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Come Back To Me: The Crimson Vampire Coven (The Crimson Coven Book 15) by B.A. Stretke (1)


Welcome back to the Crimson Coven…

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

The Vampires of Crimson, Virginia live a life straddling two separate worlds. They rule the paranormal world as an unmatched fighting force and dominate the human world through business and finance. In the wake of the great vampire war, they rose to absolute supremacy. No other paranormal faction can equal them in strength, power, or influence, no one. The Crimson Coven has been in existence since well before modern times and is now the most powerful paranormal group anywhere on the globe.

The first Crimson vampire disembarked at Jamestown in 1613, escaping persecution in Europe. They found the wilds of North America proved to be the best place to thrive. The Stone Family and the Crimson vampires have been the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in the Tidewater region of Virginia for centuries. To the human world, they are the Crimson Corporation, old money meets modern necessity.

They have many holdings now, but the original assets are in and around the city of Crimson, Virginia and they have influence now that stretches across the country and beyond. The war that was waged against them in an effort to destroy their power and assume their wealth failed spectacularly in a bloody masterpiece of battle. The Crimson Corporation now ruled the entire vampire world in the western hemisphere and had influence well beyond.

The Crimson Plantation is their headquarters and home base. The Plantation house mansion, built more on the scale of a palace, dates to 1710 and is the most imposing house in Eastern Virginia. From here they rule the vampire world with an iron fist and the human world with the velvet touch of a dollar.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Harris Montgomery sat on the massive rear veranda of the Crimson mansion and wondered why his beloved was not by his side. He’d met the young man at the coven owned club, the Crimson Clover, and planned to pursue him only to find out the man had fled the city the following morning. That had been close to three weeks ago now.

He thought back over that night a thousand times and could not understand what he’d said that would make the man disappear. He’d seemed interested and they’d talked for hours that night and he’d agreed to meet Harris for coffee the following day. When he failed to show, Harris went in search and found that he’d vanished completely not even leaving any digital evidence that he had ever been in the city.

“Hey, how is it going?” Steph sat down next to him not waiting for an invitation. Harris glanced over at him but did not respond. “Come on, cheer up. We’ll find him. You know how bonds work, he’s probably feeling just as bad as you are but doesn’t know why.”

“It’s been almost three weeks since I last saw him. Cullen introduced us the night of the party. He agreed to go out with me and now he’s gone.” Harris leaned forward bracing his forearms on his thighs and wrung his hands together. “I don’t know what I did wrong.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong. I was there, you were a perfect gentleman. There was the added chaos of you asking him out while your date was screaming because you decked the guy he was screwing. That might have added a level of uncertainty to your request." Steph was always told you the truth, even if it hurt.

"I couldn't have cared less about Dion and the bartender the moment that my senses picked up that amazing heart-stopping scent coming from the short blond man washing dishes." Harris sat back and closed his eyes reliving the amazement of that moment. "He stopped me flat, and I could hardly breathe. It was an experience that truly blew me away, and now he's gone." He sighed softly.

"There was a time not long ago that I fancied myself in love with Sorin and nearly lost my shit when he found his beloved and dropped me without a backward glance or a see you later. Now I know what a real emotional connection feels like and how deep the need travels on its way to your heart." He squinted a sideways glance at Steph. "I guess I don't need to tell you that. You and Fulton have a bond that was forged in fire, and your constant smile tells me it was all worth it."

Steph nodded with a faraway and satisfied look on his face. “We were a couple of total antagonists, but we managed to find our way. Fate always prevails because the bond will not be denied.”

"But Roland is human and, on the run, apparently. How will Fate work? He has no knowledge of our ways, and we only had the one evening together. Bonding grows over touch and constant contact. The bond has had no time to grow." Harris closed his eyes again and tossed his head back. "We don't even know if Roland Fields is his real name. Cullen and Zac have found some discrepancies regarding his identity. The vampire who hired Roland for the dishwasher gig didn't have the power to discern such a subtle lie, so it went undetected." Harris leaned forward abruptly and shook his head. "I have nothing to go on, Steph, not even a real name."

"They were tracked to Charleston, but they didn't stay. He used the name Roland Fields to rent a room, but according to Zac they passed through quickly only stopping for a night. It was unfortunate that Cullen had been unable to stay and help us in Charleston, but he had a crisis of his own to handle." Steph patted Harris on the shoulder as they both sat there and stared out at the acres of the garden just beyond the lawn.

“I don’t blame him for leaving. Ethan was in terrible danger, he had to go and thank God he was able to rescue him. I can’t imagine what life would have been like here at the mansion if Cullen had lost his beloved. A man like Cullen Volakis with nothing left to lose, I don’t even want to think about it.” Harris visibly cringed at the possibilities and Steph too look stricken.

"We'll get another lead and soon. The Crimson Coven will not be outdone by a mere human on the run." Steph assured with ample pride and superiority.

Dylan had spent so many months running and hiding with his brothers that he had no time to work and they were running out of money. The last time he'd worked was the Crimson Clover, and that was just one night. Fortunately, he was paid cash for the night's work since he had to up and disappear the next day. That was three weeks ago.

He thought about that night often, daily actually because he couldn’t get the commanding presence of that one gorgeous man out of his thoughts. Harris Montgomery, he would never forget his name or his beautiful dark and soulful eyes. At the time the situation in the kitchen had been stressful and embarrassing until Harris had turned his gaze on him and everything changed.

That twink Dion, Harris’s date for the evening, rolled into the kitchen with that hunky bartender and started making out with him right there in front of everyone. One of the servers said that he’d arrived with a date, a Crimson security guard no less, and speculated a fight before the end of the night. No one realized that the conflict would erupt in minutes and finish just as fast. The bartender was no match for a man like Harris.

Harris walked in and pulled the twink away and flattened the bartender with one punch. The guy went down and did not get up. Dylan believed the twink deserved the punch more than the bartender, but it was none of his business. He was there to wash dishes for the night not involve himself in a lover’s quarrel.

That was the case until Harris was introduced to him by Mr. Volakis. Even though it took place during the melee, it happened so perfectly and with a confidence, Dylan had not witnessed before. Harris took his hand and with a heart rendering smile asked him out. He was struck by the intensity of the man and the sincerity of his words. He wasn't rebounding, he was captivated, and it warmed Dylan in a way he had never felt before.

The people behind them, Dion and the bartender, became inconsequential to their moment together. Dylan was so lost in the enchanting vision of that spectacular looking gentleman that he forgot who he was and what his life was currently about. His life was a mess, and his future was heading towards tragic.

Dylan wished to this day that he'd been able to keep his date with the handsome, sophisticated gentleman. He wished that his life was normal, and his family was safe and that they had a real home. Unfortunately, he couldn't even give Harris his real name. As far as Harris Montgomery knew, he was ditched by a man named Roland Fields.

“Dylan, would you bring me a clean shirt? Freddy got pudding all over mine.” Dylan was pulled from his thoughts by the needs of his brothers. He loved his brothers dearly, but he could do without the pudding fights.

“Freddy you were supposed to eat the pudding not throw it at Matt.” Dylan chastised the eight-year-old and handed Matt a clean shirt while taking the other and tossing it in the bag filled with their dirty clothes.

"We're going to need to do some laundry pretty soon Dylan," Matt informed him as he pulled on the t-shirt.

"I'll rinse out a few things in the sink, and that should cover us for a couple of days." Dylan was apprehensive about public spaces like laundry mats. They had to be careful and lay low until Dylan could figure out a plan for their permanent disappearance. It had been a close call in Crimson and even closer in Charleston. The next time they might not be so lucky, and Dylan could not imagine what would happen to them if they were caught.

Zac had Jaden do a search of the entire east coast. He asked him to look for anything that related to a man of Roland's age traveling with two younger brothers. He ordered him to go wide and deep with the little bit of information he had. Zac had put him on it several days ago and told him to focus on nothing but finding Harris's beloved, Roland Fields. Steph met Harris in the lunchroom for a cup of coffee late in the afternoon and gifted him with a bit of hope.

"Zac has Jaden searching for your beloved. Cullen has ordered them to use every necessary means to locate Roland Fields. This is serious, and we both know how good Jaden's skills are."

"Jaden helped locate Ethan when he was abducted," Harris commented optimistically. "If he can find Ethan, he can surely find Roland and his brothers." He looked down at his cup of coffee and tried again to understand why Roland was running and from whom.

“Did they find anything regarding the circumstances that might have led to Roland taking off from Crimson. I really don’t believe it was just about me being too brash, there’s something else going on here. Something in Roland’s life is not right.” He glanced up at Steph looking for support for his theory and got it.

"Always trust your instincts, Harris. He's your beloved, and if he had a problem with you, you'd feel it. I agree something else is amiss here." Steph tapped the table top. "He's been at it for a couple of days now, let's go see if Jaden has had any luck. Why wait for the formal report?" Harris nodded his agreement, and they quickly headed off towards Jaden's office.

Harris appreciated Steph's assistance and support. Since Roland had disappeared, Steph had stayed close and provided aid where he could. Steph’s beloved Fulton was also surprisingly kind and helpful. But unfortunately, there was little that could be done until they got another lead on Roland’s whereabouts.

“They left Charleston shortly after you arrived. It had nothing to do with you. From what I gather, Roland stayed three nights at a small motel. He was booked in for five nights but left abruptly after the third night. The clerk said he checked out without explanation and forfeited the cost of one of the two nights remaining.” Jaden pulled up some information on his screen before continuing.

"I've completed a background check on your beloved using his real name." Jaden began and instantly had Harris at attention. "I've found some things that are disturbing. I will send the files to you, and you can go through them privately if you'd like." Jaden told him as he glanced over at Steph.

"You can speak freely in front of Steph." Harris declared, panic coloring his words. He needed to hear what Jaden had to say. He needed Roland's real name. "Give me everything you have." He understood that Jaden was trying to protect Roland's privacy, and he appreciated his concern, but right now he needed some answers.

Jaden looked at him squarely making sure he knew what he was asking before he began. “Roland Fields’ real name is Dylan Falls age twenty-one and is accused of kidnapping his two brothers, Matthew age thirteen and Frederick age eight from their home in Naperville, an affluent suburb of Chicago, five weeks ago and has been on the run with them ever since.” Jaden again accessed Harris’s need to hear it all before continuing once again. Harris nodded indicating for him to continue.

"The boys resided with their mother and step-father since their marriage two years ago. Dylan moved into his own apartment after the wedding and has never lived with the step-father.

The step-father, Nolan Prescot, reported to the police that Dylan took the boys for ice-cream and never returned. Nolan Prescot according to reports, has some clout, he owns a development company and currently has several multi-million-dollar projects running. A lot of people in Naperville and Cook County are financially tied to his projects. He's put up a hefty reward for the return of the kids and the apprehension of Dylan. It all looks typical for an abduction case, but it really isn't." Jaden pulled up another file and began to read from it.

“Prescot didn’t report the kids missing until just three days ago and yet supposedly Dylan took off with them five weeks ago. He explained it by saying that he’d hoped that Dylan would do the right thing and bring them back and the authorities would not have to be involved.” Jaden brought up another file. “The explanation might fly except for the fact that it is common knowledge among people who know them that he despises Dylan.”

"He sounds like an asshole," Harris interjected, and Jaden nodded his agreement.

"Dylan was against his mother marrying Prescot and has never accepted him. Prescot, in turn, has contacted the police repeatedly accusing Dylan of vandalism, car theft, excess noise, trespassing but no charges were ever pursued. It looks like the police treated the reports as nuisance calls but didn't confront Prescot on the matter." 

"So Prescot's company means jobs and money, and therefore they humor him at the expense of his step-son." Harris once again interjected, and his anger was becoming apparent.

"Are they pursuing the kidnapping accusations or playing it off as another nuisance?" Harris asked.

"They're following up, but not like they believe Dylan to be a danger. They are handling it as if it is a family disagreement. Everyone assumes that Dylan will return, and everything will go back to normal. I don't think they understand the actual gravity of this situation and the reasons behind Dylan taking off with his brothers." Jaden continued not registering the expression on Harris's face.

“What gravity? What do you know?” Harris hadn’t thought too deeply around the reasons for Dylan’s actions. But of course, there had to be a serious problem for Dylan to upend his life and run off with his brothers in tow. He knew by the expression on Jaden’s face that he was not going to like what the man had to say.

"Dylan Falls is a computer software developer, and he is also a member of an underground hacking consortium. It's an undercover operation connecting thousands of hackers across the globe. I am also a member, so I recognized some of Dylan's work as he disappeared across the country while Prescot and his people pursued them. For Dylan to be using the consortium to the extent that he is, he has to be desperate and scared because this level of help is not without cost."

“Okay, okay.” Harris waved his hands around demanding attention. “Just tell me how much trouble my beloved is in and why he ran with his brothers.”

"He has Prescot and his hired investigators after him, Dylan is just barely keeping ahead of them." Jaden gave Harris a sympathetic look before continuing. "It looks like he's in the process of building a fake identity for all of them. He has the basics in place, but it takes time to string it all together, and from the looks of it he hasn't had a lot of time apart from running and hiding. He's juggling and balancing, and so far, he's managed to continually disappear." Jaden smirked. "He's an ace at making computers and people do what he wants. I can't wait to meet him, Harris."

“You and me both Jaden. I feel that the man I met in the kitchen that night was only one small part of the man that called himself Roland Fields.” Harris lamented. “Now the real question, why is he running?”

