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Brynn's Beta

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Blurb

Brynn is a beloved Omega in the Silvercrest Pack. She is close to her 18th birthday and looking forward to finding her mate, whoever he or she may be. In the meantime, she works hard and is trying to advance her position despite the discouragement from the head Omega. Things begin to improve for Brynn when Alpha Maverick Conway introduces his mate to the pack and Brynn is assigned as her assistant.

Jace Marks has his hands full as Beta of the Silvercrest Pack. However, he can’t keep his eyes off the young Omega, Brynn. As a friend of the family, Jace has always looked out for Brynn, but the closer she gets to 18, the more attractive she becomes.

Will Jace be able to negotiate his complicated feelings towards Brynn? What happens when Brynn’s personhood is threatened? Can she recover? Will they find their way to each other?

Brynn’s Beta is a short novella featuring two characters from Maverick’s Mate—Brynn and the Beta Jace. It was published as part of Maverick’s Mate, chapters 50-59. It’s now a free offering with 4 bonus chapters highlighting several of the characters from Maverick’s Mate and a glimpse into the future of the pack.

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Chapter 1--Brynn
Brynn Pup Summer Camp, 8 years ago “Hurry up Brynn! We have to finish the scavenger hunt! We still need to find three different kinds of flowers. I want ice cream!” Ashleigh was yelling at me and it was annoying. I was only ten and running as fast as I could. I can’t believe they put me with the 12-year-olds. I just wanted to be with my friends! Stupid Ashleigh had a crush on one of my brother’s so she convinced her mom to put us in the same group. Since her mom was assistant head Omega, she had a lot of power. Ashleigh and her friends had a big head start and I was about to lose them so I decided to take a shortcut through the woods to a meadow that had flowers. My mom took me there for picnics sometimes. I ran off the trail for a minute but I tripped and fell over a root and skinned my knee badly. It stung and hurt, since I didn’t have my wolf yet I healed just a little faster than a normal human. The scrape was bad and I was bleeding. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t walk and my knee hurt! I started to cry. Why was I doing this stupid camp anyway? I didn’t want to be a warrior. I was an Omega. I liked pretty things and parties and flowers and making cookies. After a few minutes, I saw my brother’s friend Jace. He saw me and ran right over before I could say anything. I’m not sure how old he was, but he was one of the camp leaders. I liked him. He was always nice to me and made me laugh with his funny jokes. “Brynn! Are you ok? I saw the other girls come back, but you were missing so I came to find you." I shook my head and pointed to my knee, big tears still rolling down my cheeks. “Uh oh! Got a scrape?” “Yes,” I whimpered, “it burns.” “I bet it does! Those things hurt. I got one just the other day during training. I slid right into a tree and scraped up my whole leg and knee,” he paused and wiped a tear from my cheek, “but once you wash it off and put some ointment on it stops burning. Here, let me wrap it up with my shirt. Tell you a secret. I cried a little too. Scrapes are nasty.” I grinned a little at Jace’s confession and sniffled. He ripped off the bottom part of his shirt and gently wrapped it around my knee. It didn’t hurt nearly as much after that. “You think you can walk? I shook my head “no.” My knee was still throbbing. “No problem. Would you like me to carry you back home?” I nodded yes. I was a little embarrassed because Jace was so much older than me, but it was getting dark and I didn’t want to be in the forest alone in the dark. What if a rogue came or something? Jace knelt down and I climbed on his back for a piggy-back ride. I hoped I wasn’t squeezing his neck too tight, but I was hanging on so I didn’t fall and land on my butt! As we walked, he told me funny stories about my brother and him training. By the time we got home, I was giggling and forgot that my knee was hurting. My mom saw us coming and came out of the house, “Oh dear! Brynn, what happened? Are you ok?” “I fell at camp,” I sniffled again. My mom wrapped her arms around me and helped me off Jace’s back and gave me a hug. “Mrs. Epperson, I think Brynn tripped over a root while they were out playing for summer camp. It was no one’s