Silas brushed his hair as he regarded himself in the mirror. He hummed a little tune and wondered if he really was as pretty as everyone said he was. He couldn’t see it himself, but could anyone really see how they looked to others?
Whatever others saw was obviously good enough. It had secured his future. Butterflies from a mixture of excitement and nervousness fluttered in his belly.
A sudden noise startled him into dropping his hairbrush and jumping back from the mirror. A split second later he realized it was his window opening. Someone was crouched outside his window, on the ledge and was opening the window.
It was a young alpha that Silas had never seen before. Silas backed up to the door, which was stupid as he knew it was locked. Father always kept it locked.
The alpha tumbled in, fell into a sprawl on the floor before quickly righting himself and striding over to Silas.
Silas couldn’t help staring, the alpha was gorgeous. All tawny hair and green-gold eyes. The alpha stepped up close and grabbed Silas’s shoulders. His delicious scent washed over him and Silas was sure he was going to swoon. He was quite sure he was blushing.
“Silas?” said the alpha, sounding desperate and staring intently as if trying to pierce his very soul.
Silas squirmed, it was a bit too much. “I’m Silas,” he replied, not sure what else to say.
The alpha’s eyes filled with grief and defeat. Silas felt his own heart lurch in sympathy.
“But you are not you, you. You're you, you,” said the alpha incomprehensibly.
Silas blinked. The alpha sighed heavily and staggered back to throw himself into the armchair by the dresser. He buried his head in his hands.
“I thought I just had to get to you and you’d know what to do. I woke up in my childhood bed all twenty-something-stupid again and knew you’d be here, so I drove all night. Because you wouldn’t know where I was.”
Silas had no idea what to say. He needed to get this odd, handsome alpha out of his bedroom before his father found out.
“Okay, think Dean, think,” said the alpha to himself. “The witch said sunset to sunset, so hopefully at sunset tonight I will just poof back to the right time.”
Suddenly green-gold eyes were blazing into him.
“In the future, please don’t piss any witches off.”
Silas swallowed uncertainly. He couldn’t imagine ever being brave enough to piss a witch off so the warning was completely unnecessary.
The alpha’s eyes softened, and a deeply fond look filled them.
“Look at you, you are so young! And your hair is so long, it’s adorable.”
Silas bristled. “I’m not young, thank you very much! I’m an adult and I’m getting mated tonight and I’m going to be an Alpha-mate!”
Silas watched in confusion as all color drained from the alpha’s face and his jaw dropped as his eyes grew huge and filled with absolute horror.
Unease trickled down Silas’s spine, and he futilely tried the door handle behind him.
“That’s tonight?” gasped the alpha.
Silas could only stare. Suddenly the alpha pounced forward and grabbed his wrist and before Silas knew what was happening, he was being pulled towards the window.
“We have to get you out of here. I can get you past the guards, to my car and then drive as far as we can before sunset. Check into a motel or something just before.”
The alpha paused with one hand on the window frame and turned back to look at him.
“Before I turn back to stupid twenty something me who has no idea how to treat you right and no idea who you are.”
Green-gold eyes stared at him intently and Silas saw so much pain in them it made him wince. The alpha released his wrist, spun around and punched the wall. Silas flinched and jumped back. He watched in alarm as the alpha crumpled to the floor whilst sobbing huge shoulder racking sobs.
“That fucking witch! The bitch!”
Silas grimaced, if the alpha was too loud someone would come to see what was going on. Which logically was a good thing. Silas knew he should be shouting for help and getting this alpha dragged away and probably killed. But for some reason he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.
The alpha wailed some more, looking completely broken. Silas fetched a bottle of water from the nightstand, dropped to his knees by the alpha and patted his arm to get his attention.
The alpha looked up, his eyes full of tears even though his cheeks were already tracked with them. Silas hadn’t known alphas could cry. He pressed the water bottle into the alpha’s hand and pulled a packet of tissues out of his pocket.
