Keeper (Matefinder Next Generation Book 1)(8)

By: Leia Stone

As we were walking up to the house, my mom pulled my hand and I turned to face her.

“You know I don’t expect you to follow my path. You will find mates however it works for you. You’re a unique, independent woman, and I raised you to do things your own way.” She was staring at me with those intense blue eyes, and dammit, she always knew the right thing to say to make me feel better.

“I know, Mom.” I pulled her in for a tight hug.

Jaxon called out to us from the porch. “What about me? You raised me to be a unique, independent woman, too.”

We both chuckled. Jax was such an ass; the guy could never be taken seriously. Like EVER.

Mom and I joined him on the porch, and after knocking we were met by our coven leader, Gretchen. She was a healing witch and she adored Jax and me. A woman in her sixties with long, silvery hair and green eyes, she wore a bohemian dress and flower crown that made her look like she just stepped out of a Grateful Dead concert. Gretchen had a shit ton of magical power. Head of the coven basically meant ‘Don’t eff with me.’

“My babies!” she crooned, pulling Jax and me in for a hug. We chuckled at her term ‘babies.’

“You do realize we are twenty years old, right, Gretch?” Jax peppered her with his favorite pet name.

She hugged my mom and ushered us inside. “Nope, you will always be my babies.”

My mom looked around the room a little sad but then smiled. Seeing the witches always reminded her of Sylvia, the old coven leader who sacrificed herself to save my mom. Her picture hung on the wall. She had long red hair and vibrant green eyes. My mom said she still visits her in her dreams.

My mom awkwardly cleared her throat. “We have an issue.”

Gretchen sat erect, eyes flashing silver. “Tell me.” Her tone was ominous. Scary.

“Jesus, Mom. Way to freak everyone out. It’s not an issue, per se, it’s a puzzle.” I tried to lighten the mood.

Jax pointed at me. “Anya has been dreaming of some hot guy who we think is her mate. Issue is, that he is human and she literally gets burning hot thinking about him. Today she had a vision while awake and he asked for help.”

‘You freaking traitor!’ I shot at him.

‘I’m protecting you,’ he reminded me.

Jesus! He couldn’t have worded that better?

Gretchen stood deadly still. Her eyes went silver as she began to pace the carpet. Silver meant she was in the witch zone and shit was about to go down.

“Are you sure he’s human?” Gretchen finally asked me. Her hazy silver eyes were hypnotic.

“Pretty sure. He is not a vampire, witch, or werewolf. I just know,” I confidently told her.

She nodded, accepting that. “Did he seem hot in any of the dreams? Temperature wise, not looks wise.” She grinned.

Oh my God, how embarrassing!

“Yes, he was dripping sweat in the last one.” My cheeks were red. Kill me now.

“You didn’t say that!” my mom scolded.

Gretchen rubbed her chin. “Interesting.”

Jax mirrored Gretchen with the chin rubbing. I might as well get my all-season pass to freakville now because something was definitely wrong with me.

“I have a theory,” Gretchen finally stated and we all leaned forward in our seats, rapt with attention.

She sighed and locked her silver eyes right on me. “First, that this boy is your mate. Old legend says the Matefinder doesn’t begin to get a vision of other mated couples UNTIL she finds her mate.”

The air whooshed out of me. My mate? Hottie dream guy could be my mate? Holy shit, was I ready for that? I couldn’t help the grin that spread across my face. Mom caught me smiling and smiled as well. Jax, however, was scowling.

“Secondly,” Gretchen went on, “because of your close mate connection you are feeling what he feels. The heat. Something is wrong with him. He is in trouble.”

Well, shit. Add that to my plate, why don’t you? Could he really be my mate? I mean, my whole life my parents drilled into us how amazing and life-changing it was to meet your mate and how secure and loved up you felt, but now that Gretchen had said it, I was just nervous and didn’t want it to be true.

“How am I supposed to find this guy? And how the hell can a human be my mate?” I asked.

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