My Angel (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 9)(8)By: Alanea Alder
For one, not everyone had a squire, and if they did they usually chose one of their own race. Secondly, most children had at least one parent. She had neither, just Hal. He was everything to her. Mother, father, brother, best friend, but most importantly squire. He took care of her and made sure her world kept spinning. She knew she would have been lost without him.
He was also huge, like blot out the sun huge. But that had never scared her, if anything he always made her feel safe, after all who would tangle with a six foot eight, barrel chested bear shifter descended from Vikings?
"That was Ellie," she began.
"Oh?" he commented without looking up.
"She has discovered a shifter virus."
This had him looking up. He smiled. "Sounds right up your alley, when do we leave?"
She grimaced. "She's in Noctem Falls."
"No," he said immediately.
"No. I won't have you waltzing back into the lion's den. I told you a long time ago, we could go anywhere on this earth but Noctem Falls, and I meant it." He put the clothes in the basket and turned to face her. "Anywhere but there."
She sat next to him and wrapped both arms around one of his. "They have already lost a child Hal. She was only five years old."
He inhaled quickly. Her shaggy squire was a push over for children. She continued. "It hit the children first, over a dozen are sick now. You know I can't say no."
He rested his head on top of hers. "I didn't realize Noctem Falls started to have children again."
She smiled. "They haven't. Prince Magnus took in a local wolf pack to protect them from the unexplained murders going on around the country. It's their children that are ill."
She felt it when his breath caught. "Wolves are at Noctem Falls? Are you sure?"
She nodded against his arm. "From Wolftown," she answered quietly.
Cursing he stood and began to pace in front of their coffee table. Being so tall it was a short walk back and forth. "What is Fate up to now?" he grumbled.
"You know I'd rather stay here with you, but I can't turn my back knowing my refusal could result in more children dying."
He stopped and turned to her a sour look on his face. "You already said yes haven't you?"
She nodded. "I wouldn't be the girl you raised had I said no."
"Low blow Vivi," he rumbled.
"Will you come with me?" she asked.
His brows snapped together as he frowned. "Of course I'm coming with you! Let you head off to that city of death alone? Ha! I'd like to see you walk out of here without me girly. You're not too old for me to put you over my knee," he threatened.
She rolled her eyes. He had never raised a hand to her. She doubted he would start now. "If we pack right away we could get there by this evening."
Hal stopped his pacing. "You get the suitcases down from the attic, you know I don't fit through that tiny hatch they built. I'll start organizing your clothes. It's a good thing I just did the wash." He bent down easily lifting the clothes laden basket with one hand.
"Yes, Hal," she said smiling.
"In and out. A quick visit. Do not talk to anyone. The sooner we get back home the better. I don't trust that prince, or the vampires, or anyone in that city," he rambled.
"Yes, Hal," she agreed.
He wagged a thick finger at her. "I mean it missy. No talking to anyone."
She fought against the urge to roll her eyes again. "Just the medical team and those organizing treatment efforts, that of course may include the prince, that's unavoidable."
"Fine, just stand behind me when we talk to them," he answered.
Somehow she didn't think it would work like that, but she wasn't about to argue with him. "Be right back with those suitcases."
"Don't forget to pack your toothbrush," he yelled from the kitchen.
"I know!" she shouted back. She stomped down the hall towards the attic hatch. Smiling she pulled the rope and unfolded the stairs. She would always be six years old to her squire, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
"Hello my name is Sulis Vi'Erlondon. I will be your escort to Noctem Falls." The tall blond warrior gave them a half bow and stepped to one side to clear the way for the portal.