My Commander (Bewitched and Bewildered #1)

By: Alanea Alder

"Aiden, come find me!" The soft voice teased. Aiden looked around, he was in the forest between the Alpha and Beta barracks. Stumbling blindly he couldn't see where she was hiding. A growing sense of dread had his heart beating out of control.

"Quit playing and come out." He yelled.

"Sourpuss!" Her feminine laughter echoed off the trees.

"Come on now, no more playing." He called out. There was nothing but silence.

"That's not funny, come out!"

"Aiden!" Her scream shattered the silence. He ran toward her voice. When he got to the clearing he bellowed out his rage. She was lying in a growing pool of blood. Her long, brown hair framed her petite body on either side. She wore a delicate white lace summer dress and was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was his mate, and she was dying. He raced over and dropped to his knees, lifting her small body into his arms.

"Stay with me baby, please!" He begged.

"Why didn't you look for me?" Her large green eyes held so much pain.

"I didn't know." He choked on the words.

"I would have loved you forever." And then her eyes closed.


Aiden sat up in bed clutching his chest. He had been dreaming of this woman for the past two weeks, with her long, soft brown hair, expressive green eyes and pale skin. She looked so innocent and fragile. Most nights the dreams were wonderful, but the nightmares had started three nights ago and he was scared to death that his mate was out there and he had no idea where to find her.

He swung his legs over the bed and leaned forward, elbows on his knees, face in his hands. He tried to shake off the feeling that something was terribly wrong. Sighing he sat up and scrubbed his hands over his face. He stood and decided against taking a shower, they were doing drills today, and he would be sweaty and rank in less than an hour anyway.

He put on his training gear and went downstairs. Gavriel was at the table frowning into his coffee mug.

"You too?" Aiden asked. Gavriel looked up and nodded.

So far they were the only two in their unit who had started dreaming of their mates. In theory he understood the Elder's concerns for the next generation. At first casting a spell to bring their mates to them seemed extreme, but with his nightmares came a growing sense of urgency. Maybe they had been right after all. Damn.

"Bad?" Aiden asked turning his attention back to his second in command.

"I think my mate may be mentally retarded, either that or she has a severe inner ear imbalance. Every night it's as if I watch her from afar, I have never seen a more accident prone person in my life. I fear she will get herself killed before I can find her." Gavriel scowled. Aiden winced. Gavriel was one of the most elegant, graceful men he knew. What could Fate be thinking pairing him with a woman like that?

"You?" Gavriel asked.

"She was murdered again. I didn't get there in time." Aiden whispered. Gavriel set his cup down.

"Aiden, you say the word, we'll begin looking for her."

"Thank you, I would accept, but I have no idea where to start."

"You two look especially gloomy this morning." Colton breezed in and immediately went to the coffee pot.

"Had trouble sleeping." Gavriel said smoothly, nodding at Aiden with a knowing look. Aiden smiled back, he was grateful that he didn't have to discuss his nightmare further.

"So what's on the agenda today?" Colton turned, holding his favorite mug. It was a caricature of a busty beer maiden holding two beer steins, the caption read "I like big jugs and I cannot lie". Aiden felt himself begin to smile. Only Colton could pull him out of his bad moods so easily.

"We're doing drills." Aiden sipped his coffee.

"Which ones?"

"All of them?"

Colton choked on his coffee. "All of them?"

"All of them. Every mother's son of you. We go until we drop." Aiden figured that if he had to push himself to exhaustion to avoid dreaming, he was dragging the men along for the miserable ride.

"Can I call in sick?" Colton faked a cough.

"No. Call Lorcan and Sascha, we're training with Beta and Gamma today. Let them know we'll be using our facilities." Aiden drained his coffee cup as Gavriel finished what was left of his. The both of them headed out to the unit's training grounds, leaving Colton to moan and groan behind them. Aiden began calling out drill exercises to the early arrivals. He turned to stare at the woods.

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