The alpha took them but then burst into a fresh bout of sobbing. “Oh my gods, you are so sweet. This is awful!”
Silas patted his shoulder whilst the alpha cried.
Suddenly the alpha grabbed his hands and held them tightly while gazing at him.
“If I take you away, you will never be you and we will never meet. Well, maybe I’ll wake up in a motel room very confused but I won’t be me and you won’t be you and I’ll be too dumb to keep you and that’s worst then never meeting, but if I leave you here…”
Silas stared as the alpha broke down again. The man was a mess. Silas had never seen anyone look so broken. So devastated.
Then Silas yelped in surprise as the alpha pulled him into a bear hug. His arms were strong and Silas felt safe in them. It was a nice feeling.
“Oh gods, Angel, I love you so much.”
Silas felt his heart flutter, which was stupid. The alpha was clearly completely deranged. But still, having a sexy alpha declare their love for you was nothing to be sniffed at. And oh my, that pet name was wonderful.
“Tell me what to do Angel! Please!” implored the alpha.
“I… I have no idea what is going on,” explained Silas.
The alpha loosened the embrace, just enough to stare into his eyes.
“I’m from the future. You pissed a witch off and she cursed us. I love you more than anything, you are my mate, my love, my world, but if I take you away, all of that will never happen. But if I leave you here…”
Silas shivered in unease. He tried to make sense of the alpha’s words.
“In the future, we are mated?” he asked and blushed. The alpha really was incredibly handsome.
The alpha nodded solemnly. Silas supposed Greenwood was quite old, the same age as father, so it wasn’t impossible that something would happen to him and he’d be free to mate again.
“I think if I leave you here, nothing would change. It wouldn’t be surprising if you never remember this,” the alpha said and winced.
“No! Don’t tell me anymore!” declared Silas.
There was probably only a one percent chance that the alpha wasn’t crazy but that one percent was worth something. If this lovely alpha who called him Angel was his future, he did not want to jeopardize that. He didn’t want to know anything that might change things and make it never happen.
“Are we in love? In the future?” asked Silas, just to double check.
The alpha’s face lit up and he grinned, “Very much so.”
Silas’s heart skipped a beat. “Do we have pups?”
The alpha grinned and nodded. Silas squeaked in happy delight and couldn’t stop his little wriggle. The alpha’s face fell and he looked like Silas had just stabbed him in the heart. Silas could just tell he was thinking of taking him away and ruining everything.
So Silas jumped to his feet and hauled the alpha up, pushing him at the window.
“Go, go now, before you ruin everything!”
The alpha put one leg out of the open window and paused, looking up at Silas.
“Are you sure?” he said, sounding more doubtful than Silas had ever heard anyone ever sound.
“Yes! Now move it!” insisted Silas impatiently. He wanted this alpha to be his future.
The alpha grinned, “You sound like you.”
Silas stared at the love in the alpha’s eyes. It made him feel all warm and gooey. Impulsively he stepped forward and kissed the alpha. The feel of warm lips against his own was shocking and wonderful. Silas pulled back, aghast he had been so bold.
The alpha was grinning at him, his eyes brimming with joy.
“Was that your first kiss?”
Silas nodded shyly. The alpha’s grin intensified. “Mine too.”
Silas blinked in surprise. He had heard that alphas didn’t like to kiss. They liked doing everything else but kept their kisses for those they cared about.
“All this time we never knew we were each other’s first kiss,” said the alpha in a dreamy tone.
Silas gave the alpha an encouraging shove and felt awful when he nearly lost his balance. But he righted himself, jumped out of the window and was gone.
Silas smiled to himself. His future looked wonderful.
It was the pale night of pre-dawn when one of my sigils flared. An intruder in my library. I threw on a robe and strode down to see the thief my trap had caught.
I padded across the smooth wooden floors of my treasure trove. Clicking my fingers, I sparked the lamps to life. I wanted to see my prey.
I found him in the third row of stacks, caught in the circle of my spell. He clutched the huge tome of Necromarteum to his chest as if the pages might save him.
