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Title: Of Wagers and Revelations
Author: Starkindler
Fandom: Sylum Universe (Canon)
Pairing: Lucas Wolenczak/Jonathan Ford/Jim Brody
Rating: FRAO
Summary: When Lucas and Jonathan meet their Mate, Lucas has to face the fact that he just lost the bet he had...with Riddick.
Disclaimer: The SeaQuest characters so aren't mine. Neither is the Sylum Universe. Neither is Riddick...or any other character in the Sylum universe (damn it!)
Beta(s): Janet and Trowa
Author's Note: This story is part of Sylum Clan and is approved canon by BJ Jones.
This is also a response to the sylum_challenge fic challenge.
Claim: Lucas Wolenczak
Prompt #43: Tracking Device



January 2003



His stupidity knew no bounds.

As they sat in the home he owned with Jonathan in Rio, Lucas cringed and bit his lip to stop from crying out as Riddick finished putting the last bandages on his arm. The burns hurt like hell, but he wasn't about to lose it in front of the other two.

"All done," Riddick said, patting Lucas on the thigh before standing back up and putting away the first aid kit.

Lucas slumped back against Jonathan and shuddered, trying to keep the nauseous feeling to a minimum. "See, it's not that bad," he said, trying to make light of the situation, especially when he could feel the waves of concern and irritation flowing from his Mate. It didn't take a mating bond for Lucas to know Riddick was one step away from locking him in a closet for the next century. He couldn't help but squirm just a little as Riddick hung up the phone after a brief conversation and sat down in the chair opposite the sofa where he and Jonathan were currently sitting. It wasn't the slightly insane look in Riddick's eyes that bothered him. It was the "I'm so disappointed when you don't listen to me" glare that got to him.

"Not that bad?" Riddick said after several moments of silence, his voice a low rumble that had never boded well for Lucas in the past. "You've got third degree burns on your arm. Your skin is charred. There's fresh blood on the way over." There was blood in the house, but he also needed fresh blood. Luckily for Lucas, there was a family of Chosen who also supplied blood for the Vampires of Sanctuary only a couple of blocks away.

"I wasn't expecting the pan to flame up like that. It's not like I did it on purpose, Richard." Lucas huffed and then bit back a cry of pain as he jostled his arm.

"You never do it on purpose, Kid. And are you ever going to quit calling me 'Richard'?" Riddick asked him as he got up to answer the knock on the door. They were always quick when it came to Lucas. He let the man he knew as Marco inside before heading into the kitchen.

Marco waved at Lucas and sat down on the other side of the room, waiting until he was needed.

Lucas waved back. "When you quit calling me 'Kid,'" Lucas said in automatic reply to Riddick as he leaned his head back and rested against Jonathan's shoulder. "You mad at me, too?"

"No, but I really wish you wouldn't get into situations like this. We've been together nearly a decade, and I swear if I weren't a Vampire, I'd be gray by now," Jonathan told him. "Besides, I don't need to ream you out. Riddick can do that well enough for the both of us. And by the way, you are never allowed in the kitchen again. You'd think that after a century, you'd know how to cook."

Lucas pouted but stayed silent until Riddick returned a couple of minutes later and came up to him. He took the glass Riddick held out for him, ignoring his smirk. Finally he said, "In my defense, I lived in Santuario for a long time and didn't have to cook. Then I lived on takeout and restaurant food when I wanted to eat food. Besides, you're supposed to be on my side, not Riddick's. I'm your Mate." Then he downed the blood, sighing in contentment as Jonathan ran his hands over his stomach.

"And he's known you since you were seventeen," Jonathan said. His eyes drifted from Lucas to Riddick and said, "You and I are going to have to have a talk. I know Lucas isn't telling me about half the trouble he's gotten himself into over the course of a hundred and ten plus years."

Riddick gave him a slight smile. "We'll talk."

Lucas scowled as he handed the empty glass over to Riddick and took the full one out of his other hand. "Of course you will, and I'll be hiding on the Pearl, far, far away from both of you."

