Anne crossed her arms over her chest. "Fine, only if you agree to watch my favorite anime shows with me."
Meryn nodded. "Deal."
Anne nodded. "Deal."
Colton shuddered. "Why do I feel like I just watched an unholy union?"
Rheia bumped shoulders with him. "Goof! I'd like to watch some of the anime shows, too."
Elizabeth looked at Amelia who nodded. "Count us in, too."
Anne's smile lit up her whole face. "I've never had anyone else interested enough to watch with me before, just Keelan and Kendrick."
Colton looked at Kendrick. "Really?"
Kendrick grinned at him. "It had a great story. You should watch the one Anne introduced me to earlier."
Colton smiled at his mate. "Why not? I watch Digimon with Penny, and that's not too bad."
"You'll love it," Kendrick promised wickedly.
"If most of the serious discussions have concluded, I need to finish preparing dinner." Ryuu looked at his watch.
Aiden stood, rubbing his stomach. "Food sounds like an excellent idea. After a day like today, I'm looking forward to dinner."
"By the way Aiden, how did your father take the news about the Committee?" Elizabeth asked.
Aiden shook his head. "Mother will probably be making him his favorite Honey Bun cake for weeks." Aiden looked down at Meryn. "I wish you would learn how to make that cake; it is perfect for stressful days."
Meryn looked up at him confused. "You don't want blow jobs anymore?"
Aiden turned bright red. "Meryn!"
"What? Cake or blowjobs? You're not getting both," Meryn insisted.
Around the table the men turned their faces to hide their laughter.
Aiden got a calculating look on his face. "Let's go upstairs and discuss it."
Meryn giggled and jumped to her feet. Aiden swept her up and dashed from the room.
Once the couple was out of sight, everyone gave up on being dignified and laughed.
"He needed that levity; I've never seen Aiden so stressed," Elizabeth commented as everyone stood to leave the room.
"What Aiden forgot to mention is that the Committee will be stopping by sometime tomorrow to meet with you ladies. I am sure he is upstairs laying ground rules with Meryn now. Be prepared," Gavriel advised them.
Anne looked nervous. "Does that include me?"
Darian smiled at her in sympathy. "I'm afraid so. However, since you haven't been here long, they probably won't ask you any questions besides your name."
"Gods above, give me strength to help Meryn tomorrow," Elizabeth murmured in prayer.
"So mote it be," the men echoed together.
Kendrick had a feeling it would take every God listening to keep that spitfire under control. Smiling, he escorted Anne back upstairs to check on Keelan. He knew no matter what, Meryn was going to be Meryn. Without a doubt, he would be sitting in on those introductions with the Committee; he wouldn't miss it for the world.
Later that evening, after dinner, Anne found herself back in Keelan's room with Kendrick. Throughout the day, Kendrick had been attentive and supportive. He hadn't judged her for watching anime and even began watching it along with her, despite it being a boy's love series.
She peeked out at him from behind her iPad. She had tried to dive into a new book, but found that, for once, reality was better than fiction. Every time she started a sentence, her mind wandered back to Kendrick. Every time they touched, she could feel a jolt of raw need race through her body. When she had been scared at the thought of killer zombies, he comforted her. His arm had been warm, and the second he pulled her close, she realized she had never felt safer in her life.
But Keelan was her mate, wasn't he? She shook her head. He had to be; he had told his family that she was.
"Hmmm?" Kendrick's eyes stayed glued to the massive book he had been reading earlier.
"Has anyone ever made a mistake claiming their mate?" she asked.
He closed the heavy tome and turned in his chair to face her. "There have been a few documented cases, mostly amongst witches, where a mistake was made. Why?"
"Why witches? Why not the others?"
"Because witches are the only race that finds its mates by having dreams; we rely on sight alone. Vampires and shifters can smell their mates, although with vampires, it's their mate's blood they scent, not their bodies. The fae can see the aura of their mates, but witches have only their dreams," he explained.
"But Colton said that he had dreamt of Rheia, and he's a shifter, right?"
Kendrick set the book down on the long table in front of him. "Sometime last year, the matriarchs of Lycaonia went to Elder Airgead with concerns that their sons' mates were out in the world and dying. So, the elder cast a spell that would bring their mates to them. Aiden was the first to dream of his mate, which was Meryn."
"All of the warriors are dreaming of their mates, even if they aren't witches?"
He nodded. "I believe that, since it was a witch who cast the spell, it influenced how the men would find their mates."
"And the women dreamt too?" Anne hugged her iPad to her chest.
Kendrick looked at her with a serious expression. "So I've been told. Why? Did you have dreams as well?"
Anne looked away. "Yes."
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