fault … except that dang root!” Jace winked at me. “Brynn was really brave, but she has a pretty nasty scrape on her knee.” “Oh Goddess. Thank you so much Jace! I’m so glad you found her. We’ll get her all cleaned up and feeling better.” “No problem. See you later Brynn!” Jace gave me a friendly wave as he walked off and headed back to the training fields for the end of the day of camp. Present Day I gave a little internal sigh from the kitchen as I saw Jace wandering through the breakfast line. It looked like he had just come from training because he was kind of sweaty, wearing a tight-fitting t-shirt and some shorts. He was just ... so handsome. We had grown up together, well, he was the same age as my older brother. He and my brother were tight, so Jace was around quite a bit. I always had a little crush on him, but he was destined to be a head warrior or a ranked member or something and I was an Omega, so I mostly enjoyed him from afar. I wasn’t at all surprised when he became Beta. He had the perfect personality for the job. It seemed like my crush had gotten so much more intense the last few weeks. I thought about him constantly, looked for ways to cross his path and get him to notice me, and just generally tried to be close to him. It was bordering on pathetic and I was a little embarrassed to even admit it to myself. Fortunately, Jace hadn't seemed to notice. He barely looked my way and almost never talked to me anymore. That was new as well. Jace always used to stop and say hi or chat with me. I kind of missed our interactions. He was probably busy or something. I was under no illusions that he probably had a steady stream of ladies in his bed since he was an unmated Beta. The thought made me feel a little ill. I straightened my shoulders and took a deep breath, turning my back to the dining room. I had to get over this infatuation! I was snapped from my day dream about Jace by Ivy. “Earth to Brynn! What’s wrong with you today? You’re never this spaced out?” “Sorry, Ivy! I have no idea. I think I’m just excited to finally meet my wolf in a few weeks.” Ivy winked at me, "I bet you are. Think you'll meet your mate on your birthday? Maybe at this time in a few weeks you'll be doing the nasty." I blushed. Ivy was my best friend and the only person who knew I was still a virgin. I wasn't trying to wait for my mate or anything. I was just shy and hadn't dated much and definitely hadn't dated someone I liked enough to go all the way. Wolves were pretty sexually open, so it was a little embarrassing to admit my lack of experience, but I still held to "my body, my choice," and when I met my mate or was comfortable enough in a dating relationship, I would definitely lose my virginity. I refused to be pressured into something just because. Ivy was the opposite of me--outgoing and loud. We were both opinionated and strong willed, Ivy just had less of a filter. She was a year younger than me, and had been adopted into our pack by her elderly aunt when she was a baby. Her aunt died a few years ago, so Ivy was technically an orphan, but since I only had brothers, I viewed her more like a sister and we were pretty inseparable most of the time. Ivy had kind of been passed around between a few families, kind of like a foster kid, but once she turned 14, she convinced the old Alpha to give her a room in the pack house. There were a couple other girls who also lost parents who already lived there, so the Alpha redid a room into kind of a college dorm situation. Since there was one opening, Ivy asked if I wanted to live with them. I jumped at the chance to have some independence. I loved my family, but my three brothers were loud and rowdy all the time. I was ready for some fun girl time. Today, the pack house was buzzing with the new human female staying on the Alpha's floor. Her name was Aspen and she had been with us for a few days. "Allegedly" she was here to care for Alpha Maverick's ailing grandmother, Maggie, but there was a great deal of speculation and gossip that she and the Alpha were sleeping together. Secretly, I kind of wondered if Aspen was his mate. The whole situation seemed quite unusual to invite a normal to the pack when there were plenty of nurses around who were pack members and could do the job. Maybe since Luna Maggie was human, he wanted a human nurse or something. I had only seen her once and she was pretty--really pretty. She had long brownish blonde hair that looked red in the sun. Part of the speculation was about her becoming our Luna, and wow, people