A Fool’s Heart: Excerpt

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His heart beat a rhythm he’d never felt before as the group of females were escorted through the courtyard. Confusion encompassed his mind. What was causing this strange reaction in his body? Had the Goddess finally decided to judge him for his arrogance? Maybe it was punishment for the neglect of his sons.

He tried to take care of them, but the guilt that consumed him with each glimpse at Cyril was too much for any person to bear, let alone a man who loved so deeply. He knew the boys were confused by his indifference. What could he do to change things though? He was a failure as a husband and father. Maybe that was why the Goddess chose to take all the other children born to him and his wife.

Wife, a word that brought a crippling pain to his very soul. Life wasn’t supposed to be this way. After over two decades of marriage, he should’ve been prepared for that night. He should’ve known, seen some sign that she was on the edge. But all he saw was the beautiful woman he’d married suffering in her grief. A grief he shared and understood.

Who could blame her for the constant melancholy when her children, both born and unborn were continuously taken from her? To hold a child, you created with love, to have them take their last breath while you cradle their small helpless body. Goddess above, they’d done just that, five times. They lost another three through miscarriages. Who could blame her? Not him. He did blame himself though. Just as she blamed him, and rightly so.

He’d refused to listen to the others when counseled against their union. She was beautiful. The daughter of a lowly pack member from a distant community. He’d seen her and wanted her for his own. She just wanted out of the poverty. The wife of an alpha’s brother was a huge step up from the life she’d been destined for and she jumped at the chance. When he became a Sentinel before their mating ceremony, her father was ecstatic. Any reservations he held dissolved at the news. The fact that they weren’t true mates became irrelevant.

When his brother had objected, he only pointed out the rarity of true mates. The proof of happy, contented matings between bonded couples were all around them. In the end, his brother relented and gave permission.

None realized that subject would be a point of contention between the couple for years. Every time a new female came around, or he went on a long assignment, the accusations and suspicions would start.

He tried to see things from her point of view, to be reasonable. He traveled constantly because of his position, while she remained locked in the compound. Forced to care for the twins alone. Her looks and well, her snobbish personality made it difficult for her to form friendships.

Though her father was poor, he gave her all he could. Continually spoiling her with gifts he honestly couldn’t afford. As she grew she expected, even demanded more. Her looks excused her behavior in the pack she grew up in. All the males enjoyed spoiling her.

She wrapped men around her little finger easily, like she had him. With the exclusion of Dmitri and Grigor, the opposite sex worshiped her. Their lack of awe left her bitter, as well. It’s difficult to be submissive and respectful to someone you resent. Maybe if he’d left and started his own pack, or even joined hers, things might have turned out differently…

His heart stuttered as the group passed within feet of him, bringing him out of his musings. He started at his brother’s touch. How had he gotten so close without Micah noticing?

“You were lost in thought,” Dmitri answered without a question ever being asked aloud.

“Stay out of my head…” Micah swore silently. How much had his brother picked up on?

“Don’t worry so much. I wasn’t peeking into your subconscious. You were projecting and I intercepted.”

He sighed in relief until his brother’s words registered. Great, he was projecting, not good. While his brother, Dmitri could read minds, Micah often projected thoughts to others. It served him well in his job, manipulation always did. He could also alter his molecular structure to allow for aging, which was great for temporary disguises. He needed a distraction.

“Who are the visitors?” Micah asked.

 

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