She stumbled a few steps on the stairs. Jen reached out to steady her. “Are you okay?” she whispered.
“I just heard the voice again,” Jacque said shakily.
“What did it say?” Sally asked.
“'Good morning, my loona',” Jacque answered. “What the stink does that mean?” I can’t believe I thought it was a good idea to go over there, she thought.
Jacque’s mom was standing at the bottom of the stairs, watching them closely. She had that look that Jacque knew all too well – her mom knew something was up. She could feel her emotions strongly and, according to them, Lily Pierce was very concerned.
“Are you girls coming?” her mom asked.
“Lead the way, Ms. Pierce,” Jen said.
Each of the girls carried a dish of food; Jacque’s mom had even made sweet tea. After all, what’s a southern meal without sweet tea?
As they stepped out of the house and onto the walkway, the sun shone brightly down on them. It was ten am and it was already blistering hot.
Although the grass on some of the lawns was still healthy and green, Jacque’s lawn was brown and dead. Of course, that could've been because her mom mowed it way too short last time in hopes she could go longer than a week between mowing. She'd inadvertently killed the grass in the process. Oh well, Jacque thought, it’s not like we're going for first place in the prettiest lawn competition. Goodness knows both she and her mother would rather pull their toenails out than work in the yard in that ridiculous southern Texas heat.
As they crossed the street, Jacque saw the curtains of the right second story window part. Briefly, she saw the handsome face looking back at her. She looked away to get the attention of Sally and Jen, but when she looked back to point him out the curtains had closed.
“He was standing in the window, ya’ll. I promise I did not imagine it.” Jacque sounded a little desperate.
“We believe you, Jac. Stop doubting that,” Sally said with conviction.
She's right, Jacque thought. They were her best friends and they would stick by her no matter what.
Fane woke up and, without thinking, sought out Jacquelyn’s mind. It felt like second nature to him even though he'd just met her. Well, more like found her.
He spoke into her mind effortlessly, “Good morning, my Luna,” and instantly felt her panic and confusion.
He listened to Jacque tell her friends that she had heard his voice, or rather a voice she wasn’t completely convinced was his. And she wanted to know what 'Luna' meant. He also caught the passing thought that she was on her way over here…now.
Fane looked at himself in the mirror and quickly decided a shower was in order – and something more presentable than pajama pants with no shirt.
He quickly jumped in the shower and was out in a record five minutes. He was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, brushing his teeth, when he noticed something different on his chest and shoulder.
Fane, like every male Canis lupus, had markings that looked like tattoos. They appeared of their own accord once puberty hit. These markings revealed where in the pack order a wolf belonged, and the more elaborate the marking, the higher the rank. The tattoos varied in size, shape, and on what side of the body they were on. The marks were dark black, with curves and points at the ends of the lines. Fane’s were on his right side, which indicated he was a dominant. It started on his right shoulder blade and came over the top of his shoulder, going down onto his bicep and across the right side of his chest. The fact that it came around to the front of his body indicated he was an Alpha. Only Alphas had markings on the front and back of their bodies. That way, no matter what direction he was facing, all could see his markings and know the identity of the pack's leader.
Sometime between the night before and that morning, the markings had climbed up the right side of his neck – they looked like black flames.
Fane honestly didn’t know what it meant. He had never heard of the markings spreading. He decided he would have to call his father later today to find out what it meant. Meanwhile, he hoped the Henrys didn’t notice that the markings weren’t there last night, which might've been a little difficult to explain.
Deciding there was nothing to be done about it at the moment, he moved on and quickly ran a razor across his face and threw on some aftershave.
Fane walked over to his suitcase to pick out some clothes. He hadn’t bothered to unpack anything last night because he'd been so tired. There weren’t a whole lot of variations to his wardrobe: black, grey, and dark blue shirts mostly. He had a lot of long sleeved shirts because of the cold in Romania. He'd had to buy short sleeved shirts to prepare to come to the U.S.
He decided on a dark grey short sleeve t-shirt and his Lucky brand jeans. He pulled on his biker boots and grabbed his wallet, which had a chain attached to it.
Although motorcycles weren’t very popular in Romania – because of the temperature – Fane loved them and owned a Honda. He tried to ride as much as he could and, of course, was completely covered in leather when he did ride to stay warm.
He'd wanted to bring his motorcycle with him, but his parents had offered to buy him a used bike once he got here. He was planning on talking to Mr. Henry about that later today, to see if he would be willing to take Fane to a motorcycle dealership to pick one out. His parents had given him a credit card with a decent limit on it. It should get him a pretty nice bike.
Just when he was ready to go downstairs, his wolf perked up at the sound of footsteps in the street. He walked over to the window and parted the curtains. What luck, he thought to himself. His window was directly in front of Jacquelyn’s house.
He looked down at the street and saw three teenage girls walking with who must've been Jacquelyn’s mother.
His gaze shifted to the only one who mattered and she looked straight up into his face.
She is beautiful, Fane thought. Now that he could get a good look at her, he saw that she had wild, unruly, auburn curls. Freckles dusted her fair skin. She was on the short side, thin, but not skinny. She was wearing faded, holey jeans and a green shirt that said, “I’m not stubborn, my way is just better.”
So his Luna had attitude. Well, of course she would. It wasn’t like a meek woman could be Alpha to female Greys – they would tear a timid Alpha apart. Jacque turned to talk to her friends. While she was turned, he stepped away from the window to head downstairs.