Moonlight savior, p.13
Moonlight Savior, page 13
He shook his head. “Not really. It was pretty self-explanatory. I mean, unless there’s something you left out or anything you need to tell me that you couldn’t say in front of the pack?”
“No, I was open and honest in front of them. Any decisions will be made between you, me and Gabriel. None of us will make a decision without the others. You’re going to be the only one tracking everyone down and making sure they’re punished accordingly. There’s just one thing we didn’t cover.”
“What’s that?” Ramsey asked.
“Compensation. It’s going to require you to take time off from your regular job whenever the need arises. So it seems only fair that we pay you something to take on this task.”
Ramsey shook his head. “That isn’t necessary.”
“Yes, it is. We’ll pay you based off the situation. Regardless, you won’t go home empty-handed. You have a mate and baby to think about now.”
“Okay, fair enough.” He glanced at Harper and wondered if it bothered her to be referred to as his mate and not his wife. She’d said before she didn’t care, but he knew it would bother her sooner or later. It had to. Didn’t all women want to get married eventually? Or was he being chauvinistic? He certainly wasn’t trying to be, but he wanted to make sure she got what she wanted out of their relationship. No, what she needed.
“That’s all I needed. If you have any questions, just give me or Gabriel a call. Otherwise, I guess I’ll see you Saturday if Kiera gets everything set up.”
Ramsey nodded and stood. “Thanks again, Connor.”
He helped Harper to her feet and they left the Victorian. The ride home was silent and Ramsey wondered what Harper was thinking about. It always worried him when she was quiet, especially after something big happened. It was the first time she’d seen Trent since moving from California, had it upset her more than he’d thought? Was she worried about the baby? Was she thinking about his new position in the pack? Or did she just not have anything to say?
He could just ask her, but he preferred that she just tell him. Shouldn’t she want to talk to him? If something was bothering her, shouldn’t she want to lean on him? Their relationship was still so new that he never knew what to make of her, what to say or not say, what he should or shouldn’t do. He wished he could read her better, but he figured that would happen over time.
Looking at her out of the corner of his eye, he noticed she seemed relaxed. The sun made her hair shine like spun gold and he wanted to reach out and touch it. He found himself wanting to touch her all the time, even if it was just to touch her hand or run his fingers through her hair. Anything, just as long as he could have contact with her.
“Instead of going home, would you like to go do something?” he asked.
She looked surprised. “Like what?”
He shrugged. “Whatever you want.”
“That’s what I said.”
“What if I said I wanted to see you in your wolf form again?”
He glanced at her. “Why? You aren’t planning to drag me to a pet store are you?”
She laughed. “No, of course not. I just… You changed back almost immediately after I got home that night. Don’t you think it’s odd that your mate has only seen you as a wolf one time?”
“I guess I didn’t realize how important it was to you. I’ve known wolves that mated with women who had never seen their wolf form. But if you want to go home, I’ll be happy to shift for you.”
“Are you sure? We can always do something else. Go walk in the park, go to the mall, visit the next town over…”
He nodded. “All of those are good suggestions.”
“What is the next town over, anyway?”
“Depends on which way you go. The one I prefer is Jonestown. It’s about ten miles down the road and isn’t much bigger than Ashton Grove. They have some nice boutiques if you like shopping, a small museum, a few parks, and a mall that’s about the size of ours.”
Harper was quiet for a moment. “Well… You can shape shift at any time, but there are only so many days you can take me someplace. Maybe we should go out today.”
He had to admit he was a little thankful. It was odd shifting on command. He’d never had a woman ask him to do so before. Then again, he’d never met a woman like Harper before either. She had a valid point. She was his mate and as such had a right to get to know him in both of his forms. He just didn’t see what the rush was. They had the rest of their lives together.
He turned right and headed toward Jonestown. Hopefully she liked the place as much as he did. If nothing else, it would at least get her out of Ashton Grove for a bit and give her some new scenery to look at. And maybe the outing would do them some good.
“Any idea what you want to do when we get there?” he asked.
“You’re probably tired of baby shopping.”
He grinned. “Not at all. There’s actually a really cute boutique on the main strip that I think you’ll like.” He glanced at her still flat stomach. “And while you aren’t showing yet, their mall has a really nice maternity store. It wouldn’t hurt to pick up an outfit or two just to have something on hand when you need it.”
