Moonlight savior, p.10
Moonlight Savior, page 10
He brushed her hair back from her face and watched her sleep. She looked angelic during the day, but even more so in slumber. He had no idea what he’d done to deserve such a wonderful woman, but he knew he wanted to hang on to her.
And there it was. His answer.
He wanted Harper to be his mate, to be by his side always. Now he just had to tell her. He knew if he told her in the morning she would wonder if he was only asking because of their argument. No, he’d have to wait a few days, make her think he took time to think things over. He had actually taken time to think things over. That’s all he’d thought about for over a week.
A feeling of peace settled over him and he closed his eyes, finally able to sleep. With a smile, he realized that before the month was over, Harper would be his forever.
The next morning, Ramsey woke with a smile on his face. No matter how many times he tried to erase it, it just crept right back into place. He couldn’t deny that he was happy. Too happy!
“Something’s going on with you,” Harper said with narrowed eyes.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because you haven’t stopped smiling since you woke up. At first I thought you’d just had a really good dream, but no dream would have effects that lasted this long. So spill it.”
He shrugged. “I can’t just be in a good mood?”
“After yesterday? Do you really need to ask me that?”
He winced. “Okay, good point. I was going to talk to you about it in a few days. I don’t think now is the right time.”
“Right time for what? I swear, Ramsey, if you don’t tell me right now, I’m packing a bag and going to Hunter’s,” Harper said, sounding a bit irrational all things considered.
He stood up straighter. “You wouldn’t.”
“Over something this silly?”
“Well now, I don’t know if it’s silly or not. Since you won’t tell me,” she yelled. “I don’t like it when you keep things from me, even if it is something small.”
He sighed and motioned for her to follow him to the living room. She sat on the sofa and he turned the chair so that it faced her. Taking her hands in his, he looked her in the eye.
“I know we didn’t get off to a good start last night. Truthfully, you scared the hell out of me. I spent all night thinking. Actually, I’ve been thinking for over a week now, but last night made me realize a few things. The most important of which is that I don’t want to lose you.
“When I saw you packing that bag, I thought my heart was going to stop. It made me realize that I wanted to keep you with me always. And then I thought about the fact that if I didn’t take you as my mate, someone else would claim you. Just thinking about it makes me want to kill someone.”
She bit her lip. “What are you trying to say, Ramsey?”
“I’m saying that I want you to be my mate. I had planned on waiting a few days to talk to you about it, give us both time to forget about last night. But that’s why I keep smiling today. Because I realized that I want to claim you.”
Her eyes filled with tears and she threw her arms around him. “You really mean it?”
“Yes,” he said, holding her tight. “I really mean it.”
A tear slipped down her cheek. “Before you make that decision, there’s something I should probably tell you. I wasn’t completely honest with you last night.”
“I stayed at Marin’s longer on purpose. I was nervous about coming home.”
He caressed her cheek. “Why would you be nervous to come home?”
“Because I’m pregnant,” she blurted.
His eyes widened and he tensed for a moment, not sure what to say or do. Sure, he’d thought of being a father at some point, but he hadn’t realized it would be so soon. What would have happened if he hadn’t claimed her? Would she have told him?
“Why didn’t you say something?” he asked.
“I was scared to. I didn’t know how you would react to the news.”
“Having a baby with you is good news, Harper. It’s a little sooner than I had anticipated, but that’s okay.” He tucked her hair behind her ear. “There’s something I want to do today before anything else.”
“I want to call a few people to the house. I need to publicly claim you as mine.”
She smiled and burrowed into him. “I like hearing you say that.”
Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he called Cole and Connor. Both agreed to come with their wives to be witnesses. Ramsey didn’t want to take any chances that something could go wrong, especially knowing that his mate was pregnant. He would do anything to protect her and their unborn child.
It seemed like forever, but a half hour later the doorbell rang. Ramsey extracted himself from Harper’s arms to answer it. With a smile, he admitted Connor and Aislinn, Cole and Marin, and Austin into his home. He was a little surprised by Austin’s presence, but didn’t say anything. The more the merrier.
“I hadn’t expected quite so many of you on such short notice, but thanks for coming,” Ramsey said.
