Only Human

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Chapter 7

After a night full of dreams about crowns and spider queens I wake up too damn early. I get up reluctantly. Nevan is damn comfortable but my mate deserves breakfast. I head downstairs and start cooking. I figure he's a very big man he'll eat a lot and then there's everyone else. Apple cinnamon pancakes and breakfast meat it is! I'm on my last batch of pancakes when Papa Shadow comes down the stairs with an awful golden book.

"My sweet. We need to talk." He says quietly.

"I know." I whisper. "It has my name on it."

"Yes, it does. Are you ok?"

"I'm not sure. A prophesied queen to bring balance to the world is a bit of a struggle to come go terms with." I admit. Papa chuckles.

"I can understand that. But I can't think of a better person for the job."

"Ya, but youre biased."

"I suppose I am a bit. But that doesn't mean I'm wrong though." He argues. "You have the biggest heart I've ever seen. You understand people in a way most don't even bother."

"Papa..."

"And you are more incredible than you know my sweet." He says as I flip the last pancake onto the plate.

"I need time to deal with this." I admit setting the table.

"I love you regardless you know that right?"

"I love you too Papa."

I take my phone out and text Porter my address and an invitation to breakfast.

I immediately get a response.

Porter: leaving now! Don't start without me!

Me: hurry before Nevan eats it all!

"Good morning mouse."

"Good morning sweetness."

"Good morning tiny."

"Is Nevan still asleep?" I mutter almost walking up the stairs but stop and turn to Papa Ezra. "Wanna have some fun?"

"Always." He grins and follows me upstairs to my room. Nevan is still asleep looking so peaceful... not for long. Papa Ezra lays down beside him and I start filming the chaos that will ensue.

"Nevan!!!" I screech causing him to jump out of bed and land on the floor. I watch Papa Ezra roll over and wave me off.

"It's fine Rowena!" He mumbles in his very fake sleep.

Nevan looks confused and he looks at the bed and Papa and starts shaking his head.

"No. No. Rowena it is not what it looks like."

"Really because it looks like a prank." I say shortly crossing my arms.

"No, I would never do that to you."

"I know but I would do it to you!" I say laughing with Papa. Nevan starts shaking his head and I get tackled to the bed. Nevan starts tickling me with vengeance in his eyes.

"It was time to wake up!" I gasp. "I couldn't waste the opportunity!"

"Oh yeah?" He asks tickling me more as I curl up into a little ball. He picks me up and throws me over his shoulder and walks with Papa Ezra downstairs.

"Send the video to Porter!" I beg Papa who is laughing at my pain.

There's a knock at the door once we get to the kitchen.

"Come in Porter!" I shout still hanging over Nevan. I feel pretty tall actually. It's not bad.

Porter walks in cautiously but when he sees me he bursts out laughing. I motion him to come to the table. Where Nevan sets me down gently into my seat.

"Everyone this is Porter, Nevan's brother. Porter this is my family. Ezra, Shadow, Luca, and Sorscha." I introduce. Everyone says hi and Porter gives them all hugs without pause and we dig in. It's quiet for a bit until Nevan notices the book.

"Isn't that the book we were reading last night?" He asks.

"Oh! Did you find an answer?" Porter asks excitedly.

"Maybe." Nevan says. "We're still looking into it." I see Papa Shadow look at me pointedly. I sigh.

"Actually. I think we did." I admit. Nevan looks at me in shock. "It has my name on it."

Nevan stands up so fast he's a blur. Next thing I know he has the book infront of him with everyone looking over his shoulder.

"I don't see it."

"Reyna is my birth name." I provide.

"Well shit." Porter mumbles.

"We need to talk to the spiders. They will know more." Papa Luca says. "I will contact them today."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Nevan asks quietly.

"I'm... having a hard time with this. I can't be a queen. Also, queen of where? There are too many questions one of them being what on earth were they thinking!?" I say. "This is a lot to take in. I just needed some time. I'm sorry."

