13. Bloody Maws and Tender Paws

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Waking up once more in the arms of the Jinni, Adam smiled and would keep still. As his (secret) favourite way to come to, he wanted to milk it for all its worth. He blinked up to the lax features of the 'gang boss' and wondered how this man acted around the others. He'd been nothing but gentle to Adam, but Adam knew from experience that there were so many facets of a person that you could never truly know each and every one.

Vitesh proved to be a loving brother, a kind and patient friend. Perhaps employer? Labels always confused Adam. Vitesh must have a dark side like everyone else and the wild part of Adam was curious to get to know that part of the Jinni. Vitesh didn't just let anyone into his home and bottle. A Jinni guarded their secrets like a dragon would their hoard. They defended their territory (AKA their bottles and the space within) and showed they could be as lethal as a mother serpent guarding her clutch.

"You're staring," Vitesh rasped, cracking an eyelid open and grinning. "Good morning, Adam. Have a nice sleep?"

'Why do I trust you so much?' Adam asked instead, lips chapped as he ran his tongue along them. 'You smell strange, familiar.'

'There's some things even I don't understand. However for this I am grateful,' He replied, voice smoother in Adam's head. It sounded relieved. 'I am Jinn, yes, but we have little quirks. The first of which is that we may grant wishes, with loopholes of we are so inclined. The second is that while we may have a master, there is a piece of us that will never truly be subservient. Instead, we have that piece reserved. That piece is linked through infinitesimal shifts of magic to a specific person. Like Mates to the shifters and weres, or Soul mate to the mortals.'

Adam may be many things, but never slow on the uptake when it came to facts.

Vitesh closed his eyes, taking a deep breath in through his nose. 'You're thinking of it. I know you're brilliant, and you can feel it too. It's something I had been meaning to tell you since you were under my desk. With your wolf suppressed, I wasn't sure how in tune you were with your senses.'

Adam grimaced because why would a man like Vitesh, an influential god-like man, ever want anything to do with Adam? At best, weak, pathetic, a curse on anyone who aligned themselves with him would be used to describe him. With Walt and Verun, their lives had been put in danger by his existence.

Warm hands cupped his face and the wolf blinked up to earnest eyes. 'You're wrong. You don't see yourself the way we do,' He whispered in his mind, sounding pained. "Never doubt me. I will take however much time you need for me to help accept that you deserve happiness. Understand, Adam?"

'I thought... I'd be rejected,' Adam grimaced. 'I can't even speak properly to you, let alone function autonomously as much as I try to.'

"That's utter rubbish!" Vitesh quickly amended before he could curse. "Have you been thinking this for a long time? The rejection?"

'I expected it. Abel said he'd kill my mate if they rejected me when I'd confided in him what I feared. But Abel can live without one so all those pack that said I'd die if rejected were wrong,' Adam smiled a little. 'How can you be sure?'

"The first indication was our mind link. It was ridiculously easy for you to slip through my mental defences and only two kinds of people can do that with a Jinni, their Chosen and a Chaotic Order. I didn't predict how easy it would be for you to get into my mind and stay there," Vitesh chuckled, brushing his fingers along Adam's cheek and cupping the budding stubble along Adam's jaw. "I have never lied to you and I will not start now. The moment you said my mother visited you all those years, I was sure. As we Jinni are all so closely related through aura and soul rather than blood, we share bonds that are generally more... solid than most."

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