Moonlight savior, p.8
Moonlight Savior, page 8
“We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. Now, get back to work. I hear you want to leave early and you won’t make it out of here before five if you keep talking to me.”
Ramsey grinned and left Gabriel’s office. It was the first time since he’d returned that he felt things might be all right between him and the alpha. He was certain that the ultimatum was still in effect, but maybe their relationship was on the mend. Now if he could only fix things with Kiera.
When he got home, Harper was anxiously waiting for him. He grinned and kissed her on the cheek.
“Just let me shower and then we can go.”
He laughed and walked down the hall to the bedroom, stripping his shirt off along the way. He tried to hurry, knowing she was anxious to go pick out her pet. Ramsey smiled at how adorable she was in her excitement. He only hoped she didn’t pick out a cat. Cats typically didn’t like wolves.
Once he’d scrubbed off the grease from his day’s work, he dried off and dressed in a pair of well worn jeans and a white tee. It was a chilly April night outside, but he’d always been hot blooded. He slipped on his boots and went to the living room and found a pacing Harper.
“Please tell me you haven’t been wearing a hole in the carpet the whole time I was in the shower,” he said, fighting a grin.
She gave him a sheepish look. “Maybe. Sorry, I’m just a little anxious. I have no idea what kind of pet I want, but I can’t wait to see them all.”
“Well, come on. Let’s go find you something furry or feathered to love.”
She gave him an odd look and followed him out to the Hummer. He wondered what it meant, but pushed it to the back of his mind. He was probably just making something out of nothing.
It didn’t take long to arrive at the Pet Depot on Main Street. It was the largest pet store in Ashton Grove and Ramsey figured it would give her the best selection. When they walked inside, they were greeted by a sales associate who offered to answer any questions they might have.
Harper wandered from cage to cage, looking at everything from small hamsters to bunnies to birds. Something in the back corner caught her eye and she made her way over to it. Ramsey inwardly groaned when he saw it was an adoption area for cats. The woman manning the table had a small dog on a leash underneath who eyed them uncertainly.
“Good evening,” the lady said with a smile. “Interested in adopting a cat?”
Harper shrugged. “I’m honestly not sure what I want. I know I want a pet, but I’ve never had one before, so I’m not really sure what’s right for me.”
“Well, cats are fairly self-sufficient. As long as you feed them and play with them, they’re content. Do you have any dogs at home?”
Harper glanced at Ramsey and he grinned at her. “Um, I guess you could say that.”
“Something large or small?” the lady asked.
“Definitely large,” Ramsey answered. Harper elbowed him, but he could tell she was trying not to smile.
“Hmm, well a cat might not be a good choice for you. Most of our rescues don’t like large dogs.”
The little dog under the table pawed at Ramsey’s leg. He hunkered down and the little brindle and white pup stared up at him with soulful eyes. He gently scratched it behind the ears.
Harper noticed and bent down to pet the dog as well.
“He’s cute,” she told the lady. “What kind of dog is he?”
“And Italian Greyhound.” She studied them a moment. “Would you be interested in adopting him?”
Harper looked surprised. “Isn’t he yours?”
The lady shook her head. “A friend of mine had to move out of the country for her job and left him with me, but I’m really more of a cat person. I’d hoped to find him a new home. As long as your other dog isn’t aggressive, I think they would get along just fine.”
“No, he would be gentle with him,” Harper assured her. “Are you sure you want to get rid of him?”
The lady smiled. “I think it’s out of my hands. He’s coward from every person who’s come up to this table, until now. It seems to me that he’s chosen his new home.”
Harper accepted the leash and picked up the little dog, hugging him tight. “Does he have a name?”
Harper eyed the little dog. “That’s an awfully big name for someone so tiny. Well, what do you say, Shakespeare? Do you want to go home with me?”
He gave a little whine and licked her cheek.
Harper laughed and smiled at the lady. “It seems that’s settled. We’ll take him.”
“Good. I’m afraid I don’t have any bowls or anything for him. I was using my cat dishes, and what little dog food I had I left at home. I honestly didn’t think he’d be going home with anyone tonight.”
“That’s okay. We’ll buy him new things,” Ramsey said. “It’s what we would have done with any other pet anyway.”
The lady nodded and waved bye as they walked away.
Harper smiled up at Ramsey. “Thank you for letting me get
“He seems like a good dog, and so far he likes me. Honestly, I was a little worried when you went to look at the cats.”
“Why is that?”
“Cats don’t like wolves.”
