Adelaide McKenzie gasped and sat up in bed. She looked over to where her mate lay, still sound asleep. For the third night in a row she had a nightmare where she watched as a young girl calling out for her son Aiden was murdered.
Quietly she slipped from under the covers and picked up her robe from the foot of the bed and tip toed out of their room. Silently she walked downstairs and made her way to the kitchen. She hadn’t been up for more than five minutes when her squire Marius joined her.
“You didn’t have to get up, I am perfectly capable of making a cup of tea,” she said smiling at him from the chair he had steered her to.
“Of course you can, but then who would you have to talk to? This is the third night in a row My Lady, perhaps you should tell Byron.” Marius lifted the kettle from the stove and poured the hot water into the waiting tea pot. Seconds later the comforting aroma of her favorite tea wafted over to her.
Adelaide twisted her napkin in her hands. “I don’t want to worry him.”
Marius made a tsk’ing sound. “Now Adelaide, you know that Byron wouldn’t see it that way.”
Adelaide winced, Marius only used her name when he thought she was being childish. But it was hard for her to articulate why she was so worried. She was no witch, she was experiencing bad dreams, not premonitions. “It’s just some silly bad dreams, nothing more.”
Marius poured her tea. “Bad dreams that have you up and out of bed three nights in a row?” He raised an eyebrow.
She sighed and lifted the cup to her lips. “I’ll talk to Alice about it, she has a way of putting things into perspective for me.”
Marius poured a cup of tea for himself and sat down. “She has a good head on her shoulders,” he said smugly.
Adelaide hid a smile. Ever since Alice gave Colton, Marius’s name for a middle name, Marius had spoiled both of them rotten. She sipped her tea and went over in her mind what she had to do for the day. Hopefully today’s sewing circle would be quiet and allow her time to talk to Alice.
Adelaide waited until the ladies around her were busy with the tasks at hand before she leaned over to speak to Alice.
“Can I ask you something?”
Alice just stared at her for a moment rolled her eyes and continued working on her blanket. Adelaide smiled, Alice was the more blunt of the two of them.
“For the past few nights I’ve been having the most horrible nightmares.”
Alice’s hands froze and she looked up, fear in her eyes. “Do you see a dark haired woman with grey eyes and a child?”
Adelaide shook her head. “No, she has green eyes and doesn’t have a child.”
“But she calls out for Aiden.”
“She calls out for Colton.” They said at the exact same time.
Across the room Tabitha Armstrong inhaled sharply. “What did you just say?”
All of the women in the room quieted and turned to Adelaide who exchanged chagrined expressions with Alice before standing to face the others.
“For the past three nights I have been having nightmares where a young woman calling out for my son Aiden is murdered.”
Tabitha’s eyes widened. “My sister Myra lives in Storm Keep. She’s Graham and Hunter Armstrong’s mother. Graham as you know is the unit leader for Delta and Hunter serves under Caiden Ironwood in the Nu Unit. Myra has called me for the past couple days worried sick, she has also been having nightmares about a young woman reaching out for Graham.”
“It can’t be a coincidence.” Alice said softly.
Tabitha set her knitting down. “Who are the young women?”
Adelaide knew in her heart who the small green eyed woman was and the truth scared her to death. “They are our future daughters, the mates for our sons.”
Alice stood and set her blanket down in her chair. “Ladies, I’m sorry but we’ll have to cut today’s meeting short, Adelaide and I have something urgent to do.”
The women immediately stood and gathered their things. Looking sympathetic and concerned the women quickly left and the room was soon empty. Alice packed her blanket project up in her bag and sat down.
Adelaide turned to Alice. “That was abrupt, do you have a plan?” She asked resuming her seat.
Alice grinned and shook her head. “No, but we wouldn’t get anything done with those busybodies hanging on our every word.”
“I see that Ms.Alice knows of the nightmares.” Marius said grinning as he carried in tea for the two of them.
Adelaide chuckled. “She does and is very eager to figure out the cause.”
Marius nodded. “The ladies were discussing it as they left.”
Adelaide chewed on her bottom lip until Marius tapped her on the nose. Grinning up at him she stopped. “I have an idea, but Byron won’t like it.”
Alice’s eyes lit up. “Tell me more.”
Marius sighed. “Oh dear.” He draped the tea towel over the cart. “I’ll head out and gather ingredients for your cake.”
Adelaide nodded. “Thank you Marius.”
Once Marius closed the door behind him Adelaide turned to her oldest friend. “Nothing is more important to me than my sons’ happiness. I’m sure the other mothers feel the same way I do.” Alice nodded. “What if we ask Elder Airgead to cast a spell to draw the boys’ mates to them. It’s not like they can go gallivanting about and possibly meet these girls.”
Alice’s eyes widened then she grinned. Every time she smiled at her like that she could see where Colton got his devilish streak. “Do you think he could?”
Adelaide thought about it for a moment. “I believe he can. It couldn’t hurt to try.”
Alice sat back in her chair. “The hard part is getting Rowan alone and away from the council to make our request.” She frowned. “You know Byron will be furious if we do this, Aiden too. We’ll be making sweeping changes that affect the unit warriors.”
