My Angel (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 9)(5)

By: Alanea Alder

Aiden grinned. "Not yet, maybe he's still clucking like a chicken."

Meryn looked between the two men. "So it's okay for you two to cast spells and beat up on people but when I do it, I'm being 'difficult'." She held up her fingers to form air quotes.

Etain sipped his coffee. She had a point. If you took her actions and attributed them to warriors, it wouldn't seem as scandalous. "She has you there Commander," Etain mused out loud.

"My pregnant mate does not need to keep getting into fisticuffs with impudent tunnel escorts and exposed to spell making components," Aiden refuted.

Meryn stared. "Did you just seriously use the word fisticuffs?"

Aiden ignored her. "She should be concentrating on eating healthier and getting more rest, for our child's sake."

"Meryn two-point-oh happens to like pudding and coffee thank you very much." Meryn sat back crossing her arms.

"I noticed you ate a normal breakfast this morning," Rheia pointed out.

Meryn blinked and looked down at her empty plate. "It tasted good today."

"It's because I doused everything in cinnamon," Ryuu said stepping forward to take her plate. "Marjoram's suggestion seems to be working, though, we may need to stock up on more cinnamon."

Meryn stuck her tongue out at her mate. "Ha! There! I am eating better."

Aiden smiled and pulled her onto his lap. "I'm very proud of you baby."

Bethy turned to Ryuu. "I don't think that will be a problem. The vendors on Level Six adore her. With all the rumors running rampant about our pregnancies, they will be tripping over themselves to donate."

Aiden looked at her. "What rumors?"

Bethy looked at him surprised. "You mean you haven't heard?" Her eyes glanced around the table. Etain shook his head when she looked at him. "None of the warriors have heard anything."

Kari sipped her coffee. "I have heard some things, but I bet you have heard more. The people here trust you more than anyone," she informed Bethy.

Bethy blinked. "Oh. Well, as most of you know a pregnancy is a sign that a couple or in our cases, our House has been blessed by the gods. Despite there being a sickness here in the city, most still view Uncle in a positive light. On this level and within our circle of friends, there are four pregnancies, plus little Benji. Most of the city believe that Uncle is favored above all others by the gods, especially with my pregnancy being out of season. It has helped more than you know to keep political rumblings to a minimum."

Eva snorted. "If you call that mob that marched on our bar-b-que minimal rumblings, I'd be afraid to see what could happen."

Bethy turned to her friend. "That was just a portion of the Noble and Founding Families. Remember, they represent a small percentage of the city. The average citizen outnumbers them sixty-to-one."

"Holy shit!" Eva exclaimed. "That's close to twenty thousand people based on the little I know about the Noble and Founding Family numbers, where are all these citizens hiding?"

Bethy looked confused. "They aren't hiding. They are on their levels of course."

"There's no way twenty thousand people go to Level Six and I missed it," Meryn argued. "I have cameras now."

Bethy exchanged looks with Magnus who shrugged. She turned back to Meryn. "Why do you think they all go to Level Six?"

Meryn held up her hand and began counting off on her fingers. "Food. Shopping. Food. Entertainment and food."

Bethy laughed. "Meryn, each level is self-sufficient and trade directly among themselves for foods and goods. Going to Level Six everyday would be like going out to eat every night."

"And?" Meryn asked as if unsure of her point.

Bethy sighed. "Meryn, normally people don't eat out every night."

Meryn looked around the table guiltily. "Oh. Well, I didn't either before I met Aiden," she said quickly. "I cooked a ton of Hot Pockets for myself."

"Don't remind me," Ryuu murmured.

Etain relaxed back in his chair. "I'm glad to hear that the people still support our prince. It will make patrols go much smoother."

"Agreed." Adriel added.

"So like twenty thousand people huh?" Meryn hedged.

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