It'd been days since Jinx left and he'd not returned to the house at all. The scent of his cologne was beginning to fade even from the room where he put it on every morning. I hadn't wanted to wash the sheets, fearing losing his natural chamomile to the cleansers, but I couldn't sleep in our bed with the smell of the mistake I'd made lingering there. I'd been so stupid and impatient, fearing that my lover wouldn't settle down and stop taking such dangerous risks with his life. When my sister went into heat, I just jumped at the opportunity to create a child with his blood.

It didn't seem like anyone other than my siblings and I knew of what happened. Violet and Hides knew only because they could smell Jinx's scent on Rose, but Violet was being silent and Hides was too busy making sure Paisley and Nattashia didn't over exert themselves and taking care of the red haired doctor he'd made to sore to move. Paisley kept giving me odd looks whenever I'd come downstairs to eat, but she didn't ask any questions or yell at me. She knew something was up, but didn't know what had happened to cause her brother to leave. Tarot had been too busy tending to his lover to even notice that Jinx wasn't here.

I missed my blonde lover, especially at night when he'd wrap his arms around me and hold me against him. Despite the fact that he was always so closed off in front of others, he'd always been honest with his feelings in front of me while behind our bedroom door. The thought that he wouldn't forgive me crossed my mind, but I refused to let it linger for too long. It wasn't that I didn't think he could remain angry with me, but I had to hold out hope that he loved me enough to eventually come back.

It was the third day after Jinx left that I noticed Tarot leave the house in a rush after a brief conversation with Paisley. He looked both upset and worried and I knew it probably had something to do with Jinx with the way he rushed from the house. It worried me a bit, especially knowing my lover's pension for getting himself into trouble when he was pissed off. All I knew was that he wasn't physically hurt, but I was certain that something was wrong with how Tarot was reacting.

I hovered around the second floor landing for hours while Tarot was gone, worrying about what Jinx may have gotten himself into. I was also concerned that Jinx would tell him what he didn't know and how the elder would react to the information. I knew he'd be angry if Jinx told him what I'd done, not that I could blame him, but Tarot scared me a bit. Jinx loved me, which was probably why he simply left instead of getting violent like I knew he could, but Tarot wasn't Jinx. He wouldn't feel the need to want to forgive me. He'd be much more likely to keep my love from coming back to me.

"Tarot... Did you find him?" Paisley asked, coming out of the den as the tall blonde came through the front door. "Is he alright?" Tarot nodded at her, before his eyes moved up to where I was standing near the top of the stairs.

"I found him," he said flatly, almost robotically and I felt a chill run up my spine at the sound. I'd heard that voice before after we'd gone to retrieve Paisley from the den of pleasure she'd been working in. "I'm going to check on Dani." He moved up the stairs slowly, stiffly, his eyes locked on me the entire way. I hated that look on his face, knowing that he was very far from the happy go lucky person he normally was. "Wait for me out back, Brad," he muttered as he passed me to go the room he shared with his lover. There was no room for objection in that statement and I made my way downstairs as he went to his room.

I didn't have to wait long before Tarot came outside, his face still devoid of all emotion. Wordlessly, he grabbed my arm, his fingers digging deeply into the muscle as he led me away from the house and away from prying eyes. When we were far enough away, he released my arm, his hands falling to his sides, opening and closing his fists. I waited for a moment for him to speak or to swing, but when neither happened, I had to ask the question that was burning in my mind.

"How is he?" I asked softly and immediately regreted opening my mouth. Anger flashed across the previously expressionless face and his fist connected with my jaw even before I had a chance to register the movement. I stumbled back a step, the taste of copper on my tongue from where my lip had split.

"How dare you," he growled, though it still lacked quite a bit of emotion that should normally have been there. "How dare you stand there and act like you give a damn about him after what you did!" I blinked rapidly for a moment, trying to find the strength to make my tongue work.

"I do care!" I protested and again I felt powerful punch against my jaw and I fell to the ground. My ears were ringing from the force and I knew he wasn't even attempting to keep his supernatural strength in check. I started pushing myself up only to get a boot to the chest and end up sprawled back on the ground.

"If you cared at all about my brother you wouldn't have raped him." I stared at him, wide-eyed as the words fell from his lips. I shook my head and opened my mouth to protest that I would never have raped Jinx, but he stomped down on my exposed stomach, forcing the air from lungs. "Assisted in raping my brother, but there's no difference to me. You knew how haunted he was after what those bastards from Cruz did to him." I grunted, tears coming to my eyes as he stomped on my chest. He'd cracked ribs with that one and I rolled to my side to try and get back up.

