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My Commander (Bewitched and Bewildered #1)

By:Alanea Alder

My Commander (Bewitched and Bewildered #1)
Alanea Alder

PROLOGUE

"Aiden, come find me!" The soft voice teased. Aiden looked around, he was in the forest between the Alpha and Beta barracks. Stumbling blindly he couldn't see where she was hiding. A growing sense of dread had his heart beating out of control.

"Quit playing and come out." He yelled.

"Sourpuss!" Her feminine laughter echoed off the trees.

"Come on now, no more playing." He called out. There was nothing but silence.

"That's not funny, come out!"

"Aiden!" Her scream shattered the silence. He ran toward her voice. When he got to the clearing he bellowed out his rage. She was lying in a growing pool of blood. Her long, brown hair framed her petite body on either side. She wore a delicate white lace summer dress and was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was his mate, and she was dying. He raced over and dropped to his knees, lifting her small body into his arms.

"Stay with me baby, please!" He begged.

"Why didn't you look for me?" Her large green eyes held so much pain.

"I didn't know." He choked on the words.

"I would have loved you forever." And then her eyes closed.

*****

Aiden sat up in bed clutching his chest. He had been dreaming of this woman for the past two weeks, with her long, soft brown hair, expressive green eyes and pale skin. She looked so innocent and fragile. Most nights the dreams were wonderful, but the nightmares had started three nights ago and he was scared to death that his mate was out there and he had no idea where to find her.

He swung his legs over the bed and leaned forward, elbows on his knees, face in his hands. He tried to shake off the feeling that something was terribly wrong. Sighing he sat up and scrubbed his hands over his face. He stood and decided against taking a shower, they were doing drills today, and he would be sweaty and rank in less than an hour anyway.

He put on his training gear and went downstairs. Gavriel was at the table frowning into his coffee mug.

"You too?" Aiden asked. Gavriel looked up and nodded.

So far they were the only two in their unit who had started dreaming of their mates. In theory he understood the Elder's concerns for the next generation. At first casting a spell to bring their mates to them seemed extreme, but with his nightmares came a growing sense of urgency. Maybe they had been right after all. Damn.

"Bad?" Aiden asked turning his attention back to his second in command.

"I think my mate may be mentally retarded, either that or she has a severe inner ear imbalance. Every night it's as if I watch her from afar, I have never seen a more accident prone person in my life. I fear she will get herself killed before I can find her." Gavriel scowled. Aiden winced. Gavriel was one of the most elegant, graceful men he knew. What could Fate be thinking pairing him with a woman like that?

"You?" Gavriel asked.

"She was murdered again. I didn't get there in time." Aiden whispered. Gavriel set his cup down.

"Aiden, you say the word, we'll begin looking for her."

"Thank you, I would accept, but I have no idea where to start."

"You two look especially gloomy this morning." Colton breezed in and immediately went to the coffee pot.

"Had trouble sleeping." Gavriel said smoothly, nodding at Aiden with a knowing look. Aiden smiled back, he was grateful that he didn't have to discuss his nightmare further.

"So what's on the agenda today?" Colton turned, holding his favorite mug. It was a caricature of a busty beer maiden holding two beer steins, the caption read "I like big jugs and I cannot lie". Aiden felt himself begin to smile. Only Colton could pull him out of his bad moods so easily.

"We're doing drills." Aiden sipped his coffee.

"Which ones?"

"All of them?"

Colton choked on his coffee. "All of them?"

"All of them. Every mother's son of you. We go until we drop." Aiden figured that if he had to push himself to exhaustion to avoid dreaming, he was dragging the men along for the miserable ride.

"Can I call in sick?" Colton faked a cough.

"No. Call Lorcan and Sascha, we're training with Beta and Gamma today. Let them know we'll be using our facilities." Aiden drained his coffee cup as Gavriel finished what was left of his. The both of them headed out to the unit's training grounds, leaving Colton to moan and groan behind them. Aiden began calling out drill exercises to the early arrivals. He turned to stare at the woods.

It was just a dream. She isn't real. Aiden exhaled and concentrated on the men. He didn't need a woman cluttering up his life and he sure as hell didn't need the distraction.

