(If the Tina Turner song went through your head you’re in good company)
Setting right after Niko and Dee mate.
“Do they do that all the time?”
Hale looked over at Julian with a smile on his face that morphed into a grimace.
“Yep, all the time. They kiss each other or trade smiles. Aran is always running his hands over his mate’s curves. Niko is always nuzzling Dee’s neck.” He gave a small shudder and turned to look anywhere except at the happy couple.
Julian turned to look at his bothers their eyes met, none of them understood what could make strong warriors go so soft. They moved a little further across the lawn not wanting to be too close to Aran or Niko in case it was communicable.
“Never going to happen,” Raphael said softly. His brothers nodded their heads each lost in their thoughts.
“I understand brotherhood,” Julian said softly.
They were brought up on brotherhood their blood was forged in it. You loved your brothers you watched out for them. Hell, you even died for them. That was love not what was happening to their friends. How would they have each other’s backs if they had a female distracting them?
“Passion makes sense,” Lucas murmured.
They had been born with needs as A’rouk’s those needs were something they couldn’t ignore. The sheer power they carried in their bodies needed an outlet and a night of passion with a female they found warm and funny or just downright beautiful helped to relieve what they were feeling, but it was only for a night.
Once the need wore off, they never wanted to go back or make it permanent.
“The curse,” Mick said just loud enough for his brothers to hear but not their friends.
They had been born under a curse that said if they ever laid eyes on the female that was destined to be their mates; The Darkness would come with only one thought to harvest their soul. Together they entered a pact never to look for a potential mate. They were confirmed bachelors and proud of it.
Rena’s laugh rang in the warm air making them all reluctantly turn their heads to see the smile on her lips as Aran bent over and murmured something in her ear.
“Love,” Dante said loudly stirring them up and making them almost shake in their boots. Not even the vilest of assassins could do that, but that one word made them cringe like nails on a chalkboard.
They didn’t understand love. They understood loyalty; they even realized that both Aran and Niko would die for their mates just like they would die for their brothers, but beyond that the concept of love was a mystery.
It was the opposite of hatred something they had dealt with all of their lives. The scientist the very people who created them hated them.
Mick raised his hand to his heart; he didn’t know love. He knew brotherhood, fealty to the Dante and the rest of his brothers, but that was all. He acknowledged within himself that he didn’t have the capacity to love, then he smiled.
He would never love, and he would never suffer the curse. The brothers looked at each other once again renewing the vow they took centuries ago. They would never mate; they would live and die for the brotherhood.
Aran raised his eyes and looked at Dante. Dante met his gaze over his brother’s head. Both of them nodded. One day the A’rouk’s would meet their mates and together they would make sure it happened.