I stopped and raised an eyebrow. My thief had good taste. That was an excellent book. I turned my attention to the intruder.
He looked young, but to my thousand year old eyes, everyone did. He was short and very slender. Someone had hacked night dark hair off fairly short, and it stood up crazily in all directions.
Dark eyes meet mine briefly before lowering to stare at the floor.
“What are you?” I demanded.
“Wolf shifter.” Answered the boy calmly.
There was only a faint scent of fear, and I was begrudgingly impressed. My demon form terrified most people.
But what was a werewolf doing stealing a book on necromancy? They were not renowned for being assiduous readers. He could be stealing to order, I supposed, but wolves weren’t known for being thieves either.
I assessed him again, drawing in tendrils of his essence and rolling it over my tongue to taste it.
“But something more.” I stated.
The boy didn’t look up from the floor.
“Necromancer?” I didn’t really need to ask.
The boy nodded and then swallowed. “Yes, sir.”
“Is it new?”
“Yes, sir. Just over a year.”
Well, that made a lot more sense. But something else was annoying me. I stepped up close to the boy. The magic trap had no effect on me.
“Who taught you to be so submissive?” I asked, pulling the boy's chin up to force him to look at me.
He stared at me in surprise. I watched him blink and then lick his lips. “My father, sir,” he answered.
I growled. “You owe no one your submission. It is yours to give of your choosing and only then. You are a mage, a necromancer. A person of power. Hold your head high.”
Dark eyes stared back at me. Astounded, intrigued. I could see he liked the ember I had given him. Satisfied, I nodded and stepped back.
“Omega?” I asked, just to be sure my deduction was correct.
The necromancer nodded, nearly lowered his gaze, but stopped himself.
He looked too young to have a mate, but I knew I was terrible at judging such things.
“Do you have an alpha?”
The necromancer moved one of his hands from clutching the book to his neck. As soon as he touched his skin, he flinched as if realizing he had made the gesture and he hurriedly returned his hand to the book.
“No.” he said calmly, holding my gaze. I could see the truth of his answer.
“Good, I don’t like alphas.”
The boy grinned suddenly, an amused, mischievous glint in his eyes. “Neither do I.” he confessed.
I grinned back at him. I was starting to like my night time visitor. I made a decision then, a little alarmed at the flare of happiness that it invoked within me. I wasn’t that lonely, surely?
“I can’t let you take that.” I said.
The necromancer nodded sadly and made to put it back on the shelf.
“But you can stay here and study it.”
Dark eyes blazed into mine. Utterly taken aback and tentatively hopeful.
“Really? si…” he stopped himself from saying sir, as well as stopping himself from dropping his gaze to the floor. Instead, he squared his shoulders and regarded me steadily.
I grinned. I did like this thief.
“I don’t need twenty-five bedrooms to myself. I can spare one. Come, let me show you one. You can start your studies tomorrow.”
The necromancer nodded and reverently placed the book back on the shelf. Treating the book with the respect it warranted. I liked him even more.
A few days later, I found myself humming as I studied. Silas the thief was sitting across from me, several books open on the table in front of him.
I glanced up at him, engrossed in his studies. His physical form was quite lovely. His mind was stunning. Quick, inquisitive, not afraid to ask questions.
His presence was soothing. He was quiet and calm. All in all, he was fantastic company. I was really enjoying having a study partner.
But right now he was annoying me. The scent of his hunger was tickling my nose and my sharp ears could hear his stomach rumbling.
“Go eat something!” I said.
Silas looked up from his book and flushed. He glanced at the tall window and the summer sun streaming in.
“It is easier to hunt rabbits at dusk,” he said.
I stared at him, aghast. What kind of terrible host was I? Had I not made it clear?
“I have a whole kitchen of food and a cook!” I exclaimed.
Silas winced. “I can’t pay you.”
Sheer exasperation flooded my emotions. “Do I look like I need money?” I said, gesturing vaguely at the mansion we were sitting in.