She frowned. “I hadn’t thought of that. You should have said something.”
“And if I had, you wouldn’t have found Shakespeare.”
“Very true. So where do we begin?”
“Bowls, toys, a bed… food, treats. And whatever else you want to get for him. If you’d like, you can buy a new collar and leash instead of using that plain blue one. They’re bound to have some nice leather ones to choose from.”
“I bet he’d like that. We’ll need a dog tag, too.”
Ramsey nodded and steered her toward the dog section of the store. It wasn’t long before their basket was overflowing with items for Shakespeare. They’d only had the dog for less than an hour and already it was spoiled rotten. Ramsey had the horrible suspicion that he’d find the dog in their bed if he didn’t set some ground rules.
After they purchased all of their items and bought a dog tag, Ramsey loaded everything into the Hummer and they drove home. Shakespeare started out in Harper’s lap, but he surprised Ramsey. Partway home, the little dog crawled across the console and stretched out across Ramsey’s lap.
Harper laughed. “It seems he likes us equally. That’s a good thing. I’d hate to have a pet that didn’t like you.”
Ramsey rubbed the dog’s back. “He’s a good dog. I’m glad you’re happy.”
She smiled and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. “I’m very happy.”
When they pulled in the driveway, Ramey handed Shakespeare back to Harper. Getting out of the SUV, he gathered the dog’s things and carried them to the house. Harper had already unlocked the door and taken her new baby into the house.
Dropping the bags on the living room floor, Ramsey went back outside to make sure he hadn’t missed anything before locking the Hummer. He went back inside and found Harper digging through the sacks. The first thing she pulled out was the brown leather dog collar and silver dog tag.
“Let me put the tag on,” Ramsey said, reaching for it. He quickly clipped it to the collar and handed it back to her, watching as she traded out the collars. Shakespeare shook his head, his little bat-like ears flapping.
Next, Harper pulled out the bowls and dog food, carrying them to the kitchen. She filled one with water and sat it down next to the island. The second, she filled with food and put it down next to the other one. Shakespeare sniffed both bowls, then sat and looked up at her.
Ramsey pulled out one of the rawhides he’d picked out and tossed it to the little dog. Immediately, Shakespeare snapped it up and trotted into the living room with it. Stretching out in front of the fireplace, he held it between his paws and began gnawing on it.
“It seems you chose wisely,”
“He’ll love everything. I just figured he had to be a little nervous right now, and chewing is a good way to get rid of those nerves. I’d rather he chew on a rawhide than the furniture.”
She grinned and looked over at Shakespeare, who seemed content.
“Where should I place his bed?”
“I know you probably want him to sleep in the bedroom, but I thought he might be comfortable out here. We could place his bed beside the fireplace.”
Harper frowned. “Are you sure…”
“Let me put it this way. There are certain times that I’d prefer there only be two people in our bed. If the dog sleeps in our room, he’ll want in the bed all the time.”
Harper bit her lip, but nodded. “Okay. I see your point.”
“Come on, let’s finish getting his things set up so we can get some dinner. If I’d have thought about it, we could have grabbed something to bring home.”
“We could always order a pizza.”
“Sounds good. I’ll go do that while you finish in here.”
She nodded and Ramsey headed to the kitchen to place their order. He was glad that she was so happy about her new dog, and was happy that he’d won what could have been a horrible battle over where the little dog would sleep. He wasn’t ready to share Harper yet, not even with her new pet, at least, not in the bedroom.
The next morning, Ramsey’s phone jingled, notifying him of a text message. He groaned and let go of Harper long enough to check it. When he saw it was from Gabriel, he sat up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. It was supposed to be his day off, but it seemed he had to attend a pack meeting in an hour. He looked down at Harper, who was still sleeping peacefully and set the phone back on the bedside table. It wouldn’t take him long to get ready so he decided to lay with her a little while longer. Wrapping himself around her, he inhaled her sweet scent and closed his eyes.
“Who was that?” she murmured sleepily.
“Gabriel. I’m sorry I woke you up.”
“It wasn’t you. It was the phone.”
He kissed her shoulder. “I’d hoped to spend the morning in bed with you, but it seems that isn’t going to happen. I have to attend a pack meeting in an hour.”
“Is everything okay?”
“I guess I’ll find out when I get there. He didn’t give any details. We don’t have pack meetings often so I imagine something is going on. The pack usually gets together for parties, weddings, and the occasional meeting. The last time we all got together, when I was here anyway, was when Kiera was in trouble.”
She rolled over to face him. “You think something like that could be happening now?”
