Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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Myra spent the week with Rob and Adam enjoying their family. Beth and Trip made her feel welcome, and none of the adults said anything about the information she’d shared with them earlier in the week. She did her best not to think about it either. The day before everyone from Rob’s family was set to descend on the family home, Rob took Myra and Adam camping. They set up camp near the lake with Adam showing her how to fish. It had taken them a few hours to set up the tent and arrange the sleeping bags. Adam kept insisting he got to sleep in between Rob and Myra. Later, Beth and Trip would join them for dinner around the fire. When Myra had invited Beth and Trip to join them the entire time Beth smiled and shook her head.

“I am getting too old to sleep outdoors. We will bring you out to dinner and do s’mores around the campfire. You three enjoy some family time.” Now Myra sat on the edge of the lake watching Rob and Adam horse around in the water. She hadn’t wanted to get in right away for fear of her scars. Her bathing suit covered the scar she’d couldn’t hide with her tattoos, so she didn’t have to worry about those kinds of questions. Tomorrow all of Rob’s family would come. She had met Marcus and Ellie and their cub, Ava. The rest she didn’t know and worried they would initially hate her because of her adoptive father’s transgressions. Myra worried about Ricky, Marcus’ man Orion lost him two days ago. Ricky slipped out of his sight, sending Orion on a wild goose chase. What was Ricky up to if he didn’t want her help? Her brother was human and going up against Viper and his shifter goons would get him killed. She didn’t want anything to happen to Ricky, he was her family. Yes, she had Rob and Adam, she loved them, but her relationship with Ricky was different. He was her older brother and always looked out for her. It was odd for them to go so long without contact.

“Why aren’t you swimming with us?” Adam called from the middle of the lake.

“Leave Mom alone. If she doesn’t want to swim she doesn’t have to,” Rob admonished splashing Adam.

“You know what, I am hot.” Myra stood, put her hands at the edge of her shirt, and took a breath. Adam was her son, he might ask questions, but she didn’t want to hide away from her family anymore. She caught Rob’s eye and held them as she took off her shirt and shimmied out of her capris. He nodded his encouragement swimming to the edge of the lake. She stood there in her two-piece bathing suit waiting for him.

“You look beautiful,” he told her, holding out his hand. Myra walked over to him, letting him pull her deeper into the lake.

“Mom, you have a lot of tattoos,” Adam commented, swimming over. She laughed and let go of Rob to swim over to Adam.

“I like them. They are my form of art,” she replied to Adam diving under to enjoy the cool lake. The lake was clear, something she’d never experienced in her life. Coming to the surface, she saw Adam waiting for her, something tucked behind his back. Giving him a suspicious look, she realized Rob was missing.

“Where is your dad?” she asked, looking around. She saw nothing. The lake was still except for where she and Adam were standing.

“I don’t know,” Adam replied with an enormous smile on his face. Immediately Myra knew Rob was up to something.

“What are you hiding behind your back?”

“Nothing.” Adam sunk under the water, making Myra whirl around in time to see Rob jump into the lake as his bear. She laughed and swam over to him. His huge paws splashed at her. Water rained down on her head, soaking her hair. She brushed water out of her eyes to see Adam jump onto a rock and shoot a water gun at her. That is when she knew what they had been up to. Water came at her from all sides. There was nowhere safe to go except down. She dove under the water and swam to the other side of the lake, giving herself some privacy. She tossed her swimsuit onto the bank and shifted into her lynx. Stealth was on her side, being a cat, she could move around with no one seeing her. She spotted Adam standing on the rock, scanning the lake. Rob sat next to him, still in bear form. Myra slipped back into the water and swam carefully until she was underneath where the two stood. She sunk to the bottom of the shallow end of the lake and shot out, swatting Rob on the nose. His bear jerked back while Adam roared with laughter. She hopped onto the bank and purred along Rob’s flank. He turned to look at her before she took him off balance. He was several tons of bear. She wouldn’t be able to force him without throwing him off balance. She spied Adam and leaning her weight on Rob’s back, she pushed. Adam’s eyes lit up with understanding and he sprayed his dad in the face. This was enough to distract Rob. Myra shoved and his bear fell into the water. Adam dropped onto the rock, holding his stomach as Rob resurfaced. Myra climbed up onto the rock next to Adam and settled next to him, staring down at her mate. Adam’s hand hesitantly touched her head. She turned to look at him, he rubbed her ear. Myra could not hold back the purr. She pushed her head into his hands, encouraging her son to get to know her lynx. Adam would shift in a few years, and then they could run around the woods as a family. Myra settled her head on her paws, letting the warmth of the Texas sun lull her to sleep. She felt safe with Rob and Adam around her.

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