Too lost in his own misery, Breeze hardly noticed being taken to an aircraft. If it hadn’t been for being in Noble’s strong arms, he wasn’t sure he would have known he was no longer in his bed. But his mate’s scent of wide open spaces and fresh dug-up earth had him burrowing his nose into Noble’s neck.
He didn’t know where they were going and he didn’t care. All he wanted was to drown in his despair. Just thinking about those scars had him shuddering in horror. How was he supposed to look at himself in the mirror? How was his mate ever going to want to touch him?
And that, right there, was the hardest of all the truths he had to face. He wasn’t fit to be someone’s mate. Noble was never going to want him and Breeze couldn’t even blame the man. Yet fate didn’t play fair. Walking away from one’s mate wasn’t possible, at least no one Breeze had ever known had been able to do it.
It left Noble with no other choice than to stay by Breeze’s side, even if he was repulsed by what he saw. Breeze just wasn’t sure if he could live with that. A part of him wished he’d died, then he wouldn’t have to watch as Noble pretended to want Breeze around, when he was nothing more than a burden—a gross, hideous burden.
Drowning in his morose thoughts, Breeze didn’t notice Noble hadn’t let him out of his arms, or the flight they’d just taken, or being carried once more. He didn’t see the charming log house, or the thousands of acres of farmland, or even the animals that seemed to crowd the fence line as they greeted their master.
It wasn’t until he was being lowered to a mattress that he realized Noble was putting him down. Most likely sick of holding a freak. Breeze tried not to whimper at the loss of his mate’s warmth, but he just couldn’t hold it back.
“Shh, darling. Everything will be okay.” Noble’s hand stroked the top of his head, which had miraculously come out unscathed from the blast. “I just need to help unload all the supplies and then I’ll be right back to check on you.” A soft blanket was draped over his body, helping to warm the chill he’d gotten when Noble had put him down.
A soft kiss was pressed against his lips. “I’ll just be a few minutes, darling.” Then Noble was gone.
Breeze didn’t know where his mate was going, and he didn’t care. All he knew was this was to be his life. His own mate making up excuses to leave his side. He might as well get used to it.
Looking around, his eyes took in the dark greens and browns that decorated the large room. The soothing tones were in direct contrast to the brightly colored blue-and-white room he’d been in before. For the life of him, Breeze couldn’t imagine why he’d been moved.
A beautiful hard-carved dresser stood along the wall opposite the bed. The bed itself was large, much larger than anything Breeze had ever seen before. It must have been specially made to be this big.
The headboard had an intricately carved scene of animals frolicking in the tall grasses of a prairie. The slight bend to the grass gave the feel of a gentle breeze blowing. And in the middle, looking stoic and content, was a bison happily watching over the land.
It was so real, Breeze couldn’t help but reach out and trace each groove with his fingers. There was just something so peaceful about the scene that made Breeze long to experience it.
“When I carved that I never understood why I felt the need to add a breeze to the scene.” Noble’s deep, husky voice sent a shiver through Breeze. His mate stood in the doorway with a wistful smile on his face as he looked at the headboard.
Then those dark brown eyes turned on him with lust blazing in their depths, knocking the air out of Breeze’s lungs. “I guess even back then, I knew how important a good Breeze would be to my life.”
No matter how hard Breeze tried, he couldn’t get air into his lungs, not with the way Noble was staring at him. It was like the animal within Noble thought him a tasty treat. With his scars, it wasn’t something Breeze had expected. Not sure how to feel when he knew he was ugly, Breeze couldn’t deny the pleasure that filled him at being desired.
He just wished it was because of him and not the mating bond.