Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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In the middle of the night, Rob awoke to a stick breaking in the surrounding woods. He saw Myra’s head pop up as well.

“Shh,” he hushed her, touching her shoulder. He saw Adam still passed out asleep.

“I’ll go look. You stay here.” She nodded and Rob got to his feet quietly. He unzipped the tent, slipping out into the area. He saw his dad coming out of his own tent.

“You heard that too?” Rob whispered, Trip nodded at him and motioned for him to check it out. Rob shifted into his bear form and took a sniff of the air. He scented an unfamiliar hyena in the area. Moving into the woods, he followed the scent as quietly as possible. Right along the landline between his parent’s land and the tiger alpha’s land, he scented the hyena. The smell was fresh, but no hyena remained. He shifted to his human form and looked around. Footprints were in the earth alongside a set of ATV tracks. Rob went back to his camp, seeing his dad and Myra waiting for him to come back.

“A hyena shifter was on your land. They are the sound we heard. I followed the scent back to where Rex’s land backs up to yours. They got away on an ATV.”

“Fuck. I will have to get in touch with Rex. If the Hyena came through that way he had to go through all of Rex’s land,” his dad replied, glaring in the direction he came from.

“Are we safe out here still?” Myra asked, Rob, saw her shaking. He walked over and wrapped his arms around her.

“We should pack up around Adam and wake him at the last second. I don’t want him to freak out,” Rob whispered, no longer feeling like he could keep his family safe. The hyena could have killed them in their sleep if the snapping stick hadn’t woken him up.

“On it,” Myra stepped out of his arms and began to collect the items around the camp. Rob and Trip broke down the tents quietly. Rob shook Adam awake when they needed to roll the tent.

“What?” Adam asked, rubbing his eyes.

“We need to head back to the house. Some wild animals have gotten too close to our camp.” Rob didn’t want to scare Adam.

“Okay. Can I go back to bed?” he asked, climbing into Rob’s truck, instantly falling asleep against the window. Rob chuckled, finishing wrapping up the tent. He stowed it in his truck and saw his dad finishing up with his things. Myra climbed into the front passenger seat, waiting for him to drive them back to the main house. Rob checked his phone and saw it was three in the morning. The rest of his family and friends would be in Little Creek by then. Rob drove them back to the main house to see his mother standing on the front porch. She held her cell phone in her hand, staring anxiously at them.

“Your mom looks worried,” Myra mumbled, rubbing her eyes.

“She does,” Rob agreed, parking next to his dad’s truck.

“What happened?” he asked, stepping out of the truck letting Myra get Adam out, and headed inside.

“I was called fifteen minutes ago telling me they could see your tents and were going to kill you.” Beth came out onto the driveway going into Trip’s arm.

“We awoke to a stick snapping,” Rob answered, watching Myra walk Adam inside. He waited until Adam was inside, away from their conversation.

“What did the voice sound like?” Trip asked, leading Beth back inside. Rob followed his parents, hoping Myra would come back down quickly. He was not disappointed. She came down within two minutes of getting Adam back into bed. He took her hand and walked her into the living room where his parents were waiting.

“His voice was icy, deep and angry,” Beth shared leaning into Trip.

“Probably Viper. We know he knew we were leaving for the airport. It wouldn’t take much work on his part to find where we were headed. Viper has access to more hackers and black market contacts than most,” Myra explained. Rob saw her starting to pull away from everyone. He knew what she was thinking, she thought this was all her fault.

“He also has some of his men here. We scented a hyena on the edge of the property line that meets Rex’s line,” Rob shared, Beth gasped, looking up at Trip.

“Is it safe to let the others come? Should we tell them to cancel their flights?”

“Yes. We need Clyde and Travis. Besides, Matt is going to take over as alpha for me after the new year.”

“When everyone gets here, we keep the kids within eyesight at all times. I do not want a single child in danger. Quinn is expecting again and I don’t want to stress her out.” His mother clutched his father’s hands tight enough he saw his dad wince.

“I promise Mom, the kids will all be safe. Vincent and Adam will follow our direction about being careful with the kids around them. Adam knows more than he is letting on. He told me he saw Viper watching us when we left for the airport,” Rob explained. He felt Myra stiffen next to him.

“I am so sorry this has come here,” Myra whispered, tears in her eyes.

“This isn’t your fault. Ricky opened a can of worms when he went after Viper. He was doing the right thing. Viper is a vile creature and deserves to be killed or arrested for his actions.” Rob comforted her by rubbing her arms.

“Rob is right. We should have tried to go after Viper when he was in town. We ran him out and let him go when he promised to leave our town alone. He has reentered Little Creek against orders. He will be taken care of by us and I’ll let Rex know what is going on. His tigers would be an asset for fighting Viper.” Trip reached out to pat Myra’s knee. Rob was grateful for his family. They rallied around for Myra.

“Thank you.”

“I think we all need to go to bed. The house is safe. No one can get inside and we have family coming in a few hours.” Trip stood, taking Beth with him. Rob followed, urging Myra back to their bedroom. Climbing into the bed he wrapped his arms around her, nuzzling her neck. He needed to feel her pressed against him and safe.

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