Mating Brand Page 45

He hung up and turned. “He’ll keep her safe. I know he won’t hurt her.”

“Why didn’t he answer his phone? Maybe they need help.”

“He rarely answers his phone. It’s normal for him to keep the ringer off but he checks his messages often. He’ll call back.” He hoped that was true.

She didn’t seem appeased.

“The pride doesn’t have her, which is a good thing, right? You met Braden and you know he isn’t prejudiced. He’ll see her as a woman, not the enemy.” He figured that was the main reason for her fear. “I’m sure she told him who she is because he’d have wanted to know why she entered our territory. He killed someone from your pride to protect her and get her away from him. I’m sure they are okay, probably locked inside my basement, waiting for the danger to pass. The best thing we can do is end this nightmare quickly so we can go home.”

“You’re right. Okay. What can I do to help? This is my pack now too.”

It was a relief that his words had calmed some of Charma’s fears. He didn’t want her dealing with any grisly tasks. “Food.” He led her into the kitchen. “We’re always hungry after shifting. Make as many sandwiches as possible.” He caught the attention of one of the pack, motioning him over. “This is Dan. He’s going to help you.” He shot the male a menacing look. “This is my mate. You don’t let her out of your sight. Protect her if there are any unfriendly faces coming in here looking for a meal. You help her feed them.”

The younger male nodded but sniffed at her, his face showing surprise that she wasn’t a wolf. “Okay.”

“You have a problem with that?” Brand growled.

The pup shook his head. “No.”

“Good.” He took the jacket from Charma’s arms and placed it on the back of a chair. “Your sister will be safe with my cousin. Don’t worry about her right now, okay?”

She blew out a breath. “I don’t have a choice, do I? If he touches her though…”

“He’s not a rapist,” Brand swore, certain Braden wouldn’t force a woman no matter how bad the heat got. “You met him. He’s immature, rash, but a good kid.”

She relaxed. “He was really nice to me.”

“Exactly. I have to go help.” With the bodies. He left that last part out. “I’ll be close.”

“I love you.” She held his gaze.

“I love you too.”

He quickly fled the kitchen, wanting to get back to her side but he had to help his family. That was what made them such a strong pack.



Chapter Eleven


Charma was tired and more than a little disturbed at the number of werewolves who came into the kitchen in search of food. It was a shifter trait to get an appetite when they smelled meat cooking. It was what they were burning that made her queasy.

“I think that’s the last of them.” Dan started to put away the food. He was a nice kid in his teens. “I hope so, anyway. We’re out of ham and turkey. The only thing left is bologna.”

“Thank you for all your help.”

“I’d do anything for Brand. He’s cool.”

She smiled, feeling a sense of pride. “He is an amazing man.”

“He’s kind of like a father to me. My old man was killed when I was a kid but Brand mentors me.”

“He does?” She liked finding that out. Garrett wasn’t a role model in the pride. Her ex-mate was the epitome of bad influences on the younger males.

“Oh yeah. There’s a bunch of us without fathers and he teaches us stuff. We can’t afford handymen coming out to our place so he’ll drop by to show us how to fix whatever breaks, for free. We even go hunting together. He always tells us to leave the families alone.”

Surprise tore through her. “What?”

“Animals. Not people.” Dan laughed. “You should see your face. He gets pissed if we go after a momma with babies. That’s what I mean. We’re supposed to only take down the older stags and bears. The meat is tougher but he says it’s good for us.”

That was her Brand. He was a sweetheart. “I see.”

“Werewolves don’t kill humans. At least not in this pack. You have to have a damn good reason and it has to be approved by the alpha. They have to pose a serious danger to the pack.” His gaze traveled over her. “We also apparently don’t kill she-cats. Not that I’d hurt a woman. Brand taught us that there’s nothing worse than being a bully. We’re naturally stronger than most humans but even female shifters don’t stand much of a chance in a fight against a male. He even lectures us about sex with humans, you know? Be gentle, don’t growl, and reminds us to keep our skin. It would be real bad to burst into fur on top of one. They’d freak out.”

The conversation had shifted onto a topic she wasn’t comfortable with. “I’m sure they would.”

“I don’t date humans. I mean, what’s the point? I want honesty when I am with someone. I’d have to lie to her about everything or risk her hating me for what I am. That would be the worst. The alpha would have to decide if she was a danger to the pack. My mom would also flip out. She wants grandkids who shift. It’s a coin toss when you crossbreed.” He frowned. “Shit. I wonder how weird your kids are going to turn out. I mean, will they look like you or Brand? How freaky would a half kitten, half pup be?”

His questions caused a stabbing sensation in her chest. She wasn’t sure she’d even be able to get pregnant. She’d never met a she-cat who’d had a child with a werewolf. Her human half might help with that but it was uncertain. Would any possible children be shunned by the pack and deemed to be freaks? She knew all about not fitting in and being looked down upon. She wanted better for her children than she’d experienced as a half-breed.

“Enough,” a deep voice growled, startling Charma. She’d been unaware of the person who’d walked into the kitchen behind her. Rave met her gaze before glaring at Dan.

“Go outside and do something useful.”

“Brand told me to guard her. I mean, protect.”

“I’ve got this,” Rave announced. “Scat, pup.”

The kid fled without another word. Charma faced Rave and forced a smile. “Are you hungry?”

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