Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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20

The next morning Myra awoke to Rob’s arms wrapped around her, her alarm blaring. Rob grunted and tightened his hold on her.

“Rob, I have to get up and get ready for work.” She wiggled in his arms, trying to break his firm hold on her.

“No. Stay with Adam and me,” he mumbled into her hair. Myra laughed and pushed on his chest, using some of her own shifter strength to separate them.

“Not today, my mate. I have to get to work. I have plenty of food for you two to eat for breakfast.” Myra slipped out of his arms and headed for her bathroom to shower. She took less time than she usually did, eager to make sure Adam was okay on the pullout couch. She and Rob had talked the previous night about moving around some of her bookshelves so he could have a private room. Myra didn’t want him to feel like he had no privacy. Stepping out of the shower, she saw Rob awake and laying in bed scrolling on his phone.

“I have an email from Rex. They accepted our offer and said we could close on the house in two weeks.”

“That was fast. Do you want to get an inspector out there this week? That means we can close after our trip to your parent’s house.”

“About that. Turns out my mom invited everyone down to celebrate the Fourth of July, but to answer your question about the inspector, yes. I’ll contact Rex about setting up a good time.” Myra looked up from where she’d been getting clothing from her dresser. She’d chosen a jean skirt and flowy blouse of mint green.

“Meaning?”

“Meaning my entire family will descend on my parents’ home for the holiday weekend. We are going down the Monday before, so you won’t be surrounded the entire time.” Myra saw the worry in Rob’s eyes and she realized he didn’t think she would be okay with meeting his entire family.

“I already know Ellie and Marcus. I will be fine.” Myra walked over to the bed in only her underwear to kiss him gently.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I want to meet your family. You said it yourself, you wanted to ask your brothers for their help. Now you can do it in person.”

“How did I come to deserve such a loving mate?” She smirked and kissed him gently before slipping on her clothes.

“Make my lunch and bring it to me at the library to show your appreciation,” she joked, stepping in front of her vanity mirror to pull her long hair into a ponytail at the back of her head.

“We can do that. I want to sign Adam up for one of your programs for this week. Do you know if any of them are still open?” She sucked her teeth as she thought about it.

“I don’t know, but I can get him into any of them. I am the head children’s librarian.” Rob stood from the bed and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind, nipping at her neck.

“I wish you wouldn’t cover your tattoos.” His hands slipped below her shirt, lifting to reveal the edge of a dragon that sat right along her waist.

“Most of them are in inappropriate places. The only ones to really show off in clothing are the ones on my thighs or shoulders. Besides, I have to work, I need to look professional.” Her stomach filled with butterflies as Rob caught her eyes in the mirror. What she saw surprised her. He had worry and something more in his eyes she wasn’t ready to think about with her mate. Reaching back, she slipped her fingers into his hair and rubbed to soothe him.

“I am learning to love myself more each day I promise.” Her words took some worry from his eyes.

“Come on, we need to feed Adam before I head to work.” She stepped out of his arms and walked to the main area of her apartment. Adam lay face down on the bed, splayed out like a starfish. Myra chuckled, seeing her son. Going into the kitchen, she kept her movements silent as she made herself a cup of coffee. She grabbed her overnight oatmeal out and popped a few berries into the jar before digging in. Rob came out of their room a few minutes later dressed for the day. He let out a snort when he caught sight of Adam. Making his way into the kitchen, he paused when he caught sight of her breakfast.

“That is all you are eating? Is it enough?” She nodded and sighed.

“Something happened to me after that last time my father put me under. I woke up and have only ever been able to eat about half of a normal shifter’s calorie count. That is why I am not as thin as most lynx shifters. My body’s metabolism isn’t fast. I wish I had a list of everything my father did to me. It would give me some answers at least.”

“How can you call that man your father? He abused you.” Myra looked up to see fury in Rob’s eyes on her account.

“I could call him Brandon, but it feels weird.”

“I suppose. I’m impressed with how you are handling everything. I don’t know if I could function in society after everything you went through.” Myra frowned and shrugged.

“I try not to think about it honestly.” Rob wrapped her up in a warm hug, kissing the top of her head.

“What time do you have to be at work?” Rob asked, Myra looked up at the kitchen clock and saw she should have left for work five minutes ago.

“I’m going to be late.” Myra kissed him, grabbed her coffee travel mug, and hurried out the door. She spent her drive to work thinking about what Rob had said. She’d gone through therapy to help her deal with some trauma, but most of the time she tried not to think about it. She learned about tattoo cover-ups by reading through a woman’s magazine. Now she had over twenty from her thighs to her shoulders.

Walking into work, she saw Colette, one of her assistants, sitting at the desk.

“Good morning Myra, you are running late today. Any reason?” Colette wiggled her eyebrows, making Myra laugh.

“You could say. I met my mate on Friday.”

“Tell me!” Colette leaned over the desk, her eyes eager.

“Let me put away my bag, then we can talk while putting away books from the return.” Myra made her way to her office to put away her purse and finish her coffee. She had a strict no liquid rule near the books.

“Who is your mate?” Colette asked as soon as Myra settled behind the main help desk.

“Rob Zephyr.” Myra let her comment hang in the air as Colette stared at her in shock.

“Rob the hottest guy in town, Zephyr?” Myra let out a laugh, nodding.

“Yes.”

“Did you two mate yet?”

“No. He has a son who is ten. They are coming by around lunchtime to sign Adam up for one of our programs.”

“Which one?” Colette pulled up the list for the programs they were hosting for the week.

“Not sure. Rob works on computers, so I thought maybe he’d like our coding class.”

“Anything else he likes to do?” Myra leaned over Colette’s shoulder, looking at the list.

“He might like the author’s study class. They are working on reading books by a specific children’s author and do activities based on the books.” Colette pointed at another option and Myra smiled. They were doing a study on the same author she’d suggested for his summer reading project.

“I’ll tell Rob and Adam when they come in. As for now, let’s get all these overnight returns put back on the shelves. We have a story hour for the babies in a half-hour.” Myra checked her watch and went over to the four carts of returns that needed to be put back.

“Have fun, I’m stuck behind the counter. Marge told me I may not move because she and Patty had a meeting they needed to attend and couldn’t be at the counter.”

“What meeting? None of us have meetings today.” Myra walked around the counter and went toward the adult librarian offices. She spied Marge and Patty sitting in her office laughing. Myra knocked on the door.

“Hi ladies,” she said, opening the door.

“Hello, Myra.” Marge gave her a soft smile.

“I need one of you at the desk. Colette and I have four carts of returns and I noticed the adult books were put back already.” Myra leaned against the doorjamb, letting the women decide.

“I asked Colette to stay at the desk Patty and I have a meeting,” Mirage replied with a frown.

“There are no meetings on our schedule. I need one of you on the checkout counter. In thirty minutes I will have a hoard of women and their babies here for story hour. I want the books put away before then. For that to happen, I need Colette’s help.” Myra hadn’t had this kind of push back from Marge, and it made her wonder why the woman was angry with her. She was old enough to be Myra’s mother and had several children around her age.

“I’ll come.” Patty stood volunteering her help.

“Thanks, Patty.” Myra turned around and heard in a heated whisper.

“How the hell did she get Rob Zephyr?” Then everything made sense. Marge probably wanted Rob for one of her children. Shaking her head, Myra went back to where Colette was fidgeting and motioned for her to grab a cart.

“Patty is coming. Let’s get these books away before you have to do the story hour.” Myra took a cart and went into the stacks. Saturdays and Sundays were their busiest days because families could come at all hours. Summers were busy for them anyway, because the school had ended for the year.

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