Authors Note: Sorry I haven't updated in a while, it's been a very turbulent year. Our family has gone through quite a few mishaps, the most serious was my grandfather on my dad's side passed away at the beginning of December. I haven't been in the mood, so it's taken me a while, but here is Chapter 4... Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The Carpathian world and all who inhabit it I do not own, however I do own my own characters, so I implore you not to steal them.

Dethyn! A sharp shout sounded in his mind, startling him from his sleep. Where are you man! You better had not gone vampire on me you dolt! Or so help me...

Dethyn groaned as air rushed into his lungs, his heart kicking up. Moving the dirt off himself he sat up, rubbing his forehead. Well if I was a vampire you just gave away your position idiot. He responded with an annoyed hiss.

There you are! His friend shouted in his head, part anger part relief. One minute you're chasing a vampire and the next thing I know you disappear for three days!

Dethyn let out a sigh, he knew he had forgotten something. Blayne must've been worried that he had turned vampire, afraid he would have to hunt him down. Looking down he caught sight of the reason he had forgotten his friend, his lifemate slumbered peacefully beside him. Sorry, just some stuff had came up. What are you up to anyway?

I'm chasing a vampire, He replied. Oddly they have been migrating away from us when we are near instead of hiding, this one is heading towards the Appalachian mountains.

That's not too far from where I am, Dethyn answered him. Is it heading in from the west or east?

West, He supplied for him. It's already lead me past the great lakes and looped back around. It almost seems as if he's searching for something while he flees.

That is odd, Dethyn murmured. Whenever vampires did something new, it never bolded well for the hunters.

Yeah... Wait a minute, is there another of our race near you? His friend Blayne suddenly asked, I sense another near you. Almost as if you were right next to each other.

Dethyn almost laughed, Blayne always had the uncanny ability to feel others of their race. Though he never did figure out how to discern gender. Yes, just so you know I found my lifemate.

Really dude? Blayne spoke in a more modern way because he tended to hang out with humans, for some reason he found them entertaining. That's awesome! You'll have to introduce her to me!

Well about that... He started to inform his friend of who his lifemate was but a sudden distressed note rent the air.

An intake of breath, and the sudden jolt of his lifemate had him jumping. Zane sat up with a shout, eyes wide. "Syn!"

Blayne's sudden mental shout followed not long after, The vampire caught someone! One of or race!

It's my lifemate's brother! Dethyn informed as they both quickly exited the cave and took to the air. Two streams of mist, blending as they joined the mist around them. He knew that Syn wanted to remain known as a male, so he kept her secret.

Who are you talking to? Zane asked mentally, finally sensing that he was conversing with someone else. He made sure to stay on their private link, so the other did not sense his presence in Dethyn's mind.

My friend, he's been tracking the vampire that caught Syn. He answered his lifemate, He's close but still not close enough to get to Syn.

I will race towards this vampire quickly then, Blayne answered. Not aware of the conversation between them, If he is your lifemate's brother I will do all in my power to help him.

Thank you, He replied before turning to his mate. We must hurry, I do not know how long Syn will be able to last against this one. He feels stronger then the ones you're used to fighting.

I know, Zane replied. In these small towns there are barely any powerful vampires, they tend to congregate to larger populations. That's why we watch these two towns, because it's easier on us.

Brother... A weak voice came then, one they immediately recognized. He figured it out, figured out I was female. He got me... I don't think I'm going to make it.

Syn! Zane shouted, Don't you dare give up now! He was on the verge of screaming, his love for his sister greater then anything. They had been together for centuries, shared each other's problems, and kept each other's secrets. He will not let her die.

Syn, Dethyn spoke calmly through their link. Connecting through Zane to connect to Syn, Can you show us what you see? Maybe we'll be able to slow him down, Dethyn replied trying to get her to concentrate. His voice was soft, but contained steel. However she just merely groaned, even at his tone. Come on little sister! Look! You are a warrior are you not!

The words made her head clear slightly, and she focused herself. Dethyn could feel her eyes open, and he saw the vampire that held her.