“I didn’t get that same sense of urgency, so I doubt that’s it. I’m sure it’s nothing major. Unless he says otherwise, I’ll tell you about it when I get back home.”
“I can’t go with you, can I?”
He shook his head. “Wolves only I’m afraid. If Kiera were being more hospitable, you could go to the alpha’s house to wait. That’s where all of the women will probably be.”
She bit her lip. “Do you think the other women would feel the same as the alpha’s mate?”
“I think they’ll be curious about you, Chloe especially.”
“She knows about me?” Harper asked in surprise.
“I saw her at work the other day. I mentioned you. She seemed surprised that I was seeing someone, but she said she was happy for me.”
“I know that Chloe is with Michael, and Kiera is with Gabriel, but who else has a mate in the pack?”
“Marin and Cole are married. Cole is Michael’s twin. Connor is the joint alpha and he’s married to Aislinn, or so I heard. He found his mate while I was in Mississippi. I haven’t met her yet.”
“So there are three other women who might possibly like me?”
He grinned. “Yeah, there are. Does that mean you want to go?”
“I think I do, if you think Kiera will let me in the house.”
“I’ll make a call before we leave. If Cole and Marin can meet us in the parking lot when we get there, I’m sure she’ll walk over with you. That will give you at least one ally.”
“You seem awfully sure that she’ll like me.”
“I’m counting on it.”
“Do you think we could get ready early and meet them before we get there? Maybe give me a little more time with her?” She laced her fingers with his. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. These are going to be my people from now on and I want to fit in.”
He kissed her. “Go get in the shower. I’ll make my call now.”
Harper got out of bed and sashayed into the bathroom, making Ramsey want to go after her. She had to be the sexiest woman he’d ever met and he couldn’t get enough of her. But he knew that if he followed her into the bathroom they would be late.
Picking up his phone, he called Cole.
“It’s too early for phone calls, Ramsey,” Cole said as a greeting.
“Sorry, but I have a favor. Harper wants to go with me to the pack meeting, but she’s worried about her reception at the Victorian. Kiera doesn’t like her because she wants me to choose Luna as my mate. I was hoping that you and Marin might meet us at Betty’s Diner in half an hour so the two women could get to know each other a little bit before the meeting takes place.”
“That doesn’t sound like Kiera.”
“She’s furious with me right now. I don’t know what Luna is telling her, but the two have become best friends.”
“All right, we’ll meet you there. I’ll see if one of the other women can come, too. The more the merrier, right?”
Ramsey chuckled. “Yeah, I guess. Thanks, Cole. I appreciate this.”
Ramsey disconnected the call and got out of bed. He laid out his clothes so he could dress quickly after Harper finished her shower. He hadn’t given them much time to get ready, but he figured Harper would prefer to have time to make friends with Marin than to primp.
At Betty’s Diner, Ramsey froze when he walked in the door with Harper by his side. Cole and Marin sat in a large booth in the back, but it was the other couple with him that made him pause. Michael and Chloe sat beside them.
Taking a breath to steady himself, he tugged Harper along and made his way to the back of the restaurant. He smiled when he reached the booth.
“Thanks for meeting us on such short notice,” he said as he and Harper sat down across from the two couples.
Marin smiled. “I wasn’t about to pass up the chance to meet Harper. It isn’t every day a woman joins the pack. Especially one who’s used to wolves.”
“I was a little nervous about moving here, but it was better than staying in California. There was a wolf that was a little persistent. The word ‘No’ wasn’t in his vocabulary.”
“I think it was brave of you to make the move by yourself,” Chloe said. “I’m Chloe, by the way.”
Harper looked surprised, but tried to hide it. “It wasn’t a matter of bravery. It was self-preservation. I didn’t want to mate with Trent and that was my only other option. The alpha only listened to the wolves in the pack and didn’t care what the women wanted.”
“I can’t imagine living that way,” Marin said. “I was fortunate that Gabriel and Cole found me. I wouldn’t have survived without them.”
“I came to the pack pregnant. Some certain person,” Chloe said with a glance at Michael, “wasn’t ready to be a father, but Gabriel was really supportive. And in the end, you can see that we ended up together anyway.”
“So neither of you were forced to mate with someone in the pack?” Harper asked in surprise.
Marin bit her lip. “Well, I wanted to be with Cole, but I imagine that eventually Gabriel would have asked me to choose someone. It isn’t safe for a woman to be single with so many wolves around. Of course, back then, it was just the brothers so it was a little different for me.”
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes