Brandi stood and glided into Gideon’s arms, which he opened to her. Folding his arms around her, he held her close as he tried to comfort her as best he could. He wished Mike was there for her also, but someone needed to be at the station. Gideon would give him a moment to come over here for her if the time allowed.
Her head was against his chest but Gideon felt her warm breath on it through the tee and linen shirt he wore. He also felt the dampness that began to wet the material from her tears.
“Thank you,” she murmured against him.
“For what, sweetheart,” he whispered against the top of her head.
“For being my mate. For allowing Mike to join us. I don’t think I could’ve stood being alone during all this.” Her words were soft and meaningful. They spoke to his heart and he vowed to the gods that he would do anything to protect her and make her happy.
“It is I who should thank you for accepting me. I was beginning to think that you would never accept me as your mate.”
Brandi looked up at him, a smile on her lips. “It is grandfather you have to thank for that. I probably would have continued to fight you on it, but he said it was okay. That I would need you during this time.”
“Eli is a very wise soul, and I can see why the gods want him to join them. He will watch over his family and friends and keep us all safe. I will thank them every day for giving you to me,” Gideon said as he leaned his forehead against hers. “I can only hope one day that I would be as worthy as Eli is.”
Brandi nodded against his head. Gideon knew that no matter how much you know the inevitable is going to happen, you can’t fight it. Mourning would take place, perhaps not as harsh as if someone had been taken so unexpectedly, but it would still happen. We can only hope that the person finds the release from pain that they were seeking and would soar through the heavens with the ones who had gone before.
“May I have a moment with Eli?” Gideon asked quietly.
Brandi rose up on her tip-toes and laid her lips against Gideon’s. She kissed him lightly before pulling from his arms and leaving the room. Gideon could hear Jane and Allison speaking to her softly out in the hallway, offering her as much support as they could.
Gideon stepped over to the bed and looked down. His breath caught in his throat as he looked upon his mentor and saw how badly he had deteriorated in the past few days. The cancer had metastasized about a month ago, but everyone thought that being a shifter would help him beat this debilitating disease. Unfortunately, not every disease was beatable.
Surprise struck Gideon when instead of the tears he expected in Eli’s eyes, he saw glittering happiness there. Around the ventilator tube, Gideon could make out a smile.
“I wanted to thank you, Eli, for giving me Brandi. Mike and I have mated with her. We both will do whatever needs to be done to make her happy. We will protect her from all harm and we will give her lots of babies to pass on your legacy.”
As Gideon spoke, he tried hard not to let his emotions show, but he knew it was a losing battle. This was like losing his own father all over again. He choked back the sob that threatened to emerge and he tried to blink away the tears in his eyes.
He was finding out that being a leader wasn’t about the strong image you portray to your people, but the emotional connect you made with them. Trying to be strong just to prove a point was senseless. It just showed others how vain you were to think that way.
Eli nodded once in understanding. Gideon was thankful he was able to administer his feelings while Eli was conscious. He would hate to think he could have missed the opportunity to do so while Eli was too far gone to know what he was saying.
The next moment did bring a sob to Gideon as well as tears to his eyes. “Eli, I want to thank you for all you have done for me. You saw something in me that others didn’t see, nor had I seen myself. You saw a leader. You pushed me to be your protégé, and there were days I fought you. Accepting me as one of your own way back when I was a teenager and had lost my dad was a blessing I could never repay. For that, I thank you. You pushed me when I didn’t have the gumption to move on. I am the man I am today because of you.”
Tears shimmered in Eli’s eyes when Gideon finished. Gideon really did owe so much to Eli.
Knowing he may never get another chance, Gideon leaned over and kissed Eli reverently on the forehead. “Thank you, Eli. I will always love you for the things you did for me.”
Somehow, Gideon knew that by the end of this new day, Eli’s eagle would be soaring in the great beyond. He had to stand by Brandi in every way, so taking care of Anderson needed to be taken care of before the next night fall. Hopefully, it was going to be over soon so they could all put this nightmare behind them.
Gideon watched as Eli’s eyes fluttered closed, the morphine he was being administered through the machine probably taking its hold on him. Turning, Gideon left the room, uncaring that tears had shed from him and were now staining his cheeks.
