If I knew how to do it on command, then I would, but as I only transformed for the first time and have no idea how to call my inner wolf into my eyes again, I just stare at him, completely dumbfounded with the importance of a color.

“Why does that matter?” I’m aware that despite the more urgent topic in hand, the Shaman has moved towards me also, and so has one of the silent elders. A formidable tall and muscular elder, whose grey white hair is not successful in lowering his intimidation levels and he snarls my way.

“Because you are part white, and now Cole sees red in your eyes. It matters, now show us, or I will make you fully turn on my command and you won't enjoy it.” He seethes my way, full on hostility in his tone and I shrivel back, scalded and instantly fearful. Colton reacts instinctively, at the veiled threat, and chaos ensues. In the flash of a blink, he’s between me and the elder, growling, eyes glowing wildly, body larger and bristling with tension as he turns to him and huskily warns him off.

“My mate.... mine! You touch her.... I will exert my right to maim or kill to protect her. I don’t care who you are in this pack!” His tone drops to satanic levels and I recoil behind him, seeing the ripple of spines up his back as he begins to transform aggressively. My stomach hits my knees, making me weak, unsure what else to do as the Shaman intervenes as fear paralyses me to the spot.

“See. This is what happens when you delay the bond. The urge gets insane the longer you deny it. The need to protect, the need to be joined. It creates madness. Colton, be still. No one is going to touch your mate without your say so, and we will look at her eyes in time. Breathe and come back to us.” He places a hand on his shoulder and gently brings Colton back to my side, lifting my hand and places it on Colton’s gently, before patting both and setting us down. The instant spark and warmth generated between us gives me all kinds of safe and familiar vibes I’ve not known in almost ten years. Not since I last saw my parents alive and home. It seems to do the same to him, as his eyes fade back to brown, and he inhales slowly bringing peace to the aura between us. “His mate holds the key to bringing him calm. Be that now. We need to talk without you both here. Go, the room through there.”

The Shaman points us towards an adjoining door and Colton grasps my fingers in his tightly, his energy pulsing through mine and it does seem to bring him back from turning. I can't explain it, but here holding his hand, it’s the first time in a long time I feel a connection of love for anyone. That sense of belonging that I lost the day my family left me.

I barely knew him this morning and yet, here, and now, my instincts are that I would die for him if I had to, and the longer this plays out, the stronger this need to be near him gets. It's insanity, and I have no understanding of how this can be, but it is what it is. Colton is part of me now and I can't do anything about it. While being physically joined causes all sorts of inner sparks and sizzles as tension builds between us and I move obediently as he pulls me with him.

We are ushered to the door, hands still entwined and I follow him closely, the heady need to wrap myself around him worse when we have prolonged contact and as much as my head tells me to let go, I can’t seem to. The growing ache in my stomach and pelvis is getting irritatingly intense and I am more than aware of his good his skin feels against mine. Our hands slotted together, warm on warm and it's weirdly sensual.

Colton leads me through to the other room and shuts the door firmly behind us. Still holding my hand and keeping me by his side as he turns to me. He gazes down at our entangled fingers for a long second, seems like he too is telling himself to let go, but he doesn't.

We stand stiffly, a pulsating energy growing between us as the air thickens and I find it harder to breathe the longer he’s this close. Fully aware of him towering over me in all his beautiful muscular glory, hot body and way too good looks. Even his voice does crazy tingly things to me and standing absorbing his heat, inhaling his unique scent, I start to get clammy in really embarrassing places. My eyes keep straying to his face, his mouth, his really pretty face and I edge closer absentmindedly, biting on my lip as crazy thoughts about leaning up and biting his, course through my brain alarmingly.