had some strong opinions about a normal becoming Luna. I can't say that I didn't share some of the hesitation. I mean, what if she was mean or bitchy towards us? A bitchy, spoiled Luna would be a disaster. Plus, I liked Alpha Maverick. He was a good Alpha and had been through a lot over the last year. The whole pack had, but especially him. He deserved someone nice. Later that day, I was cleaning one of the common rooms. Once again getting one of the worst Omega assignments. We tried not to complain, but Mrs. Gibson played favorites with her authority, was manipulative, and I felt, unethical at times. Plus, her daughter Ashleigh was a total travesty. Ashleigh had no responsibility, was a huge b***h, and continuously threw herself at ranked pack members. Her mom let her travel around to other packs to search for her mate, and we were always relieved when Ashleigh was gone. Several of us wanted to talk with Alpha Maverick about it, but he was super busy and no one was brave enough to approach him. At least the common room was empty and our sleazy Gamma wasn't around. Will made all of the Omega’s uncomfortable and he had made inappropriate advances to several of us numerous times. I was pretty sure he had even assaulted some of the Omega’s, but no one had actually confirmed it to me. We tried to pair up when we had to go places to prevent things from escalating, but it wasn’t always possible. I turned on some of my favorite music and got to cleaning. Some of the warriors must have had a party here last night because the place was a mess. There were pizza boxes, beer bottles, empty snack bags, and trash everywhere. I sighed and started shoveling trash into the bin. After a few minutes I heard an awkward throat clearing. Looking up, I was surprised to see Beta Jace standing in the doorway looking sheepish. "I'm sorry this place is such a mess. I think it might be my fault. We were celebrating one of the warrior's promotions and it got a little crazy," he explained. I shrugged, "I appreciate the apology. All in a days work, I guess." Jace walked into the room and grabbed a stack of pizza boxes, "at least let me help you for a few minutes." "Beta Jace, that's not necessary. This is my job and how I can contribute to the pack. I'm sure you have many other more important things to do." "Brynn, please call me Jace. We've known each other all our lives. You don't have to be so formal." I tried not to blush, Jace was so close to me as he dumped the stack of boxes into the bin. I saw him take a deep breath like he was smelling something he liked, but he kept talking so maybe I imagined it. "What are your plans now that you've graduated?" he asked. I tilted my head and looked at him curiously, "How did you know I've finished high school?" He looked embarrassed, "Uh, your brother mentioned it, I think." "Oh. Well, I haven't decided. I would like to do more party planning and event things, but we don't do much around here. I might ask for a transfer to a village shop or something. I'm going to take the summer to think about it." Jace didn't move back and we were still really close to each other. I found I didn't mind the closeness that much and maybe I imagined what it would be like if he kissed me. His lips looked so perfect up close. Plus, he smelled nice. (Not that I would ever admit that to anyone!) This is the most we had talked in a while and I was trying so hard to be normal and cool and not show my obvious crush. "Seems smart to take some time to think about your options ..." Jace started. Just then we were interrupted by Lia showing around Maggie's new nurse, Aspen. I kind of wondered how long they had been standing there. Jace quickly stepped back and looked ... guilty? I'm not sure. It was weird. At least I wasn't the weird one for once. Lia, one of the advanced warriors, introduced me to Aspen. Jace had apparently already met her, which made me even more suspicious that something was going on with Aspen and Alpha Maverick. Ivy and I would have to debrief this later. Neither of us were that interested in spreading gossip, but we definitely shared it between us—after all, this was the biggest thing to happen to the pack in months! After Aspen and Lia left, Jace grabbed a bag of trash and waved goodbye as he continued with whatever he was doing. “See you later, Brynn,” he said over his shoulder as he winked at me. Jace. Winked. At. Me. My heart did a little happy pitter-patter. So much for getting over my crush.

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