The darkness played on her senses as Saraid struggled to see through the darkened woods as they made their way back to Grady’s car. Damon decided to go with them, convincing Saraid that he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if something happened between his house and the car and he was not there to help.
“We should be coming up to the clearing soon,” Grady announced to the group.
Thank goodness,” Wendy breathed, “these woods are not being kind to my feet.”
Graten stepped forward and scooped Wendy into his arms, “Allow me to help.”
“Oh, um, thank you.”
Saraid rolled her eyes at the look Graten shared with her. He was trying to make her jealous. What he couldn’t seem to grasp was that in order for Saraid to be jealous, she would first have to care. If anything, his flirting with Wendy could be a well needed distraction from the fact that Saraid was still bound to Wendy’s soulmate and that in and of itself posed a whole new threat of drama that she was not ready for.
“I see the car. Just around the bend,” Saraid shouted as she pointed across the winding path to the clearing just ahead.
“Right. I’ll cover right. Grady you take the flank and Damon you take the left,” Liam commanded.
Damon and Grady shared a look of confusion. They knew that under ordinary circumstances Liam was their King and they had to obey, but what about a King that doesn’t know he’s a king?
Saraid leaned into Grady and threateningly whispered, “You will do as your King commands regardless. Understand?” she turned her eyes to Damon and Graten,” How about you two? You understand?”
Damon boasted a broad, prideful smile as he nodded and winked in Saraid’s direction while Graten let out a lazy, “humph.”
She stepped beside Liam, wrapped her arm in his, mostly for her own need to touch him, and said, “I’m sorry about that. Lead the way Aaden.”
Liam glanced over at her, uncertainty in his voice, “Right away.”
She couldn’t help but to notice that he was struggling with his identity. They did throw a lot on him at one time, but in all fairness, it was a lot for her to adjust to too. As they reached the car, Liam opened the passenger side and held it until Saraid climbed in.
“Thank you, Aaden.” I will never get used to calling him that. I need to get his memory back.
“I know this must be hard for you too. I wish I could remember this life that you say I have, but I don’t. I can’t see me ever being the King of anything,” Liam spoke for Saraid alone.
“It is difficult yes. Mostly because you have no memory of our relationship. Being the Queen of my people is an honor, but it is not something that I would choose to do without you. I will find a way to get your memory back. Come hell or high water, I will get my husband back.”
With a brief nod he turned the key in the ignition and the black SUV roared to life.He backed the SUV up and started toward town.
“Wait! Where are you taking us Aaden?” Grady asked.
“To the Court.”
Saraid cut in, “I’m afraid the Royal Court has been relocated. It’s about a mile up the road to the right now.”
“Impossible. The only place around here is the Fitzpatrick mansion.”
“That is indeed where we are going. Jameson gifted that property to you and to Chase when you were cast out from the Guardianship. You and Saraid moved into it and once you were crowned it became the royal court,” Wendy chimed in.
“Keeping tabs on us much?” Saraid teased, giving her a wink.
“Of course. You guys are my family.”
“I know. I am so happy to have you back. I have missed you so much and I know someone else who has missed you possibly more than me.”
Of course, Wendy knew exactly whom Saraid was referring to. She was anxious to see Chase again. The thought of one day returning to him is what kept her fighting for so long in Purgatory. He had no idea of the torture she faced every time the sunset in Purgatory and if she had her way, none of her family ever would. It would devastate them.
“You think so?”
“You’re kidding, right? Chase has been beside himself and downright miserable to be around since we learned that you were stuck in Purgatory. He damn near snapped my neck,” Saraid admitted.
Liam chose that time to cut in, “He attacked his Queen and you let him live?”
“It’s a long story and one that I hope you eventually remember but, yes. Chase is your best friend and one of our bonded partners.”
“One of our what?”
“What she is trying to tell you is that you and Chase takes turns fucking her every night and sometimes you and Chase fuck each other. It’s not that hard to comprehend,” Graten shouted.
Wendy and Saraid both voiced their protest at Graten’s choice of vulgarity.
Liam looked to Saraid, “Is that true?”
“Before you and I were bonded, no. It was Wendy with Chase and Me with you. The night we met, we were bound together and then a short while later we lost Wendy. The attempts on our lives and the loss of Wendy pushed me into the desire to fight for my right to the throne. It was when you were kidnapped by Lillian that I had decided that I was going to kill her even if she took me with her,” she sighed, “ Chase was trying to help me by letting me feed off him to keep my strength because he promised you that should anything happen to you, he would look after me. One minute I was biting into his flesh and the next I’m standing in our bedroom on four paws and wearing a matching green claw mark.”
“So how does that affect me?”
