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I paced around the game room. “Phillip, my brother is a werewolf. You didn’t tell me.”

Phillip sighed to himself. “I wanted to but he clearly didn’t want you to know. I don’t want to get involved with telling other peoples secrets. It wasn’t my place. It was between the two of you.”

I rubbed my face. “Of course. Of course, it was not your place. I just can’t believe he lied to me. All these years. My whole life, my brother kept this huge ass secret from me. How could he?”

“He knew about what happened to your parents and wanted you to be safe from it.”

Jason came in, leaning against the door. “I wanted you to know but I didn’t want you to get hurt.”

“I’m already hurt. I’m already mated to a werewolf. What difference does it make now?” I closed my eyes. “I have feelings for Phillip and they’re growing. I’m clearly involved.”

Jessie put her chin on my brother’s shoulder. “I swear I did not know she was your sister.”

“This is why you don’t tell anyone. You don’t tell your lady friends because I’m a human and you don’t want them to know that you’re related to a human.” I sat down. I was trying to process all of this but I could barely believe it was true. My brother was a werewolf. It was hard to believe and yet it made perfect sense.

Jason frowned, letting go of Jessie as he came to me. “Don’t say that.”

“It’s true. You’re ashamed to be related to me.”

He grabbed my shoulders, making my face him. “I will make it up to you. You say you’re getting feelings for Phillip and you’re mated to him, and I will help you both do what you need to do to be content in your relationship.”

“You must know I killed a werewolf then.”

He backed up. “What?”

“It wasn’t on purpose. The wolf attacked me out of the blue. I was just smoking a cigarette and the damn wolf attacked me and bit my leg and I shot nails at it and it died. It was out of defense. I swear. That’s the only one I’ve ever killed.”

Jason nodded a bit. “We just have to be careful.”

“It was out of defense. The damn thing attacked me for no good reason other than me being a human mated to a werewolf. as far as I’m concerned. I accidentally killed a werewolf already breaking the pack code.” I shrugged.

Jason and Jessie left me, giving me space to think about all of this. Phillip sat down next to me, keeping his eye on me.

“How am I supposed to process this? This is not supposed to happen. My brother is a werewolf. Phillip, I need help.”

“I don’t know how to help.”

“I need space. If you can give me a few hours to let this register with my brain, I’ll feel better.” I rubbed my temples, my eyes boring into the hardwood flooring.

Phillip got up, leaving me to myself. The game room was now empty and I leaned back in the chair. How was I supposed to accept this? What was I going to need to do?

Mom and dad were forbidden lovers.

I got up, taking a walk around the mansion. I stopped when my hearing caught onto something. Listening closer, two voices became more clear.

A woman said, “Alright, we need our next candidate. Who is going to be next?”

A man replied, “And they have to be prepared for anything. Someone keeps killing off our wolves. We need just one successful wolf to kill this girl before she ruins the purity of our species.”

“One successful wolf will be coming right-” the voice cut off and the door opened.

I gasped, stepping back as a man stood at the door. “Ah, we thought a stupid human might have been listening to our plan. Do you think it’s any good?”

I swallowed. “You’re the ones going against pack codes. You’re trying to kill me.”

The woman showed up next to him, smirking. “She knows. What should we do with her?”

The man watched me squirm in their presence. “Nothing.” He smiled, shaking my hand. “I’m Sawyer. This is Whitney. We are going to be your killers. It’s nice to meet you, Shani.”

I shook my head, refusing to believe these were my killers. No, they weren’t going to kill me. They were just the losers trying to kill me.

“I’m going to go now.” I quickly walked away, going back into the game room. I began pacing. Running my hands through my hair, I shook my head. Those were them. They were in this very pack.

How was I going to tell Jason and Phillip?

Was I going to tell Jason and Phillip?

Jessie came into the room, keeping her distance.

I looked at her, crossing my arms. “You act like a white person who doesn’t like black people. Get over the damn discrimination. If you’re mated to my brother, you’re going to marry him and you’ll be related to me. You’ll need to accept it.”

“I just can’t imagine a human and a werewolf. How does it work?”

“What kind of question is that? How does it work? Uh, I don’t know. I date his human form like your human form dates my brother’s human form? You’re all half humans.”

“But he’s a wolf. You’re just a human.”

“Yes, that is what we are.” I nodded slowly.

“Marking? Sex? Babies?”

“Well, as you must know...” I laughed. “My parents went through this ordeal. I like rough sex. Phillip isn’t exactly your rough werewolf either so it’s not a bad balance. Babies? It’s the same way humans have babies. You stick the penis up the vagina and the sperm meets the egg and bam, babies happen. My parents already did this. Jason and I are living proof. Marking? Phillip and I talked about this. I won’t let him mark me. He’s learned my reasoning and he accepts it.”

She gasped. “You won’t let him mark you? That’s a big werewolf tradition.”

