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when he heard a tiny noise. He found Penny wedged, pinned really, between the bed and the wall, she
was three at the time. He said the blankets had been thrown over her and that if he hadn't heard the
sound he never would have known she was there. The smell of the blood completely masked her
scent."
"When he lifted her out she was covered in urine and feces. She had been so terrified she
hadn't moved from the spot in days. Her legs had cramped, she nearly suffocated under the layers of
blankets, and had been surrounded by blood and the stench of death from what was left of her own
mother." Rheia had to take a deep breath.
"Dear Gods," Beth whispered. Gavriel pulled her close, his hand stroking her hair
comfortingly.
"You don't have to go on," Colton said, taking her hand.
Rheia shook her head. "I can go on. Penny lived it, I'm only telling you about it. I can be no
less brave than her."
Colton raised her hand and kissed her fingers gently. She took comfort in that small action.
"Radek knew the couple had been paranormal, so he called Athan to pick Penny up. They
brought her to me, knowing I would never turn her away." She paused and looked around. "You see, I
was adopted when I was a little girl, too. My father was the town Sheriff at the time; he found me
much in the same way Radek found Penny, except both of my parents were alive, they were just too
high to feed and take care of me. Daddy took me home, the same home where I was living when Penny
came to me." She smiled. "He didn't have to forge any paperwork like we did, he just stubbornly
refused to give me up. Eventually the judge awarded them custody. You can't do something like that
anymore though."
"For the first six months Penny was with me, she was practically catatonic, completely non-
responsive. It took me nearly a year to get her to the point where she was communicating with nods,
head shakes and thumbs up signs. Her smiling today was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."
She swallowed hard and wiped the tears from her eyes.
"That's it!" Colton said his eyes blazing. He stood up and pounded the table with both hands.
Everyone stared at him in shock.
"What in the world?" Rheia asked.
He turned to her his eyes suspiciously moist. "We're going to mother fucking Disney World!
You and Penny have lived through hell. I want to do everything I can to make you smile. You deserve
to spend the rest of your life smiling."
Rheia couldn't take her eyes off him. He stood there, green eyes bright, his blond hair glowing
in the afternoon sun and to Rheia he looked exactly like what she dreamed Prince Charming would be.
Smiling up at him, she nodded. "Okay, let's do Disney World."
His smile was beatific. He sat back down in his chair and took her hand. "I swear, on my life,
to do everything in my power to make you happy."
"Oh, that was just beautiful," Beth said sighing happily.
Rheia blushed; she wasn't used to such open displays of emotion.
"I want to go to Disney World, too." Meryn said looking up at Aiden with puppy dog eyes.
Aiden shot Colton a nasty look. Colton raised his hands and shrugged.
"It will be a nightmare arranging security." Aiden grumbled.
"Worth it," Colton said dismissing his friend's concern.
"My brothers would be more than happy to help," Rheia volunteered. In fact she knew they
would jump at the chance to see Penny playing.
"You keep saying brothers, but you were adopted. Are they your biological brothers?" Beth
asked.
Rheia shook her head. "Heavens no. I think I mentioned my father was Sheriff when he found
me. His deputy was Radek Carson. Radek belongs to a small squad of paranormals that monitor
Jefferson, the town I'm from. My father, mother and I discovered they were paranormals by accident
when my father returned to the station to berate Radek for not going to the hospital after getting shot
while out on a call. My mother insisted on going with him since she was a nurse and could look at the
wound. I went with them since they didn't want to leave me alone and because I loved helping my
mother treat people. Daddy walked right into Radek's office just as Levi was healing him with a
spell. The door was standing wide open so my mother and I saw as well; I was about eight at the
time. They sat us down and explained how squads like theirs existed all over the country to help
people. They called themselves the Vanguard."
"The squad in Jefferson consists of Radek Carson as Sheriff, Levi Sorrel as a police
detective, Marco Rodriguez as Fire Marshall, Dax Vi'Eaereson as firefighter and Athan Durant as
lead paramedic. They were my best friends growing up and always looked after me; they are the only
family I have left."
"Ai-DEN! What the fuck!" Meryn screeched.
Aiden looked at her, puzzled. "What?"
"What? What do you mean what?" she asked, standing.
Seconds later Ryuu came rushing in with Penny on his hip. "Denka, what is the matter? What
has he done this time?" he asked, setting Penny down on her feet. She ran over to Colton and climbed
into his lap
Aiden glared at him. "Why do you always assume it's me?"
Ryuu glared at him flatly. "Because it usually is." He hurried to Meryn's side and cradled her
wrist in his hand. Rheia watched in wonder as an electric blue dragon tattoo on Meryn's arm began to
glow. Meryn took a deep breath, but continued to send her mate death glares.
Aiden looked around; the men all shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders. Rheia could
see whatever had set Meryn off, the men were clueless as to what it was.
Ryuu maneuvered Meryn back into her chair. "Now tell me, what exactly has you so upset?"
Meryn pointed a finger at Aiden. "Him! He's been keeping secrets! Secrets that could have [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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