Declan sprinted into the house and found Jonas sitting at the kitchen table.
“Want me to go running with Lucas? I’ve been doing this every month for about a decade, and I know your opinion of running,” Jonas said. He held Declan’s shoes in one hand and a T-shirt in the other.
“I’ll never understand running when something isn’t chasing after you. However, Lucas would be hurt if I didn’t go with him. You can have him the rest of the month with my blessing.” It was Lucas’s habit to be up in the middle of the night, and he and Jonas often ran together at that time. “Either I run with him when he’s changed or throw a stick for him.”
Jonas snorted. Like Declan, Jonas Forge had been born and raised when the Industrial Revolution was still a new fad. People had different sleep patterns at that time. It was common to sleep for a few hours, be up for an hour or two, and then sleep again. Jonas and Declan often used that time for activities other than running. The sting of Jonas with a soulmate was easing, but jealousy stabbed at Declan when he least expected it.
Declan was halfway down the steps when Moose’s harness and leash flew by and landed at the bottom of the steps. He turned and looked at Jonas. “You are welcome to come with us. You’re the one who likes running for pleasure.”
Jonas yawned, and did an exaggerated stretch. “Nah…think I’ll give Blair a call. It’s not that late in New Mexico.”
Resting a hand on Jonas’s shoulder, Declan gave a squeeze. “Why don’t you…”
“No,” Jonas snapped. He met Declan’s gaze then looked away at once. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…”
“I know. What can I do?”
Jonas shook his head. “Nothing. I can’t do anything either. He went home, no, he went back to his dad’s home. He wanted to go alone, and I promised to give him the time he needs.”
Jonas never broke a promise, not in all the hundred-and-seventy odd years Declan had known him.
“Blair will be back home soon. This house is his home now. We’re his family and you’re his soulmate, he loves you, that’s so easy to see. Leaving one life for another sometimes needs closure. We both know that.”
Jonas nodded, clapped both of Declan’s shoulders and offered a smile Declan knew was fake. “Enjoy your run.”
Declan watched him go. Jonas’s movements were stiff and without his normal grace, as if he were in pain. His sadness was palpable. Declan hurt for him. Yet, he knew, there was nothing he could do to ease his friend’s pain and had the sense Jonas didn’t believe Blair would come home. Fitting this turn of events should happen so near the full moon.
Like Declan, Jonas had a deeply buried dark side and an almost impenetrable sense of honor. Sometimes the two twisted together in dangerous ways. Declan had been coached and taught how to live with and control his dark side. It was almost civilized and served him well when needed. He’d tried to do the same for Jonas and succeeded to a point. However, Jonas’s darker side was feral and when unleashed was almost impossible, for Jonas to control. The fact was, simply by existing, Jonas’s soulmate kept that darkness at bay in ways Declan never could, though he doubted either of them knew it yet. Soulmates weren’t meant to be apart, yet Jonas’s soulmate, Blair, was two-thousand miles away with no return date.
With Moose in his harness and Lucas at their side, Declan set out with them for a middle of the night run.
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