"I understand that. Just tell me next time. I want to help you through things. It's not just you anymore." Nevan says taking my hand. I see mama put a hand over her heart watching us.

"I will try harder. I'm sorry."

"Deal." He nods squeezing my hand in his. We all go back to our breakfast.

My phone rings as we clean up. It's The Lexington Post. I need to help with a story in an hour.

"I have to work today. Sorry i can't hang out more." I say.

"That's ok. I'm helping out at the garage again today." Nevan says. "I'll be heading out soon too."

"I'm heading out now." Porter says. "See you in a bit bro. Thank you for breakfast Ro. And thank you for having me. It was nice meeting the rest of the family."

"You were an absolute delight, Porter. Come by anytime." Papa Luca says. They really hit it off over breakfast.

"Thank you. I may take you up on that." He says with a chuckle heading out the door.

I head upstairs to get ready for work.

After my shower I go to my room to find Nevan reading the book again. He looks up and his jaw drops. Oh, I'm in a towel. Well this worked out great.

"You look beautiful." He says standing up and pulling me close.

"Well, I'm not wearing this to work." I joke.

"Damn right youre not. This is for me." He says looking down at me with possessiveness. His amber eyes are filled with heat.

I slide my hands up his massive arms up to his shoulders and he crashes his mouth to mine. This is nothing like our first kiss that was soft and sweet and healing. This is passion. Love. Hunger. I kiss back with enthusiasm making him growl. I moan my response. His hard chest rumbling against mine. I feel his warm rough hands skim across my bare back. He stops suddenly and looks at me. I'm panting from our kiss. I don't know why he stopped. I could go all day. Hell, that sounds like a great plan!

"Your towel fell." He chuckles.

"It's fine. It won't go anywhere." I say leaning in for another kiss.

"But we do. Remember?"

"Ugh... work. The eternal cock block." I mutter stepping back and bending to pick up the towel without thinking. I hear a pained sound. I turn to see Nevan staring with a clenched jaw sporting some serious wood.

"Sorry, I wasn't thinking." I say wrapping my towel around me again. He wraps me in his arms again.

"Dont ever apologize for letting me see you. God, you are stunning." He says nuzzling to the crook of my neck. He suddenly shakes himself. "We need to get ready for work though."

"Well then I need to get dressed." I turn to my closet and huff. Professional attire ugh! I grab a random pair of slacks and a random blouse and my bra and panties.

I dress while Nevan watches me. I feel very sexy today. And I didn't need anyone's help picking out a decent outfit. I toss my hair up in a messy bun and slip on some flats and look at my appearance. My flowy red blouse is working for me. The slacks make my legs look longer and my but look great. I add some eyeliner and some lip gloss and I'm done! I grab my bags and head out with Nevan. I say my good byes to my family who are all huddled around the table whispering. I'll deal with that later.

Nevan walks me to my car and kisses the bejeesus out of me before I get in.

"Will you stop by the garage today?" He asks.

"I'll try my best. I still dont know what or where the job is." I shrug. "But I will text you when I find out. Ok?"

"Ok. I'll find you soon."

"Not if I find you first." I reply with a wink. I pull out of the driveway and head to work.


"Good morning Wayne!" I wave to the security guard who waves back.

"It's crazy up there Rowena. Good luck." He warns. Oh goodie. The sharks are out to play. I step out of the elevator and I almost step right back inside. It's chaos in here!

Josie sees me and drags me with her to a conference room.

"What the hell is going on?" I ask.

"Big story. Someone planted a bomb downtown." Shit. "It hasn't gone off but we need people to cover the story and no one wants to. So they're pulling names of a journalist pair and a photographer to meet with the editor and head out." Nevan and Porter are downtown. I call Nevan instantly.

"Hey babe did you miss me already?" He greets.

"Don't go to the garage. There's a bomb threat downtown." I say panicked.

"Shit. Porter is already there. Thank you. I'll call you back."

"Ok."

He hangs up. I let out the breath I was holding.

"Boyfriend?" Josie asks.