“I have to slow down. I’m going to run out of money.”
“Did you pay for the other baby things?” he asked, feeling a little irritated.
“Well, no… But…”
“And have I asked you to pay for anything since we’ve been together?”
“Then why would you assume that you would need to pay for anything you buy today? I may not make a ton of money working at the garage, but I can still take care of you.”
She reached for his hand. “Ramsey, I didn’t mean…”
“I was paid really well for that job I did in Denver, and while I ran through just about all of it while I was in Mississippi, I can always do other odd jobs for the Denver pack if something comes up.”
She tensed. “You promised you wouldn’t do something like that again. Not while we’re together.”
“I didn’t say I would pretend to be someone’s mate. Now that I actually have a mate, I doubt that I would be asked to do something like that anyway. And if they did ask, I would tell them no. When I give my word, I keep it.”
“Then what would you do?”
“When I spoke with the alpha about the Trent situation, he didn’t seem happy with his current enforcer. If things got bad enough that we needed some extra money, I could always hire myself out to the Denver pack for special jobs here and there.”
“Or I could get a part-time job.”
He shook his head. “I’d rather you stay home with the baby. I know that sounds old fashioned, and maybe a bit chauvinistic, but I don’t like the thought of strangers raising our kid. I don’t like daycares.”
“I want to stay home, but if you think we need extra cash…”
“I think we’ll be fine. I just said if it came to that then I would do whatever was necessary to make sure we’re taken care of.”
She sighed. “I don’t want to argue. Can we just forget we had this conversation? We were having a good day until you asked me what I wanted to do. It’s gone downhill from there.”
“All right. Let’s start over. What would you like to do first when we get into Jonestown? We’ll be there in just another minute or two.”
“Let’s go to the baby boutique first, and then the mall. We’ll play it by ear after that.”
He nodded. “Sounds like a plan.”
Ramsey drove straight to the boutique when they arrived in town, parking in front of the small store. When they walked through the front door, Harper immediately went to a small wooden rocking horse in the front corner near the display window. It was hand painted with a leather seat and reins, the colors cheerful and bright. It reminded them of carousel horse, minus the pole.
He watched as Harper touched it reverently and he knew that she wanted it. He also knew that he was going to buy it for h
Ramsey motioned to the sales woman and asked about the piece.
“We don’t usually take consignment pieces, but this was an antique that someone restored. The owner is an older gentleman who said his grandchildren had outgrown it. Do you think you might be interested in it?”
“Oh, could we, Ramsey? Please?” Harper begged.
He grinned. “Yeah, I think we’re interested in it. Could you put it aside for us while we finish looking around?”
The sales woman nodded and smiled. “Just let me know if you need anything.”
Harper commented on several other things in the store, but Ramsey tried to keep her away from the furniture and larger play items. He knew there was a lot they would still need to purchase, but there was no sense in buying it all at one time. They had a ways to go so there was no reason they couldn’t spread it out a bit.
By the time they left, they had purchased the rocking horse, two receiving blankets, and some crocheted baby booties. Ramsey put everything in the back of the Hummer and drove to the mall.
With it being a weekday, the mall wasn’t very crowded, for which Ramsey was grateful. He hated large crowds, especially since it made it difficult to park the Hummer. It seemed that most of the empty parking spaces had someone parked over the line, and there was no way a vehicle as large as his was fitting in a space that tight. But he was in luck and managed to find front row parking.
Harper threaded her arm through Ramsey’s as they walked through the mall. “May I ask you something?”
“You’re friends with Hunter, right?”
He was surprised by her question, but nodded.
“Does he seem different to you lately? I mean, I know I haven’t seen him in a while, but it seems like something is bothering him. Or is it just me?”
Ramsey frowned. “I haven’t really thought about it. I guess I’ve had my mind on other things lately. He’s been more distracted, but I wouldn’t say it’s anything to worry about. He probably just has something on his mind. If you’re worried about it, why don’t you ask him?”
“Because he’s my big brother. He expects me to confide in him, but he never confides in me. I’m just worried about him.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing.”
She bit her lip. “Would you ask him?”
He stopped and looked down at her. “You want me to point blank ask him if something is bothering him? First off, that isn’t something I would normally do so that’s going to make him suspicious. Second, if he wants to talk, he’ll let me know.”
