Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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15

Rob wanted his mate to feel safe, so he agreed to hold off on mating. His bear didn’t understand, in the wild bears mated without the complication of emotions. Laying in her ridiculously soft bed, he watched her sleep. Her raven hair lay over her face, blocking the light smattering of freckles across her nose. His eyes shifted to her intricate tattoos. Close up, they were even more impressive. Faint scars showed through, but not enough that unless he looked for them, he didn’t see the reminders of her father’s mistreatment. Myra called it research, he called it abuse.

Running a finger along her arm, he felt at least a dozen bumps on her shoulder.

“Mmm, Rob?” Myra blinked up at him with sleepy eyes.

“Sorry if I woke you.” He kissed her forehead before wrapping his arms around her naked form.

“You okay?” she mumbled, rubbing her nose in his chest hair. The movement tickled.

“I’m happy.” It was the truth, he’d found his mate and Adam liked her.

“Good. Go to sleep,” she ordered before falling asleep again. Taking in her scent, he let it lull him to sleep dreaming of finding the right home.

A scream ripped through the air, jerking Rob from a deep sleep. He jumped out of bed, ready to defend Myra before he realized she was dreaming.

“Stop! No!” Myra thrashed against the comforter, tears streaming down her face. Crawling back into bed he wrapped her in his arms setting her in his lap. She struggled for a moment, while he rubbed her back, murmuring she was safe. Rob watched her face slacken and her tears stop as he comforted her. Myra’s nightmare had ended. Curling up with her, he kept vigilant over her for the rest of the night. How many times did she have these nightmares with no one to care for her?

Checking the time, he saw a missed text from Ellie. Opening his phone, Rob read about Adam’s night.

Hey Rob. Adam was excellent during the barbeque. He played football with the guys. Unfortunately, when he tried to tag Troy, Adam’s nose connected with Troy’s elbow. I am certain he broke it. Greyson set his nose, and we bandaged him. He refused to let me call you, Adam didn’t want to ruin your date with Myra. Anyhow, Marcus assured me his nose would heal in a day or two.

Rob shook his head. Leave it to Adam to break a bone while he was gone. Dawn peeked through Myra’s sheer curtains. Huffing, Rob pressed a kiss to Myra’s temple.

“Myra honey, I need to get home,” he whispered, shaking her gently. She opened tired eyes with confusion showing.

“Why?”

“Adam broke his nose. I want to check on him.” His words had a surprising effect on Myra. She shot up in bed.

“Adam!” Myra scrambled out of bed, rushing into her bathroom.

“He’s fine, sweetheart.” Rob followed her into the bathroom. Their towels from the steamy shower they took last night still heaped on the floor. He bent down and placed them in the hamper by the door.

“Are you sure?” Myra had her toothbrush hanging from her mouth.

“Ellie told me. Adam didn’t want to disrupt our date.” Rob took the spare toothbrush she’d lent him last night. The act of brushing their teeth together struck him as an intimate moment, one he wanted to cherish.

“You aren’t lying to me are you?” Myra connected eyes with him in the mirror. Rob spit before answering.

“I promise.”

“Okay, but let’s go check on him,” she replied, finishing with her morning routine by washing her face. Rob smiled, she was treating Adam as her own.

“Once you are ready, we can. But he probably won’t be awake,” Rob warned, walking into her bedroom to find his scattered clothes. Putting on his boxers and pants, he searched for his undershirt. He found it in the living room along with his ruined dress shirt. Smiling over how hot it’d been watching her destroy it last night, he put on his undershirt. Running a hand through his tangled hair, he needed a hair tie.

“Myra, do you have a hair tie I can use?”

“I keep some in a drawer in the kitchen.” Rob went into the compact space, opening drawers until he found her junk drawer. Tossing his hair up into a bun at the back of his head, he pressed the on button for her Keurig. After the brief night’s sleep both of them had had, they needed a cup.

“Myra, where do you keep your coffee?” He opened several of the cupboards.

