She blinked again and she was somewhere else entirely. Not the clinic, not Cody’s home. The smells here were richer and not as sanitized as the clinic, but not as welcoming as where she had just been.

Becca just went limp in the coven master’s arms. Her mind was still trying to catch up with what had just happened. Her eyes were traitors, the tears creating pools that she couldn’t see out of.

“What’s going on?” Samantha asked, getting up quickly from the stool she’d been sitting on. They were in Sebastian’s lab, now, not the clinic. She had been planning to take samples and be sure Rebecca was better, maybe strong enough for her further treatments. She wanted the girl to be completely well before she took her to her pack. But Sebastian looked like he was ready to murder someone. That didn’t bode well.

“She stays here until she goes to her Pack. We will see her taken care of here.” Sebastian moved Becca to the stool and had her sit down. ~The damned bear was about to claim her. His scent and hers were all over the place. I can no longer trust him with her. She is better here.~

Becca looked at the ground. She was upset and embarrassed and once again, she was drifting along the current that dragged her. The one thing she had decided to do was taken from her. It was wrong. Was Cody really wrong for her? Had Sebastian been right? Her head hurt now, among so many other things.

Sam calmly pressed Sebastian away from the girl and took her hands in her own. She was shaking and crying. She didn’t look harmed. Very quietly, the doctor whispered, “Do you want to come with me to the guest chambers? You can take a hot bath and we can talk or just sit there. Whichever you want. I can look you over there instead of out here. What do you say, Becca?” She felt horrible about what had happened. She didn’t want to further injure this girl’s trust.

“If it’s what you want, mistress,” Becca whispered in response, her eyes still on the floor.

Sam hated hearing those words. The girl was talking like some of the other slaves that Sebastian’s coven had rescued. Right now, she was so different than the vivacious, and stubborn minded Eva. It was very difficult to believe this child belonged to the same mother as her partner in medicine. Avery was bold and outspoken, like his mother. He had such a history of survival… She had hoped this trip would get her out of that slave mentality, at least. Seemed like it hadn’t. The girl was so far from being free, even without physical or magical bonds. It was the mental part of slavery and abuse that took the worst toll on those Samantha had treated and read about. More than anything that took hold and was the most difficult to shed.

She stood back and looked across the way at Sebastian. ~ She looks so much better than she did, but just… I thought you said he was safe? Did he not understand what she’s been through? What she thinks she needs to do to please people? ~ The doctor looked back at Becca and took a deep breath.

“Maybe get Mary to meet us in the guest chambers? I can walk with Becca there. You can get the vials ready and the other medical stuff?” She suggested to Sebastian while placing her hands on the girl’s shoulders and urging her onward. “Once we get that handled, you can go and meet your family.”

“And what about Cody?” Becca turned and looked back at Sebastian. “We’re adults. I may look young, but I’m not a child. He didn’t do anything without my being okay with it. And he’s done a lot for me, not just feeding me. And you just hurt him. Don’t you get that, Lord Evansworth? You’re now the second vampire coven to take someone from him.”

Sam was surprised. Their ward was not as shy and without confidence as she thought.

“He’ll survive, which is more than I can say would be the case if I hadn’t arrived when I did. You might not be a child, but it won’t matter to the Pack and that’s something you should consider when it comes to Cody. You’re lycan and he’s ursa, how exactly do think that difference would be accepted. Then add in his past? He won’t be acceptable by either Pack or Coven.” Sebastian sent the request to Mary knowing the woman would drop everything to go and tend to whatever Samantha needed. As he listened to his Chosen’s thoughts Sebastian almost growled. “Damned bear needs to learn patience.”

“Why patience? Obviously patience wouldn’t matter. But you know what? If Cody’s not good enough because of his past, why am I? I’ve killed. I’ve been used. I have markings. I’m not just a wolf I’m also vampire.”

“Oh you’re more wolf whether you want to be or not.” Sebastian tossed back at her.

“Your mother is the Alpha of a pack, Becca. You are considered royalty among them. Part vampire or not, I think the culture is particular about who they take as mates and it’s a struggle,” Sam explained.

“My mother…” Becca whispered. She wanted her mother. But she also wanted Cody. She closed her eyes and tears rolled down her cheeks. She was torn. “Cody just bought me new clothes and I guess I thought maybe he could come with me.” She sniffled. “Just a stupid fantasy?”

