Ember Rains (Book 1)

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Chapter 21: Safe Haven

As I walked past the open door to Myra’s room I saw her standing and staring out the window. Her back was to me, her long strawberry blonde hair waved down her back. She wore pajama shorts and a tank top.

She stood so still, staring out as if waiting for someone to walk out of the trees.

I walked up behind her and brushed my fingers down her bare arms. She stiffened momentarily but quickly relaxed and even leaned back into me.

“You are safe here.” I whispered into her hair.

I couldn’t help breathing in her smell. Fresh rain in a forest, it was made for me. She took a shuddering breath and I realized that she had been holding her breath. I listened as her heart beat faster and I felt the heat as blood rushed into her cheeks.

She turned to face me and we were only inches apart. I wanted her so bad. My skin was on fire. I needed her touch. I slowly reached out and cupped her cheek. Then I bent closing the space between us.

She returned the kiss desperately, wrapping her arms around my neck and pulling me tighter to her.

I reached down with my right arm sweeping her legs out from under her and cradling her to my chest without breaking our kiss.

As I lowered her slowly down onto the bed, I slid her shirt up my hands gently brushing against her skin. She twisted, pulling the shirt over her head. I propped myself over her hesitantly. I was unsure how far she was comfortable going.

She pulled me closer, kissing me desperately again. Electric energy surged between us, intensifying as she slid her hands under my shirt.

I pulled away long enough for her to slip my shirt over my head. I delighted in her burning touch until we lay gasping in each other’s arms.

I wrapped my arms securely around Myra’s body. She wore only my dark grey T-shirt that hung loosely around her small frame. Her scent engulfed me and I had never been more happy in my life. I sighed contentedly.

“Richard?” Myra’s voice was hushed but content.

“Yes?” I asked as I kissed the top of her head.

Instead of responding she shifted so she was hovering over me. She kissed her way down to the soft spot on the nape of my neck.

I shuddered in anticipation. Then I gasped as her canines sunk into the soft skin. Suddenly I could sense her even more than before. I wanted more though as she ran her tongue over the spot. I wanted to mark her back.

She sighed happily, still straddling me but she sat back. The only thing separating us was the thin fabric of my boxers. She shifted her hair exposing her own neck. Her eyes glistened desperately.

“Please fix it?” She bit her lip as if concerned I would say no.

I sat up slowly and kissed the scar that was already in place. I had seen it before. However, the torn edges that showed her struggle against that monster still infuriated me. Now she was asking me to cure her from the constant pain. The punishment of being marked by someone other than your mate.

I bit her quickly, marking her as mine. I winced as I felt the wave pain she had endured a second before it faded to nothing.

She gasped in surprise before sighing blissfully. She relaxed into my embrace.

I ran my tongue over the mark sealing it permanently. She was free of him and his mark forever.

“Thank you.” Myra sighed, resting her head on my shoulder again.

“My pleasure.” I chuckled happier than I had ever imagined possible.

I was surprised when an unfamiliar fear started slowly burning in my gut. It took me longer than it should have to realize, it wasn’t my fear. Now that we had marked each other even the smallest hint of emotion that could mean danger would be shared.

“What’s wrong? Why are you worried?” I pulled her back so I could see her eyes.

She slid off my lap and sat next to me. She wrapped her arms around her knees.

“What happens now?” She asked, staring down.

I slid my arms around and pulled her back on my lap. I cradled her into my chest not willing to let her go yet.

“That’s for us to decide, together. I’ll go first. I love you Myra and I don’t want to be separated from you ever again.” I comforted her by running my hand through her strawberry blonde hair.

Her joy at those words was overwhelming. I couldn’t help the thrill I got knowing she liked that.

“I love you too, but.” She hesitated, “It’s not just me.”

‘Tyler, she’s worried we won’t accept Tyler’ Brooke explained while I fought back a wave of jealousy.

‘That’s not logical.’ I replied. ‘I have shown nothing but patients and kindness to him.’

‘Remember what Zane said about a mothers love being irrational? I suspect she wants to believe you love him but she can’t until you tell her point blank that you accept and embrace him.’

I shifted so she had to meet my gaze and spoke with the assurance of the alpha I was meant to be.. “I know Myra, I love that little boy more than I ever imagined possible.”

Her relief washed over both of us like a tidal wave. I gingerly brush my thumb across her cheek.

“When I say I love you, I mean every part of you. Tyler is a part of who you are. If he will have me I would proudly call him my son.” I said honestly, watching as tears filled her eyes.

Suddenly she threw herself against me, kissing me hungrily. I chuckled, laying back and pulling her with me. She moaned blissfully as I rolled so I was hovering over her.

“Patience, love. I have to get something first.” I murmured into her neck.

“Hurry.” She growled nibbling at my ear.

I groaned happily once again claiming my mate all to myself. Myra was mine; nobody else had any rights to this perfect woman.

“Mommy!” Tylers scream from across the hall reminded me that I was wrong.

I threw on a pair of shorts before following Myra as she rushed to Tylers room.

“What is it?” Brooke’s growl escaped through my lips.

It was then I realized how close I was to shifting. My gaze darted around the room looking for the threat.

The dresser and desk were still against the walls to my left and right. The small bed now occupied by Myra who was crading Tylers trembling form.

“I’m sorry.” She said instinctively. “He just had a nightmare. Settle down Brooke.”

He did, allowing me to regain composure. I sighed, running my hand over my hair. I slowly walked forward and sat facing them.

“You okay Ty?” I asked, reaching out to gently wipe a tear off his cheek.

I felt the same stab of pain I always did as he flinched away from my hand.

“I’m sorry.” He choked, tears filling his eyes again.

“You never have to apologize for being scared, Tyler. It’s natural and necessary to survive.” I said calmly.

“Really?” Tyler asked, looking up curiously.

He used the back of his hand to wipe his cheeks.

“Of course.” I smiled, glad to have distracted him. “Why do you think a lone wolf will run from a large bear?”

“Because he’s not stupid.” Tyler said wide eyed.

I chuckled, “See? His fear of the bear is smart, it protects him. Fear can be good. It’s when you let it start running your life that you need to work on it.”

“Oh,” Tyler said as Myra shifted uncomfortably.

I hadn’t meant that directed at her, but by her discomfort she had taken it that way.

However, before I could say anything a loud knocking reverberated through the small house. Myra’s eyes widened and her embrace around Tyler stiffened.

“Stay here.” I commanded quietly.

Panic grew stronger in Myra’s eyes as I stood. She shook her head, her eyes pleading with me to stay.

“I’ll be right back.” I promised.

As I headed down the hall I wondered who in the world would be knocking at the door at one in the morning. On one hand our enemies weren’t likely to knock on the door and announce their presence. On the other hand I knew nobody from either pack would come banging on the door at this time.

As I reached the front door I took a deep breath. It was a wolf. His scent was familiar but unknown at the same time. This confused me. I knew I had never smelled this scent but I had to know somebody closely related for it to be so familiar. A sibling or parent.

‘A father…’ Brooke snarled in the back of my mind.

I tensed preparing to fight as I laid my hand on the door handle.

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