Fane was quickly losing control of his composure, and Lucas Steele finally pushed him over the edge when he told Fane he would be stopping by Jacquelyn’s house the next day to tell her his intentions. Fane’s nails began to sharpen and grow, his face was beginning to lose its human shape as the wolf tried to push himself out. His mate was in danger, another male was attempting to take her from him, and he wanted blood.
“Fane, are you alright? What’s wrong? Something’s wrong so don’t try to tell me it’s not ‘cause I will kick your butt if you lie to me after that whole ‘there will be no half truths and lies and blah blah blah,’ so spit it out.” Fane heard Jacquelyn in his thoughts and it calmed the wolf immediately. Fane realized in that moment how precious having a mate was, for only she could tame his wolf.
“I will not tell you that nothing is wrong, Luna, but I cannot tell you what it is at this moment. Please trust me. Give me a few minutes and I will explain,” Fane told her honestly. He knew he was going to have to tell her, especially since this Lucas Steele was going to be coming to her house. At least Sorin was there and would protect her with his life – she was to be his queen one day, she was to be valued above his life.
“Fine, five minutes. Then I want you at my front door to talk to me face to face,” Jacquelyn demanded.
“I will be there,” Fane answered.
Fane hadn’t realized that Lucas was asking him a question since he'd been distracted by his mate’s thoughts.
“Do you understand the terms that I have laid out for you regarding the challenge?”
“I do,” was all Fane said.
“Then I expect to receive a phone call the minute your Alpha is here. My wolves will be at her house in one hour. You have until then to see her. I would advise you to not let my wolves catch you touching her. As you know, while the challenge stands you cannot attempt to bond with her or you forfeit.” The line went dead.
Fane paced around his room, pulling the wolf back. His nails returned to their normal length, his canines receded, and when he looked in the mirror he saw that, although his face had gone back to normal, his eyes still glowed ice-blue. Well, he thought to himself, I think that’s the best I can do. He felt his wolf stir as if to tell him he was lucky that was all that was left of the phase.
Fane had never felt his wolf that angry before. He and his wolf were in agreement that the idea of this other Alpha anywhere near their mate was infuriating. He wasn't sure how he was going to manage not going over there and tearing Lucas Steele in two. He looked at the clock and realized it had been four minutes since he had heard from Jacquelyn and because he wouldn’t put it beyond her to march across the street if he didn’t show up, he decided he’d better get over there.
For the sake of expediency and to keep from bothering Brian and Sara, Fane decided to take the window. Two stories might have been a challenge for a human but for a Grey, jumping was second nature. He leaped to the ground, then set off at a jog across the street to Jacquelyn’s.
When he got there, she was already standing on the porch with a robe wrapped around her, foot tapping, and a look that would make even an Alpha Grey stop in his tracks. She was adorable.
“What the hell was that? Do you make it a habit to jump out of two story structures? Were you thinking, ‘hey the front door is such a typical way to leave a place why not mix it up a bit and fall out of the window instead’?” Jacquelyn fumed.
“Relax, Luna. I didn’t fall, I jumped. Jumping is second nature to me and I chose to do it because I didn’t want to bother Brian or Sara. How are you?”
“How do you think I am?” she asked sarcastically. “Here I am sitting, drinking my hot chocolate, explaining to my two best friends that I have to bite some guy, you know the usual, and BAM.” Jacquelyn clapped her hands together to emphasize her words. “I’m nearly knocked over by a wave of emotion or something,” she finished, sounding less aggressive and wearier than she had when she started.
Fane took her hand in his, brought it to his lips, and kissed it gently. He felt her shudder in response. He hated that he was causing her distress and hated knowing it was about to get worse. He looked at his watch and realized he only had forty five minutes before Lucas’ wolves arrived.
“I need you to get your mom, love. I will get Sorin,” Fane told her.
“Why? What’s wrong, Fane?” Jacquelyn asked, obvious concern all over her face.
“Let’s get inside and get everyone gathered and I will explain. Bring Jen and Sally also, please,” Fane said as he led her in the house.
“Sorin is in the room down the hall from the kitchen,” Jacquelyn told him.
Fane liked that there was distance between the other wolf and his mate, but the logical part of his brain worried that it was too far for him to be able to protect her effectively.
Fane headed toward Sorin’s room as Jacquelyn headed toward the stairs to get her friends and mother.
Before Fane could even turn the corner to go down the hall toward Sorin’s room, his guard was already there. Sorin exposed his neck in submission to his Prince and asked, “Have you called your father yet?”
“Not yet. I want to talk to Jacquelyn and her mother first and let them know what is going on. The wolf claiming to be Alpha of this territory is sending Greys over here to watch Jacquelyn’s house. I don’t think he is aware that you are here, and we need to keep it that way,” Fane told him.
Fane and Sorin made their way back to the living room and saw that all four ladies were seated on the couch together. Fane wanted to have Jacquelyn sit by him but relinquished the idea, knowing she needed to be close to the people she trusted most.
“I trust you, Fane.” Fane heard Jacquelyn’s thought in his mind. She stood up and came to him. He took her hand and led her to the loveseat where they sat down together. That small act made Fane’s heart swell with love for his mate.
Lilly looked a little sad when she saw her daughter sitting next to Fane, but she quickly shook it off. “Fane, tell us please,” was all Lilly said.
“There is a pack of Greys here in Coldspring and the Alpha, Lucas Steele, has contacted me. He is claiming Jacquelyn as his mate.” Fane couldn’t help the growl that came out as he said this last part.
“The hell I am!” Jacquelyn yelled, abruptly standing. “I don’t even know this crack pot…” She looked at her mom. “Do I?” she asked, sounding less confident.