The fact the ursa had spent money on her was a surprise, Sebastian couldn’t recall Cody showing interest in anyone since being out on the ranch. “I admit that was nice of him, but new clothing shouldn’t make you his Rebecca. Not stupid, just not possible.”

“It’s just… I thought after all this pain, I’d be free.” She looked at Sebastian and her lips trembled. “Will I ever be free to just be?”

Sam’s expression was one of surprise. She wasn’t sure how to respond. Lycan were very particular.

There was a part of Sebastian that softened even more for the girl. He reached a hand out to stroke his knuckles along Rebecca’s cheek, “Of course you will be. We just want you fully healed and mentally prepared for what this world holds. There is so much it offers, but there are just as many dangers.” She reminded him of his own eldest daughter. Lillian had been full of life and always had a way of making him smile. Hunters had snuffed that beautiful flame out before she’d even reached adulthood. He didn’t want to see this flame snuffed.

She sucked in a ragged breath, fighting the crying that had welled up in her chest. Her eyes were focused on Lord Evansworth. She trusted him. But she hurt for Cody.

“Rebecca, I am only asking that you give yourself time. I know Cody was nice, but he’s really the only one you’ve been in true contact with since the clinic.” Sebastian lowered his hand and tried to give her something to look forward to. “Soon, I’ll take you to your mother. I want you physically ready from the vampire perspective.”

“What else is there for me to do?” she asked wiping her eyes furiously.

“We have a few tests to run to make sure your levels are where they should be. What else would you like to do?” Sebastian wasn’t an ogre and she wasn’t his slave. He really was wanting only the best for her. Right now, she needed someone watching over her and he had taken up the tasks.

“Can… can I see my brothers? Please? I want to ask them about… about everything there. I want to touch them and know they’re real. And…and can you get my things from Cody’s? They were really nice. Nobody but my brothers have ever done that for me before. And I know you may not like it, but, can I write him a letter? I don’t want him hurting more than he has to. Please?” She had to wipe more tears from her eyes at the thought she couldn’t go back to him. But the vampire lord’s words were also true. Cody had been the only other lycan she’d been around since getting free of the Eriksson Coven. Maybe what she felt for him and what he felt for her was false? Was she just confused? Would she ever not be confused?

“Yes, I’ll take you to see your brothers and I’ll go for your things. Right now relax while I run the labs and write your letter. I’ll see that he gets it.” Sebastian was trying to be agreeable and show her that she wasn’t a prisoner in the process.

“I can begin getting her ready for the labs, since that’s my specialty, Bastian, grab her the stationary off your desk?” When Mary came to the door, Sam smiled and asked, “Mary could you prepare a bath or did you prefer a shower sweetie?”

“I…a bath? Can I?” she didn’t remember the last time she had one, to be honest!

“Becca needs a bath before she sees her brothers and as a reward for doing all these icky labs for us.” Sam explained. She was already sitting the girl down in the phlebotomist seat and pulling the seals and tubes for Sebastian that he would need.

“I can’t with that one.” Rebecca smelled of Cody and he wanted to truly rid her of the scent.

There was a soft knock and then the mousy brown haired female stepped inside. She was obviously human and past the mid-life stage. Yet none of that stopped the woman from bowing to first Samantha and then Sebastian. Her warm hazel eyes turned to the young woman and she smiled just as warmly, “Now what’s it we got here? Come along now and we’ll get ya all fixed up.”

“Hey, what’s your favorite scent? Tell Mary. I bet we might have it. Name a few, though.” Sam adjusted Becca’s arm as the girl focused on Mary. She cleaned the area at the elbow’s hinge and found the vein quite easily. She looked to Sebastian as he made his way back over. “Should be easy for blood draw. Everything else can come secondary.”

“I uh…I like the smell of flowers. I don’t know which kind. Except… roses. There are pretty ones that smell so beautiful at … well… Roses.” Becca swallowed.

“Ah I bet a bit of Jasmine and Lavender with lily of the valley will be just the thing. Sweet, soft but not overpowering on the senses.” Mary tapped her own nose in emphasis. She didn’t watch as the Lord and Master of the Coven used the small thin needle to get several tubes of blood.

After the final vial was filled Sebastian withdrew the needle and placed a cotton ball in place and taped it down. “Alright then off to your bath and I’ll do my part and see your brothers are brought to see you.”