“Is Prescot hurting the young ones?” Steph stated and had everyone’s attention. Harris hoped it was not the case, but it was the only scenario that made sense.

“I found hospital reports and school reports going back two years regarding constant and various injuries to both boys. Some were severe and others superficial, from broken bones to cuts and burns. It was explained away with accidents and clumsiness, but no child could be so clumsy as to rack up this amount of injuries. The statements by the school and hospital appear to be rushed and inconclusive or outright coverups.”

Jaden turned away from his monitor to regard the two men squarely. “Based on these reports, it is my opinion that Dylan took his brothers from the family home because they were being abused. Considering the flurry of injuries began two years ago, I would peg Nolan Prescot as the abuser.”

"What about the mother, has she also exhibited abuse?" Steph threw in. Harris didn't know if he were wishing for a yes or no to that question. If it was yes, then she was perhaps unable to protect her children. If it was no, then she turned a blind eye. Either would be disheartening.

“There has been no indication that Mrs. Prescot has suffered at the hands of her husband. All appearances show an upper-class woman living an upper-class life. She seems happy and content, but that could be for show. There have been no hospital visits or police reports, and according to people who know her, she’s happy with Nolan.”

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Dylan buckled Freddy into the backseat before he and Matt began loading up the car. They were taking off earlier than planned due to information that Nolan’s investigator was closing in on their present location. He hadn’t pinpointed the motel yet, but Dylan wasn’t going to wait around. He wanted to put many miles between them before the PI got to close.

His alert system notified him a couple of days ago that Nolan had finally contacted the cops which would put another angle of difficulty on his escape. Dylan had figured due to Nolan’s need for confidentiality regarding his treatment of his family, that he wouldn’t risk calling the authorities. But pressure must have pushed him to report. Perhaps having Freddy and Matthew out of school for so long became too difficult to explain. Whatever the cause it made Dylan’s need to get his brothers somewhere safe and secure that much more urgent.

"Will we ever go back to Crimson, Virginia?" Matt asked as he helped get their bags into the hatchback. "I liked that town more than any town we've been through even more than Naperville." He leaned his hip against the fender while Dylan arranged their things and slammed the hatch closed.

“What made Crimson so special to you?” Dylan knew what made Crimson special to him, but he wasn’t about to discuss his burning desire for Harris Montgomery with his little brother.

"Helen, one of the housekeepers at the lodge. She was really nice. She made us cookies and let us play the machines in the game room for free. Freddy and I both liked her a lot, and the town was just warm feeling, you know." Dylan enjoyed his brother's gentle ways and depth of emotion. Matt wore his tender heart on his sleeve and always looked for the good in people. He was impacted hard by their step-father's abuse. Matt was not weak and could weather most of the physical attacks, but he faltered and suffered intensely from the constant mental and emotional abuse.

They had kept it all quiet for two years as Dylan, who didn't reside in the family home, sitting safe and secure in his apartment. He never liked Nolan Prescot because he acted like the stereotypical stuck-up, rich, snob. He wasn't anyone Dylan ever wanted as a friend or family member, but his mother had her own mind, and she fell for the glitz that money can buy.

He became suspicious when he found out that Matt had broken his arm three times. Matt was not a thrill seeker or risk taker, and he wasn't clumsy. It took him an entire weekend that he had the boys over for him to finally get them to tell him the truth of what had been going on. The constant guilt over not seeing what was happening sooner has eaten at him ever since.

“I liked her too.” He admitted. “She always met me with a smile and a cup of coffee every morning. But what I liked best was that she never asked me questions. She never dug into me or gave me sideways glances. She accepted us as we were for who we were and that was a relief.” Dylan looked off into the horizon for a moment before training his gaze back on Matt. “Perhaps we’ll make our way back there. I would like to see Crimson again.”

Dylan's mind soon swayed away from the friendly housekeeper right to the Crimson guard of his dreams. Harris Montgomery, Dylan loved repeating the name over in his mind as his body reacted to the memory of his appearance in the kitchen. He never had such a visceral reaction to anyone before in his life. Dylan ate up the attention. The look on Harris's face when he looked in Dylan's eyes was so real that Dylan believed everything he said. The man was genuine, and Dylan would stake his life on that fact.

“Yes Matt, we will definitely be going back to Crimson as soon as I get some distance on Nolan’s guys and some work completed on our new lives. We will go back.” That was a promise to Matt and to himself.

"Do you think Nolan would be able to follow us if we circled back? Maybe he wouldn't expect us to go back to Crimson. We've been zig-zagging north for three weeks, why not go back now?" Matt threw out his thoughts as he pushed away from the fender and walked towards the front passenger door.

“Nolan made a police report a few days ago. I didn’t think that he would, but he did. Now it’s going to get a little more difficult staying under the radar. We need to find a safe place to lay low for a while so I can complete our new identities." Dylan leaned on the driver's door as he spoke to Matt across from him. "We need to decide on a plan."

"We can't let him find us, Dylan, we can't go back there." The statement came out as a desperate plea that shattered Dylan's heart.

"You guys will never go back there, I promise." Dylan held Matt's gaze making sure he understood that the abuse was over. Dylan would gladly die before allowing his brothers to return to that life fear and pain. Nolan would never again lay a hand on either of them.

"He's never going to stop," Matt spoke softly his tone a mixture of hope and panic.

"Don't worry Matt, I'll figure it out. I know it's not fun running from town to town and living in cheap motels, but I'll figure something out, I promise." Dylan slipped into the driver's seat, and Matt got into the passenger seat. Matt turned to look at Freddy in the backseat.

“It’s going to be okay, Freddy.” Matt was upbeat and positive when talking to their little brother. Freddy was eight and sadly older than his years, but both Dylan and Matt tried their best to shield him from the weight of their concerns.

Nolan had been particularly unkind to Freddy seeing him as weak and effeminate. The names he used were crude, and the abuse was almost daily according to Matt. Matt intervened often, but Nolan seemed to like hurting Freddy the most.

"Let's head back to Crimson," Dylan announced. He wasn't sure why but everything in him said it was a good idea. "We can't go back to the same motel, but I'm sure there are other nice ladies in other motels." He glanced at Matt and grinned.

“Helen was so nice, Dylan.” Freddy pipped in from the back seat. “But I know we can’t go back there. Nolan would probably find us if we went back to the same motel.”

"You're a smart man Freddy," Dylan stated as they pulled away from the parking lot and out onto the road which would take them to the interstate. It was a better idea to keep to the side roads, but for now, he would use the interstate until they were well away from this town. He needed some distance, fast distance.

Harris thought he would lose his mind thinking about all the trouble that was circling his beloved. Jaden gave him more information but still didn’t tell him where the man was. Dylan was an expert at pretending to be in places he wasn’t. It was necessary to hide from his step-father, but it also kept Harris from finding him.

He stood on the second-floor balcony overlooking the north garden and pondered his situation. The vampire in him was demanding immediate action, but the rational part of his brain was searching for solutions. He had no clue where Dylan and his brothers were. He had nowhere to go, nowhere to search and it was eating him alive.

His friends and superiors were going out of their way to try and help and provide support, but what could be done? Right now nothing could be done. Until Jaden found a lead or broke Dylan’s code, there was nothing that could be done but wait.

He leaned on the ornate stone railing and stared up at the stars. It was a dark night, and a storm was brewing on the horizon. The cool wind touched his face and fanned his shoulder-length black hair out from his face. The scents were clean and powerful, and he breathed the fresh air deeply. He held the still and the silence and reached out to his beloved. It was a long shot because their bond was fragile and thin, but he needed to do something.

What came back at him at that moment clenched at his heart. His beloved was near, and he was in danger.

Dylan struggled to pull off the deserted road when he heard the fatal sound of his back tire giving away. The wind and rain whipped mercilessly at his vehicle, but he managed after several seconds of tense panic to bring the car back under his control. It had swerved wildly on the wet pavement and nearly rolled, but he was now at a stop and positioned somewhere between the narrow shoulder and a shallow ditch.

They sat in stunned silence as the rain pounded the vehicle and lightning lit up the sky. It was so dark on this road and so vacant. Dylan had chosen it for its isolation, and now that very decision could prove their downfall. He had tossed out his last burner phone and had failed to pick up another before leaving town. He had no way of contacting help.

They were sitting ducks just waiting for Nolan’s men to roll up and return them to the hell that was their life. Dylan would be jailed and unable to help them again. He failed his brothers; his stupidity had caused him to fail the most important task of his life.

He hit the steering wheel with the palm of his hand but tried desperately to keep his anger and frustration inside. His insides were seething with self-hatred that was eating through him. Why hadn't he checked his fucking tires before starting this cross-country trip? Why hadn't he checked them at any time during the last five weeks? Why did he take this fucked up isolated road on a night that was storming? Why hadn't he taken five minutes to stop and buy another phone? He felt the tears pushing at the back of his eyes but fought to contain them.

His brothers weren't stupid, they knew there was trouble, but if he could hold it together, they wouldn't see that it is as bad as it is. It took every ounce of his strength and focus just to sit there and say nothing. His mind was screaming don't cry, don't shake, don't fall apart.

In that moment when everything seemed lost and out of control he was suddenly overcome by a loving warmth and a sense of security that flooded his senses and surrounded him. It was like a dying man finding peace in his last moments, but it wasn't his final moments. The warmth had a name and a physicality.

Harris snapped to attention when he touched the grief-ravaged emotions of his beloved Dylan Falls. He was crumbling under the weight of panic and grief while stranded alone in his car with his brothers. His grief morphed quickly into self-loathing and anger before Harris touched his thoughts and spread his own loving relief into the mix. He was able to see his beloved and see his location.

He held his connection with Dylan and put in an urgent call to Cullen who had given him permission to contact him directly in the event of a breakthrough. Cullen and Lucian met Harris on the balcony in mere seconds. Lucian was the mate of Tobias, one of the coven leaders but more important to Harris’s current needs, he was also a powerful sorcerer. Harris understood immediately why Cullen had brought him along.

“I have him. He’s stranded with a disabled vehicle on Old Route 1 outside Mechanicsville. He was heading in our direction. He was coming back to me. He’s frantic that they’re going to be caught.” Harris delivered all the information Lucian needed to put him right in front of his beloved. Lucian’s most popular skill was transportation; instant, no limit on capacity, transportation. Lucian snapped his fingers and Harris was now standing outside Dylan’s window peering inside.

Dylan took several deep breaths clutching at the warmth and calm to steady his nerves. He wanted Harris, and somewhere in his unconscious, he needed him. He knew that what he was currently feeling was a direct result of having Harris in his thoughts. Just thinking about him made Dylan calm. He didn't understand it and couldn't explain it, but he held it tight just the same.

The vision of Harris Montgomery, a man he knew for less than a few hours, was the one thing that gave him back his hope. He focused on Harris's face, and his strong hands and his ‘nothing fucking scares me' stance and took a deep breath. "I wish you were here," Dylan whispered through his agony.

He jumped when Matt grabbed his arm and exclaimed, “Who is that?” He was pointing at Dylan’s window. Dylan turned praying that it wasn’t one of Nolan’s hired men. He just stared as he took in the magnificent specter of his dreams looking down at him through his window. Their eyes locked and Dylan could feel the connection snap into place. He was here, and he was real.

"Don't open the window, Dylan," Freddy yelled from the backseat. Both of his brothers were fearful and on edge, but Dylan knew that this man was not a danger to them. Dylan had called for him, and he came.

He hit the power button on his window and as it rolled down the wind and rain began to pound into the vehicle. Harris reached in and held Dylan’s hand never taking his eyes from his. “Hold Matt’s hand.” Dylan did it immediately without question. “Matt take Freddy’s hand.” Matt reached back and grabbed Freddy’s offered hand. They all kept their eyes on Harris and suddenly it was no longer raining.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Dylan held tight to Harris's hand and to Matt's hand as he opened his eyes and took in their surroundings. They were no longer in the car in the raging storm. "How?" was too basic a question to ask but he couldn't put together the words needed. His mind was blown, and by the vacant looks on Matt and Freddy's faces, they were in a similar condition.

“How?” It was all he had so he went with it.

"Was I dreaming?" Freddy was the first to try and formulate an explanation, and Dylan appreciated the effort. Freddy looked anxiously around the room. "Are you going to send us back? Do you work for Nolan?" There were several men in the room besides Harris and Dylan recognized some. These were Crimson people.

"Absolutely not," Harris stated vehemently. Dylan noticed that he shifted his gaze away from him to look at Freddy and Dylan felt a strange stab of jealousy that he immediately squashed. He needed the guy's undivided attention, and that was just weird. "You are all safe here."

"Where is here?" Dylan was still a bit shell-shocked from the shift in his realities. One minute on the road and desperate and the next safe and sound apparently.

"This is my home, the Crimson Plantation in Crimson Virginia. It's owned by the Crimson Corporation, and many of the staff and employees along with their families live here." Harris still held tight to Dylan's hand and stepped up close to his side. Dylan knew the Crimson Corporation was a multinational billion-dollar organization and the Plantation must be its home base. Why he was here was still not making any sense along with how he got here.

"I heard you call for me Dylan." That statement had Dylan's jaw-dropping. Harris read his thoughts? He dreamed of the man and he appeared, his dreams were becoming real or perhaps just lucid.

