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Emmitt’s Treasure: Epilogue

“Winifred, this is a waste of time, and you know it,” Jim said, leaning against one of the front porch columns.

The boys were playing on the swing set with Paul, Henry, and Grey.  Michelle and I were on the porch steps.  While she was watching her brothers, I was openly watching Jim try to get out of going home.

“For the benefit of all our kind, you need to attend,” Winifred said calmly.

“Everyone knows Gabby already picked the guy.  I don’t understand why you put a call out.”

Winifred gave a long-suffering sigh. “She did not Claim him within the allotted six months.  To keep the peace, we must Introduce her to other options.”

“If she was one of us—no offense, Michelle—”

“None taken,” she said without turning.

“—the rule would make sense.  She’s not one of us.  Look at the whole Claiming process.  Even that’s different.  These special humans have to bite us instead of us biting them.”

“Thank God,” Michelle murmured.  I gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

“If you’re so sure she’s not going to pick anyone but Clay,” Winifred said, “why are you so opposed to going?”

Jim scowled. “You know why.”

I grinned.  We all knew why.  Mom had used the gathering as an excuse to invite a few families with unMated females to stay at the Compound so she could Introduce them to Jim.  She hadn’t stopped trying to set him up since Michelle and I called to say we were getting married…the human way.

“Just go,” I said to Jim.  “You can take my bike and enjoy a long ride.”

He perked up a little. “Seriously?”

I nodded. “Just…don’t let anything happen to it.”


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