Authors: Gabrielle Evans
When Jonas Tracer makes a bargain with a witch to charm his mate into loving him, the plan backfires horribly. Now, Nicholas not only believes another man is his mate, but he’s forgotten his past with Jonas entirely. With time running out, Jonas embarks on a journey to recapture Nicholas’s memories and force him to acknowledge their bond.
Nicholas McCarthy has loved Jonas for over two centuries.
Claiming the man, though, would prove certain death for the brawny Enforcer. Once the curse is broken and his memories return, he knows he should walk away from Jonas and never look back. But when a ghost from his past returns for vengeance, he has no choice but to seek help from the one man he’s spent years trying to protect.
Can Nicholas find the courage to come clean with his mate before it’s too late? Or should some sins remain buried forever?
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Everlasting Classic ManLove FORGOTTEN SINS
Copyright © 2011 by Gabrielle Evans
E-book ISBN: 1-61926-092-1
First E-book Publication: November 2011
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright © 2011
“Just break the spell.” For three days, Jonas had done everything he could to reason with the witch, Natalie. He’d begged, bribed, and negotiated until he was blue in the face, and still she refused to do anything but smile wickedly at him.
He’d gone from desperate, to frustrated, back to desperate, and now he was pissed. It had been bad enough when Nicholas refused to accept their mating. With the coven leader now convinced that he belonged to another man, Jonas was going out of his mind. Releasing Natalie in exchange for a spell to make Nicholas want him had been the biggest mistake he’d ever made.
She’d tricked him, casting the spell so that Nicholas would become instantly infatuated with the first person he set eyes on.
Unfortunately, Jonas had been halfway across the country when his mate had been bewitched. Nicholas’s obsession with Malakai Bruins made Jonas’s gut burn. It wasn’t just relationship issues. He’d caused so many more problems for a whole lot of people with his stupidity.
Now, he just wanted to make things right. Even if that meant he could never have the man he loved.
“Ask me again.” Natalie purred with an evil glint in her eye. “The forty-second time might just be the charm, and you do beg so nicely.”
Easing back on the small cot, she made a show of crossing her legs and arched her back seductively. “C’mon, big guy, ask me again.” Jonas’s fangs burst through his gums, and his top lip curled. The one thing Natalie wanted to negotiate, Jonas wasn’t willing to give her. She was pretty as far as women went. Long, blonde corkscrew curls, slim waist, big breasts—she was practically a walking advertisement for sex. Maybe if Jonas didn’t loathe her with every fiber of his being—no, not even then.
Glaring at the witch through the iron bars, Jonas growled. “If you want to do this the hard way, we can certainly arrange it.” Then he spun on his heels and stalked down the corridor, his footsteps echoing off the basement walls. He snarled and grumbled all the way up the concrete stairs and through the door that led into the main part of the house on his way to find Stavion. It rankled his pride to have to ask for help, but he’d exhausted all of his other options.
With a precursory knock on Stavion’s office door, Jonas pushed it open and marched inside—then stumbled to a stop when he found Elder Winters and the witch they’d rescued from Natalie’s attic.
“Jonas,” Stavion greeted with a dip of his head. “You know Elder Winters, of course.”
“Please, call me Layke,” the elder interjected with a smile.
Stavion nodded again and waved a hand toward the witch. “This is Torren Braddock. He’ll be staying with us for a while.” He didn’t sound very pleased about that, and Jonas couldn’t blame him.
Not only was Torren a powerful witch, but he was also the biological father of Raina and Teegan’s babies. When the she-weres agreed to adopt the abandoned pups, no one ever imagined that their father would suddenly pop back into the picture. Though the witch swore he wasn’t here to take back his children, Jonas could only imagine what stress and worry Teegan and Raina were going through.
“Did you get anything?”
Jonas met Stavion’s eyes and shook his head slowly. “She won’t tell me how to break the curse, where the missing children are, or how to find the other witches. I’ve tried compelling her, but she’s blocking me. She’s just not talking.”
The office door opened again, and Cassius strolled in with a very small, very loud, squirming bundle in his arms. “Have you guys seen Raven?”
