Moonlight savior, p.3
Moonlight Savior, page 3
“Oh, well… she would have been welcome here.”
“It’s just temporary,” Luna said. “Once I find a job, I’ll start looking for a place of my own.”
Kiera’s eyes widened. “You might want to speak to Gabriel first. I don’t think he’s going to allow that.” She grinned. “Our males may be civilized, but they’re guys just the same. I don’t know that it would be safe for you to be alone.”
“My wife is right,” Gabriel said, stepping into the room. “Welcome, Luna.”
Luna ducked her head and moved closer to Ramsey. The alpha may not be as large as the wolf beside her, but she still felt intimidated. “Thank you.”
“While I don’t believe anyone in the pack would harm you, they would pester you to death if you moved out on your own. If you don’t want to live in the apartment at Ramsey’s house, then you’ll have to move in here until you’re mated,” Gabriel said. “It’s for your own safety as well as the good of the pack. I can’t have over a dozen wolves fighting over you.”
“I understand,” she answered quietly. “I don’t mind staying with Ramsey. I just don’t want to be a burden.”
The alpha’s eyes sharpened on the other wolf. “And has he done or said anything to make you feel like you would be a burden?”
“Oh! No, of course not, it’s just… I’m used to being on my own,” Luna assured him. “Ramsey’s been good to me. I don’t know what I would have done without him.”
“Good.” His eyes never left Ramsey’s. “See that it stays that way.”
Ramsey nodded. It was obvious that it would take some time to curry favor with the alpha once more. He’d really blown it back when Chloe had married Michael and he didn’t know how to fix it. If anything, he had a feeling things were going to get worse before they’d get better. He had yet to see her, but his heart ached just knowing Chloe was near.
“Did you come straight here?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes. I thought you and Kiera would want to meet Luna, and I wanted to let you know I was back in town. We’re going to the house when we leave here so she can get settled.”
“Just to get Luna settled?” the alpha asked.
Ramsey’s jaw tightened. “I haven’t been in the house since… Once Luna is safely tucked away in her apartment, I’m going to Laguna Paradise. I haven’t had a drink in months and I’m long overdue.”
“So you have to get drunk to stay in your own house?”
Ramsey looked away.
“I had hoped the time away would make you see things more clearly,” Gabriel said. “But it seems that nothing has changed.”
“Would you stop loving Kiera in six months if she married someone else?” Ramsey asked. “Or even in a year, or two years? Or would you love her for the rest of your life regardless of whether or not she wanted you in hers?”
“I have a right to be concerned, Ramsey. I have to do what’s right for the whole pack, not just you. She’s happy with Michael and I won’t let you ruin that.”
“I’d sooner rip out my heart than make her unhappy. But it doesn’t mean this is easy on me.”
Gabriel nodded, “Fair enough.”
Ramsey walked to the front door where Luna was patiently waiting. “I’ll see you at work in the morning,” he told Gabriel.
“Take another day or two off.”
“No, I need to keep my hands and my mind busy. I’ll bring Luna here so she can get to know Kiera better. The sooner I get back into a routine the better.”
“If you go to Laguna tonight, you’ll probably see Hunter. Tell him that I need him to work tomorrow, too. I’m going to give Michael the day off. I don’t think the two of you need to be around each other just yet.”
Ramsey nodded and herded Luna out the door.
After getting Luna settled in her new apartment, Ramsey left for Laguna Paradise, a local bar. It was where most of the guys at the shop went when they wanted to unwind. Hell, most of the guys in the pack for that matter. Ramsey was sure it had more to do with the short skirts the waitresses wore than the music or drinks.
Just as Gabriel had predicted, Hunter was in residence. He’d noticed that his friend was hanging out in the place more and more and he wondered why. He didn’t drink a lot while he was there so Ramsey figured it had to be a woman.
He sat on the barstool next to the other wolf.
“I didn’t realize you were back in town,” Hunter said.
“Just got back about an hour ago.”
“And you’re in Laguna already?”
Ramsey shrugged. “Seemed like a good place to forget.”
“You know, you’re going to see them eventually. How are you going to deal with living here if a memory drives you the bars?”
“I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out. I’m just not ready to go home yet. My stuff is still in the Hummer. I just know if I go in the house I’ll still see her there, ya know?”
Hunter nodded. “What you need to do is go there with a woman. Hell, you could have you pick of any woman in here.”
“I don’t want a one night stand, Hunter. I don’t want a woman for that matter. I just finished playing mate to someone. Let me enjoy my freedom while I have it.”
“And yet if Chloe were free, I have a feeling your freedom is the last thing you’d want.”
