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Authors: Leia Stone

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Balance

BOOK: Balance
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Balance

By: Leia Stone

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Leia
Stone. All rights reserved.

Cover Art by Adithya
Kaushik, Copyright © 2016 by Leia Stone

Matefinder Series
characters, names and related items are trademarks owned by Leia Stone.

 

No part of this publication
may be reproduced. Stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without written permission of the author.

 

This is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
persons, live or dead are purely coincidental.

Stone,
Leia

Balance

Portland,
Oregon 97229

1.
Fantasy Fiction

 

For information on reproducing
sections of this book or sales of this book go to www.facebook.com/leia.stone

www.leiastone.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my husband, for being an amazing father to
our children and a wonderful partner in life. This is for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Era

               

                Life
would never be the same for humanity. Four months ago, Kai revealed the
werewolf race to the humans. Since then, we had to fight a lot of fires.
Militias had popped up all over the world; rebel humans that didn’t stand with
their government or the police. They joined with the werewolves and sought out
vampire dens and nightclubs, slaughtering vampires that put humans in harm’s
way. But race protectors had also become a problem, humans that thought vampires
and
werewolves didn’t deserve to be here, that it was unnatural and
Earth was for humans only. The result was a blood bath, calmed only by reports
that the werewolves were a small species that was naturally dying out and were
harmless to humans in comparison to vampires that needed humans as a food
source. Sort of a lie because more and more mated couples were having children,
thanks to my gift of finding mates. Kai couldn’t go out in public like he used
to and our lives on the mountain had changed. All human residents of Mount Hood
who didn’t agree with the werewolves, had left. They abandoned homes, shops,
everything. It was creepy. The other werewolves were able to keep under the
radar, but Kai’s face was all over the news.

                I
was itching to find Layla, but every lead we had went dry. I was desperate to
know if she was pregnant or not. The clock was ticking from when she bit me
four months ago and had become fertile. Now, I had Emma on bed rest preparing
to give birth and it racked my nerves. Werewolf pregnancy was dangerous and I
tried not to think about it as I sat at Kai’s office desk tinkering with some
dried herbs, learning to make spells. I wasn’t able to get over to see the
witches as often as I wanted. They had managed to escape the limelight and
wanted to keep their race a secret. The door creaked and I looked up smiling,
sensing Kai. He walked in and gave me a look. His chestnut eyes were hooded,
his wild brown hair fell in tousled waves across his forehead.

               
‘You’re
stressing,’
he told me.

                I
sighed.
‘Not really,’
I lied.

                He
came up behind me and slowly massaged my shoulders. Mmmm. Then he spun the
chair around and faced me. Reaching my hand out, I rubbed the stubble of his
strong jaw and he kissed my nose.

                “We
will find Layla, and Emma will be fine,” he declared out loud. As if that would
make it true.

                “Okay,”
I said, because he was trying to make me feel better. Nothing would make me
feel better until Layla was a pile of ash.

                His
phone buzzed with a text. “It’s Emma. She wants us to come over.”

                I
jumped up, heart pounding. “Is she okay? Is it labor?” I wiped my palms on my
jeans. I was ready; I had read all the books, taken all the classes.

                Kai
placed two hands on my shoulders. “She’s fine. She said she just wants to
talk.”

                 I
released a shaky breath as Kai watched me in anxiety.

                We
walked to Emma’s, hand in hand. The weather was perfect. Summer. Everything was
in bloom. The trees stood tall and thick around our property on Mount Hood. I
inhaled. God, I loved this mountain. Kai knocked before letting himself in. Emma
was not to leave the couch. Even at thirty-six weeks along, Diya didn’t want
her to go into early labor if she could help it.

                Diya,
Kai’s sister and the pack midwife, was tending to Emma on the couch. Diya’s own
pregnant bump was showing. How far along was she now? Nearly four months.
Almost every mated couple I had brought together was pregnant. Ten, twenty
years from now, our numbers would be stronger. Diya gave us a quick hug and
then left.

                I
gazed at Emma on the couch. Her bright red pixie hair and vibrant green eyes were
the unique marker of my best friend. So beautiful but so broken after losing
her mate. My stomach dropped at the thought of Devon’s death, sacrificing
himself to save me. I don’t think the pack will ever truly heal from that loss.
Emma’s hands were rested upon her giant belly. She was huge. I know you weren’t
supposed to say that to a pregnant woman, but it was okay to think it, right?
Her belly looked so swollen, like she would pop at any moment. I leaned down
and placed a small kiss on her cheek. My best friend’s happiness was everything
to me.

                “Hey,
pretty mama,” I peppered her with a compliment.

                She
rolled her eyes. “Shut up. I’m gigantic.”

