Numbers Page 12

’’I\m so sorry.’’

’’Me too.’’ He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. His voice softened. ’’I should have killed 139 when she begged me to. She suffered so much. I was a bad mate.’’

’’You had hope she\d get better.’’

He turned his face and tears glistened in his eyes. ’’She said, if I cared about her, I would snap her neck and stop her from breathing. I just couldn\ do it.’’ He tugged out of Dana\s hold and stared down at both his hands where they rested on his thighs. ’’I was weak.’’

’’Mourn.’’ Dana choked up, suffering his pain too. ’’Don\ do this to yourself. You obviously loved her a lot, and couldn\ hurt her. That isn\ weakness. There\s nothing wrong with not giving up hope on someone you love. That\s all you\ e guilty of.’’

He leaned in closer. ’’How do I live with it?’’

’’You take one day at a time, and you allow yourself to heal. Stop holding on to the grief so tightly. Make friends. Find something to fill your time. Realize that life goes on, even when you think it shouldn\ . You are alive. I\m alive. We\ e here. Embrace that.’’

He blinked back tears and straightened. ’’Ask for a job to do and find purpose?’’

’’That\s a great start.’’

He nodded, looking away. ’’I should take you back.’’

Dana reached over and held his hand. He didn\ pull away. ’’Why don\ we just sit here for a bit? Do you want to be alone?’’

’’No.’’

She didn\ either. She laced her fingers with his. ’’Next time we need to find a more comfortable place though.’’ She adjusted her ass on the wood bench. ’’Or I\ll bring pillows.’’

He glanced at her and arched an eyebrow. ’’A pillow?’’

’’To use as a cushion for these seats.’’

He smiled. ’’Humans are too used to comfort.’’

’’That\s not a bad thing.’’

* * * * *

Mourn leaned against the tree, watching Dana climb into bed. They\d spent a few hours together, and he\d enjoyed just sitting with her. It had even been nice to speak of 139. The human hadn\ judged him or been horrified by his words. They came from different lives. He\d expected issues to arise.

A soft noise alerted him and he turned his head, watching Darkness step closer. ’’I didn\ want to startle you,’’ the male admitted.

’’I\m not going to harm Dana.’’

’’Just watch her?’’

’’Don\ you have a mate to sleep with? Doesn\ she wonder where you are?’’

’’She knows where I am, and that I\m keeping my eye on you. Is Paul\s sister fascinating?’’

’’She doesn\ sleep much either.’’

Darkness turned his head, to follow Mourn\s gaze. ’’She\s reading a book. What is the title?’’

’’I don\ know. I didn\ want to get that close.’’

The male leaned on the other side of the tree and crossed his arms. ’’You took her away for a bit. Where did you go?’’

’’To talk.’’ Mourn stiffened. ’’You had Security searching for us?’’

’’No. I watched you return her. She looked unharmed and I don\ smell her fear coming off you.’’

’’I\m not going to hurt her.’’

’’She lost her mate too. Does talking help?’’

Mourn debated answering. Darkness could make Dana leave Homeland or send him to the Wild Zone. ’’Yes. She understands.’’

’’Good.’’

He relaxed, the answer was non-threatening. His calm evaporated when Darkness spoke again.

’’Do you plan to stalk her every night?’’

’’I\m not stalking her. I\m watching over her.’’

’’She\s in no danger.’’

’’I don\ wish to go home yet.’’

’’I hated staring at ceilings too.’’

Mourn snapped his head in the direction of the male, studying him.

Darkness held his gaze and nodded. ’’I\ve been there and done that. I will give you a warning though.’’

’’I won\ harm Dana.’’ He growled low, offended.

’’I believe that. Calm your ass down or she\s going to hear you. Humans don\ have our senses, but get any louder and she won\ be able to miss it. Her television isn\ on to mute outside noises. My warning is that the last time I became fascinated with a human, I ended up mated to her. I have no regrets because it was the best thing to happen to me, but it came as a shock. I\m giving you a heads-up.’’

’’No one would mate with me. I\m damaged.’’

’’I used to say that too. Then Kat came into my life. She healed me when I didn\ think that was possible. Stop fighting with other males.’’ He jerked his head toward Paul\s home. ’’She might become a reason for you to want to live.’’

’’A human?’’ Mourn shook his head. ’’We are too different.’’

’’She lost her mate. You have a lot in common with her, more so than with any of our females.’’ Darkness inched a little closer. ’’Have you considered sharing se* with her?’’

’’No.’’

’’Perhaps you should.’’

Mourn pushed away from the tree and faced the male head on. ’’Why are you saying this to me?’’

’’You spent most of your life with a mate. I did my research on Paul\s sister. She met her mate young, as you did yours. She is used to sleeping with a male, as you are used to having a female in your arms. You both have emptiness inside. Fill the spaces together. It makes sense.’’

’’She\s human.’’

’’So is my mate. It works.’’ Darkness smiled. ’’The differences between us makes it a challenge, but the kind to be enjoyed.’’

’’She did say she was thinking about finding a male.’’ Mourn considered it. He could talk to Dana. He liked her. A memory of her crawling onto the bed the night before flashed through his mind. He was attracted to her.

’’We\ e better than human males.’’ Darkness sounded certain.

’’Dana had no complaints about her mate. She loved him. He was good to her.’’

’’So be better.’’ Darkness lowered his voice. ’’Humans don\ have our advantages.’’

’’We\ e stronger and loyal. We don\ carry se*ual diseases or get sick.’’


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