Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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17

Rob helped Adam get breakfast before he went upstairs to shower and dress for his day. Adam hadn’t commented on him still wearing his pants from the night before, but the looks he was getting from Ellie and Marcus told him they’d noticed.

“Are you ready to go house hunting?” he asked Adam, coming back down in a pair of khaki shorts, and a t-shirt with his favorite band Aerosmith. Adam stood waiting by the front door with his shoes on, a smile on his face.

“I see you are ready.” Rob laughed, grabbing his keys, Adam smirked and opened the door racing out to the car. They had four houses to check out with the realtor he’d found.

“How many houses do we get to go to?” Adam asked, settling in the back of the car.

“Four. I hope one of them is right for us and we can take Myra to look at it before we put in an offer,” he explained, starting the car and backing them out of the driveway.

“Is she coming to see us today?” Adam bounced in the backseat, Rob could feel his anxiety.

“I’ll text her after we check out these houses. Maybe we can come back to the house we pick together,” he offered, wanting to give Adam some sense of comfort about Myra. He didn’t want to spend the night away from her either, but they didn’t have a place to live together yet.

Rob parked his car in front of a small single-story home and frowned.

“That isn’t big enough,” Adam remarked from the backseat.

“Who knows, maybe it is larger on the inside?” Rob wasn’t hopeful, but he didn’t want to discount the place just yet.

“I doubt it,” Adam muttered, climbing out of the car, a frown on his face.

“Hi, I’m Rex Orellana.” A man with short dark hair and bronze eyes greeted him.

“Hi, Rex. I’m Rob. We spoke the other day. This is my son Adam.” Rob shook his hand and Adam followed suit.

“This is the first of the four houses we’ll visit. This home has three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen combo. There is a large backyard and a wooded area for Adam to play.” Rex unlocked the door and instantly Rob knew the place was too small.

“This is too small. Adam is only ten and will keep growing. I can touch the ceilings. We are bear shifters and take up a lot of space.”

“It is the perfect candidate for additions,” Rex countered, opening the backdoor. It led to a broken patio but a beautiful backyard.

“I don’t want a house that needs a whole addition and raised ceilings added on. We’d like something a little more ready to move in.” Rob shook his head. This house would not work. He didn’t mind doing cosmetic things, he just didn’t want major renovations happening.

“Would it help if my budget expanded?” He didn’t want to see any of the other homes if they were like this one.

“The others are all bigger,” Rex assured him with a smile.

“I hope so,” Adam grumbled, making Rob smother a laugh.

The next two houses were nicer, but not quite what he wanted for Adam and Myra.

“Are we ever going to find a house?” Adam complained, climbing into the car after the third house.

“We will bud. The right house will come, we just have to be patient.” Rob felt his hope start to fade. He followed Rex to the last house as the sun faded. This one was further into the woods and would be a thirty-minute ride to work. All ready, Rob liked the area. Plenty of space for three shifters to wander in the woods. It sat fifteen minutes in the opposite direction of Ellie and Marcus.

Pulling into the long gravel driveway, Rob gaped as the house came into view. The home had to be at least three times the size of the first house. The exterior was a light gray stone with navy blue shutters on each window.

“Whoa.” Adam’s voice floated in from the backseat.

“You said it.” Rob stopped and turned off his car. He prayed this house was the right one for his family. Climbing out of the car, Rob watched Adam race to the door.

“As you can see, it is larger than the others I’ve shown you. It is a tad above your price range but is everything you asked for.” Rex walked him to the door.

“It needs new flooring and paint on the walls. That is why it’s only slightly above your budget.”

“How much above?” Rob didn’t want to fall in love with a house he couldn’t afford.

“They are asking three hundred fifty thousand dollars for it. I think we can talk them down because it has been on the market for a while and it needs a new roof,” Rex explained, opening the door. Rob let Adam in first. The place needed serious help. The carpet was stained and fraying in spots.

“The carpet would have to go. Either way, Adam has bad dust and mold allergies. We need a paint job everywhere too.”

“How many rooms?” Adam asked, wrinkling his nose as he walked into the kitchen.

“Four upstairs plus a completed rec room in the basement with a lower level walkout.” Rex opened the door to the stairs leading down. A strong damp odor met Rob’s nose, making him sneeze.

“When was this place last livid in?”

“About a year. They moved the old woman living here to an assisted living home closer to her son.”

“This place is not worth the asking price. I want to bring my mate to check it out. Do you mind waiting?” Rob asked, pulling out his phone.

“You are my only appointment for the day. Feel free to walk around. I’ll be outside.” Rex put a handkerchief to his nose and walked out.

“This place smells bad,” Adam complained once Rex left.

“We can fix it. I want to check out upstairs.” Rob dialed Myra and went up the stained carpeted steps.

