“We don’t know what they can do, but we will figure it out,” Kade said after a moment. “No one will be happy if they found a serum or whatever the hell they are trying to do. Nothing can make wolves but our bite or by mating and giving birth. That is how we’re made. Anything else is something different, and from the way I hear Shane is reacting to it…I don’t think it’s a viable option. Either way, though, there will be dangers. Humans can be fearful of it or even use it, creating a new conflict. And within our own borders, some might use it to put others in danger. There is just too much in the air, and until we can figure it all out, we have to be prepared for every possibility.”
He paused then met Bram’s gaze. “Shane has only calmed down once fully since he’s arrived.”
Bram frowned, unease settling over him at the anxiety of what his Alpha might say next.
“It was when Charlotte stepped into the room with him.” Kade sighed. “When a wolf goes feral or is on the brink, sometimes there is only one way to soothe the beast.” He met Bram’s eyes one more time, and Bram held his breath.
He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think.
There was only one real answer for why Shane would suddenly calm in the presence of Charlotte.
“You think he’s her mate.” Bram’s words were hollow, though a thousand different emotions warred within him.
Kade winced while the others murmured around them. It wasn’t a secret that most thought Bram and Charlotte were meant to be mates, but no one knew the real reason why they hadn’t made it public yet.
There hadn’t been a reason to make it public, as there had been no bond.
“I need to see her,” Bram said suddenly, aware he was baring himself far more than he ever had before. He didn’t care what the others saw, not now when his wolf scraped at him, howling for what they might be letting out of heir grasp at this very moment.
Kade’s nostrils flared, but he nodded. “Go. Gideon will be expecting you.”
His Alpha reached for his phone, and Bram shot out of the room before he could think better of it. He was aware the others stared at him and would be speaking of this in detail as soon as they could, but he couldn’t care, not then.
He needed to find Charlotte, and his wolf needed it more. He didn’t care if he didn’t have a fucking bond with her, she was his mate, and damn it, they would fix what they had broken.
And this human would just have to get out of his way.
By the time he made it to his car and drove toward the Talon Pack, his wolf was practically in control, and his claws threatened to escape from his fingertips. He took deep breaths, using the control techniques his father had taught him long ago. The ones that he’d been forced to learn the moment his birth parents had discovered the true strength of his wolf.
That much power for such a small pup would have been too much. His mom and dad had saved Bram’s life but hadn’t been able to save their own during the coming battles. Once again, he pushed those thoughts from his mind.
When he reached the Talon den, the sentinels, the wolves guarding the gates, let him through, and he pulled over to the visitor’s parking area. Before he could fully get out of his vehicle, he felt her.
He closed the door quickly and opened his arms as Charlotte jumped into his embrace. He hadn’t been prepared for the strength of the impact, and he took a step back, steadying himself with her in his arms.
“Charlotte,” he whispered reverently. He tangled his hands in her hair and inhaled her sweet and floral scent, needing her desperately. But they were on another Pack’s territory, and this wasn’t the time. He wasn’t sure it would ever be the time.
“He…I won’t do it, Bram. I don’t care what my wolf says, he’s not mine. You are.”
The words should have been a balm, but instead, they scraped him raw, leaving a bloody trail behind. While it wasn’t uncommon for a wolf to find two potential mates at the same time, it wasn’t easy. If the wolf couldn’t choose, there would have to be a mating circle set in place where the two potentials would fight each other for the right to mate with the third. That was how Kade and Melanie had mated all those years ago, though it hadn’t been Melanie’s fault she hadn’t been able to choose. She’d been thrust into a world she didn’t know, and things had escalated too quickly.
Bram would fight for Charlotte, but he didn’t want to put her through that.
“I need to see him,” he said suddenly, his wolf pushing at him.
Charlotte’s eyes widened as she pulled away. “Why? He doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter.”
He cupped her face. “It does, Charlotte. And not just because of us. You know this. What was done to him means more than what you and I are dealing with.”