Masquerade (The Angel Pack #13)(5)

By: Maggie Walsh

Storm gave Aaron a sad smile as tears formed in his eyes. “What is it, Storm? What did I say?” Aaron asked quickly in a panic from seeing Storm’s reaction.

“You didn’t say anything wrong, brother. On the contrary, you said everything right. I’m just upset that I never saw it before. Even though back in Napa you were gruffer when you said it, you still said what you did now. That the pride and our people should come first. You always did put them first, and you still are. Thank you, Aaron, but what about you?” Storm asked around the lump in his throat.

“I’ll be fine. Like I said, Dante’s new house is close to being ready for them to move in. And I promise that I’ll try to go back to being with my family more and isolating myself less. I can’t control Seth, but I can control me, and I shouldn’t let his presence disrupt my life. Plus, I know my family has my back. They won’t let Seth hurt me. Even if it’s just my feelings.”

“I still think it sucks,” Storm grumbled.

Aaron gave him a big smile as he laughed. “Yeah, it does, but we’ll get through this, too. I really do appreciate you talking to me about this, though, and taking my feelings into consideration. Thank you, big brother.”

Just then a knock came to the door, and Storm called for them to come in. Ann entered carrying a tray laden with sandwiches, fruit, and snacks, as well as a few bottles of water and some beers. She placed the tray on the table before them, accepting their thanks, then left them alone once again.

“Wow, this is some spread. Aren’t you going to eat dinner with your family?” Aaron asked.

“Of course, but we won’t be eating for at least another three hours. I’ll just have a little snack, but I want you to eat, Aaron. I know you. You’ve been working your ass off, and when you do that, you forget to eat. So, chow down,” Storm ordered nicely.

Aaron looked at him shyly. “You’re right again. I’ve been at the clinic since before sunrise, and I haven’t had a thing to eat all day. I’m famished.” Aaron reached out, grabbed a triangle from a ham sandwich, and took a big bite, then grabbed a bottle of water, opened it, and took a big drink.

After Aaron polished off two sandwiches, an apple, and three bottles of water, he sat back and rubbed his full belly. “Damn, that was good.”

Storm smiled, but the smile dropped from his face when he thought about what he was about to tell Aaron. The main reason he’d called his brother here. The time had come.

“What is it, Storm? I can see it in your eyes that you have something else to talk to me about. Something that’s causing you more stress than the Seth situation,” Aaron guessed.

Storm cleared his throat and swallowed hard, then met Aaron’s gaze. “I got a call from Dad.”

Aaron sat forward quickly as his brows rose and his eyes widened. “Are they okay?”

Storm saw the shock and concern on Aaron’s face, but he also saw the hesitancy in his eyes. “Yeah, they’re all okay. They’re in Russia right now, but they’ll be coming back to America soon. Actually…they…want to…come…here.”

“I’m sure they do,” Aaron mumbled in annoyance and sat back.

“Papa says they want to finally meet their grandchildren,” Storm explained.

“You spoke to both of them then?”

“Yeah. And Mother. She said she has gifts for the children,” Storm added and looked away.

“And from the look on your face, I’m guessing they have a little something for you and your mates, as well. But of course, they didn’t even think about my mates,” Aaron surmised angrily.

Storm looked back to Aaron and met his gaze. The look of anger and hurt in his brother’s eyes killed him. Damn his parents for always doing this kind of shit to Aaron. “Actually, they didn’t say.”

“So why are they coming back all of a sudden? Let me guess, just for the babies? Not like both their sons finding their mates, one moving across the country, and the other almost getting ripped apart by rogues would make them cut their world trip short. Why would that make them give up the high life of hobnobbing with the goober smoochers? How long does it take to travel the world anyway? They’ve been gone for what, six years now?” Aaron bitched.