“No, Jacque,” Lilly answered. “I don’t know him either. Fane, have you seen him?”
“No, I have not met him in person.” Fane turned to Jacquelyn. “You will know him soon enough, meu inimă. He is planning on coming here tomorrow to tell you himself.”
“Just who the hell does this guy think he is? He can’t just march his furry butt up to Jacque's house and if he thinks he can, he has obviously underestimated my ability to go all kung fu on his hide,” Jen ranted.
Fane smiled at her, appreciating her loyalty to his mate.
“Will you be with me?” Jacquelyn asked him, sounding like she already knew the answer.
“No, love, I will not be able to. Lucas has challenged me for bonding ceremony, so I cannot be with you until after the fight. He is allowed to see you one time to let you know of his intentions, and then he is not allowed to see you either,” Fane explained to his mate.
“What do you mean he challenged you for bonding ceremony? What fight?” Jacquelyn asked incredulously.
Fane took her hand and pulled her down next to him. “Because we are not bonded, any male has the right to challenge me to be your mate, even if he is not your true mate. I have no choice but to accept the challenge. What that means, Jacquelyn, is that Lucas and I will fight in our wolf forms. The one left standing will be your mate.”
“When you say, ‘the one left standing,’ you’re saying the one left alive, aren’t you?” she asked him.
“Yes, love. The fight is to the death,” he answered.
Jacquelyn sat quietly for a few moments. Her head was down so he couldn't see her eyes.
“Are you alright?” Fane asked as he placed a hand under her chin and pulled her face up to look at him.
“No, Fane. I am most definitely not alright. I’m freaking out at the moment, if you must know. The idea of bonding or whatever with you was crazy. The idea of bonding with a total stranger, a stranger that happens to be a werewolf, mind you, is beyond my ability to be reasonable about,” Jacquelyn told him.
“I second that motion,” Sally said.
“I third it,” Jen put in.
“You can’t third something you dork, you just say 'aye' to show you are in agreement,” Sally informed her.
Jen just stuck her tongue out at Sally and ignored her comment.
“You aren’t going to be bonding with anyone but me!” he growled.
“Yeah, yeah, beat your chest if you need to while you’re at it, Tarzan,” Jacquelyn said sarcastically.
“I’ve requested my Alpha be present at the fight. It will take two days for him to arrive. I was going to try and have Sorin smuggle you and your mom out of the country, but Lucas suspected as much and is putting your house under watch by his wolves. However, he is not aware that Sorin is staying here, so that is to our benefit. Should I lose…”
“You will NOT lose!” Jacquelyn said firmly.
Fane continued as if she had not spoken. “Sorin will get you and your mom to safety. You must promise me, Luna, that you will go with him and let my Pack keep you safe.”
“I will make no such promise because nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is going to happen to you. If you get as much as a scratch on your handsome face I’m going to kick your werewolf a-” before Jacquelyn could finish Fane had his mouth on hers, kissing her firmly.
“Finally, I get some action!” Jen exclaimed.
When Fane finally pulled back from Jacquelyn, she looked a little dazed. She quickly recovered, however. “You just kissed me,” she said, her words full of confusion.
“I did, love,” Fane responded with a sly grin.
“In front of my mom!” Jacquelyn said, clearly embarrassed.
“And Sorin and your friends as well,” Fane pointed out, sounding smug.
“Don’t be a smart ass,” Jacquelyn told him.
Fane stood up and, looking at his watch, realized he only had ten minutes left with his mate. It infuriated him that he had to obey the rules of the challenge, but if he didn't he could wind up having to forfeit and lose her. The thought made his heart hurt. He pulled her up off the loveseat to him, and again not caring of their audience, kissed her like it might be their last. He held her face tenderly in his hands and tried to memorize her features, how soft her skin was. He pulled back abruptly and turned away, overwhelmed with such strong emotions he didn’t know what to do. He wanted to crush something; he wanted blood, the blood of the one who dared to take his mate. He was breathing hard and his eyes were glowing when Jacquelyn spoke.
“You kissed me again!” she said, stomping her foot like a child. “Is PDA a big thing with your pack, ‘cause that could be a problem,” she continued, but stopped as soon as Fane turned to face her.
Jacque’s breath caught when Fane turned towards her and she saw his eyes glowing, like when you see an animal at night and light hits their eyes. They looked just like that. Freaky, she thought.
Jacque realized, once she got over the shock of his eyes, that Fane was on the verge of losing control. She wasn't sure what might happen if he didn’t regain control, and she could tell he was fighting for it as hard as he could. She didn’t know what to do or how could she help him.
Jacque was too busy staring at Fane to realize that Jen had walked beside her. “He needs you to tame the beast that is roaring inside him. Go to him,” Jen whispered and pushed Jacque towards Fane.
Jacque looked at Jen and then at Sally. She couldn’t believe something so profound had come out of Jen’s mouth.
Sally shrugged. “Who knew?” she said, answering Jacque’s unspoken question.
Jacque turned her attention back to Fane as she walked to him. She was close enough that she could feel his breath on her face. She reached up and laid her hand on his cheek. His eyes closed and he leaned into her hand like a dog begging to be petted. Jacque found herself smiling, but then felt his anger, fear, and jealousy flow through her. Fane’s eyes snapped open and he stared unblinkingly into her eyes.
“I have not meant to scare you. I would say that my wolf is the one out of control, but that would be a lie. The man is just as out of control as the wolf right now and that makes me very dangerous,” Fane shared his thoughts with her.
“You would never hurt me,” Jacque told him in complete confidence.