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|Just One Drop(Grey Wolves #3) by Quinn Loftis|
"I need you to know this because when you see me touching, dancing, or talking to another girl, I need you to remind yourself that I've told you – I want you." Decebel paused and took a breath. He had decided during the walk from her room to the garden that he was just going to be honest, no more holding back, no more trying to deal. He was too old to leave things to chance and regardless of his fears he knew that he wouldn't leave Jennifer's safety in the hands of another, "Despite how we feel towards one another, the Alphas are looking for mating signs. The closest thing we have to that is the strong pull we both feel and the way you smell."
Jen jerked. "I smell?"
Decebel chuckled. "Not bad, I assure you." He sounded slightly disappointed by this fact.
"You want me to smell bad?" Her brow furrowed. She really didn't know where he was going with this.
Decebel leaned towards her and pressed his nose to the flesh of her neck and took a deep breath. Chill bumps broke out all over Jen's skin and she was trying, mildly unsuccessfully, not to hyperventilate at his close proximity.
"You're scent is intoxicating to me," Decebel growled as he drew away from her reluctantly. "Mates have a certain scent that they only smell on one another. I only just noticed that your scent changed, became stronger. Do I have a scent to you?" Decebel asked curiously.
Jen could have stopped the blush that seeped into her cheeks about as well as she could stop a freight train with her bare hands.
"Woodsy and spicy," she admitted.
Decebel looked thoughtful. "Hmm, interesting."
"So you're saying the Alphas won't allow us to opt out of The Gathering just because of our attraction to one another?" She asked.
"Right." Decebel leaned back against the swing and draped his arm over the edge. His eyes were drawn to Jennifer's bare back and his mind couldn't help but imagine his markings on her beautiful, pale skin. Before he knew what he was doing he was tracing a pattern on her back gently with the tip of his finger.
Jen froze as she felt Decebel's warm finger tip on her back. He's trying to kill me, she decided. He figures if he just tortures me to death then I'll be out of the picture and poof, problem solved…although death by Decebel doesn't sound too bad at the moment. Jen snorted at her thoughts, but thankfully Decebel didn't stop the swirling stroke of his finger.
"So what I'm telling you, Jennifer," Decebel's voice was deep and raspy, "is that I want to see where this goes between us. I want to get to know you better and spend time with you. But we are both going to have to endure the other being in the company of more than one suitor. As it is, we have both demonstrated that it is more than difficult for us."
Jen closed her eyes. The combination of his deep voice and finger making swirly patterns on her back was pure torture. Exquisite, perfect, wonderful torture. She heard his words but couldn't bring herself to acknowledge them at the moment.
"Jennifer?" Her name was nearly a whisper on his lips.
"Hmm?" Her head lulled around on her neck until she had swung it around to look back at him. "If you want me to be able to hold any semblance of an intelligent conversation with you then you are going to have to quit that."
Decebel's smile was as wicked as any she herself had dished out to him. "Quit what, micul meu lup?" he asked as he continued to touch her.
Jen growled and jumped up. She turned to look at him, but she wasn't angry. "So what do we do?"
"I think you Americans call it hooking up." Decebel raised one eyebrow at Jennifer.
"Do you really want to go there again?" she teased. "It would be more like hanging out, B. Hooking up tends to imply a more physical involvement, if you catch my meaning."
"Consider it caught." He winked, which only succeeded in causing her heart to nearly stop.
I have got it bad, Jen thought to herself.
"So we just hang, talk, and see what happens?" she asked him as she leaned back against a post on the gazebo.
"Sounds about right." Decebel stood and walked up to her. He left a little space in between them. A little more would have been better for Jen's comfort but she tried to act as if it didn't bother her.
"I'm going to ask something of you, Jennifer," he told her seriously.
"I'm listening." Jen tilted her chin up and gave him her full attention.
"My wolf is not coping well with the idea of others near you, touching you. I realize that there is no getting around it, but he doesn't. For all intents and purposes he has claimed you, mating signs be damned,"
Jen's breath caught at his declaration.
"So what I'm asking is, for lack of a better term, reassurance in your -" Decebel searched for the right word. Jennifer beat him to it, as she often did.
"Intentions, interest, attraction?" Jen grinned, she tended to go overboard on the vocabulary when she was nervous, which she was. Nervous, that is.
"All of the above."
"Okay. So I scratch your back, you scratch mine, right?"
Decebel's head cocked to the side as he drew even closer. Jen realized that she had unleashed a monster with her unabashed flirting. The question was no longer could he handle what she dished, but would she survive what he poured out on her? If she were honest with herself she would say she didn't yet know the answer to that question. But where's the fun in being honest with myself?
"I take that this saying means that you will need the same reassurance from me." Decebel placed his hands on her hips and pulled her away from the post and close to him. Jen gasped as her hands came up to his chest. Her breathing quickened and she watched his eyes follow her movement as she licked her lips.
Is he going to kiss me? Am I ready for him to kiss me? Jen laughed at that question. Has Joan Rivers had enough plastic surgery to qualify as a plastic figurine? Enough said.
"I wish the answer to that was no," she told him. "I don't like being the clingy, insecure chick."
Decebel chuckled and she felt the rumble vibrate through her hands clear to her soul.
"You are anything but clingy and insecure, Jennifer. Mysterious, confident, playful, beautiful, too sexy for your own good? Definitely. But never clingy or insecure."
"Are you trying to rack up brownie points, wolf?"
"Is it working?"