Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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Rob watched Myra sleep on the rock, while he leaned back in the water and Adam asked about her scars.

“What happened?” Adam ran a gentle hand across a scar on one of her legs. He had a sad look on his face. Rob looked over her and winced, she had more scars than he realized.

“A horrible man did that to your mom.”

“Is that who has been following us around?” Rob sat up further and looked at his son.

“What do you mean?”

“Back home. A man was following us around all week.”

“You mean Owen, Greyson, or Peter?”

“No. I know them. Another man with evil eyes was watching us leave the house to go to the airport.” Rob did his best to keep from swearing.

“Stay here with Mom. I am going to call Grandpa real quick.” He hurried out of the lake, putting on a pair of shorts before grabbing his cellphone.

“Rob, what’s up?” His father’s voice sounded serious.

“Adam says he saw Viper following us around while we were in White Valley. I need your enforcers going around town checking to make sure he didn’t follow us here. I’m going to call Marcus and check in with him. We might have a few extra people come if we can’t locate Viper,” he explained, scanning the area. His bear didn’t sense danger, but again they hadn’t noticed Viper before.

“I’ll have my men out in full force tonight.”

“Thanks, Dad. See you and Mom later.” Rob hung up and saw Adam had settled next to Myra. His head lay on her lynx’s shoulder and his eyes were closed. Rob grabbed the beach umbrella they’d brought with them to block out the sun and set it up over the both of them. He didn’t want Adam to get burnt while he slept. Rob’s heart warmed to see Myra had trusted them with her tattoos and scars. Adam knew not to push what happened to her and accepted the scars on her lynx’s body. Rob dialed Marcus next.

“I was just about to call you Rob. We found Ricky.”

“Is he alive?”

“Barely. He is in the hospital. Orion found him dumped on the side of the road. I think the men who attacked him thought he was dead. Orion called the ambulance, and they had to revive him on their way to the hospital. I have Orion and Troy at the hospital with him in case Viper’s men find out they didn’t complete the job.”

“Damn. I’ll tell Myra when she wakes from her nap. Was he able to say who did it?”

“He hasn’t spoken to any of us. He’s been unconscious.”

“Okay. Well, Adam revealed that he has seen Viper still following us around White Valley. He mentioned seeing him as we left for the airport on Monday.”

“That explains why we haven’t seen him or his goons around town.”

“I think he followed us here to Little Creek. Can you see if Peter, Owen, and Grayson will come with you and Ellie tomorrow?”

“I will. We need everyone on hand in case Viper tries to go after Myra. Where are you all now?”

“Camping at the lake. Dad and Mom are coming to have dinner with us.”

“Do you think it is wise to be out there by yourselves?”

“Myra and I can protect Adam. She is a fierce lynx and I know she won’t let anything happen to him. She thinks of him as her son.”

“Good. I’ll see you with everyone tomorrow afternoon. Are you telling Clyde, Matt, and Travis about this as well?”

“I’ll tell them when they get here.”

“Smart. I think you might get your confrontation with Viper in Little Creek. He knows the area from his time trying to steal babies.”

“Myra is one of his stolen babies,” Rob shared, he knew Marcus suspected along with him.

“I am sorry. I know of a private detective who can help her find her family if she wants.”

“Thanks, Marcus. I’ll tell her. She has a lot on her plate at the moment after looking through the information Ricky had sent to her.”

“How bad was it?”

“Bad. Bad enough I am surprised she doesn’t have many medical issues that resulted from the torture.”

“I’m sorry, she is a strong woman.”

“Very. I’ll call you if anything happens.”

“See you tomorrow, Rob.” Rob hung up and looked back at his son and mate. They were the most important people in his life. Nothing would happen to them while he was still around. Thinking back to all the information he’d read in her file, he agreed with Marcus, Myra was a strong woman. Stronger than any man who had gone through that treatment. Ricky left a list of names at the end of the file. Rob researched them and many had committed suicide in their early twenties. How Myra worked through her issues and continued to live was beyond him.

“Hey, Rob!” He heard his mother call, turning he saw her and his dad climbing out of his dad’s truck.

“You are here early.”

“We didn’t want you to be out here on your own. Your dad is going to camp with you all tonight. I don’t want you out here on your own if Viper is in Little Creek.” He smiled at his mother and kissed her cheek.

“They are sleeping on the big flat rock by the lake,” he told her, pointing to where Myra and Adam were still asleep.

“Oh my, she is beautiful,” his mother gasped, getting a look at Myra in her lynx’s form.


“And those scars show she is a survivor, a warrior,” his dad added, nodding toward the two.

“There are so many,” his mother whispered.

“Yes, and in her human form, she has covered most of them in tattoos. If you see any on her body, don’t make a big deal.”

“How many does she have?” his mom asked.

“Over twenty. They are large pieces too. She has practically a storybook on her body,” Rob explained, helping his dad get his camping equipment out of the back of his truck.

“I hope she feels comfortable around us to show them off.”

“Most of them are on her back and stomach. She has them from mid-thigh to her shoulders,” he explained, watching Myra shift. Her lynx lifted its head, staring right at him. He gave her a wave. Even in her shifted form, he knew she was weighing the effects of moving and waking Adam, who was using her flank as a pillow.

“Adam! Grandma and Grandpa are here,” Rob called helping decide for her. Adam’s head popped up, and he gave a cheer, racing over to where Beth and Trip stood.

“I’ll bring you some clothes,” he told Myra, her lynx’s head dipped, and she hopped off the rock. Rob grabbed her clothing and met her behind the rock. Her lynx rubbed against him before shifting to her human body. He admired her naked form, wanting to take a bite.

“Why are your parents here so early?” she whispered, taking the clothes and slipping them on. Rob purposefully grabbed a pair of shorts for her to wear.

“Adam mentioned seeing Viper following us. He didn’t know who he was, just mentioned the man with the evil eyes. He was there when we left for the airport. I called Marcus, Viper and his goons are no longer in White Valley.”

“Fuck, they are here, aren’t they?” Her voice held a note of panic.

“We don’t know that. My dad has his enforcers moving around the town. Marcus is bringing Peter. Owen and Greyson with him here tomorrow. We will be ready if Viper and his goons want a fight.”

“I cannot believe I’ve brought this to your parents’ home. They have been so amazing to me all week and I repay them with Viper,” she wailed, dropping onto her bottom, clutching her shirt to her chest.

“This is not your fault. This is because your father couldn’t say no to the enormous amount of money shifter research gave him.”

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered, tears streaming from her eyes.

“Stop. This is not your fault.” Rob pulled her into his arms, holding her close. He rubbed her back until she calmed down.

“We will protect you.”

“Rob,” she sighed, resting her head against his chest.

“I know. This will end soon.”

“What about Ricky?”

“Well,” he began, he didn’t want to bring her more bad news.

“They found Ricky. He is alive but in the ICU. He was barely alive when Orion found him. Orion and Troy are with him at the hospital.”

“At least he is alive,” she answered, giving him a watery smile. Rob gave her a soft smile and tugged on her shirt.

“You might want to put this on before I jump you with my parents within earshot.” She laughed and slipped the shirt over her head.

“Come on.” He stood and took her head. She hesitated for a moment before letting him walk him over to where his parents and Adam were talking. Adam was helping Trip set up the tent.

“My dad is going to stay with us tonight since we don’t know where Viper is at the moment,” he explained when she gave him a confused look.

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