"Sort of?" I don't know, boyfriend sounds like a downgrade from mate. But I can't exactly call him my mate to humans.

"Got it. No labels." Josie nods in understanding. I'm glad she understands because I don't.

We walk out just as my name is called for the photographer position. Nevan is going to be pissed. I head into the editor's office. A man in a black suit walks in a few minutes later he's tall and lean but you can tell he works out. Hes a supe! He sits down at his desk.

"Rowena, I assume?" He asks not looking up.

"Yes sir." I say.

"I've seen your work. It's good. But I've never met you."

"I'm often intercepted at the elevator." I provide. "The other day I got a whole foot on the floor." I smile and he finally looks up. His eyes are a warm brown almost orange and they send a jolt into my soul. Another mate? He stands up quickly but we are interrupted by the two journalists that were called. Craig and Joel are good at what they do. Unfortunately what they do is the Sports page and the Lifestyle pages. Well shit.

The editor, I still dont know his name, sits back down slowly still watching me. I force my gaze to my lap so the journalists don't get the correct idea. Oh shit my boss is my mate. Why not?

He clears his throat and begins.

"Ok, so, I realize this is not your normal story but we need someone on the ground there. I need facts from the police, I need the whole story. Rowena, I need pictures of the chaos, and some of healing." He takes a look at me and frowns.

"I'm tiny but I can do it." I say making Craig and Joel laugh. I see a tightness around my editors eyes. I nod telling him I'll be fine.

"Ok. Go down by the City Hall that's where it's all happening. Dismissed." We all go to get up. "Rowena, a minute?" I wave the guys to go.

"I'll meet you at the van." I say as they leave closing the door. I turn to see my new mate staring at me.

"I'm Martell. Your... new Editor." He says hesitantly.

"I know who you are. Or who you are to me." I say. He looks positively relieved.

"How do you know?" He asks. "You're human aren't you?"

"I'm not sure right now." I confess. "I'm apparently supposed to have four mates."

"Oh. Umm... I don't know what to say to that." He admits.

"Dont worry, you're not alone. I just found out last night. It's a bit of an adjustment."

"I'll say. Can we meet later in less... professional circumstances."

"You have a way with words Martell. Yes. You'll need to meet Nevan, my other mate." I turn to the door. "I'd also like to get to know you. You have my number." I smile and head down to the van where Craig and Joel are waiting. On our way to City Hall Nevan calls.

"Hey, did you get a hold of him?" I ask.

"Ya, he didn't make it past the barricade."

"Oh thank God!" I let out a breath. "Ok, I have to get to work. I'll call you after. I love you."

"I... I love you too." He says suspiciously. "Ro... where is your job today?"

"... downtown." I admit with a wince.

There is a string of curses on the other end. It stops for a moment and then there's another string of curses from Porter.

"Clam down. Everything will be fine. I will call you when I'm done. I promise. I have to go." I hang up before he argues.

"Boyfriend worried about you?" Joel asks.

"Always." I admit making him chuckle. "He's going to be so mad."

"He'll forgive you. Just go home to him."

"That's a good tip."

Craig pulls us up close to the police barricade and we pile out and into the crowd. I stay back to take pictures of the barricade and the city hall through the people. Craig and Joel are asking some police officers and some brave civilians. I walk around the block frustrated that I cant see everything. I wish I could ride Nevan's dragon and get some aerial shots. I look up imagining it. Mass panic in the streets, torches, pitchforks. Not worth the pictures. I huff a laugh and shake my head at the imagery. My eyes catch on the roof of an apartment building and an idea forms.

I walk into the building and up the stairs to the roof access. I walk to the edge of the roof and look down on the street below emergency personnel milling about. I take a few pictures and turn stopping dead in my tracks.

Fear and adrenaline flood my body. There is a bomb on the roof. I snap a picture and run down the stairs. I run to the police at the barricade.

"Officer! You need to move the barricade!" I yell.

"Miss, you're going to have to calm down." He says.

