“What’s wrong, Fane?” she asked him.
“You know what you are to me, yes?”
Jacque whispered her answer out loud. “Mate.”
Fane nodded his head. “Yes, meu inimă. You are my mate, the other half of my soul, and the thought of you not wanting me is more than I can bear,” Fane told her honestly.
“No pressure, huh?” Jacque said, trying to lighten the mood.
“I would never ask you to do something you do not want to, Luna, but I will not lie and say that I won’t follow you around like a sick puppy,” Fane said with a smile, though the tears were not quite gone yet.
“I just need time to sort through all this. I’m not saying I don’t want you, I mean, now that I’ve met you the idea of life without you makes it hard to breathe,” Jacque revealed.
Fane took her hands in his and said, “Time is the one thing I can’t give you, love.”
Fane held the hands of his mate and hated to have to tell her that he couldn’t give her the one thing she wanted, but there was no time. He needed to complete the bond through the blood rites, especially since there was another Canis lupus attempting to claim her. Once the bond was complete, no other male could dispute whose mate she was.
Fane pulled Jacquelyn up off the floor and returned her to the seat next to him. He continued to hold one of her hands, taking comfort from the touch.
“I’m not trying to rush you, Jacquelyn. Under different circumstances I would give you all the time you need, but you are not safe un-bonded,” Fane explained to her.
“Ok, that was just clear as mud. Would you mind elaborating why I am not safe?” Jacquelyn asked.
“When I came here my father…wait, let me back up for a moment and tell you a little about who I really am so that everything fits together, okay?” Fane asked.
“Whatever gets us to the place we need to be. I’ll try not to ask 'are we there yet',” Jacque answered impatiently.
“I am Canis lupus like your father. My lineage is Romanian. There are many types of werewolves. But we are known as Grey wolves, as is your father,” Fane explained.
“How can you know my father is a Grey?”
“My father told me,” he answered.
“Who is your father?” Jen asked, enthralled in the conversation.
Everyone in the room turned to look at her. She just lifted her shoulders and said, “My bad. That was Jacque's line, wasn’t it?”
Sally shook her head and hit Jen in the shoulder. Jen scowled at her.
“My turn,” Jacque piped in. “So, who is your father?” she repeated.
“I’m getting to that. You two jumped the bullet,” Fane told them.
The three girls laughed. Sorin coughed, trying to disguise his laughter.
“Jumped the gun, handsome, not bullet,” Jen corrected him with a grin.
“Oh. Well, as you would say, my bad,” he told Jen.
“Let me continue. As I said I am a Grey and my Pack is in Romania. Every pack has an Alpha, just like our animal cousins. The Alpha is sort of like the king, he rules the pack. He keeps order so that dominant wolves don’t tear each other apart, and so that everyone, especially the non-dominants, also called submissives, are protected.” Fane was trying to make sure he made all this as clear as he could so that Jacquelyn would understand where she fell in all this – and what her new life would be like.
“My father is the Alpha of the Romanian Canis lupus. I am next in line to be Alpha and our Pack calls me Prince. I am a dominant, which means it is in my nature to want to protect those weaker than me. It is also in a dominant’s nature to be aggressive and very territorial. An Alpha has to be a dominant or else he can not maintain order in the pack. Are you with me so far?” Fane asked her.
“You’re a Romanian werewolf prince, your dad is the werewolf king, you are bossy, possessive, and territorial by nature. Which, if you were just a wolf would mean you’d pee on whatever you wanted to mark as yours.”
Jen was nearly rolling on the floor at Jacquelyn’s description.
“And why exactly did you bring your royal butt to Texas?” Jacquelyn finished.
Fane was smiling, thankful that her sense of humor was still intact. He took that to mean she was handling this news rather well.
“Every male Canis lupus has one mate, only one. Sometimes they are drawn to a certain area. I think it’s natures way of helping us wolves out, because it can take years and even centuries to find your mate.” Fane let that sink in a minute, knowing the inevitable was coming. But Jen beat Jacquelyn to the punch…again.
“Hold on, put on the brakes, throw it in park, and set the emergency brake while you’re at it. Did you just say centuries?” Jen asked dubiously.
This time, nobody paid attention to the fact it wasn’t Jacquelyn who had asked. They were all too busy looking at Fane, waiting for an answer. Sorin, however, was just sitting in the ugly peach chair looking bored. He could throw his two cents in at any moment, Fane thought to himself. But Sorin just sat there.
“Yes, I said centuries. Canis lupus live much, much longer than humans,” Fane answered.
This time is was Jacquelyn who asked, “How much longer? ‘Cause you know I’m only good for like seventy five years, maybe eighty. If I sit any longer on the shelf, I expire.”
“Once we complete the blood rites your life is tied to mine and you will live as long as I do, just as I will live as long as you. You see, Jacquelyn, once mates are bonded one cannot live without the other. It is the way of our species that when one mate dies the other follows,” Fane told her.
“Oh my gosh!” Sally exclaimed. “That is so freaking romantic! Or depressing. It’s all in how you look at it. Do you have any cousins?” she asked him hopefully.
“I’m sorry, Sally, but you must have Canis lupus somewhere in your lineage to bond with a Canis lupus.”
“I can check. You know, like do some research, ‘cause there is no telling what’s in my blood. I could go back generations…” Sally was interrupted when Jen covered Sally’s mouth with her hand.
“Don’t mind her. She's missing that part in her brain that tells her when to shut up,” Jen said.
“You’re one to talk,” Jacquelyn said, smiling.
“Okay, keep going. I need to get this all out tonight so I can have tomorrow to freak out,” Jacquelyn told Fane.