“I’ll make sure I talk to him at some point this week, but it will be up to him to bring up anything that might be bothering him. If he doesn’t say anything, I’m going to leave the matter alone. He’ll talk when he’s ready. Or, you could just be reading too much into things. He could be perfectly fine.”
She sighed. “I guess you’re right.”
They continued walking until they reached the maternity store. Inside, Harper flipped through various shirts, pants and dresses. She wasn’t sure what to look for since she didn’t know what she would need. It wasn’t like she could try things on since she wasn’t showing yet. The sales women eyed her uncertainly, probably wondering why she was in the store.
“May I help you with something?” the tall brunette asked.
“I’m trying to pick out an outfit or two so that I’ll be prepared when I start to show. But I have no idea what I’m looking for.”
The woman smiled. “How far along are you?”
“Just a few weeks.”
“Most of our customers like our jeans and v-neck knit shirts. You might try those. Or maybe one of our knit dresses. I’ve heard they’re comfortable.”
Harper smiled. “Thanks. I’ll check them out.”
Ramsey stood back and let her shop, trying to stay out of her way. He offered his opinion when she asked for it, but otherwise he let her do her thing while he observed. A half hour later, she had found what she was looking for.
The sales woman placed her purchases in a bag and rang up the total. Ramsey handed her his credit card and signed the receipt.
“Thank you for shopping with us today! I hope you and your wife have a lovely afternoon.”
Wife. Ramsey looked down at her, who was smiling broadly. That was the one thing she wasn’t. She was his, and they were bonded, but she wasn’t his wife. The other mated wolves in the pack could call their mates “wife,” but Ramsey wasn’t one of them. He had to admit that it was bothering him more and more.
Harper insisted that she didn’t care if she was his wife or not, as long as they were mated she was content. So why wasn’t he? Shouldn’t she be the one worrying about such things as being husband and wife? Why did it bother him so much? Regardless of whether or not they were married, their child would carry his name, so that wasn’t it. He knew that she was his, so that wasn’t it. So… what was it?
That one word left him feeling confused. Should he ask Harper to marry him? And explain it how? It wasn’t like he loved her, so he couldn’t tell her that. If he insisted on having an actual wedding, she would want to know why. If he told her he wanted to be able to call her his wife, she wouldn’t understand, not without an explanation – one he couldn’t give.
They walked through the mall, stopping at stores along the way. Harper added to their shopping bags. Some candles purchased at a spa store, a CD purchased at a music store, a pair of shoes, a throw pillow for the sofa… She’d been hesitant over the pillow until he’d assured her that he didn’t care if she decorated the house. It was her home now too and she should be happy living there. If she wanted to make the place her own, he had no problem with that. He only wished he’d thought to tell her sooner.
Walking out of the mall, their arms laden with packages, Ramsey smiled. Even doing something simple, like taking Harper shopping, made him happy these days. She’d changed his life so much in such a short amount of time, and he knew it was only the beginning. His life was richer and fuller with her, and would be more so once their child arrived. Part of him was worried that he wouldn’t be a good father. He’d never really had experience with kids before, but at the same time, he was happy about Harper’s pregnancy.
“You’re awfully quiet,” she commented.
“Good thoughts or bad?”
He smiled at her. “Good. I was just thinking about you and the baby. I can never tell you enough how happy I am that you’re part of my life. Without you, I’d still be an emotional wreck.” He reached over and placed a hand over her stomach. “And you’ve given me a precious gift.”
“You would have been fine without me, Ramsey. It just would have taken you a little longer to realize you were over Chloe.”
He shook his head. “You’re the reason I’m over her. You were meant to be mine.”
“You really feel that way?”
He nodded. He’d known from that first kiss that they were meant to be together. He just hadn’t realized in what capacity. If he hadn’t been so blind, he would have made her his mate the moment he’d laid eyes on her. She’d taken his breath away with her beauty, and she still did. He knew that he could wake up next to her every day for the rest of his life and it would be like seeing her for the first time each and every time.
Once they were back in the SUV, Ramsey looked at Harper. “So, where to now?”
“Where do you want to go?”
He shook his head. “I’m just the driver. This is your day. You tell me where to go and I’ll get us there.”
“How about lunch and then home?”
“If that’s what you want, that’s what we’ll do.”
Ramsey was in the shower the next morning when the doorbell rang. Harper frowned and pulled on a rob
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes