A/N: I know those of you who have me on author alert are probably scratching your head over this random story, but it's something that was in my head one day after Rachel Vincent's Shifters took over my life for a week and a half, and Marc, the sexiest werecat on the planet, was talking to me.

Thanks Jess, for not only pimping me the best books without FAIL, but for being my beta frequently, and being my friend. See you in Vegas in October! VEGAS BABY!

If you haven't read the Shifters series by Rachel Vincent (WHO OWNS THESE CHARACTERS BY THE WAY), please don't bother reading this yet. It will spoil the hell out of an awesome series that you should read first!

Okay...commence worlds longest authors note.

Told from Marc's POV

Vic used to ask me why I put up with it. Why, after our volatile two years together—when Faythe Sanders had been a rebellious, erratic, if not passionate teen—leading up to my abandonment at the alter, to our more recent reunion turned break-up, turned reunion, turned her cheating…why I still loved her. Why I always gave her another chance. Why I still trusted her with my heart. Even now, when I feel a piece of her heart slipping away…to another man.

"You know I love her man, you know I do," Vic had said one night when we were driving back to the ranch after a scouting mission for a stray we'd never found. "She's the closest thing I have to a sister now. But why do you do it? How do you do it? Don't your balls ever hurt in that vice?"

That was Vic. He'd say anything he was thinking, and I loved him for it. But I didn't have the answer to his question. I didn't think there was an answer to his question.

Can anyone ever really explain why we love who we love? The way we love? Even when transgressions nearly end you?

When I thought my heart couldn't take another blow…another one came. It wasn't as if I'd witnessed the act. I hadn't actually seen their sweaty torsos connected in the most intimate way two bodies can be connected. But I had been forced to trudge up the memory of a night last year—after I'd dragged Faythe home from college on Greg's orders—when I pulled Jace off of her as he held her pinned beneath him on her own bed…apparently not against her will. Her tousled black hair and swollen lips were an image I thought I'd wiped clean from my memory…until now.

All I really had to do now, was think about that night. Then picture them naked. Fuck.

Why Faythe?

They'd done much, much more now. Crossed the most basic line of monogamy and commitment. Of trust. And yet, I still loved her. Still wanted her. I probably should have murdered Jace when I'd had the chance that first night, rather than just violently beat him. My heart wouldn't be hurting this bad now.

But that would only have hurt her. And as many times as she'd ripped out my still beating heart—whether she'd meant to or not—I'd sooner die than put her through unnecessary grief. Losing Ethan had been bad enough. I never wanted her to feel that pain again. And as much as it made me cringe to say it…if she lost Jace, at my hands, her many transgressions would be moot. She would hate me. And I couldn't live with that.

I held no illusion that she would feel loss again. We all would…and probably sooner than later. Things had changed drastically in recent months in the south central Pride. I was technically in exile still. But to anyone that mattered to me—Greg, my Alpha, and the rest of my Pride—I was at least still a part of them. And, we were readying for war. A war that I had little doubt would be bloody, and brutal. Deadly.

So back to Vic's question that night in the car. Why did I continue to forget and forgive? Because; simply, she's Faythe.

She's the first thing I remember seeing after waking up a new werecat. She was the most beautiful thing then…and she remains so to this day. Truth is, she's held my heart in her hands since that very day more than fifteen years ago. The day we locked eyes for the first time, having no idea how drastically our fates had just been altered.

It always comes down to Faythe. And it always will. I might have lost my humanity the same night I lost my mother, but I hadn't lost my heart. It was hers. And it always would be. No matter who she chose in the end.

"I don't know man." I replied, listening to the road as Vic drove on through the warm Texas night. "I don't know…"

I'd never know why it always came down to Faythe…it just did.

That was for you Jess! *muwah*