Once the women had stepped out Sebastian withdrew his phone and sent Avery a text requesting that he and Evan meet him beneath the tree outside the clinic just after sundown. He then dropped the phone back in his pocket and started working on Rebecca’s blood. He knew Avery would be there to see what was going on and Evan would be there because he owed Sebastian after the situation with Skinner that cleared the young males name.

***********

Rebecca was to be returned to her new room at the lair with explicit instructions for her to stay put. Samantha was taking special attention to the girl, making sure she got everything she needed and was kept with company. She didn’t smell like Cody anymore and her own sexually charged scent was gone, replaced by a mixture of flowers.

True to his word Sebastian went after Becca’s brothers once he knew she would be ready to greet them.

He had chosen the tree outside the clinic because it was an easily accessible point for them all right now.

Evan and Azrael were pacing at the designated meeting place. They had been told to come alone and not let anyone know about this. Had it been anyone else, that would NOT have flown.

“Think it’s Becca?” Azer finally asked.

“Yeah. I mean, what else could it be?” He pulled in another drag of his cigarette.

“Good evening gentlemen, thank you for meeting me here. I know the request was unusual and seemed very covert but I assure you all the secrecy is necessary.” Sebastian held his hand out to each to shake. With these two the vampire was on good terms and he liked them so he didn’t mind the friendly contact.

“What’s going on, Sebastian? Are you delivering on your promise? Is Becca still okay?” Evan asked with concern in his voice. Avery was right beside him but said nothing. They had been waiting for days.

“Yes it’s your sister, but before I take you to see her let me explain the situation.” Sebastian told them in great detail about Rebecca’s arrival to the clinic and Samantha’s failed attempts to treat her. He told them of how he’d been asked to look at her and how he had arranged for her feedings due to her particular needs. He also explained the current situation with Cody so there would be no surprises for Rebecca’s brother’s.

Taking a deep breath Sebastian waited to hear what the two males had to say.

The brothers looked at each other and there seemed to be something between them before they looked back to Sebastian. Avery was the one to speak this time.

“Then, her heart’s chosen a mate?” he asked.

Evan seemed pleased and so did Avery. Which was the dead opposite of what Sebastian may have expected.

Sebastian shook his head. “I doubt that. She barely knows him.”

“No, she wouldn’t have made that much of a move to him had this been less for her. Do you know how old we are?” Evan raised a brow. “You know I’ve had plenty of lovers, but I’ve never been in true love and had my body show my markings until I met Raven and then Starrfire. It happened to me the night we met.”

“I was the same with Ashley, sir.” Avery continued, “Even in my hybrid form and being pushed to ferality in the pits, I recognized her for who she was to my heart and soul. I could’ve had my pick over the years, but I never felt the draw to anyone else like I did that day. Uscias claimed it was because she bought me off my masters and helped me. But I knew in the pits.”

“Her situation is different. Cody is out there for a reason..” Rubbing his forehead Sebastian went on, “Please explain further.”

“What we’re saying is, Becca’s only a couple of decades younger than us. She’s her mama’s kid, just like us. You ever heard mama or Dev talk about how they met? How many lovers and situations they had before? How many possible mates they could’ve had? But as soon as they met, soon as they saw each other… they knew. So, what makes her claim invalid?” Evan shrugged. “Don’t get me wrong, if this Cody is a sleeze bag, I’ll kill him. But even in your description, didn’t seem that way, m’lord.”

“He isn’t a sleazebag.. he just has his own issues and your sister doesn’t need more than she already has. He isn’t the type your parents will exactly approve of.” The Coven Master could see that neither brother was in agreement with him. “Just please don’t mention Cody when you see her.”

“What issues does she have that we may not know about? What are we going to see, Sebastian? I know she’d have PTSD. I think we all have a little bit of that,” Avery whispered.

Evan remained quiet. He was mentally searching. It was what he did when he wanted to know everything. It was his natural habit.

“She was nearly starved to death and is just now regaining some weight to her. She has severe PTSD and her nightmares are really bad. She has shifted at least once that I know of in fear.. I just want you to be prepared for what you may see that is different about her.” Sebastian believed in being prepared and so he was trying to prepare them for their sister.

“She’s worried,” Evan whispered. He looked at Sebastian, “About a lot of things. For one, she doesn’t think she’s worthy of anyone or anything, little on the trouble that’s being gone to for her. So…there’s that.” Evan swallowed and his brother looked down, both quiet. “I should’ve got her out sooner.”