It was gangly, tall and willowy. It's muscles almost gone, it's skin and clothing rotting off it. His teeth was sharp and yellowed, eyes glowing red in the darkness. It dragged her along by the arms, both of them flying through the air. He could feel her injuries, which was taking a lot of energy out of her. There were large gouges in her side, letting out a lot of blood. Her eyesight wavered, and she was starting to pass out.

Concentrate! Dethyn ordered as he felt her waver, it he wanted to help her she had to keep her eyes focused. At his words she did, staring at the vampire intensely. Concentrating, using her eyes, he sent a rush of flames up the abomination's arms.

The vampire let out an inhuman shriek, dropping her from his hold. She plummeted to the earth, but managed to slow her decent. The vampire chased after her, intent on recapture. However Dethyn had expected that, using her eyes to set up a shield around her.

She landed roughly on the ground, landing on a thick layer of pine needles and dead leaves. She let out a low pained whimper, one obvious in pain.

The vampire beat at the shield, trying to get to her. Worry not sister, Dethyn answered. He will not be able to get to you as long as you stay awake, try to prevent as much blood loss but please remain awake.

Got it, She replied weakly. He could feel her start to pack her wounds, scooping up dirt while keeping her eyes on the monster trying to get to her.

They continued to shoot through the air, flying as fast as possible. They were merely two streaks of mist in the air, both of them advancing towards their fallen sister.

I'm almost there, Blayne responded. But the vampire set many traps for me, I won't be able to make it in time. However I can divert it's attention from you, he insured. All his traps are aimed at me because he didn't sense you.

Good, Dethyn replied. I managed to get Syn out of it's grasp due to the bond between my lifemate and him. He's out of his grasp now, so your presence isn't imperative.

Wait, is your lifemate with you? Blayne asked in shock, the thought of any male letting their lifemate into danger almost unheard of.

Yes, but I'll explain later. You need to concentrate on the traps, and I'm almost upon the vampire. He explained, but he still felt Blayne's unease with the thought of his lifemate going into battle as well.

He was uneasy himself with the thought, but his lifemate was male. He might not be as powerful as him, but he can hold his own against vampires. It still made him uncomfortable, he wanted nothing more then to make Zane stay back at the cave. But knew immediately that it was a bad idea to try.

Dethyn refocused as they came upon the area where the vampire clawed at the shield, and Dethyn was shocked that it didn't sense them.

I shielded us, Zane replied to his confusion. I'm able to hide from almost anyone's presence should I wish it.

Dethyn nodded, before shifting into an owl. Zane headed for his sister, while he was left with the vampire.

He rocketed towards the evil being, taking it off guard. His talons raked large furrows from its back, over it's shoulders and to it's chest.

It let out inhuman scream, immediately retreating away. Dethyn chased it, at the same time sending a message to his lifemate. Take Syn back to the cave, shut down her heart and lungs and put her to ground. I'll destroy this vampire and be back, He ordered.

What about you? He asked, careful not to distract Dethyn much. He was fighting with himself over remaining and protecting his lifemate, and going and saving his sister.

I am a hunter, you are not. Take Syn, otherwise she might not survive the battle. He replied and Zane had to admit he was right.

Very well, Zane said with a pained sigh. But be careful, and should you need help call me. He demanded before lifting his sister, who had already shut her heart and lungs down. With that he streaked away, back towards their cave. The vampire, sensing that his prey was escaping, attacked Zane as he fled.

"No you don't!" Dethyn shouted, moving with prenatural speed. He slashed at the vampire, stopping it's advance upon his lifemate. A large furrow rent the vampire's skin in twain down his right arm, black anxious blood running down to fall to the earth. As it hit the earth it caused the plants around it to shrivel up and die, the dirt turning a sickening black.

"Give me her back!" He hissed in desperation, "I found her and claimed her! She is mine!" He growled, his hands shifting to large talons.

"She is my sister, and she is not yours evil being. I will bring the justice of our people upon you, and release your soul from it's dark trappings." Dethyn murmured, which made the vampire hiss.

