Fane looked into her eyes and could see the sincerity there, no condemnation or anger, and he was so thankful. She was truly amazing, and she was his. Thank the moon that she wanted him because he would have hated to have to spend the rest of their lives pining after her.
“I am grateful that you do not condemn me. Nonetheless, you are my mate and I should always be there to protect you, which is why you will not be out of my sight until the challenge. I will trust no one to protect you but me,” Fane told her.
Jacquelyn began to remind him that her mother would not approve of this but he stopped her with a finger to her lips.
“I will talk to your mother. As I said before I will not put your safety second to her approval.”
When he removed his finger from her lips, she stepped forward and kissed him. When she stepped back Fane looked at her quizzically. “What was that for?”
“Just because I can, and I wanted to,” Jacquelyn told him simply.
“Oh. Well, in that case...” Fane grabbed her around the waist and tossed her on the bed, covering her body with his. Jacquelyn let out a squeak. He held his weight off of her by supporting himself on one forearm. Then he leaned down and nuzzled her neck with his nose. Jacquelyn began to giggle and push at his chest.
“Stop that, that tickles,” she told him, laughing. “I’m not kidding, Fido, you’re going to make me pee on you.”
Fane pulled his head back to look at her. Her eyes were crinkled with laugh lines.
“I’m a wolf, not a dog, love. And if I don’t get to pee on you, then you most certainly do not get to pee on me,” Fane teased her.
He leaned forward and kissed her gently, then a little harder. By the time he pulled away they were both trying to catch their breath.
“I think we better go downstairs now,” Fane told her, still trying to get his breathing under control.
Jacquelyn reached up and stroked his face and gently pulled him closer. “Or not,” she said just before she began to kiss him again.
Fane let it go on a moment more before he finally pulled away and stood up, pulling her up at the same time.
“As much as I would love to stay right here with you, love, Jen might come looking for us soon and finally get that show she’s been waiting for,” Fane told her as he winked again.
“Ugh, fine, have it your way. But you’re the first guy I’ve ever heard of that has walked away from a willing female,” Jacquelyn told him.
Fane pulled her back as she tried to walk past him. “We have plenty of time, meu inimă, and I don’t want a just a willing female, I want my mate bonded to me, wearing my mark.”
“Good grief, and here I thought I was picky,” she teased. “Ok, wolf-man, if we’re going down let’s go. Oh, and I’m not going to be there when you decide to tell my mom you’re staying. I’m going to be conveniently occupied with something that would normally be unimportant but for some reason at that exact moment needs my undivided attention.”
Fane ran a finger across the marks on her neck and Jacquelyn shuddered. “What ever makes you happy, love.”
Jacquelyn rolled her eyes and took his hand as they went to join the others downstairs.
“Seriously, Sorin, how old are you?” Jacque heard Jen asking him as she and Fane walked into the living room.
“Jen, are you being rude?” Jacque asked her nosy friend.
“Jen rude? Never,” Sally said in mock astonishment.
Sorin was just grinning good-naturedly. “No, I don’t mind her asking. I do, however, ask that you not act too shocked when I do reveal that I am 135 years old.”
Everyone was silent for a few heartbeats, shocked, even though Fane had told them that Canis lupus could live for centuries, hearing it from the mouth of one who had was a little different.
“Shut. Up.” Jen gasped. “What have you been doing for 135 years? Don’t you get bored?”
“Jen, it is not essential to your livelihood to know everything about everyone. You know that, don’t you?” Sally asked her.
“Maybe not, but it does make life more interesting,” Jen told her
Sorin sat listening to the girls banter and when they were finally quiet, he leaned forward and put his elbows on his knees. “I can’t say that I have. Humans are too interesting to ever get bored. I have enjoyed my long life and see it as a gift. However, I do envy the males of my species who have found their mates. I have been looking for mine all these years. My wolf grows restless, and if I wasn’t so close to Fane and my Alpha, I fear I might have a little pent up aggression.”
“What do you mean if you weren’t close to them?” Sally asked him.
Jacque sat down at one end of the couch and Fane sat on the floor in front of her with his back leaned up against her legs. Sorin looked at Fane as if asking for permission to speak.
Fane spoke instead. “When a wolf lives so many years without his mate, he can become volatile and aggressive. The reason the female Canis lupus are so precious is because they balance the male’s violent nature. They bring peace to the battle that is constantly raging inside the wolf, especially the dominant ones. An Alpha helps keep the wolves under control. He is able to command the wolves in ways others, even dominants, cannot.” Fane looked up at Jacque and the look on his face made her heart ache. She didn’t understand what she did for Fane, but she was grateful it was her and not some other girl.
“So am I, meu inimă,” Fane told her through his thoughts.
Jacque winked at him, loving the way he listened to her, not even minding that he was being nosy.
“Not nosy, just attentive,” he told her.
She slapped his arm. “Yeah, keep telling yourself that if it makes your conscious feel better,” she teased him aloud.
The whole room turned to look at them, obviously confused by the comment from Jacque that made no sense.
“My bad,” she said, looking sheepish.
“Must be nice to be able to talk to each other without anyone else listening to your conversation, which, by the way, would so come in handy in class,” Jen mused.
“Anyway,” Fane continued, “that is what Sorin means when he says it helps when he is around me or my father. I am not the Alpha yet, but his wolf recognizes that I am next in line to be Alpha, so I am able to control his wolf.”
“I’m sorry that you haven’t found your mate, Sorin. It seems so unfair that Fane has found his when he is so young,” Jacque told him as she absentmindedly traced the marks on Fane’s neck.