I'm surprised to discover the feeling of DoJo's clothing brushing mine as she puts her arm over me. I try not to show it or react.
DoJo's giggle puts a smile on my face. "You thought I was naked." She states with certainty.
I blush and nod my head.
DoJo playfully punches the shoulder next to her with her other hand. I must have over concentrated on my human form when I left the horse one, giving my clothes skin color until I remembered to include clothing appearance."
"So these clothes will replicate any look we want?" I ask, not bothering to hide my amazement.
She nods her head, opens the blanket and shows her current look, black pants and a jungle camouflage vest. Moments later there's a slight blur before I see her in dark green sweats and an ocean blue baggy t-shirt. Only her baseball cap doesn't change.
"I can see advantage to this." I admit with a grin.
I make my chest look bare, and my pants become my sleep shorts. "I can look like it's any night at home." I point out, "While staying warm in the plunging temperature."
DoJo looks at the cave. I see on her face, and feel through the connection, the worry that's brewing within her.
I grab her tighter, pressing our bodies so tightly together that it's hard to believe there's any, much less two layers, between us.
"The evil one is stealing what it can, even while it's frozen." DoJo whispers, "It's trying to steal strength from us too."
"Should we move further away?" I ask, looking around for a good spot.
A hand softly touches my chin. Tingles. I turn my attention directly to DoJo. She informs me, "They've already locked onto our presence. We can't let negative emotions get to us, that's his tapping point."
"You said They've locked onto us." I point out, "Yet his tapping point. Isn't that contradictory?"
She shakes her head. "There's four beings in there. One is evil, I can sense it's one of the males. One of the other three is the one destined to kill Helios. We need them all with us when we leave."
"We have to keep an enemy among us?" I whisper.
"Jesus had to walk with Judas." DoJo states with a shrug.
I chuckle a bit. "I'm not quite willing to compare myself to him."
"Then should our burden be any easier?" She asks with a grin.
I get lost in her eyes. Suddenly I find myself blurting, "You must miss your husband."
"You let your guard down." DoJo tells me, "But I'm trying to stay in the Silver lining of the clouds."
"Is there a silver lining to losing your mate?" I counter quickly.
Sadness seeps into her eyes as she informs me, "My mate was physically strong, smart as can be, maybe too intelligent, he was respected, and rightly feared. I was the only one who could pull him back when his mind snapped."
"That would make you feel responsible for staying near him." I conclude.
She nods her head. "I loved him, but sometimes I struggled to hide from him the need to get some space."
"Space can be overrated." I joke about our current situation.
"This is extenuating circumstances." She whispers in my ear, brushing her nose excruciatingly gentle against the top, just enough to cause a riple of a tingle to travel across my ear.
I swallow, knowing she felt that too.
"I thought you were only going to have the connection open when you are in animal form." I note, trying hard not to give into the pull of her heat.
I see her grimace. "I intended to do that, but I'm finding our connection hard to close now that I opened it. Maybe because it's the only one I have open, and part of me doesn't want to go back to complete silence."
"Maybe the problem is on my end." I suggest.
DoJo shrugs her shoulders as she leans more into me. I laugh, and she smiles freely.
I declare, "I like making you smile."
"I like smiling." She replies, locking eyes with me.
I couldn't begin to tell you how long we sat like that, staring into each other's eyes. Her blue seeming deep, and the specks of green becoming like floating islands in the most beautiful see.
"That's a beautiful thought." DoJo's voice speaks softly into my head, gently shaking me from the trance.
I state, "They're beautiful eyes."
She blushes, and whispers in her head, "Rule number four."
"What's rule number four?" I ask out loud.
"If you're going to rob something, make it a grave, not a cradle." DoJo answers too quickly. Then she looks at me awkwardly.
"You don't have to explain." I offer.
