Chapter 16

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Leo went to sleep that night feeling like he had a sliver of control over the future and getting Angel out of his hell of a prison. His dream walk with Alpha Murphy had settled his mind as to whether he had to set Angel free alone or not. And his talk with Aidan had given him priceless information that would get his mate free very soon.

He was so happy that he wasn't even surprised to find that, the moment he fell asleep, he woke up lying on the floor of Angel's cell.

Hello love. Angel's voice spoke inside his head, stronger than the last time and full of joy.

Leo turned and returned the warm smile his mate wore for him.

I hoped you would come tonight. His mate confessed, moving across until he could snuggle up next to Leo's body.

Fingers brushed his and gripped his hand. He was filled with a heart-warming joy. He felt like crying, even though he knew there was no reason for it. Angel was his mate, it shouldn't have brought him to tears to hear that he'd been missed or to have his hand held. He was rendered speechless.

Little lion, there is something you have to know.

Leo was confused by those words and for a long time he just stared at his mate, trying to fathom their meaning until Angel moved.

I know you are scared. That you grieve for me and you fear for my safety even once I am free, but you do not have to worry. I am safe. I am whole. Angel promised, in a whisper.

Leo wasn't sure what it was exactly he was trying to say.

Angel leaned over him and brushed a strand of hair from his forehead. Before he had time to think or analyze what was happening, Angel leaned in and kissed him. It was their first kiss together and, even if it was his first kiss with another guy, Leo found himself responding instantly. There was a sizzling connection tingling on his lips as his mate kissed his bottom lip teasingly.

He smiled and wound his fingers in Angel's hair, holding him close as they each reveled in the contact. He was lost in the dream, his eyes closed, even as Angel ran his tongue over his lips asking for access to his mouth. He reacted automatically, with his emotions, opening his mouth and kissing back for all he was worth. Their tongues stroked and toyed with each other playfully, exploring as the kiss deepened. Until Leo's eyes shot open and he gently pushed Angel away.

Laughter rang out inside his head and he could only stare.

Not that I am going to complain, but it took you a very long time. Angel teased, before kissing his lips lightly and lying back down with his head on Leo's shoulder. He was so stunned that he couldn't even put a sensible thought together. But he didn't have to, Angel understood. I saw your nightmare and I have often witnessed the thought passing through your mind. As if you were afraid to let me see it. I understand now why you were so sick that I had to comfort you. But you do not have to fear for me. He smiled, fondly, as if he was adorable.

I thought...I thought we'd never have this. Leo confessed to his thoughts, now that he knew they were stupid and based on presumption and not fact. No one had ever confirmed the theory that the tongue was from Angel. He felt so relieved. So happy that his mate hadn't suffered that torture. That we'd never get to kiss like that or that we'd never get to talk to each other with our voices. I was okay with that. He promised Angel that it wouldn't have mattered to him either way. All he cared about was how much his mate had been hurt.

I know. And that is why I did not tell you the truth sooner. You were struggling to come to terms with our future, but I knew it must be done. I wanted you to know. Angel explained honestly, moving his hand under the t-shirt Leo wore, so that he could brush his fingertips against his skin.

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