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|Blood Rites(Grey Wolves #2) by Quinn Loftis|
“Pack members talk, Vasile. You know how it is. A group of wolves together is worse than a beauty shop when it comes to gossip. So naturally, when I heard that there had been a challenge given to the strongest Alpha’s pup, and it was in Lilly’s home town, I checked into things.”
Dillon did not mention that he'd had Logan following Jacquelyn, or that he'd been at the scene of the accident. He didn’t think Vasile needed those details.
“We are on our way to the hospital now. Would you please ask Lilly to meet me in the entrance? And I would ask, Vasile, that you not let Jacque know I am here yet.”
“I will let Lilly know, however, I will not guarantee that she will see you." Dillon started to interrupt but Vasile cut him off. "Jacque has been unconscious for a month. Lilly has been through hell for that month, she is stressed out enough right now. Nevertheless, I will let her know. If you get here and she isn't waiting in the lobby, then call me tomorrow, we will go from there. However, I must know, how is your mate going to feel when Lilly sends you home in a pine box, because you have to know this isn’t going to go well,” the Alpha told him.
“I will deal with Lilly. I have five of my wolves with me, my Beta and my first four. We are not here as a challenge in any way to you or yours. I simply want to meet my daughter,” Dillon told him, his voice never betraying the subtle lie. He didn’t just want to meet her, he planned to take her home with him.
“Understood,” Vasile answered. "I would ask that you and your wolves lay low, and treat this as if it were my permanent territory. In other words, don't give me a reason to regret having let you remain here. My Beta, Decebel, will be waiting with her as he is the most neutral party when it comes to Jacque and I think you will need some neutrality while you are, as you said, dealing with Lilly. You will have to let me know how that goes,” Vasile said in sarcastic amusement. “What is your ETA?”
“My Beta says we will arrive in ten minutes.”
“Ten minutes, how courteous of you to give ample notice of your arrival.” Vasile had hung up before Dillon could respond to the jab.
“Did that go as you expected?” Logan asked him.
“Pretty much, although Vasile seems very calm for such a dominant Alpha. Those are often the most deadly ones. They never betray their emotions, so one never knows what their next move is.”
“Sounds like he would be a good poker player,” Logan said dryly.
Dillon didn’t acknowledge his Beta’s words, instead he thought about the best way to keep Lilly calm enough to let him see Jacque before he dropped the whole 'I’m here to take my daughter away' bit. Unfortunately there were no bright ideas that fell from the sky, nor had he come across a book called how to appease the lover you scorned for dummies.
They pulled into the hospital parking lot. It was packed, so Logan had to park the rental a good ways away from the front entrance.
“I’m going to go in and talk with Lilly. I want all of you to stay here. She is already upset about Jacque being unconscious for so long and having me here is adding insult to injury, so I don’t want to freak her out more by having a pack of unknown wolves descend on her.” Dillon knew that talking with Lilly would probably be harder than talking to Jacque. He had history with Lilly. The kind of history that leaves a wound on your heart that will never heal. It scabs over, often repeatedly, but when the scab comes off it is just as raw and painful as the day the wound was inflicted. Dillon was lucky, he had his mate, whose presence often held the scab in place. Who did Lilly have, he wondered.
Dillon was brought out of his thoughts at the sound of Logan’s voice. “At what point to you plan to claim the rights of an Alpha regarding a minor?”
“I will decide that after I meet with Lilly,” he told him.
Without another word Dillon opened his door and stepped into the warm Texas heat, and though it was hot, that was not what had him sweating. He shut the car door and turned to walk to the entrance of the hospital. At that moment he truly couldn't say what would be worse, facing a lover that you had hurt, or chewing on a mouthful of thumb tacks. When Dillon reached the entrance and opened the door the first thing he saw was Lilly’s beautiful face. He knew then that he would much rather chew thumb tacks any day over facing the betrayal in her eyes.
Sally was waiting in the hospital room as her two best friends were brought in. She stood anxiously, twisting her fingers together. The worry she had been feeling for the past month was etched on her tight lips and raised eyebrows which put wrinkles in her forehead.
“Oh, come on Sal. If you keep looking at me like I’m a sick puppy you found in a ditch I’m going to smother you with a pillow in your sleep." Jacque winked at her friend despite her tough words.
“Bloody hell, here I thought I was the reigning female dog in this posse.” Jen grinned at Sally.
"Bloody hell? Female dog?" Jacque raised her eyebrows at her usually snarky friend.
"I'm trying to clean up my potty mouth, you know how near death experiences change how you live and what not." Jen shrugged.
"Jen, bloody hell is profanity. You know this, right?"
Jen looked at Sally and rolled her eyes. "Only to the English so it doesn't count."
"I don't even know how to respond to that," Jacque said dryly.
“I thought you two would never wake up. Jen still looks like a mummy all wrapped up and you look like a freshly cooked lobster," Sally told them as she pulled up a chair in between their beds.
“I was just getting my beauty sleep." Jacque looked over at Jen and grinned wickedly. "So what took you so long?" Her implication was clear.
"Oh, Jacque, your innocent little mind wouldn't be able to handle what was going on in my head that kept me from returning to reality." Jen yawned and patted her mouth demurely.
“You don't know, maybe my subconscious is more adventurous than the conscious version."
"Well in that case, as a favor to Fane, we will be sure to knock your ass out the night of your bonding ceremony," Sally said dryly.
Jen laughed, but it came out more like a strangled cough. “Don’t make me laugh, my lungs are char broiled. I feel like a Burger King hamburger, always cooked over an open flame.”
“Your way, right away, baby,” Jacque added.