With a snarl the vampire attacked, wicked long nails arching towards him. He sidestepped, and brought his own hand down. Leaving a large mark down the vampire's other arm.

He let out a howl, before growling. Suddenly he begun to shape shift, his form melting into that of a wolf. Dethyn watched closely, looking for an opening. As soon as he saw it he attacked, just as the vampire became a wolf.

However the vampire had been expecting it and he felt teeth dig into his throat, a rabid wolf corrupted by the vampire's blood had been laying in wait.

He managed to fight the wolf off, sending it flying across the clearing. He felt bad for hurting another living creature, but it was rabid. The vampire blood tainted it, the only way to save it would be to put it down.

A storm was rolling in, an obvious helping hand from Blayne. I'm almost there, He replied. Hold him just a little longer, it'll be easier to fight him two on one.

Very well, but you might want to hurry. Dethyn said with a quiet intensity, Otherwise you might miss all the action.

He felt his friend fall quiet, confused on his sudden mood. But he wouldn't understand the anger coursing through his veins at the monster that had hurt his new sister.

Using the storm he called in the lighting, eradicating the tainted wolf first. Next he directed it at the vampire, who managed to dodge. The vampire in it's wolf form easily danced out of the way, trying to find a way to fight the hunter without attacking physically. He was no match for the hunter, and he knew it.

Suddenly Dethyn blurred out of existence, his body moving too fast to see. And the vampire shrieked as a hand was imbedded in his chest, clawing and biting at the form that held his heart in his hands.

Dethyn drew back, taking the vampire's still beating heart with him. He then tossed it away, to the other side of the clearing. The vampire in desperation chased after it, clawing to return it to it's chest.

Just as he would've reached it however a bolt of lighting erupted from the sky, and incinerated the heart. The vampire let out another screech, before the flames leapt from his heart to his body. Burning him as he screamed and writhed on the ground, until there was nothing left but a smoldering pile of ashes. He then directed the fire to the wolf that he had killed, before cleansing the battlefield. After all traces of the evil was gone he turned, just in time to see Blayne land.

"Well Hell," Blayne said as he surveyed the land. "I missed out on all the fun," Dethyn just snorted at the comment. Blayne was tall, just slightly shorter then he. His eyes were black and deceitfully carefree. His hair was black as night and long, held out of his face by a leather string.

"It's not my fault you took so long," Dethyn replied as reached up to survey the damage to his throat. The wolf had gotten him good, "I just had to finish without you."

"You are injured," Blayne commented and moved forward. He reached for Dethyn, intent on healing his friend using his saliva.

However Dethyn felt uncomfortable with the thought, something inside him cringing at the prospect of the other male touching him. He held up a hand to fend his friend off, and he merely packed the wound with his own saliva and dirt.

Blayne stared at him in confusion, it had been the first time that Dethyn had refused his aid. Maybe it had something to do with his lifemate?

"Were is your lifemate's brother?" Blayne asked in curiosity, "I'm sure you got to him in time am I correct?"

"Yes, my lifemate took him back to our lair." He replied and Blayne nodded. "I should return so I can help heal him."

"Yeah, I want to meet your lifemate." Blayne said with a cheeky smile, "I want to meet the female that managed to tame you."

Dethyn merely smiled in response, "Oh I think you'll be quite surprised." And with that he transformed into an owl, followed by Blayne. They both took off into the night, their forms becoming lost in the darkness.

Blayne followed after Dethyn quietly, trying to figure out what was so amusing. He heard his friend's laughter in his mind, so he was sure Dethyn was talking to his lifemate. The only question? What was so funny?

They were streaking across the sky, both of them dark against the starry sky. They were heading towards a forested area near a large city, one he recognized as Cincinnati. He had visited this city briefly about a century ago while chasing a vampire.

Dethyn suddenly descended, drawing Blayne from his thoughts. He followed, knowing what Dethyn was doing. They cloaked their figures before landing in front of a twenty four hour gas stop, one that was surrounded by the edge of the forests that surrounded Cincinnati.

