Authors: Khloe Wren
Her Guardian Angel
Fire and Snow: Book 1
Published by Rogue Phoenix Press
Copyright © 2013
Electronic rights reserved by Rogue Phoenix Press, all other rights reserved by the author. The reproduction or other use of any part of this publication without the prior written consent of the rights holder is an infringement of the copyright law. This is a work of fiction. People and locations, even those with real names, have been fictionalized for the purposes of this story.
May you find your own Guardian Angel.
The one who will always be there shining bright, helping you though all your darkest days.
Conner let loose a low whistle as Dominic walked into the station house kitchen.
"Damn, you look like shit Dom, why don't you go crash out back for a bit? I'll come get you if we get called out."
"Thanks little brother,
feeling the love right now." Dominic threw back sarcastically as he made a beeline to the coffee machine to caffeine up.
Conner sat back taking a sip from his own caffeine fix and frowned as he took in the sight of his older brother. Dominic wasn't standing tall and proud like he normally did, he appeared to be inches shorter than his actual six foot six height as he dragged his feet over the floor. His short black hair, normally clean and neat, looked greasy like it was at least a few days overdue for a wash and his face had, Conner would guess, three days worth of growth on it. They had always been close and could read each other so well that often they could communicate without using words. A very handy skill when they were out fighting fires. It also meant it hadn't slipped Conner's notice over the last few days that Dominic was getting worse, looking more wrecked each day. He was worried about his big bro, both on a personal level and a professional one. With summer and the bushfire season just around the corner, none of them could afford to be off their game. Conner set his can of Coke down on the table as Dominic sat across from him and took a long drag of his coffee.
"I'm serious Dom, something's up. Has been for couple of days. You gonna spill? Or do I have to sic Dad onto you?"
"Yeah right, like to see you try pulling that one off." Dominic said on a chuckle.
Conner watched as the humor left his brother's face--finally, they were making some progress.
"They're just dreams, Conner. I'm fine." Dominic ground out.
"Bullshit you're fine. What dreams?" Conner shot back.
"My mate turned twenty-one about six weeks ago." Dominic said as he looked straight into Conner's eyes.
"Wow, you're dreaming of your mate already? You've only just turned twenty-one this year. But hang on, why has it got you so stressed out? I thought once you started dreaming of your mate, life is all sunshine and lollipops or some shit? Did you meet her and stuff it up or something?"
Conner remembered their father had explained to them once how when a male shifter's mate turns twenty-one he would start to see her face in his dreams. As time goes by the visions reveal what she looks like from head to toe and also exposes places, people and things that she holds dear. If he hasn't met his woman by that point, he would then have enough information about her he could go looking for her. Generally speaking, fate put them in each other's path long before they needed to go searching. Dominic's deep voice pulled Conner back to the present.
"It was in the beginning. Six weeks ago it was amazing. After the first dream I felt so alive; you know how it feels after you go for a good solid run? Like that, but 24/7. And at night, every night, she's all I see. She's so damn beautiful..." By the glazed look in Dominic's eyes, Conner guessed he'd lost him to memories of his nocturnal visions. Time to pull him back, or they would be getting nowhere fast.
"Yeah, yeah, don't need my nose rubbed in it...so what changed?" He said with a smirk before taking another mouthful of his Coke.
"I'm not sure, it's like--damn it--I think she's in trouble or in pain, but I don't know how to find her. I've never seen her outside my dreams and it's still too early for me to see anything other than her. I just don't know where to start or what to do." Dominic scrubbed his hands over his face on a sigh.
"Have you spoken to Dad about it? I'm pretty sure he'd have an answer for you. He did tell us to inform him when our mate-dreams started."
"Nah I haven't. He has his hands full at the moment. You know that. Fire season around the corner, he's flat out getting everything ready, and with the Search; I mean, hell, they've only found three pairs globally. That means there are still four couples out there, including one in Australia. Would have been one hell of a surprise on their fifteenth birthdays in 2001 when they suddenly shifted to snow leopards at nightfall don't you think? It's important we find them before they lose their minds. Six years not knowing what is going on is a long time. That's more important than my mate issues."
"Bullshit bro--you're scared that's all. You know as well as I do Dad is
too busy for family. Hell, he's never too busy to help anyone who needs it, and he manages to multi-task just fine. He'll be pissed if you don't go to him for help when he finds out you needed it."
Shaking his head in resignation, Conner got up and using every ounce of his supernatural strength, he hauled his brother’s butt out of his chair. Before Dominic could come to his senses and stop him, he had him half way out the door. Pulling his arm free Dominic growled at him.
"What the hell Conner?"
"You need to go ask Dad for advice, and I want to know about how this whole mating thing works, so I'm coming along."
