I’m startled from my sleep by the sound of naked feet running across the wooden floor before they suddenly come to a stop. I open my eyes to see Baron looking up at Edric and I with tears flowing down his cheeks, bottom lip trembling and his eyes are red from crying. Edric knows what I want before I even utter a word. He slowly puts my feet on the ground, leaving me with a very upset little man.
I slowly kneel down on the floor, hiding any indication that I am in pain. He doesn’t need to worry how sore I truly am. I open my arms for him, wanting to hold the little pup close in assurance for the both of us. He whimpers and takes an unsure step forward as my wolf comes forth to greet him and to encourage him to come to us. “Come on baby boy. I’m okay, I promise. Can I have a hug, please? A hug from my favourite little man will make me feel better.”
He takes another hesitant step toward us until he is within reaching distance and that is when the tears start to fall in streams. He lets out a sob as he runs into my awaiting arms so I pull him close to me and breath in his scent, relaxing my wolf and I with the comfort that he is safe. I hold in the whimper of agony at the pain in my hips and neck. The last thing I want to do is make the little guy feel bad for hurting me, when all he wants to do is protect me.
After he has calmed down a bit, he starts talking but ends up stuttering as he does. “I, I was s-so scared Luna. I d-didn’t want to l-leave you, but Br-Bria wouldn’t let us s-stay and help fight the bad guys. I was s-so, so mad at her for making us l-leave you all alone.”
He wraps his arms around my neck and squeezes tightly, a gush of air escapes through my teeth and it has Baron wiggling out of my arms to get away. His horror stricken face has me ignoring the pain and I offer a soft smile of comfort. “Hey now, mister. You get back here and give me some Baron cuddles. My muscles are sore from fighting off the bad guys. You didn’t hurt me, I just wasn’t ready for your giant bear hug, that’s all.”
Calling his hug a bear hug does exactly what I was hoping it would and turns his worried little eyes into mock angry ones. He wipes his tears from his face with his arm and stands taller, his wolf also making himself known and playfully growling at me as he crosses his arms. “Hmph, I don’t give bear hugs. I give big Baron wolf hugs, Luna. I think fighting made you confused.”
“Oh really, you think so? Well, this Luna wants a Baron bear hug and I’m going to get it, even if I have to tickle it out of you.” My wolf makes herself present as well and we playfully growl back at him and get on our hands and knees, pretending we are going to attack him when he screams and runs to the bed, crawling on it and under the covers as quickly as his little body can.
I hear the shower shut off and come up with an idea. Quickly and quietly crawling to the side of the bed, I whisper to the lump of blanket on the bed. “Baron. Hey little man.” He slowly pulls the comforter away and peeks at me curiously.
I put my finger up to my lips in a silent gesture and continue whispering to him. “We have to hide under the blanket from the Alpha. Can I come up there and hide with you? I don’t want the big bad Alpha to eat me.”
His eyes go wide and he scoots over, holding the blanket as high as his little arm can as an invite into the softness of the bed. He whispers not so quietly, “hurry, Luna. Get in before Alpha gets out of the bathroom.”
I hold in laughter at the innocence of this little man. As fast as my sore body will allow me to, I get under the cover and lift it over our heads, bringing Baron’s little form closer to protect him from the big bad Alpha. He cuddles into my chest and I use my other arm to wrap around his back, holding him to me. I hear the bathroom door open and Baron says, “shhh Luna. He is going to know where we are if we move. Stay still.”
I wasn’t even moving, but I play along anyway. I laugh under my breath before whispering back, “okay. I’m sorry for moving. No more talking either or he will hear us.”
He nods his head in agreement and takes a deep breath. I hear Edric chuckle as he calls out for us, “Gia, Baron… Where did you guys go?”
Baron looks up at me with wide eyes, his cheeks like chipmunks as he is trying to hold his breath and I cannot help but quietly laugh at him. I bring my mouth closer to his ear so I can tell him just above a whisper, “breathe baby boy, breathe. He won’t find us as long as we don’t talk, but you still have to breathe.”