"You shouldn't keep things from your Mate. How else is he going to keep an eye on you? You really need a second Mate. You're too much to handle for one poor Vampire."

Lucas rolled his eyes and set the glass down on the table. For years now, since even before Jonathan showed up, Riddick had always teased him about having two Mates, saying that he wasn't someone only one person could handle. Lucas knew he got into more scrapes than his fair share, but really, Riddick's joke was getting old. "Will you stop with that? Jonathan and I don't have another Mate running around out there. I mean, really, wouldn't we know something, or someone, was missing?"

"Not necessarily. You can be dense at times, for someone who is too damned smart for his own good," Riddick replied. "I'm telling you. There's someone else out there."

Lucas ignored the chuckles of his Mate, though he did wince as Jonathan's shaking sent small waves of pain shoot through his arm. "Yeah, yeah, whatever. I'd bet you anything that a second Mate for us won't show up in the next five hundred years."

"You're on," Riddick said, motioning toward Marco. "I think he's ready for you." Turning back to Lucas, Riddick said, "What do you want to bet?"

"In five hundred years, when Sylum gathers for some holiday, you have to dress up as my favorite character from the Rocky Horror Picture Show."

"Fine," Riddick said, knowing that he was right about this. He wasn't sure how he knew he was right, but there was no doubt in his mind that he was. Part of it had to do with the simple fact that when Lucas met Jonathan, he'd said that Jonathan's soul seemed different than the one he'd met over a hundred years before. Lucas had written it off as the memory being vague or just being fucked up because of the shit with Lionel, but Riddick wasn't so sure. The rest was the pure fact that he wasn't even sure he could handle Lucas alone, if they had been Mates, and that very thought made him a little queasy. "When you find your third, you have to wear that bracelet I had made for you. The one with the tracking device in it."

"You got yourself a bet," Lucas said as he smiled down at Marco, who was kneeling before him. He gave the young man a brief kiss before sliding his fangs into Marco's neck, taking only what he needed. A kiss to each cheek later, Lucas signed, "Thank you very much for your kind gift," ignoring the spikes of pain doing so sent through his arm, and Marco went on his way. Lucas always liked Marco. He was a sweet, kind man who felt a little self-conscious about his speaking voice, so Lucas had learned to sign so he could talk to him without putting him on the spot.

"You're awfully quiet tonight," Lucas said, leaning to the left and craning his neck to look at Jonathan. "Something wrong?"

"Other than you trying to turn your arm into a charcoal briquette? Nope. I'm kinda hoping we do have another Mate out there. I like the idea of you wearing a tracker so we can find you when you wander off."

Lucas stifled a yawn. "I do not wander off...much."

"Come on, Lucas, you need to go to bed," Jonathan said, gently pushing Lucas up and getting up himself. "Goodnight, Riddick." Jonathan turned to Lucas. "I'll go get ready for bed," he said, leaning forward to give Lucas a brief kiss before heading upstairs.

Lucas eyed Riddick for a moment. "You going to be here in the morning? Last time, you left without saying goodbye."

"Something came up, but yeah, I'll be here in the morning, if only to check on that arm of yours." Riddick raised his hands to cup Lucas' face and patted Lucas' right cheek. "Get some rest, and be careful of that arm tonight. It's going to hurt like hell, but you'll have to deal with it. Shouldn't be any trouble for you. You've been through worse."

"I know. I'll be fine." Lucas leaned up and gave Riddick a kiss on the cheek. "Get some sleep. No staying up all night hunting."

Just as Lucas was moving away, Riddick stopped him. "I'm right about your second Mate."

Lucas smiled and shrugged. "Maybe you are. Maybe you know it like I know Bryon will show up someday. He won't leave you alone forever. He'll be back." Lucas gave Riddick a hug, carefully keeping his arm from being crushed, and another kiss.

