running as quickly as possible in the opposite direction.
“You’re protecting yourself not Cory.”
“I’ll be leaving before sunrise so this will have to be good-bye.” Jacob’s jaw tightened as he glanced up at Jace and quickly turned away.
Jace’s heart clenched. As much as he wanted to link with Jacob and unlock the mystery of Jacob’s jumbled thoughts for the first time in his life he understood why he shouldn’t.
“Will you tell Cory, good-bye?” Jace asked from the doorway.
Jacob didn’t even look his way he just flinched. Jacob would be hurting himself as much as Cory with his absence. Jace understood it was out of some ridiculous self-sacrificing ideal that Jacob was running. Hell, Jace had done the same thing, but his brother was not one to learn from another’s lessons. He was too hard headed and needed to live the mistake. Jace just wished he could make it easier.
“Jace…he…you can’t understand. He’s so damned young and deserves more than I can give him.” Amazingly Jacob’s voice cracked before Jacob could mask it.
“Who are you to tell Cory what he needs?”
Haunted eyes turned to Jace’s.
“I’ve seen things, horrible things. I will not subject Cory to that.”
“You think he hasn’t?” Jace asked incredulously.
“It isn’t the same, Jace,” Jacob whispered in a voice full of defeat.
“But he is your mate!”
Jacob closed his eyes, his head bowed under the weight of his decision. Jace’s heart broke for him as he stood there and witnessed Jacob’s private pain.
“Cory is better off alone,” Jacob rasped
“You’ll condemn him to a life of solitude? You’ll take away his right to be with his one chosen mate?” Jace challenged. “I know the loneliness in you. Do you want him to live with that feeling?”
Jace placed his hands on his brother’s head, the pale strands of hair felt cool to the touch, grief flowed out of Jacob in strong waves as he whispered. “He can find another.”
“But not a mate!”
Jace could practically see Jacob’s iron control as it snapped back into place, felt the closing off of Jacob’s emotions. Jace stepped back.
Jacob rose and he shifted his gaze from Jace’s. “I need to leave now.”
“You are a coward!” Jace raged. “And you’ll regret this.”
Jacob took a deep breath and walked toward the door. “I would have more regrets if I stayed.”
MEREK LOOKED UP from his desk as his handsome mate made his way into the office. The tight jeans and even tighter t-shirt did little to conceal the lithe body that was beneath. Merek’s cock stiffened in the confines of his faded jeans. It was always the same. Everyday he saw Jace he wanted him even more than the first time. Jace nostrils flared and he knew he could smell Merek’s arousal. With a wicked grin his mate came and sat on his lap. His firm ass grinding ever so subtly against Merek’s hard-on. The intoxicating earthy scent of his mate surrounded him.
“He’s leaving,” Jace muttered.
Merek grasped Jace’s hips to grind more insistently against him before leaning in to nuzzle Jace’s neck. Nibbling his ear he traveled down to trace his tongue along the mating mark he’d placed between Jace’s neck and shoulder.
Merek shuddered as Jace’s silver hair twinned around his ear, stroking his collarbone, hot and vibrant. God, he loved Jace’s hair. He arched his hips up and wished their clothes were gone.
“Are you paying attention?” The slight amusement in Jace’s voice got his attention.
“Always,” he murmured. “But there is nothing we can do to persuade him to stay.” He knew his mate’s anger. Jace was so used to being able to control every situation. His strength was one of the many things that frustrated Merek and one of the things he loved most about him.
“Maybe if you talked to him,” Jace suggested.
“Don’t you remember your fears about having a mate? Your attempts at avoiding it at all costs? Your belief that you knew what was best?”
“No, this is something he has to do and what we must do is be here for Cory.”
Merek traced the shell of Jace’s ear and whispered, “For now, you have to break your link with Jacob and let him feel his isolation.”
Jace’s eyes filled with sadness. “I know.”
CORY SURVAYED FROM the shadows as Jacob secured his bag and climbed onto his motorcycle. Jacob snagged his helmet and covered the locks of hair Cory so loved. The engine roared to life but Jacob just stood frozen and Cory felt a faint glimmer of hope. Jacob couldn’t leave him here; Jacob was a part of him. But his hopes were dashed as quickly as they rose, when in crushing pain he watched Jacob let up the kickstand and leave with only a trail of dust as proof he’d been there at all.
The need to curl into a ball was so intense he almost died beneath it. Oh God, he could barely breath. Jacob’s words vibrated through his numb mind.
“You’re a child! You could never give me what I need!”
“I’m not a child. I’m your mate!”
“No, you’re not. Believe what you want because I know the truth. You have a crush, get over it. The last thing I need or want is some guy desperately chasing after me.”
Those words alone had almost been enough to shatter him. Jacob’s cold expression, his denial of Cory as his mate and his constant and unwavering belief Cory couldn’t be what he needed. Cory had known as soon as he’d shifted to his wolf at the compound Jacob was his mate. It was a bone deep recognition only his wolf had been able to identify.
Tears threatened to fall down his cheeks as he sunk to his knees. “Jacob.”
His lips trembled. The agony washed over him and something broke inside. The numbness in his head spread with cold fingers through his blood and into his heart. He stood up on shaky limbs, his hands clenched into fists.
When Jacob returned Cory would not be the man he’d left behind. Cory would not belong to Jacob. Cory would never be his mate.
Jace Shaw is one of the few survivors of an extraordinary, rare wolf pack. He spends his days on the run and his nights in another world with a man he’s only dreamed about. To sleep is to feel his dream man’s hands on his body and hear his wicked whispered words. But when the sun rises reality crashes in: the evil that destroyed his birth pack hunts his kind down in search of a way to control their power.
Merek Wahya is an alpha dealing with all the issues of being newly appointed, but they all fall away when he closes his eyes at night. Then, a man with moonlit hair and mercury eyes crawls into bed with him. When he wakes it’s to a painful arousal no one can satisfy. When Merek’s wolf catches Jace’s scent he knows he’s found his mate, and he soon learns their nocturnal meetings were only foreplay. The joy of this discovery is shadowed by the trouble that follows Jace. Merek’s mate is embroiled in a battle between two ancient packs, a war Merek must now fight. If he fails he could lose Jace forever.