My Commander (Bewitched and Bewildered #1)(7)

By: Alanea Alder

"His bark is worse than his bite. He's a good man. He has dedicated his life to protecting our people." The woman patted her arm.

"He doesn't like me." Meryn whispered.

"Why do you say that?" The woman asked.

"Because I don't look like you. He knew I had cut my hair, I don't think he likes how I look with it short. He said I look like a boy." Meryn ran a hand over her short cropped curls and the woman laughed.

"Trust me dear, he wouldn't want a mate that looked like his mother." Meryn stopped and stared.

There was no way this woman was his mother!

The woman pulled her along until they were in the kitchen. Meryn momentarily forgot about Adelaide's age and gawked at the room in front of her. The magazine cover worthy kitchen had warm, light brown, stone countertops, industrial stainless steel appliances and even a brick oven. This was every chef or bakers dream kitchen. They all sat down around a large, dark wood table. The woman's words started to sink in.

"You're his mother? No way! You're not old enough to be his mother."

"Thank you for that darling, but I'm older than I look."

Meryn edged away in her chair. "You're dog people too, aren't you?"

The woman looked at her confused.

"She means shifters. She saw Colton shift in the yard." Aiden explained to his mother.

"Sweetheart, Aiden is a bear, we're his parents, that makes us bears as well. My name is Adelaide McKenzie and this is my mate Byron McKenzie. You of course have met Aiden. The blond man who looks entirely too amused at my son's discomfort, is his childhood best friend Colton Albright, and the delightful man who is making our tea for us is my squire, Marius Steward." Adelaide made the introductions and Meryn nodded and kept her mouth shut. The less they knew about her the better.

"I hope you like Earl Grey little miss." Marius set a fragile looking china cup and saucer in front of her. As he poured the dark liquid in her cup the floral scent of bergamot filled the air. She inhaled deeply, Earl Grey had always been a favorite. He held up a sugar bowl filled with tiny white cubes and a pair of tongs.

"Four please." He nodded and with practiced ease dropped four of the sugar cubes in her cup. She picked up a tiny silver spoon and began to stir.

"Four?" Aiden stared.

"I like it sweet."

"So do I." Byron smiled at her kindly and took three cubes.

"Now, in all the ruckus, did my son explain that you were his mate?" Adelaide asked sipping her tea.

"He said we were mates, but I kinda freaked out after that."

"That's understandable, considering the situation." Byron shot an amused look at his son.

"How could he know that we are mates? We've just met." Meryn asked. She still didn't quite believe this was happening, but seeing Colton shift had definitely swayed things in her mind. Either they were telling the truth or her genius mind had finally cracked. She personally didn't think that she was that weak, that only left the explanation that they weren't lying and really were bear people.

"Being shifters we know by scent." Adelaide explained.

"So that's why he kept sniffing me." Meryn mused out loud and Byron laughed.

"A mate's scent to a male is like catnip to a cat, we can't get enough of it." Aiden's father leaned over and buried his nose in Adelaide's neck breathing deeply. He smiled at his mate as if to make the point.

"So Colton, with the great ass, is a dog shifter?" Meryn asked. Aiden growled loudly.

"I do have a great ass." Colton admitted beaming.

Aiden's father ran a hand over his mouth smiling. Aiden stood, sending his chair flying backwards.

"You shouldn't be looking at anyone else's ass!" He bellowed chest heaving. Thirty minutes ago, she would have been terrified, but he had kidnapped her, stuffed her in a trunk and manhandled her. She had met his parents and saw their love for each other and their son and it had changed her perception of him. She was no longer afraid of him. He was just a grumpy, spoiled-ass bear and she was tired of his growling.

She stood, ready to bellow back when she noticed that he towered over her. Grumbling, she climbed onto the chair. She was still only about chin level. He smirked down at her. Seething in frustration she climbed on top of the table and put her finger right in his face.

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