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|Just One Drop(Grey Wolves #3) by Quinn Loftis|
Decebel heard the insecurity in her tone, but admired her for not looking away from him when she voiced it. "The problem isn't that I don't want to be your protector, it's that I want to be more."
"Oh," Jen breathed out.
"I don't know how I'm going to get through this, this..." Decebel searched for the words.
"Mate Fest?" Jen offered, which brought a heart stopping grin from Decebel. She nearly swooned. You have got to get a grip, she told herself. Jennifer Adams does not swoon. Drool, definitely. Stare without shame, for sure. But swooning is forbidden. She decided her inner dialogue was really beginning to get out of control.
"Yes, this Mate Fest. I don't know how I'm going to get through it without killing another wolf."
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Don't touch another male. Don't let another male touch you." Decebel's lips were tight as he spoke, betraying the carefully conveyed control.
"Okay, no touching. Got it."
Once again they stared at one another in silence. Gradually Decebel began to lean into her and Jen realized he was going to kiss her. It was also then that she realized how desperately she wanted, craved that kiss. Her eyes drifted closed as she waited, and waited. What the - ?, she thought as she opened her eyes.
He hadn't moved any closer.
"Are you going to kiss me?" Jen asked boldly.
Decebel grinned, but it left as quickly as it had come. "I can't."
She frowned. "You can't, or you won't?"
"It's not that simple, Jennifer." Decebel started to pull back but Jen grabbed his hand and pulled it back to her face. She held it next to her cheek and let his heat seep into her. She had never felt anything better than his touch in her life.
"It is that simple. You either do or you don't. It's a choice, Decebel. Your choice. So don't tell me you can't. Unless your lips are super glued to some object, they are up for grabs. So what gives?"
"I think you need to speak with Dr. Steele, then you will understand what's at stake from something as innocent as a kiss."
He watched as that all too-familiar wicked gleam filled Jennifer's eyes. "Who says it has to be innocent?"
Decebel did step back this time and she let him go.
"Get some sleep, Jennifer. I'll see you tomorrow," he told her gently. After a small smile at her, he left.
Jen entered her bedroom after watching Decebel walk away until she couldn't see him any longer.
"See you on the flip side, Jen? Really?" she asked herself out loud. "Do you want someone to ask you to write an expert account on how to be effectively lame? Because let me tell you, blondie, you are all over it." Pathetic, she thought, I'm a groupie and I'm talking to myself. "Ughh."
She quickly went through her routine of getting ready for bed, the whole time remembering the feel of Decebel's flesh on hers, his breath on her neck. There was no way she was going to survive this with her heart intact. She knew that when this was all said and done, she would come out an empty shell if she didn't come out with Decebel by her side.
The real question she found herself facing after her little encounter with the fur ball in the hall was, how do you go about looking for a mate when you would rather be trying to convince the one you want to pursue what was slapping him steadily in the face?
"Yeah, good luck with that," Jen told herself.
"So I guess I'll see you in a couple of days?" Jacque asked her dad through her cell phone.
"Yes. And I'm bringing Tanya. She really wants to meet you. You okay with that?"
"Yeah, it's cool. It was bound to happen one day, right? There's no time like the present," Jacque told him, her voice coming out unnaturally high. She felt herself settle as Fane wrapped his arms around her from behind and placed a gentle kiss on her neck.
"Thank you, Jacque. I know it's a lot to ask. So I'll see you soon, then." He disconnected the call.
Jacque set her cell phone down on the bedside table.
"Well, this ought to be fun. It's going to be a cozy little meet and greet," she told Fane, frowning.
"It will be okay, Jacquelyn, it's a large estate. If you and Tanya don't get on there will be plenty of places for you to slink off to."
Jacque pulled out of his arms and turned on him abruptly. "Slink? I do not slink, wolf-man."
Fane smiled and winked. "I knew that would do it."
Jacque growled and tackled him to the bed. "So you think if you prick my pride I will be less likely to evade the confrontation I so badly want to avoid?"
Fane nodded. "That about sums it up."
"How well you know me already, pesky flea ball."
"Again with the fleas." He growled and tickled her. Jacque squealed, unsuccessfully trying to fight him off. He finally relented and pulled her close.
"All will be well, Luna," he whispered.
"I know," she agreed, "but there's always a variable that isn't accounted for, ready to throw things off kilter. Then all is no longer well."
"Ahh, love. Where did such pessimism come from?"
"I guess Jen's worry is rubbing off on me. I just wish she and Decebel would fish or cut bait."
"Fish or cut bait? I'm not familiar with this," Fane told her, his brow furrowed.
"It means get on with it or move on. It's so obvious they are meant to be together,"
"He can't claim her without mating signs. She has to participate in The Gathering," Fane warned her.
"Then there will be a blood bath," Jacque told him somberly. "Because the first man brave enough to lay a finger on Jen is going to see firsthand what happens when another touches a mate. Signs or no, Decebel's wolf has claimed Jen. And Jen's wolf, what little there may be, has claimed Dec. Not to mention her heart."
Both fell silent as they thought about the consequences that were sure to come. But like a speeding train without brakes, nothing short of a miracle could stop them.
"Do you think it was wise of you to make Decebel her protector?" Alina asked her mate.
Vasile continued to stare at the road as he drove towards the site of The Gathering.
He knew it was a gamble placing Jen in Decebel's care. "I don't know," he admitted. "I guess I'm trying to force him into action. Maybe if he sees others pursuing her he will get over this fear and make a move. Or I could just be setting up some poor wolf's demise."