"I hope you're right, Kid," Riddick said softly, not really believing it. "Goodnight."

"Night, Richard," Lucas said with a grin, laughing when Riddick popped him on the ass as he ducked away.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~




It was a cool, breezy April morning when Lucas stepped aboard the Persephone, dragging along four large suitcases while Jonathan trailed behind, carrying his own burdens.

"Tell me again why we have to lug all this crap with us everywhere we go?" Jonathan grumbled as he hauled two heavy boxes - heavy for even a Vampire - up the ramp and onto the ship. "We drag it to Brazil, and back to Florida, and with us to New Orleans, and back to Florida or Brazil. And we're going to the Galapagos Islands. Why couldn't we just have met the boat on the other side of our own continent?"

"Oh, quit bitching," Lucas said with a chuckle as he kicked open the door to their room and dropped their suitcases on the bed. "I need all that for the work I'm doing. You know that, since you're helping me. And we're here because we have to set everything up and get stuff situated. Now set it down over there in the corner. We'll put it in the lab later, after we've departed."

"Yes, Your Majesty," Jonathan said with a roll of his eyes as he placed the boxes in the corner. "Hey, did you say there was a new guy joining us this trip?"

"Yeah. Clark said his name was Jim something...Jim Brody, I think. He's a former Navy officer or something; got honorably discharged after a head injury. He's an oceanographer now."

"Does he know about our kind?" Jonathan asked. Stepping up behind him, Jonathan wrapped his arms around Lucas' waist and placed a lingering kiss on the smooth pale skin that was offered to him as Lucas tilted his head to the side.

"Clark said he doesn't. Any bets on how long it takes him to figure it out, considering everyone else on board knows?" Lucas moaned as Jonathan's fangs made a gentle scratch along his neck. A soft tongue slid along the scratches, and Lucas' eyes rolled up into his head. "Stop that. We so don't have time to have sex right now. We have to help get ready to get underway."

Chuckling, Jonathan kissed Lucas' neck once more and then let him go. "You win, for now, but tonight your ass is mine."

A wide grin spreading across his face, Lucas turned around and gave his Mate a slow, deep kiss. "Always. Now come on, and I'll let you have your wicked way with me later."

"Good thing we brought the handcuffs," Jonathan said, grinning as loud laughter burst from his Mate.

Lucas shook his head as he headed above deck, knowing Jonathan was only joking. That he could actually take that kind of joke now was an accomplishment in itself, since Lucas knew without a doubt that being tied down would never be a turn-on for him. "There's Lex," he said as they stepped back out into the sunlight and Lucas spotted Lex near the stern, talking to someone he didn't recognize.

As he walked toward them, Lucas noticed a weird feeling bubbling up inside him. Glancing over at his Mate, he noticed the odd look on Jonathan's face. Stopping, he turned to Jonathan. "You feel that?"

"Yeah, I do. I haven't felt like this since I first laid my eyes on you," Jonathan said, eyes widening as the implications of that set in. "You don't think that-"

"Lucas, Jonathan, I'd like you to meet the newest member of Luthor Institute, Jim Brody. Jim, the blond here is Lucas Wolenczak and his partner, Jonathan Ford."

Lucas was the first to break out of the stupor that he and Jonathan had been stunned into the moment they got an up close look at Jim. Holding out his hand, Lucas gave Jim his brightest smile and ignored the seemingly electrical charge that shot through him at the mere touch of their hands. "Hi, Jim. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Jim returned Lucas' wide, open grin with one of his own. If Jim had noticed the electric sensations in that touch, he didn't show it. "You too, Lucas. Clark and Lex have had nothing but nice things about you. I'm looking forward to working with you. And with you, Jonathan," Jim said, turning slightly and taking the hand Jonathan held out, after a slight nudge from Lucas.

"I'm looking forward to it. Maybe you can help me keep this one out of trouble," Jonathan said with a smile as he jerked his head Lucas' direction.

