Jen thought, How appropriate, and then let out a loud whoop, pulled her hair out of her pony tail, and shook it out as her body moved to the rhythm of the music. She tried to ignore the growling in her mind. She knew that Decebel would be torn on whether to drag her off the table or help restrain Costin from killing one of his pack members. She could admit that maybe by now she would have learned not to poke the sleeping tiger, or in this case, wolf. But as she had said in other stripping situations, desperate times call for desperate measures.
The crowd was clapping and all turned to watch Jen as she kicked off a shoe. She was trying to do as much dancing as possible in between removing items from her body, hoping to minimize the damage. She kicked off her other shoe, and when she began to pull up the sheer black top she wore over a camisole, the room erupted in whistles and more applause.
The music switched and Pitbull's voice came across the speakers, "Give Me Everything" streaming out. Again Jen mentally rolled her eyes at the song, wondering if each one was going to describe the current situation. Someone in the universe was taking great pleasure in adding to the already dangerous situation. Jen made a big show of using the sheer top as a dancing prop so she could keep from removing more clothing. She heard Decebel's voice in her mind and the anger that radiated from it.
"Why are you always the one to volunteer to take your clothes off in public?" Decebel's tone barely covered the contained rage. She could feel his power pulsing through the room as he commanded Costin not to attack. She was amazed that he could admonish her while dealing with a feral wolf.
"Is it some compulsive behavior that every so often makes you feel the need to strip? Because that can easily be accommodated. The difference? I will be your ONLY AUDIENCE! Now put what you have removed back on and step down from the table. If a male touches you as you remove yourself from that table he forfeits his life."
"Aren't you being a little dramatic? You would rather me fall off this table than let a gentleman help me?" Jen put her shirt back over her head and took her shoes from Crina, who had picked them up.
Crina winked at Jen and mouthed, “You're my hero”.
"You got your butt up on that table on your own; you will get down on your own. I might not be bothered by a male helping you if you had not just sparked all kinds of excitement in their young, immature minds."
With an exasperated sigh Jen sat down on the table and slid off.
"It's not like they're going to get all hot and bothered over my sexy little toes," she muttered, heading back to the table where she, Sally, and Jacque had been sitting before the evening's main – and dramatic – event.
Costin's wolf was out of control and the only thing able to hold him in place was Decebel's dominance. Vasile had not intervened since a Serbian pack member had committed the offense.
Decebel commanded him to stop and the Alpha command wrapped around Costin and halted him in his tracks. He stood snarling, his eyes glued to the wolf that had so stupidly touched Sally. Costin was trying to push his wolf back and regain control, but the wolf was having none of it. The possessiveness he felt toward Sally was like nothing he had ever experienced, and on some level it worried him that as long as they weren't bonded he was dangerous to anyone and everyone. But it did not bother him enough to keep him from making it clear, when he walked over to Sally and stood in front of her, that no one was to get close to her. He snarled and met the gaze of each wolf and waited for them to lower their eyes. Costin looked at Sally and let out a low rumble. She started to take a step back at what seemed to be a growl, but Costin shook his head. Then he motioned with an upward nod.
"I – I..." Sally's voice was hoarse as she tried to speak to the wolf that was Costin. "I don't know what you want.”
Jen stepped up and gently pulled Sally's dark brown hair from the pony tail and arranged it in a way that covered the markings on her back.
"He wants these out of sight so that no other flea-infested fur ball will see them," Jen whispered.
Sally's head snapped around toward Jen and then back to Costin.
"I forgot." Her voice was apologetic. "I'm -" She started to say more but stopped when Costin nudged her hip, trying to push her toward the door.
"I think he needs to call it a night," Decebel told Sally.
She still had the shell-shocked look that had come across her face when Costin landed next to her, looking every bit the part of the big bad wolf.
Sally nodded absently as she turned and headed for the doors with Costin walking so close to her that she could feel his fur brushing her leg. Sally heard Decebel tell someone – she assumed Jen and Jacque – to come check on her in a little while.
Sally wasn't sure what she would say to them. Am I okay? she thought as she continued up the stairs toward her room. She decided to be honest with herself: no, she was definitely not okay.
"If you find yourself suddenly mated to a werewolf, whatever you do don't panic. Simply turn to Jen for assistance and she will give you a cool acronym to call him…because that's just so important." -Sally
Once they were at Sally's door Costin nudged her forward. She opened it and when she stepped back to let him in he stayed in the hall. Sally stared for a moment before it hit her.
"You need to phase back and get dressed," she said.
Costin nodded once and then stepped forward. With his right paw he stomped the floor just outside her room. Sally cocked her head to the side, not understanding. She watched as he did it again and then shook his head as if to say no.
"Oh." Sally brightened, proud of herself for deciphering his sign language. "You're telling me not to leave my room."
Costin nodded his big wolf head again. His eyes had begun glowing during the earlier confrontation and even now they shimmered an eerie shade of green.
Sally's inner Jen had been triggered as soon as she got the words out. So, naturally, she did what her inner Jen told her to – she stepped forward, putting one toe outside her door. Costin growled, so she stepped back. Watching him coyly, she put her other toe outside her door, and he growled again. Inwardly she was scolding herself for taunting him and allowing her inner Jen to control her actions, but she had discovered long ago that sometimes inner Jen was just more fun.
When Sally stuck her foot out for the third time, she giggled when Costin snapped at her. She could tell he was playing by the way his tail wagged and his eyes lightened. It seemed her playfulness had helped calmed him. That was a good thing because she was going to need him calm for what she wanted to discuss.