He lets his breath out slowly and snuggles closer to me, wrapping his arm around my waist as I close my eyes and hug him a little tighter. I release my own deep breath and right before I fall asleep, a gentle breeze of chilled air is felt on my face.
“Shhh Alpha. Luna Gia is still sleeping. She looks so pretty when she is dreaming.” Baron talks quietly to Edric from somewhere in the room. Edric chuckles at Baron’s statement as I try my hardest to stay completely still with the blanket just below my chin. I have to keep my face completely emotionless so Baron thinks I’m still out cold.
“I know she is still sleeping, but she has to wake up to eat. It is almost dinner time and you have to go downstairs to wash up with Georgie. Your parents will also be here any minute and they want to see you since you refused to leave the room all day.” He speaks to Baron in a calm, quiet manner. I know that Edric knows I am awake, but their conversation is too cute to interrupt.
“But Alpha, I didn’t want to leave Luna Gia alone. She protected me and Gie, so now it is my turn to protect her.” His voice gets stronger toward the end of his sentence. Whoever his mate is will be one protected female.
“Thank you for protecting our Luna while I was gone, but I am here now so I will protect her for the rest of the night. Whenever I am not around, you can protect her for me. But you have to take care of yourself first. If you don’t eat properly, get enough rest and grow big and strong, how would you be able to protect her in the future?” I can hear the seriousness in Edric’s voice and the defeat in Baron when he drags out a long sigh.
“Alright, Alpha. I will go eat and see my mom and dad, but I want to see Luna before I go home okay?” I have to cover my mouth so my laughter doesn’t spill out of my mouth from the order given from Baron to Edric right now.
Edric lets out a low rumble from his chest, “alright little man, I will make sure you see the Luna before you go home tonight. Now, your parents are downstairs so get your little butt down there and eat dinner. Your Luna and I will be down as soon as she wakes up and has a shower.”
I hear his little feet shuffle toward the front door and then as I hear it open, he reassures Baron, “she will be down soon. I promise.”
With that said, the door closes and Edric chuckles before he pulls the blanket further down from my neck. I open my eyes and grin at him, knowing that he knew I was awake the whole time and eavesdropping on their little conversation. “Come on you. Let’s get you washed up and get down there for dinner.”
Edric’s face gets serious as he gently brushes a hair away from my face, “how are you feeling baby girl? Your neck looks better, a little bruised, but otherwise it seems to be okay. How are your hips?”
I move the comforter off of me and check them out. There are no bruises but they are a little stiff. “They are okay but a little sore when I move. I will be fine after a quick shower and getting some sustenance in me. Help me wash up?”
“Of course. I will go get your water ready, you grab a towel and meet me in the bathroom.” He walks to the bathroom and I hear the water running as I crawl out of the bed. I strip and throw the clothes into the laundry basket, grab a towel and make my way to the tub.
Edric joins me and thoroughly cleans my body as I sit on the bench in the immaculate shower. He doesn’t even let me dry myself, which I don’t mind at all. After donning a pair of sweats and a t-shirt, Edric and I head downstairs for dinner.
I’m shocked by how full the lounge is. Mac, Clover, the rest of the old ladies with their mates, Bri, Lync, Damian and his gorgeous mate who is holding Bella in her arms, are all standing around talking quietly to themselves. Baron and Georgie continue to shove spoonful after spoonful of food into their mouths until they see me walking down the stairs and they shout with a mouthful of their half chewed dinner as they get up and run for me. “Luna!”
Edric moves from beside me to slightly behind my side to help steady me from the impact we know is coming from the two speedy little munchkins. They reach me at the same time and wrap their arms around a thigh as both look up at me with a pout as Georgie says, “ Are you okay, Luna? You fought off those meanie’s for so long all by yourself. You are so brave, I want to be like you when I’m big.”
I smile down at them, “I am doing alright, I really needed that nap to heal and get better. I did my best to keep them away until your Alpha and the others came. No one was going to get to two of my favourite little pups without having to fight off their Luna, now were they?”
They keep their hold on my legs as they smile and jump up and down excitedly, “Nope! Our Luna is the best! Luna Gia is the best!”
