"Did... your pack almost fall without me?" I ask, horrified. Does collapse mean that everyone dies?

Braxton shakes his head. "No. I mean, we were weaker than we could have been with you, but we had your mother and Natalie to somewhat fill that gap. It's losing a Luna that can rip apart a pack."

"Really?" I'm shocked that one person can be so important.

"Yes. Partly because losing a mate is devastating to a werewolf, especially to an Alpha. An Alpha who loses their Luna is often no longer fit to run a pack."

"Oh," I say quietly.

Braxton is looking at me with dark eyes and that reminds me of something I've been wondering since I met him.

"Why do your eyes get darker sometimes?"

"It's a sign that my wolf is taking over," Braxton explains.

"What does that mean?" I ask, confused by how he worded it.

"My wolf is the part of me that is really aggressive and territorial, as a wolf runs almost entirely on instinct. Sometimes that part of me is much more prominent that my human side is."

I look at him with wide eyes. "What causes your wolf to... come out?"

Braxton stands suddenly and I do the same. He starts walking towards me and immediately I back up. He looks dangerous and powerful and his eyes are dark. I swallow nervously, unsure if he is about to rip me to shreds.

As I'm backing up, I run into a wall. Braxton is in front of me in a blink of the eye, putting his hands against the wall on either side of my head.

"My wolf comes out when I'm angry," Braxton says quietly, tilting his head as he stares into my eyes. "Like when you back away from me. I can see the fear in your eyes. I don't like it."

I gulp. "I can't help it.  You just said that your wolf takes over when you are angry. Isn't he just like an angrier version of you?"

Braxton narrows his eyes slightly and I realize that he is looking at my lips. "You could say that. But my wolf would never hurt you. I would never hurt you. My wolf runs on instinct. My first instinct is to protect you. I'd never hurt you. It's impossible."

I nod my head and that seems to calm him down. But his eyes are still dark. "Is that the only reason your eyes get darker?" I ask, feeling like he has left something out.

Braxton shakes his head softly in response, leaning in closer to me. My breath hitches and I look up at him with wide eyes.

"Every time I look at you I have to hold my wolf back. It's my instinct to mark you, to mate with you," Braxton murmurs as he nuzzles into the left side of my neck.

"Mate with me?" I ask breathlessly, unsure of what that means.

"Yes," Braxton hums and I feel his lips on my neck. I gasp loudly, feeling more pleasure from that one kiss than I ever have in my entire life.

His face is in front of mine in an instant, our noses brushing as I shake nervously and Braxton breathes heavily.

"I will not do that yet," Braxton mutters, closing his eyes briefly like he is trying to control himself. "You are not ready."

His eyes open again and I just stare into them, unsure of what to say. They look slightly lighter than before, but still much darker than usual.

Then, one of Braxton's hands goes to the back of my head, weaving through my hair. I freeze in place when suddenly, his lips are on my own.

At first, I'm shocked and literally have no idea what I'm supposed to do. This is my first kiss. Before this, I was a lip virgin.

But then something in me breaks and I start to move my lips against Braxton's. He growls lowly, but I can tell that it is a growl of approval. The hand not in my hair wraps around my waist tightly and I'm pulled flush against Braxton's body.

Braxton's lips leave mine and he returns to my neck, leaving several small kisses there. I'm disappointed momentarily, but gladly try to catch my breath. Then, Braxton starts lightly biting and sucking the skin on my neck. I can tell he is trying to leave a hickey... and he is definitely succeeding.

His lips return to mine when he determines that the hickey is good enough. I'm lost in the kiss when suddenly, I hear a door open, loudly.

I try to break away from the kiss, but Braxton doesn't stop. In fact, all he does is pull me closer to him.

"Alpha!" A voice yells out of nowhere and I nearly scream. Braxton growls loudly at the interruption, finally breaking the kiss. I look to my left and nearly scream again when I see a figure right beside us. My heart rate slows when I recognize the light green eyes.

Caden looks out of breath as he stares at the two of us, not commenting on the fact that we were clearly just making out.

Braxton growls again, pushing me behind him, so he is in between me and Caden.

"What is so important that you couldn't have just mind linked me?" Braxton almost snarls.

"I tried, Alpha," Caden explains, looking down at the ground, exposing the right side of his neck. In that moment, something clicks in my head. That must be a form of submission, as that is where the Alpha bites each member of the pack. I've seen it many times, all when Braxton is angry.

"What is it?" Braxton growls yet again.

"Rogues have breached the perimeter."

~*~

Hey guys!  I hope that you all liked this chapter!  The romance between Brynlee and Braxton is finally heating up!  I'll try to get the next part up as quickly as I can!

Thank you so much for the reads, votes, and comments!  It means a lot to me!

- Nina

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