Jax hit the send button on his phone after hastily typing a text to Chase, Wendy, and Guin to meet him in the conference room on the main level. He glanced down at Saraid’s sleeping figure and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. He felt the only way she would be okay is if they found a way to restore Liam’s memory, but what he wasn’t sure of was that she would forgive him for leaving her at a time when she needed her family the most. He quietly tiptoed to the door, careful to make no noise as he left the room.
He was met in the hall by Chase and Wendy, who looked at him with eyes full of worry and confusion. Wendy embraced Jax quickly and stepped back to look into his eyes.
“How is she doing,” Wendy asked.
Jax shook his head, “She is finally sleeping, but I don’t know for how long. I don’t know how long she can continue like this honestly.”
“There has to be something we can do,” Chase added sympathetically.
“Let’s continue this in the meeting room,” Jax stated harshly and walked past them and made his way to the stairs, not looking back as he began to descend.
Wendy and Chase shared a concerned look and quietly followed. Both were unsure of what caused such a harsh reaction from Jax toward them. Had they said something to offend him, they weren’t sure. They entered the conference room shortly after Jax and took their seats at the table.
“What’s the meeting about,” Wendy asked through the awkward silence.
“Once everyone is here, we will talk.”
Wendy winced at his tone. He was angry with them for something and she’d be damned if she let him get away with speaking to her like that.
“I don’t know what your problem with me and Chase is, but now is not the time to be an asshole. We need to be sticking together so we can be here for Saraid.”
Jax shot her a look of condemnation, but managed to hold the choice words he wanted to say in. He loved Wendy but, unlike his feelings for Saraid, he really did love Wendy like a sister. She was also one of his best friends. Hurting her feelings was not something he wanted to do.
There was a light tap on the door before Guin pushed the door open and entered the room. One glance around the room told her that this was not a happy occasion. She reluctantly took the seat beside Jax and offered him a soft pat on his hand, a small gesture to show him that she was there if he needed someone to talk to.
“Now that everyone is here, we can get started. I asked you guys here because I need to know that you guys will look after Saraid and Treasa. I am going out to find James to try to get Liam’s memory back,” he stated, cutting right to the point.
Wendy was the first to speak out, “Jax, you can’t leave. If anyone can help her right now, it’s you.”
“Doing this is how I can help her. I will not sit back and just watch her slowly kill herself. It will not get better until she has Liam back and we can’t get him back just sitting around here.”
“Next to Liam you are the most important person to her. Not to mention you are the only one able to satiate her inner succubus right now,” Wendy argued.
“I’m not the only one who can fulfil that need. Guin is able to and so is Chase.”
“No Chase cannot!”
He stood and narrowed his eyes on Wendy, “He is capable you just won’t let him. Let me ask you this, if Saraid were to be near death and the only one able to revive her was Chase, would you let her die,” he gave her a moment to compose her now horrified appearance, “No? Yes? Did you know that Chase almost died because Saraid withheld herself from him to the point that he had grown so weak that he almost died? She had to make the choice of betraying your friendship to keep him alive or letting him die. She realized that letting him die would be an even bigger betrayal to both you and Liam so she did what she had to, to keep him alive and if she hadn’t, you wouldn’t be holding your precious tiger today!”
“I-I didn’t,” she stammered.
“What? You didn’t know? I bet you also didn’t know that Chase was the first to initiate their relationship. Saraid kept pushing him away until he went all alpha tiger on her and Liam! So instead of acting like she stepped in on your man, maybe try getting all the facts, but I suppose if he was as honorable as you believe, Chase would have told you all of that himself!”
“If it wasn’t for her freakish powers, he never would’ve been bound to her in the first place!”
Chase put his hand on Wendy’s shoulder and waved a hand to Jax in surrender, “We are accomplishing nothing here. Jax we will be here for Saraid. I promised Liam that I would look after her should he ever be absent,” he looked to Wendy next, “I know you don’t understand this binding, but if Saraid grows weak, so do I. if she dies it is quite possible that I die too. I understand your anger, but I also know that Saraid means the world to you and if you lost her it would devastate you.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that if it comes down to it, I will do what is necessary to protect my family and Saraid is my family too. None of us asked for this, but we are doing the best we can with the cards that we are dealt.”