“She wouldn’t let you. She didn’t understand, Evan. She would’ve gone back.” Avery put his hand on his brother’s shoulder, trying to comfort him. They were both feeling guilty.

“So, let’s see her. Can you take us to her?” Evan asked the vampire lord.

Placing a hand on each one’s shoulder, Sebastian took them to his Coven’s lair. Sebastian let them get their bearings before leading them to Rebecca’s door.

Once outside the room Sebastian looked at Rebecca’s brothers and then nodded as he knocked once on the door and then opened it for them. “Rebecca you have visitors.”

Rebecca had been very unsure of leaving Cody and more unsure of her so-called pack. But she was not unsure of seeing her brothers again. Not at all. She believed Lord Evansworth and trusted him, too. If her family was ready to meet her, she could also be ready. She was much healthier after staying with the bear for over a month. She was beginning to feel like herself again.

When both brothers came through that door, she squealed with excitement and was immediately tackle-hugged by the both of them. They were rumbling and purring for each other and getting used to each other again.

The talk was all about how great she looked and how the coven was gone and where everybody had been…

Standing in the doorway, Sebastian watched the reunion of the siblings and actually smiled. It felt good to see her happy.

They wound up sitting on the floor talking to each other in both vampiric and a bit of lycan, almost like they had melded together their own language. Becca sighed as she stopped when Avery mentioned the last of the coven reports.

“He’s still alive?” she asked, looking between them.

“Not sure,” Avery looked to Evan expectantly. But Evan… he wouldn’t lie to their sister.

“Our sire wasn’t among the listings. And they would’ve listed something like him. Lord Evansworth and Crimson tried to get everyone. And they’re still on it.” He looked over to Sebastian. “You’re safe, Becca. Please know that, we won’t let anything else happen.”

Becca’s fingers were moving nervously over each other. She repeatedly moved her fangs over her bottom lip.

“Hey, you’ll get to meet mama and our new papa soon. And you’ll know just how safe you are,” Avery offered.

“They won’t like me,” she whispered. “I’m not like you.”

“Why do you say that, chitlin?” Evan asked, his hand on her hands to try and get her to stop fidgeting.

“Don’t call me that,’ she narrowed her eyes at him but smirked. Shrugging, she answered his question, “I’m not useful. I’m trouble. I can’t even try and get well without getting into trouble. So… and I don’t know the rules. I’m gonna make them hate me, Ev…”

“Mama adores us. She thought we were dead. She was told we were dead. But she loves all of us. She hurts to see you.” Avery assured.

“I … I don’t remember,” Becca looked at her big brothers, hesitant.

She loves all of us, Becca,” Evan said. “And I’m far from perfect. I already caused a heap of trouble. You can ask Sebastian about it. He can tell you all about it.”

“And you get a bunch of other brothers and a bonus father with the deal! All FREE!” Evan chuckled. He looked over to Sebastian. His eyes were saying the thank you that his mouth had not.

“More brothers… that’s not something of a bonus, ya know.” she giggled. “Smothersome.”

“That’s been her favorite made up word for us since she was a kid,” Avery explained to the vampire.

“I want to meet my mother. I don’t remember much about her… except… flowers. Flower crowns…”there was a far off look on her face.

“First I think you wanted you’re clothing. Why don’t I get your things and when I get back we’ll go see your mother.” Sebastian offered as all three siblings looked at him. “Your letter?”

Becca got up and walked back over to the dresser. She took the envelope and looked at it as if she could will what she wanted into that envelope. After long enough for her brothers to get up and look at Sebastian, Becca turned around and handed him the envelope.

“Thank you,” she whispered. She could see faint patterns on her skin and she pulled her sleeves down so they covered her wrists, which wasn’t difficult, she was still quite small.

“You’re welcome. I’ll be back soon.” Sebastian tucked the letter in his pocket and turned to step out.

“We’re going with you.” Evan said matter-of-factly. ~ Our sister truly cares for this lycan. We want to know who he is. ~

Sebastian looked from Rebecca to her brothers.”Okay, we should go now before it gets too close to sunrise.”

“Be sure he’s okay? When I left it wasn’t under the best of circumstances,” she blushed and wrapped her arms around her waist.