Dark eyes looked troubled then. “I didn’t mean…”
“Oh, shut up!” I interrupted. “I invited you to stay, and that includes feeding you. Now go take your noisy stomach to the kitchen.”
Silas stared at me in complete disbelief. It irked me that simple decency astonished this boy. How had life treated him that he thought people offering to feed him was incredible?
He stood up. “Thank you, Artemis,” he said solemnly.
I frowned and made a dismissive gesture, pretending to become engrossed in my book. I didn’t want him to see me blinking away tears.
The next day, he was restless again. I looked up from my book. He had been fidgeting and squirming for hours. His stomach wasn’t rumbling. He didn’t smell hungry, but a strange, alluring, enticing scent had started to roll off of him and was increasing hour by hour.
Suddenly, he swore and slammed the book he was reading down on the table. I raised an eyebrow, he knew better than to treat books like that.
He glanced at me and flushed. “Sorry.”
His eyes were a little wide and glassy.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, puzzled.
He didn’t meet my eyes. “Stupid heat.” he muttered sullenly.
“Ah” Suddenly everything made sense, and I felt a little dim. But I was still puzzled. Heats were part of shifter biology. I wasn’t aware they were anything to be upset about.
“I thought they had gone away forever. I thought the magic or… what happened.” he trailed away and gave a miserable shrug, his eyes fixed on the floor.
His words rolled around my head. Suddenly I roared, leaping to my feet and over to him. He jumped up, his eyes wide and fearful.
“Someone forced you?” I demanded to know.
Dark eyes stared back at me, and I saw the horror and the pain. He nodded, but I could taste the lie. There was more he wasn’t telling me.
“More than one person?” I asked, utterly enraged.
Silas winced and closed his eyes. I grabbed his shoulders.
“Come, we must go slaughter them at once!”
Silas chuckled and opened his eyes again, staring back at me with a shy, wry grin. “I already did that.”
Happiness and pride exploded in my chest, and I pulled him close to my chest in a tight embrace. He felt good in my arms. Warm. His scent was delicious. My cock stirred.
I sensed the moment Silas felt it pressing against him. He stepped back from my embrace hurriedly. He looked up at me, a mortified expression on his beautiful face. “I’m so sorry!” he gasped.
I looked down at my prominent cock, clearly pressing against my trousers.
“It’s stupid heat pheromones. I’ll go.” said Silas, and he made to leave.
I caught his arm. “Go where?”
He shrugged, “Find an alpha, I guess,” a wave of terror and dread so strong it nearly knocked me off my feet. I tightened my grip on his arm. He wasn’t going anywhere.
“No.” I said.
He just stared at me.
I pointed at my cock. “I have what you need.”
He flushed and looked away.
“I am your friend, Silas. Let me teach you this. Sex is one of the finest pleasures of being incarnate. Do not let them steal that joy from you. They took your past, don’t let them take your tomorrows. Let me show you what it should be like.”
Silas brought his gaze back to mine, a whole storm of emotions showing in his eyes. “How did you know it was my first time?”
I puffed out my chest. “Because I am incredibly intelligent.”
Silas grinned at my boast. I watched him puzzle over my words. His bright mind seeing the sense of it, but his wounded soul not able to give up his fear. I watched his curiosity grow. I watched it battle with his shame and his dark memories. He was so very scared, it broke my heart.
“I am not an incubus, but all demons are good at the art. I am a very experienced lover, Silas. We will go as slow, as gentle as you need. You will be in charge. It will be your kingdom.”
I was a far better choice than some uncaring stranger. I hoped that Silas could see that. My heart yearned to help him.
Silas held my gaze for a long time. Then he gave a tiny nod.
I grinned and led him to my bedroom.
The explosion rattled throughout the entire house, shaking everything. Dean’s coffee cup fell off of his desk and smashed on the floor. Clouds of dust were dislodged from everywhere. Babies wailed and people shouted in alarm.
“Angel!” yelled Dean through the bond as he leaped to his feet and started running.