“Hi, Rob.”

“Hi, how did your tattoo come out?” Rob opened the first door on the right. To the left was the hallway and the other three bedrooms.

“I sent you a picture, but it came out perfect.”

“I’ll check it. Adam and I have been house hunting. We’ve found one I’d like you to look at. Can you come out now or should I rearrange?” Rob felt apprehensive about asking her. What if she felt they were moving too fast?

“I’m free. Send me the address.”

“I’ll text you. See you in about thirty minutes.”

“Bye.” Rob hung up and looked around the master suite. It was a decent size, but the bathroom needed an update to the twenty-first century. The pink tile in the bathtub made him want to gag. Everything he’d seen so far needed a lot of work. It might take a couple of months before they could move in. It wasn’t something he wanted, but he might call in a favor with his brothers and dad to help him get the house done faster. They’d all pitched in to help Marcus build his home. This wouldn’t be building the home, just stripping it down and fixing everything.

“Adam, Myra will meet us here in thirty minutes,” Rob called walking back to the first floor. They had left the rear sliding door open leading to a deck. He went out and was pleasantly surprised to see the deck was in good shape. He spied Adam exploring the woods behind the house.

“Adam!” Rob called again, watching him turn to look up.

“Hi, Dad!”

“Myra will be here in thirty minutes, don’t get too dirty.” Rob leaned on the deck rail to watch Adam.

It took less than thirty minutes for Myra to reach them. Rob heard her car crunch up the driveway.

“Adam, Myra is---“ Before he could finish his sentence Adam took off for the front yard.

“--here.” Laughing, Rob went through the house to meet Myra. He smiled at the sight of Adam hugging Myra tightly.

“Good to see you too, Adam.” Myra’s voice reached his ears, he could tell she was happy to see Adam again.

“Adam let her breathe,” Rob joked, walking over and pulling his son off her body. Capturing Myra in his arms, he bent his head and kissed her. Myra’s arms wrapped around his neck, returning the hello.

“Eww Dad,” Adam moaned, making a blech noise. Rob released Myra, laughing at his son. Rob saw Rex coming out of his car and took Myra’s hand to introduce them.

“Rex, this is my mate Myra Juleston.”

“Nice to meet you. Let me show you the house.” Rex led the way in, explaining to Myra about the state of the house. Walking in, Rob watched for Myra’s reaction.

“I can see the potential. Before you move in, you’ll need paint and flooring, maybe a new kitchen,” Myra remarked and Rob gave her a confused look.

“You mean when we move in? You are my mate, I don’t want to be away from you.” Rob pulled her in close, looking into her green eyes. What he saw was relief showing that he wanted her with him and Adam.

“I didn’t want to assume.”

“Assume away. Let’s check downstairs.” Rob led her down to the musty basement.

“The wood paneling will need to come down, but again it all looks cosmetic.” Myra ran a finger along the gigantic fireplace, showing him the dust.

“The house has been empty for a year. Rex said it needs a new roof too. They are asking three-fifty, but I think we can offer three-fifteen. What do you think?” he asked, wanting her input.

“I want to check upstairs first but I agree we should offer less. If it has been empty for a year, they will want it sold as quickly as possible.” She went back up and took the stairs leading up by two. Rob waited on the main level, letting her explore without him hovering.

“What did she say?” Adam asked, getting up from where he’d been sitting by the front door.

“I think she likes it. Let’s wait and see after she checks upstairs.” Rob and Adam waited for ten long minutes before Myra came back down.

“I like it. We will have to do quite a bit of renovating before we can move in. The bathrooms upstairs look like something out of the seventies. This kitchen is dated and the laminate counters need to go. We must replace all the carpets with wood and the basement needs work. I think we could offer three hundred even for the house.” Myra’s eyes were alight with excitement. She saw the same potential he did in the house.

“Rex, we’d like to fill out an offer!” Rob announced walking out of the house. Rex stood on the porch waiting for their decision.

“Come to my office and we’ll fill out the paperwork.” Rex ushered them out, replacing the lockbox.

“I’m going to take Adam home and then Myra and I will meet you at the office,” Rob answered expecting Adam to complain, which he did.

“Why?”

“This is boring stuff. You go play and the three of us will have dinner together.” When he said three, Adam relaxed.

“Fine.”

“Good, get in the car.” Rob pointed at their car. Knowing his son, he’d climb in Myra’s car.

“See you in a few.” Rex bid them goodbye and drove off.

“I’ll meet you at his office?” Myra asked, pulling out her keys.

“Give me half an hour.” Rob bent to give her a gentle kiss.

“See you soon,” she whispered, slipping into her car. Rob jumped into his car and drove on the edge of the speed limit. He wanted a few minutes alone with Myra. They needed to talk about their living arrangement until they could move into the big house.


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