My Guardian (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 6)(7)

By: Alanea Alder

Micah froze and then blinked. No one seemed to breathe.

Behind them, the meat pie vendor began to howl with laughter and beat on his counter. "She got you with that one did she not, pretty boy!"

Adriel winced. Maybe a public explanation hadn't been the best idea. Beside him, Bethy had her face in her hands.

"I... uh... Adriel?" Micah stammered.

"Come back up here to visit, girlie; I will show you how the common folk live and how the city really works," the vendor promised.

Meryn turned and gave him a thumbs up. The older man just chuckled.

"Micah, let us escort our guests to the prince," Adriel suggested.

Micah nodded and shook his head. He smiled, and the flirt was back in action. "Come, my turtle dove, I'll escort you down."

Meryn walked with Micah and Ryuu back toward the transport tunnel.

As Adriel walked behind them, he heard a snort. He turned to find Declan grinning like an idiot. "What?"

"I have been here for over six hundred years, and I never thought to ask how shit works." Declan began laughing uproariously.

Adriel gave him a flat look before turning to Etain. "I will escort our commander, you deal with the laughing hyena."

Etain's mouth twitched. "Yes, sir."

Adriel moved over beside their commander. Aiden shot him a sympathetic look. "I have one just like him. Can't kill him since he's my best friend."

"So what did you do?" Adriel asked curiously.

Aiden gave him a slow grin. "I left him in charge."

Adriel nodded. "Not a bad idea. Maybe a few days in my shoes will give him an appreciation for decorum."

Aiden stared down the transport tunnel. "Or the men will kill him."

Adriel sighed and agreed. "Or the men would kill him. Ready, sir?"

Aiden swallowed hard. "No, but let's go."


"Uncle! Uncle, I'm home!" Bethy called out, swinging the large wooden door open.

"This is not her home." Adriel heard Gavriel mumble under his breath.

Aiden patted his second in command on the back, and they walked into the opulent residence quarters for House Rioux.

"Bethy!" Magnus Rioux came barreling toward them, a huge smile on his face. He swept up his niece and swung her around as she laughed.

"Gods girl! I have missed you!" He peppered her face in kisses.

"And I've missed you!" Bethy laid her head on her uncle's shoulder.

Adriel smiled at the pair. Growing up, Bethy had spent more time with her uncle than with her fathers. The man spoiled her outrageously, but not with material things. He had spoiled her with attention and unconditional love.

Magnus set her down and kissed her cheek one last time.

"Where's Daddy and Papa?" she asked, looking around.

"We were not expecting you quite this early. I believe they are working on a surprise for you. I sent my secretary, Cheryl, to Broderick's lab to let them know you had arrived." Magnus kissed Bethy's temple.

Gavriel cleared his throat loudly.

Bethy shook her head. "I'm so sorry my love." She walked over and grabbed Gavriel by the arm before she dragged him over to her uncle. "Unky, this is my mate, Gavriel."

Magnus eyed Gavriel then grinned. "I know who the bastard is."

Gavriel rolled his eyes and extended his forearm. They clasped arms in a warrior's greeting before stepping back.

"She made it all the way through the city, and she is not bleeding. I commend you." Magnus said smiling.

"It was not easy," Gavriel admitted.

Magnus shook his head. "Tell me about it." He turned to Bethy. "Tarak and Kuruk Géroux have insisted on being your guards again."

Bethy's eyes widened. "I thought you sent them to the Caribbean to recuperate after my last visit."

Magnus nodded. "I did, but when they caught wind you were returning, they made it back to the city in record time. They are adamant that no one except for them can keep you safe."

"It is true," a deep voice rumbled from the doorway.

"Tarak!" Bethy squealed and ran toward the huge vampire smiling at her.

She was almost to them when she clipped her shin on the coffee table and started to go down. Before Gavriel could react, both vampires had Bethy in their arms holding her above the floor.