Moonlight savior, p.9
Moonlight Savior, page 9
“And I was pregnant, so my case was different, too,” Chloe said. “I’m sure he wouldn’t have told me to pick a mate if I hadn’t been expecting.”
Harper looked back and forth between the two women, and then glanced at the men, who were starting to look at a little uncomfortable. It seemed she had her answer. If things didn’t work out with Ramsey, she would be forced to choose someone else. The very idea made her feel sick. She had the sinking suspicion that she was already half in love with him.
She chatted a little longer with the women before they had to leave. After meeting them, she felt more comfortable going to the alpha’s house. At least she would have two women on her side, even if there were two who hated her. She just wished she could make friends with Kiera and Luna. But she knew that wasn’t going to happen as long as Luna wanted Ramsey. And honestly, she couldn’t blame the woman. Who wouldn’t want to be with him?
The car ride to the meeting was silent. When Ramsey parked across from the Victorian, Harper was a little surprised at the number of vehicles and motorcycles already there. She knew there were a lot of wolves in the pack, nowhere near the amount of the Los Angeles pack she’d been a part of, but it was different seeing it.
With a deep breath, she got out of the SUV and walked across the street to meet Marin and Chloe. The three walked into the Victorian together. Kiera greeted her with a frozen smile and Luna glared at her.
“Kiera, I’m sure you remember Harper,” Marin said. “She’ll be waiting with us.”
“She’s not anyone’s mate. She shouldn’t be here,” Kiera said.
“She’s living with Ramsey. That gives her enough of a right to be here,” Chloe said. “You accepted me before I even moved in with Michael. You accepted me the moment I showed up on your doorstep. What’s the difference?”
Kiera didn’t answer.
Harper bit her lip. “I know you’re friends with Luna,” she glanced toward the woman in question, “and I know she wants Ramsey. But please don’t let that get between us. I want us to be friends. I want all of us to be friends.”
“Ramsey belongs with me!” Luna exclaimed. “You never should have moved in with him.”
“He asked me to,” Harper pointed out. “He kissed me first, asked me out, asked me to move in… Ramsey asked me to be a part of his life and I accepted. I care for him a great deal and I’m not going anywhere.”
“You more than care for him,” said a voice behind her. “You love him.”
She looked over her shoulder at the small brunette. She figured the woman must be the joint alpha’s mate, Aislinn. But how did she know what Harper was feeling?
“What makes you say that?” she asked.
Aislinn grinned. “It’s just something I know. And whether he’ll admit it or not, you mean a great deal to him as well.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Luna bit out. “He can’t care anything for her. He’s supposed to be mine.”
Aislinn narrowed her eyes. “I know precisely what I’m talking about, and if you knew me, you would know better than to question me. Ramsey’s destiny has already been determined. Don’t you think you would be in his home already if you were to be a part of it?”
Luna hissed and stormed out of the room, stomping up the stairs to her room.
Kiera looked at Aislinn in surprise. “You’re going to back her? You’re going to stand beside Harper?”
Aislinn nodded. “You know of my gifts, Kiera. Do you really want to question me?”
Kiera shook her head and sighed. Looking at Harper, she held out her hand. “It seems I’ve been wrong about you. Please accept my apology?”
Harper smiled and shook hands with the alpha’s mate.
Ramsey looked at the alphas not quite believing what he was hearing. A war? With demons? He’d heard of demons, of course, but he’d never thought they really existed. And he certainly never thought any would come to Ashton Grove. How were they supposed to fight against demons, and win? There were going to be casualties, the alphas had said as much. The thought of Harper being present for such a war made his blood freeze in his veins. He had to get her out of town.
He glanced at Hunter and the other wolf gave him a worried look. He knew Hunter would do whatever was necessary to protect his sister. But what could they do? Now that she was officially part of the pack, they couldn’t just ship her off to parts unknown. He could always have her petition to be part of his Denver pack, but there were women there who wouldn’t exactly welcome her with open arms, Sabrina for one. If she went back to California, she’d have to deal with Trent. What was he going to do with her?
How could he fight a war if he was worried about Harper? He would spend all of his time protecting her instead of fighting for his pack, protecting everyone else. He had a feeling that Gabriel would assign him to protect Kiera, but if Harper were in danger that wouldn’t be possible. He would be distracted and the alpha’s mate would be in danger, as would he.