“Raven?” Jonas frowned and shook his head. “Why do you need Raven?”
“Kendall and Jory took off an hour ago, and Danica has been screaming since her daddy left.” The Enforcer looked exhausted and frazzled as he bounced his daughter in his arms.
Stavion perked up at the mention of his mate’s name. “Where’s Jory?”
“Raven took them to Cloud Peak to see Willow and Cole.”
“Right.” Stavion bobbed his head and scratched at the back of his neck. “I remember that now.”
Jonas arched an eyebrow and chuckled. The poor guy didn’t even know which way was up at the moment. “Did you just hear what you said?”
Cassius looked confused, and his lips moved inaudibly for several seconds before his frown deepened, and he shook his head. “Well, fish sticks.” Everyone broke into laughter, and Cassius actually stuck his tongue out. “Kendall says we shouldn’t curse around the baby—which goes for all of you as well.”
“Have you tried singing to her?” Torren asked from across the room.
“I don’t sing.”
“Well, you do now.” Jonas waved a hand toward the very unhappy little one. “Give it a try. What do you have to lose?”
“May I?” Kieran Delaney stepped into the office behind Cassius and held his arms out, smiling as Cassius passed his daughter over.
“Kendall called,” Kieran explained. “He thought you might could use some help.”
“Well, he’s right. I didn’t get a wink of sleep all day. My head is pounding, my muscles hurt, and I feel like I’m going to drop dead.” He cocked his head to the side, and the saddest look crossed over his face when Danica curled into Kieran’s arms and quieted instantly.
“And apparently, my daughter hates me.”
“She doesn’t hate you,” Layke cajoled. “You’re tired, hurting, and stressed out. She can sense that. I’ve seen you with her. She doesn’t cry every time you pick her up. She loves her daddy very much.”
“Poppy,” Cassius corrected before blowing out a long breath.
“Yeah, you’re right. I just need to get some sleep.”
“C’mon.” Kieran jerked his head to the doorway behind him.
“Let’s grab her bag, and I’ll take her down to the cabin so you can get some rest.”
Cassius looked like he would weep in gratitude. “Thank you. It’s so much harder than I thought it would be.”
“We’re your friends,” Stavion said quietly, obviously not wanting to disturb the baby.
“And there are plenty of us,” Jonas added. He’d never really had a family before, and it was a damn good feeling to know that someone had his back when he was in trouble. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.” He didn’t know a lot about babies, but he’d take his turn walking the floor with the little one if it would help.
He wanted to offer the same to Kieran, or at least have the werewolf pass on the offer to his sister and her mate. With Torren in the room, he didn’t want to bring up Raina and the pups, though.
They’d all have to settle the parental issue eventually, but for now, it was probably best not to rock that boat.
Kieran and Cassius said their good-byes and disappeared down the hallway. Once their footsteps died away, Stavion turned to Jonas with a strange look on his face. Whatever was bothering him, Jonas was sure that he didn’t want to know.
“We’re out of time.”
“People are in an uproar,” Layke added. “Their children are missing, dead, or drained of their powers, and they want justice.”
“So, what are you saying? They’re going to execute the witch?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.” Layke pushed his long, silver-blond hair back from his face and sighed. “I only have so much power, and it’s no secret that the other elders would just as soon get rid of me. They’ve agreed to give you until the end of the month to try and break the spell before we have to deliver her to them.”
“Won’t the spell be broken when she dies?” Stavion asked.
“No.” Torren stepped forward and crossed his arms over his chest.
“It doesn’t work that way. Natalie’s spell is absolute. Only she can undo it. If she dies while the bewitchment is still in place, it will be that way forever.”
“So, you can’t break her spell?” There went that idea.
“I’m sorry.” Torren’s huge muscles rippled as he uncrossed his arms and moved them to link his fingers behind his back. “There might be another way, though.”
“What way? What can we do?” Jonas asked eagerly. He just wanted the whole damn mess to be over with and things to go back to normal—even if that meant Nicholas hating him and refusing their mating again.