Dylan released Matt's hand and turned to reached up and place his palm against Harris's cheek. He wanted more contact as he struggled to understand. Dylan was a good reader of people if he was able to touch them. He needed to understand this man, and he needed to satisfy his desire to prove that he was real. This was all too fantastic, he must be missing something.

“You’re real.” Dylan breathed the words softly and heard the soft chuckles in the room. His mind was still struggling with the reality of the events of the past few moments, but his heart began to warm, and peace came over him when he embraced his handsome rescuer. Harris smiled and covered Dylan’s hand with his own.

"Very real and very happy to have finally found you." Dylan listened, but his analytical brain was rebelling against all the incoming information.

“How did you do this?” He asked again. “Where is the car?”

"I reached out to you and you answered me. You called for me, and I came to you. As for your car, it is in the driveway and your things are being brought inside. Don't worry, he won't find you."

"That isn't an answer. We were miles away from Crimson and stranded in a disabled vehicle, and now we're here standing in this room." Dylan wanted a scientific explanation for the teleportation that had taken place. They were stranded on the side of a deserted road in a raging storm, and within seconds they now stood in the middle of a stately and majestic white marble room.

“Lucian is a sorcerer.” Harris gestured to a blond man standing off to the side with a tall and powerfully built man standing next to him. Lucian nodded, and Harris continued. “I’ve been searching for you since you disappeared three weeks ago. When I found you stranded on that road, I had Lucian send me to you and then bring us all back.” Harris was calm and clear, but his words were outlandish.

“I know this is a lot to take in, but I had to get you out of the rain and out of danger. I figured I’d just explain it later. I forget that you haven’t been exposed to the supernatural and all of this would appear crazy at best.” Harris was too handsome and too perfect to be a nutcase. Dylan refused to accept that his savior was insane, but his words were not supporting his sanity.

“Okay, now you’re looking at me like I’m insane.” Harris huffed and puffed and glanced around at the other smartly dressed men in the room. “You all could help me, you know. Don’t just stand there, do some explaining.”

The one named Lucian began to laugh, and the tall on beside him joined in. "I think you're doing a bang-up job so far Harris." The tall one said and continued to laugh but stepped forward and stuck out his hand. "Hello, pleased to meet you and so glad you and your brothers are okay. My name is Tobias, and this is my husband Lucian who is indeed a sorcerer."

Dylan released Tobias’s hand and took Lucian’s offered hand and felt a small electric shock like static bite his palm at the contact. “Thank you.” He wanted to say more but what?

Harris picked up the introductions from there. Dylan remembered some of the people present from the party at the Crimson Clover, but there were a couple new faces. His brothers had remained cautious and quiet and had not, as yet, let go of each other's hands. They were courteous but not outgoing.

One thing struck Dylan as interesting, and that was the fact that Freddy couldn't seem to take his eyes off of Cullen Volakis. When Dylan first met him that night at the party, he found the man to be somewhat terrifying, but Freddy seemed fascinated.

"Why don't you take Dylan and his brothers to your quarters and let them rest. There is a lot to discuss, and it will take longer than these few minutes." Cullen suggested and walked up to stand directly in front of Freddy. Freddy nearly broke his neck looking up at the giant of a man.

“Are you hungry, Freddy?” Cullen asked, and Freddy nodded rapidly but did not speak. “Matthew?” Cullen looked at Matt and waited for a response.

“Yes, sir.” Matt too seemed impressed. Neither showed any fear of this man.

"Come with me, and I'll see what we can find for you." Cullen did not try to touch either child but instead swept his arm forward indicating the direction they were going. They looked at Dylan for permission before following.

"Go ahead, I want to speak with Harris, and then we will come for you." Dylan usually did not let his brothers wander alone, but he too sensed no danger in them going with Cullen. He shook his head wondering if he was acting irrationally or were as safe as he believed them to be?

"They're safe, Dylan. There isn't a person here that would hurt those boys. Considering they're in Cullen's care no one would dare even utter a crossword in their direction let alone lay a hand on them." Harris smiled.

"He didn't seem like the kid type," Dylan commented.

"He's not, but we've been looking for you and your brothers for some time now and have gotten to know you all quite well. I think Cullen respects their calm strength and their loyalty to you." Dylan couldn't help but puff up a bit at the compliment to his brothers.

“They’re good kids, always have been.”

“Yes, they are.” Harris readily agreed.

Harris was thrilled to be reunited with his chosen finally. It had been many long weeks of searching and heartbreak, but now Dylan was here at his side, and his brothers were safe. No one would touch those boys inside the Crimson Plantation. Their step-father and his men would find no access here.

He held onto Dylan's hand and began to lead him towards one of the side doors. "I'd like for us to go to my quarters and talk. It's big enough for all of us. It has three rooms and a large common area. If you're agreeable, I would prefer that you and your brothers stay there with me." There, he put it out there first thing for Dylan to consider. His agreement was not certain, the man has had a turbulent few weeks and staying with a virtual stranger might be pushing things too far, but he had to try.

"I'd like that," Dylan responded without delay. “You rescued us from the storm and Nolan’s investigators and did it in a spectacular fashion, so I think we have to trust you.” Dylan flashed a shy smile and fell into step with Harris. “You make me feel safe Harris, I’m sorry if that sounds weird or makes you uncomfortable but I like being near you.”

“Not weird at all, sweetheart. I feel the same way about you. I couldn’t wait for our date after meeting you at the Crimson Clover and was thoroughly devastated when you stood me up.” He added the last with a touch of humor, but he really was devastated.

"I'm sorry, I wanted to see you again, but one of Nolan's investigator was heading in our direction. I got an alert on my phone and had to leave immediately." Dylan looks genuinely disappointed. "I enjoyed our time together, and I never forgot you."

Harris knew this to be true in the fact that Dylan had called out to him during his darkest hour. Dylan had reached out even if he didn’t realize what he was doing. “This is destiny, Dylan.” Harris took him to the elevator and soon they were on the third floor and on their way to Harris’s private quarters.

He'd always resided in the soldier's wing on the first floor. It was a small apartment with just a bed and bath. It was all he needed then, but with the addition of a beloved and two dependents, Master Stone had given Harris a family suite on the third floor. He'd moved in two weeks ago in anticipation of finding Dylan and the boys.

He could tell by the look on Dylan's face and the hesitation he felt while holding his hand that he was confused, and he had every right to be. Harris had dumped a truckload of information on him in a short period of time. Considering Dylan was already strung pretty tight with panic and worry adding the supernatural to the mix must have left him completely confounded. Unfortunately, the craziness was just getting started. Harris had more explaining to do.

“Will Matt and Freddy be okay? I don’t want to burden anyone with their care.” Dylan blurted out his sudden concern and second thoughts as they stood in front of Harris’s door.

Harris turned to him and cupped his face in the palm of his hands tilting head so as to look down into his flustered blue eyes. He was rattled maybe even shattered a little by all the events. Harris needed to slow down and care for his beloved. He needed calm normalcy and a guarantee that his brothers were safe, not from anyone here but from Nolan Prescot.

"I know you're scared. I know that you've been running with your brothers for weeks and the stress of keeping them safe has taken a toll on your nerves." Harris continued to hold his gaze as he gently rubbed the pad of his thumb along his cheekbone. "You've done a remarkable job of hiding and providing for them. It will take you a while to calm and realize that you aren't in this alone any longer. My friends and I are here to help you. We have the power and the influence to keep Nolan Prescot and his thugs away from you."

"Nolan knows a lot of people, and he owns a lot of people. He won't be dealt with easily." Dylan took hold of one of Harris's wrist and held on tight. His words sounded defeated, but his body language begged for help. He had doubts, but he also had hope and Harris could work with that.

"The Crimson Corporation is much more than meets the eye. We are beyond the realm of anything Prescot has ever encountered, and I doubt he is prepared to do battle with an entity such as Crimson." Harris pushed his surety and his calm through their burgeoning connection and saw the moment that Dylan began to relax.  His chosen was using him to heal, and it was pure bliss for Harris.

Harris turned and opened his door allowing Dylan to enter before him. He looked around the large living area and seemed impressed. “This is your place?” He said still scanning the area.

“Yes, it is. There are three bedrooms. I thought Matt and Freddy could share a room if that’s okay.” Harris moved towards the kitchen. “Are you hungry? Can I get you anything?”

“No, I couldn’t eat a thing right now.”

“Water perhaps or maybe something stronger?” He offered.

“Water, thank you.”

“Please sit and relax.” Harris watched as Dylan carefully chose his seat. He glanced at the two large chairs but opted for the sofa. Harris handed him a bottle of water and before sitting down beside him decided to take off his suit jacket and loosen his tie.

They sat in silence for a while with Dylan stealing glances at him and nervously drinking his water before Harris decided it was time to talk. “Ask your questions, Dylan, I know you have a lot of them. I will answer truthfully.”

“Is Lucian really a sorcerer?” Dylan set his water on the floor by his feet and gripped his hands together.

“Yes.”

“Okay, I have to believe that because I saw what he can do and was a party to it.” Dylan shook his head as if trying to get all the information to fall into place. He then turned to look at Harris directly.

"A sorcerer works for Crimson, so there are probably other mystical individuals here." That was a leading question that Harris wanted to answer fully but doubted Dylan was ready to hear it.

“Lucian doesn’t work for Crimson. He is Tobias’s chosen and he is part of our community.” That wasn’t enough, and Harris saw the flash of wariness in Dylan’s eyes. “Lucian is wealthy in his own right, he doesn’t need to work. He helps us, but it isn’t his job.” That seemed to be better accepted as he watched Dylan nod his head.

“As far as other supernaturals, yes there are others here.” Harris hoped Dylan didn’t press for more on that front right now.

“I’ve gone down the rabbit hole, haven’t I?” Dylan forced a laugh.

“Yes, head first with no safety net.” Harris smiled.

"Are you some kind of telepath? I heard you in my mind, and I felt you touch me when I was out on the road. I was panicking and truthfully falling apart, and then there was you. It felt like you were there even before you arrived."

“I’m not a telepath. What you and I have is a fated connection. I can reach out to you with my mind but only you. In time you will be able to do the same to me. It isn’t mind reading, it’s just knowing when you’re needed.” Harris reached over and took Dylan’s left hand and held it. The contact helped for understanding.

“I’m not going to ask you about the other supernaturals you spoke of. Not yet anyway.” Dylan cast him a half-smile that was genuine this time. “Tomorrow, I’ll ask tomorrow.”

"I will never lie to you." Harris raised Dylan's hand and placed a soft kiss to his knuckles. "I knew you the moment I saw you in the kitchen. At that moment no one else existed for me. People of Crimson have the ability to know their soul mates upon meeting them. It's a combination of scent, sight, and touch."

“I’m your soul mate? All these things that I feel, you feel them too?” Dylan turned in his seat to face Harris as if the answer meant the world to him.

“Yes, I feel it too, I feel it all.” Harris began leaning in as Dylan did the same. His heart lurched at the prospect of finally tasting his chosen’s soft sweet mouth. But just then there came a loud knocking. Cullen had returned with Matt and Freddy in tow.

Harris wasn't sure what to say or how to react. Cullen had brought them back himself. Harris had assumed either they would collect them, or Cullen would have someone accompany them to his quarters. "Thank you, sir," Harris said immediately and stood at attention.

Cullen nodded curtly and stood back as Matt and Freddy entered. They looked satisfied and at ease. Harris was at a loss to understand how they found a comradery with Cullen Volakis, but they did.

"Thank you, sir," Matt said and straightened his back a little and leveled his gaze. Again, Cullen nodded. Freddy stepped toward him and reached out his hand which Cullen took in a gentle embrace.

“Thank you, sir.” Freddy mimicked Matt’s and Harris’s response.

"You are very welcome," Cullen answered and then turned and left closing the door behind him.

“I like him even more than Helen.” Matt expressed with true regard present in his tone. He then walked over and sat in one of the chairs. Both Dylan and Harris sat back down on the sofa. Freddy though was still staring at the door.

“What’s wrong, Freddy?” Dylan inquired softly.

"He is amazing," Freddy whispered.

“Cullen?”

"Yes." Freddy didn't elaborate, but his idol worship was on full display. He turned and walked into the kitchen and found a bottle of water before returning to the living room and taking the other chair.

They sat and discussed the living arrangements and Harris answered their questions. Dylan stopped them when the supernatural was broached. He was glad that his brothers had adjusted quickly given that sorcery was responsible for them being at the plantation. It was too crazy, but it was all he had, no other answer fit.

"Enough for now," Dylan spoke to both boys. "Harris has taken us in, and he and his friends have welcomed us and offered us protection. We're very lucky, and we owe him respect and the courtesy of not constantly badgering him with questions."

"This is so fantastic." Matt blurted, and Freddy readily agreed. "I don't know if I'll be able to sleep, but for once it won't be because I'm afraid Nolan has found us. This time it will be because we have superheroes on our side now and Nolan is finished." Dylan just stared at his two overly excited bothers while Harris began to laugh.

"Superheroes," Harris said and continued laughing. "I don't know if there are any superheroes here, but we are a mighty force, and I guarantee you that Nolan is finished."

"Cullen is a superhero, I know he is," Freddy stated emphatically.

“If you think Cullen is impressive, wait until you meet Master Alexander Stone. He will knock your socks off.” Harris told them as he and Dylan guided them to their bedroom and made sure they were comfortable.

