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.Leroy guessed it was directed toward Caladon.“Well?” Leroy drew out the word drolly.Chapter ElevenAfter returning Sapian’s nod, Caladon focused on his mate, taking in Leroy’s combative stance.His little mate had never struck him as the confrontational sort, but he could see the lines of tension vibrating through his sweet human’s body.Leroy did not want to face off against his father, but he would…for Caladon.Heart swelling with an emotion he couldn’t name, Caladon tried to figure out the best way to help his mate.“You were rude to your mother,” Colin accused.Leroy jerked a nod, not even trying to defend himself.“I was.”“That’s inexcusable, boy.You will apologize to her in person…tomorrow.”His eyes narrowing, Leroy remained quiet for a moment.Finally, he shook his head.“Tit for tat, Dad,” he stated, his hands clenching, nearly hidden by his elbows where he’d tucked them.“Are you going to apologize for trying to break up me and my partner?”While Caladon’s heart thudded at that proclamation, Leroy’s father sputtered.“Partner,” the man sneered.“You wish to take some unknown negro as your partner.I’ve looked into his past,” he claimed.Leroy didn’t respond, just lifted an eyebrow.Caladon tried to remember what Raymond had kept in his available past.He didn’t have long to wait, because Colin only too happily told all about it.“He’s divorced with a son, who lives in another state with a foster parent.His wife died, and he was such a horrible person that the state wouldn’t even give him custody,” Colin snapped.“It doesn’t take a genius to know why his own son hasn’t spoken to him in years.I can hazard a few guesses about why that’d be.”“And you’d be wrong,” Leroy replied, his tone quiet, cold.Colin scoffed.“Why? Because your partner said so? He hasn’t been to college.He has no income.He’s using you!” With each word, Leroy’s father’s voice rose in volume until he practically screamed the last accusation.Leroy snorted.He uncrossed his arms and rested his hands on his hips.He curled his lip as he looked his father up and down.Then, his beautiful brown eyes glittering under the greenhouse lights, Leroy stated, “You wanna know why he hasn’t spoken to his family in so long? Why he missed his wife’s funeral? His son growing up? Because he’s a fucking POW.Almost two decades as a captive in some godforsaken land the rest of us aren’t even allowed to know our country is fighting in.As for his son—” He paused and smirked.“His son and the foster father are right here in this mansion, come to resume ties.” Finally, he stalked forward and poked his father in the chest.“My partner is a fucking hero.” He lowered his voice and growled his last few words.“Are you ready to apologize now?”Shock and pleasure at his mate’s imagination filled Caladon.He watched with interest as he waited to see how Leroy’s father would respond.For several seconds, Colin gaped, looking uncertain and confused.Then, he snapped his mouth closed with an audible click.His jaw tensed and he threatened, “If you don’t discontinue on this destructive path, I will make certain you lose your job.Then who will be the breadwinner?”That got to Leroy.Caladon knew it by the change in his scent, and while he couldn’t see much color in his current form, he could scent Colin’s smug satisfaction, telling him that his mate’s father knew that he’d upset Leroy, too.Caladon really wanted to shift and go to his mate, stand beside him, but his clothes were on the bench right next to Leroy.Caladon decided to do the next best thing…all the while praying their mating bond was strong enough not to send Leroy running right along with his father.Yes, he knew he was a fucking scary looking snake.Uncoiling from the low-hanging branch he’d been curled around, Caladon headed down the trunk and between the shrubs.As he moved, he listened to Leroy gasp out, “You’d cost me my job because of who I’m involved with?”“No,” Colin replied coolly.“You would cost yourself your job because of who you’re involved with.I warned you.I warned him!”“Fine,” Leroy snapped.“I won’t work at the hospital anymore.Caladon won’t work in town.Are you done here?”“That’s it?” Colin roared.“You’d throw everything away for some negro!”“No,” Leroy replied.The harsh retort stopped Caladon in his tracks.“Not some negro,” Leroy continued.“But I would throw everything away for Caladon.”Once again, that warmth Caladon hadn’t recognized crashed through him.This time, though…he knew what it was.Love.Caladon loved Leroy, loved his human, his mate [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]