What now? This trip gave him the chance to leave granddad’s prison and travel with Mom. This was the longest he’d been away from home in fifty years. He finally got the opportunity to meet two of the Del’Praeli Bleak talked about. Lafeyette Slaughter was pleasant when he wasn’t attacking Rayne. Shade Harrelite took some getting used to. She was nothing but energy. She liked to cling to Rayne no matter how many times he told her he hated being touched.
His skin burned. He kept glancing at the door. He’d been staying in Bleak’s house a little over a month. Every time he escaped to the library, Shade followed. She’d pester him until he was too annoyed or amused to work. Lafeyette would then charge in berating her for being a nuisance.
Rayne once complained about being alone for such a long time. Now, he was with two people who refused him a moment’s peace. He didn’t know how to feel about it. The house was immense, yet he couldn’t find a corner where a Del’Praeli’s nose couldn’t find him.
Mom was no help. She like to curl in a chair and read one of Bleak’s novels.
Mom let it slip that Rayne practiced sword fighting since he was ten. Now, both Shade and Lafeyette dragged him outside every day to spar. They always wanted to train when he was busy doing something else. His protests meant nothing. Unfortunately, fighting with them was fun. They forced him to get creative with his power to defeat them. He never won. It was fun to try.
Lafeyette liked to throw attacks without notice, even when they were simply chatting in the living room. Dodging them was impossible. Rayne needed to sense the kind of attack and counter it before it hit. Most of his attempts failed. Lafeyette’s damn arrows made him sick for days.
Shade barged into the library, once again.
“How long do you intend to stay here?” Rayne asked
She wrapped her arms around her neck, which put his head between her large breasts. He would’ve been more comfortable if she did it on purpose. Shade forget the size of her chest and its effects on males. Lafeyette was far too protective of her. Rayne often found his eyes straying to her chest only to feel Lafeyette’s death glare at his back. Unfortunately, Shade was stronger than Rayne. He struggled. All it did was tuck his head further between her breasts. Maybe she did do it on purpose. He wouldn’t put it past her.
“You’d think you didn’t like me,” she said.
“Please let me go.”
“You have remarkable self-control. You really want to hurt me. I never met anyone allergic to physical contact. The Stelwarts are fascinating.”
That wasn’t a word she used. More like something Lafeyette would say when he was being sarcastic.
She liked to throw it in his face that she traveled with Divine, his older brother, not too long ago.
“Something wrong with that word?”
“Of course not,” he mumbled
Shade rested her chin on his head. If Rayne didn’t find physical contact so unappealing, he would’ve found this relaxing. Maybe that’s why she did it.
“Weren’t you here to do research?” he asked.
“I found what I was looking for.”
“And yet you refuse to let me find what I’m looking for.”
She hugged him tighter. “I think, child,” Shade didn’t often take this serious tone. He never like what she said when she did. “What you are looking for isn’t in that book.”
She pulled away. Rayne hated how much he missed her presence. She dropped a large rolled up paper on the table. Bleak’s map. Damn.
“You, little one, are 58. You’ve been under your mother’s care all your life.” She leaned on the chair arm and folded her arms. “It’s true that years seem to walk by with us but you’ve been living isolated on your grandfather’s property for 50 years.” She raked her fingers through his hair. “You need to be on your own for a while.” She walked away.
“My siblings need me.”
Rayne finally connected with Aliceanna. He knew what Divine looked like. Finally, after all these years, he knew, knew, they were alive.
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