"Hey!" Lucas said, grimacing and glaring at Jonathan. "I'm not that bad." His glare intensified as Jonathan, Lex, and Clark, who had just joined them, all looked at each other and snorted. Lucas rolled his eyes. "Fine, mar my reputation before he even spends five minutes with me. I'm going down to start putting the labs in order. See you later, Jim."

Lucas all but ran down the stairs and headed for his room, and then he proceeded to thud his head repeatedly against the nearest wall. He only stopped when Jonathan placed his hand between his head and the wall. Turning around, Lucas came face to face with Jonathan, Lex, and Clark.

"Want to tell me what that was all about?" Lex asked as he sat down on the edge of the bed.

"I just lost that damn bet with Riddick," Lucas said, leaning into Jonathan, who wrapped his arms around Lucas and embraced him. "Jim Brody is our Mate."

Lex burst into laughter. "You're kidding, right?" Looking at them for a moment, he sighed. "No, you're not. Well, this should be a fun trip."

"So Riddick was right," Clark said with a chuckle. "Guess that means you'll be wearing a tracking device for the rest of eternity."

"Don't remind me," Lucas said, his shoulders slumping slightly. "I'm never gonna hear the end of it."

"Serves you right for betting against him," Clark said, pulling Lex up and tugging him toward the door. "Come on, guys, we've got work to do, and then you and Jonathan can figure out how to get your Mate...who as far as I know, isn't into men and has no idea what we are." Grinning wider at the twin glares on Jonathan and Lucas' faces, he continued, "You know this is huge. Your daddy's gonna be so proud."

"Which one?" Lucas asked, throwing himself on the bed.

"Jack, of course. Probably will go on and on about your virility."

"Oh, God!" Lucas couldn't help but feel horrified, because Clark was right. Jack would probably go into "that's my boy!" mode the moment he found out. He really should call him while they were on the boat. That way, he might be lucky and Jack would get most of it out of his system before they met face to face again. He wouldn't hold his breath though. "Get out so I can wallow in my own self-pity," Lucas said, grabbing his pillow and holding it over his head.

Lex smirked and pushed Clark out the door. "We're leaving in two hours, so don't take too long if you've still got anything to bring aboard. If you don't, feel free to take your time. You'd only get in the way anyway."

"Feeling the love, here!" Lucas called out through the pillow. When the door shut, muffling the laughter of the two who'd just left, he tossed the pillow aside and looked at Jonathan. "Can you believe this?"

"Honestly? Yes. You're the one who always said it didn't seem as if I were the soul you met a century ago. Had to be someone, if it wasn't me," Jonathan said, sitting on the bed, back resting against the headboard. He spread his legs and patted the empty space between them.

Not needing to be asked twice, Lucas crawled over and nestled himself against his Mate, his back pressing against Jonathan's chest and his head tilted slightly so Jonathan's chin could rest on his shoulder. "How are we going to handle this? It's not like we can use the method we went through when we Bonded," Lucas said, snorting as he thought back to their bonding.

Jonathan chuckled. "No, it really doesn't apply to this situation."

"But it sure was fun, even if I completely freaked out afterwards," Lucas said.

"Yeah, they should have told me about that part when they were reminiscing about your love life before you met me." Jonathan sighed. "I could have handled it better."

"You handled it just fine. I wouldn't change it for the world," Lucas said, shifting and reaching his hand back, curling it around the back of Jonathan's head. He brought their mouths together, kissing his Mate slow and deep, tongue slipping inside and caressing Jonathan's. They kissed for several long minutes before he finally pulled away. "Stop worrying about it."

Lucas sighed. "I really don't have any idea what to do about this. You were already turned and used to the idea that your Mate could be male. Then again, you were kinda bi before you were turned, too."

"Well," Jonathan said, "we should just play it by ear. It's not like he's going anywhere, and we should give him the chance to get to know us, and considering there are four Vampires on this ship, he's going to find out about that part of it soon enough. Let's just try to give him a period to adjust before we think about springing the whole Mate thing on him. We don't want to overwhelm him and freak him out."

