Bonus Chapter: Wedded Bliss
-Few weeks after Joy was born-
Shar looked down at her dress and sighed. She was glad they had decided to wait until after Joy was born to get married. Because this dress was not meant to be worn by a pregnant bride.
“Look at you.”
Shar looked up and smiled at Amirah. “Do you like it?”
Amirah smiled, her eyes twinkling with delight. “I love it, dear. You are breathtaking.”
Shar blushed, “thank you.”
“Oh my God!”
They turned to the door as Lyvia entered, her stomach so big she looked like she had swallowed a whale. Shar giggled at the thought.
Lyvia scowled at her friend. “You could help rather than laugh at me.”
Shar and Amirah rushed to her aid and helped her to sit down in the nearest chair.
“I don’t think I can walk down that aisle,” Lyvia said with a puff of air.
Shar giggled, and Amirah shook her head. “Maybe you should have waited until after Lyvia had her cubs.”
Shar shrugged, “then she’d have four cubs to take care of.”
“Good point,” Amirah said with a nod, “I have an idea. Be right back,” she said, then left the room.
Lyvia smiled at her best friend. She looked so beautiful in her wedding dress. It was sleeveless and molded nicely to her breasts. It clung to her waist and hips, then flowed down to the floor. It wasn’t a pure white, more of a bone-white, and Sharissa looked like a true princess in it.
Shar smiled at her best friend. She looked so pretty in the burgundy maid of honor dress. It was an off-shoulder dress with designs across her chest and belly, then flowed down to her feet. Pregnant or not pregnant, the dress looked amazing on her.
“Here we go,” Amirah said as she pushed the door open and pulled a wheelchair into the room.
Shar and Lyvia stared at the chair.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Lyvia grumbled.
Amirah grinned, “it’s this or fall on your face as you walk down the aisle, dear.”
Shar chuckled as she watched Lyvia’s face fall.
“Hey, we can decorate it, so it looks like we planned this from the beginning,” Shar said with a bright smile.
“And since your mate is a groomsman, he can push you down the aisle,” Amirah said with a twinkle of merriment in her eye.
Shar nodded, “perfect.”
Lyvia huffed, “oh, all right, fine.”
Shar clapped her hands, then picked up the phone and called in one of the decorators to fix the chair up, so it matched the rest of the decorations.
When they finished, Amirah and Shar helped Lyvia into the chair. Lyvia smiled at how pretty the chair looked now.
“Let’s go find your mate,” Amirah said from behind the chair.
Shar sucked in a breath and covered her breasts. “Oh no.”
Both women looked at her. Shar lowered her arms and groaned at the stains on her beautiful dress. Damn her lactating…
“I’ll send Pearl in with Joy,” Amirah said, then pushed Lyvia out the door.
Shar sighed as she paced the room. She needs to feed her daughter before her breasts leak anymore onto her beautiful dress. Which is already ruined.
“Oh. You look beautiful.”
Shar looked up at Pearl and smiled. “Thanks. But it’s ruined now,” she said, pointing to the stains where her nipples are.
Pearl smiled, “let’s take care of Joy first.”
Shar nodded and accepted her daughter from the Witch. Pearl unzipped the back of her dress and helped her free her breasts so she could feed her daughter. Shar sighed with relief and sat in a chair, her daughter already latched onto a nipple.
“I wish you would stay for the wedding,” Shar said, looking up at Pearl.
Pearl shrugged, “sorry, but I have some important things to take care of.”
Shar frowned. She had asked Pearl to be a bride’s maid because she doesn’t have many friends. Only Lyvia, really. And Pearl, if she thought about it. The woman was almost always there when they needed her.
“Shar,” Pearl said, watching the woman, “I am your friend, and I love you, dearly. But I have things I need to take care of.” And avoid. Pearl thought as she turned from the bride.
Shar huffed. Damn her and her mind-reading powers. She doesn’t see the woman as much as she’d like to, but she knows if she called out of the blue, the woman would drop everything to help. If she could.