“We will, Becca. Don’t worry,” Avery assured as he opened the door for everybody else. They walked out and Becca let out a loud breath. She’d been so anxious the entire time.

When they arrived at the ranch, Cody had just finished up in the barn and was heading to his home when the trio appeared near his front door. Taking in a deep breath he caught Becca’s scent and the lycans’ scents. Preparing himself for the confrontation he started toward the house again.

“What do ya want now? Can’t ya just leave me alone! Ya got her and she’s all better so she can go be with her family and you can be with yers and.. and leave me the hell alone!” He was at the back door washing his face with water. There was a duffel bag sitting on the steps.

“You planning on going somewhere?” Evan asked, his odd colored eyes watching the bigger man.

Avery remained quiet for now, but he made no moves toward the big bear. He knew what they were capable of, and just seeing the tattoos that were present told him this one was quite capable of ripping a person to pieces.

“Yeah, why? What’s it to ya?” Cody stopped and narrowed his gaze on one of the males with Sebastian.

“Just hold on a second Cody. We just came for Rebecca’s clothes and she asked me to give you this.” Sebastian pulled the letter from his pocket and handed it to the ursa.

Cody took the letter and opened it to unfold Becca’s letter. He breathed in her scent that clung to it and could also smell her tears on the paper. She had been upset when she wrote it and that was upsetting to him.

********

Cody,

I’m sorry if I made you hurt. I never want to make you hurt. You have helped me so much. And you didn’t have to. I know there was a deal, but you didn’t have to do as much as you did for me. Your kindness made me feel good. How you treated me was just as important as you feeding me. Respect and honor and… dare I say, love.

It’s not wrong. I felt it, too. I won’t stop feeling it. It’s not just because of how you treated me. I’ve had other people be nice to me. But none of them made my heart feel the way you made it feel.

They told me that I needed to be with my family for a while. So, I’m doing that. It’s not going to be easy. I’m trying to remember the lessons you taught me about being around other people.

I hope you don’t forget me. Even if you do, I won’t forget you.

Love,
Becca

********
Carefully folding the letter up, Cody held it to his nose and breathed her scent in. “It won’t matter where ya take her, I’ll find her. She don’t belong out there.. she belongs here with me.”

Sebastian started to say that the bear was wrong, but the brother’s spoke before he could so the vampire shut his mouth.

“Our sister knows her heart. We wanted to meet you, the one within it.” Evan looked the bear over.

The bears gaze narrowed a she looked over the two males. So these were Becca’s brother’s, the ones she’d lost. “She spoke of the two of ya while she was here. She really missed ya’ll both and I’m glad she found ya it ya’ll found her, how ever it went.”

“You escaped. You escaped when a lot of us escaped.” Avery recognized him. He pulled his sleeve up and showed Cody his own tattoos. He spoke in the gruff lycan accent that the ones of the coven had taught them how to speak. “I know you, I am you.” It was a saying that came from the ursa groups. It meant many things. But for Avery to use it meant the man was being respectful and showing that he understood at least some of the past Cody had seen.

“It’s good to see others made it and still survive lil wolf. You see me and I see you.” Cody had never fought this one, but then he only fought those that the fangs wanted dead because his matches were always to the death. Kill or be killed. It was why he’d secluded himself so far away from others. After killing so many for so long just for the sheer entertainment of others.. he wanted peace. The fact he was willing to immerse himself back into the bustling world to find Becca would tell this brother just how much she meant to Cody.

Evan watched the two. He had escaped such treatment for the most part. His experiences were not the same.

“Rebecca is waiting for us.” Sebastian looked at Cody, “She is going to meet her family this evening.” His chin tipped up a little as a thought occurred to him. “If what you say is true then by all means find her. Prove your worth like any other male would have to. It should at least take you a few days if not a week and that will give her much needed time with her family.

Prove himself a male of worth? Hadn’t he already done so? He hadn’t mistreated Becca nor had he done more than steal a kiss. Not for lack of effort.. the damned fang had interrupted them or there was no doubt Becca would already be his mate! But taking a deep breath and letting it out, Cody nodded to the vampire lord. “Deal.”

Looking to the quiet brother, Cody asked, “What’d ya wanna know?” For some reason Cody liked these two and it was as if through them he was one step closer to Becca.

