Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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The week flew by for Myra and before she knew it they were packing Sunday night for their trip to Little Creek, Texas. No sign of Viper or her brother, though she worried why Ricky hadn’t gotten in touch with her. A knock sounded on the door and Rob left her packing to answer it. He came back a minute later holding a massive brown envelope with her name on it.

“Who was at the door?”

“A delivery service. They needed someone to sign for this,” Rob replied, handing her the package. She took it and set it to the side.

“I’ll look at it after we finish packing,” she told him, walking into the bathroom to grab her toiletry items. She didn’t want to admit that the package worried her. She hadn’t heard from Ricky and knew he was supposed to contact Marcus on Friday. His phone was off the grid. The tracking brought nothing up. Earlier in the week, Rob had Ricky’s car towed to a body shop where he knew the owner. He didn’t enjoy having the car still in the lot. Each day they came out, more damage was being done. Owen had seen no one, which worried her more. She’d met the black bear shifter the day after Rob and Adam moved in.

“Myra, do you want to wait to open your package?” Rob asked, poking his head into the bathroom.

“What?” She thought she’d told him she was going to wait until they were done packing.

“No, I mean once we are in Texas. I don’t know what is in that package, but you know it can’t be good. I told you earlier that my parents knew about Viper and sent what they had on him. I haven’t shared it with you because I was hoping Ricky would contact you first. I think it would be best if we looked at everything with my dad and mom around.” Myra read in his eyes he worried for her.

“What do you know?” she demanded she wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight knowing Rob had news for her.

“Baby, I don’t want you to be upset,” he answered, walking in to wrap her up in his arms.

“Then you tell me tonight after Adam goes to bed. I promised I’d help him pack.”

“Are you sure?” Myra looked at Rob, their eyes connecting in the bathroom mirror. She sensed the worry in his body and prayed what he had to tell her wouldn’t break her apart. She wanted nothing to ruin her time with Rob’s family.

“I already have come to terms with my father being a horrible man. He experimented on me and I’m sure I’m not the only person he cut apart.” Rob gave her a surprised look and kissed the top of her head.

“I never thought about it like that.”

“I’ve had plenty of years to think about why he was so evil. I don’t love my parents. When they died, I didn’t cry. I sighed in relief, he couldn’t hurt anyone anymore.” Her eyes pricked, making her blink hard.

“Aww Myra.” He turned her around in his arms and crushed her to his chest. She heard his heart beating. She used him to center her. The steady beat of his heart gave her a moment to fight back the tears threatening to fall.

“I love you, Myra,” he whispered, she looked up at him shocked he declared his love for her in the bathroom.


“I love you. Every day I have fallen more and more in love with you. You are my mate, a strong, sexy, amazing woman. I love you.” Rob held her face between his hands. She searched his eyes and saw nothing but the truth in his words. He loved her.

“I love you too Rob. You’ve given me love even after hearing my story. You’ve given me a son, one I never thought I’d have. I still don’t know the extent of what my father did to me. That could mean no babies,” she replied, wanting him to know everything she worried about.

“We have Adam. If you can’t bear children, he is enough. We could also adopt if you wanted,” he answered, bending down to crush his lips to hers. She never thought about adoption before, she always worried she wouldn’t be loved.

“Tonight, I am making you mine,” he murmured, releasing her lips.

“Yes.” She leaned up and captured his lips again, diving her tongue in to taste him. He tasted of the barbeque dinner they’d had and something more. Something that was all Rob and would always be there when they kissed.

“Mom?” Adam’s voice came down the hallway, pulling the two apart.

“Did he just call me mom?” She didn’t know if her heart could take more from these Zephyr men.

“I believe so.” Rob gave her a sweet smile, taking her hand he walked her out of the bathroom. Adam stood in the doorway, a frown on his face.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, sensing he was worried about something.

“I didn’t mean to call you mom, it just came out. Is it okay I call you mom?” Myra left Rob’s side and walked over to Adam.

“It made me happy to hear you call me mom. If you want to call me mom, I would love it.” She hugged him, his arms went around her hugging her back.

“Thanks, Mom. Can you help me pack now? I don’t know how to make it all fit.” Myra laughed and let him go.

“Come on, we can make it all fit and if it doesn’t a second bag won’t be a problem.” Walking into his bedroom, the mess hit her on the floor. In the center stood an empty suitcase. Around it were clothes, books, toys, and shoes.

“Well first, let’s get your clothes and bathroom items in the bag,” she began and settled on the floor. Picking up a shirt, she gave it a sniff and then jerked away.

“Adam where are your clean clothes?” He gave a look around the room and shrugged.

“Dad gave me a stack yesterday,” he answered, walking to the new dresser they’d bought him.

“Okay, change of plans. First, all dirty clothes need to be put in the laundry basket. Your dad will get a load going while we pack,” she ordered, scooping up all clothing on the floor. The mess bothered her a bit. She would never tell Adam, though. This was his room, and they allowed him to keep it how he wanted as long as it didn’t spill into the main areas of the apartment.

“I heard my name.” Rob poked his head into the bedroom.