After the pack was dismissed, he pulled Hunter aside.
“What are we going to do?” he asked.
Hunter shrugged, “Fight.”
“I meant about Harper.”
Hunter looked surprised. “What about her? She’ll be with the other women.”
“You don’t want to get her out of town, to get her to safety?”
“Ramsey, there’s no guarantee that she’ll be safe wherever we send her. At least here, we know that she’ll be defended by us, by people who care about her. That’s better than not knowing, don’t you think?”
Ramsey sighed. “I guess you’re right, but I still don’t like it.”
“Listen, I know they said there would be casualties… if something ever happens to me, I want you to promise me that you’ll watch out for Harper.”
“Hunter, you’re going to pull through this just fine.”
“I don’t suppose I could convince you to be her mate, could I?” Hunter asked.
Ramsey was taken aback. Sure, Hunter had introduced them, but he really wanted them to be mated to one another?
“I’ve thought about it, and we’ve discussed it, but that’s as far as it’s gotten.”
“I’d feel better if you were her mate,” Hunter said.
“I’m not going to tie her to me permanently without knowing for sure that it’s what she wants.”
Hunter nodded. “Fair enough.”
They left the pack and Ramsey went in search of Harper. When he found her inside, he was surprised that she was laughing and talking with everyone except Luna. He was glad that Kiera had finally come around. He had no idea what had caused her change of heart.
Harper saw him and smiled. Standing, she walked toward him.
He nodded and pulled her into his arms, hugging her tight.
“Is everything okay?” she asked in concern. “You seem a little tense.”
“I’m fine. Do you want to grab some breakfast before we go back home and let Shakespeare out?”
“Shakespeare?” Kiera asked.
“Our dog,” Harper answered.
Luna came into the room at that exact moment. “You have a dog together?”
Luna looked from Harper to Ramsey and back again. Ramsey watched the myriad of emotions in her eyes: fear; rejection; pain; and regret. He hated that she felt that way, but it wasn’t something he could control. He wished they could still be friends, but it seemed that wasn’t possible. Why couldn’t she just be friends with Harper and let him go? Why couldn’t she understand that being his mate wasn’t an option? She had to know that he wasn’t going to change his mind.
They made their goodbyes and left.
A week passed and things were progressing nicely between Ramsey and Harper. He felt closer to her and hoped she felt the same. They hadn’t discussed their relationship again, but he knew t
Luna hadn’t been a problem since the pack meeting. He wasn’t sure how much of that was the discussion at the Victorian and how much of it was the new wolf in town. He hadn’t met the new pack member, but he’d seen him walking around with Luna. He could only hope that Gabriel’s plan would work. He found it a little odd that a pack meeting hadn’t been called for everyone to be introduced to the newest member, but he figured Gabriel had other things on his mind at the moment.
When Ramsey pulled in the driveway at home, he realized that Harper wasn’t home. He frowned, wondering where she could be. She hadn’t found a job yet and hadn’t mentioned having plans for the day. Knowing that demons were on their way to town, he worried about her being alone. He pulled out his cell phone and called her, but it went straight to voicemail. With a growl of frustration, he disconnected the call and got out of the Hummer and went in the house.
Shakespeare greeted him at the door. He didn’t know how long the dog had been cooped up in the house so he let him outside to do his business and run off excess energy. It looked like so much fun that Ramsey decided to join him. Shedding his clothes, he shifted into his wolf form and romped around the backyard with the little dog.
He didn’t know how long he stayed outside, but before long the sun began to set and he heard a car in the driveway. With Shakespeare trotting along beside him, he walked around the corner of the house to see who it was. Harper stepped out of her car and stopped when she saw them, her eyes widened in surprise. Ramsey wagged his tail and waited to see what she would do.
Harper approached them and smiled. “So this is what you look like as a wolf.”
He sat and watched her, and Shakespeare sat beside him.
“You know, I was thinking we could go out to dinner tonight, but I can’t very well take a wolf to a restaurant. Can I convince you to change back?”
Ramsey walked back around the house and through the back door. Once he was in the house once more, he shifted back to his human self and pulled on his underwear.
“Dinner, huh?” he asked as Harper walked in the door. “What brought this on?”
