Every Blissful Moment (Hyena Heat Book 4) (6 page)

BOOK: Every Blissful Moment (Hyena Heat Book 4)
4.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Lincoln rubbed her back in long, slow strokes as Memphis settled down next to them, leaning on his side.  “Hungry, love?”  Memphis asked, picking up her hand and kissing her palm.

“Hmm-mmm,” she said.

Her men chuckled.  “What was that?”  Lincoln asked, his voice rumbling.

“Sleepy,” she said, yawning.  Between staying up late with her besties for her bachelorette party, which hadn’t involved any strippers but had entailed lots of ice cream and laughter, and getting married at 11:30 at night, she was exhausted.

Rome laid a blanket over her and she opened her eyes long enough to see him hand pillows and more blankets from a pile to his brothers.  Lincoln moved only enough to lift his head and shove a pillow behind it, before he wrapped his arms around her once more.

“Comfy, sweet thing?”

“Definitely.  You’re a very good bed.”

Her mates chuckled and she closed her eyes with a yawn, snuggling against Lincoln as Rome and Memphis held her hands.  She drifted off to sleep quickly, sated from head to toe.




Chapter 4


On Wednesday morning, Memphis listened to his brothers packing up their belongings, getting ready to head back to Beyton.  He wasn’t watching them, though; he was watching Bliss as she stood outside on the front porch staring at the mountains, a thick blanket around her shoulders.  She hadn’t moved in the ten minutes he’d been watching her from inside the house.

During their week in the cabin, things had been amazing between them.  Aside from all of the hot times together, they’d spent long hours getting to really know their mate.  They’d shifted for her, so she could watch the process, and she’d traipsed through the woods with them around the lake, her cheeks pink with the cold and her eyes dancing with happiness.  Once the dawn had broken through the darkness on their last day, though, she’d been quiet and withdrawn.  Part of him wanted to go outside and discover what was bothering her, but he hadn’t moved a muscle.  They’d only been together for two months, but he felt like they were old souls.  She was upset about going back to Beyton, he was sure of it.

Lincoln moved to stand next to him, crossing his arms over his chest.  “She’s got to be cold.”

“If she were, she’d come inside.”

He snorted.  “I don’t know what the hell happened overnight, but I don’t like it.  If you’re not going to get her out of the cold, I will.”

Memphis put his hand on his brother’s arm.  “She wants to be alone.  How often does she have that chance with three mates?  She went from living alone to moving in with us as soon as we met, and then we were in the den a month later.  She’s not used to this, and she needs a minute.  We should let her have it.”

Lincoln’s lip curled in a grimace.  “I’ll give her ten more minutes.”

Memphis shook his head as Lincoln stomped back to the bedroom.  The first day and night they’d slept on a pile of blankets on the floor, but after that they’d gone to the bedroom.  They’d planned to just pamper her the whole time, but she hadn’t sat by passively while they tended to her.  She’d been just as interested in and insistent on pampering them as they were for her.  He’d discovered she could give an amazing backrub, that she liked to wake them up with her talented mouth, and she even made a dessert out of baked apples that had knocked his socks off.

It hadn’t surprised him, though.  Bliss was very affectionate with a giving nature that went bone-deep.  He hated that she suffered through knowing her parents didn’t approve of her or want anything to do with her anymore.  He wished he could erase that pain.

She turned and, head down, walked back in through the front door.  Now he didn’t allow any distance to separate them; he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tight.  She shuddered and sniffled.  “You’re going to make me cry.”

“Because of a hug?” he asked, resting his cheek on top of her head.

“Because I know you were watching me; I could feel it.”

“I wanted you to have space if you needed it, and I think you did.”

She nodded and leaned away slightly, lifting her hand and showing him a bracelet.  He took it from her.  The golden chain was delicate, strung with pearls.  He remembered her wearing it during their ceremony.  “It was my grandma’s.  She died when I was in elementary school.  She’d tangled with a momma bear and she died from an infection of the wounds because there weren’t any were-hospitals at the time.”

“It’s pretty,” he said, giving it back to her.

“It was the only thing my mom gave me of hers when she died.  It’s not real – the pearls are plastic and worn, and she told me that it was just junk.  I knew that it wasn’t worth anything, but my grandma wore it on special occasions.  She came to school for Grandparents Day and sat with me at lunch, and she had it on.  I wore it as my ‘old’ item for our wedding.”

“I don’t understand, love,” he said.

Her lips pursed for a brief moment.  “When I was packing, I found it in my purse.  It made me sad to see it, because I know she would’ve liked you guys.  If she were alive, she wouldn’t have turned her back on me and said I was dead to the family.  I just…miss her a lot.  I feel ridiculous because I have you three for mates, plus your parents and the
, but I was thinking, what will I tell our kids when they ask about my family?  The truth is so harsh.”  Her eyes filled with tears and his brothers were suddenly there, putting their hands on her and offering comfort.

Memphis pressed his lips to her forehead.  “I’m sorry, love.  I’m so fucking sorry.”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Rome said.  “Whisper is your sister, Mack is like a second father to you.  You know when we have kids he’s going to act like a grandfather, especially if they take more after wolves than hyenas, and Whisper and Angel will both be the crazy aunts.  There won’t be a shortage of love in our kids’ lives, baby. 
a family now, and none of us are going anywhere.”

She let out a shaky breath and squeezed the bracelet in her fist.  “I’m sorry.  I’m ending our honeymoon on a bummer.”

Link snarled softly and pulled her into his arms for a kiss.  “Don’t hide what you feel, sweet thing.”

