Authors: Gabrielle Evans
Fatefully Yours 6
Hex has led his warriors through more battles than he can count. They turn to him for answers, for guidance—to show them the way to victory. The responsibility is huge, and the pressure is overwhelming. If they fail, the blame rests with him. Failure is not an option.
Echo can see the strain of war is crushing Hex’s spirit and affecting his health. He’s done everything he knows to do, but still, Hex is resistant to accept his help. Then the unthinkable happens, and Echo is kidnapped and drained. He’s not sure how he survived, but he’s more determined than ever to prove his worthiness of a second chance with his mates.
When the new moon rises, and those they counted as friends turn against them, it will be up to Echo to show Hex the way to heal the madness. How difficult could this leader stuff be?
NOTE! You are purchasing Siren's newest serialized imprint, the LoveXtreme Forever Series. This is Book 6 of 9 in the Fatefully Yours collection. These books are not stand alone. Each is a continuation of the previous book and must be read in the numbered order. Each book may end on a cliffhanger but usually with a happy-for-now for the beta hero and one or more men. The final book contains a happily forever after for the beta hero and all his men.
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Fantasy, Ménage a Trois/Quatre
Fatefully Yours 6
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: LoveXtreme Forever ManLove
Copyright © 2011 by Gabrielle Evans
E-book ISBN: 1-61034-748-X
First E-book Publication: July 2011
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All cover art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
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To Pat and Jon: Thank you for your enthusiasm and support.
I adore that you love my demons as much as I do.
Fatefully Yours 6
Copyright © 2011
“Look, man, I’m happy for you. I really am. But if I walk into the kitchen to find you fucking one of your mates over the table again…” Hex trailed off as a deep growl bubbled up in his throat. “Echo’s birthday party is tomorrow night. Just…” He stopped again and scrubbed his face with his hands. “Just cool it, okay?”
Craze laughed and clapped Hex on the back. “Ya worry too much, sugar.”
Hex closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and prayed for patience. “And knock it off with the phony freakin’ accent.”
“Syn and Jinx like it,” Craze argued. “Who’m I ta deny my lovelies?”
“Your lovelies?” Hex snorted and rolled his eyes. “Do you have any idea what being mated is all about? Or are you just playing with them until something better comes along? If that’s the case, you need to come clean. Syn and Jinx are good guys, and they deserve better than being strung along like a couple of your little toys.”
“Hex,” Craze replied, dropping the hokey Southern drawl. “I just met them four days ago. I don’t know how I feel about them yet, other than the fact that I want to fuck them against every available surface.” Craze shook his head and actually looked a little sad.
Hex braced his hands against the kitchen sink and hung his head. “I can’t deal with any more shit right now.” If one more thing cropped up that required his attention, he was going to blow a fucking gasket, and he knew it. He’d never asked to be in the leadership role, and while most of the time it wasn’t so bad, the last few months were seriously testing his sanity.
Add to the fact that the men he commanded and led into battle were his lovers, and he’d spent quite a few sleepless nights lately. Pushing away from the counter, Hex cast one last warning glare at Craze before pushing past him. Stopping just before he stepped out of the kitchen, he kept his back to the man as he spoke. “Please, Craze. Just…please.” He didn’t wait for an answer before he strode out of the kitchen. Gods alive, he just wanted this damn war to be over, and things to go back to normal. Though it probably made him a selfish bastard, he also wanted everyone out so that he and his men could have their home back.
Grumbling under his breath, he let his feet carry him down the hallway, not realizing where he was going until he stood facing the shiny wood of the office door. Wrapping his fingers around the knob, he hesitated to turn it. What would wait for him on the other side of that door? More problems, more shit for him to figure out?
Or maybe, for just a minute, he’d find a little peace from the constant bombardment of stress and responsibility.
“Hex!” Myst called to him. “We know you’re out there. Get your sexy ass in here.”
Some of the tension eased from his muscles, and Hex chuckled under his breath. The last of them forged from the flames of the river, Myst was the youngest of the seven as well as the jokester of their family. He was also a pain in Hex’s ass, but Hex loved the little shit.
No, he enjoyed that Myst could make him laugh. That didn’t mean he loved the man himself. Love and other tender emotions made them weak. Hex couldn’t afford weakness. He respected his men, maybe even cared for them, but love and happy endings were luxuries not afforded to demon warriors of the Underworld.
Trying to shake off the melancholy, Hex pushed open the office door and stepped inside to find all his lovers gathered there. “So, this is where everyone has been hiding.” He tried to smile, but was afraid he didn’t quite make it when Echo tilted his head to the side and frowned.
“What’s wrong, love?”
Hex eased the door closed, keeping his back to the others while he tried to school his features and tame his runaway emotions. It always melted him when Echo called him love. His little mate was getting to him. No matter how hard he tried to keep Echo at arm’s length, he went crawling right back every time the man smiled at him.
“Do you have another headache?” Echo asked quietly.
“I’m fine.” Turning back to face the group, Hex ambled over to the sofa, smacked Myst in the back of the head to get him to move, and plopped down in the vacated seat.
Myst rubbed at the back of his head and stuck his tongue out. “You could have just asked me to move, asshole.”
“Yeah, but then you would have argued, and I would have ended up thumping you in the head anyway. This was faster.”
Everyone laughed except for Syx, who had his nose almost touching the computer screen as he tapped away at the keyboard. The warrior had been working harder than ever to make up for the disastrous events that unfolded in that cave. Hex doubted the man had slept more than a few hours in the four days since they’d been home. He wished he knew how to ease Syx’s guilt and make him see that none of it had been his fault.
“Don’t lie to me,” Echo said softly as he moved to kneel on the floor between Hex’s knees. “Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t look so good.”