CHAPTER ONE

"I love rock and roll so put another coin in the jukebox baby." Meryn turned up the volume to her iPod and jammed along with the B52's. She had woken up to an overwhelming need to go exploring. So she had shoved her laptop into her backpack and jumped in her car. Thirty minutes later she parked on the side of an old country road and head out on foot. She was now staring at a high, very official looking chain link fence. Her inborn sense of curiosity which had gotten her into more than one scrape in the past coupled with the strange feeling to go forward, was pushing her to scale the fence and see what lay beyond. Shrugging she started to climb. She quickly came to the conclusion that climbing fences was much harder than it looked on TV. She cleared the top, climbed down a few feet and then jumped the full length of the fence down. Bopping her head to the music she looked around and began to walk forward.

It was October and the crisp autumn air that smelled of leaves and earth made it a perfect day for hiking and exploring. She zipped her hoodie closed when a cloud passed over the sun lowering the afternoon temperature. She always wore her hoodies three sizes too large which made them comfortable and snuggly like a blanket. She had been waiting for fall weather all summer so she could begin wearing her hoodies again.

The only thing she didn't like about wearing them was that they usually covered up her favorite tee-shirts. Today she was sporting a vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tee she had found at the thrift store. She had layered that over a white thermal and was happy with the result. Graphic tees were her weakness.

As the wind picked up she started to second guess cutting her hair. She ran a hand over the short, pixie cut and grinned. She loved how easy it was to take care of, and it was a fun, sassy look. But damn if the back of her neck wasn't getting cold. Note to self. Buy more scarves! She was about to continue with her walk when movement out of the corner of her eye had her freezing mid-step. She turned to see a tall, blond man with green eyes staring at her with an amused look as he leaned against a... was that an assault rifle? She pulled her earbuds out of her ears.

"Um, hello."

"Hello little one. Did you know you're on private property?"

"Really? I had no idea." Meryn fudged.

He raised an eyebrow. "The ten foot fence right behind you didn't give it away?"

Meryn turned to look at the fence.

"How'd that get there?" She pretended to be shocked.

"You're funny. But not funny enough to avoid trouble." He took a step forward and she took a step back.

"I was just curious about what was back here."

More men began to pour out of the woods on all sides. Panicked she turned and ran for the fence. Large hands grabbed at her and pulled her backward.

"Put me down you asshole!" She screamed as the men looked at each other in shock.

"Quit squirming. Ow! Stop trying to kick me in the balls!" The blond man yelled as Meryn flailed uselessly.

"This is assault and battery!"

"You're the one assaulting me, you crazy female! I think you broke my nose!" Finally, he gained control and held her out in front of him, grasping her upper arms.

Meryn looked around helplessly as she dangled in his grasp. Her hopes for escape plummeted when she saw that they were now completely surrounded by no less than twelve huge men all carrying weapons.

"Okay, I saw this movie and I didn't like it. Can I just go home now?" She took in their military gear and closed her eyes. "I didn't see anything I swear."

"Who sent you?" Meryn opened her eyes to see another blond man stepping forward. At first she thought he might be related to the guy holding her, but this man had amber colored eyes, not green. He also had higher cheekbones and fuller lips. It was a gorgeous combination.

"No one."

"So you just decided to climb a random fence, just to see what was on the other side?" There was no hiding the sarcasm in that question.

She nodded frantically. "Actually, yeah. I just moved to town and today when I woke up, I had this overwhelming urge to go exploring. It pushed me here." She noticed how the men gave each other meaningful looks.

"So are you guys like paramilitary? Secret CIA training base? That would be cool." Meryn asked.

All eyes turned back to her. She flinched and closed her eyes again.

"I mean, I see nothing, I hear nothing and I most definitely won't say shit."

The man behind her snorted as the sound of men approaching had her opening her eyes again. Out of the woods two more men appeared. One looked like he glided over the fallen leaves; the other trampled through them recklessly his deep blue eyes hard. He looked like he was the type of man who wore a perpetual scowl.

The angry one looked her over. "What's your name?"

"These are not the droids you are looking for." She said. The smaller auburn haired man to her left cracked up. The hulking man glared at him.

"Quiet Keelan." He turned his gaze back

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