"True. Let's keep this to ourselves. I don't want him finding out about it because our Chosen couldn't keep from yapping about it." Lucas leaned over and nipped at Jonathan's bottom lip. "I think we may need an adjustment period, too."

Jonathan chuckled and stood up, pulling Lucas up with him. "Just a little. Come on, we've got a lot of work to do. You can call Jack tonight before we go to bed."

Lucas headed toward the door. "Yes, Your Highness," he said, laughing when Jonathan popped him on the ass.



**************


Lucas sighed as he leaned over the guardrail to watch the bow of the ship cut through the water. The need to get away from the lab had been strong, and not something he was used to.

Of course Lex was evil enough to assign Jim to his section. He wasn't entirely sure it was on purpose until he talked to Jim that first day and found out that Lex had changed who he was working with after they'd left port.

Clark was wise to keep Lex away from him these last three days, because Lucas was ready to kill him. What part of "adjustment time" didn't Lex understand, even after Jonathan had specifically told him their plans?

But spending each of the last few days with Jim, Lucas discovered that he genuinely liked him. He was an extrovert with a vibrant, appealing personality. Lucas found it amusing that Jim flirted with both him and Jonathan without even knowing he was doing it. And Lucas knew it wasn't a figment of their imaginations, because Clark and Chloe, who was the only one who knew Jim was their Mate besides Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumbass, had both commented on it.

Even if Jim wasn't their future Mate, Lucas knew they'd be good friends. He and Jonathan got along very well, and Lucas enjoyed sitting back and listening to them talk and banter with each other.

The one thing he didn't like was Jim's willingness to flirt with every female Chosen on the ship. That the women were flirting back was even more annoying. Not that he could blame them necessarily. Jim was easy on the eyes. He had a nice build, but not too muscular, which was good for Lucas because he never had a thing for those bodybuilding types. Riddick's build was about as far as he liked his men to go. Add silky light brown hair, hazel eyes he could get lost in and be ecstatic about it, and that charming and devastating smile, and Lucas was lucky Clark and Lex weren't drooling in his direction.

Okay, maybe he was projecting his idea of Jim just a little. But still…

"Your lab company getting to you?" Through the Bond, Jonathan could feel just how on edge Lucas was, and even though he was worried, he couldn't figure out a way to alleviate the problem. So he just sent out loving, comforting vibes.

"Yeah," Lucas said, leaning back as strong arms wrapped around his waist. "Lex is a dead man when I get him alone."

"He was just trying to help, in his own twisted way," Jonathan said, kissing the side of Lucas' head. "Come on, it's time for dinner. Might as well put in an appearance."

Sighing, Lucas let Jonathan lead him down into the ship and toward the mess hall. A scowl formed on his face as his gaze fixated on the opposite side of the room. There sat Jim, and next to him, practically in his lap, sat Lana Lang. The two had their heads bent close and they were talking, and when Lana reached out and placed her hand on his thigh, fury overcame common sense.

Eyes flashed ice blue and fangs elongated as he snarled and lunged, leaping over the tables until he was next to Jim. Then he reached down and pulled Lana away, shoving her into the nearby support beam. Even in his rage, he was careful not to hurt her. "Back off, Lang! He belongs to me, not you!"

Jonathan, who had been a few steps ahead of Lucas, had felt it the moment that tight wire snapped. The fury that had erupted through the Bond hit him like a wave, and Lucas was gone by the time he'd whirled around to stop him. Following behind as fast as he could, he pulled his Mate away from the frightened woman. "Lucas, stop it! You're scaring her!"

"Jim is my Mate, so back the fuck off!" Lucas snarled at her, though he let her go and allowed Jonathan to pull him back. Glaring around the room, he added, "That goes for all of you, too!"

