Myra woke up to the sound of doors slamming. She sat up alone in bed. Rubbing her eyes, she climbed out of bed before going to the window. There she saw four cars with kids jumping out and their parents following them inside. Screams of the word ‘grandma’ met her ears. This must be Rob’s family. She recognized Marcus and Ellie. Hurrying around the room, she grabbed a change of clothes and went into the bathroom to wash her face.
“Myra?” Rob’s voice called into the room they were sharing.
“I’m washing my face. I’ll be out in ten minutes,” she answered, drying her face and changing her clothes. She’d chosen a loose-fitting t-shirt and capris.
“Okay!” Adam called back. She frowned and wondered why Adam was waiting for her and not playing with his cousins. She quickly put on a basic foundation and mascara. She wouldn’t bother with eyeshadow because she knew the second she stepped outside she would sweat.
“I am ready,” she announced, coming out to see Adam and Rob waiting in shorts and t-shirts.
“You are going to be hot,” Rob remarked, pointing to her capris. She shrugged, she wasn’t ready to show off her tattoos to people she didn’t know.
“Come on, everyone is excited to meet you.” Rob took her hand, Adam taking the other. She smiled down at him. Her heart squeezed with love for her little family. Letting Adam lead the way down the stairs, Myra released both their hands and steadied her beating heart. Stepping off the last stair, she stopped short upon seeing a large group of men and women settled around the large living room. Ellie, Marcus, and Ava were settled on one couch, Ava holding onto the coffee table standing.
“Myra!” Ellie called, getting up to come over and give her a hug. Myra returned it and smiled at her friend.
“Myra, meet my family.” Rob motioned to the group at hand and introduced the rest.
“Travis and Rita with their two boys Vincent who is twelve and Bobby is ten.” She looked over at Travis and his family. He was the spitting image of Trip, although shorter than Marcus. Looking around, she could tell Marcus was the tallest, even taller than his father. Rita had dark hair and eyes, their boys were the same.
“Clyde and his mate Dana, they have three cubs, Gregory is nine, Jill is seven and Kelly five.” Marcus pointed to another family unit. Clyde was a good mix of Trip and Beth, with Beth’s hair and Trip’s eyes. His mate Dana had platinum blond hair, grey eyes, and pale skin. The girls looked like their mother and Gregory, his dad.
“Matt and Quinn with their daughter Hannah who is three, and Quinn is expecting their next child in a few months.” Matt looked almost exactly like Rob, except for their hairstyles. Quinn had honey-blond hair with a soft smile on her face. Hannah looked exactly like her.
“Everyone, this is Myra Juleston, my mate.”
“And my mom,” Adam added. Myra had to blink back the tears threatening to fall. Adam’s words and Rob announcing she was his mate broke away the last of her self doubt.
“It is nice to meet everyone, I’ll probably get your names wrong and I apologize in advance.” She smiled at all of them.
“No worries Myra, we are a lot to get to know and remember. Kids go ahead and play, you’ve met your new Aunt Myra,” Rita announced motioning for the kids to head outside and play. They all ran off except for Ava to head outside with a scream of excitement.
“Myra, Rob, let us know your predicament,” Matt began from his seat in a large armchair.
“You want to talk about that now?” she asked, surprised they wouldn’t want to catch up with each other first.
“I think it’s best we learn everything we can. Our children are in danger as well,” Matt answered, taking Quinn’s hand.
“Um, well where do you want me to start?” she asked, Rob, wrapped her up in his arms giving her his strength.
“At the beginning of what started happening to you.” Myra leaned into Rob’s body, letting him take her to an empty loveseat.
“That would be my teenage years. I first shifted at thirteen. It was a surprise to me I would be a lynx when my mother was a mountain lion shifter. They told me she had lynx in her background, so it wasn’t unusual for me to be one. Then I started losing days in my life. I would go to bed on a Friday and wake Monday morning not knowing what was going on. Then one night when I was sixteen or seventeen I was pulling an all-nighter when Viper stormed into my room. He dragged me down to my father’s lab and tied me to a table. I woke up several weeks later with marks from their experiments on me.” Myra summed up her teens years sharing as little as possible.
“You don’t need to know what he did to her, only that she was being used to study shifters,” Rob added when she saw his brothers were going to ask for more information.
“How did you get away?” Clyde asked, and Myra saw he held onto Dana’s hand. Looking around at all the men, she noticed they held their mates’ hands.
“I went to college on scholarships. When Viper came to harass me at school, I told him I wouldn’t be coming home. I was done with my family and wanted nothing with those people. I didn’t know he was doing this to others.”
“So what has Viper coming after you now?”
“My brother Ricky found some information in our father’s research. He collected it all when our parents died in a car crash years ago. I guess he just made his way through the information. It turns out he and I were both taken from shifter families. Ricky did not inherit the shifter gene, he also mentioned in his letter he was a mistake.”
“So Brandon Juleston isn’t your biological father?”
“No. He was a scientist hired by Viper’s people. He used the guise of being a scientist for the government when I was a child. We moved constantly, just about the time I made a new friend. I learned it was easier not to make friends, so I wouldn’t be sad when we moved away. Once I shifted we stopped moving.”
“And what did Ricky find to make Viper nervous?”
“I think the information that he was snatching baby shifters and then your parents told us about Viper being run out of town because he tried to take your babies in town. I can only think he knows what Ricky sent me is what could put him away for life.”
“Where is the information now?” Travis asked, he gave her a sharp stare.
“Trip has it locked away.” Trip nodded to back her statement as truth.
“Do we know where he is now?”
“No. I know one of his henchmen was in the area. I smelled hyena near our camp last night. A snapping stick woke us. I went after them but they escaped in a car along the edge of Rex’s property,” Rob shared squeezing her hand.
“Does Rex know?” Matt asked.
“I talked to him this morning before you all arrived. He has his tigers on the lookout for anyone who doesn’t look like they are up to any good,” Trip remarked, he’d remained standing leaning against the wall by the door. Myra saw it as a position of protection. If anything came through the door, Trip would be the first to take the attack.
“Then what is the plan?”
“We go about our normal activities. Marcus brought a couple of men with him that when they got into town started walking around with some of our defenders. I don’t want us to hunt Viper. He will come to us. If he sent his henchmen onto our land, he is an impatient man. Viper will slip up and we take advantage of it. I want as little bloodshed as possible,” Trip shared, Myra watched as everyone nodded in agreement.
“Good, now that that is settled you all put your bags away and we will make lunch,” Beth announced turning the conversation to something lighter. Myra smiled and stood to help Beth start lunch since she and Rob were the only ones unpacked.
Leave me your thoughts!