“She’s finished,” Shar said, then lifted Joy up to burp her.
“Let me do that,” Pearl said, reaching for the baby. “Don’t want to get spit-up on your beautiful dress.”
Shar smiled, “my tits already messed things up.”
Pearl chuckled, then waved her hand at the dress.
Shar looked down at her dress and pulled it up to look at the once stained spots. She looked up at Pearl and smiled. “Thanks.”
Pearl nodded, “can’t let the leader of The Fated Mates Club have her big day ruined.”
Shar giggled, “no, I guess not.”
“And that is not what I wanted to see.”
Both women turned to the door to find Tate standing there, covering his eyes with his hands.
Shar giggled as she pulled her dress up to cover her breasts.
“Are you covered, little mama?”
Shar nodded, then remembered he was covering his eyes with his hands. “I am.”
Tate lowered his hands and grinned at them. “So, is the bride ready?”
Shar jumped to her feet. “I need to be zipped up again.”
Tate looked at Pearl, then at Shar and back again. “Witch,” he said.
Pearl snorted. “Vampire,” she said, then turned to Shar. “I will take Joy to Amirah, then be on my way.”
“Not staying for the wedding?” Tate asked, watching Pearl with Joy.
Pearl shook her head. “And you know why,” she said, giving him a dirty look. She turned to Shar and smiled. “I am very happy for you and Dustin, Sharissa. I will see you soon,” she said, then left the room.
Tate watched Shar as she tried to hold her dress up.
“Zipper,” Shar whispered.
Tate smirked as he walked behind her and zipped her dress back into place. He leaned his chin on her shoulder when he was finished and breathed in her scent. She smelled like a Human, but there was also something else that has always attracted him to her. But not in a sexual way. He knows he will always love her, but never have her, and he was okay with that.
“Tate?” she whispered.
“Why did you ask me to walk you down the aisle?”
Shar sighed, “because I don’t have anyone to do it.”
He lifted his chin from her shoulder and spun her around to face him. “Why me? You have four brothers.”
She smiled as she leaned closer to him. “I don’t know,” she said honestly, “I’ve just always had this strange connection to you.”
He smiled, happy to hear she felt it too.
“You know I love you, right?” he asked, watching her face.
She nodded, “and I love you too. Are you sure you’re not my long-lost brother?”
He chuckled, “sorry, my dear, but if you were my sister, you would be a Vampire.”
She giggled. “Then what pulls us to each other?”
He gently caressed her cheek. “The Goddesses,” he said, then leaned forward and kissed her cheek. When he stood back, he saw her cheeks were burning. He grinned, “maybe when we were in their hands as souls, you and I were best friends.”
She smiled, “maybe.”
“It’s time,” someone said as they knocked on the door.
Shar took a deep breath.
“Ready to marry your Fated Mate, little mama?”
Shar nodded, and he took her hand and led her from the room. They joined the others, and Lyvia smiled up at them, then waved, when Raj started pushing her down the aisle.
Luckily, no one laughed at Lyvia being in a wheelchair, or her stomach looking like she swallowed the church.
“Ready?” Tate whispered into her ear.
Shar looked up at him and smiled. She felt so much love for this man. But nothing like she felt for Dustin. The love she felt for the Vampire was more like a sisterly love.
“Thank you, Tate,” she whispered.
Tate grinned, “you owe me one.”
She blinked, and he laughed.
“Just messing with you. Now let’s get you down the aisle before your mate has me flogged.”
Sharissa giggled, then turned to the aisle and looked straight at her mate. Dustin grinned as he watched her, and she knew this was the beginning of everything.
“Are you happy?” Dustin asked later that night after everyone went home, and they went to bed. With a heavy sigh, he pulled his new wife against his side.
Shar sighed, “more than happy.”
“Do you want a honeymoon?”