“You need a mate, Ramsey. Someone to take your mind off Chloe and everything that happened. I’m sure there’s someone out there who can make you happy if you’ll just give them a chance.”
“How many women do you know who wouldn’t run the moment they learned the secret?”
“I’m sure there are plenty out there. You just have to give them a chance.”
“I’m not ready yet.”
Hunter shrugged. “You know Gabriel probably isn’t going to give you an option. If you keep mooning after Chloe, he’s going to force you to find a mate or leave the pack. I’d hate to see you go, man. You need to find someone to at least date, to show him you’re trying to put the past behind you. I think that would go a long way.”
“Maybe. I’ll think about it.”
“I may know someone if you decide you’re ready to date. It doesn’t have to be anything serious, but she knows about us so you wouldn’t have to hide who you are.”
“You’ve been spilling secrets?”
“No nothin’ like that. She’s my sister.”
Ramsey choked on his beer. “Sister? I didn’t know you had a sister.”
“I haven’t told anyone she’s in town yet. She just arrived last week. I know I need to tell Gabriel, but I was trying to let her get settled first. Besides, I know he’ll want her to mate with someone in the pack and I don’t think she’s ready for that yet.”
“She’s only twenty-three so I don’t think she’s ready to settle down.” He noticed Ramsey’s look. “I know there’s an age gap between you, but I think it would work if you wanted to date her. She’s a sweet girl, kind of like Chloe.”
“I’ll think about it and let you know in a day or two.”
“Good. I’d like to say she’s already attached to someone before I introduce her to the alpha. I’d rather it be you than anyone else. At least I know you’ll treat her right.”
Ramsey grinned. “Thanks. It’s not everyday a guy trusts me with his sister.”
A few days later, Ramsey had settled back into a routine at work and home. Luna seemed to be doing well and making friends with Kiera. And so far, he’d managed to avoid seeing Chloe and Michael. But he knew his luck couldn’t last forever.
After much thinking, he’d decided that maybe Hunter’s idea hadn’t been so bad after all. He’d talked to him briefly at lunch and had invited him and his sister over for dinner that night.
So now that work was over, he found himself rushing home to shower and change. For the first time since returning to Ashton Grove, his home didn’t seem quite so empty. Maybe th
After scrubbing the sweat and grease from his body, he got out and dressed in a clean pair of jeans and white tee. He ran his hand over his jaw, his fingers rasping against his five o’clock shadow. He contemplated shaving, but a glance at the clock told him he didn’t have time if he wanted to have dinner ready by seven. He’d left work a little early so he could make lasagna, one of the few things his mother had taught him to make when he’d moved out on his own.
In the kitchen, he gathered the ingredients and got to work. If he were honest, he’d have to admit that he liked to cook. It wasn’t something he’d like to do every day, but he enjoyed it a few times a week.
Once he had the dish in the oven, he made sure the house was straightened up before sitting down to wait. He didn’t have long before the doorbell rang.
With a smile, he opened the door… and froze. He’d expected Hunter’s sister to be pretty, but he hadn’t thought she would be gorgeous. She had Hunter’s blonde hair, which hung in curls down to her waist, and big blue eyes.
“I know we’re a little early,” said Hunter, “but…”
“It’s fine. Come on in.”
Ramsey stepped back to allow them entrance into his home. As Hunter’s sister walked by, he inhaled her scent. She smelled like cherry blossoms. Closing the door, he joined them in the living room.
“Ramsey,” Hunter said, “this is my sister, Harper. Harper, this is Ramsey.”
Harper smiled at him and he was dazzled. For someone so tiny, she certainly packed a punch. She was petite, but curved in all the right places. Not that he should be noticing something like that with her brother standing in the same room.
“It’s nice to meet you, Harper.”
Hunter must have noticed the look on his face because she gave him a knowing grin. Ramsey cleared his throat and motioned for them to sit.
“It was nice of you to come over on such short notice,” Ramsey told Harper.
“I haven’t had a social life since I moved here, so it’s nice to get out. Besides, it’s nice to meet one of Hunter’s friends. He’s kept the pack away from me so far. I was surprised to be honest.”
“That he’s kept them away or that he’s introducing us?” Ramsey asked.
“Both,” she replied.
Hunter shook his head. “I told you why I was keeping them away. And I’m introducing you to Ramsey because he’s the best of the bunch. If you’re going to hang out with the pack, I’d rather you start with Ramsey.”
Harper eyed Ramsey with interest. “Does this have anything to do with your idea of me dating someone before being introduced to your alpha?”
Hunter shrugged. “Maybe. I figured if it was going to be anyone, I’d rather it be Ramsey. You won’t find a better guy.”
