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|Blood Rites(Grey Wolves #2) by Quinn Loftis|
She had to let go of Fane's hands as she unfolded the piece of paper she held in her hand. When she looked up and saw Fane watching her she grinned. Fane winked at her which made her heartbeat pick up. “Easy, love. It’s just me, just us. Talk to me,” Fane whispered in her mind, helping to calm her so that she could unfold the paper and read it to him.
“Fane, there is so much I don’t know about you, so many secrets I have yet to discover, but there are a few things that I do know. I know that your face is the first thing I want to see in the morning and the last thing I see before I close my eyes at night. I know that your smile is the one I want to see when life fills you with joy. I know that I want to be the one to hold you when you are hurt or discouraged, and when life knocks you down I want to be the one to help you get back up. I know that if we are so blessed, I want you to be the father of my children, and I hope they have your beautiful blue eyes. I know without a doubt, out of the millions of people on this earth, you were created for me and me for you. All these things I know. What you need to know is that I am yours and yours alone. You hold my heart. You have the power to fill it with love and you have the power to destroy it. You need to know that not a day will go by that I don’t thank God that you are mine. You need to know that I will get mad at you, I will give you hell when you need it, but I will also love you unconditionally and without reservation. I will give you everything I am and I expect nothing less from you.” Fane looked at his mate, speechless at her precious words. He didn’t even realize his father was asking him a question until Jacquelyn turned to look at Vasile.
“Fane, what offering do you bring your mate to show her you will provide for her and care for her needs both physical and emotional?” Vasile asked him.
Fane stood up and brought Jacquelyn with him. He reached into his other pocket and pulled out a little black box and heard Jacquelyn’s breath catch.
Fane opened the black box and knelt back down on one knee. He took Jacquelyn’s left hand into his and felt her shaking. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it and held it to his lips until the shaking stopped. “I have brought a ring. There is no other like it in all the world just as there is no other like my Luna. Engraved all the way around the band in Romanian are the words: finalizarea (complete), for without you my soul is incomplete; absolut (absolute), that is how my love is for you; chiar (unmovable), there is nothing on this earth that will separate me from you; and intreg (whole), you have filled the void in me making the man and the wolf whole. In the center is a very rare red diamond. I chose red for two reasons. One, you are my micul incendiu (little fire). And two, it is a reminder of this day when we both shed blood to bind our souls to each other.” Fane looked at Jacquelyn, pleading with his eyes for her to understand how much he needed her. “Jacquelyn, I love you. You are my mate and from this day forth every wolf will know that you are mine. But because I am selfish and a barbarian just as my mother called me, I don’t want just the wolves to know you are mine. I want every man to know you are taken. I realize you are not ready to marry me right now. That is okay, I will wait. But I am asking you to tell me that you will be my wife in the human sense of the word one day. Wear this ring as a symbol that your heart is spoken for. Jacquelyn, will you marry me?”
Jacquelyn’s eyes were closed and when she opened them he saw them glisten with unshed tears. Fane stood up and pulled her close to him. He pressed his lips to her ear and whispered, “Please tell me those are tears of joy.”
Jacquelyn nodded her head but that wasn’t good enough for Fane. He needed to hear it from her lips. “I’m going to make you say it out loud, my love. I need to hear it from you.” Fane sent her his thought and then waited for her response.
She pulled back away from him so she could look into his eyes, “I will marry you, Fane.”
Fane could see a little sparkle of mischief in her eyes; she had something up her sleeve. “When Luna? When will you marry me?” he whispered.
“I would marry you now, here, in this place,” she told him, her eyes filled with determination.
There was a gasp that rippled through out the room, reaching far into the darkness where the faceless stood. Fane's breath caught, he couldn't believe what he was hearing. He turned to look at his father. "Alpha, marry us," he said firmly. Jacque laughed at the urgency in his tone. He turned back to look at her. "I don't want you to have the chance to change your mind." His voice was playful but Jacque could see in his eyes that he was serious, he wasn't ever letting her go.
Vasile’s voice brought them both from their private world back to where and what they were doing. “Before the marriage vows are spoken, that is only one offering, Fane. Where is your second?”
“I have another offering but I wish to give it to my mate in private when we complete the blood rites.”
Vasile turned to Jacquelyn.“You accept this request?”
“Yes,” Jacquelyn answered, her eyebrows raised as she looked at Fane.
"Alright, I suppose now we will do the marriage vows," Vasile said as he grinned at Jacque.
"Hey, it seemed a good a time as any," she told him as her cheeks flamed with heat. "Oh, and you can do the quick version. I'm pretty sure what we've already said covers all the rest." The crowd laughed at her words and then quieted when Vasile looked out into the darkness. Bringing his attention back to Fane and Jacque, he spoke the marriage vows and everyone listened once again as Fane and Jacque bound themselves in the human way as well.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife." Vasile finished the wedding vows and then added, "Fane, it is time for you and your mate to perform the blood rites. Once done your bond will be complete."
Fane turned to her and took her face in his hands and kissed her soundly on the mouth. The kiss seemed to last forever and Jacquelyn was sure that even Jen would be blushing. When he finally pulled away he placed one more soft kiss on her lips and said, “Mate, come. I have waited long enough.” Jacquelyn’s eyes popped open as she looked into the face of her mate, the face of her wolf.
Jacque couldn’t say that she wasn’t nervous as Fane led her to his suite in the mansion. When Fane had ended that kiss and spoke to her, she realized that Fane had been out of commission and the wolf was in control. As they reached the door, Fane turned and looked at her. “Don’t be afraid, I am here. I am in control but the wolf has pushed forward because the blood rites is a bonding between the wolf and his mate, you. We will not hurt you, Jacquelyn.”