“Master Stone? I heard someone say that name in the dining hall. Cullen said that he is the leader of the Crimson Corporation and he is fearless.” Matt sounded all of his thirteen years.

Dylan chuckled at their antics. "Your things are here so put on your pajamas, brush your teeth and go to bed. We will talk more in the morning, but for now, you two need to sleep." Dylan felt Harris standing behind him and appreciated the calm authority that the man imbued. It helped in so many ways.

Once they were back in the living room, Harris put his arm around Dylan and pulled him close. "We were interrupted earlier, but I would really like to taste you, sweetheart. No strings, you have your room, and I have mine, but I am going to die, combust into a million little pieces if you don't let me kiss you."

Dylan didn't move, but his eyes ate up the handsome man leaning closer. The anticipation was making him tremble. Harris took his lips in a warm searching embrace. He moved closer raising his hands to clutch at Harris's sides burying his fingers in the fabric of his crisp white shirt. Dylan opened and was entered immediately.

Harris’s hands were touching him gently and holding him close at the same time. He seemed eager and enthusiastic as if he couldn’t get enough. It was enthralling and sending Dylan into a whirl of sensations. The kiss went deep and tasted like love and hope and promise, it was beautiful. Dylan melted into the man and held on.

Harris was losing himself, and it was a wonderful feeling. The taste of his chosen's lips was like nothing else in this world. He'd kissed many in his long life and had at one time fancied himself in love, but those feelings were empty, just dust and air compared to the powerful touch of his chosen, Dylan Falls.

He pulled back slowly holding Dylan flush against him as he caught his breath. He looked down into those expressive blue eyes and lost his heart completely. This man was everything, this young man was his life. He kissed him softly on the cheek and pulled him close snuggling and breathing in everything that was Dylan Falls. He closed his eyes and thanked Fate for such a magnificent gift.

"You make me forget everything except you," Dylan said and pressed his face into Harris's shoulder. "I have so much shit in my life right now, so many decisions, so much responsibility, so much could go wrong and all I can think of is you."

“I’ve done nothing except search for you for the past three weeks. You dominated my thoughts in every way. I was driven to find you. The only thing on my mind and in my heart was you.” Harris answered in kind. Harris knew he needed to stop before he was incapable of stopping.

"I should let you rest." Harris released him and opened the bedroom door that was closest to his and stepped back to let Dylan enter. He wanted him back in his arms, but he had to be careful. Dylan was no pushover and coming on too strong might turn him off. "Your things are already put away, and your suitcase is in the closet. If you need anything or even just want to talk, I'm in the bedroom next to you."

Dylan looked at him like he was going to say something and then simply nodded. “I’ll let you get settled then.” Harris was reluctant to leave, and every part of his body urged him to stay. He moved one slow step at a time until he was at the door. “Goodnight Dylan.”

“Goodnight Harris and thank you.” Harris gave a quick nod and closed the door.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

Dylan woke to the sounds of people talking. He heard Freddy laugh and Matt was excited about something. He sat up and tried to remember for a moment where he was. Had they found a motel? Where were they and then it came flooding back. The breakdown, both his and the car, and their rescue. They were at the Crimson Plantation, and this was Harris's apartment. Last night his head had been so full of fantasies and desires that he thought he would never sleep and yet he was out the minute his head hit the pillow.

He sat up on the edge of the bed and ran his fingers through his hair. The bed was so comfortable compared to the cheap motel mattresses. This was heaven. From the sound of it, Matt and Freddy slept peacefully as well. He took a quick shower and dressed before joining them in the kitchen.

“Good morning.” He said as he walked up to the counter and leaned on it watching Harris preparing breakfast for his brothers. “So, you can cook too.” He teased and winked. He didn’t realize his comment would be met with such appreciation but melted when Harris stopped what he was doing walked over and leaning across the counter kissed him hard right there in front of the boys.

“I have many talents, my love.” He said and then returned to his duties. Matt and Freddy looked on approvingly. They were neither shocked nor surprised. Dylan poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down with them.

"We're meeting with Cullen and his husband, Ethan. They're going to show us around the plantation and introduce us to some of the folks." Matt ate his eggs and bacon and nibbled on his toast.

“He said they have a huge garden. I would like to see that.” Freddy pipped in.

“I’m sure they will take you through the garden. It has won some local awards. I think you will be impressed.” Harris chatted with the boys as they all finished their breakfast. Dylan couldn’t remember a time that life was this good and this wholesome.

Life with mother and Nolan was a horror from the start, but he'd never suspected that Nolan was abusing his brothers. He'd assumed it was just him that Nolan hated. He carried heavy guilt over not checking up on his brothers sooner. They'd been in contact mostly by phone over the past two years, and neither Matt or Freddy had voiced their pain. He was a shit brother, but he hoped to make up for that failing.

"Master Stone has asked to speak with you Dylan. I will accompany you to his office after we're finished here. Then after how about you and I take a tour. I'll show you the layout of the place and will help you get more comfortable and familiar. It's a big place, but its design is logical with a pattern. I know you love logic and patterns." Harris paused and waited. Dylan was once again impressed with Harris's understanding of his personal preferences.

“Well, I do believe that logic left the building sometime yesterday, but I would love to see this big old mansion. What I’ve seen so far is extraordinary." Dylan was feeling light-hearted and at ease for the first time since starting this journey. It was a relief just to relax and let his guard down even for a day or two.

The boys left with Cullen and Ethan, and he and Harris prepared for their meeting with Master Stone. Anxiety was building in Dylan over the impending meeting, but he tried not to show it. He'd forgotten that Harris seemed to have direct access to his feelings.

"You seem upset," Harris stated and waited for Dylan to respond. They were standing in the living room ready to head out, and Dylan felt his feet getting heavy and his step dragging.

“You call him Master Stone, what does that mean. Who is he besides President and CEO of Crimson Corporation.” Dylan looked up at Harris who was obviously working on an explanation that would suffice without being too incredible.

"Let me just say that he is a powerful man and he is a powerful leader, and he is much more than just President and CEO of Crimson Corporation. I will explain the rest when we have more time for you to digest the explanation." He finished with a hopeful smile. "He just wants to know more about your situation, and he wants to help."

"Sounds reasonable," Dylan said, but his anxiety was still peaking. Somewhere in the depths of his inadequacy, he wondered if Stone and Nolan knew each other. They were both businessmen and Nolan worked with a lot of people. Would Master Stone believe him and what happens if he doesn't?

Harris pulled him into his arms and tilted his head up so that he was staring into his eyes. "I can feel some of the panic that is coursing through you. There is nothing for you to fear. Master Stone knows your situation, he's been a part of this since the beginning. He just wants the details, and he wants to meet you. Don't be afraid, I would never let anything happen to you or your brothers."

Dylan dropped his head against Harris's shoulder and took several deep breaths. "I trust you, but I've been living on the edge for so long, and fear is a hard thing to let go of." He looked up at Harris who pulled him in for another hard-searing kiss that spoke of need and ownership.

"Let's get this over with," Harris said and straightened up. "Then we'll tour the house and grounds. There are several quiet and secluded spots I am particularly eager to show you." He added, and Dylan began to relax. It was the man's voice, his touch, his magnetism that left Dylan believing that everything was going to be okay.

Nolan Prescot refused to be made a fool of. Dylan would return the children, and he would come to understand what it meant to disrespect his superiors. He couldn't give a rat's ass what happened to Matt and Freddy, neither showed any promise or aptitude. He married their mother for her status and influence, and she married him for his money, it was a marriage of convenience. He certainly wasn't thrilled with the added baggage of kids. He never wanted kids and never like kids.

Dylan was a cocky bastard, and Nolan couldn't wait to have that kid on his knees. As for the little ones they were just a waste of time and space. If it wasn't for the fact that he would rather die than let Dylan win, he would just as soon sign them over and forget it. But Dylan challenged him, and now he would learn what a mistake that was. He would get those boys, and he would make sure their lives were a living hell.

Dylan managed to keep running but his luck would end soon, he would make a mistake, or a miscalculation and Nolan would be there his worst nightmare. He would make him pay in ways he hadn't even discovered yet. No one embarrasses Nolan Prescot and walks away.

“Hanson Investigations is on line one, sir.” His secretary announced, and Nolan quickly took the call. Hanson’s men had been trailing Dylan for the last three weeks and had increasing success in pinning the little prick down.

“Hello, what do you have?” He barked. The agent on the other end gave him the full report having tracked Dylan north from Charleston to Rhode Island and as he turned back south towards Virginia.

"I have a report that your step-sons were spotted apparently stranded on the side of Old Route One outside Mechanicsville, Maryland. My guy got a report from a gas station computer that pinged his whereabouts late last night during that heavy rain. He sent one of his men to follow up.” The man paused, and Nolan’s impatience peaked.

“Just tell me if you have the little bastards or not, I don’t need your intrigue.”

"He said that they had a flat and he was rolling up on them when a man in a black suit appeared and took them all away before he could intervene. He has pictures, and I will forward them to you."

“What about the car did he impound the car?” Nolan was on his feet anger coursing through him at the ineptitude of this man.

“They took the car too.”

“They did all this so fast that your man did not have time to confront them?” Nolan snapped.

“They were gone before he could get out of his car, according to his report.” The man sounded pained to have to say it.

"You're a fucking disgrace, and you're fired." Nolan slammed the receiver down and logged into his computer. He scrolled through until he found the newly uploaded pictures. He studied the man leaning into the driver's window but could not see his face in the blur of the rain. The next picture which according to the date and time marker was taken twenty seconds later showed nothing. The road was barren, no man, no kids, no car.

He wasn't impressed and assumed they were simply too stupid to handle their own equipment and screwed up the timestamps. He forwarded the first picture to his tech department for analysis. He really should send it to the police, but he was hoping to find the kids first and have a little one on one with Dylan before he handed him over to the cops.

He was pleasantly surprised when in less than forty-five minutes he got a call back. "The man in the black suit has been identified as a Crimson Corporation security employee by the name of Harrison Montgomery. He works primarily from their home base in Crimson, Virginia."

Nolan didn't wait to hear anymore, he closed the call and ordered his assistant to arrange a flight and accommodations for him in Crimson, Virginia. He would be leaving immediately. He practically vibrated with the anticipation of what he was going to do to those boys once they were back in his custody. He jumped up from his desk and headed out.

Harris could still feel his chosen's anxiety, and he wished he could put him completely at ease. He was trying to channel his calm, and it helped, but Dylan was still apprehensive about meeting Master Stone. It would dissipate and go away once he actually met the Master and realized his fears were unfounded.

They entered behind Sean Ravenscroft, older brother of the Master’s chosen and one of their newest guards. He was a dragon knight and one of five sons of the Dragon King. He had chosen to stay with the coven after the war when his circle moved to Savage Mountain. Sean had proven himself to be a valiant and skillful warrior. He now was assigned as one of the personal guards to the Master and his family.

Sean announced their arrival and then left the room closing the door behind him. He wasn’t far though, just outside the door. They were meeting Master Stone in the living room of his private quarters which spoke clearly of how he felt about the Falls boys. He wanted Dylan to be comfortable and not intimidated although Master Stone himself in every move and every breath was the most intimidating being on the planet as far as Harris was concerned.

He was dressed impeccably but not as formal as usual, another attempt to have Dylan relax and Harris appreciated his effort. Master Stone stepped up and extended his hand to Dylan. “Your journey has been difficult, but your efforts will be rewarded.” He said and took Dylan’s hand. Dylan stood frozen both physically and verbally.

"You and your brothers are welcome here, and we will do everything in our power to help you." He held Dylan's hand for a moment and then released it and motioned for them both to take a seat.

“Congratulation Harris on finding your chosen.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“I’m aware of your circumstances and the allegations of abuse concerning your step-father Nolan Prescot.” Master Stone kept his eyes on Dylan who kept his eyes on his right hand that was being firmly held by Harris. Dylan nodded his head but did not speak.

"Prescot is not without influence and power, so I applaud your cunning in extricating your brothers and remaining hidden. I'm assuming he contacted the police simply because it was becoming difficult to explain where Matt and Freddy were. He's using the police but in an extremely limited fashion. He has been relying on a team of investigators that unfortunately have gotten very close." Master Stone leaned forward from where he sat on the white leather sofa, bringing him closer to Dylan's personal space.

Harris felt Dylan recoil, but he didn’t move, it took a lot of control, but Dylan did not move. It was obvious that Master Stone also sensed it. “Why do I scare you, Dylan?”

Dylan worked hard to keep his calm, but it was tearing at Harris as he felt how uncomfortable he was. Harris wished he could just scoop him up and take him back to his quarters. But he needed to talk, and Master Stone needed to understand what Dylan wanted and what they were truly up against with Prescot.

"Nolan has connections, everywhere it would seem. I don't know you, but I do know that Nolan has spoken of Alexander Stone. You're like him, a wealthy businessman with influence and therefore you scare me." Dylan was measured and articulate in his response, and he was making Harris very proud.

"From what I've read and what Harris has told me, you are intelligent, strong, resourceful and were, until just lately, employed as a software system engineer and software developer. Your skills are sharp, and your talent is growing. You are powerful in your own right, and you have nothing to fear from me." Master Stone reached out his hand and laid it on Dylan's forearm. 