“I like you.” Evan let one side of his smile curl up. His odd mixed colored gaze continued to assess the bear. Unlike the others, he could see the thoughts and emotions popping off of Cody like there was a shower of fireworks going on. “Our mother and new father are Alphas. They’re kind of traditionalists…at the same time, for the right people, they’re kind of willing to budge against the old stuff. After all, he’s taking us as his pups and we’re half-breeds. If that tells you anything. You may have to do some dancing to be in her life. But she’s worth learning new steps for, Cody. She’s gonna be their princess when she’s finally able to meet them, and Devon’s near as big as you. He doesn’t have any other daughters. So, you better impress him to be able to court her.”

Taking his beat up straw hat off, Cody wiped his face and short cropped dirty blonde hair. “Impress a father… hell I don’t even remember how to conduct myself around other supers without a fight bein’ involved.”

“Then maybe you need some time to relearn a little?” Evan commented. He wasn’t against the bear. He wanted to make sure this went well. “Because wolves don’t just hop into things when it comes to traditional parents of a younger woman. They expect to get to know the suitor. They expect some courting and some romance from someone who’s serious about their offspring. And it’s the male’s place to prove it’s more than just lust by wooing the lady.”

“What are you thinking, Ev?” Avery moved his shirt back down. His blue eyes were kind, like Becca’s brownish-hazel ones. Evan’s eyes were full of mischief.

“Well, if our friend Cody here and our stubborn sister will give us time and Lord Evansworth is willing to keep things calm, maybe we can help him out. And by we, DOCTOR LaCroix… I mean me, of course.”

“Because you’re the expert?” Avery gave Evan a completely amused expression. He huffed.

“Yep. That I am.” Evan lifted his chin slightly, showing that he too had some of the same qualities as his sister. “You want proof? My intended mates belong to him,” Evan thumbed over to Sebastian. “And he’s not killed me yet.”

Sebastian cleared his throat at Becca’s brothers. “Need to wrap this up so we can get back.”

“Did you want us to tell Becca anything for you, Cody? You could write her something. We can give it to her when we give her the clothes – if you don’t mind letting us take those to her, anyway.” Avery pointed out.

And if you have a phone, we could give you our numbers so we…” Avery was interrupted by a short growl from his older brother. He huffed. “..so he can maybe teach you what to expect and how the pack acts? Even if you’re on the road? And since we’ve both been rude as hell – I’m Avery and he’s Evan.”

It surprised him that Becca’s brother’s were willing to help him get their sister back.. they didn’t really know him. Cody found himself answering them. “Yeah, I’d appreciate the help. I’ll get things for ya’ll and would like to send her a letter back.” Cody turned back to the door and opened it to inside as he removed his shirt and put it in the basket. Becca had him in the habit now and as he was determined to bring her back he didn’t want to change things.

The scars were there from the fights and the markings for all his wins. The tattoos told the tales in vampyric and as he turned to invite the trio in they’d see the only ursa marking he had amongst all the patterns, scars and designs. The one Becca had been so fascinated stood out with it swirls of colors in the sun pattern with his clan markings and his mate and cubs names in his old tongue amid the vivid colors. “Come on in and have a seat.. it ain’t much in here, but its comfortable.” The scents were clean and fresh letting the trio know the ursa hadn’t been inside until now.

Cody went to his room first to write Becca a letter and about ten minutes later he stepped out of it to move down the hall to the other room. It took him a few minutes longer here because he handled Becca’s things like they were most precious to him. He didn’t put her toiletries in because he didn’t want to completely move her out and at the bottom of the duffel Cody put one of his shirts. Just because he couldn’t be with her physically right now didn’t mean he couldn’t be there with her in spirit. Placing the letter atop Becca’s clothes, Cody zipped it up and carried it out to the table to set down before her brothers.

“Avery, I don’t have a phone.. never had a use for one. But if ya leave me the number I’ll get one from town first thing in the mornin’. I’ll call or.. or what’s it called send a note it to ya once I get it sorted out.” It was the first time they actually got to a hint of a smile on his face.

Clearing his throat Cody nudged the duffel towards the other brother. “Evan, I uh.. I wrote her that letter and it’s inside with her clothes. Thank ya both again for helpin’ me.. I know ya’ll really don’t have to but it’s appreciated.” Cody had tugged on a clean long sleeve t shirt which covered most of his torso and arms so that the feeding bands at his neck and wrists were now the only things visible of his past.

