When the mystery visitor he has been scenting for just over a week suddenly appears in his infirmary, wearing only his shirt, Seamus’s bonding instinct slams into him hard. But Maysa has been an experimental test subject and has developed a fear of needles so severe she cannot get past his fangs, and this delays their bonding. The delay sends him into a coma, and his only possible salvation is the blood of his beloved, who is still afraid of his fangs.
Maysa’s shifter scenting ability is off, so she can’t be sure Seamus is really her mate. Still, with other shifters, including her family, stuck in the hell she escaped from, and a perverted, sick and twisted hunter after her, she reaches out to Seamus. Placing her trust in his hands, she learns two very important things: don’t let your fear hold you back, and when it comes to her, Seamus is no mild mannered medic. He’s a force to be reckoned with.
“That tall brunette is Alphy’s sister, Havana. That tall guy there is her mate, Dultyn. He’s going to be our protector while we’re out. Apparently, we girls can’t avoid trouble every time we go to town.”
Havana guffawed. “Twice, it only happened twice, and the first time we girls kicked butt. But hey, who am I to argue with an extra pair of hands to carry our bags, huh?” Havanna looked up at her mate and wiggled her eyebrows. Maysa joined in when everyone laughed.
“And the glowing, radiant one is Lois,” Gale finished.
Lois giggled. “Hi, Maysa.”
Maysa sat quietly, listening as Gale and Havana dominated most of the discussions as they drove into town. She didn’t mind, as they were both funny. They stopped at several shops, grabbing bags full of clothes and shoes for her. She would have told them it was too much, but just as she suspected, she couldn’t turn down their eagerness and excitement. Fortunately, they chose things she actually really liked.
In the fourth shop, Lois grabbed her stomach and nearly fell face first onto the floor as she doubled over. “Oh!” Her face was distorted in pain.
Seamus was by her side instantly. “Lois, don’t hold your breath. You need to breathe. Hum on your exhales. That’s it.” He looked up at Dultyn. “We need to get her home now. Dultyn, unlock the van. Gale, give that stuff to the clerks. We don’t have time to purchase it. Havana, call the house and have Katie, Reese, and Rushod ready in the infirmary.” Seamus lifted Lois effortlessly and began carrying her out of the store.
Maysa hurried along beside her mate. Wait—mate? Is he? Her thoughts were interrupted by another yelp from Lois. Everyone rushed to get in the van, and they took off, back towards home. Home? Is it? Yes, it feels like home to me. How is that? Brushing her thoughts aside, she helped Lois try to focus on her breathing. Lois was having a difficult time breathing, between the pain and her worry.
“But it’s too early,” she cried. “Two weeks is like four for humans.”
Seamus was beside her, also trying to keep her calm. “Calm down, Lois. If your baby comes today, you’re far enough along that there’s a good chance that your baby will be born healthy. You just need to relax as much as you can and breathe.”
“Hee, hoo, hee, hoo…” She breathed as instructed.
They sped home slowing down only at the corners and only slightly as they drove over the newly graveled road to the house.
No doubt feeling helpless, Gale and Havana tried to make the situation lighter.
“I am so glad they filled in this road in prep for the pack run,” Gale said.
“I actually miss the challenge of not vaulting through the roof or bottoming out on all those dips. Where’s the fun in this?” Havana teased.
“True.” Gale smirked. “My favorite part was Katie’s threats. I think Enzo was traumatized. He always tries to cover his crotch in some way or other whenever she’s around.”
A man who looked frantic was waiting for them just outside the garage. He flung the van door open before they could get to a complete stop, and reached in, grabbing Lois.
Seamus grabbed Maysa’s hand and dragged her up the stairs. He quickly planted a peck on her cheek and left her standing by the kitchen island as he disappeared into the hospital room. Gale, Havana, and Dultyn joined her. “Well damn.” Havana plopped down on one of the stools at the breakfast bar. “Now Alphy’s never going to let us girls go shopping ever again.”
Gale gave her a pointed look. “That won’t happen if he ever wants to get laid again.”
“Like you could deny him.” Havana snickered.
“Just threaten him with calling him ‘poopsy’ openly and often,” Kace drawled as he stepped through the door, followed by a growling Alphy, who shot a sharp look his way before grabbing his mate.
“Yes, that would just about do it,” Alphy’s voice grumbled. “How are you doing, Honey-bear?”
“I’m fine. It’s Lois I’m worried about. I thought you said shifters can scent when a woman’s body starts the hormonal change for labor.”
“We can. I don’t know what happened, but Sea’s the best,” he responded.
Several other people gathered and waited with them. Lois’s screams dominated all the other commotion they heard coming from the hospital room. Maysa started getting sicker to the stomach, the more time that passed. After about an hour and a half, she had gotten to the point she was shaking uncontrollably. Unable to hold it down any longer, she ran to the sink and threw up.
“Oh Maysa. Are you all right?” Gale ran to her and tried rubbing her back. “Havana, will you get a glass for her out of that cupboard?”
After rinsing the foul contents down the drain, Maysa used the glass Gale handed her and rinsed out her mouth before taking a drink. Her eyes and nose were running, and her hand shook so hard it made it difficult to hold the glass.
Alphy gave Maysa a sympathetic look. “Are the screams bothering you?” he asked. Maysa’s throat was sore, so she just nodded her answer.
“Oh!” Gale inhaled. “I feel so embarrassed. I should have realized…” Gale seemed to have become speechless for a moment, then recovered. “Would you feel better if we waited in the house? We can unload all those bags of clothes and pack them in your new luggage. That would be fun, you think?” Gale smiled at her encouragingly.
Before Maysa could answer, a baby’s cry came from the other room. Everyone turned to look at the closed door. It opened, and a very pale young teen appeared. He crinkled his nose as he approached. “Eww, who puked?”
“Reese!” Alphy actually growled at him.
Reese looked around before spotting her. His eyes took on recognition and rounded. “Oh, I’m sorry. That was really stupid of me. Hey, don’t feel bad. Sea sent me out here to get some color back into my face. That was, uh, interesting to watch, uh, yeah. It was a lot … uh…” His cheeks began to pink.
“Hey look, you got your color back.” Havana shot him a smug look.