When two of the guards took a position on either side of Todd and one pulled Todd’s hands behind his back to cuff him again, Nick couldn’t stay still any longer. A huge bubble formed inside his chest, threatening to burst through his ribs. His guts tightened down, and he couldn’t pull in enough air for a decent breath.
Lurching forward a few steps, heading for his mate, Nick garbled, “No. We’re sentries!”
Raleigh laughed, loud and obnoxious. “You think that matters to me?”
“Since sentries are the people who can get rid of the scum he uses, all the more reason to get rid of us, Nick,” Todd said.
He yanked his arms away from the guard, took a step closer to Nick, and waved his hands in a come-here gesture.
One of the guards sidestepped, blocking Nick’s path and shoving him back. The other guard grabbed both of Todd’s arms, stopping him from going any farther.
Moving fast, Witze got between them, holding both hands out. “Quit,” he snapped at the guards. “Give them a minute.” Turning to Raleigh, Witze shook his head. “They’re not going anywhere. Todd’s already given his word. Let them say goodbye.”
“Witze, your sentimentality is nauseating.” Raleigh nodded at the guards. “Let them go, but any suspicious moves, shoot them both.”
Nick didn’t waste time. The second the guards’ hands were off him, he closed the distance between him and Todd and stopped when Todd’s hands came to rest on either side of Nick’s face, holding him so Nick was forced to look only at Todd.
“Nick, you listen to me. Go with Mr. Witze and do what he tells you to, okay?” For a split second, Todd’s gaze flicked to Witze before coming back to hold Nick’s.
Nick could do no more than nod. His throat was too tight, and there was no way he was going to let Raleigh hear the wet, broken quality his voice would have if he spoke aloud.
“That’s my boy.” Todd pulled Nick closer, pressing a kiss to his forehead, then cheek, before wrapping both arms around him and pulling him in for a tight hug. Nick bent his head so his face pressed to Todd’s shoulder, sucked in a shuddering breath, and nodded again. He turned his head a bit to the side when Todd whispered in his ear.
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