Barbarian Mates, New Beginnings
Publishing and Designs
What do you do if your mate can't remember you?
Shannon Bennett is heartbroken. She’s used to being invisible, but when she meets Corbett, she knows she’s finally found the one person who truly sees her.
Corbett Grayson is a powerful enforcer for Dante DeForest’s pack. During the pack’s enslavement at the mining facility on Abidem, he was repeatedly punished with silver-tipped weapons while protecting his pack mates. That silver has infected his brain.
When Shannon is within his arms, her scent tells him that she’s his. Her kindness and gentle heart are his home. He loves her and is determined to have a future and a family with her.
But, he forgets her when he isn’t with her. He doesn’t realize that each time he doesn’t recognize her as his mate, he hurts her.Shannon needs Corbett to remember her and the love that they share. Until he does, she will keep her secret.
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The white magic around Corbett wavered slightly before it strengthened and the wolf shifted into his human form. He gripped the back of his neck and squeezed it firmly. Shannon knew that he had to be experiencing another headache. She reached out and took his hand in hers, tugging on it lightly and leading them away from the open hatchway.
Corbett followed silently, sitting in the chair beside her lab station once they entered the medical bay. Her presence calmed him and truly helped to ease his headache, but the blinding pain never really went away.
“How bad is your headache on a scale from one to ten?” she asked him.
“It’s about a two,” he told her.
She looked at him warily. His light brown hair fell over his forehead in a disheveled mess, and his blue eyes were clouded with pain. There was no way that she believed that his pain level was a two. Twenty-two was more like it. Stubborn man.
She opened the small case on the top of her lab table and removed the chain she had finally finished making for him. She knew he was watching her and couldn’t help but smile sadly. She knew he didn’t recognize her.
“I made this for you,” she told him.
“What is it?”
His blue eyes were focused and alert as he looked at the black chain that she was holding. He didn’t understand why she would make him something like that. A wolf never wore anything that would contain or control him.
“I used Trevan metal to make this chain,” Shannon explained. “The metal is often used to help patients who have been exposed to toxins. When placed against the skin, it draws the poisons out and prevents further infection from those toxins.”
She leaned forward, slipped the linked chain over Corbett’s head, and settled it comfortably around his neck. She tucked it beneath his black shirt in order to make sure that it was touching his skin. She was relieved that it was long enough so that it hung comfortably around his neck. She had purposely made it longer so that it would fit him when he shifted into his wolf form, as well.
“I believe that this will help draw the silver from your body. Please wear it at all times,” she told him gently. “Are you able to keep the chain on when you’re in your wolf form?”
“I am,” he answered as he touched the chain and tugged on it lightly.
He wanted to make sure it was strong enough to remain intact when he shifted. When he felt the strength of the chain, he smiled and nodded. It was then that he saw the exhaustion on Shannon’s face.
“Are you ill?” he asked, concerned.
“I’m just tired. Please shift so I can see if the chain is comfortable when you’re wolf.”
Corbett did as she asked, shifting quickly and resting his head upon her lap. He closed his eyes and chuffed lightly as he felt the familiar touch of the kind woman as she petted him and checked the chain.
“It’s fine,” Shannon whispered, standing up and walking toward the open doorway. “You can return to Dante and the rest of your family. The Trevan metal will start working immediately, but you need to be in human form so it’s touching your skin. I don’t know if it will work if it touches your pelt. If you’re still experiencing headaches after tomorrow, come back to me, and I’ll do my best to think of another remedy that might work.”
She left then, leaving him alone in the medical bay. He chuffed softly as sadness overcame him. He struggled to concentrate, but found that he was unable to remember what he desperately wanted to remember.
His wolf whined, urging him forward to follow the woman. The incredible scent of her tugged at his memory, giving him an intense flash of her importance to him. That extraordinary woman was his mate.
The warmth of that realization filled him. In quick succession, flashes of moments with her filled his mind. He saw her caring for him, speaking with him, and loving him. He even saw the flash of the waterfall where they often met to share moments and play with their children.
Shannon? he called to her, needing her to be with him.
Please come back.
Within moments, the doors to the medical bay slid open, and his beautiful mate was standing there before him. He called upon his magic and shifted, walking to her with purpose and gathering her within his arms.
“Hello, sweetheart,” he whispered, smiling down at her.
“Hello,” she said quietly, her blue eyes sparkling with happiness as she looked up at him.
“I remember,” he told her.
“I’m so glad.”
“Shannon,” he said suddenly, leaning in and pressing his face against her neck, breathing in deeply.
She laughed as she wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him. She loved it when he nuzzled into her neck. She never knew she had a hot spot. She did now.
“You’re carrying,” he whispered, easing back and looking at her in awe. “Shannon, our cub is growing inside of you.”
“She is,” Shannon said, laughing softly.
“Our little girl.” His voice held all the wonder he was feeling.
“Her name is Ricki,” Shannon told him. “I love her, Corbett.”
The sudden warmth that filled him was unmistakable. His daughter was sending her love to him. She was a bright light of love and caring.
“I love her, too. And I love her mother.”
“Have I made you doubt my love?” he asked, worried. “I have, haven’t I?”
“No, you haven’t made me doubt your love for me,” she admitted.
Shannon sighed softly. “I get sad when you don’t remember me,” she admitted. “I know it’s not your fault. It’s the silver poisoning in your body.”
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault. But you do remember me now, right?” she teased him.
“I remember you. And I remember how much I love you.”
“That’s all that matters.”
Shannon squealed in surprise as Corbett reached down and scooped her up into his arms. She relaxed into his strength as he carried her toward the medical bay doors. She barely heard them swish open because Corbett was growling continuously as he walked through them.
“Where’re we going?” she asked him, resting her cheek against his chest as he held her so securely against him.
“To our quarters,” he told her. “I need to love you.”
Shannon remained quiet. She was overwhelmed with her connection to Corbett in that moment. She could feel his happiness, his deep love, and his desire. For her.
When they reached her quarters, she reached out and placed her hand over the security panel, barely seeing the flash of color that accepted her for entrance before Corbett whisked them inside. He waited for the door to slide closed behind them, then carried her through the small seating space to the sleeping area.
He lowered her slowly to her feet, looking directly into her eyes as he did. The spark of laughter within them made the blue of them sparkle before they turned smoky blue with desire. His mate wanted him just as much as he wanted her.
He passed the pad of his thumb over the smudge of darkness beneath her left eye, concerned. She wasn’t well. He could feel it.
“You’re sick?” he asked quietly.
“No. Just tired.”
Corbett was silent for a moment, evaluating her words. She was keeping something from him. He knew it.
“What else?” he prompted. “I know there’s something more.”
Shannon reached up and framed his handsome face with her hands, drawing him closer so she could kiss his lips lightly. She loved the taste of him. She loved his gentleness. She loved that he loved her.
“I’m not keeping anything from you,” she told him honestly. “You already know that I’m sad when you don’t remember me. Being away from you, and not being able to feel you through our link makes me unable to sleep.”
He was about to say something when she covered his mouth with her right hand. She shook her head, her eyes flashing bright with her anger.
“I swear, if you apologize for forgetting me one more time, I’m going to hit you with my pillow,” she threatened.
He couldn’t help but smile at her pitifully weak threat. He covered her hand with his own, kissing her palm lightly before holding it gently.
“I don’t blame you, Corbett,” she told him gently. “I love you. And I miss you.”
“I love you,” he whispered.