"I am not like him. No one here is like him. Some people bully and cheat to get ahead, no one at the Crimson Corporation bullies and we are the best at what we do, and therefore there is no need to cheat. I have no connection to your step-father and like everyone here, have only your best interests at heart." Harris watched as his chosen took in Master Stone's words and saw as the physical contact between them brought through to Dylan the truth of his words.

Dylan sat up straight, and although he didn't look Master Stone in the eyes, he did manage to raise his gaze to the Master's collar. Harris was impressed. He took a deep cleansing breath and began.

He explained to Master Stone his situation from the beginning. He told him of his misgivings of having Nolan as a step-father and his attempts to persuade his mother from going through with the union. He loved his mother, but he always knew that her comfort and standing would always come before the welfare of her children. It was hard to admit, but it was true.

“I didn’t stay after the wedding. I was old enough and had a decent job, so I got a place of my own. There was no way I was living in a house with that guy. I didn’t realize at the time that he held the same animosity towards Matt and Freddy as he did me.” Dylan took another breath and squeezed Harris’s hand.

This was harder, so much harder than he’d thought it would be. Giving Harris the quick version had been okay, and Cullen hadn’t enquired too deeply, but this here was painful. Here he was telling the President and CEO of Crimson Corporation why he was a fuck up and why he believed he needed to pay for being a fuck up. 

He left his brothers without a thought or care, and they paid for it. The shame of his selfishness was practically a living thing within him. It had the power to crush and cripple, and now he had to lay it all out for judgment. Damn.

"For nearly two years Matt and Freddy have been getting the brunt of Nolan's moods, and he is rarely in a good mood. He gave me grief with fake police reports just for sport. He actually said that to me. He found it entertaining to mess with my life. Fortunately, after the first couple of calls, the police took it very lightly and didn't pursue any charges." Dylan turned and looked at Harris. Just looking into his beautiful dark eyes filled him with strength. His grip was firm, and Dylan could feel himself drawing confidence and security from the embrace.

"I called my brothers often, but I didn't see them very much. Nolan made it so difficult for me to come to the house that I stopped trying. They never told me what was going on. They always seemed excited and happy, but that was just, so I wouldn't get into trouble. Nolan told them if they ever said anything to me or ever complained in the slightest as to their treatment by him, he would have me jailed and they would never see or hear from me again." Dylan paused again. No one was questioning him or cutting him off they were just sitting and listening.

“It was a little over five weeks ago that I was testing out a program I was developing for use in information and research. I decided to use my two brothers as subjects and did a complete scan on their digital lives. I didn’t expect much just school reports and whatever online activity they were involved in. They’re just kids.” He coughed and rubbed the palm of his hand on his thigh, a nervous gesture.

“The first thing I saw was a report by Matt’s homeroom teacher. It was a brief observation, but it was so telling. He wrote that Matt was becoming insecure, withdrawn, fearful and he worried that perhaps he might be hurting himself based on his constant injuries. He thought they were caused by risky behavior. Matt is not risky, and he would not deliberately hurt himself.”  He coughed again covering the welling of emotion coming back upon him. He pushed it down and found himself leaning into Harris.

"The hospital database indicated that both Matt and Freddy Falls had been treated in the emergency room or admitted for injuries repeatedly over the past two years. It started out slow he probably didn't want to hurt them too badly in the beginning for fear of repercussion. Then when Nolan realized that the police, the hospital, the school were all going to turn a blind eye, he upped his abuse to include broken bones and wounds that required treatment and stitches. He's a man with power and money" Another cough and a deep breath and Dylan fought to continue and finish the horror that was his brother's lives. He felt so guilty.

"I panicked at first and then decided that I had to get them away from there. I knew mother would never give me guardianship if Nolan told her not to, so I had to be creative. I thought if I got them to tell me what was happening, I could report the abuse and follow through, unlike the institutions that ignored it." He felt Harris move his hand to his right and put his left arm around him, the comfort was energizing.

"I found out that Nolan was going overseas for a few weeks, so I worked on mother, and finally she agreed to let me have the boys for an entire weekend. If Nolan had been around, he wouldn't have allowed it simply because it was something I wanted. He's a petty, hateful man." Dylan paused realizing that he was drifting and also thankful that no one pushed him or questioned, they let him go at his own speed in his own way, and it was working. He was getting it all out, and he hoped like hell that these men could help.

"I got them to tell me the truth, and it was heartbreaking because of what they'd gone through and for the fact that I'd abandoned them to this abuse." Dylan felt Harris hug him closer. The man knew what he needed, and Dylan was thankful.

"The physical abuse was constant whenever Nolan was in their vicinity, as were the emotional attacks. Matt is a sensitive kid, and Nolan knew where to hit to get optimal emotional bloodshed. For Freddy, it was his effeminate nature as Nolan described it that he felt duty bound to beat out of him. I decided then and there that it was over, and they were never going back to that home." Dylan paused before continuing.

"I reported the incident to the authorities thinking that they would believe me and believe the boys, they had physical evidence of what Nolan had been doing. Unfortunately, Nolan's presence was far-reaching, and many people owed him money or their livelihood. Nolan was notified, and things were going to shit fast." Dylan paused again and dropped his head to stare at the floor for a moment as he gathered himself for the last of this story.

“Nolan called me and let me know what he was going to do when he got his hands on us. He was pissed for having to return from his trip early and for having his reputation questioned. I just went for it. I had to get them away and keep them safe. I hadn’t been there for them when this all started, and I was damn well not going to turn my back on them now. I left my job and scrubbed my existence from there. Then I scrubbed every possible contact I had with businesses and society in general. I didn’t want him to be able to track me through contacts or any digital markers. I also scrubbed the call I’d made to the police, but I kept a copy. Within fifteen minutes of Nolan’s call to me, the boys and I were gone, ghosted and on the run.” Silence fell for a few moments before Master Stone took the floor.

"You changed your names and rented a vehicle under the assumed name. You have never stayed in a place longer than three days, and you did not have a final destination in mind. What were your plans." Master Stone's tone was soft but prompting.

"I was setting up whole new identities for all of us. I thought we could just disappear and live our lives, like witness protection. I was working with some underground contacts, but it takes time. Nolan had private investigators on us, a hoard of them, and we were just one step ahead most of the time. I called in a lot of favors keeping us safe, and it will probably take me several lifetimes to pay them back. I used whatever I had to in order to stay ahead of Nolan. I thought he would tire and let us go, but that was stupid wishful thinking. He saw it as a challenge, and he wasn't going to let me win." Dylan found that sharing with Master Stone was becoming easier and he truly felt that the man wanted to help.

"I've put our lawyers and investigators on your case, and I promise you that Nolan Prescot will never lay a hand on those boys or you ever again. As for your favors and underground contacts, I've paid them off, and you are no longer indebted to them." Master Stone made the statements without hesitation or conditions. His presence so compelling and his authority so complete that Dylan believed every word down to his soul.

“Thank you, sir.” Dylan had no other words.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

 

Harris’s heart broke for what his chosen had gone through. He was a young man who should have been free to live his life and pursue his career without the damage and oppression presented by Nolan Prescot. He vowed to keep him safe and provide him with a life that was full of happiness and love. Harris vowed he would spend his life treasuring what Fate had given him.

They left the Master's quarters, and Harris stopped long enough to introduce Dylan to Sean. He was proud of his chosen and wanted his friends to know him. "Congratulations, Harris you are very lucky." Harris looked down at Dylan and agreed wholeheartedly.

He wasn't holding Dylan's hand, but he maintained contact with his hand on Dylan's back as they descended in the elevator. Their bond was growing, but Harris ached to taste his chosen. He could wait, he had Dylan in his home protected, and that was light years from where he was two days ago, and he was thankful.

“Let’s walk the gardens before I give you a tour of the mansion. The gardens are tranquil and relaxing, and I think we both need that right now.” Harris suggested and slipped his arm around him.

"Yes, I'd like that." Dylan leaned into him, and Harris felt his heart soaring. It would all work out, and his future was to be filled with the vision of this man every day and the addition of two wonderful bothers.

Harris was an only child, and his parents stayed with their coven in England when Harris made the decision to petition Crimson for membership over a century and a half ago. They'd had no contact for decades now, and it did not bother him. His life was here. Coming to Crimson was a decision that changed his life and gave him a position and a future he could be proud of and could grow within. The Crimson Coven gave him everything and made him the man that he is, and now his life was near complete with the gift of his chosen and family. He was beyond being a lucky man, he was blessed.

They made their way to a pretty little area somewhat secluded in the tall trees and thick bushes. They sat on an ornate stone bench under the shade of a large oak tree.

"Master Stone has the best staff, so his legal department and investigative team are far and above anything Prescot has pulled together. On top of that, his people are loyal and dedicated. We will win, we always win." He took the liberty of brushing Dylan's hair back from his face and placing a soft kiss to the side of his head. "We always win."

“I could use some winning.” Dylan turned and kissed Harris on the lips. It was a bold move and Harris loved it. “You fill my mind, you have from the moment we met.” Harris pulled him closer eager to hear and soak up the loving words he was sharing.

"I ran, but you were never far from my thoughts. Crimson always seemed to be beckoning me home even though I only lived here for three days. We were on our way back here when you found us on the road. Matt and Freddy both wanted to come back, and I needed to return." Dylan searched Harris's face as if surprised that he was there.

"This is your home," Harris whispered and then took Dylan's lips in another heart-stopping kiss. He craved this young man like a drug and would do anything to keep him. Vampire bonds went deep and were forever. He hoped that Dylan was prepared for a love that would last forever.

He kissed the corners of Dylan’s mouth and moved slowly down to place several kisses to the side of his throat. Harris pulled him closer needing the contact and pressure and pricked him lightly with his fang. He drank in a small amount, glorying in its potency, and then licked the slight punctures closed. His head swam with the dizzying effect of his chosen’s blood. Nothing in his life had ever tasted as wonderful, and the effect it was having on him was staggering. Their bond was kicked into gear.

"What's happening to me? I could always hear you and feel you, but now I know you, in my heart, I know you. It feels like a light was turned on and I see you, do you see me?" Dylan was rambling, but Harris understood most of it. He was experiencing the same rush as Harris and it was confusing him.

“I see you clearly. You’re my chosen, my bond, my equal.” He stared into Dylan’s lust blown blue eyes and pushed his influence and his aura into his awareness so that he could understand the depth of their connection. Dylan reached up and pressed his palm against Harris’s cheek.

"My life is majorly fucked up right now, but when I'm with you I believe everything is okay, everything will be fine. You give me peace and serenity, and I don't want to ever lose that. I don't know the details of what's happening here, but my instincts are telling me its right." Dylan slipped his hand behind Harris's head to the back of his neck and pulled him down gently.

Harris went willingly as Dylan strained upwards to capture his lips in an exquisite embrace. The kiss was needy and demanding, and Harris was in heaven. He tightened his embrace and opened greedily for Dylan's exploring appendage. He pushed inside thirsty and ravenous. The experience was setting Harris on edge and fervently reciprocating Dylan’s hunger.

Sweet lustful little moans escaped Dylan's lips and Harris felt his cock begin to throb. He wanted to claim his chosen, right here and right now. He squeezed his upper arm and pressed him as close as Harris could manage. Dylan's lightweight cotton shirt was a barrier that he wished was gone, but they were in the garden and not completely private.

He pushed his hand underneath the hem and slid his palm over the warm silken skin that pebbled excitedly beneath his touch. The contact was electrifying and begged for more. His chosen was enthralling, his taste, his touch was overwhelming and intoxicating. Another sensuous moan had Harris taking Dylan’s lips in another kiss and moving his hand lower to capture and caress his burgeoning hard on that was pressing against Harris’s thigh.

Dylan pressed harder into the firm grip. He wished that his jeans were not in the way and that Harris had his hand on his warm throbbing flesh. He wrapped his arm around Harris’s middle as best he could and tried to pull him even closer. The need for this man was engulfing every other thought or consideration. He knew he was in the garden and semi-public, but he couldn’t care less at this moment.

Harris released his lips but only to be able to speak and allow them both to catch their breaths. They continued to hold each other, and Harris’s hand remained on Dylan’s aching cock. The silence was vibrating with their combined craving and lust.

“Come with me.” Harris stood taking Dylan with him practically carrying him to a secluded shed off among the trees. Once inside he closed and locked the door. When Dylan’s vision cleared enough to look around, he found it to be much more than just a garden shed. It was furnished and beautiful with lace curtains plush furnishings and a lovely hardwood floor.

“What is this place?” He whispered.

Harris was desperate for his chosen and this donor cottage was just the place to make his chosen comfortable and further their bond. He wanted to claim him but there needed to be a conversation first, a conversation he was in no condition to lead right now.

He needed to be inside his chosen more than he needed to breathe. This cottage was one of the sites for unbonded vampires to meet with volunteer donors for sustenance and a very good time. It was kept in pristine condition at all times and Harris was sure that Dylan would be comfortable enough here to give himself over.

“This is one of the garden cottages, there are five in all and they are available to anyone who wishes to use them.” There that wasn’t a lie and it didn’t open a door that he wasn’t prepared to go through at the moment.

“It is lovely.” Dylan still held onto Harris who carefully laid him down onto the soft plush daybed.  Harris quickly shucked off his jacket and tossed onto a nearby chair and his tie followed. He then reached down and grabbed the hem of Dylan’s shirt and eased it up and over his head. He tossed the shirt onto the pile of clothes in the chair.

