When he pulled back she was breathless and her cheeks were flushed just as they had been so many times in the past after he had loved her. “Have fun, Mina, and then come back to me.”
“I always do, Alpha mine,” she whispered.
Romanian Proverb # 1
Cine se face oaie il mãnâncã lupii.
He that makes himself a sheep, shall be eaten by the wolf.
“So how did all your men take the girls’ weekend?” Jacque asked the group as they settled in the living room of the small cottage.
“Well, if Peri and I hadn’t planned for her to steal me, I might still be in my bedroom with my Neanderthal of a mate,” Jen laughed. “He was actually standing in front of the door attempting to keep me from leaving.”
“Fane just hates that I’m not within his reach now that there’s a bun in the oven. He seems to think that for some reason pregnant equals invalid.”
Alina smiled at her daughter-in-law. “Unfortunately, Jacque, the further along you become, the worse that will get.”
“She means the wider your ass gets the more incompetent he will find you, or in my case irresistible,” Jen winked.
“You are so disturbed,” Jacque told her with a snicker. “I wonder when Sally will show up?”
“She shouldn’t be too much longer. She and Rachel were going over some things for Peri and whatever this secret mission is that she and Costin are a part of,” Alina answered.
“Oh, as if you don’t know,” Jen scoffed.
“I might know something, and you would too if you would ever show up to the Alpha meetings,” Alina pointed out. “And,” she held up her hand cutting off Jen’s argument, “don’t say that you have to watch Thia. You have a pack full of females, not to mention the healers and your best friends that would all but rip that baby from your arms.”
Jen flung herself onto one of the empty loveseats dramatically. “Yes, but only 'my girls' produce what she wants, and it is at the very moment those droll, boring Alpha meetings begin, that Thia always gets hungry. Weird coincidence, I know.”
“Uh-huh and since when did Decebel’s man boobs begin producing milk?” Jacque asked dryly.
Jen groaned. “Dude, that is so wrong. Why would you even put that out there? I mean first of all you have seen his gorgeous chest and know that he has the furthest thing from man boobs, second. . . .”
“Oh shut up, blondie. The point wasn’t to insult your man’s wicked sexy chest; it was that you can’t claim to have to be nursing Thia during the meetings because you are spending an entire weekend away from her and she is obviously getting fed somehow,” Jacque growled.
“Jacque, you’ve been to those meetings; you know how boring they are. You would be making up breastfeeding lies to get out of them too,” Jen whined.
Alina was laughing at the two friends when the cottage door opened and in walked a tired looking Sally. “Anyone call for a healer?” she said as she smiled at the three women.
“Crap, it’s about time you show up. Geeze, you’d think you were off getting ready to save the world or something.”
Sally shook her head. “Ah-ah-ah, Jennifer, no more business, we are officially off-duty. I’m not a healer, you’re not a mamma, Jacque’s not a princess, and Alina’s not an Alpha. We are simply the chicks, having a chick weekend.”
“Yeah, well tell that to my boobs because they don’t seem to understand the milk factory needs to shut down,” Jen huffed.
“Has she been doing the whole whining about breastfeeding thing again?” Sally asked Alina and Jacque. “Because I thought we had nipped that in the bud.”
“It’s our fault. We brought up the Alpha meetings she keeps missing,” Jacque explained.
Sally made and “ah” motion with her mouth.
“Oh, give me a break. I had one little meltdown over the whole experience, and now you are acting like I complain about it all the time.”
Jacque rolled her eyes. “Jen, you were screaming at the top of your lungs that it wasn’t fair that you had to give up your perky rack, and you were sick of your nipples feeling as though they had been stuck in a pencil sharpener while salt was poured on them.”
“How do you even know that? I was at the Serbian pack mansion when I had my moment,” Jen growled.
“Your mate put you on speaker phone,” Sally said trying not to laugh.
“In his defense, he was panicked when he called because you were freaking out. When I asked him to clarify he simply said listen for yourself and then he put you on speaker.”
“It had been a rough night,” Jen admitted. “Nobody prepared me for how rough motherhood could be. Crap, nobody prepared me for how rough being mated slashed married can be.”
The three girls all nodded, each pondering their own relationships and their own difficulties. A clearing throat brought them back to the present.
“That is why I suggested this weekend,” Alina spoke up. “You three have become like daughters to me. You have each been brought into the Canis lupis world for different reasons, but the outcome has been the same. You are now mated. Not only are you mated but you are mated to very dominant men who are used to getting their way.”
“You forgot to mention old,” Jen tossed out there. There was a ripple of laughter.
“True,” Alina smiled. “Some of them are older, though they look only as old as you, and with that comes an entirely different set of issues. Things seem to have quieted down, at least for this brief moment in time. So I thought we could steal away this weekend and I could share with you my story, which naturally includes Vasile. I think you might find yourself encouraged to know that we did not always have it all together.”
“Let me guess,” Sally smiled. “Vasile was not super happy about you wanting to tell us y’all’s story.”
Alina laughed and the musical sound danced around the room. The twinkle in her eyes as she thought about her mate and his reaction betrayed all the love she felt for him. “Oh, he was definitely not super happy. Men, especially Alphas, never want their failures, or what they perceive as their failures, aired for all to see. What he does not realize, and what I tried to explain to him, is that it is when we are weak that we can be made strong. It is when we realize that we cannot do it on our own that we will finally truly understand the value of a mate.”