Story Excerpt
Unspoken Desires

flame div

Daniel chuckled as Lucas and Jake argued over whose lap Leyland was going to sit in. Leyland just stood to the side rolling his eyes. That seemed to be a regular occurrence with those three. Daniel had seen it time and time again since the three men had become mated.

He saw it in the other people that sat around the small fire pit as well. Ryland was curled up with his mates, Gregory and Viktor. Cary sat between his mates, Saul and Ryce. Micah sat with his mates, Caleb and Thomas. Even Sasha was curled up with Vadim.

Daniel was the odd man out. Not even Niko, Vadim’s brother and pack beta, was around. Niko was off spending time with his father. Daniel sat all alone, no mate to cuddle with. As miserable as that was, Daniel was used to his single status, even if he didn’t like it. And that fact was pretty sad.

“You’re the last unmated member of the pack, Daniel.” Leyland giggled from where he now sat in Jake’s lap. “We’re going to have to find you a mate now. There are plenty of single men on the island to pick from.”

Daniel gave Leyland a half smile. “I’m good, Leyland, but thank you.”

Sasha scoffed at Daniel from his position on Vadim’s lap. “Daniel, how can you say that? Having a mate is, well, it’s everything we search for our entire lives. We need our mates.”

This so wasn’t a conversation Daniel wanted to have. “I’m fine, I promise you.”

“Daniel, you’re not fine,” Leyland argued. “You need to find your mate. You need to have the bond that a mate brings to you.”

Daniel grimaced. “Please, Leyland, let’s just drop it.”

“Daniel—” Leyland started only to be interrupted by Jake.

“Baby, you need to drop it,” Jake said. Daniel sent him a grateful smile. “Daniel will find his mate when it’s time.”

Daniel’s gaze looked out beyond the firelight as he mused over Jake’s words. He had never explained to Jake about his life with his former pack beyond saying that he had been kicked out for being gay. Some things were just too painful to discuss.

A movement out by the lake caught his eyes. Daniel looked closer. His gaze settled on the figure of a lone man walking along the edge of the lake across the meadow from where Daniel sat.

He could just make out the man’s striking face from where he sat, but what he couldn’t see in the fading sunlight Daniel could see in his head. He knew the man had a strong masculine face, blond hair the color of straw, and eyes as blue as the deepest ocean.

A scar ran from the corner of the man’s left eye down to the edge of his square jaw line. The soft smattering of hair across his muscular pecs was dark brown. It matched the dark shadow that always seemed to be on his face no matter how often he shaved.

The hands he had shoved into the pocket of his jeans were thick and callused from hard work. Daniel knew that as rough as they were, they could be soft and gentle and drive a lover to distraction.

And the deep raspy voice that could whisper sweet nothings enough to make someone swoon could deliver a killing blow, ripping the heart out of even the strongest man. Daniel knew because it had happened to him.

His eyes never wavered from the lone figure, even as he clenched the beer bottle in his hand until the brown glass shattered. He barely heard the gasps of those around him, the words of concern. He only saw the man walk away until he was out of Daniel’s sight.


Daniel looked down to see Leyland kneeling at his feet, concern written all over his face. It was only then that Daniel realized that he had a broken beer bottle in his bloody hand. He swore under his breath and shook his hand free of any loose glass.

He used the firelight to light his hand and pulled out any remaining glass. Pulling his shirt over his head, he wrapped it around his hand. He felt like an idiot. Daniel climbed to his feet with the intention of leaving his circle of friends before he embarrassed himself any more. He had walked just beyond the edge of light when Leyland’s voice stopped him.

“Is he mad at me? I didn’t mean to make him mad. Was it because I kept telling him he needed to find his mate?” Leyland’s quiet voice wavered as he spoke. Daniel knew he couldn’t let Leyland think it was something he had done.

“No, Leyland, it was nothing you said,” Daniel said quietly.

“I’m sorry if I upset you, Daniel,” Leyland said quickly. “I guess I’m just so happy with Jake and Lucas that I want everyone to feel that way. I want everyone to find their mate.”

Daniel’s eyes strayed to the edge of the lake again. He desperately searched the area for one last look of the man that haunted his dreams. Or maybe they were his nightmares. When he found none, he turned and smiled weakly at Leyland.

“I already found my mate, Leyland, several years ago.” Daniel looked down at the ground before anyone could see the tears gathering in the corner of his eyes. He would be so embarrassed if anyone found out how much misery that that statement caused him.

“You’ve already found your mate?” Leyland cried out.

Daniel nodded, not lifting his head. “You remember that man at the pier, the tall one with the straw colored hair and deep blue eyes? He was talking with Gregory and Viktor when we arrived. His name is Brom McGregor. He’s my mate.”

“If he’s your mate, then why in the hell aren’t you two together? Doesn’t he know you’re mates?” Leyland asked.

Daniel smirked. “He knows.”

“Then why—”

Daniel looked up at Leyland. He tried to smile at Leyland but knew he had failed miserably when Leyland’s sad little eyes looked back at him. Daniel felt a single tear fall down his cheek. “He doesn’t want me.”