My Guardian (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 6)(4)

By: Alanea Alder


Micah swept Meryn up in his arms. "Come with me, princess. Let me show you the world." He jumped off the edge, and Meryn squealed in excitement.

Declan turned to him. "Isn't that from Aladdin?"

Adriel gave him a look, refusing to acknowledge that he had also recognized the line from a children's movie. He turned to Bethy, but before he could make the offer, Gavriel inclined his head and, grinning, swept Bethy into his arms and walked past them.

Adriel fought back a growl. "Etain, you're responsible for our commander."

As he and Declan stepped off the edge together, he heard Etain ask, "So, Commander, how much do you weigh?"





*****





They reassembled at the front gate, and Micah recited the spell that would reveal the enormous carved stone door.

"This looks like the one from Lord of the Rings!" Meryn said excitedly.

Micah winked, and the door swung open. Before them was the Grand Hall of Noctem Falls.

Adriel leaned down. "Welcome home, Bethy."

She smiled up at him and everyone started forward.

"Thank you for welcoming my mate," Gavriel said, smiling tightly.

Adriel's smile was sly. "It is the least I could do for my favorite valentine."

Gavriel's mouth snapped shut before he turned to look at Bethy who was excitedly pointing out things to Meryn. He glared at him and hurried to catch up to his mate.

"Now that wasn't nice," Aiden chided, matching his stride so they walked together.

Adriel was afraid he had angered his commander, but when he looked up, he saw that Aiden was grinning.

Aiden looked down. "You look surprised."

"I would have thought you would be angry that my words perturbed your second in command," Adriel admitted.

Aiden shrugged. "He needs to be shaken up now and then. As long as it's all in good fun."

This time, when Aiden met his gaze, the warning was clear. He could tease his second in command, but any action that was meant to harm the vampire would be dealt with swiftly and painfully.

Adriel inclined his head. "It was all in good fun."

"Good. Now, when can we eat?" Aiden asked, changing subjects.

"Sir, are you hungry?"

Aiden shook his head. "Not me." He pointed to Meryn, who turned around as if on cue.

"I smell food. I'm hungry."

"Then, by all means, let us find you some sustenance." Adriel bowed.

Meryn threw both arms in the air. "Yes! Food!"

"Denka, you're going to have them thinking I don't feed you. We ate less than an hour ago," the squire said, smiling softly at his charge.

Meryn stopped walking and faced the group. She pointed to her squire. "Ryuu feeds me."

The announcement was so blunt and unexpected the men began to chuckle.

Micah wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "Of course he does, how could he leave such a gorgeous flower to languish without food." Together with Bethy they steered Meryn toward the transport tunnel.

"Your witch. Do I have to kill him?" Aiden asked, growling.

Adriel pinched the bridge of his nose. "No, sir. He is like that with every woman he meets."

"Every woman?" Aiden asked.

Declan nodded. "Yes, sir. Young, old, thin, curvy, shifter, vampire, it does not matter. He treats them all like goddesses."

"He must be popular." Gavriel said, clenching his teeth.

Adriel sighed. "He is, but he is never inappropriate with anyone's mate, despite what the men here in the city may think. Micah is beloved by all the women here because in some sad cases, his words are the only ones of kindness they hear."

Adriel watched as Gavriel and Aiden's expressions changed from suspicion to respect.

Aiden shrugged. "I don't see the harm."

Adriel hid a smile. As he had suspected from previous correspondences, his commander was a softie when it came to matters of the heart.

Aiden was all smiles until he watched as Meryn dropped out of sight down the transport tunnel. "I'll kill him if she's hurt!"

Adriel pulled out his pocket watch. Half-past eleven. Wonderful. His day was just starting.





*****





"Oh! I want to try some of those!" Meryn said, pointing excitedly to the shish kebab vendor.

Adriel turned to Etain, who nodded. "Be right back." Etain jogged to the vendor.