"Come on, Luc," Jonathan said, keeping his voice low and soothing. "Let's go get some air." He pulled him away from the others, giving Lana a sympathetic smile; he ignored Jim completely. Right now he had one irate Mate on his hands, and that was about all he could handle. He'd worry about Jim later.

*****


"Shit," Clark said as he watched Jonathan drag Lucas out of the room. Everything had happened so fast that neither he nor Lex could even think to intervene. He looked over at Lex. "That's not good."

"No shit, Sherlock," Lex muttered, eyes going back to the doorway. "And I think it's about to get uglier." He jerked his head in the direction he was looking, alerting Clark to Jim, who was stalking out the door with a thunderous glare on his face. "Let's go see if we can keep them all from killing each other."

******

"Calm down," Jonathan said, keeping Lucas wrapped up in his embrace, sending waves of calm through their bond.

"She can't have him. He's mine."

Lucas wasn't yelling, and there was less growling under his breath, though the fangs and eyes hadn't reverted to normal yet, but Jonathan would take what he could get. "I know. He's mine, too, but I don't think that was the way we should have broken the news to him."

"What the fuck was that?!"

Jonathan let out an exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes when Jim's furious half-screeching voice reached his ears. Just what he needed. "Jim-"

"I'm not talking to you. What the fuck was that all about, and what the hell are you?!" Jim asked.

Lucas turned, and Jonathan felt the fury building anew within Lucas as he faced Jim. "I am a Vampire, just like Jonathan and Clark and Lex. And you are our Mate, and I don't appreciate being forced to watch you throwing yourself all over everyone else! I won't have it!"

"You won't have it?" Jim said, the whole Vampire thing seemingly going on the back burner for the time being. Lord, Jonathan knew this wasn't going to end well. "Who the hell do you think you are, telling me what I can and can't do? I don't know what you think you are, but you don't control me. I'm not even gay, so there's no fucking way I'm any kind of Mate to you, you freak of nature."

"Hey!" Jonathan said, feeling the wave of hurt coming from Lucas, and his eyes flashed golden. "Back off, okay? He handled it wrong, I'll admit that, but there's no need to call him that."

"I don't care what you are. Just keep him away from me," Jim said, storming off, shoving past Clark and Lex, who had just made it onto the deck.

"I'll go speak with him," Lex said to Clark, after seeing the devastated look on Lucas' face.

"Oh, God, what did I just do?" Lucas said, reason finally overcoming his emotions. "And poor Lana! Is she okay?"

"I don't think you hurt her," Clark said, coming up to squeeze Lucas' shoulder. "She'll be okay. She's just a little scared."

"He's going to hate me, isn't he?" Lucas said, staring out across the water, his thoughts going to Jim and the words he'd said.

"Why don't you go get some rest, and try to patch things up in the morning?" Clark said. "I'd start with Lana. I think she'll be the easier of the two."

Lucas looked at him with bright eyes and nodded. "I think that would be best. I've done enough damage tonight."

Clark watched, his heart heavy as Jonathan led Lucas toward their room. He hoped things could be smoothed over quickly, for all their sakes.


******

Taking a deep breath, Lucas stepped into the marine botany laboratory and headed toward Lana's station. "Lana, can I talk to you for a minute?"

Lana jumped at the sound of his voice and eyed him warily. "Sure, Lucas. What can I do for you?"

His face heated as he looked down at the floor and then back up at her. "I just wanted to apologize for my behavior last night. I shouldn't have attacked you in that way, and I'm really, really sorry. I would never hurt you, and I know I scared you."

Lana gave him a tremulous smile. "I think my feelings were hurt more than anything. I didn't know, Lucas. You know I never would have flirted with him. I thought it was all harmless fun anyway. If I had known he was your Mate, I never would have-"

Lucas stopped her. "I know you wouldn't have. I was on edge, and I think any little thing would have made me snap last night. You were just the unwitting victim. I hope we can go back to normal, if you can forgive me."

Lana gave him a bright smile and then leaned over to hug him. "Forgiven. Now, Mr. Wolenczak, I do believe we have found a new species of algae."