"I mentioned once to a group of higher ranked women in my Posse that before I met my mate I had rules for dating." DoJo explains anyway, "Somehow that lead to one of them inquiring, 'If you were widowed and started dating, what would your rules for entering the dating field be?'"
"Do I want to know the other rules?" I playfully ask.
DoJo raises her eyebrows. "Only you can answer that."
I pause and think about it for a moment. I decide to answer, "Curiosity caught the cat."
She grins, I can feel that she gets exactly what I'm saying. "Rule number one: If they can't accept no; they don't deserve a yes." She offers, watching me smile at her answer.
"I like that Rule." I gladly admit.
DoJo continues, "Rule number two: If you can't see forever by two weeks, ask why."
I gulp. "That's not very long."
"Maybe in human life, but Demon Hunters are particularly blessed to know right away if they're meant to be with someone they're spending time with." She explains cautiously, "The higher ranked in the Posse they are the stronger the pull between mates is. I'm the original member, so it's almost impossible not to attract my second mate if they're around."
"With your heat calling every male, that's not exactly a sign." I point out sadly.
She leans her head against mine, the tingles are soft and comforting. "The elders from the werewolves claim that tingles used to be a sign of mates for them. But the Alpha and I had a bunch of other signs instead." DoJo states quietly.
"So, you've never felt this before?" I ask in awe.
Her hand slides down my side, stopping just above my hip, she squeezes gently. Those tingles are more playful. DoJo confesses, "I'm having trouble resisting certain urges."
I clear my throat. "What does Alastair look like?"
She answers dreamily, "Mostly golden, except for a silver heart on his chest, with piercing blue eyes that Sil likes to gaze into."
"Sounds like you like him." I tease as I turn my head to kiss her cheek. My lips are engulfed in the most pleasurable burning feeling; a combination I never thought imaginable before this moment.
DoJo gasps before replying, "It's kinda intriguing."
"What is?" I ask.
"My Alpha mate and I often bumped heads, not on the important things, it's the little details that got us. And neither of us could compel the other." DoJo informs me with a half chuckle, "Sil listened to Alastair with ease, yet she can compel him."
"Maybe knowing that her submission is purely voluntary that makes her more willing to give it." I offer as I nuzzle into her neck, her head resting against mine.
"I promise never to compel you in anger." DoJo whispers before kissing my cheek.
I gather my courage and admit, "I'm starting to wonder if I'm your second chance mate."
"It's a possibility." She says dreamily, "But we have to be certain before we go there."
I smile and point out, "You never told me Rule number three."
"That's a carry over from my original rules." DoJo informs me, "No names of family members or exes."
I grin and tell DoJo, "Since I already know Rule number four, what I want is to know: why?"
"I just think that robbing the cradle sounds creepy. And so is being a cougar." She states awkwardly, "Always thought robbing the grave, sounds mysteriously romantic, like your love keeps them from the grave."
I look over her face as her feelings flow through me. I note, "There's more to it, but that's enough of the truth for now."
She nods her head ever so slightly and yawns. "We need to get some sleep."
I move to lean against the wall, setting up the blanket to sit on, giving a barrier between us and the chilling rocks.
DoJo looks at the blanket, and rubs the back of her neck.
"What's wrong?" I ask gently.
DoJo looks away before confessing, "I can't sleep without a blanket over me. I see your logic for under, but..."
I raise a finger and tell her, "If you'll allow me to be your bed, you can cover up with the other side."
"I'd like that." DoJo says as she drops her hand and lets out a sigh of relief.
DoJo lowers to her knees between my knees, turns around, gently placing her behind between my thighs, I fight thinking about the urges stirring in me as she lays her back against my chest. Then she straightens her legs as I place the blanket over her. DoJo whispers, "I trust you." Before closing her eyes and drifting off to sleep.
I sense her strength protecting me, putting a shield between me and the man who wants my thoughts to be sad. I can't deny she loves me. With that realization I drift off to sleep the happiest male on this crazy planet.