He then slowly unbuttoned his own shirt and slid it off slowly as he watched the appreciation shining in Dylan’s eyes. He liked what he saw, and Harris loved showing it to him. He flexed a few extra times as he tossed the shirt on the pile and watched Dylan lick his lips with anticipation.

Dylan was about ready to start panting. The chiseled perfection of Harrison Montgomery was even more spectacular than he’d imagined, and he’d imagined a lot. In order to keep himself from reaching out and grabbing the beauty before him, he dug his fingers into the soft fabric of the bedding beneath him.

He didn’t know what it was cotton, satin, or silk but whatever it was it was the softest and most extravagant thing he’d ever encountered. For a garden shed, this place could put a four-star hotel to shame with the beauty and extravagance of the interior. The lighting was subdued due to the heavy shade trees that surrounded the structure. A few shards of sunlight broke through lighting up portions of the room giving the area a mystical feel.

He watched while Harris loosened his belt and popped the top button at the waist of his pants. He took hold of the zipper pull and slowly eased it down about two inches before stopping and staring into Dylan's eyes. He didn't speak as he lowered himself to his knees and reached out to run the palm of his hand over Dylan's naked chest. "You make my blood burn, you make my mind scatter and the only thought I can hold onto his being inside you. Let me make love to you. Please let me make love to you."

Dylan melted on the spot seeing the desire so clear in Harris’s eyes and the need trembling through his fingertips. Dylan had no intention of denying this gorgeous man anything. He nodded and then decided words were necessary. “Yes, please.” He left it there hoping it was enough and conveyed his matching impatience for more.

A smile of pure satisfaction lit up Harris’s handsome face and he immediately began to unfasten Dylan’s jeans. In a few seconds they were pushed down and off along with his tennis shoes and socks. He lay there in nothing but his briefs and felt not the slightest bit of hesitation when he reached out and began to pull on that half-opened zipper on Harris’s pants.

"Let me help you with that." He responded and holding Dylan's hand, they both lowered the zipper. His cock hard and demanding pushed through and was visible through the thin fabric of his briefs. Harris looped his thumbs in the waistband and removed his pants and briefs at the same time.

The breath caught in Dylan’s throat and he reached out to touch the thick, solid length desperately wanting a taste. He opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue and Harris did not disappoint. He leaned closer allowing Dylan to touch the tip with his tongue and taste the manly essence that was Harrison Montgomery.

Harris was in heaven the touch of his chosen sent waves of delight sparking through his system. He loved foreplay, the dance of love that took a slow burn to a fever pitch. Past lovers were all for the act and not the lead-up and always left him wanting more. Dylan was perfect in every way. He felt that tantalizing tongue circle the head and suck in just the very tip while burrowing his tongue into the sensitized slit.

He cupped Harris's balls with his hand and massaged them gently. Harris couldn't take much more he had to pull back, or he would be coming down his chosen's throat any second now. It didn't take much when it was your fated chosen that was delivering the ecstasy.

Dylan leaned forward trying to reconnect, but Harris eased him back onto the narrow bed and began a series of hot wet kisses to his lips, throat, shoulders and then working his way down to one swollen nipple and pulling it into this mouth before sucking hard. He slipped his right hand down Dylan's abdomen until it connected with the waistband of his brief and quickly slid underneath capturing his warm stiff cock in the palm of his hand.

He removed the briefs and continued his downward exploration. Dylan was running his fingers through Harris’s hair and moaning oh so sweetly. He found his prize and in one thrust took Dylan's cock to the root. He felt Dylan's hips rise from the bed and stiffen as he caught his breath. The hands in Harris's hair tightened painfully, but it was a delicious pain.

Harris worked him hard. His motions fast and firm while gently removing the briefs. Dylan began to thrust his hips in rhythm with Harris's strokes. The intensity rising and the heat building. Harris eased his fingers into Dylan's crease and began to circle his entrance. It was tight and firm, but soon he was able to insert one finger and then a second.

The moist heat surrounded and held him as he plunged his fingers inside over and over. He felt Dylan whining for more, but he needed to make sure he was ready. This was his chosen and there would be no rushing or unnecessary pain. 

Dylan was about to crawl out of his skin he was so primed and ready. The feel of Harris's large fingers breaching his hole and filling his channel had him trembling and grabbing at Harris for more. He couldn't think straight with Harris's warm, talented mouth on his cock and his fingers in his hole. The sensations were bombarding him relentless in their drive to push him over the edge.

Harris had three fingers in his ass now, and he was working him hard and it was amazing. He popped off his cock long enough to tell him to come down his throat which was all Dylan had to hear to explode immediately. His fingers were still buried in Harris's hair and he knew it probably hurt, but he was incapable of letting go. He came hard and filled Harris's greedy mouth as Harris continued to pump his massive fingers in and out of his ass.

The sensation of Harris licking him clean would be emblazoned on his memory for the rest of his life. Never had he felt anything so erotic and romantic. Harris removed his fingers which left an empty feeling that Dylan wanted that remedied immediately.

"It's okay sweetheart." Harris crooned as he positioned himself over Dylan pressing his thigh between Dylan's legs to separate them. The feel of Harris's rock-hard cock as it rested against his own caused a quickening in his softening cock. Never had he recovered in so short a period. Harris kept whispering lovely, sexy things into his ear as he pushed his legs further apart and pressed his hardness against Dylan's stretched opening.

Dylan’s hips were raised when Harris looped his arm under Dylan’s leg. He entered so fast there was no time to wonder if it was going to hurt, it did, and it didn’t. The pain was gone as quickly as the pleasure took hold and enveloped him. Harris's fingers were wonderful, but his long thick cock was euphoric. He held his breath as Harris slammed into him over and over, going deeper and deeper as his climax readied to overtake him once more. This was outrageous, the sensations building within him were like a wildfire out of control.

Harris pounded hard relentless filling him with his huge cock and turning his mind to jelly. He slammed inside and held as a hot explosion of seed flooded his channel and Dylan felt his own climax shatter at the same time. How was it possible that he could come twice in such a short time and come so damn hard?

Harris filled his chosen, drenching the velvety walls of his channel in his essence. Without thought and with instincts taking control, Harris dropped blanketing Dylan with his body and sunk his fangs into the tender flesh at the base of his throat. Harris drew in the amazing life-altering liquid. He hadn't intended to bond, but his vampiric nature took over as the ecstasy of taking Dylan as his own filled his system.

He finished the bond and licked the wound closed before pulling back and bracing himself on his elbows. His cock still hard and throbbing remained inside his chosen. Dylan was still blissed out and panting, but the half smile on his lips conveyed all Harris needed at the moment.

He’d claimed Dylan, the bond was shifting into place and their connection complete. “How do you feel?” He spoke softly afraid to break the tender intimacy that surrounded them.

“Like I’m flying.” He answered as his eyes ate up Harris’s face. “This isn’t natural, but it is so perfect.” He raised his hand and touched Harris’s cheek as if he needed to make sure he was real.

“You bit me.” He said.

“I did.”

“It made me come.”

“Yes.”

Dylan smiled. “Maybe we need to have that supernatural talk sooner rather than later.”

The lightness of his tone and the love in his eyes made Harris’s heart explode and tears filled his eyes. “You are my chosen and we have bonded.”

“I can feel it, I can feel you so clearly now.” He stroked the pad of his thumb beneath Harris’s eye and collected the tears there. “I feel your devotion and passion. Do you feel me?”

“I’ve been able to feel you from the moment our eyes met in the kitchen of the Crimson Clover. It is sharper now, but you were always with me.” Harris turned his head and placed a kiss to Dylan’s palm.

Dylan moved his fingers to press between Harris's lips to feel his teeth. He ran the tips of his fingers across them until he felt the sharp points of his eye teeth. Harris closed his eyes and moaned as he continued to stroke the tips. "You have fangs."

“Yes.”

“Should I be afraid?”

“Never.” Harris kissed him on the lips and then on the cheek and then moved to nuzzle the little scar on his neck. Dylan shuddered as the sensitive area was stroked.

“That feels so good.” He gasped.

"You feel so good," Harris responded in kind.

Dylan opened his eyes and asked the question that had been hanging in the air between them. “Are you a vampire?”

Harris paused for a moment and carefully slipped his softening member out of Dylan and settled to his side. "The Crimson Corporation is owned and operated by the Crimson Coven and is led by Alexander Stone the Vampire Master. Yes, I am a vampire, and I am a soldier in the Crimson Army. I work security here at the Plantation as you know, and this is the heart of the Coven." Harris waited for a response or a comment, but Dylan remained silent and still. He sensed no fear from him only contemplation.

"Can you turn others into vampires?"

“No, you have to be born a vampire.”

“We bonded, what does that mean?”

"I fed from you and I came inside you without barriers. We are as one now. You are my chosen and I am yours, through bonding, we connect our souls. I should have asked permission, but my nature took over and I am not sorry. You are mine, Dylan and I will spend the rest of my long life making you proud of that fact." Harris punctuated his statement with a hard-possessive kiss. When he pulled back, he noticed that the pleasant smile was back.

“Every day that I was away from you was difficult. I was so drawn to you like I finally had to return. You are in my blood and I can’t imagine my life without you. Even before we bonded, I ached for you and knew we belonged together.” Dylan continued to smile. “I’ll try very hard to make you not regret bonding with me.”

“The only thing I regret is letting you go that first night. I should have found a way to keep you with me.” Harris was over the moon with the acceptance of his chosen. Dylan was his and he was happy, nothing else in this world mattered.

“I have my brothers and I am responsible for them.” The smile faltered as Dylan reminded Harris that he was not without baggage.

“Before you arrived, I lived in a studio apartment on the first floor. I was given a suite because I needed three rooms for my chosen and his brothers. I accepted them as part of the package from the beginning. I consider them a bonus to our union. You will move into my room and your brothers will each have a room of their own. They are my responsibility just as they are yours and I am pleased to have them.” That brought the sweetest most contented smile to Dylan’s face and Harris just laid back and basked in the beauty.

“We should get back; the boys will be returning soon.” Dylan offered but kept cuddling closer to Harris and resting his head on Harris’s chest.

"Let's relax and hold each other for ten more minutes. We have the time." Harris kissed the top of his head and they both settled into a beautifully peaceful silence.

 

 

CHAPTER SIX

 

Nolan landed at the airport in Richmond and then rented a car for the hour drive to Crimson, on the banks of the Rappahannock River. He’d already notified the local police and was to stop at the station first. He was informed that they probably wouldn’t go out to the Plantation until morning at the earliest, so he’d have to get himself a room for the night. He was still mystified by how Dylan had pulled the Crimson Corporation into his plans to disappear with his brothers but apparently, they fell for his sob story. Nolan would make sure no one believed a word of what the little prick had to say.

Alexander Stone was a businessman like him and they would be able to speak man to man and sort out this mess. He would have those boys on a plane back home by nightfall. Dylan, on the other hand, would be in jail. He gloried at the idea of finally getting that little prick out of the picture.

With Dylan apprehended Matt and Freddy would be pissing their pants with fear. He hated kids and there weren’t any kids he hated more than his wife’s kids. He shouldn’t have married her, but she had the credentials he needed, and she was willing. His next wife would be younger and childless.

“Sheriff Tibideaux called.” Cullen sat in Master Stones office giving a report on the current state of the investigation into the Nolan Prescot. “Prescot is in town now and presenting a request to have the Crimson Plantation searched. He states that he has evidence that the children are being held here.”

“What sort of evidence?”

“Claims he has a photo identifying Harris with Dylan. One of his investigators was tailing them and got close enough for a picture before Harris brought them here.” Cullen stated and then added. “He has no information regarding the teleportation. I doubt the investigator added that tidbit.”

"We can block him for now, but eventually we will have to end Nolan Prescot and his business ventures. He will continue to be a thorn until taken care of." Master Stone was not too concerned, but irritating people had a tendency to get under your skin, so he did not dismiss any threat no matter how small or inconsequential.

"The Sheriff will keep him busy, and Prescot will find no allies there or in the City of Crimson," Cullen commented. A firm understanding existed between the town and the Plantation, each protected the other. It also helped that more than a few coven members live in town and were employed at the police department, the courts, and one happened to be the Mayor.

“I do appreciate their support.” Master Stone smiled.

“What is Crimson without the Crimson Plantation?” Cullen reminded.

“True, very true.”

 

Dylan and Harris spent the remainder of the evening after they'd had dinner sitting in the living room and explaining their relationship to Matt and Freddy. It turned out to be not so much difficult as it was time-consuming. Both the boys had a tremendous amount of questions many of which indicated that Cullen had been completely truthful with them throughout their tour.

“So, is he still your superhero?” Dylan asked Freddy when he related a question he asked of Cullen and the answer he received. They’d inadvertently observed Fergus, son of Master Stone and his chosen Quinn, half shift into his dragon and then back to his human several times while playing with other kids in the garden.

"Yes, because he tells the truth even if it is uncomfortable." Well, that hit both Harris and Dylan right between the eyes and any thought of subterfuge was out the window. These guys were too astute to be able to get away with playing word games with them.

"It startled us, but it wasn't scary. Nolan is ten times scarier than anything I witnessed today." Matt spoke up and Freddy agreed. "We were teleported here in the dead of night with our car by a sorcerer so shifters being real was not such a leap for me," Matt added with a bit of sarcasm.