Everyone around us laughs at their antics as Clover comes to take Georgie and Lil picks up Baron who ends up holding onto my leg tightly, not wanting to let go. I tickle under his armpits and make him screech before giggling, “Cheater! You did that to make me let go, Luna!”
Edric and I chuckle at him, “I did. I have to go eat and I cannot do that if you are attached to my leg, now can I?”
He pouts as a laughing Lilac carries him back to the table so he can finish his food alongside Georgie. Edric puts his hand on the bottom of my back to lead me to a chair near Damian, his mate and a cherub cheeked Bella. “I will go get you some food while you sit here and relax. I will be right back, baby girl.”
He lays a kiss on my forehead before he takes off to the kitchen to get me something to eat. Damian walks up to me with his mate and baby girl on her side, sitting in the chair across from me while Bella wiggles her way off of her mother’s lap to immediately crawl onto mine, curling up into a ball against my chest and gives me a tiny smile before nuzzling into my breasts.
Damian chuckles as his mate giggles at their baby girl’s actions. I wrap my arms around her and within seconds the little one is sound asleep. Damian gives me a gentle smile before opening his mouth to talk, “Luna Gia, this is my mate, Dez, short for Desireh. Baby, this is our Luna. How are you feeling Luna? We are so happy to see that you made it back to us in one piece. Everyone has been here waiting for you to recover so we can see for ourselves that you’re home safe and sound.”
I release an exhausted breath, “I am doing better, thank you. I just want to find out how they knew where we were and who told them because there is no way they could have known we were going to be going to that spot in particular. The one person I was thinking it could have been, was knocked out in a medically induced coma. Unless we are missing something.”
Damian runs his hand through his hair as he gets a contemplative look on his face. “I will keep my ears open at the restaurant to see if I hear anything about how they got the information. Dez goes to the mall on human territory once a week with Janelle, so she will be our ears there. We never know where Sterling’s reach is and we need to eliminate them before we go for the main man himself.”
I nod in agreement as I lay my head on the back of the couch to close my eyes and relax. I feel his presence before I see him and a few seconds later, Edric is by my side with a plate full of food and a bottle of beer. Dez gets off of Damian’s lap and slowly lifts Bella from mine. How this little girl could sleep when there is so much noise going on around us is astounding. It is like a tame party in here with all of the talking and movement in the lounge.
Damian stands from the chair, “we are glad that you are home and safe, Luna and we would stay longer but we need to get home and get this little one to bed. If we hear anything to do with Valerie, we will inform Alpha Edric right away. Have a good night, Luna, Alpha.” With that said, Damian bows his head in respect and they leave the clubhouse.
“Scoot over, Gia. Sit on my lap while you eat and then we need to have a quick discussion in the office with Donny before we go see Valerie. Doc stopped the coma drugs and she has been coming to for the last hour or so. Her being attacked and left where she was the day that you got ambushed is suspicious, and I have a feeling that she has something to do with it. If not directly than indirectly in some way, and we need to find out how and who is all involved before we go forward with Sterling. So from now on, Gia, you will always be with Donny, Mac or myself when leaving the gated area, alright?”
I take a large bite of a buttered bun dipped in chicken noodle soup broth and moan out in satisfaction. Good, thick soup really does warm the soul. After I finish the hearty soup and beer, I give the bowl and empty bottle to Bri who has come to clean up any drink containers or dishes laying around. Edric reaches for my hand and I look around the lounge when I get up, noticing that almost everyone has cleared out. Donny, Lync and their mates, Mac and Benny are the only ones left here with us.
“Everyone else left to go home for the evening. We need to go talk before meeting Valerie. She is fully awake and has been asking to speak to me, but I will not go without you as I don’t want her getting any ideas if I were to show up alone.”
Edric leads me to the office in silence as Donny joins us a few minutes later, closing the door behind him as I’m pulled onto his lap to put Wolfy and himself at ease. He takes a seat across from us and gives me a warm smile.
“I’m glad you’re feeling better and are home safe. I promise you that Sterling won’t get away with this and there will be hell to pay for whoever the mole is. Valerie getting beaten the night before the attempt at your kidnapping is not right, we need to question her carefully and have someone keep an eye on her at all times.”
“You’re right, let’s get it done.”