“If Jax wasn’t trying to run off and play hero you wouldn’t have to have sex with my best friend!”
“Wendy! Don’t you get it? Because of the magic that binds us together he will always be pulled toward her. He can fight it for a while but eventually magic will force them into it like it did before and it wasn’t a pleasant experience for either one of them.”
“Okay, so what about Treasa? You are the one out of all of us with the closest bond to her. How do we explain to her that not just one but two men she cares about have disappeared from her life?”
Stop it, Wendy,” Guin shouted above Wendy’s protests, “You don’t get to use the child as a means to get your way all because your ego is hurt! Everyone that knows Jaxon, knows that he loves Saraid and Treasa. He is right. We don’t stand a chance to get Liam’s memory back unless someone is looking for the one who took them away.”
Jax offered Guin a nod of appreciation. He wasn’t expecting her support after their relationship ended badly due to the binding between himself and Saraid.
“Why am I even here Jax? Obviously, how I feel about all of this doesn’t matter to any of you so why bother to ask me to this meeting?”
“Because you are special to me too and because I know that underneath all of that jealousy and anger, you care about what happens to Saraid,” his voice softened.
“Okay but you are important to me too. Do you think any of us will be alright if you get killed?”
Jax smirked and the usual sexy gesture looked menacing enough to make the devil himself wince, “It seems you have forgotten who you’re talking to.”
“Oh, come on Jax. We joke about you being invincible but you’re not. You can die and you know it,” she argued.
“I will not be the one dying. I can promise you that,” he stated matter-of-fact, crossing his arms over his chest.
There was a loud crash in the main hall followed by the frantic screams of the residents inside. They all jumped from their seats, weapons in hand, to see what the commotion was. They were halted by the sight of a badly mangled Grady laying motionless on the floor.
“Guin charged to the front of the group, “What the hell happened?”
“It was James. He wasn’t alone either,” the Guardian known as Brent stepped to the front.
“Were you able to identify who was with him?”
Brent shook his head from side to side, “No. They were witches, that much we do know. One of the witches delivered the fatal blow with a spell.”
They gathered around Grady’s lifeless body, looking upon him with sympathetic horror.
“Death curses are forbidden. Gather every Guardian and prepare to hunt. We will not stop until James and his partners are caught and vengeance is paid,” she looked over to Jax, “You better hope you catch him before we do because I will not wait to execute him.”
Jax said nothing, his short nod in her direction said it all. He would have to leave tonight. He turned on his heels and climbed the stairs to his room. He threw his travel bag on the bed and packed the essentials he would need on the road and then sat at his desk to write the hardest letter he would ever have to write.
I’m sorry that I had to leave before you woke. I am out looking for James and when I find him, I will kill him but not before I find out how to get Liam’s memory back. He attacked last night, and he was not alone. Please stay safe and take care of yourself or at least allow the others to take care of you. I cannot sit idly by and watch you suffer when there is a possibility that it can be made better. I love you little witch. Give Treasa a kiss for me and I will return to you as soon as I can.
He folded the letter carefully and neatly printed her name on the front. His breath caught in his throat as he fought against the emotions threatening to take over him. All he ever wanted in his life was for Saraid to love him the way that he loved her and part of him felt that with Liam out of the picture it could actually happen but the other part of him knew that Saraid would never be open to moving on as long as there was a possibility of Liam returning. Her happiness was more important to him than his own and thanks to their binding he still gets to receive a percentage of the love from her that he desires. That would have to be good enough.
He snuck quietly into her room and placed the letter on her bedside table. He glanced down at her and frowned. She had neglected herself enough already and it was beginning to show. Where her face was one youthful and vibrant, it was now creased and sunken in. He said a silent prayer to himself that Wendy would do what needs to be done before Saraid withered away even further into someone unrecognizable or even worse, dies. He would never forgive himself if she died because he wasn’t there to make her take care of herself and then he was sure he would kill everyone else bonded to her for not taking care of her until he returns. He leaned over, brushed a stray hair away from her face and kissed her cheek. He ignored the pain in his chest and walked away.