“I’m Sally Morgan, seventeen, senior, and it’s nice to meet you,” she said with natural cheer.
Again, Fane took her hand and lifted it to his lips, placing a feather soft kiss on the top of it. Then he repeated what he'd said to Jen. “Sa o placere sa te cunosc.”
Sally sat down next to Jen and, when Jacquelyn made no move to stand up, Jen reached over and pinched the back of her arm.
“Oww!” Jacque yelped.
She glared at her friend but finally caught on to what Sally was silently telling her.
Standing up to introduce herself, Jacque began to speak, and for a moment her mouth wouldn’t spit out what her brain was telling her to say. “Oh, um, I, um...” Good grief, Jacque thought to herself, spit it out already. “I’m Jacque, seventeen, and a senior as well. Lilly is my mom.” She made no move to give Fane her hand.
The surprise on her face was obvious when he reached out and took her hand anyway. Fane bowed over as he brought it to his lips, and this time they lingered there.
As he held her hand to his mouth he took in her scent and found to his pleasure she smelled of cotton candy and fresh snow, an odd, but strangely familiar combination. He tried not to growl possessively, but couldn’t quite suppress the urge completely. Fane knew Jacquelyn had heard him because she tensed even more.
He lifted his eyes to hers and just as he had said to Sally and Jen, he told her, “Sa o placere sa te cunosc.
The only difference was as he spoke to her with his mouth he also sent her a message with his thoughts.
“I am so honored to finally meet you, my Luna,” he told her. “We have much to learn about each other.”
From the moment she had stepped into the Henrys' house, Jacque’s nerves had been rattled over being around the strange exchange student. Not to mention, as soon as she locked eyes with Fane she felt a weird tingling sensation across the top of her shoulders and behind her neck. She reached up and placed her hand on her neck, tilting it a bit as if it were stiff. That was weird, she’d thought.
Mystery guy was standing at the bottom of the stairs. He was wearing a dark grey t-shirt, jeans, motorcycle boots, and the wallet in his back pocket was attached with a metal chain. The guy could make a plastic bag look sexy.
The look on his face was one of curiosity and what she thought might be nervousness. That surprised her because at first glance he did not appear to be the nervous type.
Mrs. Henry told them all to bring the food into the kitchen and then everyone was to go to the living room to be introduced to their guest.
Once seated in the Henrys' living room, they all listened to Fane introduce himself. Finally, something to call him other than mystery guy and hottie, Jacque thought.
Jen asked why he had chosen this little town and when he didn’t understand the question the first time, she asked him again and spoke down like he was a child. This earned Jen an elbow in the ribs, courtesy of Jacque. After all, was it really any of their business why he came? But Jen just shrugged her off and waited for Fane to answer. He appeared confused and cocked his head in an odd way, kind of like she had seen dogs do. Oh, that’s so gracious of me, comparing the Romanian to a dog. Jacque wished someone would just put her out of her misery.
Sally mentioned that Fane's English was very good and he explained that he'd been taught English right along with Romanian all his life.
Lilly finally stepped in and suggested each girl introduce herself, so they could get going and let Fane and the Henrys get settled.
Lilly’s mom was the first one to speak. She told Fane her name and occupation, and instructed him that he was to call her Lilly.
Then her friends were next. He’s gonna think we are absolutely crazy, Jacque thought.
When Jen stepped forward to introduce herself, she held out her hand to shake Fane's. To everyone’s surprise, instead of shaking it, he kissed it.
Jacque was completely dumbfounded when she felt herself having an extremely irrational wave of jealousy flow through her. In that moment she wanted to wrench Jen’s hand from Fane’s and growl at her. Growl! Are you freaking kidding me? Jacque thought.
She noticed that Sally had to push Jen down to the couch because she was slightly dazed from the encounter. This did nothing to calm Jacques raging emotions.
Jacque had to brace herself, as Fane was now lifting Sally’s hand to his lips. She couldn’t understand why she was feeling like this. It was totally obvious that his greeting was completely non-romantic – which, by the way, shouldn’t matter to her anyway – and yet she did not want him to touch another female. Okay, Jacque thought, it’s official. I have dived headfirst off the deep end.
Out of nowhere, she felt a sharp pain. Yelping, she turned to look at Jen – who had just pinched her. She realized then that Fane was looking at her expectantly and she had just been sitting there like an idiot in her own little bubble.
Jacque stood up but made no move to give him her hand. She introduced herself, sounding so eloquent when she couldn’t spit out what she was trying to say. She was getting ready to sit down when Fane reached out and grabbed her hand. She was a little startled, but that quickly faded into something else entirely when he bowed over her hand and pressed his lips firmly against it. Jacque could swear she heard him take a deep breath through his nose and growl low in his throat. That was really weird, she thought. But once again, for her things couldn’t simply be weird, they had to be downright insane.
As Fane repeated what he had told Jen and Sally, Jacque also heard the voice in her mind.
“I am so honored to finally meet you, my Luna. We have much to learn about each other.”
Jacque blinked a few times, trying to clear her thoughts. What on earth could it possibly mean by “finally meet”? she thought. Did this voice know it was waiting for me? It was time to go home, Jacque decided. She needed to talk to Sally and Jen about Fane, she needed to decide whether or not to confide in her mother, and she needed to have a good, cleansing panic attack. Not necessarily in that order.
Jacque pulled her hand from Fane’s grasp and he didn’t try to keep her from doing so. She turned to look at her mom, raised her eyebrows and asked, “Are you ready? I’m good to go. Sally, Jen, ya’ll ready to go?”
Jen and Sally both nodded at the same time, quickly catching Jacque’s mood.
Lilly looked at her daughter suspiciously, but merely nodded and turned to Mrs. Henry. “Thank you, Sara, for having us over. It was really nice to see you. Fane, it was great to meet you. Don’t make yourself a stranger. You’re welcome over at our house anytime.”