They stood silently, waiting until a dazed cashier walked out. He was a little older then a teenager, blue eyes glazed over from the compulsion that drew him out.

Dethyn reached for him and begun to feed, probably to feed his lifemate's brother. Blayne watched as he drank quickly, only taking what he needed. closing the wound he made sure the human was okay, before stepping back. After that he sent the man back in with a compulsion, wiping his mind free of the ordeal.

"Do you need to feed?" Dethyn asked him, his green eyes intent. "There is another human near by if you need to."

"No, I feed before chasing the vampire this rising. I drank enough to last me till tomorrow at least, so lets head back. I know how much you want to see your lifemate." Blayne said and Dethyn nodded.

With that they took to the sky again, shifting into owls once again to fly. Once again flying over the outskirts of the city until they entered the forests.

Eventually they happened upon a large clearing, one that was next to a cave opening. Dethyn suddenly shifted and fell, letting gravity take him to the ground. He followed after, landing on two booted feet just as he hit the ground. Dethyn was already standing to the side, a slightly amused expression on his face.

"I must warn you about my lifemate," Dethyn replied as he turned to him. "Lets just say you'll probably be surprised but try not to say anything too outrageous... Or hurtful."

"Hey, this is your lifemate we're talking about!" Blayne said with a smile, "I'll accept her no matter what! So don't worry about it!"

Dethyn just shook his head, and walked towards the cave entrance, there he undid the safeguards around the opening. Something that was slightly shocking to Blayne, females usually didn't use safeguards... At least not the complex ones that were covering the entrance, only the older females of their race did so.

They entered the cave, following the winding trail that lead deeper into the earth. Eventually they came upon a large chamber, and there in the far corner was a crouched form. Hands smoothing over the dirt, where he felt another of their race resting. He studied the figure, long white-sliver hair flowing, and a lithe but muscular form.

"I'm back," Dethyn replied with a smile and walked over to the form. "Come meet my friend Blayne, I want to introduce you."

The form stood up and turned, and Blayne had to keep his jaw from dropping. It was a male, a short thin male but still a male. Dethyn looped his arm over his shoulders, pulling the smaller form against his own larger one.

"You're injured." The shorter male whispered urgently, fingers ghosting over the red marks on his throat. "Why didn't you tell me, I would've came to help."

"Calm down," Dethyn replied and rubbed his shoulder gently. "It's almost healed, and it isn't anything I can't handle."

"But you should have told me," The smaller male replied with a chiding tone. "How am I suppose to help you if you don't tell me you're hurt."

"Then you would've worried needlessly," Dethyn replied with a smile. "You had Syn to worry about, I didn't want to distract you."

"Syn is sleeping peacefully in the arms of the earth," He replied with a slight growl. "He would've understood if you needed help, Syn'll probably be as upset as I am over this."

Blayne watched the interaction with interest, surprised to see Dethyn trying to comfort the obviously distraught male. He never seen his friend so happy, he could feel Dethyn's emotions clear from here. They were lifemates, no matter if they were both males.

Eventually the conversation ended and they focused on him. "Blayne," Dethyn started with a smile that told him his reaction wasn't lost on him. "This is Zane, my lifemate. Zane I'd like you to meet Blayne, he's been my friend since we were fledglings."

Dethyn then gave him a look that warned him to watch what he says, a look that could melt steel if he said the wrong thing. Blayne swallowed and looked at Zane again, and saw fear and panic. It was hidden under detached interest but it was still lurking in his icy blue eyes, and Blayne understood.

Zane was afraid of being hated, of being the object of ridicule and disgust. That's why Dethyn was vague about his lifemate, he wanted to protect him from what others would think of them.

"Well Dethyn," Blayne started with a smile as wide as the pacific. "I always knew you were special, but this takes the cake." He said, before moving over to extend his hand to Zane. "It's nice to meet you Zane, I'm happy Dethyn found you when he did." He said shaking the reluctant hand that met his. "If he gets too annoying for ya I can knock his head around for you."