“I already explained this. I don’t like the idea of him claiming me like that. I want our love to show through actions, not a vampire bite.” I shrugged.

She shook her head. “It’s more of a love bite than anything. It just allows him to bond with you in his own way. Is it because of the heat?”

I tilted my head. “The heat?”

“He didn’t tell you? The heat is a week-long result of marking. He bites you and you go into heat for a week. You want sex from anything that walks. But instead, to make sure you don’t do that, Phillip locks you in a room with just him for that week and you have sex the entire time.” She wiggled her eyebrows. “Trust me, it is extremely fun.”

I made a face. I did not want to picture her doing that with my brother. “My brother already marked you?”

“Of course. I wanted him to. I marked him as well and we went through the heat together.” She pulled her hair back and showed a mark on her neck. It was not what I expected a mark to even look like.

This love bite wasn’t even a bite. It looked like a tattoo. “That’s a mark?”

She nodded. “Yes. He bites you and it hurts but when it heals, it turns into a symbol like so. Nobody can tell what it’s for. To humans, it looks like a tattoo. The marks match your mate, but I imagine since you’re human, he won’t get a mark that matches the one he’d give you.”

Phillip explained this in such a different way. It made me want to reject the mark altogether. But the way Jessie explained it made it seem better. It looked like a regular tattoo.

This mark would be something that meant a lot to Phillip. He wanted it. Seeing the full truth behind this mark, I couldn’t be so against it. It was just like a tattoo and it would lead us to a lot of sex. I could be down for that.

“What’s on your mind?” Jessie asked.

“I think...I think I just may get it after all.” They were words that shocked me but I meant them.

Jessie nodded, smiling. “I’m glad I could help you.”

“Phillip was also saying that if I got it, it would be harder for the wolves to kill me because it would kill him. Is that true?”

“Not technically. It would kill him emotionally. He’d never find love again. But it wouldn’t actually kill him. It would just cause him a lot of physical and emotional pain.”

I nodded a bit. “Okay, so then would it be better to get the mark now or later? If wolves are after me already, will it help save my life by getting the mark?”

Jessie tapped her chin. “It would help in the way of him knowing you’re in danger and being able to get to you faster.”

“Hm... So, wolves cannot have second mates?”

“No. If you die, he doesn’t get another chance. If he rejects you, he doesn’t get another chance. Sometimes, wolves don’t have mates at all. When these things happen, they can choose another mate. But it won’t be a strong bond like what he feels with you already. It will be like what two humans feel with each other. If he rejects you, he can choose someone else. If he had no mate, he could choose someone else without a mate. If he just lost you, he’d most likely not choose another. Losing a mate you love makes it hard to love again. You know what it’s like already to love and no wolf wants to replace that with fake love if they know what the real thing feels like.”

I nodded, taking a deep breath. I wasn’t sure which route I wanted to take. It was either now or later. If I did it now, it just meant I would be able to tell him where I was sooner. If I waited, I could focus more time on stopping Sawyer and Whitney.

“Okay, thanks.” I nodded, letting her know she could leave.

“What’s wrong?”

I chewed my nails, looking at her. “Nothing. I... I need a smoke.” I left the mansion and stood outside, lighting a cigarette. I felt the stress leave me when I exhaled the smoke from my lungs once again.

I looked at the trees around us. Sawyer and Whitney. I needed to devise a plan against them. How was I going to stop these two?

Phillip stepped outside, taking a spot next to me. “Jessie told me you came out here.”

“I did.”

He nodded, giving me time to say what I needed. I looked at him. “I’ve decided I will eventually let you mark me. But I want to know why you suggested it them when it couldn’t have really stopped the attacks. You don’t literally die when I do if we’re bonded. It’s already against code to kill me. These two won’t stop no matter what. Most of all, you were willing to have sex with me then and there and yet you said you wanted to wait longer.”

“Wait, why did you say two?”

“Nevermind that. You were willing to have sex with me when you weren’t ready. Or are you ready and just lying about it?”

He looked away, averting his gaze from my eyesight.

“Phillip, it’s fine. Look at me.”

He looked at me, trying to hide the nervousness and failing at it.

“Just admit it. I’m not mad.” I shrugged a bit, inhaling and exhaling again.

“Every time I look at you, I want to kiss you. I see the feistiness in your eyes and I want to hold you in my arms forever to embrace your warmth. When you keep admitting your feelings that are growing, I just...” He rubbed his face, attempting to hide the blush in his cheeks. “I want to rip off your clothes and kiss every inch of your skin.”

I grabbed his hand, kissing his knuckles. “It’s okay, Philly. I’ll be your self-control. Your hormones want me but you’re not mentally ready for that step. I will make sure we have sex when you are fully ready for that. We both have to want this all the way.” I smiled at the man before me, my beautiful ocean on a sunny day. I knew my crush on him was really beginning to grow.

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