“Actually, Chase almost died in the fight against Lillian and when you and I went to him, the binding took hold when we touched him.”
He asked nothing else for the remainder of the drive. It was a lot to process, of that Saraid was sure but she had to push hard at getting his memory back. James was back and it was not good to be so vulnerable.
“Will you join us Aaden? I’m sure Chase would love to see you and I would love to show you around.”
“Thank you, my Queen. I would be honored to escort you inside.”
Liam climbed out of the truck and raced to the passenger side to open the door for her. She climbed down and placed her arm once again in his, “Right this way.”
She felt a twinge of sadness as she watched Liam take in their home with unfamiliar eyes. The three years they have lived here had vanished in the blink of an eye and now the last memory he had of the place was from before Jameson had passed away. They had remodeled almost every aspect of the mansion except for the architecture. Saraid loved the original architecture and even though Liam had suggested it countless times, she just couldn’t bring herself to do it.
“It looks so, domestic,” Liam stuttered, his mouth agape.
“I find it charming.”
“I meant no offense. It’s just not a look I would have chosen.”
Her laugh cut through the now awkward silence, “You designed every aspect of it.”
“I did,” he asked skeptically.
Grady stepped beside Liam and put an arm on his shoulder, “You custom designed everything based on what you thought Saraid would love. You had me spying for months, watching what she watched, reading what she read, all so you could design the perfect home for her.”
Saraid new nothing about that little detail. She had assumed that she and Grady shared the same interests in some things.
“You must be an amazing woman ma’am, for a man to go to such great lengths to please you.”
“She is indeed, and you love her more than life itself. The only thing that compares to the love you have for Saraid is the love you have for the daughter you share with her.”
Liam’s eyes grew wide, “I have a daughter?”
She reached out instinctively at the sound of disbelief in his voice. How was she supposed to handle this? She didn’t want to tell him about Treasa until she had no choice. Surely, he was going to want to see the daughter he couldn’t remember. How was she supposed to explain to their three-year-old that her Daddy couldn’t remember her because someone cast a spell on him?
She shot Grady a look of irritation before she pulled Liam down, so he sat on the front steps beside her, “We do, yes. I wasn’t going to tell you yet because she knows you and she loves you. It would be cruel to tell her that you don’t remember her. Do you understand?”
“I think so. Is it possible for me to see her where she can’t see me?”
“I can take you in to peek on her when she goes to sleep for the night if you’d like,” she offered.
The front door opened just as Liam opened his mouth to answer. Light surrounded the group of them until they were staring at the slim silhouette of Jaxon, leaning against the doorframe.
“What are you guys doing out here? You had me worried sick Saraid! You come in here, fuck the living shit out of me and then run off screaming that you needed to find Liam.”
She had forgotten about her tumble with Jax earlier.Having that little tidbit of information in the open could make Liam choose to not remember.
“If I love you so much and treated you so well, why would you seek the comfort of another mans bed,” Liam asked, bitterness seeping from his glare.
“It is hard to explain. I have never wanted to sleep with other men. You are my one, but we had recently found out that our binding works different than most because I am part Succubus.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that you are not just bound to me. You are bound to me, Chase, Jaxon, and Guinivere. The love you and I share is like nothing either of us has experienced before and nothing in the world outside of our daughter could compare to it, but we love them too. We just love each other more.”
Jaxon stepped further outside, “What happened to him? Why doesn’t he remember anything?”
“It’s a very long story. Maybe we should go inside and talk about it with Chase and Guin?”
“Yes, lets. I need to see my Tiger,” Wendy chimed in.
His already pale skin whitened further when Jaxon took notice of Wendy still cocooned in the massive arms of Graten.
“Wendy,” he questioned and then looked to Saraid, “You did it? You actually did it?”
At her nod he leaped from the porch and snatched Wendy from Graten’s arms, spinning her around. “I have missed you more than you know. Chase is going to be over the moon.”
The sound of glass shattering turned their attention toward the entrance to the house. Standing there, at the foot of the stairs with a garden of glass shards at his feet was Chase.
Jax put Wendy on her feet. They weren’t sure who moved first, but the two of them met in the middle, immediately locked into each other’s arms.
“How?” Chase asked.
“My sister of course.”
Chase released his hold on Wendy and crossed the room until he stood outside, in front of Saraid. He grabbed her arms and pulled her into him, “I will never be able to repay you for this. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you.”
“Just go and be happy. That is the only repayment I require.”
He nodded and returned to Wendy’s side. Saraid watched them with envy. She knew Chase would probably never leave Wendy’s side again. Would Liam ever look at her in that way again? She pushed the thought to the back of her mind.
“We have a lot to discuss and not much time left in the night to discuss it. Let’s go inside where we can have some privacy.”