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“A Blood Moon?” Zephyr questioned “What’s the Blood Moon?”

“Some semi-centennial event that my family celebrates as being chosen for the Guardians of the Gate.”

“And it’s called the Blood Moon?” he shivered “That name would freak anyone out.”

“I know” I said softly “But that’s not what’s worrying me.”

“Something’s bothering you more than just the Gate or Key, Princess” he said softly, soothing the skin at my hipbone “What’s really bothering you?”

“Those monsters kept telling me that I had the key” I said softly “Why would all three of these monsters claim that I had the key? The girl that doesn’t know where up is down in this hellhole?”

“Maybe they were just asking in general?” he answered, scowling “Since I was apparently useless and incapacitated in every situation that forced you to fight alone.”

“No” I shook my head “It’s like they kept you away from me for a purpose.”

He sat up straighter, gazing at my face in a calculating manner “You’re...right.”

“The more I think about it, the more things don’t add up” I turned in his lap, facing him “Think about it Zee, Why are we really here?”

I held up my hand “And don’t give me the generic ‘Hades needs something’ answer because we both know Hades doesn’t have a problem with taking things that aren’t his.”

Zephyr gazed at me but I knew he wasn’t really looking at me.

He was thinking about something, indecision flickering in his gaze more often than not.

Finally, his gaze turned steely with resolve and his pretty eyes locked with mine.

I leaned down and touched my forehead with his, making sure that our gazes never broke as I did so “Nothing you could tell me would ever change my feelings for you.”

“It might” he croaked, tangling his fingers into my hair and tugging slightly “And I just can’t have you looking at me with hate.”

“I didn’t hate you when you brought me here” I reminded him, kissing the corner of his mouth “Even when you took me away from my family.”

“You weren’t exactly the most welcoming person either” he whispered “If I’m not mistaken, you did threaten my manhood a couple of times.”

I smiled softly but it faded quickly “Zephyr does this secret of yours have to do with our Bond?”

He stiffened like a board “What?”

“I’m not an idiot” I said softly, lessening the blow of my words “My Wolf never really recognized you as her Mate. It was only after we kissed for the second time did she claim you as ours.”

The further I continued, the more my sweet Zephyr withdrew into himself “We’ve never had the usual signs that Mates have when they find one another. There were no sparks, no love at first sight moment, and not to mention, you can’t even enter my family’s Elysium when all the other Mates can.”

He deposited me on the seat next to him before jumping up and stalking towards his tent.

I followed him.

“Zephyr, please...” I pleaded with him “Whatever you tell me...”

“WILL COMPLETELY DESTROY US!” He roared, yelling at me for the first time since we’ve met “Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say Serenity? If I tell you my secret, you’re going to hate me!”


“You just might” he whispered, sitting on the edge of his bed “You will hate me.”

I sat next to him and intertwined our fingers “Give me more credit than that Zephyr.”

He stared at our clasped hand for a few minutes before turning those beautiful gems on me.

My breath caught as his gaze dropped to my lips.

“I’l tell you” he spoke so soft that I thought I imagined hearing his voice if it wasn’t for his lips moving “But first, I need you to do something for me.”

“What is it?” I asked, desire spreading up my spine as he continued to look at me with a predatory gaze.

“Before I tell you my secret...” he trailed off, swallowing thickly “Before you end up hating me forever, I want one last thing from you.”

“What do you want?” I cleared my throat, trying to hide the squeak in my voice.

“I want a kiss” he said simply, his intense gaze making my face red hot “One last kiss.”


Before I could finish saying okay, he pounced on me.

Literally, pounced on me to the point when I fell back onto the bed with a loud ‘oomph’.

Real graceful Serenity

He climb on top of me, straddling my waist, and tangled his hand in my curly hair. Our lips collided in a fiery passion and it lit up my whole body. My Wolf let out a growl of satisfaction and practically begged me to mark Zephyr’s unblemished skin.

I groaned when the kiss deepened and Zephyr took the opening to tangle his tongue with mine.

This kiss, by far, blasted our other ones into smithereens.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved our slow sweet kisses that we’ve shared, but this kissed awoke something in me that I never even knew existed.

Zephyr’s hands trailed down my body and stopped at my waist, gripping it softly and drawing me closer to him.

When we finally broke apart from the lack of oxygen, Zephyr continued to kiss his way down my neck, stopping to take little bites at the pulse in my neck, my collarbone, and the swell of my breast.

I knew that if we didn’t stop now, then there was no way I was getting answers tonight.

And as really tempting as that sounded, to wait until morning for the answers, I knew that my mind would dwell on the fact all night.

She was a bitch like that.

“Zephyr...” I moaned when he went in for a second kiss “We need to stop.”

“I really don’t want too” he pulled away, burying his head in my chest.

He kissed a spot over my heart and hugged me so tightly to his chest that I could barely breathe.

