“That’s impossible.” I gaped at him.
“Like having two werekin souls? Or a human werekin becoming a bonded werekin? We’re dealing with something no one has ever seen before.” Uncle Radford held up the papers. “This is science. Traditionalists are going to be screaming about desecration of souls and you know they’re going to want to kill Kraig.”
I growled, the muscles in my neck and shoulders bunching as I stared him down. “Let them try it,” I said through clenched teeth.
Uncle Radford backed up a step. “Hey, not me. I’m a man of science, remember? But this?” He shook his head. “I don’t understand this. I don’t know what he did to Kraig, to the poor bonded werekin who gave up their souls, to make this fusion happen. What I can tell you is that the cycle isn’t natural.”
The feeling of utter confusion was getting old, and I hated that it was directly related to the health and wellbeing of my mate. “What do you mean, it isn’t natural? He has two souls... shouldn’t they be in balance with each other and his human spirit?”
“Well, theoretically, yes. Physically he has characteristics of both werekin. Spots and stripes, the claws on his hands that don’t retract, the purring you mentioned. Those are present all the time.” He pointed at a relatively stable line on a graph with a mix of two colors. “This is Kraig’s bloodwork results about seventy-five percent of the time. But the rest? It fluctuates between tiger and cheetah norms, like one side is enhanced and the other suppressed. The only thing that would explain that would be drugs.”
Kraig appeared at the head of the stairs. “Someone drugged me?” He swayed, grabbing on to the railing.
I rushed up the stairs two at a time to make sure he didn’t fall. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re safe here.”
“No, I’m not, Deke!” Kraig shook his head wildly. “You heard him. He said someone drugged me.”
“Maybe it happened before.”
“No, it is a quick acting drug that dissipated rapidly,” Uncle Radford said calmly.
“Not. Helping.” I shot a glare in his direction as we slowly made our way down the stairs.
“You want to hide the truth from your mate?”
If Uncle Radford was in arm’s reach I would’ve taken a swipe at him for that. “Stop it. I’m not doing that. I’m just trying to protect Kraig.”
“It’s my body, Deke. I want to know what was done to me even more than you do. I don’t ever want to hurt you again.”
“I told you, I’m fine.”
Kraig huffed and pulled away once we reached the first floor. “Well, I’m not. I’m scared. Keeping secrets from me isn’t going to help.”
“You’re right, but I really wasn’t going to keep this a secret from you. Uncle Radford just got here, and we started talking but I planned to come get you.” Kraig sank down onto the couch in my office and then indicated a chair off to the side for Uncle Radford. “Let’s sit.”
Uncle Radford raised an eyebrow.
“You heard him.” I sat down next to Kraig. I had no problems with him ordering anyone in the streak around, me included.
Before we could start going over the information Uncle Radford had, a knock on the door and then Park’s voice calling out interrupted us. “Hey, where are you guys?”
“In my office,” I shouted.
Uncle Radford’s face was already pinched—he always did hate shouting—when Park walked in. “Took you long enough,” he said.
“Excuse me?” Uncle Radford stiffened.
“Your alpha, your nephew, asked for your help for his mate, someone you’ve known his entire life. He told me you’d be here, but making him wait? Disgraceful.” Park growled.
“I’ve been working on reviewing your brother’s files and gathering what information I could while still doing my job so I wouldn’t lose it. We can’t all just disappear whenever we want and ignore our responsibilities.”
“Why you pompous blow—”
“Enough!” I jumped to my feet between them. “Park, go sit over there and shut up unless you have something to share that’s relevant. If we needed Uncle Radford here immediately, I would’ve told him to come immediately.”
A single glare shut Uncle Radford up. My mood was perilously close to tipping over the edge into violence, and I knew they’d both sense it. I tried to calm down so I wouldn’t upset Kraig.
Park slumped down in the chair, rubbing his forehead and pushing his fingers into his ruff.
“What the hell is your problem, man?”
“You don’t know how hard this has all been, outside of your home. The streak is full of rumors, and people are coming to me at all hours. Ritch is... well, it’s bad. Mom’s been coming over all the time because she hates being home alone too.”
“Wait.” I frowned. “Why is your mom alone?”
“Dad left to go talk to Ritch’s old alpha like you ordered.”
“I never ordered him to go anywhere. I thought he was avoiding me because he hurt Kraig.”
“Looks like you know who drugged your mate.” Uncle Radford tapped the file. “Fast acting. He’d have taken it in food less than an hour before.”
Kraig gasped. “No way. Mom made me the food. My parents wouldn’t hurt me!”
Park jumped up. “You’re just trying to stir up shit.” He growled and then rushed forward. It took everything I had in me to just knock him aside before he reached Uncle Radford and not sink my claws into him. If someone had drugged Kraig, the only suspects were his family. Could I trust anyone?
“You will submit.” I stood over Park where he’d staggered into the table and fell to the floor. I turned the full force of my focus on him, pinning him on his back with just one look.
He slumped and whined. “I wouldn’t hurt Kraig.”
“So who did? Your mom or your dad?”
*gasps* Drama, right?!!!
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Julie Lynn Hayes
Julie Lynn Hayes