                I
shared a look with Kai.

                “You’re
not gigantic. You’re just really pregnant,” I told her.

                She
waved me away. “Whatever. I wanted to talk to you both about something serious.
Please sit down.”

                I
sat down with unease and prepared myself. Had Diya found a placental abruption?
Low amniotic fluid? I had researched it all. I was Emma’s birthing partner and
I wanted to be ready for anything.

                Kai
gently took her small, pale hand in his. “What is it, sweetie?” he asked with
concern. Kai had never said it out loud but Emma was his favorite, most
cherished pack member. I knew it; I could feel it.

                Emma’s
eyes filled with tears, her lips pursed. Turning to me, she met my eyes.
“Before Devon died, we had a talk. We agreed that if anything happened to us,
we wanted you and Kai to take care of the baby.”

                Tears
lined my eyes. “Nothing is going to happen,” I said as emotion constricted my
voice. Why was she saying this? Kai kept it together for the both of us, gazing
at her with a strong and loving look.

                “Devon’s
gone now, Aurora. I have to be practical.” She pulled out some papers from
under her pillow. “Sign these and if I die, it gives you full legal custody.
Devon signed them before he …”

                I
stood up. “No! You’re not dying. Do you understand me?” A mirror on the wall
rattled as mist leaked from my skin. “Life won’t be that cruel. It won’t,” I
stated to the universe. I could feel the Devi stirring inside of me. The
witches had discovered that I had two affinities, healing and future sight.
They also discovered I was a Devi. A soul had attached to mine to help with a
big life purpose. They compared the soul to an angel but it still freaked me
out. She had awoken with my anger and now I struggled to calm her.

                “Calm
down,” Kai told me firmly and put his Alpha power into the words. My mist
stopped immediately and I took a deep breath.

                Emma
reached for my hand. “Aurora, you don’t understand. You’re not a mother. You
don’t get it. I have this life inside of me. This helpless thing that depends
on me for survival. I need to make plans just in case. If you don’t agree, I’ll
choose Diya and Trent.”

                My
heart crushed. “Of course, I agree.” I dropped to my knees and hugged her.

                Emma
nodded. “Going into labor, I need to know that everything is set up.”

                Kai
laid the papers down on the coffee table and pulled a pen from his back pocket,
signing his name, then he handed it to me. My mate was an Alpha but he was
different with me. He never pushed me or threatened me, but the look he gave me
now sent chills up my arms.

                ‘She
won’t die,
’ I told him.

                ‘Sign
it, now,’
he commanded and gave me a
look that scared me. I took the pen and signed my name. Emma needed me to do
this, so I would, but my best friend wasn’t going anywhere.

                Emma
sighed in relief and I squeezed her hand. “You’re best friend and birthing
partner is a badass witch with healing powers. Don’t forget that,” I told her. You
better believe that if anything went wrong I was calling on every power I had
to help her.

                She
smiled and I saw that a weight had lifted off of her. She must have been
carrying this a while.

                Kai
rubbed her belly. “Emma, don’t worry. This baby will be well taken care of and
loved, no matter what. She will know how courageous her father was and how
loving her mother is and I will make sure she has a long and happy life.”

                She
looked more at peace. “That’s what I wanted to hear.” She lay back and relaxed on
the couch. “So, you think it’s a girl?” she asked Kai. She was keeping the sex
a surprise, even from herself.

                Kai
smiled. “I do, I sense it.”

                “It’s
a boy,” I told them both, rolling my eyes.

                 I
didn’t sense it but I could totally imagine a feisty boy with red hair and
green eyes.

                Emma
laughed. “I think it’s a boy, too. Devon wanted a girl. We will see.”

                She
closed her eyes then, looking utterly exhausted. I kissed her cheek and went
back to the nursery. Diya and I had set everything up, but I wanted to add one
more thing. I pulled a small wooden wolf carving from my pocket. It was a
protection charm, from Nahuel, my shaman spirit guide who was also my brother
in a past life. He had been trying to help us find Layla, too, with no success.
I set the polished wood figurine on the white dresser and looked around. Baby
stuff was cute. I told Kai I wanted to wait five years and then after two
babies I would let the witches do a spell on me to make me infertile. That way,
the vampires and RAIDOS would leave me alone. I held a tiny white onesie and
smiled. Who knows, maybe we would only wait a year.

                 Kai
came up behind me and patted my belly. “I heard that thought,” he told me.

                I
spun around and shook an accusatory finger at him. “Hey! Privacy please.” I tapped
my head.

                He
smiled and looked around the nursery and then at my belly. “I’m ready when you
are.”

                I
rolled my eyes and walked past him. “Good to know.”

BOOK: Balance
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