The Bearington Brothers & Their Fated Mate (My Love; My Mate; My Shifter - Chronicles - Book One)

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Chapter Eight: Caught Alone, Again

Laila stared at the grey wolf. He had snuck up on her while she was taking pictures of a family of rabbits in the bushes.

She knows no one had heard her scream, but it had been an automatic reaction to finding a wolf baring his teeth at her. The wolf growled, and she didn’t know how she knew, but this was a different wolf from last Friday.

“Nice wolf,” she whispered.

She felt nothing from this animal except maybe hunger and hatred. Yes, plenty of hatred.

As she took a step back, she heard something come from behind her, and the putrid stench of garbage and sun roasted carnage assaulted her senses. She spun around to find a man standing there with a horrifyingly toothy grin.

Now, doesn’t this sound familiar.

He reminded her of the man from a few nights ago. But they were two different men, she was sure of it.

The man sniffed the air. “They mated with you, but they haven’t done the ceremony.”

She stared at him, confused. There’s that strange talk again. What in the fuck were they talking about?

A sound she’d never wanted to hear again made her skin crawl.

Hyena laughter.

She’s never going to the Zoo again.

Eight hyenas crept out from the bushes. Yeah, that’s right, crept. They’re too creepy to do anything but creep around.

She watched as the eight hyenas surrounded her. Her heart skipped a beat. The taste of fear is something she will never get used to. She watched the hyenas as the deepest fear she has ever felt almost had her shaking, but she refused to show these nasty things she was terrified of them.

“Too bad they’ve mated with you. I’d love to have taken you for a spin,” the man said as he licked his lips.

Laila felt bile rise up from her stomach. She has plenty of words to describe this man. But she won’t bother. He spoke of her as if she’s a car to take for a test drive. She’ll just stick to one word for this man.

Creep.

“I wouldn’t let you touch me with another man’s hands,” she said, glaring at him.

The hyenas hackled as if they understood her words, even the wolf made a nose.

“Shut the fuck up!” The creep snarled.

“I don’t know why creeps like you keep cornering me, but I think I’ll go now,” she moved, and the wolf growled, making her freeze.

“They haven’t told you who you are? How perfect,” the creep said with a hackle.

She shivered. He sounded just like the hyenas around them.

“I think we will have more fun than I thought. Killing you before you even know what has changed your life...

Laila whimpered. Why had she come out here alone? This had been a stupid idea. She has been full of those lately. And what the fuck had he meant by what he had just said? He must be just as crazy as the other guy. And why haven’t the hyenas attacked her yet?

Okay, stupid thing to wonder at a time like this. She thought when a hyena jumped at her.

Two shrieks in the sky had Laila looking up just as the hyena leaped at her.

Avel and Nova dive-bombed the hyena. It had no chance against the two Osprey as their talons and beaks ripped the beast open and left him dead on the grass then took to the sky again.

Laila stared at the carcass of the hyena.

The creep growled. “Do I have to fucking do everything myself?!”

The man lunged for Laila, and she screamed when a long knife came within inches of her throat. But before he could follow through with his movement, one of her bears took the creep down.

The man screamed as the bear tore him apart.

The hyenas backed away.

Laila looked around and found her other bear not far from her. She gave him a weak smile then shrieked when three hyenas jumped on him. His roar wasn’t one of pain but of anger.

Avel and Nova swooped down and picked one of the hyenas up off her bear. Then her other bear tore at the hyenas who were still trying to sink their teeth into her golden bear.

She was enthralled in the scene before her. Most of the hyenas had run, but a few were still trying to take out her bears. Her bears were too strong and smart for the hyenas. Plus, they have Avel and Nova on their side.

A screech in the sky had her looking up. Her mouth dropped open, and her heart pounded in her ears.

“Mekhi?” She whispered.

A screech on the ground had her looking back at the bears. A hyena had Avel pinned to the ground and was about to bite his head off. Nova was busy helping the bears and hadn’t noticed her brother was in trouble.

Laila found a large stick and ran to help her Osprey. “Avel!” She cried out then swung the stick across the hyena knocking it off Avel.

It tumbled to the ground, then got up and snapped at her with a murderous growl. Nova had heard her scream and flew to them to help. She and Avel took the hyena down together.

A growl behind Laila had her spinning around. The wolf pounced, and she screamed. It took her down, but luckily, she still had the stick in her hands, and she shoved it into the wolf’s mouth to keep him from biting her.

She kept the wolf at bay as best as she could. The wolf’s claws scraped her skin, but she could tell it wasn’t life-threatening. A shriek in the sky became louder as the black and white Osprey swooped down.

The wolf screamed when Mekhi’s talons dug into his eyes.

“Mekhi,” Laila said as she looked up at the magnificent bird. He was a very rare breed of Osprey one she had never seen before.

No one had. She’d looked him up, and no one has ever seen a black and white Osprey. They’re usually brown and white like Avel and Nova.

The wolf moved away from her as it howled in pain and anger.

Mekhi clawed at the wolf and ripped him open. Avel and Nova finished off the hyena, then joined Mekhi and tore the wolf apart.

Laila got to her feet and turned to find her bears watching her. She stared at the bears and all the dead hyenas around them. All of the hyenas had been defeated. There was something about her bears’ eyes. Something familiar.