“Not hurt. Shocked. Scared.”
The relief that rushed over Dean left him trembling. He soon made it outside and found Silas standing by the smoking remains of one of the outbuildings. His arms were crossed, and he was glaring at the rubble as if it personally displeased him.
Dean frantically ran his gaze over his mate. Silas was covered in soot and his long dark hair was slightly disheveled, but Dean couldn’t see any injuries. Couldn’t smell any blood either. He really was okay.
“What happened?” asked Jasper, as he ran up to them.
“I was working on a new spell,” answered Silas calmly.
Jasper swore. “Was it supposed to do that?”
Silas gave the beta a wry grin. “Not so vigorously.”
“Next time ask me to help you,” said Eifion.
Dean jumped, he hadn't seen or heard the mage approach. The guy still gave him the creeps. Silas, however, seemed unperturbed, and merely glared at him.
Brogan walked up behind Silas. Whether Eifion was, the alpha was sure to follow.
“Alpha! Danger!” flowed down the mating bond followed by a fast flickering montage of images and feelings. Being held down. Pain. Fear. Dean gasped in horror and the bond slammed shut violently with a hasty, mortified, “Sorry!”
Before Dean could think, he found himself between his mate and the alpha, pushing Brogan back violently and snarling. Brogan's eyes were wide and he stumbled back, holding his hand up in surrender.
“Sorry Alpha! I wasn’t thinking!”
Dean shoved him again.
“Alpha, your mate is not hurt. Silas is fine,” said Brogan gently.
Shame stopped Dean in his tracks. He was acting like a brute and nearly betraying Silas’s privacy. It was only luck that Brogan and everyone watching had assumed he was riled by the explosion, making his wolf over protective of his mate and not wanting any other alphas near him.
Dean turned on his heels, strode three paces to Silas, and wrapped his arms around him.
“I’m sorry,” he breathed into the omega’s hair.
Silas snuggled into the hug. “It’s my fault, I was too dazed by the blast to keep my thoughts to myself.”
“You don’t need to keep anything from me, Angel.”
Silas sighed happily. “I know.”
Dean pulled him even closer. He wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to release his mate from his hug. The onlookers were somewhat right, protectiveness was rolling through him like a fierce storm. Thankfully, Silas seemed content to be in his arms.
“I’m still a badass,” asserted Silas softly.
“The baddest of assess,” agreed Dean.
Silas laughed. Around them, people were moving as Jasper was arranging for the smoldering embers to be put out and for people to go check the other buildings for any damage. Dean was glad that Jasper was so capable.
“Being scared doesn’t make you weak,” said Dean, needing to make sure Silas understood that. Being scared and not letting it stop you was the very definition of bravery.
The necromancer made a skeptical noise and pressed himself closer. Dean sighed. Did Silas feel like that every time he was near an alpha? If so, he hid it so flipping well it was astonishing. Then a horrifying thought flooded Dean’s soul, had he ever made Silas feel like that?
Dean flushed, but was too relieved to be too ashamed about inadvertently shouting down the bond.
Silas poked him in the chest. “I love how much you share with me, how open and honest you are. I’m working on returning it. Communication and all that.”
Dean grinned and kissed the top of his head. “You are doing really well. I don’t help when I freak out when you do share stuff with me.”
“I don’t blame you, my head is a dark and twisted place,” said Silas and the shame and sadness in his voice tore at Dean’s heart.
“That's not your fault,” Dean breathed passionately. Then he scooped Silas into his arms and started carrying him towards the main house.
“Where are we going?” asked Silas, sounding suitably distracted.
“To give you a bath and so I can check every inch of you for injuries.”
Silas chuckled. “Every inch?”
“Every. Single. Inch,” confirmed Dean happily.
The next evening, Silas had just locked the basement door when Dean started banging on it. “Damn Jasper for ratting me out,” muttered Silas under his breath. Reluctantly, he opened the door.
Dean rushed in, took one look at the occupant and whirled to shut and lock the heavy basement door behind them.
