Chapter 2.5Mature

Beth followed quietly. Daniel did too, though he went back into the lab where they’d found him. Isabella and Beth passed through the living room into the kitchen. A few of the Brothers were in there, side-stepping around each other as they prepared lunch.

Isabella led her through there and into a dining room through another door. The table was big enough to sit at least thirty, Beth guessed. All of the females were sat around the table, grinning.

“You are enjoying this far too much,” Ibby laughed at them as she sat.

Beth sat beside her.

“Isabella, Jay spoils you every single day anyway. You have no idea what this is like,” Aaralyn grinned.

“True enough, I suppose.”

“Today is a very special day in our calendar,” Aari explained to Beth. “Today is when our boys do what we would normally do: cleaning, cooking, and looking after the children. Onyx is having a whale of a time with Elandra and Kalila today.”

“I can imagine,” she smiled. “How’s Caelan?” she asked, vaguely remembering that he was their oldest child.

Her smile wavered and she sighed. “He’s succumbed to Zeke,” she murmured. “Onyx doesn’t know yet. I’m sure he will soon enough.”

“What do you mean?” Beth asked.

“They’ve been... sneaking around in the night. I found my son skulking around the corridor, down to Zeke’s room. I confronted him. He started crying, trying to tell me. Shady came out of his room to see what was keeping Caelan. They told me. I asked him to tell his father as soon as he could find the right moment.”

“But... Onyx will be fine with it, right?” Beth asked, worried for Caelan’s sake; she’d seen just how lethal Onyx could be.

“Warriors are creatures of pride and honour. They are unpredictable. While he loves his son... This would strip him of any sense of reputation he has. The others wouldn’t care at all. They have Mark and Thorn. Everyone knows what they do behind closed doors.”

“Aari!” exclaimed Aleah.

“It’s just a fact, Allie,” she sighed before turning back to Beth. “Onyx wouldn’t take any action against it; it’s not something he can engage with a blade or a gun. Caelan is a part of the Brotherhood now anyway. He can only leave by choice, or if the Queen’s Appointed kicks him out.”

“Who is that?” Beth asked.

“Robert. Aneska chooses who leads her elite.”

The door from the kitchen opened and a man that Beth recognised strode in, sitting down in one of the seats.

“Not helping, Eli?” Chiara grinned.

The man – who Beth recognised as Elijah, the one who cared for the evidence room – shrugged, a smile on his face. “I’ve got no mate. Today’s got nothing to do with me.”

“Just let your Brothers wait on you,” Aari joked, her eyes still slightly sad from their earlier topic of conversation.

The End

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