I smiled and ran my fingers through his soft hair “I don’t want our first time to be like this.”

His head snapped up so fast I was surprised that he didn’t break his neck “What?” he asked, his eyes comically wide.

I laughed, glad that the moody Zephyr has left the building, and tapped his chin twice “Careful, spiders might call in there if you keep it open for too long.”

“Our first time?” he repeated in a daze, ignoring my spider statement.

I nodded.

“But you haven’t even heard my secret yet” he said dumbly “How can you be thinking about our first time if you haven’t even heard what I have to say?”

“After that kiss, how could I not think about our first time” I grinned wickedly at him “I told you, no matter what you say will change how I feel about you.”

He just stared at me, his eyes still comically large and dazed looking.

“You’re an enigma Serenity Matthews” he said in awe “And I can’t believe you’re mine.”

“Damn straight I am” I said, nudging him off me “Now quit stalling.”

He sat up with a groan “Where do I even start?”

I rubbed his back encouragingly and he took a deep breath in.

“You know the story I told you earlier?” he asked shyly “The one where we first met?”

I nodded.

“And remember you almost beating me up to a bloody pulp for touching the fire?”

I nodded again.

“Do you also remember what I told you that day?” he avoided my eyes “After I stopped crying like a baby.”

“Yes” I said slowly “You said your father took something from you that day.”

His eyes flashed slowly up to mine and I wonder what-....


I jumped up like a mad woman “HE TOOK OUT BOND AWAY?!!!”

Zephyr flinched back at my tone “Serenity...”

I started pacing the room and I could feel my Wolf trying to claw her way out of my body.

She wanted to make the bastard pay for taking something so sacred away from us, from robbing us of our precious mate.

Zephyr jumped up with me and placed both hands on my face “Calm down my Love, your eyes are glowing.”

My Wolf instantly soothed at his touch but my own anger could not be so easily controlled.

“You knew about this?” I couldn’t keep the hurt from lacing my tone “This whole time you were okay with me not knowing we were Mates?”

“NO!” His eyes widened and he began shaking his head profusely “I wanted to tell you but...I just couldn’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because I promised my parents I wouldn’t” he sighed “Evidently, my father had a good reason for suppressing our bond.”

“And what exactly would that be?” I asked through clenched teeth.

“Apparently, when I was young, I got really sick” he threaded his fingers through my jean loops and pulled me closer to him “My parents tried everything they could to heal me but nothing would work. One healer said that our bond was just too powerful for my little powerless body to handle and it had to be suppressed in order for me to heal. My mother was against it at first but when they ran out of options, they became really desperate.”

His finger dipped into the loose space of my jeans and he caressed the top of my hip in shiver worthy strokes.

“My mother had a hard time conceiving and she was worried she’d lose her second child to this unknown illness” he said softly “That’s why they chose to suppress our bond. They already lost so many children before me from freak accidents that they couldn’t risk loosing me at the time. The healer said that when I got my powers, and was physically older, I would be able to handle the bond better.”

“You weren’t born with your powers?” I asked, my anger deflating substantially.

If suppressing our bond was the only option to save Zephyr, my Mate, then I couldn’t really be mad at his parents. Without making that hard decision, he wouldn’t be standing in front of me now (or even exist in the world) and that would be a travesty.

The world needs more people who are kind, considerate, and fiercely protective like Zephyr who has a heart of gold.

“My powers didn’t come in until later” he smiled “Which was a good thing too. I had a knack for mischief and a temper to match my Dad’s.”

“You!” I let out a sarcastic gasp “I don’t believe it!”

His eyes twinkled as he smiled down at me “Minx.”

I smiled slightly and sighed.

“What’s wrong love?”

“You would have just been okay with me kissing other guys?” I asked softly watching as his jaw clenched and he scowled “What if I fell in love and mated with someone else? How would you have been able to stop me?”

He growled so loudly, it nearly matched my own and if I didn’t know better, I would have thought he was a wolf himself.

I shivered and my Wolf purred like a freaking cat.

“I wouldn’t have let that happen” his eyes flashed “I would have killed him before they even got to see your smile.”

“Whoa tough guy” I wrapped my arms around his neck and brought his head down to mine, kissing the corner of his mouth “I don’t think I like this side of you.”

“Liar” He nuzzled his face in my neck and kissed it “You love all my sides.”

He went in for a kiss but I blocked his advances with a finger to his lips.

He pouted and I giggled “No kisses for your brave stud of a mate that told you his deepest, darkest secret?”

“You can get all the kisses you want if you answer this last question for me.”

“Unlimited kisses?” His eyes flashed wickedly “Does this deal let me pick where I get to give the kisses?”

I gave him a droll look “Don’t push your luck Zee Zee.”

He pouted again.

“Tell me why we’re really here. ”

He sighed.

“We’re here to retrieve something for Hades so he can give us our bond back.”

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