Hex brushed the golden locks back from Echo’s face and smiled reassuringly. “I’m really okay, baby. No headaches today. Thank you for worrying about me, but there’s no need.”
Eyce leaned closer and bumped Hex with his shoulder. “We all worry about you, big guy. You work too hard.”
Swallowing around the lump in his throat, Hex reminded himself that emotions made people weak. In battle, weakness got you killed. Clearing his throat, he looked away from Echo’s shining blue eyes and focused on Syx. “What have you found?”
“Nothing that pertains to the prophecy,” Syx responded without looking away from the computer. “I did find that the CoreTech accounts are missing over half a million dollars, though.”
“CoreTech?” Echo turned around and plopped on his butt as he nestled back between Hex’s thighs. “What’s that, and why are you missing money?”
“It’s a company we own that designs and builds energy-efficient homes for low-income families,” Eyce answered. “We also own a sister company that helps with mortgage loans and down payment assistance.”
“That’s really sweet.” Echo turned his head and gave them a beaming smile. “So, basically you use one to finance the other.”
“Yes and no,” Vapre continued as he leaned over Syx’s shoulder to look at the screen. “CoreTech also designs upscale homes and some business offices around the world. Even without the loan company, it’s fairly lucrative.”
“Wow,” Echo breathed. “When you said that you owned businesses and stocks in others, I didn’t realize it was anything like this. So, why is there money missing?”
“That’s a good question,” Syx mumbled. “I don’t think it’s just a mistake in the bookkeeping, either.”
“So you think someone stole it?”
“It would look that way.” Syx frowned and scratched at his neck. “Whoever did it wasn’t very smart about it, though. It was taken out in two lump sums, one last month, and one just yesterday.”
“So, what does that mean?” Echo sounded confused, and his little head tilted to the side. “I mean, what are you going to do about it?”
“Make the phone calls,” Hex said calmly. It wasn’t as if they needed the money, but it was the principle of the matter. “Find out if Lexi knows anything first before we worry about it further.”
“Got it,” Vapre said with a nod as he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and began dialing.
Hex combed his fingers through Echo’s hair and massaged his mate’s scalp. “She’s the accountant for CoreTech. If anyone can find out where that missing money went, it’s her.”
Echo shrugged. “What happens if she doesn’t know? What do you do then?”
“We’ll worry about that later,” Hex hedged. “We have a party to get ready for tomorrow night. In fact, everyone get out.” Hex maneuvered around Echo and stood, walked to the door, and held it open. “C’mon, let’s go. No more research, no more prophecies, tests, or missing money. We’re not going to think about anything bad until after Echo’s party.”
“Hell yeah!” Fiero jumped to his feet and jerked Echo up as well. “Can we give him his present early?”
Echo released Fiero’s hand so suddenly that he fell back to the floor on his ass. “No! I said no more presents!” His little nose scrunched up and his lips thinned into a white line as he glared around the room at each of them.
“And as usual, we didn’t listen.” Fiero crossed his arms over his chest and arched an eyebrow. “It makes us happy. Don’t you want us to be happy?”
“Oh, that’s not even fair.” Echo slumped back against the sofa and huffed. “You know I want you to be happy, but this is getting out of hand. I just want you to adore me and lavish me with attention.” He smirked wickedly. “Is that too much to ask?”
Fiero wasn’t falling for it, though. Hex bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing as the demon rolled his eyes and stuck out his tongue. “That part comes after the party.”
“Along with your birthday spanking,” Vapre added with a slight growl. “Twenty-four smacks to that tight ass should make it all nice and glowing hot.”
Hex closed his eyes and moaned as his dick filled and throbbed inside his jeans from the mental image. Though he wasn’t into having his ass spanked, the thought of his mate’s skin marked by their hands made him want to pant.
Pushing away his lusty thoughts, he rubbed the heel of his hand against his aching groin, but succeeded in doing nothing more than making his dick throb from the friction. “Oh, gods, just give him his fucking present.”
Everyone turned to look at him with similar expressions of hunger and desire. Hex actually gulped at the need shining in his lovers’ eyes, and it was all directed toward him. To know he was so desired was a heady feeling, and Hex gripped the door tighter to keep himself standing.
Had he ever seen such a look directed at him before?
“Yes,” Syx answered huskily. “You just never paid attention.”
Was it Hex’s imagination or was there a slight hint of sadness to Syx’s voice? There was a long, awkward moment while Hex stared into the warrior’s eyes. What else had he missed over the years?
Eventually, Eyce cleared his throat as he rose up from the sofa. “Okay, let’s give Echo his present.”
Hex cast a grateful look at his beta and sighed. Something had passed between him and his men during that brief silence, and he knew he was going to have to do a lot of deep thinking on it. With so many other things clogging his overworked brain already, he didn’t want to dwell on it just then, though.
“Well?” Echo asked as he pushed to his feet and held his hand out, palm up. “Gimme.”
“I thought you didn’t want a present?” Vapre teased.
Echo shrugged adorably. “You already got it for me. It would be rude of me not to accept it graciously.”
Pulling a stack of papers from the desk drawer, Vapre laughed and came around the desk to present them to their mate. “Happy birthday.”
Echo frowned, taking the papers but not looking at them. “What is this?”
“This,” Eyce answered, tapping his index fingers to the top page, “gives you sole ownership of Silver City.”
“And that would be?”
Hex smirked. “A strip club.”
“Male strippers?” Echo asked hopefully.
“You guessed it.” If Silver City didn’t have male dancers, Hex would have hired some immediately just to see the smile that stretched across his mate’s face.
“Can I see it? I mean, these papers are great, and it’s way too much, but I want to see it!” Echo actually bounced up and down a little on his toes as he spoke. Then he froze mid-bounce and slowly lowered back to the floor. The smile slid off his face, and he began worrying his bottom lip between his teeth.