With that door wide open Harris decided to step through and explained who he was and told them they were currently residing in the Crimson Coven. He punctuated his confession with dropping his fangs which had both boys immediately on their feet, in his face, checking them out.

“This is the coolest thing to ever happen to me.” Matt burst.

“Cullen is a vampire too?” Freddy asked.

“He’s second in command of this entire coven. He answers to no one except Master Alexander Stone.” Harris stated, and Freddy was in awe. By the look on his face, the hero worship had just jacked up a couple of notches.

They finished with explaining the power of vampire chosen bonds.

“We’re going to live here with you and Harris now?” They both asked simultaneously.

“Yes, I spoke with Master Stone this morning and they have their legal team and investigators on this case. They believe us, and you guys will never go back to Nolan, never.” Dylan assured.

"When I formally present Dylan to the Master as my chosen bond, I will present you two as well as my brothers and you will all be inducted as members of the Crimson Coven. If you don't wish to become members, you are still welcome, and no one will treat you differently, it is completely up to you." Harris wanted to make sure they understood that they had the full power of consent.

Matt and Freddy stared at each other for about two seconds and then exploded with excitement. “We accept.” They shouted and then they started talking to each other as if no one else was in the room.

“We’re going to be Coven members Freddy.”

“Our brother in law is a vampire, I’m so happy.” Freddy shot back.

Dylan laughed and leaned into Harris's embrace. "Well, that went better than I expected." He said and accepted a quick kiss from Harris.

“Will Cullen be our boss?” Freddy asked excitement still bright in his eyes.

"Cullen is everyone's boss, except for Master Stone," Harris informed.

That sealed it Matt and Freddy were completely on board for this new chapter of their lives. For the first time, the Crimson Coven would be accepting two unbonded humans as coven members. Cullen had made the offer to Harris when dropping the boys back after their tour and Harris had thanked him profusely. Having his entire family as members would help Dylan’s adjustment to his new life with Harris much easier.

They all pitched in to move Matt into the other bedroom and Dylan into Harris’s bedroom. The boys each had their own room and they seemed happy and settled in a way Dylan had not witnessed in a long time.

Even when calling to check on them before he realized what was happening, there was always a stiffness to their discussion a wariness that bordered on fear of saying too much. He wrote it off to adolescent behavior at first but now he knew differently.

Everything was going perfectly until Harris received a call to meet with Cullen in his office and he asked that he bring Dylan with him. Dylan never did well with the unknown and tended to stress immediately.

“Easy sweetheart.” Harris hugged him tight and assured him that it was nothing tragic. “If it was bad news, he would have just told me. By asking for a meeting, he has something to discuss or impart. Nothing to worry about.”

Matt agreed to keep an eye on Freddy while they were gone. “Cullen showed you the dining hall so why don’t you two get some lunch. If the meeting ends early, we’ll meet you there otherwise we’ll meet you back here.” Harris suggested.

Cullen had given them a complete and thorough tour of the plantation and introduced them to everyone on their way. The boys were quite comfortable in their surroundings and had no qualms about being on their own. They knew their way around the massive structure. Harris realized then that he still hadn’t completed Dylan’s tour having gotten wonderfully sidetracked in the garden yesterday.

Memories of claiming his chosen brought a warm and loving sensation to his heart. Last night after they'd all turned in, Dylan lay in his arms sleeping and he couldn't take his eyes off of him. The thought that he finally had his forever lover in his home and in his arms was more than he ever thought possible. All he'd ever wanted was to have someone to love and have someone love him. He kissed him softly so as not to awaken him and snuggled down for one of the most restful nights of his life.

He kissed Dylan again before grabbing his suit jacket and straightening his tie. He noticed Dylan watching him closely.

“Should I dress up for this meeting?” He asked.

"You are fine as you are. I am a soldier and this black suit is my uniform." He explained. "You'll notice that the guards also wear black, but their cut and fabric are different, and the Leader class also wear black and again the cut and fabric are just slightly different. We dress similar, but each class is easily distinguishable." Harris decided that every question from now on would be answered completely.

“Okay but I think I’ll put on my black shoes instead of these sneakers.” Harris smiled and nodded as he waited for Dylan to change.

 

“Nolan Prescot is in town and has met with the local authorities.” Was Cullen’s opening statement when He and Dylan arrived. He felt Dylan’s anxiety level spike but hoped that their bond would be enough to keep him calm and focused.

"He had an investigator on you that managed to get a picture of Harris as he stood beside your car before bringing you here." Cullen showed them the picture. It was fuzzy and Harris was at a loss as to how they identified him from that shot.

“They have software now that can pick up subtleties in a photo and comparison match to millions of shots available online coming up with at least ten of the most likely matches. Then there are other programs that can isolate it down further until they have a most likely match within a 99% likelihood.” Dylan rattled on with the technical answer to the question Harris had not actually verbalized. He turned and looked at Harris with a shocked look. “You didn’t ask that question out loud did you?”

"No, but I appreciate the clarification." Harris reached over and laid his hand on Dylan's jean-clad thigh giving him a sense of ease.

"That is correct, Dylan but it also leaves the course open for denial which we are using to our advantage," Cullen spoke, and everyone stopped talking. "Nolan is pressing the local police for a search of these premises, but he will not be successful. Not with the local police at least." Cullen stood and walked around the front of his desk to lean back on it with his arms crossed in front of him. His expression was inscrutable.

“We do not have the same clout with the state officers as we do the local. If he contacts the State Police, it is very likely that they will show up at our gates. I want you to know this but do not fear because no one will ever take you or Matt or Freddy from us.” Cullen continued to stare with that ‘I can slay the world’ kind of confidence and Harris sensed that Dylan was reacting to it.

“Thank you for taking our side.” He said this to Cullen but also turned to look at Harris letting him know he was included in his statement. He was pleased that they didn't hide anything from him, but the thought that Nolan was so close had his anxiety rising regardless of the fact he knew and accepted that he and his brothers were safe.

When they were leaving Cullen's office, they met up with Steph who had not as yet formally met Dylan. Needless to say, Dylan was freshly amazed at the diversity of the Crimson Coven. Steph did not have his ears covered, and his Fae heritage was on full display. Dylan recognized his suit to be that of a soldier like Harris, so it was not a surprise when Harris introduced him as his closest friend.

“I wanted to let you know that we met up with Matt and Freddy in the dining hall a little bit ago. Cullen introduced us yesterday.” He explained his familiarity with the boys. “And they’re currently with Fulton, he wanted to show them the armory. He wanted to make sure they understood the lethal power of the Crimson Army and just how safe they were within these walls. I hope you don’t mind.” Harris looked to Dylan to answer that one.

"I'm glad that they are being accepted and treated as a part of this community. I'm sure seeing the armory will go far to put their minds at ease." Dylan answered eloquently as ever.

Once they parted ways and were heading to the dining hall for lunch, Dylan asked. "Who is Fulton?"

Harris laughed so pleased that his trust level was such that he waited to ask Harris that question. “Fulton is part of the Leader Class, he only answers to Cullen and Steph is his chosen.”

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

 

Nolan Prescot was spitting fire by the time he left the local Sheriff's office. They absolutely refused to help him locate Matt and Freddy. They went as far as to threaten to arrest him if he dared go near the Crimson Plantation calling it trespassing. He even put on a desperate emotional plea for the return of his two young sons, and they just ignored him. Sheriff Leroy Tibideaux was an unusually menacing looking man, and it had Nolan on edge. Something told him that the Sheriff made up his own rules.

He also tried to rent his hotel room for another night due to this situation taking longer than anticipated and he was denied. He then found that every room in the city was booked. It was becoming very clear who owned this town and also very clear that Crimson had something to hide, namely two young boys and their useless brother.

The challenge to his authority just enraged him further. His next call was to the state police, and apparently Alexander Stone did not own them because they were interested in his report. Nolan considered himself capable of handling any situation and bending it ultimately to his favor and he was confident that this situation would be no different. Once he had the boys and Dylan had been dealt with, he would set his legal team loose on Crimson Corporation. Their decision to assist those little bastards would be their undoing.

He grabbed his coat and hurried out to his rented car that was now parked in front of the hotel. The valet tossed him his keys and then turned his back on him. This town was no longer his concern. He couldn’t care less about this fucking jerk water town because his sights were now trained on the big fish. Alexander Stone was going to be in legal fights with him for well on into eternity if he didn’t settle and settle big.

This time instead of being stopped at the main road and forced to turn back, Nolan, accompanied by the State Police pulled up to the gates of the Crimson Plantation. It wasn’t possible to see the massive estate from here, being the gate was set approximately a quarter mile from the perimeter of the residence.

There wasn’t just an intercom or a guard at this gate, this gate had four guards, four large competent looking me in black suits. “Is this just for me?” His words laced with sarcasm.

“The Crimson Plantation is always heavily guarded. You don’t get inside if Alexander Stone doesn’t want you inside.” One of the officers stated and had Nolan turning to look at him sharply.

“I hope that doesn’t include the State Police.” He responded with a little snark and turned his head towards the guard approaching the driver’s window.

“We’ll see.” Was all the officer had to say on the subject as he opened his door and stepped out.

Nolan watched and listened to the two officers speaking with two of the guards the other two guards were watching him. It was an uncomfortable feeling and he wanted to get out of the car and say as much but the officer who was driving told him to stay in the car until he was directed to leave it. This was bullshit and just as he was about to open his door and step out one of the guards who had been watching him stepped in front of the door and prevented it from opening.

One of the officers shot him a hard-irritated glance and then went back to discussing God knows what with the guard. Finally, after about fifteen minutes the guard moved, and he was allowed to leave the vehicle. Nolan was about to unload on the guard when coal black eyes trained on him and the malice in their depth caused him to rethink his approach and he simply averted his gaze and went to stand with the officer.

“Alexander Stone is sending someone to bring you to the main house and has offered to meet with you to discuss the problem. We have no proof that your step-sons are here and that picture could be any of a thousand different guys according to Stone’s legal support. I would advise you to try and work this out. Personally, I think you’re on the wrong track here, but Stone has agreed to talk it out.” The officers, both of them, seemed a bit dazed but Nolan didn’t care. They’d gotten him a meeting with Stone and that was his goal. Meet the man, make his demands and his threats, and wait for a payoff.

Being the power that Stone is he will probably dance around it all for a while but in the end, no one wants to go to court over abducted minors especially not a well-respected billionaire. Stone will pay up, it isn’t the first time Nolan used a ploy like this on a rival and probably not the last. A smile spread across his face as he agreed to the meeting.

He watched the long black car approach the gates and waited impatiently for the occupant to emerge.  The car stopped and one of the guards took him by the upper arm and forced him, high stepping all the way to the back passenger side of the car. Nolan barked his disdain, but it fell on deaf ears. The guard opened the door threw him inside and slammed the door behind him.

"Nolan is here, he's meeting with Cullen and Master Stone," Harris informed Dylan. "I don't think we should tell the boys. It would just upset them unnecessarily." He looked at Dylan for his opinion knowing that he had final say where Matt and Freddy were concerned.

“I agree, no need to upset them and knowing Nolan was on the premises would upset them.” Dylan leaned into Harris as they were sitting on the sofa together with Dylan securely wrapped in Harris’s arms.

"I don't know what I will do if Nolan makes so much trouble that Master Stone decides we're too much trouble. He's an expert at screwing up lives and mother will not help us, she never has." He was suddenly feeling a pang of sadness like all these wonderful things and feelings and people were going to be taken from his because Nolan always destroyed his things.

He felt Harris pull him tighter into his embrace and he went with it the feel of Harris’s firm body and exquisite smell put his mind and body in a place that was just remarkable. He felt at home and he felt loved. Harris had awoken him this morning with the sweetest most tantalizing blow job of his life. Yesterday had just been a trial run compared to the full feature he was treated to that morning. He couldn’t wait to start his life with this man who seemed to need Dylan as much Dylan need him.

“I love you Harris and I don’t ever want to leave you.” Dylan felt the scratching of emotional overload in his voice and he just couldn’t help it. “I can’t leave you.”

“You will never leave me, and I will never leave you.” Harris had the same emotional tone as he set him straight. “There is no one on this earth with the power to take you from me. I am a Crimson soldier and I will destroy anyone who tries. Know that and know that I love you to the depths of my soul. We will never be apart, and Nolan Prescot will not be a problem, trust me Cullen and Master Stone will handle him and his threats. He will wish that he never came here.”

“I think I could use some air, could we go for a walk and maybe find Matt and Freddy. They have certainly taken to this place like it is home.” Dylan pushed away from the sofa and Harris helped him stand.

“Good idea.” Harris put his arm back around Dylan and they headed out the door. “I think they’re still with Fulton so let’s check the armory first.

Nolan was put off by the looks of the man in the back of the limo. He was a large fucker about the same size as the guards, but he had an aura that made him seem even bigger. His eyes bore into him and he said nothing, no introductions, no questions, just heavy silence. Finally, Nolan could take it no longer and broke the silence.

“I know that my step-sons are here, and I’ll tell you right now they are leaving here with me today.” Nolan looked squarely at the man but soon dropped his gaze to the man’s collar. He never looked away first and it infuriated him that he had. He looked back to the man’s eyes and forced himself to hold the truly deadly gaze.

