Cypher stroked her hair as he felt the heart that, though mended now, remembered a time when it had broken.

“I never tried to find him. He didn’t know he had a daughter until this year. Jacque didn’t know anything about her father or what he was until Fane came to Coldspring and claimed her as his mate.”

“So, you have seen Dillon recently?” Cypher asked, and Lilly could tell he wasn’t happy about it.


“Do you still love him?”

“Not the way that you think. I love him, because he gave me Jacque.”

Cypher tried not to be jealous, but the idea of his mate with another man was not sitting well with him, even if it had happened so many years ago.

Lilly felt Cypher’s arms tense up. She looked up into his face and saw anger and possessiveness in his eyes.

“Talk to me Cypher,” she said to him, gently.

“I don’t want to share your heart,” he told her, honestly.

“You will always have to share my heart. Jacque holds a big chunk of it.”

Cypher shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. I expect to share with her and I’m happy to do so, but I hate that he held it at one time.” Cypher closed his eyes and tried to sort through his emotions before he continued. “I don’t want to sound like a petulant child, but I want you to be all mine.”

“I am all yours, Cypher, or at least that’s the direction we are headed, but you have a past as well. If I remember correctly on a certain night when you held me in bed I asked you if you had been with a woman and you said yes.”

“None that I have loved, none that have ever had any hold on me,” Cypher argued.

“They had to have held something sweetie, for you to be in their bed.” Lilly snorted at her own joke, but noticed that Cypher didn’t find the humor in it.

“That was a good one; you have to at least give me a little credit.”

He growled. “It was crude.”

“Yes, well so was the act of you sleeping with women solely for gratification, but then it happened right?” She shot back.

“Are you jealous little one?” He asked with a gleam in his eyes.

“No,” she answered, in a clipped tone.

Cypher pulled her against his chest and put his mouth directly next to her ear. “Since the moment I laid eyes on you I have forgotten any other woman who has crossed my path.”

“And your bed?” Lilly asked.

“In my mind, there is only you, Lilly. All I see is your face all I want is you. You are right we both have a past. I will try not to let your past make me into a jealous fool.”

“So, when you meet Dillon, you will be nice?” She asked, cautiously.

“Why would I meet Dillon?” He asked.

“Because he is Jacque’s father and if you are my…” She stumbled for words because she still wasn’t sure what to call him.

“Your mate, Lilly, I’m your mate.”

“Okay chill out. Geeze, if you are my mate, then you are bound, at some point, to meet him,” she paused before she added, “and if they called the packs, he is probably going to be at the Romanian mansion.”

Cypher’s breath froze in his lungs. He hadn’t expected to have to meet his mate’s former lover in a matter of hours.

“Cypher?” Lilly turned to look at him. “You okay?”

He took her face in his hands and kissed her gently at first, but then his lips pressed harder and he pulled her tighter. After several minutes, they were both breathing heavily. Lilly blushed as she thought about the others sitting nearby. It felt like any time Cypher’s lips met hers she forgot about everything else.

“You are mine,” he told her firmly.

“Cypher, Dillon has a mate. He isn’t going to try to take me.”

“I need to know that I am not competing with a memory Lilly. I need to know that your heart is yours to give and not in the hands of a man who gave you up.”

Lilly smiled up at him as she ran a finger across his lips.

“You have nothing to worry about, Warlock King. I got my heart back a long time ago and for the first time I’m ready to give it to someone who wants to keep it.”

Cypher pressed his forehead to hers. “Forever?”

“That’s all I’m asking for,” Lilly smiled. “But, I swear if we do this, and then some time down the line some chick comes out of the woodwork claiming to be your woman, I will castrate you. I just need you to know that upfront.”

Cypher cringed. “Then lucky for me there is no woman lurking in my past, or waiting in my future.”

“Good answer,” Lilly kissed him quickly on the lips, and then snuggled into him.

“Sleep little one,” Cypher’s chest rumbled with his words. “Tomorrow is going to be interesting.”

Cyn crept up slowly on the sleeping group. The warlock warriors at her back moved just as silently as she, which surprised her because of their size. She paused when she felt a hand on her arm. She looked over to see Gerick, Cypher’s head warrior, put his finger to his lips. He motioned for the others to surround the sleeping group and Cyn smiled when she saw the mischief in the warrior’s eyes.

“How is it that I have come across so fair a maiden in the woods all alone?” Cyn closed her eyes as she admonished herself. She hadn’t bothered to check if the forms that appeared to be sleeping were really all people.

Thalion wrapped an arm around her and pulled her against his chest.

“I’m glad you made it back safely,” he whispered against her neck.

For just a moment, Cyn relaxed into his hold. For just a moment, she let herself think of what it would be like to be his, but just as quickly, she let it go. She pulled away from him and turned to face him.

“I should have known that someone would be keeping watch.” She had made a rookie mistake and it irked her that Thalion had witnessed it.

“You were just eager to get back to me,” he teased.

“It’s not long until daylight,” she told him, ignoring his jesting. “Have you all come up with a plan?”

“We’re going to the Romanian mansion,” he said, nonchalantly .

Cyn rolled her eyes. “They are on the verge of war with a witch, have twelve packs gathered under one roof and you think you can just march up and ask to break bread with them?”