"You were supposed to love him, Brad," he whispered coldly as he kicked me again, this time in the face. I coughed, blood pouring from my nose and mouth and from a gash his boot opened up on the side of his face. "He loves you, though right now, I have no idea why. He loves you so much he's confused by his own reactions and nearly drowned himself in alcohol." My Jinx? My Jinx who'd only ever drunk alcohol during his shows at Nightingale's had been drowning himself in alcohol? Tears of more than physical pain began to flow as my heart ached even more for what I'd done to him.

He kept it up for awhile longer, snapping bones in my chest, my face and my arm as he continued to lecture me on how I'd fucked up. I couldn't find it in myself to fight back or argue since he was right. I'd destroyed the trust Jinx had in me by forcing him to mate with someone other than me. It was my fault he was hurting in a way he didn't understand and a way he didn't even want to think about. I'd been so stupid and now there was still the risk that he could never forgive me for what I had done to him.

"Fuck, I can't keep hitting you if you aren't even going to try and defend yourself," Tarot muttered, leaning against a tree and cross his arms over his chest. "I just can't believe that you'd be stupid enough to make him relive Jasper all over again." I turned my head sharply as he mentioned Jasper, my unswollen eye widening in surprise.

"Nothing... happened... in Jasper... other.. than the... drugging... right?" I choked out my jaw not wanting to cooperate with me at all. He stared at me in disbelief and I worried that he'd not been able to understand me with the way my words had slurred. I groaned slightly and closed my eyes to shift down into a wolf, healing most of my broken bones completely in the process. i"All that happened in Jasper was that Jinx was given that aphrodisiac, right?"/i I asked again, watching the elder of the two blondes closely.

"He never told you?" Tarot asked quietly. I shook my head and stared at him expectantly. I wanted to know what I was missing in this scenario that would have broken my lover so much more than a betrayal of his trust on my part. "I told you Jinx went down there to confront my past, didn't I?" he asked and I nodded as I watched him shake his head slightly and grow a bit more depressed. "He was given that drug so that he could be used as my replacement. He won't even tell me if she managed to succeed, but I'm ninety-nine percent sure that she raped him before his control snapped. Now do you understand, Brad? He prided himself on never letting anyone touch him that he didn't want to, but you... You trapped him between someone he wanted to touch him and someone he didn't. And for what? A child?"

"iWhere is he, Tarot?/i" I asked, my ears flat against my head as I bowed it in shame. i"Please... I need to try and make it up to him..."/i

"I can't tell you that, yet," he replied and pushed himself off the tree. "He didn't want to come back to the house so he's not ready to face you. You're just going to have to keep waiting and wondering. Maybe if you're lucky, he'll forgive you, but frankly, I hope he doesn't. You don't deserve his love after being so selfish." With that he left, heading back to the house and leaving me to stare after him in horrified shock. I could barely believe the words he'd left me with.

I threw back my head and began to howl. In the language of the wolves I was begging for forgiveness, lamenting my actions that hurt the one I loved so much. I prayed to the Gods to give me another chance with my mate, to allow for me to have the ability to try and make it all up to him. I was such an idiot, an impatient idiot. I should have given him time to change his mind, to come around to the idea of having pups. We had all of the time in the world and I had to be a fool and rush headlong into it.

I didn't return to the house that night, choosing instead to cry to the moon until my voice gave out. When I couldn't scream to the heaven's any longer, I curled up at the base of a tree, the fur on my muzzle becoming soaked with my tears. I wanted to redo that night. I wanted to take it all back and just wait for him to come around to being willing to have pups with me. I knew that Tarot wasn't lying to me about Jinx being confused. That was evidenced enough by the fact that he didn't rage and shift to stop what was happening. But I ignored his tears, covered his mouth so that no one would come, and forced him to enjoy it enough to spill his seed into my sister.

He would likely never forgive me. He'd had his pride stripped from him before and as Tarot had pointed out then, he didn't want to be seen like that. I had stripped him of far more than just his pride though. I'd taken the trust and love he had for me and thrown it in his face. Maybe I truly didn't deserve the love he had for me. I never did understand why he loved me to begin with. Hides tried to explain it once as instinct to recognize one's perfect mate, but it never made sense to me. I knew why I loved him though and it really went so far beyond the natural beauty that first drew me in. He was smart and assertive, always knew what he wanted. Beneath the cold exterior I knew him to be burning hot with emotion and it usually took something major to get under his skin, everything else just rolled off his back like water under a bridge.

But this wouldn't just pass under the bridge. This was going to take major work on my part to earn back his love and trust. I needed to be able to apologize, but I didn't know where he was. Tarot wasn't going to tell me how to find him and if I just showed up at his office, he'd have people escort me off the premises. That is, if Tarot didn't do it first. How was I even going to start apologizing? I hadn't a clue and right then, I was growing too tired to even try to think. I just wanted my Jinx back. That was all I wanted.