"Cool!" Lucas said, leaning over to take a look in her microscope, glad that things were so easy to patch up with her.

Jonathan stood in the doorway, smiling at the way the two easily put the events of the night before behind them, not letting it get in the way of a long friendship. Now if only things would be that easy with Jim.


*****

He should have known it wouldn't be that easy.

Weeks later, the agitation thrumming through their Bond led Jonathan to where Lucas was, and he found him pacing along the bow of the ship, running his hands through his hair and muttering to himself. Jonathan sighed and stepped closer.

"Lucas," he said, keeping his voice low and reassuring. "Come on, Lucas…talk to me. What's wrong?"

Lucas turned to stare at him, eyes glittering. "What's right? I apologized for handling the entire situation horribly, I promised to give him the time and space he needed, I've stayed out of his way for weeks, and I didn't even bitch him out when he deleted two weeks worth of my work on the schematics for the submarine Bridger and I are working on…and you can make whatever excuses you want; he did it on purpose, and you know it. And still, he ignores me completely, unless he's required to interact with me for the job…and he goes out of his way to make sure he works with me as little as possible.

"He doesn't even treat you the way he treats me, and he's just as much your Mate as I am! He doesn't look all hostile and angry when he's around you," Lucas said, brushing off Jonathan's hand when he reached for him and turning to stare out into the darkness. "Losing him was bad enough the first time. This just seems worse…he won't even look at me unless he has to."

"You just need to give him some time," Jonathan said, reaching for him again, and this time Lucas didn't push him away, letting Jonathan wrap him in his arms.

"How much time does he need? It's been nearly two months! Jeez, I just told him he was the Mate of two Vampires in a bad way. It's not like I inflicted some kind of torture or fatal disease on him."

"You've never really talked about losing him back then," Jonathan said, kissing the top of Lucas' head, "just that he got trampled and died in your arms. Tell me."

Lucas sighed and closed his eyes. "It was just before what would have been my twenty-first birthday, eternal seventeen-year-old that I am, and I was in the marketplace in Rio. I had purchased some fruits I'd wanted and had them sent to Santuario, and I had just rounded the corner when I heard several screams, and I saw the runaway wagon run this boy down. I was the first to get to him and I knew there was nothing that could be done. He was still alive, but just barely.

"I looked down into the eyes of this young kid, and I just knew. All my life I'd been around people who were Mated and I knew what I would feel when I found mine, and there he was. And he knew it as well, because he said in a voice that sounded strange to my ears that he would be back, and then he breathed his last. I didn't find out until later that he'd been deaf all his life, which was why he couldn't hear the wagon coming. He was only fourteen years old."

Lucas brushed away the tears and sighed. "I've never told anybody this, but at that last moment, right before he died, I realized who that soul was, and I could remember it like it was yesterday. It was the soul of my closest friend, back when I was alive and Liam's brother Patrick. There was this boy, Ernest, who lived close by. He was eleven, the same age as me, and we were inseparable from the moment we could walk, even when he got sick. The last thing I remember of him from that life was sneaking in to see him, even though I wasn't supposed to."

"They sound like good memories," Jonathan murmured into his hair as he held him tighter.

"They are, what I can remember of them. Some come in very vivid flashes, and others are more veiled, but I remember that I loved him very much. Liam mentioned him a couple of times when talking about our lives then. Told me Mum said I was never quite the same after Ernest died." Lucas snorted. "And now he can't stand the sight of me. You know, one of these days, life can find a way to just quit pissing all over me. Any time now would be good."

"He'll come around. And in the meantime, you've always got me."

Lucas turned around in Jonathan's embrace and wrapped his arms around his Mate's neck. "I know, and I thank any and every deity out there listening for it every day. Come on, let's go to bed and forget about all this, at least until the morning."

Jonathan smiled and leaned down for a quick kiss. "I like that idea. I've got some definite plans for you tonight."


*******

Part Two

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