Adelaide looked down at her hands. “I know in my heart if we don’t do something, our boys will lose their mates.” She looked up, her determined resolve giving her strength. “And it will be a cold day in hell before I allow that to happen.”
Alice stood. “Then what are we waiting for?”
Adelaide stood and looped her arm through Alice’s. “No time like the present.”
Alice giggled. “Maybe if you’re lucky Byron will spank you.”
Adelaide gasped, she could feel her cheeks heating. Clearing her throat she stuck her nose in the air. “You say that like it isn’t a natural occurrence.” She winked at her friend.
Alice broke down into giggles as they headed to the garage.
Forgive me my love, but it’s for our son.
“Adelaide, love, I’m home!” she heard Byron bellow the second he stepped into the house.
She swallowed down the bile that was trying to creep up the back of her throat. Everything had moved so quickly. Elder Airgead had all the necessary components to cast the spell and as luck would have it, it was the evening of the full moon. Before she and Alice had left his estate, the spell had been cast. She hadn’t enough time to mentally prepare herself for telling Byron what she had done. Twisting her hands she paced in front of his desk, waiting for him to find her.
It didn’t take long before the door swung open and her love stepped through the doorway. She felt her breath catch as it always seemed to do when she saw him.
Byron smiled wide, then sniffed the air. His eyes landed on the two cakes on his desk and his eyes narrowed. “What’s happened?”
“I don’t know how to tell you this,” Adelaide started.
Byron’s eyes filled with worry, he crossed the distance of the room and began rubbing her arms. “Sweetheart, my love, just breathe. Everything will be okay.”
Adelaide nodded. “I know, that’s why I did it. I wanted everything to be okay.”
Byron raised an eyebrow. “Did what?”
Adelaide gulped and his eyes widened. “My love, what on earth did you do?”
She pointed to the leather chair behind him. “Sit.”
Byron hesitated but complied. She knew he would do anything to make this easier on her, bless him.
“Now. No matter what you have to swear to me that you won’t leave that chair.” She bit her bottom lip.
“Ever?” he asked.
She rolled her eyes. “No, of course not, I am calling on your sense of honor not to rise from that chair until you’re not angry anymore.” She felt her heart break a little at his pained expression.
“I would never, ever in this life harm you,” he whispered.
“Oh no! No darling!” She flung herself into his arms and peppered his face with kisses. Like the grumbly bear he was he accepted her affection, moving his face every now and then to capture her lips.
“I would never think you could hurt me, I just think you may need some time to cool down, that is all. While you’re sitting here, I’ll be helping Marius finish your large, feast of a dinner.” She stood and smiled down at him.
He sniffed the air. “Lobster, salmon, steak and those tiny garlic potatoes I love. Woman, what did you do?” he demanded.
“Your word?” she asked.
He nodded. “You have my word that if I get so angry at what you say that I need time to cool off, I will stay in this chair.”
“I have been having nightmares at night,” she confessed, unable to meet his eyes. “Every night for the past three nights. The same nightmare that ends in blood and murder,” she took a ragged breath and stole a glance at her mate. Instantly concern filled his eyes, he went to stand but she held up her hand. “There’s more.”
He relaxed back into the chair. “Go on. Take as much time as you need.”
Adelaide felt terrible, he was being so understanding. Suddenly she felt foolish for hiding this from him. But it was almost as if she had been driven to act.
“I spoke to Alice about it.”
“But not me?”
“I didn’t want to worry you.”
He growled. “It’s my gods given privilege to worry about you.”
“As it is mine to help ease your burdens,” she countered.
“Point taken,” he nodded. “Go ahead love.”
“Well, Alice confessed she was also having nightmares. Tabitha overheard us and said that her sister Myra too has been having nightmares.”
“Love, this is serious. It cannot be a coincidence that three women in our community are having nightmares at the same time.”
“I’m glad you think so,” Adelaide began to pace in front of him.
“Just tell me,” Byron prodded gently.
“Alice and I had Elder Airgead cast a spell to bring our son’s mate to him!” she blurted out.
Byron’s face was frozen in disbelief. “I’m sorry, I thought you said you had Rowan cast a spell on Aiden.”
Adelaide shook her head and he let out a relieved breath. She bit her lower lip. “It wasn’t cast on Aiden. It was a spell that will bring the unit warriors their mates so they won’t be in any danger.”
Byron’s jaw clenched. “This affects all of the unit warriors in Lycaonia?” he asked in a low voice.
“You didn’t think that Aiden or I should know about this?”
She hesitated, how could she explain that everything had happened so fast.
She looked down and saw his eyes had shifted to black. She couldn’t help the shiver that raced down her spine. Byron was an animal in bed when he couldn’t control his eyes from shifting.
Byron went to stand and she pointed to the chair. “You promised.”
She stepped backwards toward the door, excitement racing through her. It had been a long time since he had been this out of control.
“Okay love, I’ll just head to the kitchen…”
Byron roared and stood his hands dug into the chair arms. True to his word, he never left the seat.
“Oh dear!” she whispered.
With a low growl he grinned his canines peaking out. “Adelaide, love?”
“Yes?” she breathed.
She let out an undignified squeal and raced for the stairs, his hot breath and sharp teeth nipping her neck. If she had known casting a spell on their warriors would elicit this response she would have done something like this ages ago.