She shrugged, “with everything that’s going on, I don’t see us having one.”
He snorted, “yeah, you’re right. How about if we stay home for two days? No distractions from anyone,” he said, then rolled her onto her back and pinned her to the mattress.
She grinned. “That sounds perrrfect,” she said with a deep purr.
Dustin grinned, then took her mouth in a searing kiss.
The baby monitor went off, and Shar chuckled as Dustin grunted.
“No disturbance from anyone, but our ball of joy,” Shar said.
Dustin smiled and kissed her, then rolled off her and the bed. He pointed for her to stay where she was and left the room.
Shar smiled as she sat up in the bed and leaned her back against the headboard. Dustin brought Joy to her, and she cooed at her little angel.
“Hello, Joy,” she said in a baby voice, “you are so pretty, yes, you are.”
Dustin rolled his eyes as he sat on the edge of the bed. Shar smirked as she held their daughter to her breast.
Dustin sighed and watched his wife feed their daughter. Nothing was as beautiful as this moment. When Joy was finished, Dustin offered to burp her. Shar smiled and handed over their daughter. Dustin rocked his daughter as he burped her.
Joy let out a loud burp, and both her parents chuckled.
“She’s going to be powerful; I can feel it,” Dustin said, looking down at his daughter.
Shar nodded, “I can feel it too.”
They held their daughter and talked about what they could do as a family for two days of no interruptions from their family or friends. They decided to take Joy to the Zoo, which was more for Shar then Joy, since Joy was too young to enjoy it. But Dustin didn’t care. He was going to get time with his wife and daughter. What more could he ask for?
“This is so incredible,” Shar said with excitement as she pushed the stroller towards the monkeys. “I LOVE monkeys!” she shrieked.
Dustin chuckled as he caught up to them.
“Look, Joy, that’s a monkey,” Shar said with delight.
Dustin watched as his mate cooed at their daughter about monkeys and why she liked them so much.
“They’re just so darn cute,” Shar said, then placed her hand on the bar that kept them back from the cages.
Dustin sniffed the air and felt his body stiffen. Something wasn’t right. He looked behind him and squinted his eyes, then walked away from his family and followed the foul stench. Something wasn’t right.
Shar was so busy jabbering about the monkeys, she hadn’t noticed her mate was missing.
“Dustin?” she asked, spinning in a circle.
Joy whimpered, and Shar looked at her.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find your father,” she said, then spun the stroller around and headed in the direction she was pulled in.
Shar found her husband standing in front of a fence, his hands turning white from the pressure of holding the links so hard. She smelled something off and looked out into the cage. Panda bears were playing around, pushing each other. But that’s not what had her husband’s attention. There was a panda bear who was in a corner alone. It was looking at the other pandas, and the Humans, fear in his eyes.
“Dustin?” she whispered, knowing her mate would hear her.
Dustin turned to Shar, anger, and frustration in his eyes.
“He’s not a panda,” he said, then pushed himself off the fence.
Shar looked out at the panda and sucked in a breath when the bear looked at her, and she saw the silver eyes.
“Oh my God,” she almost cried.
The Zoo had captured a Shifter.
“Why won’t he shift?” she asked, watching her mate.
“Because he’s scared, and we’re not supposed to shift in front of Humans,” Dustin said, then jumped over the bar that was supposed to keep him back.
Shar looked around them and found several people watching them.
“Why does he smell so foul?” Shar asked.
“Because he has been forced to live like an animal,” Dustin growled. “Call Tate, I’m calling Raj.”
Shar nodded and pulled out her phone.
“We have a problem,” Shar and Dustin said at the same time into their phones. Shar smiled at her husband, and Dustin winked at her.
Tate appeared before her before she could say anything else, and the Human’s screamed.
Shar chuckled as she hung up the phone. She really didn’t care right now what the Humans were feeling. They have captured one of her kind. Yes, she may still basically be Human, but she is the Fated Mate of a Cougar.