“Nothing, I just thought it would be nice.”
“Doesn’t have anything to do with where you were when I got home?”
He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned a hip against the kitchen island. “I don’t have to tell you that you need to be careful. You know what the alphas said about the upcoming war, you know what’s coming to Ashton Grove. We don’t know when they’ll get here, Harper.”
“I can’t live in a bubble just because demons are coming to town, Ramsey. I won’t cower in the house all day.”
“So where were you?”
Her shoulders stiffened. “You don’t have the right to ask me that. Last time I checked, you hadn’t made up your mind about making me your mate.”
“It doesn’t have anything to do with making up my mind. I already had this discussion with you. I don’t want you to have any regrets.”
“I won’t! Why can’t you accept that? Why can’t you accept the fact that I know what I want from life and who I want in it?”
“We don’t know each other, Harper. We’ve known each other a few weeks. Do you really want to base the rest of your life off that?”
She sucked in a breath and walked away from him.
Ramsey groaned and shoved his hands through his hair. He hadn’t meant to upset her, but he just wanted her to stop and think. It wasn’t like they could get a divorce and go their separate ways if things didn’t work out. This was a forever kind of deal.
He pushed away from the island and followed her to the bedroom. When he got to the bedroom, his heart nearly stopped. Harper had a bag on the bed and was haphazardly throwing things in it.
“Stop, please. Harper, I don’t want you to leave.”
She paused. “What do you want, Ramsey? Do you even know?”
“I want you to stay. I didn’t mean to start an argument. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin the evening, but… I’m just worried that you’ll come to hate me one day.”
She walked around the bed and stopped in front of him. “Ramsey, I could never hate you.” She sighed. “I won’t leave, but I want you to seriously think about taking me as your mate. You know I’m willing and your time is running out. I know things are rushed and you’re conflicted, but I truly want to be with you.”
He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. “I promise I’ll think about it.”
“If you really want to know where I was earlier, I was with Marin. She invited me out to lunch today and we ended up spending the afternoon together. The time slipped away from me or I would have been home before you.”
“I’m sorry I acted the way I did, but I was worried about you. Just thinking about what could happen to you terrifies me. I don’t know if I could take down a demon or not, but I know you’re better protected with me by your side than without me.”
“I know.” She kissed him. “I promise I’ll let you know where I’m going in the future, or at least leave a note or something.”
“I tried to call.”
“My phone died and I didn’t have my charger with me.”
He nodded. “Do you still want to go to dinner?”
“I think I’d rather stay in. Care if we order pizza?”
He grinned. “Pizza is fine with me. Why don’t you call and order it while I shower.”
Harper smiled and walked out of the room.
Ramsey eyed the bag on the bed and felt the tension in him release a little. He’d never really thought about losing her before, but watching her pack to leave him had been sobering. Maybe she was right. Maybe he did need to get serious about taking her as his mate, knowing that he could lose her so easily put things in a different light.
Later that night, Ramsey held Harper in his arms while they lay in bed. He wondered if he could ever go back to the way his life was before meeting her. Could he ever lie in bed again without having her in his arms? He’d thought about their relationship all through dinner, and even during the movie they’d watched afterward. He knew Harper had felt he was distracted because she’d commented on it several times, but he couldn’t help it. She’d given him a lot to think about.
He’d realized that if he didn’t take her as his mate that meant she would be claimed by someone else in the pack, and that didn’t sit well with Ramsey. Just the thought of her being with someone else made him want to growl and bare his teeth. He knew he cared about her, but could his feelings run deeper than he’d thought?
With Chloe, he’d known he was in love. But he didn’t feel the same with Harper as he did with Chloe. So he couldn’t love her, could he? Was it possible to love two different women in two very different ways? He knew he was over thinking it, but it was an important decision and deserved his full attention.
There was still her indiscretion from earlier. She’d said she was with Marin, and he believed her, but he doubted that time really slipped away from her. There was more to the story than she’d told him, but he didn’t know what she was hiding. Or why. He knew it couldn’t be another wolf. She wouldn’t want to be with him so badly if that were the case. Maybe it wasn’t her secret. Maybe Marin had told her something in confidence, but that didn’t seem right either.
It was eating him up, all of this wondering and supposition. He should have just as
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes