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|Just One Drop(Grey Wolves #3) by Quinn Loftis|
Jen shrugged her shoulders, accepting that there was no way her two friends would leave her alone. She was glad it was Alina who had come. Something about her was so peaceful and comforting.
"Jen, are you unhappy here?" Alina asked gently.
"No," Jen said quickly. "No, Alina. Your home is wonderful and you and Vasile have made us all feel so welcome."
"Then why do you want to leave so badly?"
Jen looked slyly at Alina from the corner of her eye as she took another sip. She swallowed slowly, savoring the warmth that traveled through her. "No offense, Alina, but I know that you know about the fur ball." Alina laughed at Jen's insistent digs at Decebel.
"Okay, guilty. Yet again." Alina smiled, then it faded slowly as she placed her hand on Jen's arm. "Give it time, Jen. If it's meant to be then it will be." Jen started to interrupt but Alina continued before she could. "I know you think that because you aren't having any of the mating signs it's hopeless, but we've never been around someone with werewolf blood as diluted as yours. There is no telling the repercussions, so be patient, little one. He'll come around."
Jen slowly nodded, even though inside she still had serious doubts.
"I guess I need to go see Jacque and Sally and do a little damage control." Jen grimaced.
"That would probably be wise," Alina told her as they stood and walked back to the mansion together.
Jen opened the door to Sally's room to find her two best friends sitting on the floor, going over the homework their tutor had assigned them. Neither of them stopped to acknowledge her and she could admit she deserved the snub.
"So, I guess I need to apologize for being a complete ass," Jen told them, remorse written across her face.
Sally looked up at her slowly. Her eyes were drawn together in a glare that would stop a grown man. "Look, Jacque. The prodigal wolf returns. Isn't that sweet of her."
Jen winced at Sally's words, which were laced in sarcasm and dripping with vehemence.
Jacque gave Jen a passing glance as if she were nothing more than a gnat. "Huh, so it is." And she went back to her homework.
Crap, Jen thought. She was going to have to grovel. How she hated groveling. "I really am sorry. I know that you guys were worried and that you're mad at me for being selfish."
Sally sat up abruptly. "Worried, yes. Mad, no. Hurt, definitely. Jen, you won't talk to us about what's going on. You've been sulking around here for the past two months. You won't talk about the wolf blood thing, you won't talk about Decebel, and then you throw the hissy fit of the century and start packing your stuff, spouting off how you can't do it anymore. We are sitting in the dark twiddling our freaking thumbs." Sally's voice had slowly gotten louder as her rant continued. "I change my mind, we are mad. Hurt, mad and worried."
Jacque stared at Sally like she had grown a third eyeball while Jen was looking for a hole to crawl into.
"I'm sorry, Sally. I don't know what else to say, but truly I'm sorry. I've just been so, crap, I don't know. Frustrated, scared, lonely-"
"Lonely?" Jacque interrupted, obviously hurt.
"Not because you guys haven't been there," Jen added quickly. "I can't describe it. Okay," Jen stopped and sat down by her two best friends, "you want me to talk, here goes. When Decebel left after your ceremony, I felt like a hole had been cut inside of me. I don’t know how to describe it other than utter loneliness. I've been so stinking frustrated because I don't ever get depressed over a guy. I mean, hello, I'm Jen. I don’t need a guy." She ran her hands through her long blonde hair in agitation. "But there I was, pining after a werewolf and I don't know why. I don’t understand why he just left like he didn't give a damn." Jen wiped the tears that were now staining her face. "And bloody hell, I'm sick of crying."
Jacque sat up and took Jen in her arms; Sally wrapped hers around them both. The three girls sat there silently while Jen tried to get her scattered emotions under some sort of control.
Finally, Sally broke the silence. "Well, you're forgiven. Just quit being so stubborn and talk to us, okay?"
Jen nodded as she wiped the last of her tears away. "Talk, got it. I'm all over it, boss," she teased.
"So, you going to spill what happened today? You know, with you and…" Sally hinted.
"Between me and White Fang? Well, I will admit that when I saw Decebel I was shocked. As in 'what the hell do you mean a woman sat on a toilet so long that she became attached to it' shocked."
"Oh, snap. I forgot about that. That was wicked." Jacque cringed.
"Hey. Lucy, Ethel, focus," Sally snapped.
"Oh, right." Jen shook her head. "So shocked, because he was the last wolf I expected to see. To top it off, he was sweet. Which only ticked me off..." Jen trailed off, remembering how Decebel had momentarily gone to another place while looking into her eyes.
"What?" Sally asked.
"It's probably nothing, but there was one point when he was looking at me and he sort of zoned out. I had to say his name several times before he snapped out of it. Then I felt him pull back, if that makes sense. I mean emotionally. It was like he put a wall up between us."
"Hmm, sounds like it's time for Sherlock to investigate," Jacque said.
"Oh, by all means. We know your sleuthing skills are legendary." Jen rolled her eyes.
"Hey, I'm just honing my skills," Jacque said indignantly.
"Whatever you say, Sherlock," Jen teased.
"Alright, so spill the rest. What else did he say?" Sally asked eagerly.
Jen proceeded to tell them, at their insistence, word for word what was said between her and Decebel. And true to form, Jacque and Sally spent the remainder of the night dissecting the conversation. Jen swore they had it down to an art form.
Decebel lay on his bed, staring aimlessly at the ceiling. He couldn't sleep. Every time he closed his eyes he saw her face. Jennifer. Her scent was burned into his brain, and the hurt he had caused was etched in his memory. Her face had been clouded with it on the plane. For the first time in his long life he was truly unsure about the path he was to take.
The feelings that were stirring inside him towards Jennifer were foreign to him. The only thing he could compare it to was what he had felt for Cosmina, his younger sister. She had been the brightest light in his life. Sweet, kind, and gentle. There wasn't a day that went by that he didn't feel the hole inside caused by her death. Somehow, when he was with Jennifer he didn't feel so empty, so alone.