“What’s up, little mama?” Tate asked with a smirk, looking around them.
“That,” Shar said, pointing to the Panda Shifter.
Tate looked at the sad Panda and frowned. “How the fuck did that happen?!”
“Language,” Shar hissed.
Tate looked down at Joy and smiled. “Ah, my beautiful god-daughter.”
Shar snorted, “you’re not her godfather Tate. When will you get that through your thick skull?”
Tate smirked, “I know I will be the godfather of your children, Shar, you just have to accept me.”
She shook her head at the Vampire. When Dustin hung up and turned to them, Shar’s attention was on her mate.
“Raj and his father will be here soon. I need to call my brothers,” Dustin said, watching Shar and Tate. “You okay?” he asked, his eyes moving to Shar.
Shar grinned. “I’m fine. I told you I love monkeys,” she said, her head nodding towards Tate.
Dustin burst into laughter, then turned from them so he could call his brothers.
“Hardy-har-har, Shar,” Tate said, then grinned. “Hey, I rhymed.”
Shar rolled her eyes.
“Everyone should be here soon. We need to get hold of the Zoo’s manager,” Dustin said as he walked up to them.
“You do that,” Tate said. “I’m going to figure out how this happened,” he grumbled, then disappeared.
“Will you be okay here, alone?” Dustin asked, looking at Shar.
Shar nodded, “we will be fine. I think I’m going to try and get his attention,” she said, then turned and lifted her daughter into her arms.
Dustin placed his hand on her shoulder. “Be careful,” he said, then kissed her and walked away, towards the main office of the Zoo.
Shar smiled as she climbed over the bar and headed for the fence.
“Hi,” she whispered. Knowing he would hear her. “My name is Sharissa Kraftman. You can call me Shar. That big man who was here, that’s my husband, my mate. He’s going to help get you out of here,” she said, her eyes never leaving the scared Panda. “I’m sorry this happened to you,” she said with a sniffle as she held her daughter close. How long has he been here?
The Panda stood and walked over to the fence. She smiled and pushed her hand through, so he could sniff it. The Humans behind her sucked in shocked breaths. But she didn’t care; he was in need of Human touch.
“We will get you out of here soon,” she whispered, then giggled when he licked her fingers.
“This is our daughter, Joy,” she said, letting the Panda see Joy, who’s eyes were glued to the Panda.
“You need to step back, lady. That is a beast in there,” a man said. Then out of nowhere, a whip came out and whipped the fence.
The Panda growled as he jumped back from the fence.
Shar spun around and growled at the man. He took a step back, his eyes bugging out of his face.
“How dare you!” Shar screeched. “That isn’t even an animal. Do you know how many laws you have broken? You are looking at a lawsuit you’ll be so far under you will never dig your way out. Let’s see, there’s kidnapping, abuse, holding someone prisoner…”
Gasps erupted around them at her accusations.
“What are you talking about, lady? He’s a panda, we saved him…”
Shar growled, and the man shut up.
“What is she talking about?” a Human standing around them whispered.
“I am talking about the fact that this Zoo kidnapped, whipped, and held prisoner, a Shifter!” Shar screamed.
“Like Shifters are any better than the animals they shift into,” a man said with a sneer.
Shar launched over the bar and got into the man’s face. “Say that to me again,” she snarled.
His eyes bugged out of his head when her eye color flickered. He took a step back and looked around to see if anyone else saw it. “She’s one of them,” he said, pointing at Shar, then turned and ran.
“Good thing he ran, because I was about to rip his head off.”
Shar turned to the voice of one of her brothers and snorted. “I can take care of myself,” she said, then smiled. “Where are the others?” she asked, looking around.
Dylan shrugged. “We came in separate cars. I think Daryl joined Dustin.”
Shar nodded. “Is Raj and his father here?”
Dylan nodded, “I was sent here to watch over you, but I see you don’t need it,” he said with a smirk.