"No. You need to listen!" I shout attracting the attention of several more officers. "Sir, there is a bomb up on that roof!" I plead pointing to the building I came from. Immediately they are on alert.

"How do you know that?" A tall officer asks.

"I will tell you everything but you need to secure that building." I show them the picture I took. "Please!" The first officer takes my camera and curses. He runs off to another officer. They both come over to me after sending in some men into the building. Followed by a guy dressed kind of like an astronaut. I let my breath loose.

"Now, miss. What's your name?" Asks the officer apparently in charge who i notice is also a supe.

"My name is Rowena Doyle." I reply. He jots it down on a pad of paper.

"And what were you doing up there?"

"I work at The Lexington Post. I'm a photographer." I say. "I'm here for a story I was just trying to get a picture for the paper. Then I saw the bomb and rushed down here."

"Ok. I'll need your contact information just in case we have to ask you any questions."

"Of course." I give him my address and his eyes go big.

"Did you say your last name was Doyle?"

"Yes." I say giving him a knowing look. He leads me away from the crowd and his fellow officers.

"Oh. Uh... ok. Do you... need help?" He says looking scared. I smile sadly.

"Not at all." I reply. I get this reaction a lot but I still don't like it.

"I will be checking up on you. With the appropriate backup." I don't think so.

"Sir, I believe you are overstepping your authority." I say firmly. He looks shocked. "I understand your concern but it is not necessary. I am safe and happy with my family." He huffs a laugh at that. Oh good, he's an asshole.

"Those monsters can't have a family." I am furious.

"Those monsters as you say have saved me from actual monsters of the human variety. They have raised me for the last ten years and I am safe and happy. Do not confuse your personal prejudices with concern for me." I say hands on my hips. "Now, if you have questions to do with the bomb feel free to call. Not visit. You will not be welcome. Are we finished with the task at hand?" I feel an arm thrown over my shoulder.

"Hey Ro, what's going on?" I look up to see Nevan.

"Hey sweetie. I'm alright. Just telling officer... Grey here to call if he had any questions for his report." I say with a smile. I see Nevan's amber eyes flash gold as he looks at Officer Grey. Now, I know Nevan is a big guy but poor Officer Grey looks like he's about to wet himself.

"Thank you for your time Miss Doyle. And for the information. I will call if I need anything." He mumbles and walks away. Man, I wish I could intimidate people. Nevan turns me to face him and checks me over.

"I'm fine. Just a little shaken between finding a bomb and dealing with officer buttwad." I say. His eyes go cold. Oops.

"You found a bomb?"

"Yes..." I whisper. He wraps me in a hug and holds me.

"I don't like this job." He mumbles.

"If it helps I usually don't cover stories like this. It's usually just fluff pieces but I won the draw." I explain. "Speaking of which. I need to get back to work." I click a picture of his pissed off face and smile. "It's ok. Oh, and... I found another of my mates..." I say shuffling my feet as I look down.

"Oh?" I don't look up. This is awkward as get out.

"Ya, he's my boss. His name is Martell."

"Cool, can't wait to meet him." I look up confused but Nevan looks sincere.

"He... he wants to meet later is that ok?"

"Of course. You should spend time with your mate."

"Oh this is too wierd. I need to talk to mama..." Nevan chuckles and hugs me.

"You'll need all of us. I'm glad you'll have the support you need." He whispers before Craig and Joel run up to us. Nevan lets go and gives me space to talk to my coworkers.

"What happened? We heard some tiny woman found a bomb. And I said I know a tiny woman with bad luck!" Craig laughs. He's not wrong. Finding a bomb is pretty bad luck.

"Ya I did. But finish here. I'll give you my account back at the office. I don't want to be here longer than we have to."

"Of course you must be rattled." Joel says gently. He's such a sweetheart. "Ok let's get this done and get out of here." The officers are moving back the crowd away from the building I was in. Thank God.

After a few hours everything was solved and we had our story. It turns out there wasn't a bomb in City Hall. The only bomb was the one I found. A few of the officer's thanked me. I felt so awkward.