“Perfect timing. We need all this laundry cleaned. Adam neglected to give them to us last time we did laundry,” she announced, pushing the overstuffed basket at him. Rob chuckled and picked the basket up without saying a word.

“Next time you give us your clothes weekly. This way your room doesn’t get too messy and you can always find clean clothes,” she explained, keeping her voice soft. She didn’t think this warranted a strict tone.

“Sure.” Adam gave a shrug and went back to picking out his clothing. Myra sat on the bed and gave him suggestions, but made him do the actual packing. He was ten, he could do this with a little guidance.

“The last thing you put in is your toiletries. They go in the outside pocket of the suitcase. You don’t want exploded toothpaste on your clothes,” Myra instructed once they had packed the suitcase.

“What about my books?” he asked, pointing to the stack he wanted to take with him.

“Those can go in the bag you want to keep with you. The suitcases go under. If you want your books for the plane, you need your carry-on pack.” Myra lifted the backpack she spied under the bed.

“Awesome! Do you think Dad will let me listen to music on his phone?” Myra shrugged, she wasn’t sure what Rob’s policy was on phone use with Adam. She noticed he didn’t have too much time on the screens. He had an Xbox and a Playstation but didn’t play often, not unless Rob suggested it. Adam mostly read with Myra.

“You can listen to music,” Rob called from the hallway where the washing machine and dryer sat. He was moving the clothes into the dryer. Myra hadn’t realized how much time they’d taken to pack Adam’s suitcase.

“There is your answer.” Myra motioned toward Rob. Adam smiled and tucked headphones into his backpack along with six books. Myra smiled, she had six in her carry on, plus her phone, earbuds, and a charger. Rob had packed his computer and chargers.

“Now it is time for bed. It’s almost eleven and we need to be at the airport at six. That means we leave here at five,” she explained, getting up from the bed.

“Thanks, Mom.” Adam gave her a hug and one to Rob who had come into the room after moving laundry.

“Good night. See you in the morning,” Rob told his son, taking Myra by her hand. They closed the door and went back to their room.

“Okay, Adam is in bed. I want you to tell me what you know about me. Clearly, it isn’t anything good,” she demanded, closing their bedroom door and locking it.

“It isn’t about you per se. It is more about what my family knows about your dad and Viper.” Rob began twisting his fingers together in a nervous gesture. Whatever he knew wasn’t good.

“Best do it like a bandaid. Rip it off.” She sat on the bed praying she wouldn’t faint from the news.

“Okay. Well, when I called my parents on Sunday to tell them about you my mother wasn’t the most welcoming. She thought you knew what your father was up to. I set her straight and said you weren’t a willing participant.” Myra nodded, she had some backlash from the shifter community with her last name. Many people knew about her father and Viper, why they hadn’t tried to stop them was beyond her. Although she was in the same boat, she hadn’t tried to stop them.

“Well, my father sent me the information he had on Viper. Turns out they caught the man trying to steal infant shifters. He captured two before the clans and packs banded together to stop him.” Myra’s heart clenched, Viper was stealing babies. How low could a man get?

“And?” She needed him to continue.

“Well, they sentenced him to several years in prison for kidnapping, though it was his goons who took the brunt of the punishment. The law enforcement couldn’t pin the plan on Viper, only his associates. He got out of jail a year ago.” Myra’s body shook with rage. The man captured babies and only got a few years in prison? That was ridiculous.

“That is insane. Anything else?”

“Well, I have a theory,” he replied. And this is what she knew he hadn’t wanted to tell her.

“You think they stole me from my actual family?” she filled in the blanks. It wasn’t hard to see where his thinking was going.

“I think they stole both you and Ricky. Ricky just didn’t inherit the shifter gene, and when he didn’t shift at thirteen, they stopped worrying about him. You were the unlucky one who was the shifter. How else would it explain your family’s willingness to carve you up?” Rob asked, pacing around the room. She saw the anger for her family in his eyes.

“That would explain why Ricky and I don’t look too much alike. My mother was blond with blue eyes. We just assumed I was the odd duck,” she replied, unsure how to feel about the news. It was a theory, one that would explain a lot.

“What do you think is in that envelope then?” she asked, pointing to the brown-wrapped package sitting in her suitcase.

“It might have your answers. Do you want to wait to talk with my parents more about Viper before you look at it? It might help many people,” he suggested. She sensed he wanted her to wait. She wouldn’t be much fun to be around after reading the information, even if it was what she knew. Seeing her father’s research wouldn’t make her feel good at all.

“I don’t know. I know what my father did to me. I don’t want to be a downer around your family when I look through the information,” she replied, wringing her fingers.

“They will want to be with you to support you. My family wouldn’t ever push you away. You are my mate,” he assured her, sitting on the bed next to her. The mattress dipped making her lean into his warm comforting body.

“Okay. I’ll look at it in Texas.” Myra rested her head against his shoulder, taking his hand in hers.

“I love you, Myra, nothing in that envelope will change that.” Rob looked down at her, his blue eyes shining with the love he felt for her. Leaning up, she captured his mouth. No more talk about her past. Now was the time to start their future.

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