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|Just One Drop(Grey Wolves #3) by Quinn Loftis|
She could feel his nearness and knew that if she took one step back she would bump against his body. A delicious thought, but she cut that off abruptly as she reminded herself that he was on her shit list at the moment, and he possibly had found himself a permanent reservation on it.
"Whether you believe it or not," Decebel's mouth was close enough to her ear that she felt the warm air from his breath cross her skin and it caused a shiver, "it's for your safety that I set such rules."
"You aren't my Alpha. Vasile knew where we were going and he had no problem with it." Jen's voice was low but no less potent than his.
"That may be, but once your behavior puts your safety in jeopardy I have every right to order it to cease immediately."
Jen could feel her blood begin to heat, her face flushed. "My behavior?" she gritted through her clenched teeth. "I'm not a kid, Decebel. I don't need your orders."
"You are a member of this pack. You will follow orders whether you like it or not, for the safety of the pack as well as yourself. You need to get used to it, Jennifer." Decebel placed his hands on her shoulders and gently turned her around. Placing two fingers under her chin, he raised her face to look up at him.
Decebel clenched his jaw and briefly closed his eyes as he saw the unshed tears in her eyes.
"I didn't mean to hurt you, Jennifer."
"Don't flatter yourself, Beta. I'm not tearing up 'cause I’m hurt. I'm pissed." Jennifer didn’t take her eyes from Decebel's as she fumed, "You could really use a lesson in people skills. Add those to your puppy classes and learning to knock and not barge in, and that should keep you busy enough that you won't have time to worry about my extracurricular activities."
Decebel's lips turned up in a slight grin and once more his eyes twinkled wickedly. Jen did not like the thought that was obviously skimming his brain.
"Since you are so hell bent on me learning manners, perhaps you should be my teacher." Decebel took a step back and continued to watch her with a mischievous grin.
Jen couldn't help her own small smile in response to him. So sue her, he was adorable when he smiled like that. "In your dreams, Beta."
"Perhaps," he said softly. As he turned to leave, Jen heard him say under his breath, "Goodness knows I can't get other dreams about you out of my head."
Jen flushed at his words but thought surely she had heard him wrong. He turned back to her before he pulled the door closed. "I hope you enjoyed your little escapade tonight, Jennifer, because on future occurrences I will accompany you." His words were unbending. "In fact, if you leave the mansion for any reason I will be your escort." Decebel winked at her, shutting the door just before a hairbrush flew across the room and smashed against it loudly. Jen's loud words followed the noise.
"The only place you'll be escorting me is to the vet so you can have the foot I'm going to shove up your behind removed!"
"I love you too mom," Jacque spoke into her cell phone as she snuggled into Fane's embrace. "Things are good here. The tutor keeps us busy and we are learning all sorts of things."
"How is Jen doing?" Lilly asked her.
"She's okay, just a little confused about things. It will all come out in the wash."
Lilly chuckled, "My forever optimist," Jacque could hear her mother's smile through the phone.
"I'll let you go, I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you and miss you so much," Lilly choked back tears.
"I miss you too. I'm happy, I want you to know that," Jacque reassured her.
"I know, and that's what I want for you. Be happy, live a wonderful life with Fane."
"Will you come see me soon?" Jacque asked hopefully.
"We'll see about this summer maybe."
"Okay, love you."
"Love you too Jacque, very much. Bye," Jacque hit the end button on her phone and closed her eyes briefly. She loved talking to her mom but sometimes it made her heart feel so heavy.
"I love you Jacquelyn. I know it was a lot to ask you to come here," Fane told her gently.
" I don't regret coming Fane," Jacque turned to look into his eyes, "I want to be with you. I just miss her, and that's okay."
He kissed her forehead gently and breathed her scent deep into his lungs.
"What do you think is going on with Decebel?"
Fane was quiet for a moment. "I don't really understand it, but he treats Jen as if she's his mate. All the signs are there. I think he's probably worse because he doesn't understand it either."
Jacque thought about that. She felt bad for both Jen and Decebel. She knew that Jen was head over heels for the wolf, and couldn't imagine what it would be like to love Fane but not be able to be with him. Jacque prayed for both their sakes' that whatever it was that was going on would work itself out quickly.
"Are you okay, love?" Fane asked her gently.
Jacque turned so she could look into Fane's eyes. "I just hate seeing Jen hurt. And Decebel, for that matter," she told him honestly.
"You're a good friend, Luna, but this is something that they are going to have to work out on their own."
"If they don't kill each other first," Jacque added, only half joking.
Fane chuckled. "There is that possibility. And its chances have actually greatly increased."
Jacque watched his eyes as they clouded over in thought.
"Hey, wolf-man." She traced his lips with the tip of her finger, drawing his attention. "What is it? What's going on?"
Fane leaned down and kissed her gently before he answered.
"In the meeting I attended with the other Alphas, we learned they have decided it's in the best interest of our species that we bring back an old tradition," he explained.
Jacque pushed herself up into a sitting position, turning so she could see Fane's face clearly. "Why am I getting 'this sucks' vibes from you, babe?"
"Well, love, essentially because although it could be beneficial, in light of the situation between Jen and Decebel it is more likely to be detrimental…to one of them. I'm taking bets on Decebel since Jen seems to have quite the mean streak."
Jacque grinned briefly at that.