“On top of the fridge,” she answered, coming out of her bedroom in a loose-fitting light green dress. The hem reached her knees, and the sleeves were elbow length. If he hadn’t seen the tattoos last night, he wouldn’t know they were all over her body.

“Do people know about your tattoos?” Rob popped a pod into the coffeemaker as he asked.

“Only a handful. I love them, but I’m always afraid people will ask why I have so many,” she explained walking over to him, a sad smile on her lips.

“I get it, but you should be proud you survived.” Rob handed her a travel mug before making his own. He watched her add creamer and a dash of sugar. He committed it to memory.

“I’ll think about it,” Myra replied, cupping her travel mug in her delicate hands.

“Ready to go?” he asked, closing the lid on his own coffee.

“Yes, I’ll follow you because I have a nine o’clock appointment with Spike.”

“Spike?” Rob’s bear didn’t enjoy hearing the name of another man.

“My tattoo artist.” She grabbed her purse and keys, then slipped on a pair of flip-flops. Rob nodded his understanding, still unhappy a man was going to touch her.

“Which one?” He checked his pockets for his wallet and keys before following her out of the apartment. He watched as she locked and checked the door.

“He is finishing the Mad Hatter on my thigh.” This time Rob’s bear growled in his chest.

“I take it your bear doesn’t like me being touched by another man?” The smirk on her face told him she knew what he’d been thinking.

“Can’t help the possessive nature of our animals,” he replied with a shrug, he only had so much control over his animal, just as she did.

“I know. Let’s check on Adam, my lynx needs to know he is okay before I can go about my day.”

“Come on.” Rob climbed into his SUV, starting it up, while Myra got into her car. He waited until he was certain she was ready to follow him back to Marcus and Ellie’s. The drive was quiet, he rarely had an empty car on a weekend. Twenty minutes later he pulled into the driveway, parking his car. He walked over to Myra’s car and opened the door for her, holding out a hand to help her out.

“Thank you.” Myra took his hand, letting him pull her out of her car. Unable to resist, he kissed her. He needed to taste her once more before having to turn back into being a dad again. Myra’s body molded to his, her hands slipping around his neck. Rob pushed his tongue in to play with hers. She tasted of coffee and mint.

“Kind of early for that, isn’t it?” Marcus grumbled, Rob let go of Myra to see him standing on the porch holding the morning’s newspaper.

“Never too early to love on your mate,” Rob quipped, giving his brother a smirk. Marcus shook his head and went back inside. Myra smothered a laugh in his chest, he could feel her quaking against him.

“Let’s get inside and check on Adam.” Rob took her hand leading her inside the house. He saw her look around, taking in Marcus and Ellie’s home.

“Would you like something this size?” he asked, pulling her up the stairs to Adam’s room.

“I think the house is lovely. Any place can become a home when the right people are in it. I am happy with any size we can afford.” Her answer surprised him. So many of the women he’d dated before always wanted the enormous home with a celebrity style kitchen and massive backyard.

“Well, a room for my books would be nice,” she added with a sheepish smile on her face. Rob chuckled and opened Adam’s door quietly. He let Myra stand in front of him so she could see for herself Adam was fine. Looking at Adam’s bed, it was empty. Furrowing his brow, he went to his room, where he found Adam asleep in his bed. His nose bandaged up, and two black bruises forming around his eyes. Ellie was right, Adam had broken his nose.

“That looks painful. You’ll want to make sure you have ibuprofen for him when he wakes up.” Myra kept her voice soft. He looked down and nodded his agreement. Pulling his door closed, he led Myra down to the kitchen. There they found Ellie and Marcus sitting at the small breakfast table sipping their own coffee.

“How was your date?” Ellie asked, looking up from the book she’d been reading. Rob noticed Ava was not with them.

“Lovely,” Myra answered for them, Rob saw the smile on her face.

“I’m sorry about Adam’s nose,” Marcus added, sipping his coffee.

“It happens when boys play. Remember when you broke Clyde’s arm wrestling?” Rob sat in one of the spare chairs, pulling Myra down next to him.

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