~ * ~
Dominic allowed Conner to usher him down the hall and into their father’s office. He really hated when his brother saw through his defense mechanisms and made him deal with things when he just wanted to hide. Hiding was good. Safe. He knew he should have told his Dad when the dreams first started. It’s what his father had asked them to do. Dominic had been meaning to tell him. It's just that things kept happening and he hadn’t got around to it yet.
His Dad looked up from his desk, cocking a brow when he saw them enter. Dominic was sure the sight of his nineteen year old, six foot two son, trying to muscle his twenty one year old, six foot six son, through the door would keep his Dad chuckling for some time--it had to have looked funny as hell.
"What can I help you boys with?" He asked in a voice laced with more than a touch of humor.
Before Dominic could get a response out, Conner spoke up.
"Dom has something he needs to talk to you about, Dad."
"So you're here because...?" Their Dad queried Conner.
"I, ah, I'd really like to hear your answer, Dad." Conner almost sounded sheepish. Dominic bit back his laughter. He understood where his brother was coming from, he'd want to know too if he were in Conner's position.
"Alrighty then, you've got my curiosity spiked. What's up, Dominic?"
Dominic shut the door then dragged himself over to sit in the couch near his Dad’s desk, Conner dropped down next to him.
"I've started dreaming of my mate..."
Dominic proceeded to tell his Dad about his dreams and how they'd begun to change.
"Hmm, that explains it. Your mother and I had been wondering about what's been eating at you lately. I haven't been as diligent in making you aware of our ways have I, son? For that I am sorry."
He got up from his desk and came around to sit in the chair next to the couch.
"So, you boys are curious about the finer points of how the Mating process happens. Hmm, where to start...do you boys remember what I told you about the dreams starting when your mate turns twenty one, and that you'll see more as time goes on?"
Both Dominic and Conner gave their Dad a quick nod.
"Okay, I guess we'll start there then. As Dominic has found out, you are also linked with your mate on an emotional level. Her pain will become yours. Now, I'm not talking about her stubbing her toe or crying over spilt milk but when she truly suffers, like the loss of someone close, a major car crash that breaks bones, that kind of thing, you'll know about it."
That information did not impress Dominic. So, he had no way of finding his mate but would know when she was hurting...that just seemed cruel.
"But Dad, what good does it do me to be able to feel her pain but not be able to do anything about it?" Dominic could hear the frustration in his own voice.
"Don't get yourself so worked up, Dominic. There is a way you can help her. It's called Dream Bonding. You can use your magic to appear in her dreams, or pull her into yours, but you must be careful. It is just as easy to do or say the wrong thing in a dream as it is in real life. Leave a bad impression in her dreams, she'll shy away from you outside of them."
Right. Visit dream. Stay quiet. Got it, he could
"How exactly does it work?"
Things were looking up, he was certain that if he could just see and touch her, offer her some comfort--even if it was just in a dream--it would ease both of them.
"As you're drifting off to sleep you need to focus on her, forming a link with her subconscious. If she is asleep you will automatically link together. Once linked, you can either push yourself into her dream or pull her into yours. But, be aware that she will not realize it is real. She will think it is just like any other dream, that it is hers alone."
Dominic ran the process through in his mind. It sounded easy enough. He hoped like hell it worked. He hated that his mate was hurting somehow. His Dad cleared his throat grabbing his attention. There was more? He'd thought his Dad had finished.
"I guess I should fill you boys in on a few other aspects of Mating while we're talking. Namely, the Marking." Dominic sat up straighter, he noticed Conner did too. He had seen his Dad's mark before but never had his Dad or Mum explained how it got there, and he was real anxious to learn.
"Now, obviously it has something to do with sex. I'm going to skip over the 'birds and bees' part of things because I'm pretty sure you boys know all you need to know about what goes where and what can happen as a result. When you are with your mate, and you both climax at the same time, you will partially shift. Your claws will sprout from your right fingertips. Once your claws are fully extended, you need to scratch your mate. Now, don't worry about hurting her. It's with magic so you are not really cutting into her. You can leave your mark anywhere on her body but traditionally speaking, after you take your mate from behind, you will leave your mark just inside and above her right hip bone. Once you scratch her, you place your palm over your mark until the magic cools; it only takes a minute or so. Your magic will then flow through to your mate, even if she is wholly human, her nails will lengthen and sharpen. You leave her body and turn her around, placing her hand over your heart. She will curl her fingers into your skin, dragging down to leave her scratch. She will hold her palm over it, in the same way you did, waiting for the magic to cool. Once the Mating is completed, with both mates marked, it is forever binding. The two souls will irrevocably be joined."
The loud shrill of the emergency phone prevented his father explaining anything further; Dominic was glad. He had so much new information to process already, he wasn’t sure if he could have absorbed any more. As the three of them rushed from the room to get ready to head out his Dad told them he would finish explaining at later.