"Being wrapped up in our own world never gives you time to empathize."
It had been only a month since Jaylen left as well as Melanie not contacting anyone in her family. Vita was worried and so was Roman but he had tried to hide the emotion from his wife as she was too stressed enough for both of them.
It hadn't been easy for anyone but it took a harder toll on Toby. Toby was the reason for his disappearance as well as his sisters. Even though his sister wasn't dead they had no way of knowing if Jaylen was.
The thought only brought more pain, physically and emotionally to the prince. He had displayed a smile truly fake as well as the laughs he shared with others. Once behind his bedroom walls, his face lost the expression, him looking dangerously angry.
Anger, as in previous times, didn't go well with the Sinclair family, especially when your father is Roman Sinclair.
Only a month and Roman had yelled at Toby more times than he had yelled at his brother, which said a lot. Toby was always found in the kitchen, passed out, a bottle of liquor in his hand as he tried to drown himself with his sorrow.
Roman never took it seriously until it had already been a week but Vita, knowing the pain, she understood. She never took the blame out on her son. Jaylen risking his life for Toby meant that in the family he would be forever loved.
"Toby," Roman sighs, "you need to stop it."
The family had tried to have a family dinner but Toby never showed and Vita couldn't stop the tears. The night ended quickly but Roman dragged Toby out of his room for this dinner.
Toby hadn't been listening, his body leaning against the chair, his dull dark eyes looking at the wall behind his grandfather, Griffin. They had all decided to stay in the castle for the sake of Toby and Vita, especially if Melanie if she were to come home.
Toby had actually gotten a letter from Melanie but she had told him to not tell the others so he didn't. He kept it hidden, behind the painting of him and Melanie.
"Toby," Roman whispers with tone.
"Roman," Vita takes a deep breath, "enough."
The family couldn't help but glance at Toby as he sat, not a word nor an action. He hadn't touched his food and the only time he would move was for a sip of water.
"It isn't your fault," Bonnie whispers, causing the family to tense.
Toby, emotionless, dangerous, turns to face Bonnie as she shifts uncomfortably in her chair, Astrid grabbing onto her hand.
"Toby, enough!" Roman shouts causing Vita to let out a shaky breath, "it isn't your fault."
"Did you know your daughter isn't sitting at this table," Toby turns his head to his father, "did you know she isn't sitting here? I wonder why, oh, wait, I know why. Her lover is gone and that pain is so...cruel. It's because I didn't listen to Uncle Klaus about my stupid ass step-"
"Toby," Klaus interrupts, "you did what you could have done. You were ambushed. Your powers froze."
"I shouldn't have to depend on them!"
The table had gone silent before Toby angrily stands, knocking his chair back. His knuckles so white as the blood couldn't run to them, his fist being so tight.
"Toby Victor Sinclair!"
Roman tries to get his son to come back but Toby had already blocked out everyone from his head, his ears ringing, his heart racing, and of course, being a Sinclair.
He only saw red.
Toby hides under the hood he has placed on but it being dark meant people wouldn't have recognized him even without it on. He walks down the empty streets, the only sound was the waves crashing fading away.
A bottle in his hand, almost empty, even though he had only bought it twenty minutes ago. He didn't know what else to do to make the feelings go away, to make them go numb.
He was the reason his sister was sad.
He was the reason his mother was so stressed.
He was the reason his father was so worried.
He is the reason Jaylen Darius is gone.
Toby needed the thoughts to stop pounding his head so wickedly. The only way for him to drink, he couldn't die. He had promised his sister to not let what Jaylen had done to go to waste, even if he wanted to break that promise so badly he-
Toby goes sober real quick at the sound of his wolf, Winston, jumping in glee, his smile lighting up the dark places in Toby's mind.
The smell, it smells of fire mixed with rain, a calming yet dangerous smell.
Toby tries to find the wolf and he removes the hood, looking desperately before dropping the bottle and walking. He didn't know what to process through his mind but then he halted at the thought.
'You don't deserve him.' His mind spoke but Winston's power for his mate was too strong.
Then he pauses to come face to face with a male, a small male, at least three inches shorter, his blonde, brown, ginger hair all wild but in a small bun at the back of his head. Freckles only cover one side of his face. His eyes, they were...orange?
'Mate! Mate! Mate!'
Then it hit both of them.
Their mate is male!
They are gay!
The thought causes them both to step back, their wolf's whimpering in the process.
Before Toby could question the male, he had run off in the opposite direction. Toby immediately reacts, him being Alpha he was much faster but surprisingly so was the small one.
Toby's mate halts as his voice, his ears enjoying the sound but he still kept his back to him.
"I'm Toby, Toby Sinclair."
The male freezes at the last name, he's royal!
"Forget this ever happened," the male's voice brought passion into Toby's chest and the male could feel it as well.
The male turns, eyes facing him, "it's safer and less complicated."
"I'm not going to forget and if you cause me to go on this chase for you then that is what I will do."
The male's expressions only show fear and all Toby wanted to do was to hug the small being but he refrained.
"Can I at least have your name before the night ends?"
The male swallows hard before nodding, "Ethan Echo."
a/n: remember this is book three but it takes place the year Jaylen is gone.
a/n (editing): when Ethan said it was dangerous I got a flashback of Vita first meeting Roman saying it was also dangerous for them...oh the times!!!