“I take it she gave you her news,” Marin said with a disapproving frown.
He nodded. “After I asked her to be my mate.”
Her frown disappeared. “Really?”
“Well. That’s okay then.”
Ramsey laughed and motioned everyone into the living room, where Harper was waiting. He walked to her side and took her hand in his.
“As you all know, Harper has been living with me for the past few weeks. This morning, she agreed to be my mate.” He cleared his throat. “And it seems we’re expecting a baby.”
The men looked stunned, but Aislinn congratulated them and Marin smiled at her new friend.
“You know Luna is going to cause trouble for you,” Austin said. “She’s been hanging around with that new wolf, but she doesn’t seem too happy about it.”
“Now that I’ve claimed Harper as my mate, there isn’t anything she can do about it.”
“It isn’t official yet, so that technically isn’t true,” Aislinn pointed out. “You aren’t married.”
Cole looked over at Connor. “You know, as pack alpha, you can conduct a brief claiming ceremony that would make it official. He would just need to get her a ring today.”
Connor grinned. “So I can. What do you say, Ramsey. Are you up for it?”
“I am if Harper is.”
She nodded and smiled up at him. “I’m ready to do anything that will allow us to be together.”
“Join hands and stand in front of me,” Connor told the couple.
They did as he bade and stared into one another’s eyes.
“Ramsey, you have claimed Harper to be your mate, to be by your side always. In so doing, you pledge to never stray and be faithful to her until the end of your days. You will give your life to protect her and any children you may have, putting them above yourself always. Do you so swear?”
“I do,” Ramsey replied.
“Harper, as a werewolf’s mate you will be asked to be faithful to him, to stand by his side no matter what may come. You pledge to give your love to him and only him, to give him children and a happy home. Do you so swear?”
She smiled up at Ramsey. “I do.”
“As pack alpha, and as witnessed by these pack members, I now declare you mated to one another from this day forward.”
Ramsey kissed Harper softly and wrapped his arms around her. He couldn’t remember a time he had been happier. He’d gotten everything he’d wanted in life. Now he just hoped he could keep it.
“Ramsey, I need to speak with you,” Gabriel said.
Ramsey smiled at Harper, slid her new ring onto her finger, and held the phone up to his ear. “So speak.”
“No, I mean in person. Something has come up that needs our immediate attention. It can’
He frowned. “Are you sure? It’s my day off and I was hoping to spend time with Harper.”
“This isn’t work related.”
That didn’t sound good. “I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes.”
“Come to the house.”
Ramsey disconnected the call and looked at Harper. “I have to go to the Victorian. Gabriel called and said he needs to speak with me.”
“Do you think he heard about our ceremony and he’s angry?”
“No, I don’t think that’s it. Do you want to go with me and visit with Kiera while I talk with him?”
She nodded. “Just let me slip on some shoes and I’ll be ready.”
A few minutes later, they were out the door and on their way. It didn’t take Ramsey long to reach their destination and he parked in the driveway at the house. He didn’t like the cryptic message he’d received and it made him a little uneasy. Wrapping an arm around Harper’s waist, they walked up to the front door. It opened before he could knock.
“I don’t think Gabriel will be pleased that Harper is with you,” Kiera said with a concerned look.
“She wanted to visit with you while I speak with him.”
“He’s waiting for you in the kitchen.”
Ramsey nodded and headed that way. When he got to the doorway, he froze. Luna sat at the table with him. What the hell was going on? What did Luna have to do with their talk?
“I’m glad to see you made it,” Gabriel said and motioned for him to have a seat.
“What’s going on?”
“Luna has some news for you. Something that’s going to change our deal.”
He looked at Luna, waiting to see what she had to say.
He just looked at her. “Okay. Congratulations. I didn’t realize you were seeing anyone.”
“It’s yours,” she said.
Ramsey laughed. “Try again.”
Gabriel narrowed his eyes. “Is there a reason you believe it isn’t yours?”
“Besides the fact that I can count?” Ramsey asked. “If it were mine, she would have known within days of us arriving here. Why wait so long to say something? Especially since she’s been trying to claim me.”
