I cry for my best friend who has been hurting worse than I could have ever imagined, and I cry for the future we had planned. They hold me the entire time, offering me shelter and protection.
* * *
I cry myself to sleep, and when I wake up, I find myself in a huge, foreign, four-poster bed in a room with large windows that allow moonlight to shine across the black silken sheets. I turn my head and see arched ceilings and a balcony, all decorated in black and gold.
“My room was closest,” Nathair says, burying his face in my neck. More arms tighten around me, and I raise my head to look around. Reve has his head on my boob, because of course. Conall has my feet on his chest, and he’s snoring. Lycus has a hand on my leg, his body turned away from me. Azul is between my thighs with his head on my stomach, Zale is curled around my hip, and Osis is at my back. All of them hold me in some way.
“They didn’t want to leave you when you were so upset, so they piled in here.” Nathair sighs. “It’s quite annoying.”
I grin and snuggle down into their warmth. We have things to do, but for a moment, I just hold them and let them comfort me. I reach down and pet Azul’s hair as I stare up at the ceiling.
“Stop thinking so much,” Reve mutters. “I’m trying to sleep, and my pillow is very comfy.” He squishes my boob and goes back to sleep.
Nathair chuckles. “You heard the man.”
“I’m sorry,” I whisper, and he stiffens. “I know I shouldn’t have exposed myself to Simon. I couldn’t help it—”
“I meant what I said. If it had been one of us and it was our family, we couldn’t have resisted either. Our job is a lonely one, and I would never hurt you by keeping you from your brother,” he whispers.
“Nope, or we’d kill him,” Zale offers sleepily, propping his chin on my hip. “None of us blame you. We just hate that it hurt.”
“It felt like my heart was breaking,” Azul murmurs.
“Mine too, and I didn’t know I had one,” Lycus grumbles.
Conall stops snoring and groans. “Why are you talking? Why do you hate sleep?”
“Because I’m going to eat our girl’s pussy,” Osis jokes, and Conall sits up, his arms windmilling with a yelp as he falls from the bed.
Reve groans and buries his face between my boobs. “Go away.”
I let them bicker around me, a smile curling my lips. “I forgot what he smelled like.” They freeze. “I had forgotten.”
“He loves you very much,” Osis says carefully.
“Yep, but if he had insulted you one more time, I was ready to kill him,” Azul remarks without reproach. “But he is okay. I have my ghosts on him, keeping watch. He’s sad, but he’s okay.”
“You did that for me?”
Azul lifts his head, his eyes clashing with mine. “I would do anything for you,” he replies without shame.
“We all would,” Conall says as he climbs back on the bed and kicks Lycus so he moves over.
“Your heart seems fuller now, though, since you have seen him. We cannot bring him into this life, but there is no rule that says you cannot see him. After all, he found you, not the other way around,” Nathair murmurs, his words slow, as if he’s thinking it through as he speaks.
“Tricky little vampire,” I purr as I slide my hand down his arm.
“Clever.” He smirks.
Reve groans dramatically and lifts his head. “Why must we keep talking when I am in heaven with my head between a pair of magnificent breasts? Why do you hate happiness?”
Rolling my eyes, I grip his chin and pull him up, kissing him until he’s dazed. “Do you accept my apology?”
“Huh?” he grunts, completely speechless for the first time ever, making me giggle.
“I’ll go get some food started,” Osis says, slipping from the bed and padding naked to the door.
Conall sighs, and he and Lycus roll from the bed. “We’ll help.”