Shar snarled, “he had no right to say what he said.”
Dylan sighed, “maybe not. But don’t forget what the future war is about.”
Shar sighed, “I know.”
“Okay, everyone, there’s nothing more to see here,” a man said as he joined them.
The Humans went their ways, but not before giving Shar a worried look.
“And you are?” Shar asked, looking at the newcomer.
The man smiled, “manager of this here, Zoo.”
“Oh, good. I have a few complaints,” Sharissa said, then took a step towards him.
“You do?” he asked, watching her.
Shar nodded. “One,” she said with a nod towards the guard who was still standing off to the side. “Did you know your guards whip the animals?”
The manager’s eyes turned to the guard. He looked at the whip at his hip and shook his head. “George.”
The guard looked at the manager.
The guard growled then gave Shar a nasty look and stormed off.
“Thank you. I was suspecting something like that,” the manager said with a nod.
“And two,” Shar growled, “that Panda over there, is a Shifter.”
The manager looked at the Panda in question and shook his head. “You are mistaken…”
Shar got into the man’s face. “I am not mistaken. And neither is my mate. That Panda is a fucking Shifter!”
“Language, Mafilia,” Dustin said with a chuckle.
Shar took a step back and sneered at the manager.
The manager turned to Dustin and a man in a police uniform. “I am sorry, but your…” He looked at Shar then back at Dustin. “Mate. Is mistaken…”
“My mate is not mistaken. And neither am I. That Panda is a Shifter.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but they speak the truth,” Officer Cunningham said.
“And how do you know this?” the manager asked, looking at the police officer.
Raj’s father growled at the idiot. “Look at my eyes, you moron.”
Shar held back a giggle. She really liked Raj’s father.
“Now look at the Panda’s eyes,” Officer Cunningham ordered.
The manager looked at the Panda, who was now sitting close to the fence, watching them. The Panda’s eyes were silver, and the manager closed his eyes.
“Why didn’t he shift?”
“Because he’s scared, and Shifters aren’t supposed to shift in public,” Shar said.
“Why was he in his Panda form when we found him?” the manager asked.
“Where did you find him?” Officer Cunningham asked.
The manager opened, then closed his mouth.
Tate scoffed as he pushed his way past the Kraftman brothers. “This is where I come in,” he said with a smirk.
Shar watched Tate look the manager in the eyes and ask him where they got the Panda.
The manager told them everything, and the Kraftman brothers were growling and cursing as they listened. When the manager finished, Officer Cunningham cuffed the man and read him his rights.
“You can shift now,” Daryl said as he walked up to the fence.
The Panda shook his head and looked over at the other bears. Daryl looked at the pandas and nodded, then walked away.
Shar watched as her brother walked into the panda pen in his Cougar form from the entrance. The Panda Bear ran to him and followed him out. Shar sighed when she saw Daryl and a young man walk towards them. She smiled at the man who waved at her. He was very handsome and had a decent body for a man who was stuck as a Panda Bear for months.
“This Zoo will be shut down for a while,” Officer Cunningham said as he dragged the manager away. “We will be sweeping it for any other Shifters, “accidentally” captured.”
“Thank you,” Shar said, smiling at Officer Cunningham.
He smiled back. “You must come over for a barbeque, Sharissa. Lyvia has told us so much about you.”
Shar grinned, “I’d love that.”
Dustin walked up behind Shar and wrapped his arms around her and their daughter. “Luckily, we already saw everything we wanted to see here,” he whispered into her ear.
She smiled as she looked up at him. “Not everything,” she said, then looked over at the giraffes.
He grunted. “Really?”
She shrugged. “They were my favorite when I was a little girl.”
He growled playfully in her ear. “And what is your favorite animal now?”
She turned in his arms and looked up at him then down at their daughter and grinned. “Cougars, most definitely.”
He chuckled. “Good answer,” he said, then kissed her.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Koko AranckWrite a Review