“I’m Sally,” she told him.
As soon as she spoke, both of the guys froze. She herself became still.
“Is everything okay?” she asked them cautiously
“Healer,” the light-haired one whispered.
Sally’s eyes got big. She realized then that both of the men had gotten a glazed look – it almost seemed like they were in a trance.
“What did you say?” She turned so that Costin couldn’t see the guy’s faces.
“You are a healer,” the dark-haired one answered.
“Yes, what does that mean to you?”
He let out a slow breath. “You are unmated. You are a healer and unmated.” His voice was becoming more urgent as he spoke, and Sally realized that she wasn't bonded and they didn’t know she was Costin’s.
“No, no, you are mistaken,” she told them quickly. “I have a mate. It’s Costin.” She pointed over her shoulder to the bar. “He’s my mate.”
“You do not bear his mark,” the light-haired one said, not unkindly, simply as an observation.
“You should not be walking around un-bonded. You are a healer.”
Sally was growing frustrated with their inexplicable responses.
“Why does it matter that I’m a healer?”
“Your mate must be young if he doesn’t understand.”
Again with the vague answers. Sally growled. Then she stiffened as she felt Costin’s eyes land on her. She saw the other two men begin to slowly stand. She turned to see Costin moving swiftly toward her. He took her hand and gently pulled her behind him.
“Hello, gentlemen,” Costin said in English. Both of the wolves took a step back.
“We mean her no harm,” the dark-haired one said.
“Why aren’t you bonded to her yet?” the one with the lighter hair asked and based on the snarl that came from Costin, that was not a question he appreciated being asked.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but she is new to our world.”
They both nodded.
The room was quiet and thick with anticipation as Costin continued to stare at the two wolves. They had dropped their eyes, instantly recognizing Costin’s dominance over them. Sally’s head whipped around when the door to the bar opened. Decebel came striding in with Jen in tow. Decebel looked hastily around the room, assessing the situation. He made eye contact with Drake and trusted him to watch their backs.
As he approached Costin and the others, he held up a hand to stop the unknown wolves from moving back again.
“You do not want to continue moving backward. You know this. You will simply provoke his wolf to hunt,” Decebel told them coolly.
“Decebel,” the dark-haired one acknowledged, and dropped his eyes and exposed his neck. “Didn’t know you were Alpha again.”
“Many things have changed.”
“Costin, this is Creed and Josef. They are members of the Bulgarian pack.” Decebel motioned to the two wolves. “This is Costin, my Beta, and his mate and our pack healer, Sally.”
The two wolves bared their necks to Costin and bowed their heads to Sally. Both stared at her as if she were a precious stone.
“How long, Decebel, has it been since there’s been a healer?” Creed asked him, his eyes never leaving Sally.
Costin began to growl as he watched the wolf stare at his mate.
“Creed, it would be wise to look away,” Decebel told him.
Creed’s eyes dropped from Sally and looked toward Decebel, though not in his eyes.
“Why are they not bonded, Decebel?” Creed’s voice was earnest. “Do you not remember the importance of healers being bonded to their mates?”
Decebel snorted. “There hasn’t been a healer in so long, and I no longer remember their place or effect on the pack,” he admitted without shame.
“She will draw wolves to her, especially damaged wolves. If she were bonded, that pull would be only because they were seeking healing, but un-bonded, she is a temptation to other needs besides that.”
Costin snarled and Sally grabbed his arm. She wrapped an arm around his waist and snuggled in close to him, trying to get his attention on her and off of the other males.
“Look at me,” she whispered.
Costin looked down, his eyes glowing, but his face softened.
“I am yours,” she told him with a smile. “Only yours.”
Costin leaned down and kissed her soundly on the lips for all to see. He looked back up at the other males smugly. Sally looked over at Jen who had crossed her arms and rolled her eyes.
“Men,” she mouthed at Sally in exasperation.
“How do you know this?” Costin asked the males, now that he felt he had made it perfectly clear to whom Sally belonged.
Creed answered, “Our pack had a healer, a very long time ago. We have records on her. We are very good about keeping our pack educated on these things. It will not do good to forget our history.”
Decebel nodded. “It seems that we have spent much time looking forward and not much looking back.”
Josef nodded. “It’s important to remember where we come from, and what we've been through.”
Jen stepped up next to her mate and smiled sweetly. “Not to interrupt up this little meeting of the Confucius -” Jen waved them off. “Who am I kidding? I totally mean to interrupt. What you guys are saying, just for clarification purposes, is that Sally is like a wolf magnet?”
Creed and Josef looked at Jen and then at Decebel. Decebel let out an exasperated breath.
“Gentlemen, this is my mate Jennifer. She is a force to be reckoned with, and I usually do not try. Do not flirt with her and you will live to see tomorrow.” He added that last bit with a low growl.
Creed and Josef nodded toward Jen but didn’t make eye contact or speak to her.
Jen slapped Decebel’s arm. “How am I going to make friends if you are always scaring them?”
Decebel gave her a wolfish grin. “You won't.”
Jen rolled her eyes.
Creed cleared his throat. “Um. Basically, yes, she is a wolf magnet. The healing spirit, the purity and light calls us to her. It’s part of the reason she can work with injured werewolves and not risk getting her arm torn off.”
Costin pulled Sally tightly to him and glared at the two wolves. “Mine,” he growled.