Memphis pointed to his watch so his brother didn’t get any ideas involving the removal of Bliss’s clothes, and Link flipped him off while he went back to kissing their mate.

After loading up the SUV, he was forced to drive while both his brothers sat in the second row on either side of Bliss.  Entering their home address into the GPS, he grumbled about being in the front seat alone, but no one heard him.  They were too busy making Bliss moan.


* * * * *


“Well, fuck,” Memphis said as he stopped the SUV.

“What?”  Bliss asked.

“The GPS just went out.”

Rome leaned forward and peered at the screen.  There was an hourglass in the center of the screen, and the image of their vehicle had disappeared.  Rome pulled his phone from his pocket and said, “I’ve got no bars.”

Everyone checked their phone with the same results.

They’d been on the road for an hour.  It was still light out, but in another two hours the sun would set, and he didn’t want to know how cold it got on Twin River Mountain at night.

“Do you remember what the next set of directions were?”  Rome asked hopefully.

“Not really, damn it.  I know we’re supposed to be on this road for a few more miles, but there’s a turn off ahead somewhere.”

Rome sat back with a groan.  Of all the times to have satellite issues.  “I don’t suppose there’s a map in the glove box?”

Memphis looked over his shoulder in disbelief.  “Of Pennsylvania?”

“I was just asking,” he pointed out.

“Well, don’t fight, okay?  What if we just go really, really slowly and everyone keeps their eyes out for the turn off?”  Bliss suggested.

Memphis inhaled deeply, which Rome knew meant he was trying not to curse.  He put the SUV into gear and the vehicle crept forward.  Rome cursed inwardly for not printing out a set of directions before they left Beyton.  Once they were past this tricky part, the rest of the drive was simple, but he recalled how easy it would’ve been to get lost on the way to the cabin with the roads that weren’t visible until the vehicle was right at them.  If it weren’t for the GPS, they would’ve gotten lost on the way to the cabin.

“We didn’t have trouble with the GPS on the way here,” Rome said.

Memphis slowed the vehicle a little more and said, “You’re right.  That’s strange.”

A pale blur rushed into the road ahead of them, and Memphis stomped on the brake with a curse.  “Fuck!”

The SUV swerved slightly, sliding on the snowy road before stopping.  A large owl perched on the hood, blinking round, yellow eyes at them.

“Am I the only one seeing an owl?”  Bliss asked.

Memphis chuckled.  “No.  I’ve never seen one so big, either.”

Rome said, “Lincoln, why don’t you go out there and shoo it off the hood?”

Link glared at him silently and Rome sighed.  Kissing Bliss briefly, Rome said, “If he pecks my eyes out, I’m going to be really pissed off.”

“Be careful,” Bliss said.

Rome got out and shut the door.  The snow crunched under his feet as he made his way toward the front of the vehicle.  “Go on, get!”  He said, motioning with his hands for the owl to take flight.  The owl’s head tilted, regarding him silently.  Rome felt like a total idiot.

The passenger window rolled down and Bliss said, “Throw your shoe at him.”

He glanced over his shoulder.  “Why don’t I throw

She made a face.  “I was just trying to be helpful.”

Rome moved forward a few more steps and shouted for the owl to take off, but the creature remained on the hood, watchful and unmoving.

“Press the panic button on the key,” he told Memphis.

Rome heard the button click, and the SUV erupted into a cacophony of sirens and horns.  The owl’s claws scraped on the hood as it squawked in surprise and took flight.  It hovered in front of the windshield for a brief moment before it began to shake, its whole body jerking and twisting until the feathers disappeared and were replaced with skin.  The owl shifted into a small child in midair, promptly hit the hood of the SUV with a thud, and slid to the ground.

The alarm turned off and Bliss shouted in dismay.  Rome moved swiftly to the front of the vehicle where a young boy, not more than eight or nine, lay on the snow, a bleeding gash on his upper arm.  Rome jerked off his coat to cover the boy and pressed his fingers to his throat, quickly finding a strong heartbeat.

There was a rustle in the trees and an older man hurried from what appeared to be a hidden road.   He was bent with age, his hair pure white, and he shuffled forward and scooped the boy up.

“I’m sorry, we didn’t know he was a shifter,” Rome said.

“He’s young and foolish.  He knows not to mess with outsiders.”

The man tossed Rome’s coat back to him.

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for,” the old man said.  “His wound will teach him to listen to his elders.”

The man moved toward the road, the snow kicking up as he scuffed his feet through it.

“Wait!”  Rome said.  “We’re heading to New Jersey and don’t know where the turnoff is.  Can you help us?”

The man looked over his shoulder for a moment, his gaze straying to the SUV and then up to the sky.  “You can come and ask our king.  He knows the mountains.”  He disappeared down the road, his form obscured by the trees.

“Well, shit,” Rome said, returning to the SUV.

“Should we follow him?”  Bliss asked.

“I don’t know,” Memphis said.  “They’re obviously owl shifters, which I’ve never heard of, and they must live in these mountains.”

Rome got into the back seat after putting on his coat.  “How much gas do we have?”

Memphis glanced down and then up in the rearview.  “About a third of a tank.”

Lincoln exhaled sharply.  “If we don’t find our way soon, we’re going to be stuck out here.”

“Fine.”  Memphis turned in the seat and looked at Bliss.  “Stay together and don’t do or say anything to upset them.”

Rome felt his gut tighten.  It had been his idea to ask the older male for directions, but now he wasn’t so sure it was a good one.  “Are you sure about this?”

BOOK: Every Blissful Moment (Hyena Heat Book 4)
4.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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