When I wake up, my head feels like absolute shit. "Oh my god," I mutter, rubbing my temples to try to alleviate the pain.

I sit up, trying to focus on something else, anything else, hoping that that will help. I look around, realizing that I'm back in Braxton's home, laying in his comfy bed. Seeing a blanket thrown over the couch and that the side on the bed I'm not on is completely undisturbed, I determine that Braxton chose to sleep on the couch. Half of me is relieved, but the other part is... disappointed? I shake my head and get out of the bed. It's the hangover that's making me think like that.

Then I notice a glass of water and two pills sitting on the bedside table. My eyes widen and I practically pounce on the Advil. After I take them and down the entire glass as well, I silently thank Braxton, praying that it kicks in soon.

As I stand alone in the bedroom, I realize that I have no idea what I'm doing. The thought of trying to leave again crosses my mind, but only briefly. At this point, I know Braxton will catch me, it's useless. And what do I really have to go back to? Parents who don't give a shit about me? No thanks. At least here I feel welcomed... I feel loved. Not to mention, Sebastian and his group of psychos are still out there and I do not want to be back with them anytime soon. I feel safe here.

My thoughts drift to Braxton and I piece together the fact that he is the one who makes me feel safe. Braxton is the one who makes me feel... loved? It must be that whole mate thing. That also may be part of the reason why I don't want to leave. I know it'll hurt Braxton if I do. Hell, it might even hurt me too. And since I can't think of anything else, I guess I'll just do the only thing that makes sense: stay here.

I wander to the closet, remembering that all of the clothes I bought with Natalie that one day are in there. Speaking of Natalie, I really need to talk to her about all this mate business. I don't particularly want to talk to Braxton about it. He'll just say something super sweet like he always does and I'll be putty in his hands. I need Nat, she's like a voice of reason. I'll get the truth from her, without any mate feelings persuading me.

After grabbing a cute outfit, I make my way over to the bathroom. I take a nice long shower and get ready. I spend approximately five minutes just staring at myself in the mirror once I am finished, unsure of what exactly I should do now. My stomach growls loudly as if it is answering me.

Taking a deep breath, I make my way out of the bedroom, mentally praying that I'm the only person in the house. I silently walk down the stairs, not hearing any sounds coming from the main floor. When I reach the bottom of the stairs, I walk towards the kitchen.

I breathe out a sigh of relief when the entirety of the main floor is empty. I immediately go over to the refrigerator... it is calling for me. I'm surprised to find a fully stocked fridge. I don't think the fridge at my house has ever been full. I do all the grocery shopping, and I'm lazy as hell, always forgetting to go to the store until there is literally nothing left to eat.

I rummage through the fridge, trying to figure out what I want. I'm craving something sweet, but I'm also starving so I'm not sure if that will be enough.

"Are you hungry?" a deep voice breaks through the silence and I immediately jump backwards, screaming.

Unsurprisingly, my klutziness kicks in and I trip over my own feet. But before I make contact with the hardwood floor, arms wrap around my waist, steadying me. I look up at two blue eyes as I try to calm my breathing.

"Are you okay?" Braxton asks me, worry lacing his voice.

I nod hesitantly. "Fine. You scared me."

An Alpha's LoveRead this story for FREE!