Zane stared at him like he was crazy but at least he wasn't apprehensive anymore, "Thank you... I guess." He replied and Blayne gave him a mock salute.

"So tell me my new little brother," Blayne asked as he leaned back against a wall. He was intent on showing the smaller male that he accepted his and Dethyn's bond, to show he was comfortable with the idea. Dethyn was like a brother to him, and he would protect him and anyone he cared about with his own life. "How did you find Dethyn here?"

"Well it's more like he found me," Zane replied with a slight shrug. He was still slightly suspicious of him and his behavior but Blayne could tell he was warming up to him.

"Yeah, that vampire I was chasing the other day almost killed him." Dethyn finally spoke up as he shifted, he had been quiet while he watched the interaction between his lifemate and his best friend. "I managed to heal him with the small amount of healing my sister taught me before she died."

"You didn't tell me about a sister, or that she died." Zane stated while looking up at Dethyn, a slight look of confusion in his eyes.

"We only became lifemates yesterday, don't worry, in time you'll know everything about me... Even the stuff I don't want you to know." Dethyn replied, "You are still uncomfortable with our bond and I said I'll go slow."

"Yeah but," Zane started a little weakly. "I should be able to at least accept enough that I'll be comfortable in your mind," He then let out a slight growl while burying his head in his hands. "I'm such a coward."

"No you're not," Dethyn said sternly. He grabbed Zane's wrists and pulled them from his face, looking him straight in the eye. "You are not a coward," He said with a touch of a growl. "You have had so much hoisted upon you at once, anyone in your place would feel just as apprehensive as you. So never think you're a coward."

"But you accepted it so fast," He replied looking up at him with troubled blue eyes. "Why can't I just be as trusting as you?"

"Well that might be my fault." Blayne finally replied, reminding them of his presence. He had been leaning against the wall, watching them with interest. "I tend to spend time with humans a lot," He started with a shrug. "For some reason I just find them so entertaining, and so every now and then I'll go into towns and cities to mingle with them. Dethyn would accompany me sometimes, after blackmailing of course."

"And yet again I say Blayne you are least Carpathian like, Carpathian I've ever seen." Dethyn said dryly. "Sometimes I wonder if you're a human masquerading as one of us." Blayne just smirked at him, and Dethyn shook his head.

"Well there are some human males that prefer the company of other males, and we have already witnessed this. So it makes it easier for us to accept it because we've already seen it." Blayne explained to the flabbergasted Zane, "However the older males of our race who stay away from humans might not be as accepting. However no matter what I'll support you and Blayne," He said with a thumbs up.

"Thank you," Zane said quietly. Blayne could tell how much it meant to the shorter male, he was glad that his friend's lifemate liked him. He was practically his brother now, and he wanted Zane to accept him just as much as Dethyn does.

"How bad were Syn's wounds?" Dethyn asked his lifemate after a long pause. "Does he still need healing?"

"Yeah, the wounds are closed but there is still damage." Zane remarked and Dethyn nodded, "He's going to need healing or otherwise it's going to take days in the earth to repair the damage."

"Very well," Dethyn replied as he approached the resting place of Syn. "I'll heal Syn, and you can provide him with blood."

Moving the dirt away Blayne came closer to watch, to see the male that they had saved. As the dirt was removed a form became visible, and he felt his breath catch. He froze, his entire body going still. He was vaguely aware of Dethyn and Zane talking but he couldn't register it.

The world slowed around him, time seeming to go by slowly. There was a ringing in his ears, overpowering the sounds around him.

"I have to go," He spoke suddenly in a tone that was faint. Dethyn looked at him curiously, his expression confused. "There was something I forgot to do," He replied as he backed up slowly. He walked as if he was backing down from an enemy stronger then him.

He then promptly dissolved into mist, and streamed out of the cave. Zane and Dethyn both looked at each other in confusion, both surprised at Blayne's sudden behavior. Wondering what could've spooked him.