Gabriel looked at Luna. “He has a point.”
“I was too scared to say anything,” she said, fidgeting.
“Bullshit. I don’t believe you for one minute. And I’ll prove that you’re lying,” Ramsey said.
“How?” Gabriel asked.
“A paternity test.”
“You would willingly submit to a paternity test?” Gabriel asked in surprise.
“Yeah, because I know there’s no way in hell that baby is mine.”
“If it is yours, you’ll have to take her as your mate.”
Ramsey grinned. “I can’t.”
Gabriel growled. “I wasn’t asking.”
“Maybe you need to talk to Connor and Cole. They were at my house with their wives and Austin this morning.”
“Why would you have them at your house first thing in the morning?”
Ramsey called to Harper in the other room. When she walked in looking uncertain, he held out a hand to her. He pulled her into his lap and laced their fingers together, placing her left hand on the table so that her ring was clearly visible.
“So Connor could perform the mating ritual,” Ramsey replied. “Harper is my mate for now and always.” He smiled at her. “And we’re expecting a baby.”
Luna paled even more. “You can’t do this to me.”
“That’s the point, Luna. I didn’t do anything to you. I don’t know who you’ve been with, but it’s obvious that he’s the father of your child. If you’re really pregnant,” Ramsey said. “But if by some miracle I am the father, I’ll make sure you and the baby are taken care of until you can find a mate. It just won’t be me.”
Luna sent Harper a malicious glare. “This is all your fault. If you hadn’t shown up, then none of this would have happened! I would have been his mate!”
“No, you wouldn’t,” Ramsey said. “We were friends, Luna, and nothing more. I told you that, but you didn’t want to listen. I’d like for us to be friends again. But you have to get over your obsession. I’m not going to be your mate. You need to find someone else, someone who can make you happy and take care of you. There are plenty of guys in the pack who are decent, hardworking men who would love to be with you. You just have to give them a chance. And you haven’t done that yet.”
A tear slipped down her cheek. “But I don’t want them. I want you.”
“You can’t have me,” he said tersely. “I don’t know how many ways I can say it, Luna.”
With a sob, she got up from the table and ran up the stairs to her room. A moment later, they heard a door slam.
Gabriel sighed. “I’m sorry for the drama, but you didn’t help things any. You should have called me before having Connor perform the ceremony this morning. I could have told you about Luna’s condition and it would have made things easier.”
“How? Either way, Harper is pregnant and I wouldn’t have abandoned her. I’d asked her to be my mate before she told me about the baby, but I sure as hell would have asked her afterward. Regardless, the outcome would have been the same.”
“And how do you know for certain that Harper’s baby is yours if you aren’t sure about Luna’s?”
Ramsey growled at the alpha. “Because I’m the only man she’s been with.”
“Ever,” Ramsey said.
Gabriel looked surprised, but let the matter drop. Kiera poked her head in the room and he smiled at his wife. Ramsey had always envied them their relationship, and now he had the opportunity to have the same type of marriage. Well, sort of a marriage. Gabriel and Kiera had had a traditional wedding and not a werewolf ceremony. Either way, it was just as binding.
Ramsey kissed Harper on the cheek. “Are you ready to go home? I thought you could select a room for the baby so we could start making plans. I’m afraid all of the spare rooms are upstairs.”
“I have some ideas. We’ll discuss it at home though.”
He nodded. “Gabriel, I’ll see you at work tomorrow. And I’m sorry about the situation with Luna, but that baby isn’t mine.”
The alpha nodded. “If you’re serious about the paternity test, I’ll have her go through with it.”
“Just let me know when and where.”
They said their goodbyes and left.
In the car on the way home, Harper was silent.
“What’s wrong?” Ramsey asked, unable to take the silence a moment longer.
“What are you going to do if the baby is yours?”
He sighed. “It isn’t mine.”
“But it could be. You were with her for months before you came here.”
“If it’s mine, then I’ll do what I promised. I’ll take care of her and the baby until she can find a mate, but other than offering financial support, that’s as far as things will go. I’ll have a part in the child’s life if that’s what she wants, but I’m not going to give her hope for anything else.”
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes