“How did you get this? I thought Gordon still had it?” I say, feeling suspicious.

“Valen went back and got it. We agreed that one of us should return there to make sure he wasn’t coming after you again. Valen volunteered to go and then decided to break into the house and found this on his desk.”

“We should have known he was going to do that,” Erik says, rolling his eyes. “The hunter in him loves to track shit down.”

“He wanted to help protect us and keep Dove safe,” Bishop says as he leans back in his chair. “Just like I do.” I don’t say anything, but he must be able to sense my hesitation. “From what I can tell they haven’t told you anything about how they were created, did they?”

“No, um, we didn’t do a lot of talking,” I admit, feeling my face flame with embarrassment.

“You’re becoming mated, there’s no shame in that. I wish I had something so precious.” A sad look passes over his face, but he shakes it off and moves on. “I’m not the enemy here, Dove. The only thing I’ve ever wanted in two hundred years is to protect my family, and now that includes you.”

When I see the way he looks at the twins I know without a doubt that he cares for them and what he’s saying is the truth. I can feel the love radiate off Ezra and Erik, and I know it isn’t just for me.

“He saved us, sweets,” Erik says, squeezing my hand. “I don’t want to go into too much detail because you don’t need to know how dark our lives were before you, but we were raised by a monster.”

Bishop nods and leans forward again. “The man you met yesterday has been around as long as I have. But he thinks he’s here to conquer the world and make humans bend to his will. He has no remorse for those he has to kill along the way, and you’re incredibly lucky to have gotten away from him.” The hold around me tightens and I can sense the stress in the twins rising. “I’m still trying to piece together everything that happened, but from what we know, their father was working with Gordon to cover up murders. We don’t know if he participated, but we know that he hid several bodies on his land at the request of Gordon and then was ordered to kill his sons.”

I place my hand over my mouth as Bishop continues. I don’t want to hear the rest, but I know I have to.

“Kane was the one who heard about what was happening and told me where to go. By the time I got to the house it was already on fire with their father inside. I looked for the twins, but it didn’t take long for me to smell their blood in the river nearby. The father had taken them there, and let’s just say he left them for dead.” He swallows and the dark shadow passes over him once again. “I was able to get to them in time and I changed them right then.”

“You saved us,” Ezra says simply, and Erik nods.

“By the time Kane and I got them to safety, people were at their house and found the buried bodies. They assumed the twins were somehow involved, so we had to go into hiding. Gordon disappeared and didn’t resurface until recently.” He lets out a long sigh.

“Why has he decided to come back now?” I ask, feeling the weight of all this hit me.

“Because he’s trying to draw me out,” Bishop says. “I’ve talked a lot with Valen, and from what his contacts at the police department say the murders in town are all random and unrelated. Valen said that he’s sure it’s a vampire and I know it has to be Gordon. He knows this is our city and I run things here. He’s doing this to pull me into a fight so that he can have my territory. And maybe to finally end me once and for all. Although I don’t have much time left, so he’s going to get his wish either way.”

“Have you fought before?” With every answer Bishop gives me, I have more questions like I always do. I can never get enough information.

“The history between Gordon and me is for another time. I brought you here today to tell you about the twins and to warn you to stay away from Gordon if you see him again. He’s dangerous and there’s nothing he’s incapable of. You have your mates now and they’ll look out for you, but be smart.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” I say, gripping their legs. I feel the bond between us grow even tighter and I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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