Brandi’s head was tossed back as if in ecstasy while her hips moved with wanton abandon behind his hand. He had popped open the button and slid the zipper down carefully, not wanting to startle her. Then, slipping his hand inside the opening, he encountered a slight patch of downy heaven, wet with her desire.
Silently, Mike sent a message to his cock to settle down as he was not going to blow his load before he was settled deep inside her, and that would have to wait until Gideon had his turn. Gideon had explained that he had had to wait several years before he could claim her as his mate, so Mike was certain Gideon would go first.
Gideon would also be the alpha in the family, so he would always get first dibs on everything, which surprisingly, didn’t bother Mike. He wouldn’t mind playing Beta to Gideon’s alpha.
What the hell? Why are you thinking in terms of an animal?
I have no idea!
Focusing on the delight that was before him, Mike witnessed Gideon gently pushing Brandi back until she was lying on the bed. Gideon had stood at some point and was now climbing on the bed, stretching out next to her.
Snagging his thumbs in two of the belt loops, Mike began to pull her jeans down. Without having to say anything, Brandi lifted her derriere off the bed, giving him ample room to slide the material down her hips, then past her thighs, her knees, and then her calves. Once they cleared her feet, he tossed the offending garment aside.
As he climbed onto the bed, Mike looked down at the woman that he would share with Gideon Davis for the rest of their lives. Brandi wasn’t stick thin. There was meat on her bones with curves in all the right places. The color of her skin was uniform, no tan lines like some of the women had had slept with in the past. She was all woman, and all real.
One thing he would want to change on her, was her undergarments. She deserved to be pampered with beautiful things as she was beautiful herself. Mike wanted to see her in sexy lace bras and panties, ones he could rip off of her because they left nothing to the imagination as they teasingly tempted him and Gideon.
Gideon’s gaze upon her was filled with adoration. The look softened the man but Mike knew that there was a hard- ass under the tender exterior Gideon was exhibiting now.
Wrapping his arms around Brandi, Gideon undid the clasp of her bra at the center of her back, allowing her breasts to jiggle in their freedom. Mike watched with fascination and anticipation as Gideon pulled the straps down off her shoulders. As he pulled the bra from her body, Mike saw the generous globes come into view.
Still the same coppery hue, the nipples that rested atop them were slightly darker, a brownish tint. They reminded him of chocolate chips in the midst of a cookie baked to perfection. Oh, how he wanted to sink his teeth into them, nibbling at them until she was writhing with pleasure.
As both he and Gideon admired her anatomy, Brandi began to squirm a bit. He had to wonder if it was from anticipation or nerves. Gideon spoke for them both. “God, you are beautiful!”
Redness tinged her cheeks at his words but her eyes never left Gideon’s.
Watching his hands as they reached out to the top of her panties, Mike felt as if he was in a dream. This really couldn’t be happening. This beautiful woman was going to be his and Gideon’s soon. How had he gotten so lucky?
Slowly, he pulled the panties down the lower half of her body. Apparently, modesty claimed Brandi and her hands came up to try to hide her pussy.
“No, Brandi!” Gideon choked out. “Never cover yourself from us. You are too beautiful to cover up.”
Each man took a hand of the woman they would share and they pulled them aside, revealing a triangular patch of near black hair at the apex of her thighs. Brandi’s womanly dew sparkled in the nest from the light that spilled through the large window of the bedroom.
A large groan escaped Gideon, while a deep breath was released from Mike, who found he had been holding it. A glance at Gideon gave Mike the go -ahead to pay homage to her womanly core.
Mike moved between her legs, spreading them further apart so he had access to the private folds that made up her cunt. Thick lips protected her from the rest of the world, keeping her secrets that laid beneath them.
Lowering his head, he used his thumbs to separate flesh and hair, giving him a perfect view of all her treasures. The hood of her clit was swollen above the hard pearl that peeked out from beneath it. Honeyed nectar coated the flesh that was offered to him, glistening as if decorating the area.
Marveling at the view, Mike licked his lips. “You are so beautiful down here, Brandi. I don’t know if I have ever seen anything so beautiful.”