“You have no right to keep them here and I will see you and your boss in court over this. You haven’t even begun to understand the amount of legal action I intend to bring against Alexander Stone and Crimson Corporation. If you give them to me now without delay, I will consider forgetting that this happened.” Nolan had no intention of forgetting anything he just wanted to grab the kids and use them as leverage against this bunch.

They obviously must have a soft spot for the little bastards. His mind began to design new directions for his attack on Crimson. He hadn’t thought of using the kids against them, blackmail without the messy illegal aspects. His heart began to swell at the financial possibilities and he smiled. Maybe the little shits will be of use after all. Hopefully, they will pay to keep Dylan out of jail as well.

He realized that his eyes had once again shifted to the man's collar and he fought to hold his gaze, but it was proving impossible. Suddenly darkness filled the car and his nerves began to abandon him. He noticed they were pulling up beside a large Plantation home of white plaster and stone it was massive, unlike any home he'd ever seen outside of the aristocracy.

The car stopped, and the doors opened. The silent one stepped out and Nolan followed. "I will not be intimidated by you if that is your intent. I've been in business for twenty years and I've faced worse motherfuckers than you."

Cullen turned to look at him over one shoulder with a smile that made his blood run cold. “I don’t think you have.” He said and then turned back to regard the giant that was exiting the side door. Nolan didn’t need a name, he knew this was Alexander Stone.

He straightened and held his head high, this was showtime and he needed to scare them more than they were scaring him. “Are we to meet in the road?” He scoffed feigning insult.

“I refuse to have you in my home.” Stone stated without expression. “We will talk here.”

“Bring me Matt and Freddy and that pathetic older brother of theirs or I’ll have the authorities on you in mass. You don’t want to start something like this that will most certainly affect you and your business. No one likes a nasty scandal and I promise you a very nasty scandal if you do not produce those kids immediately.” Nolan began with his major threat and then would continue stacking more until they had no choice but to hand them over. No one would risk so much for some strangers and Nolan was counting on these men to understand the situation and make the right decision. The Falls boys aren’t worth it.

“If you hand them over now, I will forget that they were here, and you and I can go about our business.” Nolan made that offer in the car, but he thought it was worth repeating for Stone’s consideration.

"He made that offer to me in the car," Cullen stated.

"He's under the impression that I haven't any scandalous information of my own, Cullen.  A scandal such as this can touch everyone and has ruined many." Master Stone stepped up closer and Nolan instinctively took a step back. Cullen moved to stand next to Master Stone while the two guards from the car stood behind Nolan.

"You're the one who is holding my children and refusing to release them, you will be charged, and your face plastered across the newspapers. What will you stockholders say then?" Nolan tried to sound accusing, but his voice cracked and there was sweat forming on his brow.

A sinister smile stretched across his lips. "You have failed to do your homework, Nolan. I own everything, I answer to no one. But that's not the case for you, is it? You have your wealth and that of your friends tied up in many risky ventures. You cannot afford a scandal. Isn't that why you waited so long to alert the police to your dear missing children." He took another step closer and Nolan felt the sweat begin to run down the center of his back. He felt himself losing this battle and he refused. Nolan held his ground and trembled beneath the authority of these two men.

“You haven’t a leg to stand on here.” He shouted. “You have no idea who you’re fucking dealing with.” He continued to shout until Cullen in a flash grabbed him by the front of his shirt and hauled him nearly off his feet.

“Speak to Master Stone like that again and you will find yourself fertilizing the garden.” Cullen’s tone was steady and even without a hint of emotion and it was chilling to the bone. He dropped Nolan back on his feet and stepped back.

"You put your hands on me, I'll have you arrested." Nolan was losing his cool and there was no way to get it back. Fear began to spike, but he refused to let these men believe they've bested him. No one bested Nolan Prescot.

"Some people are just too stupid to live," Cullen added, and Master Stone nodded.

"I have hospital reports, school reports, police reports and witness statements that paint a picture of a man hell-bent on torturing and abusing his step-sons. It is a considerable amount of proof that will clearly back up any statements that the children make against you.” Master Stone continued in a tone that sounded bored. He glanced at the edge of the garden and then turned his gaze back on Nolan.

“I will make you one offer and only one. You and your wife will sign custody of Matt and Freddy over to their brother Dylan and then you will both disappear from their lives.” Nolan was shocked and appalled.

“Those kids will learn what it means to displease me, and they will be coming home with me, have no doubt of that.” He was about to add to his bluster when his eyes focused on the four people rounding the side building just behind Alexander Stone. It was his pathetic step-sons all three of them, what luck.

Harris and Dylan decided to go for a ride around Crimson once they located Matt and Freddy, who were enthralled with the war stories of Fulton Raines. They seemed to find friends wherever they went.

"Let's take one of the SUV's, so Matt and Freddy have enough room," Harris suggested. He had a small sports car of his own, but that was not a vehicle for a man with a family. "Then we can stop and have dinner at the Riverside Restaurant." Harris was confident that Nolan would be handled swiftly and they could take the kids out in public. They needed some normalcy in their lives.

What he hadn't planned on was running head-on into Cullen and Master Stone as they were dealing with Nolan Prescot. Damn it there he was in full view of both Matt and Freddy. Everyone froze as if in a slow-motion picture. Then Nolan began to charge.

He glanced at Freddy whose fearful whine sent chills up his spine. He watched as the little man stood there, crippling fear filling his eyes and the smell of urine filling the air. He was so terrified of this man that he’d wet himself. Harris was enraged and quickly stepped in front of all three of the Falls boys. He was not getting near them. Harris was prepared to rip his fucking heart out.

Nolan made a dash towards the kids thinking that he’d grabbed them and use them as leverage. He’d been involved in his share of fights. He might take a punch or two, but he’d back them all off once he had at least one of those kids in his grip. His eyes brightened with the thought that things were beginning to go in his favor, he was lucky like that, until he wasn’t. A hand larger and stronger than any he’d ever encountered in his life grabbed him by the throat and stopped his forward momentum like a brick wall.

Cullen held Nolan with one hand and looked over his shoulder to capture Freddy's gaze and he held it. The little man was hiding behind his brothers and Harris and he was utterly falling apart. Everyone knew at that moment that much more had taken place than what was in the reports. Cullen turned back to face Nolan with hatred that could burn.

“You are nothing, you will remember nothing. Your name, your life, your memories will be a mystery to you.” Cullen’s voice was uncharacteristically full of heightened emotion as he completely drained the man’s mind.

Nolan’s eyes were wide with a fear that was too late in coming. Slowly they lost all awareness and clouded as lines of drool spilled from the corners of his slack mouth.

“Lucian.” He stated, and Lucian appeared by his side. Cullen glanced at Master Stone who gave him the silent permission.

"Lucian, send this sack of shit home and don't be gentle." In an instant, Nolan was gone, vanished before their eyes.

Harris stayed shielding his family because he just wasn’t ready yet to stand down. Cullen and Master Stone approached and slowly the boys moved out from behind Dylan and Harris. Lucian snapped his fingers and Freddy was suddenly wearing a fresh pair of jeans.

Freddy looked up at Cullen and with one slow, measured step after another came to stand in front of him. "Thank you, sir." He said while forcing his voice to be calm and level like Cullen, his hero.

“You are very welcome, Freddy.” He reached out and held Freddy’s thin shoulder in a gentle grip conveying his own strength and calm to the boy.

“He’s gone now, forever?” Matt stepped up with hope.

“Gone forever, Matt.” Master Stone answered.

"What about mother?" Matt's hope faltered slightly, but he held tough.

“I have already taken care of her.” Master Stone assured. “I have people meeting with her as we speak, and papers will be drawn up shortly transferring guardianship of Matt and Freddy to Dylan and his partner Harrison Montgomery.”

The boys finally smiled, and lightness filled the air. “We’re home guys. We are finally home.” Dylan declared, and Harris took him into his arms for a hard and deep kiss that communicated love, ownership, and devotion all in one heart-stopping embrace. 

“I love you, Harris. Thank you for not giving up.” Dylan felt the tears in his eyes but fought them back.

“I love you too sweetheart. Thank you for coming back to me.”

 

EPILOGUE

 

Life returned to normal for the residents of the Crimson Plantation. The custody papers were filed, and the boys were legally under the care of Dylan and Harris. Freddy and Matt found many new friends, including Fergus, and were settling in. The supernatural aspects of their new home were not an issue for them and they soon found their place within the magic.

Dylan and Harris married soon after the family was inducted into the Coven. Dylan wanted to be a good role model for his brothers and in his mind sleeping with a man you were not married to under the same roof as your charges was not setting a good example. He wanted marriage and Harris would give his chosen anything he wanted and besides, he too wanted to make sure Dylan was his both in paranormal and human society. Harris was not going to take any chances and binding the man as close as possible to him was perfect.

"I just read that businessman Nolan Prescot was discovered sitting on a park bench in his hometown. He was disoriented and appeared to be suffering from an intense and pervasive case of amnesia. It is unknown whether he will ever recover any semblance of himself." Master Stone looked over at his Second, Cullen Volakis with a satisfied expression. “I can assure them that he will not. A vampire mind sweep such as the one you gave Prescot is not something you ever come back from.”

"I should have killed him in the car," Cullen stated casually.

“Yes, but as they say, hindsight is the clearest.” Alexander offered. “Next time we won’t play games. Who knew that the man’s idiocy had reached such levels that he couldn’t even sense his own demise.”

“Humans.” Was the only comment Cullen made.

"Speaking of humans." Alexander started with a gleam in his eyes. "I hear that you have taken the Falls boys, Matt, and Freddy on as their mentor." He paused but Cullen did not offer any comment. "You haven't mentored anyone apart from Tobias and Talbot and that was well over a century ago. What do you see in these boys that inspires you to teach them to be leaders?"

“I sensed it the first time I met them. Their strength and determination were solid even in the face of what their lives had become. I see them to be, intelligent, intuitive, open-minded and loyal, loyal to the death so to speak. These boys are trainable and will prove to be great assets to this coven.” Cullen finished.

"Dylan has joined Ben, Zac, and Jaden in the tech department. With Peter now residing with his chosen and no longer here I have felt a distinct void in that area until now. Dylan has some skills, useful skills. The young man is a distinguished program designer, but more importantly, he is a professional code breaker. It was a skill his last employer used but never admitted too." Alexander stood and walked towards the tall window in his office and looked out upon the garden. "We have been very fortunate Cullen, and Fate has been kind to us."

Cullen stood beside him and agreed. "Humans." He stated with a shake of his head and a shade of confusion, and they both laughed.

 

THE END

 

 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this story. Please rate and review, I welcome all feedback. –B.A. Stretke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

B.A. Stretke is a Gay Romance and fiction author who publishes through Dreamspinner Press, LLC, and Amazon.com.

 

B.A Stretke began writing as a hobby. He read his first Jane Austen novel as a teen and was instantly hooked. The age-old dream of being a novelist took hold. Now long into adulthood, and a few years as an editor under his belt, B.A. is a full-time writer.

 

B.A. spends his days reading, engaging in sarcasm, and plotting the next storyline, often leaving little head space for much else. He loves hiking through the Northern Michigan woods he calls home, often finding inspiration for his books. Writing and finding that perfect cup of coffee occupy the rest of his time.

 

B.A. Stretke lives in Northern Michigan with one royally spoiled cat and his dear friends and family.



 

You can connect with B.A. Stretke on his website:

Follow him on Twitter @BAStretkeWriter

Like him on Facebook! B.A. Stretke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Books from B.A. Stretke:

 

Pittsburgh Vampires

  • Meant To Be
  • Bad Reputation
  • Blond and Broken
  • Master DuCane
  • Love Is Danger
  • Surrender To Me
  • Eyes of Darkness

 

Dragon’s Blood M.C.:

  • Apex: The Dragon’s Mate
  • The Dragon’s Heart
  • Loving The Hellhound
  • Runaway
  • The Bad Boy
  • The Call of the Dragon
  • Finding Forever

 

 

Crimson Vampire Coven:

    Crimson Love

    Trusting Fate

    For Now and Forever

    My Vampire Lover

    The Vampire Code

    The Crimson Sorcerer

    The Crimson Omega

    The Crimson Alpha

    The Crimson Beta

    The Dragon King

    The Demon Lord

    The Dragon Knight – The Crimson War

    The Crimson Redemption

    Crimson Christmas

 

Pack Rules – Rue Pack Wolves:

    Mine

    Alpha Mate

    The Enforcer’s Mate

    Forever Mine – The Beta’s Mate

    Lost and Found

    The Omega’s Mate

    The Doctor’s Mate

    Finding Home

    Owen’s Mate

    Saving Jeremiah

    Jackson’s Journey

    Jesse’s Love

    The Master’s Beloved

    The Vampire’s Chosen

 

The Wolves of Belle Fourche:

    The Wolves of Belle Fourche – The Alpha’s Claim

    Surprised by Forever

    Healing Scars

 

Lonepine Wolf Shifters:

    Lonepine Wolf Shifters

    Reluctant Mate

    Jamie’s Mate

 

Superiorland Wolf Pack:

    The Werewolf’s Mate

 

The Dark Side:

    The Dark Side - Vampire Romance

 

Sparrow Ridge Wolf Pack:

  • Omega Mine
  • The Omega’s Love

 

Other Stories:

    Risk and Reward: A Gay Love Story

    Bound By the Gods

    Signed and Sealed

    The Art of the Deal

    Save Me - A Supernatural Romance

 

 

 

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