“Maybe I should go check on dinner while the two of you talk this out,” Ramsey said, excusing himself from the room. He would have thought that Hunter would have talked to his sister before arriving on his doorstep instead of letting her walk in blind.
The lasagna was done so he pulled it from the oven and sat it on top of the stove to cool. He’d already set the table so there wasn’t much left for him to do, but he didn’t want to rush right back into the living room either. He wanted to make sure Hunter and Harper had time to work things out.
Looking out the kitchen window, he saw Luna walking up the stairs to her apartment with a small bag of groceries. Any other night, he would have invited her to join them, but he hadn’t, not knowing what to expect. He’d thought it might be weird for her to be present when he was meeting someone else, especially knowing her feelings for him. Honestly, he hadn’t seen much of her since they’d been back. She had her car and was able to get around on her own now. The most he saw of her was watching her come and go from her apartment or seeing her at Kiera’s house when he was working. He wasn’t sure if she was avoiding him or if he was avoiding her.
He felt a small hand on his back and looked over his shoulder.
“I’m sorry about that,” Harper said softly. “He just sort of surprised me.That’s all.”
“It’s okay, I understand.”
“Hunter and I did some talking and I’d like to get a chance to know you, Ramsey. If everything he says is true, then you’re the type of guy I would normally date,” she grinned, “with the added bonus of being a wolf.”
“Are you sure?”
She stepped closer to him, their bodies nearly touching. “Before I knew that my brother was trying to set us up, I was interested in you. I don’t know how to explain it, but I was instantly drawn to you, Ramsey.”
“I felt it, too,” he admitted reluctantly. “But that doesn’t mean you have to feel obligated to…”
She placed two fingers over his lips to silence him. “I’m not obligated. I want to get to know you. Not because of the pack, but because I’ll always wonder what if. I think there could be something between us, but we’ll never know if we don’t give it a shot.”
Ramsey gently took her hand in his and kissed the back of her fingers. “I’m willing if you are.”
Her breath hitched in her throat, and she wrapped her other hand around the back of his neck and brought his head down for a kiss. As her lips met his, Ramsey knew he was lost. Her petal soft lips pressed against his made him forget where they were and he wrapped her in his embrace. As his mouth moved over hers, he tangled his hand in her hair. His whole body felt alive, more alive than it had been since Chloe had left him.
“Don’t mind me,” Hunter said as he stepped into the kitchen.
Ramsey stopped kissing Harper, but he didn’t release her. Forget dating. He wanted her. He didn’t want there to be even the slightest chance that someone else could take her, or that Gabriel could mate her to someone. Or worse, mate him to someone. He knew without a doubt that Harper was the woman who would help him get over Chloe. Just holding her made it easier to think about the sweet redhead that he’d thought to make his mate.
“I just thought I’d come check on dinner since the two of you disappeared,” Hunter said.
Harper shook her head. “More like you came to rescue your baby sister.”
“No. I trust Ramsey. If anything happens between the two of you, I know it will be mutual and not just one-sided.”
Harper leaned into Ramsey’s embrace. “Then you really didn’t have a problem with us seeing each other?”
“I wouldn’t have introduced you if I did.”
Ramsey hugged her tight. “Let’s eat. We can talk more about this later.”
Reluctantly, he released her and picked up the lasagna and a spatula. The sooner the dinner portion of the evening was over, the sooner he could talk to Harper about whatever was between them, and he couldn’t deny there was something there. While there was a physical chemistry, he felt there was more to it than that. How could he feel so much for a woman he’d just met? He knew nothing about her, but that didn’t seem to matter. All that mattered was being near her.
During dinner, he learned a little about her, and told her a little about himself. Hunter joined in with stories about his last pack and it gave Ramsey insight into what Harper’s life had been like. It made him understand why Hunter wanted his sister protected when she met the alpha. And Ramsey knew he would do anything he could to protect her. The thought startled him, but at the same time, he accepted it. As a werewolf, his life was anything but normal, and he’d learned to rely on his instincts. And right now, those instincts were telling him to keep Harper as close as possible.
“So how long have you been in Ashton Grove?” Ramsey asked her.
“About two weeks. I’ve been living with Hunter, which makes it hard to hide from the pack.”
“Would you want to stay here?” he asked, shocking not only himself, but Hunter and Harper as well. “Forget I asked. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“If I stayed here, would it be as a roommate or your girlfriend?” she a
Ramsey wasn’t sure how to answer. He knew how he wanted to answer, but would that be the correct way? What did she want? Did she feel the same connection he did, or was he just imagining things? He knew he had to respond. He just hoped his answer didn’t send Harper running and have Hunter reaching for his throat.
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes