He was bleeding. He was fucking bleeding. Bryce couldn't believe that the bitch had dared show him her claws. He licked his split lip before blood could drip on his shirt, his gaze steady, giving her time to realize that she was in trouble.

Almost casually, he reached out and backhanded her so hard that she fell to the ground. "You don't touch me. Not ever."

Cassie made a sound of slight disbelief in her throat as she picked herself up. Her eyes never rose to meet his. That saved her his further attention.

"What in hell is going on here?" a new voice demanded, deep and harsh. Bryce turned to see the biggest man he'd ever seen stalking toward him. Except it wasn't a man. Even at this distance, Bryce knew a werewolf when he saw one. The man moved with a subtle grace, an energy that only others of his kind would pick up on.

He jerked his head toward Cassie. "Whoever holds this bitch's leash may want to put her back through obedience school."

The new arrival glanced at Cassie. She'd have a bruise on her cheek but she probably deserved it. Cassie was known for her short temper.

"I am Nathan Martin. Who are you?"

"My name is Bryce Kinsey. Will you do the thing that she tried before she split my lip?" He gestured vaguely with his hands.

Nathan looked amused as the gesture made it clear what Bryce was asking. "Test my power against yours? If you like." He held out both hands, an invitation.

Bryce took them without hesitation and even closed his eyes, as though listening for something. They popped open immediately and he tried to pull his hands away.

Nathan didn't let him, gripping his hands tightly as he felt the same surprise Bryce had. There was more power here than he'd expected, much more. It was a power to rival his own. He had to know its depth, know if his position, or his life, was in danger.

It was heady, sensual, damn unnerving the way Nathan was filling him up with power. It made his skin tingle, his body burn, the hair on his head stand on end. Cassie's attempt to cow him with power was pathetic. The reason she's hit him was because he'd laughed at her. Nathan's power seemed large, irresistible, like it was stretching him out. He couldn't hold it all.

Bryce went to his knees, instinct overwhelming him. His stomach clenched in a way that was becoming familiar and he wasn't sure whether to fight the change or allow it.

"How long have you been one of us?" Nathan asked, his brows furrowing as he watched Bryce struggle. If he was new, he should have changed long before now but if he was as dominant as he seemed he should have better control.

"Three months," Bryce managed, choking on the words.

Nathan released him, more in surprise than by choice. "Three months? You should have no control at all." He watched Bryce fight the change for a moment, wrestling with his power.

He reached down and put both arms around Bryce's chest, pulling him up a little. "Push back against me. Let me feel your power. It will help you fight the change."

Nathan nearly moaned as Bryce obeyed, sending power to wash against his skin. It was like bedding an eager virgin. What Bryce lacked in finesse, he more than made up for in enthusiasm. Nathan's breath came in harsh pants. "Get out," he growled at Cassie, the first time he'd thought of her since laying eyes on Bryce. "Bolt the doors behind you and don't open them until morning."

"Sir, I can't leave you here with an unpledged alpha."

Seeing her hesitate, Bryce turned his gaze back to her. "I'd do as he says, Cassie. Nathan will be my alpha when he earns it but he knows I'm going to make him earn it. You don't want to be in the way."

"You seem to know a lot for one so young, pup," Nathan commented, arms tightening around Bryce's torso. It was like hugging a rock, if a rock smelled really good.

Bryce waited until Cassie was gone to answer. "I don't really know much of anything. When she found me, I came here out of curiosity. I've been following my instincts, giving over to the wolf."

"You accept what you are, rare in so new a wolf." Nathan buried his nose in Bryce's hair, then licked a thin line up his face from jawbone to temple.

When he move his head lower, Bryce twisted away. "I meant what I said to Cassie. I'll give you my throat when you prove yourself."

"You really want to fight?" Nathan asked, pressing his body closer to Bryce's. He hoped to avoid that because he was too aroused, too distracted.

"I thought it would be a fight, too, when I first saw you. But I've thought of something better and now a fight would never do. I'll acknowledge you, Nathan, when you prove to me that you can hold me down and fuck me."

Nathan shoved his rigid cock against Bryce's stomach, hips moving to create friction. "You have good ideas, Bryce. I like that in a number two wolf."

"One thing, before we start. I'm curious as to how you taste," Bryce murmured before running his tongue across Nathan's lips. Nathan shoved his own tongue savagely into Bryce's mouth, lingering just long enough to get a taste. It wouldn't do for Bryce to bite his tongue off.

Bryce twisted out of Nathan's hold and backed up a few steps. He eyed the alpha carefully, measuring his next move.

Unperturbed, Nathan carefully unbuttoned his shirt and shrugged it off. It was a nice shirt and it wouldn't provide much protection from Bryce's incredible strength or, if he chose to employ them, sharp claws.

Bryce's eyes were drawn to the exposed chest, the defined muscles, the dusky rose nipples that were revealed. At another time, he would have enjoyed tasting that skin, seeing how it reacted. Now it was a distraction he didn't need. As much as he desired Nathan, he couldn't throw this struggle, not even slightly. It wouldn't be fair to either of them if he didn't give every last inch of himself to it. They would both always wonder if Nathan really was the better wolf.

Besides, if Nathan wasn't strong enough to fuck him, he could always turn the tables. Cheered by this thought, he stared across the room to where Nathan was.

The alpha was closing in, lust in his eyes. He walked slowly and carefully toward Bryce, his eyes never leaving him. Faster than lightning, he struck, attempting to sweep Bryce's legs from underneath him.

Fast as he was, Bryce saw him move and lept lightly to the side, out of his range. "I'm faster than you," he noted, no gloating in his tone, just plain facts.

Nathan slowly nodded agreement as he began circling. He smiled to himself as Bryce left him a subtle opening. It was too obvious.

He feinted toward the exposed side but ducked the hand, already clawed, that swiped at him. With a genuine opening this time, his shoulder slammed into Bryce's ribs, knocking him to the ground. They would have to go the floor sooner or later and Nathan preferred sooner.

For several minutes, each tried to gain the upper hand, their fevered bodies rubbing together. Claws raked across skin and clothes, cutting both to ribbons. The flesh healed almost immediately, the blood from the wounds causing the cloth to stick to their bodies.

Nathan gave a snarl of satisfaction when their wrestling put his body between Bryce's legs. He ducked a swung claw and forced those legs apart, ripping away the remaining cloth. His knees held Bryce's legs open as he took in his opponent's raging erection.

Nathan's smile was a dark one when he next looked into Bryce's face. "I'm growing tired of this game. Let's do this for real, shall we?" With that, he released Bryce and stood, backing away as he shed his tattered jeans.

Both men took a moment to stare hungrily at each other. A smile touched Bryce's face as he pulled the remaining scraps of clothing from his body with a wet sound, tossing them aside. "I agree. We've tested each other enough." His body already thrummed with anticipation. Sex hadn't been a priority in awhile.

His animal instincts were howling that he was in the presence of a superior being and that soon he would be able to submit and have that amazing creature fuck him. It was a foregone conclusion at this point. The fight now was a formality because it was his job to keep his alpha strong and vigilant.

Nathan wasn't playing around this time as he lept forward and grappled with Bryce. His hold slipped and Bryce nearly got away from him but he was burning with lust and would have none of that. Managing to hold onto one arm, he snagged the other at the elbow so that he was holding Bryce from behind. With a smirk of satisfaction, he rushed Bryce the few feet to the stone wall and pinned him against it.

Nathan's cock was leaking precum steadily so he rubbed it against Bryce's ass, gratified when the muscles shifted, trying to invite him in. He managed to thread his left arm through both of Bryce's, holding them still as he used his right hand to reach between the trapped werewolf's legs.

"My, how excited you are," Nathan murmured in Bryce's ear as he gathered the fluid he found there onto his fingers. "You're leaking almost as much as I am. That's good because I'm afraid that's all the lubrication I can afford to give ."

With that, he pulled his coated fingers away from Bryce's straining erection and brought them to his back passage, pushing two in at once simply because he could.

"Oh, my god," Bryce moaned, unable to stop himself even as he continued to fight the hold. If Nathan's fingers were this incredible, he shuddered to think what the huge cock currently residing against his ass was going to feel like.

The throaty sound broke his concentration and consequently, Nathan's hold. Bryce realized almost too late that he was free and spun away.

"No, the hell you don't," Nathan growled, practically ready to explode with sexual frustration. He tackled the retreating figure from behind, sending him sprawling to the ground.

Bryce tried to get to his knees, to crawl away but Nathan was completely done with any kind of nonsense that didn't involve sex on or against the nearest flat surface, which in this case was the floor they were currently on. He snatched Bryce by the hips, pulling him up and back while simultaneously leaning forward just enough to impale Bryce on his waiting cock.

Neither was prepared for the sensation of Bryce's tight heat enveloping Nathan's intruding member, squeezing it so tightly that both rode the razor's edge between pleasure and pain for long moments.

Sanity fled before the overwhelming sensations, leaving behind only the beast and it's instinct to mate. Nathan howled, unaware that he had done so, as his hips began to piston, driving him satisfyingly deep into his mate.

Resistance was gone, along with thought and obligation and everything but need. Bryce needed fulfillment, release, and he needed it right the fuck now. He thought he was going to explode each time Nathan thrust into him, sending lightning through his body and causing him to see sparks behind his eyelids.

It wasn't until Nathan began biting his shoulder, gently but controlling, that the thought managed to sneak in that Nathan wasn't thinking entirely humanly at the moment. "Nathan," he whispered, hoping a voice would bring him back before he decided to turn. Bryce didn't kid himself that he would be able or even willing to stop all of this if that happened.

No. No talking. The time for talking and fighting was past. It was time for fucking. He opened his mouth to say so but all that came out was a growl. Oh. That was what Bryce was trying to tell him. He tried to gather his scattered thoughts, not easy when he was in heaven.

"S'okay, Bryce," he finally managed to growl as he reached again between his lover's legs, this time determined to finish the job.

It didn't take much. Nathan's hand had hardly touched him when Bryce came, crying out loud.

That was all it took for Nathan. With a second howl, he pumped his seed into Bryce's body before collapsing beside him on the floor.

After resting for a few minutes, Nathan sat up and looked at Bryce, a question in his eyes.

Bryce smiled and beckoned him closer, exposing the creamy line of his throat.

Nathan smirked and leaned down to claim his prize, laying teeth into the skin just hard enough that Bryce would know he'd been there, then sucking and licking it in apology. When he continued downward to the juncture of the shoulder, Bryce laughed shakily. "If this is how you welcome all new members of the pack, I think I'm going to be jealous."

"You're a special case," Nathan assured him. "I don't know how they do things in other packs but I think being number two wolf in mine is about to have some fringe benefits."

"Is one of them constant access to the boss?" Bryce asked, his eyes sweeping over his alpha's still-naked form.

"It is," Nathan confirmed between the open-mouthed kisses he was placing on his second's chest.

"Mmm. I'm in. Sign me up."