Moira watched Jaden leave the room. She could just feel the ragged edges of his emotions. The vampire was hurting just as much as she and Duncan were.

Three’s a crowd, eh? Hmph. She crossed her arms over her breasts and thought about the conversation she’d overheard between the two men. Jaden had left to give them time to complete their mating bond, but instead of doing just that Duncan had held off, pining for Jaden.

 

Yup. A tribond. If she’d had any doubt before, just seeing Duncan and Jaden in the same room removed it. It was like the dark cloud that had been hovering over her and her cranky Sidhe lord had lifted. She pictured Duncan and Jaden kissing and was surprised to find the thought didn’t bother her at all. In fact, it was a surprising turn-on, her entire body heating up at the vision of Duncan’s blond head meshed with Jaden’s dark.

 

“That was unexpected.”

 

She turned to her fine-looking Sidhe lord. His gaze was locked on the doorway, silver sparks dancing in their depths. Silver light danced around him, his powers leeching through his iron-willed control. Her eyebrows shot up in alarm.

 

This was the most animation she’d seen from her fiancé since the day he’d swept her into his limousine and ridden off with her into the sunset. “Duncan. We need to talk.”

 

“About?” Those silver-flecked eyes landed on her, full of intent.

 

Suddenly she could barely breathe. All of the pent-up need that had lain dormant in Jaden’s absence came surging to the fore. “Um. Jaden.”

 

His head tilted to the side. “No. I don’t think so.”

 

“What?” The expression on his face was almost frightening in its intensity. Whatever had held him back from Claiming her fully was gone now. Feral heat lit him from within. She had a good idea just what had set off this little display of lust.

 

Moira gulped. “Oh, hell.” Moira wasn’t a virgin, thank the Lady. From the look Duncan was giving her she had the feeling she was going to be very grateful for that fact in about two seconds.

 

The slow, sexy curl of his lips had her stomach doing flip-flops. The glazed, sleepy look in his eyes had her nerves screaming to run. “It’s time.”

A part of her wanted this, wanted the Claiming, the Vow and the Binding. She wanted what her parents had, what Leo had so recently found in Ruby.

But there was something Duncan needed to hear, for both their sakes. For all their sakes. She held out her hand, hoping to stave off the inevitable. “Wait. I need to tell you something.”

 

“You do?” He began stalking her around the desk, his movements languid, his expression amused. It was like, after two months of hiding, the man she’d met in the limo was back and horny as hell. Duncan turned the corner and she could see the bulge of his erection beneath the fly of his slacks.

 

Oh, glory. “I spoke with my mother.”

 

“How is Aileen?” Duncan’s gaze darted to the office door. He stepped over and locked it before continuing his pursuit of her.

 

“She knows what’s wrong with you.” With us, but I don’t have time to go into that now.

 

Duncan stopped, the heat in his eyes chilling. “Wrong with me?”

 

Uh-oh. Perhaps she could have phrased that better. “She knows why you haven’t felt the urge to complete the bond.”

 

“Why would that be?”

 

She took a deep breath. He was starting to edge toward snarky, which was better than depressed, she supposed. “I need you to trust me. Okay?”

 

“Of course. You’re my mate.”

 

“So is Jaden.”

 

Everything about him stilled, except the erection in his pants. That she saw pulse just once against the restraint of his zipper. “No.”

 

“My mother thinks the blood bond the two of you share masked the symptoms of the unfinished Claiming.” She walked toward him warily and placed a hand on his chest. “You have…no, we have been pining for our other mate.”

 

His jaw worked, his brow furrowed. “No. I would have known.”

 

“Not necessarily. The two of you were rarely apart for longer than a week or two. It’s been two months since you’ve been in contact, and now all of a sudden it’s like you’ve finally woken up. Think, Duncan! You haven’t been able to finish Claiming me because you never started Claiming Jaden.”

 

“That’s not possible. I would have known.”

 

“Duncan. Look at me.” Dazed silver eyes met hers. “Do you want me?”

 

“Gods, yes.”

 

“Did you before Jaden came back?”

 

His hands circled her upper arms, his expression full of regret. “Yes, but…”

 

“But you couldn’t bring yourself to make love to me. Half your heart was missing.”

 

“No.”

 

“Yes. Because half of mine has been missing, too.”

 

His expression completely blanked. “What?”

 

“I’m half Sidhe, remember? I know both you and Jaden are meant to be mine.”

 

His jaw dropped, but the tension in his body was slowly easing, changing into something else, something more accepting of what she was trying to tell him. “But, how? How could I have missed something like that?”

 

“The blood bond? Or perhaps it needed all three of us before you could feel it?”

 

He blinked rapidly. “Mate sickness. I was suffering from mate sickness this whole time?”

 

She nodded. “My mother went through the same thing when her family tried to force her into the marriage with you. She’d found her true bond and they’d been separated.” He stared at her and she grimaced. “Sorry, forgot for a moment you were there. Anyway, when I described what was happening to both of us she realized what was going on almost immediately. Since I haven’t left your side since you took me it had to be Jaden who was causing it.”

 

He shook his head. “That can’t be true.”

 

“Have you never had the urge to kiss him? To take him into your arms and make love to him?”

 

Duncan’s hands tightened on her arms before he abruptly turned from her. “Yes. Damn it, yes.”

She sighed. This was going easier than she’d first thought. “Once the true bond is completed with both of us you’ll never suffer like this again.”

 

He turned back to her, his expression full of determination. “He won’t agree to this.”

 

“He doesn’t like men that way?” Moira hid her own unease. Once she’d spoken to her mother she’d looked up some books. She’d read some romances where men and women made love to one another regardless of gender. Some she liked, some she didn’t, but the thought of watching Duncan’s golden head bent over Jaden’s dark body while she watched was anything but repugnant. She wriggled, the sudden need spiraling through her.

 

“Oh, he does. It’s just. Damn it. He’s so damn noble.” Duncan growled, his frustration obvious.

 

Moira laughed. “Of course he is. He’s a Malmayne.”

 

“He thinks he’s still a Blackthorn.” Duncan tapped his fingers on the desk with a worried frown. “And to him that makes all the difference.”

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Dana Marie Bell.

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