Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood #19) by J.R. Ward

As Sahvage spoke the words, he had a thought that he’d been saying them over and over again. Like since he had hung up his phone at the cottage and stared across the kitchen table at his Mae.

“I don’t know . . .”

Good thing his female was driving his crappy junker of a car.

Trying to get a grip on himself, he took her free hand across the worn seat of his beater, and reviewed the fact pattern with himself again: Phone rings. It’s Murhder. He says he has something he needs to talk about.

Annnnnd it was right about then that things went totally off the fucking rails. Which considering what the last twenty-four hours had been like was really saying something.

“. . . how this is possible.” He looked over at Mae. “Thank God you’re here. I couldn’t possibly do this without you. Do you know where you’re going?”

Mae glanced across the interior with a smile. “I do. And it’s not far now.”

“Okay. Good.”

Sahvage swallowed through a tight throat and tried to distract himself. And hey, at least the latter got him grinning. He and Mae had made love all through the daylight hours in their big, creaky bed, the two of them learning each other’s bodies, loving each other, being close and finally falling asleep together. It was the single best day of his life.

So in a way, having that phone call come through about thirty minutes ago? Kind of felt like overkill.

Then again, he’d been overdue for some dumb luck, he supposed.

“Here we are,” she said as she got off onto a county road.

The lane took them up to what he was determined to turn the cottage into: A farmhouse that had its trim freshly painted, and its shutters restored, and its chimney stick straight, the whole lot of it sitting pretty in a yard that was well-tended and thriving.

“This is so lovely,” Mae murmured as she turned off the engine and looked out to a meadow that was off to the side. “I’ll bet it’s beautiful when the leaves come out and the grass is green.”

He nodded. And then said, “I can’t feel my legs.”

Immediately, his female was focused on him. “I’ll help you. We’re going to do this together.”

“After all these years . . .” On an impulse, he went in to kiss her briefly. “Thank you.”

She stroked his face. “We’re in this together. Whatever happens.”

They opened their doors at the same time, and that was when he scented the Brotherhood—and the other males who had been in on the infiltration the night before: From out of the garage, the big bodies came, and he was surprised as they approached him with smiles and words of welcome.

One by one, they shook his dagger hand. Patted him on the back.

Greeted him. Or introduced themselves if necessary.

More than one of them said something like, Glad you’re back. Or, We’re going to really need you. Or, Let’s meet at the mansion.

Whatever that was.

And then . . .

“Shit,” he said. “Wrath . . .”

In the midst of all the Brotherhood and the fighters, the great Blind King was unmistakable. Literally nothing had changed about him—except for the dog at his side. He was still tall as an oak, still with the black hair falling from a widow’s peak, still with that cruel, aristocratic face.

“My brother,” Wrath murmured as he came forward. “Good to see you safe and sound. You did the race a great service last night.”

Sahvage swallowed. Was he back in? Was he rejoining?

“I . . . don’t know what to say.”

“Good. Too many idiots with opinions in this group anyway. And yes, if you want back into the Brotherhood, we’re glad to have you.”

Glancing around, Sahvage saw all kinds of nodding faces. And with Mae at his back? Was it possible . . . that the male who could not die had a future he no longer dreaded?

And then he didn’t hear anything anymore.

A diminutive figure appeared in the doorway of the garage.

Everyone stopped whatever they were doing. Time seemed to stop as well.

“Mae?” he said as he reached out blindly. “Mae, I need you . . .”

Instantly, he felt his female’s arm shoot around his waist and she steadied his balance. “I’m right here, Sahvage. What’s wrong? Do you feel sick—oh.”

The crowd parted as the little female came forward, and Sahvage was vaguely aware there was a male hanging in her background. He was young, though. Just out of his transition.