Cherished by a Bear (Mate Me book 5)

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5

Walking into Marcus’ house he heard,

“You aren’t my mom!” Along with the slam of a bedroom door.

“Adam!” Marcus roared and Rob knew they’d overstayed their welcome. He took the stairs two at a time.

“I got him!” he announced, pushing past Marcus and Ellie. Without knocking, he pushed open Adam’s door and growled.

“Want to tell me why you are yelling and slamming doors?” Adam looked at him with anger in his eyes. Rob calmed his own anger. If they were both feeling that they would resolve nothing.

“Aunt Ellie told me no to going to the library by myself. She told me I was too young and you shouldn’t have let me walk alone ever,” Adam cried and Rob gave him a confused look. Why would Ellie worry about it now?

“Let me talk to Aunt Ellie. It sounds like there is more to this than you are too young.”

“When we came home from the library today, we saw a group of teenagers near the path I take,” Adam explained, anger lacing his words.

“It sounds like they may have been doing something not good. Aunt Ellie wouldn’t tell you that without a good reason,” he said sitting on his bed.

“Oh, I hadn’t thought that,” Adam replied and Rob watched him relax.

“Bud you’ve been very easy to upset lately. Can you tell me what is going on?” Rob put his hand on Adam’s shoulder.

“I don’t know. Whenever I am around Miss Myra, I don’t feel like I am missing my mom. I know she is going to be important to our family, and I get scared and angry when I’m not allowed to see her. I don’t want her to forget about me,” Adam explained, Rob couldn’t believe what he’d just been told. He bet Adam’s bear was helping him to feel the way he did so strongly. He wouldn’t shift for a few more years, but from birth, a shifter had the senses of their animal. They became more honed once a shifter could shift.

“Does Miss Myra feel like a mom to you?” he asked. If Adam liked her then mating her would be a nonissue.

“She is my safe space. When we moved last summer, I was bored and didn’t have any friends. I went into the library and instantly relaxed. Then when you sent me to swim lessons alone, I had a panic attack. I went into the library and was calm again. It took her talking to me for me to realize she was why I felt safe,” Adam admitted, and Rob smiled.

“What if I told you I met Miss Myra at the gym today?” Adam looked up at him with hopeful eyes.

“What did your bear say?” Adam asked, bouncing up and down.

“That she is my mate, and I found out she is a lynx shifter,” he answered and Adam whooped for joy.

“I knew it!” he shouted and Rob laughed.

“The only problem is she told me she wasn’t ready to date yet.” Adam’s look of shock comforted him.

“Why not?”

“She has some family stuff to deal with first,” he informed him.

“Aunt Ellie and I invited her over for dinner tomorrow. She said she’d let us know. She and Aunt Ellie became friends at the library today,” Adam shared and Rob’s eyebrows shot up.

“Hmm, maybe I can convince her to come over and have dinner. If she comes maybe we can offer to take her on an easy date. You always wanted to try out that theme park nearby,” Rob suggested, and Adam whooped again.

“Dinner!” Ellie yelled up the stairs.

“You owe Aunt Ellie an apology,” Rob informed him, and Adam’s shoulders slumped.

“Yes, sir,” Adam grumbled as they went down together.

“Aunt Ellie,” Adam began, and Ellie turned around to look at him.

“I am sorry I yelled. Dad told me you would have a reason not to let me walk around on my own.”

“I should have led off with why I didn’t want you walking alone. I saw the teens trading money for drugs. I worried you’d run into them now that school is out for the summer,” Ellie explained, patting Adam on the shoulder.

“Dad said you would have a good reason. I am sorry I didn’t listen,” Adam apologized and Ellie gave him a soft smile.

“In other news, Adam and I will start house hunting. It is high time we move out,” Rob announced, sitting at the table to enjoy dinner.

“Dad also met his mate,” Adam added. Rob saw Ellie and Marcus exchange a delighted look.

“Who is she?” Marcus asked, bringing over a bowl of salad.

“Myra Juleston. She is a librarian,” Rob answered, watching Ellie’s eyebrows go up.

“Oh, really?”

“Yes. I’ve seen her several times at the gym and finally spoke with her,” he shared and Marcus laughed.

“Is she the dark-haired one you’ve been staring at?” Marcus asked, handing him a beer.

“Yes. My bear has been pushing for me to talk to her. I’ve seen her at a couple Mate Me events too.” He bit into his shepherd’s pie and moaned his pleasure. Ellie was an amazing cook.

“Why did it take so long?” Ellie asked, setting Ava in her high chair to feed her baby food.

“To be honest, I thought my bear was desperate to find his mate. Today he was very insistent to the point I couldn’t concentrate. I gave in and said hello, startling her on the treadmill. I caught her and my bear roared. She was our mate. She is a shifter too because I heard her purr.”

“Why kind?” Marcus asked, digging into his own meal.

“Lynx.”

“Rare in these parts. They are usually up north or out west,” Marcus commented, and Rob nodded.

“She says she is the only one in town. Her brother lives in D.C. and is a scientist for the government,” Rob shared.

“Is he a shifter?” Marcus asked and Rob shrugged.

“She didn’t say, and I didn’t ask.”

“Why not ask her out just the two of you before you bring her around us?” Ellie suggested, Rob understood her thinking.

“Good idea. I don’t want to overwhelm her.” He went silent as he thought hard about the text message he would send to Myra tonight. He let all conversations around him fade as he thought about his mate. Her curves intrigued him. Most women at the gym wore sports bras and shorts. Not Myra, she was in calf-length workout pants and a covering workout shirt. He wanted to see her lynx badly. He hoped she’d show him soon.

“Dad?” Adam’s voice pulled him back to the conversation at the table.

“Yes, Adam?”

“When can I go see Miss Myra again?”

“We could go Saturday. You wanted to join one of those programs,” he answered.

“She is off Friday and Saturday this week,” Ellie replied, it surprised him she knew her schedule.

“How do you know?” he asked.

“She told us when we invited her for dinner,” Adam answered, a hopeful smile on his face.

“Then Sunday we can go,” he replied.

“Yes!” Adam bounced in his seat, quickly finishing his dinner.

“Can I go play with Aayan next door?” Adam asked.

“Aayan and Alex have been playing during the day. Aayan’s family came home last week. They’d been in India visiting family,” Ellie explained, and Rob relaxed.

“Sure. I’ll call you when it is time for a shower and bed,” Rob told him. Adam cleared his plate before leaving for Aayan’s house. Rob leaned back in his chair, happy to see Adam finally making friends.

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