“Ye know it’s my Fated Mate?” Brian asked, in disbelief.
“Yes, my spirit told me,” replied Kieran. “Go ahead, I promise we’ll help you find him.”
“Him? Are you sure?” Brian asked.
“Yes,” Kieran said, softly.
Relieved to know that much at least, Brian began, “I was doing a back float when a passing boat’s wake carryin’ my mate’s scent washed over me. Shifting, I dove down, searching for it, but twas weak and quickly dissipated. That night, I searched again and the scent was stronger, but as I followed it, I realized twas at least an hour old. It led to the shoreline, where I shifted and climbed onto the bank, but there was nae a trace…even though I felt its presence.
“Every night, the same thing happened, even though I went into the water at different times…sometimes early, other times later, but twas always the same…except for last night,” Brian said. “After cruising the loch, I waited until the sky turned pink before I shifted and climbed aboard my boat. As I headed below, I felt someone watching me and I sensed my mate was somewhere near the marina’s buildings, but still I could nae see him.” Brian was getting agitated by this time, prompting Kieran to lay a calming hand on him.
After a few moments of silence, the sea serpent continued. “I decided to search the area lookin’ for a clue to help me figure out who he was, but could nae find anything. I know he was close by, because I again could feel his stare and sensed his presence,” Brian said, his frustration now evident. “Please Shaman, I need yer help. I dinna know why my mate is hidin’ from me, but I feel something is amiss and he needs me.”
“Of course, we’ll help you won’t we, macushla?” Kieran asked, glancing at his mate.
“My mate’s right, Brian,” answered Logan. “Our Alpha regards you as a member of the Blackwood Pack so whatever needs to be done, we’ll do.”
After hearing a chorus of ‘absolutelys’ and ‘count-me-ins’, Brian felt his sea serpent relax, confident his mate would soon be found. “Thank ye, thank ye, I canna tell ye how much I appreciate it,” Brian said, with a sigh of relief.
“So,” Logan then proposed, “I think the first thing is to figure out what shifter can swim and breathe underwater while disappearing when he’s on land. Slate, Ian, any ideas?”
“I haven’t ever heard of a shifter doing that,” answered Slate. “I could ask my research team to look into it.”
“Let’s keep that as an option but, right now, until we know what kind of shifter Brian’s mate is, I think we should keep this to ourselves,” Logan said.
“Sorry, Logan,” said Ian, “I’ve studied every shifter alive today and none of them can do both things.”
“Maybe he’s a myth,” Zane offered.
“But he’s real!” exclaimed Dakota.
“Yes, I know, but maybe we can find a myth or legend that describes a shifter who can do what Brian’s mate can,” Zane insisted. “Just like the stories that described someone like David and Daniel.”
“That’s a great idea,” Kieran said, clapping his hands.
“I’ll do a search,” said Zane.
“Do that, bro,” said Logan, “and I’ll talk to Maximus and Mystia to see if they can shed any light on this shifter.”
“Why don’t we help Brian search?” asked David.
“Yeah,” said Slate, “we can spread out on land while you’re in the loch, Brian. Why don’t we stake out the places where we know he’s left the water?”
“Macushla, we can fly over the loch to look for him,” said Kieran.
Logan nodded, then asked Brian, “Do you know if your mate is ever at the surface?”
The sea serpent thought for a moment before answering. “Canna tell. The scent was auld when I found it and parts of the trail had vanished.”
“Okay,” said Logan, “Kieran and I will fly over the loch tonight while the rest of you will be stationed at the previously known exit points. Since we don’t know what we’re dealing with, I’ll have Groose assign a couple of enforcers to each team.”
“Macushla, Brian’s mate is not a threat!” exclaimed Kieran.
“I know that babe, but he may view us as a threat. I want the enforcers along so it gives us time to explain who we are and why we’re there,” answered Logan. “Do you see anything wrong with that, Brian?”
“Naw, I’m fine with it,” Brian said.