“No,” she whispered.

That was completely impossible. But hadn’t she suspected something like this even if it was unconsciously? Their blue eyes were just too similar.

She walked towards the bears, and neither of them moved. She approached them cautiously. The darker bear sniffed her then growled. She smiled, he wasn’t fooling her.

But why hadn’t they told her?

Did they think she couldn’t handle something like this? That she wouldn’t believe them? This is a dream come true for her. Literally...

“You don’t fool me,” she whispered to the darker bear, then she surprised both bears and threw her arms around the large bear’s neck. “Thank you,” she whispered. She knew he knew that she meant for more than just today.

The large bear growled a groan, and she smiled.

She backed away then turned to the golden bear. They really are her bears.

Before she could hug the other bear, they turned from her and walked away.

“Wait!” She cried out.

How could they just walk away from her? She ran after them and almost caught up to them, but they started to run.

She cried as she stopped. “I know!” She screamed at them.

Both bears stopped and turned to her, they looked so sad. But why?

“I know who you are!” She shouted.

The golden bear took a step towards her, and she smiled at him.

“Park,” she whispered, then watched the bear run to her. He shifted into a man before her, and she was instantly in his arms.

When another pair of arms enveloped her, she turned to him. “Paxton!” She cried out as she wrapped her arms around him.

Both her bears enveloped her in a hug full of love and wonder.

“How?” She asked as she looked up at them.

Park smiled as he wiped the tears from her cheeks. “I was about to ask you the same thing. How did you know it was us?”

She smiled as she gently slid her fingers down his temple and over his jawline. She looked into his beautiful eyes.

“It’s the blue of your eyes. I could see you in the bear. I don’t know why I hadn’t before. But I think my subconscious has always known. I kept finding myself comparing you two to my bears. Even that first night, when we first met.”

Park smiled then kissed her.

Laila moaned as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Hey, no hogging,” Paxton said with a grin as he turned Laila from Park and kissed her.

Laila groaned with pleasure when he pulled her closer and deepened the kiss.

Paxton lifted his head, and the grin spread to his eyes, turning the sky blue into the brightest blue she has ever seen.

Your bears, huh?” Park asked from behind her.

She turned to him with a mischievous smile. “I don’t know why, but ever since last Friday, I have thought of them as MY BEARS.” She looked between her two lovers. “And now I know why.”

They both chuckled.

“How can you do it anyway?” She asked.

“We’re bear shifters,” Park said.

She blinked up at them. “You mean like werewolves? Or I mean werebears.”

Paxton chuckled, and Park smiled.

“Kind of,” Park said, his eyes bright with merriment. “But anything, Were, are ruled by the full moon. We can shift back and forth, and we’re born this way. Anything Were was bitten, that’s how they started. A shifter had bitten a human on a full moon,” Park explained.

“Oh,” she whispered. She has so much to learn. But they needed to answer the most important question first. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Paxton opened his mouth, and a loud squeal interrupted him.

They turned to find the large black and white Osprey squealing at Avel and Nova. The smaller brown Ospreys looked to be bowing to the larger one as if they were getting a talking to. The black and white one sounded angry.

Wow, she’s never felt such anger from an animal before.

“Mekhi?” She whispered.

The large black and white Osprey stopped yelling at the other two and looked over at her. Without a sound, the Osprey jumped into the air and flew over to her. When he landed on her shoulder, he pressed his head to her cheek and made her giggle.

“It is you,” she said as she ran her hand down his wing.

“You know him?” Park asked.

She nodded, “I rescued him from a trap a few years ago. When he was healed, he stayed with me. For two years, we were inseparable. Then one day, he was gone. I feared the worse, but it looks like he’d met a lady-bird and started a family,” she said with a smile as she ran her finger over Mekhi’s head.

“How do you know that?” Paxton asked.

She smiled as she pointed to the two younger Osprey. “I know a parent’s scolding when I see one. Even in the Animal Kingdom.”

Park and Paxton chuckled as they took turns kissing her cheek.

“Why were you out here alone?” Paxton asked.

“Yeah. I thought you’d have learned your lesson the last time a wolf tried to attack you,” Park said as he crossed his arms over his massive chest.

She smiled. Now she sees why they’re so big.

Especially down there. She thought as she looked down at their crotches and licked her lips.

Okay, Laila. Mind out of the gutter.

“I thought I’d be safe since its’ your property,” she said.

They both sighed.

“You’ll never be safe out on your own,” Park said.

“Why not?” She asked.

“We will tell you Saturday,” Paxton answered.

Her mouth dropped open. “Saturday? Why not today?” She paused. “Wait. No, no, no. You’re distracting me from my question.”

They sighed heavily at the same time.

Park unfolded his arms from his chest and ran his hand through his messy hair. “We had planned to tell you everything this Saturday.”

“Why were you waiting until Saturday?” She asked, still confused. What else were they hiding from her?

“Because we thought you would be more accepting of everything if you had support,” Park said as he looked down at the grass.

“Support?” She asked as her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

“Yeah,” Paxton said, “we hoped that since she had gone through it too, you could lean on her.”

“She is your best friend after all,” Park said with a smile.

She stared at them. She had completely forgotten that Riley and Mark were coming over this Saturday.

“Holy shit,” she said with wide eyes, “Mark is a bear shifter.”

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