We make our way past Wayne and into a conference room. I flop into a chair exhausted. Adrenaline is a hell of a thing. Nevan is still with me and sits beside me for support. Well that's his excuse anyway.

Craig sits across from me. I don't know where Joel went but he left us as soon as we got off the elevator.

"So. What exactly happened?" Craig starts.

"I was taking pictures and I thought it would be nice to get an aerial view of the whole to do. I'm too short so I walked up to the roof of the building I took a few pictures of the street. I turned around to go and saw the bomb. So I took a picture of it and hurried to the officers. I told an officer who got officer Grey and they got the bomb squad in and the barricade moved and that was it."

"Perfect. Thank you. Do you mind if we use your name?" He asks.

"Umm... I'd rather if you didn't actually." I say. "Sorry."

"No problem. I'll just write you in as a civilian." Craig dismisses. We all jump when the door slams open. Suddenly I'm in someone's arms.

"Um... hi." I say.

The person leans back and im lost in firey eyes. Martell.

"Are you ok?" He asks.

"I'm fine." I laugh. I hear a throat clear and I am suddenly very aware that I am not alone and my boss is hugging me and acting decidedly not professional. From the "oh shit" look on Martell's face he just realized that too. Well, we are in a room full of journalists it was bound to get out eventually I just thought it might have been me to spill the beans by accident.

Martell quickly straightens and fixes his suit jacket looking very red. He doesn't however fix his gorgeous red hair which looks like he's been trying to rip it out.

"Good. I'm glad. I'd hate to lose our best people." He says and then, I swear to God, he goes over and hugs Craig. I am having a very hard time keeping a straight face especially when I see Craigs face. He looks very confused and a little scared.

Martell straightens again and calmly walks back out the door.

"What the hell was that?" Craig asks.

"I'm not sure what happened." I say shrugging. Poor Nevan is having a very hard time as well. He looks like he's going to explode. I turn to him. "Sweetie would you mind grabbing some tea for me? I still have to upload my pictures. Then I'll be done." He nods still clamping his mouth down hard. Heaven forbid a giggle escape or we're all done for. He heads out and Craig and I get back to work. Bullet, dodged.

I finish with my photos and knock on Martell's office door.

"Come in!" I hear. I walk in to see his head on his desk. I close the door.

"So... are you ok?" I ask he looks up at me and smiles warmly. Before I know it I'm in a hug again. I feel him breathing me in his head nuzzled into my hair.

"I'm so sorry. I'm never sending you anywhere ever again."

"Shit happens. It's fine. No one got hurt. And honestly, if you hadn't sent me chances are the bomb might not have been found." I say stroking his back.

"I almost killed Joel when he told me what happened."

"You didn't though right?" I laugh. "I've had enough cops to last me a while."

"I bet. You're ok though?"

"I'm fine. A bit tired now that the adrenaline has worn off. But fine. Craig on the other hand is still dealing with the trauma of you hugging him." I laugh as he turns bright red.

"Ya... that was not well thought out." He admits. "I don't know what I'm going to do about that."

"He covers the sports section. I doubt he's going to be telling anyone that his boss had an emotional moment with him." I shrug stifling a laugh.

"Very funny." He shakes his head. "God, that was weird. The other man in the room was that your other mate?"

"Yes, that was Nevan. He hunted me down after he heard where I was."

"Good. I almost did the same."

"So... we need to talk about a few things. Would you like to go to dinner with me?" I ask.

"I would love that. Do you know where the Tooth and Claw is?"

"Yes, Talon is an old friend." I say. "I'll call him. I need to see how his date went last night anyway."

"Sounds perfect." Hes says jotting down his cell number for me. "Text me with a time. Feel free to bring Nevan as well. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of eachother anyway."

"Thank you for being so understanding. I'm still not completely sure what's going on." I admit.

"We've got time to figure it out." He says looking into my eyes.

"I better go call Talon. I'll call you in a bit." I say kissing him on the cheek and head down to my car where Nevan is waiting with a tea.
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