My One and Only

By: Alanea Alder

(Bewitched and Bewildered Book 10)


PROLOGUE





Micah's eyes blurred from lack of sleep. His patrols were on Level Five today with Warrick. He fully planned on hitting every vendor dealing in caffeine on Level Six before reporting in.

He stared up at the false night sky in his garden. What he wouldn't give for just one single moment with his mate. If Fate kept her away and kept her safe, he knew that if he were given just one moment he could face a life without her.

Please, he begged. One moment to last a lifetime.





CHAPTER ONE





Micah walked between Meryn and Warrick as they waved to the skittish people on Level Five. Ryuu followed behind them, an ever-present shadow to his charge.

"They look like they're about to piss themselves," Meryn observed when level residents hurried into their homes, slamming their doors, when the trio walked past them down the long corridor back toward the transport tunnel.

Warrick sighed. "I knew it had gotten bad, but not this bad."

Micah nodded. "I've patrolled Level Five before, but you know we stay pretty close to the tunnel. It's been a long-standing custom for any citizen with a problem to meet with us there, I never really second-guessed it." He looked around. "I'm wondering how many of these people were allowed anywhere near the tunnel."

Meryn turned her face up at him. "Why not patrol the whole level?"

Micah's eyes widened. "Meryn, that would be like walking an entire city. I mean we're good, but we're not that good."

Meryn blinked. "Oh yeah, the beehive thing."

Micah chuckled. "The city isn't structured like a beehive."

"Whatever."

Micah was about to tease her some more when a small figure stepped out in front of them. He and Warrick exchanged pained expressions. They were familiar with this particular resident. He was an adorable menace, molded by his father to be a thorn in their sides. None of the warriors would ever hurt the little guy, but that didn't mean he wasn't a nuisance. When you're trained to take down ferals, a young vampire half your size wasn't much of a threat.

Micah looked between the young man and Warrick, he doubted that even standing on tiptoe he reached Warrick's sternum.

"You were banned from here. Go away. Shoo." The elf-like young man said making a 'shooing' motion with his hands.

Meryn tilted her head. "Huh? Warrick is the Founding Family head here now. So like the ban is totally a moot point."

"It is not muted or quiet," the dark-haired youngster countered.

"No. Moot, not mute. It means not valid anymore, not that the sound was cut," she explained.

The young man's eyes filled with confusion. "He did not tell me that."

"Who?" Meryn asked.

"My father."

Meryn looked up at him. "His father?"

Micah pointed to the man in front of them. "Meryn McKenzie, this is Pip Maverick. DeLaFontaine's biological son."

Meryn's eyes widened. "Gavriel said that DeLaFontaine didn't have any heirs or anyone to succeed him."

Warrick winced. "Technically he does not. Pip was never listed in the DeLaFontaine Book of Life."

Meryn frowned. "Why not?"

Pip blushed fiercely. "Because I was born damaged," he whispered.

"Well that's bullshit. I mean you don't look damaged." Meryn eyed him closely.

Pip looked at her surprised. "I do not?"

She shook her head. "Nope, you look normal to me."

"Father says I am slow. That he should have drowned me at birth," Pip admitted shamefully.

"Not to sound mean or anything but your dad is a huge asshole," Meryn said.

Pip's eyes widened and he looked around frantically. "You should not say such things. They will take you away to face my father."

Meryn snorted. "I'd like to see them try." She pointed to Warrick then behind her to Ryuu. "Warrick is in charge of this level, everyone answers to him now. And if anyone tried to take me away my squire would gut them."

"Most certainly denka," Ryuu confirmed behind them.

"I do not want you to get hurt. You are nice and explained things to me." Pip started to rock back and forth while his two small fists pounded his temples. "But Father told me I had to chase you away no matter what, even if I had to do bad things."

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