My Guardian (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 6)(3)

By: Alanea Alder

Meryn looked at the men. "So, if I understand what Aiden told me about how rankings in other cities work correctly, then Adriel is a vampire, Declan is a shifter, Grant is a shifter, of course Etain couldn't be anything other than a fae, and Micah is a witch."

Adriel nodded his head. "That is correct; in each pillar city, the predominant race of that city leads the units, then the structure falls into place accordingly. If this were Éire Danu, the structure of the units would be fae, shifter, vampire, shifter, witch."

Meryn shrugged. "I guess that makes sense. This is my first time going to another pillar city besides Lycaonia."

Adriel nodded. "We hope you enjoy your visit to Noctem Falls."

Meryn walked over to the edge of the canyon and looked down. Aiden was at her side in a heartbeat, pulling her away. "Meryn!"

Meryn swatted at his hands. "Ryuu wouldn't let me fall. Where's the city?"

Adriel held out his hand to Meryn. Meryn looked over to Bethy who nodded encouragingly at her. With the hesitancy of a trapped animal, Meryn scooted forward and took his hand. He led her to the edge and pointed. "See that large out cropping?" Meryn nodded. "That is the Ledge. We will fly you down, and Micah will de-spell the entrance for you since this is your first visit. If it is not de-spelled, you will not be able to see the door. It is a security measure we have to keep unwanted visitors at bay."

Meryn turned to look up at him. "You can fly?" she asked with the awe and wonder of a child.

He nodded. "Yes, of course, almost every vampire can fly. So can most fae, and nearly all witches can float."

Behind them Gavriel groaned.

Meryn spun and pointed a finger at him. "You never told me you could fly!"

Gavriel held up his hands in a defensive measure. "Now Meryn, there are not many places to fly in Lycaonia, there are so many trees..."

"Don't 'now Meryn' me." She walked up to the large vampire and put her hands on her hips. "You knew I wanted to fly!"

Gavriel paled and looked over at Aiden who shrugged as if to say, 'You're on your own.'

When Gavriel lowered his hands, Declan and Micah took a step forward to defend the small woman. Bethy held up a hand and shook her head. They stared in shock as the petite human pulled her foot back and kicked the hulking vampire in the shins.

"Meryn!" Gavriel shouted.

Meryn crossed her arms over her chest. "Now we're even."

Adriel couldn't contain his laughter. He felt it bubble up from his gut, and he couldn't hide it. He grabbed his stomach, trying to catch his breath. He'd wanted to be the one to take the fake Ambrosios down a peg or two, but the tiny woman beat him to it.

"Adriel?" He heard Declan ask incredulously. He knew his men would be shocked; he rarely ever gave in to his emotions.

He looked up, chuckling. He kept wiping his eyes, but the tears of laughter kept coming. He tried to explain why he was laughing so hard but couldn't. He just pointed at Meryn.

Adriel's contagious laughter set off the men. One by one they also gave in to their own mirth.

"I thought he was going to throttle her, looks like I was worried about the wrong person," Micah managed to say between bouts of laughter.

Gavriel frowned. "I do not know how things are run here in Noctem Falls, but in Lycaonia, we do not assault our women. I have never, nor would I ever, hit a woman, especially my commander's mate, who is not only human, but also pregnant."

The word 'pregnant' seemed to shake the men out of their playfulness. There was no creature in their world that was to be more protected than a pregnant female.

Adriel looked again, and sure enough, the woman had a small but pronounced rounded belly. All at once the men's focus became her wellbeing.

"Lady Meryn, if you would allow me the honor of escorting a beautiful and delicate flower such as yourself down to the Ledge, I would be eternally grateful," Micah offered in a grandiose manner, kneeling down on one knee.

Meryn smiled shyly. She looked over to Ryuu who nodded. "I'll be right beside you."

Adriel looked at the squire. "You can also fly?"

Grinning, the squire stepped off the edge of the canyon with his rolling crate and simply hovered in mid-air. "But of course."