Chapter 1

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(Picture of Topaz)

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(Picture of Topaz)

Raul Desoto was staring blankly out the kitchen window, his mind in a turmoil. His mind was heavy, his body was weak, and he needed to talk to his son about it. The slamming of the front door had him turning.

"Dad? Where are you?" Carlito called out.

"In the kitchen son," Raul answered, moving to sit down at the kitchen table.

"What'cha need dad? You said come straight home, but the guys want me to go play some basketball with them," Carlito said as he walked in the door.

Propping an elbow on the table, Raul tiredly scrubbed his hand over his face. Then he watched Carlito grab a soda out of the fridge.

"Sit down son, we need to talk."

Carlito stiffened slightly, giving his dad a look before sitting down. "That serious?"

Taking a deep breath, Raul said, "You're eighteen now, and will most likely meet your soulmate soon."

Raul watched Carlito grin.

"I felt her at school today, for just a moment. I'm hoping to find her soon."

Raul gave another tired sigh as he rubbed his eyes. He then said, "That's wonderful Carlito."

It had been five years since his mate had died, and yet his wolf still cried out for her. Now that Carlito was eighteen, all Raul's wolf wanted was to be with his mate once more. That was why Raul was more and more tired these days. His wolf was slowly leaving him as he became almost comatose.

Raul didn't want to have this conversation with his son, but, the truth was he was lonely. Carlito was always busy with school, friends, work and sports. He knew he probably didn't have long to live before his wolf gave up completely, but he had decided that he wouldn't mind a bit of companionship until then. He didn't want Carlito to feel obligated to spend every moment by his side after just finding his mate.

"Tell me what's wrong dad. I know you've been out of it lately, and always seem tired." Carlito said, staring at Raul intently.

Raul wasn't ready to tell Carlito everything yet, so he started with, "Son, with you turning eighteen, I know you'll be going and doing your own things even more than you do now. Your mama's been gone for five years now. If it hadn't been for raising you, I would have gone crazy or died long ago, but I had you to raise."

"What are you saying dad?"

"I'm saying...I'm lonely. You have your own life and I have none. I get up, I cook for us, I go to work. Then, I come home, usually to an empty house, eat alone, and go to bed."

"I'm sorry dad. I'll try to stay home more!" Carlito exclaimed jerking up in his chair.

Raul shook his head. "No son. You are still young, you have your own life, and soon you'll have a mate."

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