Sebastian was standing by the door. He brought their focus to him, “Thank you for all that you did for Becca, Cody. I don’t want you to think I’m not grateful for her care because it is greatly appreciated. We need to get back now though.” The vampire held out a card with his number and email on it. He watched as Avery flipped the card over and added two other numbers with their names beside them.

As Cody picked the card up he nodded and walked the trio back out so they could leave as they’d come.

“It was good to meet you. And call as soon as you can. We can get to you wherever you are. It’s important that you know things before showing up,” Evan and Avery both wanted things to go as smoothly as possible for their little sister.

When the trio left Cody showered, locked up, grabbed his bag and headed for his truck. He needed to load up and get on the road for the long drive north.

Back where they had begun, Avery looked at Sebastian and Evan.

“Well?”

“Well, you apparently knew of him?” Evan shot back.

“Yeah but you can see into a mental state,” the doctor pointed out.

“He’s broken. What did you expect? So is Becca. And that’s why Sebastian’s right. Becca needs to be around family and make new friends and connections. So does Cody. He’s been on that ranch working his ass off wallowing in grief and guilt all this time. Having someone to take care of made him realize he can still help people and not hurt them. Becca brought him half out of a shell that he’d built around himself. And I think she and our pack can do the rest.” Evan pulled out a cigarillo, but seeing Sebastian’s glare he put it up just as fast.

“Yeah, but if that’s the only reason…. You know… they’re together then that’s not good, either.” Avery pointed out. “At first Ash and I, we had that connection and I knew, but we have had some moments along the way because we can be so different, ya know?”

“Ask Sebastian about that shit. That’s called relationships. I’m still learning. But if you’re worried about that feeling being the only thing that’s driving him to do this? No. He’s attracted to her. He’s helped her. I saw it playing over and over again in his head. And he damn sure isn’t replacing anyone with her, which was what I was worried about. He sees her separate, ya know? He was going over lists of things he needed to do to make sure the house and ranch would be ready for our sister when he brought her back – it wasn’t on anything sexual, it wasn’t on anything… what’s the word?” He couldn’t find it. “You know what I mean, right?” He looked to Sebastian.

“Carnal? You’re saying his thoughts were more domesticated?” That was kind of hard to believe since he recalled how the ursa had been when he’d found him.

“I say give her some time with us and the family. When he gets there, we should make them stay for a while. I’m fairly certain that’ll be a rule Papa Wolf will hand down with a quickness. But we can be sure they don’t skip off. And that way, when they do leave – if things work out… “ Evan shrugged, “They won’t isolate themselves if they learn to love everybody and being around the family. And the family’s already won us over.” Evan looked between the two other men. “So what’s your input?”

“He’ll protect her with his life. He was a killer in the rings. They only brought him out when someone needed to be killed. I know that much. And a lot of people , at least where humans are concerned, might be afraid that he would strike her? But no. I don’t believe he would ever lift even a finger toward her.” Avery continued to explain, “The Eriksson trainers made people like him and like me into killers by using our families against us. Not by appealing to anything other than that. Because once our families couldn’t be used against us, we got sold off or in his case, he was supposed to be put down. Apparently, Sebastian has the rest of his story from there, though.”

“Does he?” Becca was standing there with Samantha, watching the conversation go on. She was wearing the standard long shorts and t-shirt made of light cotton and flip flops. That was what Samantha had available for anyone that needed them at the clinic. She walked forward looking between all of them. “I’d like to know more about him. But I’ll have the decency to ask him someday,” her eyes were scolding as she walked forward and reached for the duffel bag. She could already smell him on it. “If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get changed into my own clothes. Dr. Sam said she has some of the labs back.”

“Becca, we just want to…” Avery tried to explain.

“You are my brother. I love you. But this isn’t about you.” She moved back toward the door to her room with the bag over her shoulder.

Samantha watched their girl go back into that room and she had a grin on her face. She was proud of Becca. That could have gone more than one way and she felt like the young woman had handled it very well.

Once inside, Becca closed the door and opened the bag so she could really take in the scent of him, her Cody bear. That’s when she saw the letter. Smiling, she picked it up and read it.

Becca,

I miss you already. I love you and I’m coming for you. Don’t give up on me.. I’ll prove my worth like a proper suitor and bring you home to the ranch as my mate. I’ve sent something of me to keep you company in my absence.

Love,
Cody

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