Faith let out another curse, this time louder. “She took a year off to take care of me when I was in that damn coma. She wouldn’t let anyone else help because everyone wanted the wards in a neutral place to protect us. And now look what happened.” Levi held her close and kissed her temple, whispering something in her ear that Tristan couldn’t hear.
Faith had almost died on the battlefield protecting her friends, and Levi had been forced to create a bond between them. The resulting healing period had taken a while—a year for Faith to find her way back to the land of the living. Tristan knew of the events because of Levi, but he hadn’t known of Amara’s full involvement until now. Her self-sacrifice just made him want her more. Yet he also wanted to find her new boss and teach him a lesson or two when it came to messing with a fae’s mate.
“What will it take for her to find something somewhere she’s appreciated?” he asked. Seth nodded at him and gave him a small smile. It seemed the two of them were on the same page about Amara. They might not know the exact next steps, but standing back as they were and breaking their fate wasn’t working.
“What do you care?” Dante asked. He sat back in his chair, one arm over the back of Nadie’s as he absently played with Jace’s long, blond hair. The dragon might look relaxed, but there was nothing safe about a dragon, even in sleep.
“She’s mine,” he stated then looked at Seth, who had a brow raised. “Ours.”
“You have a funny way of showing it,” Eliana put in. “I mean, it’s been how many months since you showed up and joined our group of misfits? Yet all you’ve done is go all broody over Amara from afar.” She nodded at Seth. “And this one’s not much better.”
“We had our reasons,” Seth said, his voice calm. But Tristan heard the undercurrent of anger.
“We’ve all had our reasons for screwing up our matings, and yet, I don’t want Amara hurt,” Faith said. “I’m tired,” she said softly, and Levi held her closer. “I’m tired of all of us going through hell to find our happiness. I fought the bond because I didn’t have a choice when it came to be.” She looked at Levi then kissed his chin. “I was an idiot, but I learned to take life as it is and I found that I love this man.”
Levi grinned, and Tristan felt a sliver of jealousy slide through him. He didn’t want to be jealous. He didn’t want to feel like he couldn’t have what fate had deemed his. He wanted Amara and Seth in his life. He was far too old to be left wanting.
Yet, he was afraid.
And that wasn’t like him.
“Are you going to actually talk to her?” Lily asked. “I mean, it’s good and all that you recognize her as your true half.” She looked over at Seth. “That both of you have seen that. But you haven’t done anything about it. Is it because you’re afraid she doesn’t feel the same?”
The words were like a slash to the heart. Tristan raised his chin. “And you know that, then? That she doesn’t feel that we’re her mates?”
Lily shook her head. “We know nothing for sure.”
“She won’t talk about it with us,” Nadie said softly. “But just because she doesn’t feel it, doesn’t mean it’s not fate. We’re lightning-struck. Since when have we ever done anything normal? Maybe it’s because of what kind of paranormal she is. Maybe it’s because there’s two of you and she’s confused.” She held up her hand. “Each one of us who found our mate or mates has traveled a different path. Who’s to say Amara won’t have a completely different journey of her own?”
“You won’t know anything until you try,” Eliana put in.
“What do you think we should do, then?” Seth asked. “Short of locking her in a room or kidnapping her to one of our realms so we all have to talk it out, I just don’t know.”
Tristan snorted, a smile tugging at his lips. “I might be old and out of touch, but I can safely say kidnapping is not a way to entice a mate to your side.”
“If Malik were to kidnap me, I’d enjoy every minute of it,” Eliana said with a glint in her eye. She’d been dating the lion shifter for a few months, if what Tristan remembered was true. But neither of them had declared their intentions. However, he needed to worry about his mating, not someone else’s at the moment.
“Dirty,” Faith said with a grin and then turned her attention back to Tristan. “Don’t kidnap her, per se. But go outside right now and ask her to go with you. She needs to get out of this realm, Tristan.” Worry passed over her face. “She hasn’t left it in over a year, even though we’ve all invited her to our other homes.”