“Who is this?” demanded Dean, his beautiful green-gold eyes wide as he stared at the middle-aged man gagged and tied to a chair.
Silas sighed. “This is Mr. Loxley, one of the local teachers. He has been being mean to the pups that go to his school.”
Dean’s eyes widened even more. “He is human?”
Silas nodded. He didn’t see what that had to do with anything. He wasn’t about to reveal that the people Mr. Loxley thought were a ‘weird hippy cult living in the woods’ were in fact all wolf shifters, well shifters and a mothman and whatever Eifion was. The point was, he didn’t need to do that to scare the shit out of him and teach him a lesson.
Dean sighed heavily and ran his hands through his hair. He looked annoyed and exasperated.
“Silas, teachers are mean. Didn’t you ever go to school?” said Dean in a tone that implied he assumed Silas had and was just being dumb.
“No, I didn’t!” snapped Silas, crossing his arms.
Omegas didn’t go to school, surely Dean knew that? Omegas only needed to know how to present their ass to their alpha and they didn’t teach that at human schools.
Dean was staring at him in horror. Silas felt himself flush. It seemed that was another one of Silvanus’s fucked up rules that weren’t widely practiced. Silas loved Dean with all his heart and soul, but sometimes all the ways the alpha showed him how messed up his life had been, was tiring.
They stared at each other for a moment, then Silas watched as Dean shook himself and focused on the here and now.
“Can you wipe his memories?” asked Dean.
Silas grinned. “Good idea! I need to practice that. Last time I tried, I ended up melting the person’s brain. It oozed out of their ears and smelled disgusting.”
The human whimpered, and the smell of urine filled the air. Then he slumped against his bonds, seemingly in a dead faint.
Dean glanced at the human and then back at Silas, shaking his head.
“What?” scowled Silas. He didn’t like the way Dean was looking at him.
“What on earth are we going to do with him, Silas?” asked Dean, sounding so very weary and distraught.
Silas shrugged. “Take him home, I think he has been scared enough.”
Dean just stared at him, looking completely lost for words.
“He won’t go to the police,” reassured Silas.
“You don’t know that!”
“I do know that because I will put a compulsion on him. He will think he is just too scared to.”
Dean continued to stare at him for a long moment. Then, to Silas’s surprise, the alpha pulled him into a hug. Silas tried to resist but soon gave up. Dean just smelled too damn good, and being in his arms just felt too damn nice. The alpha had fully succeeded in turning him soppy.
“Angel, please stop blowing shit up, reanimating the chickens that the kitchen crew are trying to cook, and kidnapping teachers.”
Silas didn’t quite know what to say to that. Luckily, Dean continued.
“Clearly, now we are no longer running, fighting and hiding, you are going out of your mind with boredom. So please, please, take the Grand Master position. For the sake of the pack and my sanity.”
All sorts of emotions tumbled through Silas. “I… I,” he tried before giving up.
Dean stepped back a little, moving his hands to Silas’s shoulders and staring into his eyes.
“The pack is safe. Everyone is fine. We are fine. Our bond is back.” Dean paused to lightly run his fingers over the mating mark on Silas’s neck. Silas shivered at the sensation.
“You can be Grand Master now. Everything has calmed down, otherwise you wouldn’t be so bored.” Dean’s cheeky grin was contagious.
Silas took a deep breath. Communication. He could do this. “It will take up so much time and you are the most important thing to me. I… I can’t have anything come between us ever again. I can’t lose you.”
Dean’s beaming smile was worth the cringe factor. The alpha poured all his love and affection down the mating bond until Silas felt like he was swimming in it.
“I’m not going anywhere,” promised Dean.
Silas sighed happily. He could feel the truth of that in his bones. Somehow, they had managed to heal from the world’s most spectacular break up. Stronger than ever. It really must be true love.
“Okay, okay, I’ll be Grand Master,” Silas surrendered with a grin. Then Dean was kissing him and he forgot all else.