“It is an honor to be called Luna, and only an Alpha female earns that title.”
“There’s just a small problem with that, you know. Just a minor little thing, really…” Jacquelyn paused. “I’m not an Alpha female, Fane.”
“Aw, love. But you will be once we are bonded,” Fane pointed out.
Fane didn’t get a response from her after that. He continued to rub her back and listen to the hum of the fan motor. He was trying very hard not to intrude on her thoughts; he wanted her to share with him without him having to fish it out of her brain.
“So, why is it an honor to be called Luna?” she finally asked.
“Because the moon influences many things on this earth. For instance, the moon controls when the tide rises and falls, and you, as the Alpha female, will have great influence on your mate and the Pack. No other female has the influence you will have. So when I call you Luna, I am telling you I recognize how important you are.”
Jacquelyn just stared at Fane for a few breaths. “Wow, I was thinking you were gonna say something about how like the moon I light up the darkness in your life, yada yada. You know, something sappy.”
“I could say something sappy if you want,” Fane told her, knowing she would really rather him not.
“No, no. I’m good with what you gave me. I don’t see how I could possibly be all that influential, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
“You will see. One day, probably sooner than you think, you will understand how the Alpha female is like the moon,” Fane said as he continued to rub her back.
After a while, Fane decided sitting up was no longer comfortable and laid down next to Jacquelyn on her bed. His position was such that he was looking right at Jacquelyn’s face. She'd fallen asleep during their silence and Fane was just content to watch her sleep. He hadn’t realized how tired he was from worrying about Jacquelyn all night, and found himself drifting off as well.
Fane woke with a start, blinking rapidly to clear his sleepy eyes. He realized the room was dark. He pulled his phone out of his pocket to see what time it was – eight pm. He looked over at Jacquelyn and realized that she was no longer there. He put his hand on the spot where she'd been and felt that it was still a little warm. She'd not been up long. He drew on his wolf hearing to listen to the house and realized it was silent. There was no need to panic, he knew that, but he still didn’t like that fact that there were three teenage girls who were supposed to be in the house, yet it was quiet. His mind reflexively sought her out.
“You do have a good reason as to why you are not in this house, right Luna?”
Fane could feel her blocking him from her thoughts, which meant she was up to no good. Why was he not surprised?
“Why on earth would you think I was up to no good?”
Fane grinned at her false innocence.
“Where are you, love, and what mischief have you and your sidekicks gotten into?” Fane asked.
Fane could tell by her silence that he wasn’t going to like what they were up to.
“We were bored so we climbed up on the roof to look at the stars. See, it’s not that bad,” Jacquelyn responded.
Fane let out a slow breath, trying to control the strong protective instincts that were a part of his genetic makeup. He knew that she was fine, but all he could think about was if she slipped and fell. What would he do if something happened to her? Get a grip, Fane, he told himself. You can’t put her in a bubble.
“No, you can’t put me in a bubble, but because I know it will make you feel better I'll come in from the roof. See? I can be reasonable…but don’t always count on it,” Jacquelyn teased him.
“Thank you, Jacquelyn, you are right. It will make me feel much better if you would come back in.” Fane was so thankful that his mate cared about his feelings and concerns. He knew that she didn't know it yet, but those qualities would be a treasure to an Alpha who would often feel as if he were bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Fane got up from the bed and headed downstairs to see if he could find something to eat – he was hungry and his wolf was hungrier. He managed to find some bread and lunch meat and put together a decent sandwich. He was in the kitchen eating when he heard an ear-splitting scream.
Fane dropped his sandwich and took off toward the front door. He threw it open and was instantly hit with the unmistakable smell of Canis lupus. His lips pulled back in a snarl as a low growl began to build in his throat. Fane’s wolf pushed to be let out, his mate was in danger and he wanted blood.
“Jacquelyn, where are you? Are you alright?” Fane sent her the thought.
For a moment there was no response and it was enough to cause Fane’s hold on his wolf to waiver. His eyes phased, he could feel the rest of his body shaking with the need to.
“I’m ok, just in shock. We’re in the backyard. Please come,” Jacquelyn told him.
Even though she said she was okay, he could tell she was scared. Fane ran around the side of the house and came to an abrupt stop. Fane now understood why they'd screamed. About ten feet from Jacquelyn’s back door were four dead animals. Fane walked to where the three girls stood. He stepped in front of Jacquelyn and placed his hands on either side of her face and made her look at him.
“Are you alright? Was there anyone out here when you screamed?” he asked her.
“There was no one out here. We had climbed down from the roof and were fixing to go in the house when we noticed a shadow on the ground. We came over to investigate and we saw those,” she said, pointing at the bodies on the ground.
Fane looked over at Sally and Jen and saw that they were both just staring at the animals. “Are you two okay?” he asked them.
Jen slowly turned her head to look at him. “Is it just me,” she asked, “or are there really four dead animals in Jacque’s backyard?”
Fane stepped away from Jacquelyn and walked over to inspect the animals. He noticed right away that there were no bullet wounds or arrow piercings. There were, however, tears in the animals’ jugulars. These four had been killed by wolves, and they were all clean kills, there was no damage to the rest of their bodies. He noted that they were laid out in order of size, smallest to largest. The first was a rabbit, next a fox, then a small doe, and last a large buck deer. Fane let out another low growl. Jacquelyn walked up to him and placed her hand on his arm and it was enough to calm him.