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|Just One Drop(Grey Wolves #3) by Quinn Loftis|
Jen glanced at the clock on her phone and took a deep breath. Decebel would be here any minute, or at least he should be. Unfortunately there was that tiny voice – that most of the time she was able to tell, “bite me” – trying to tell her that he'd probably changed his mind. He'd probably lain in bed last night cursing himself for reacting in the heat of the moment and making a commitment that was beyond what he wanted.
He wouldn't do that, she told the voice.
Are you positive? it responded.
Jen shook her head. What the – I'm arguing with my subconscious. Stop, Jennifer. Just stop. She took a couple deep breaths and felt a little more grounded. "Okay, I got this. No problem," she said to the empty room…then nearly jumped out of her skin when there was a knock at the door. "Yeah, you are all over it, Wonder Woman," she muttered sarcastically as she went to open the door.
She held her breath as she pulled it open. No matter how she tried to prepare herself, she was always affected by his presence – the sheer size of him, the level of intensity always in his amber eyes when he looked at her. Okay, so “affected” was putting it mildly.
They both stood there looking at each other. Jen got the distinct feeling that he too had expected her to bail. Decebel was going to learn that Jen didn't bail. Once she was in, she was in for the long haul.
"Can I come in?" Decebel finally asked, breaking the intense moment.
"Oh, yeah. Sorry," Jen fumbled. And then, as he walked into her room she realized it.
"You knocked," she said. The words almost sounded like an accusation instead of an observation.
Decebel turned to look at her, a small grin on his ruggedly handsome face, "Are you disappointed?"
"Yes. No. I mean, it just caught me off guard," she finally admitted. Although she had given Decebel a hard time about the knocking, she found now that she'd felt special. Yes, you heard right, she thought. Ridiculous as it sounded, him barging in made her feel like he just couldn’t wait to see her, or check on her. The urgency in him every time he just waltzed in uninvited was a rush of adrenaline to her. She hoped he couldn't see through the poker face she had perfected – not.
"I don't like knocking," Decebel told her, sounding like the dominant he was. "I shouldn't have to knock on your door."
Jen felt a smile threatening to morph her face. "You shouldn't have to?" It didn't go unnoticed by her that he'd just given her a way to maintain her pride but still get what she wanted. Smart wolf. "If that's how you feel, then why did you?" she challenged.
"I thought I would try it out, see if I liked the fit." He cocked an eyebrow at her.
"You were test driving the knocking concept." Jen kept a straight face as she spoke. She felt very proud of herself for that.
"That's a good way to put it," he agreed. "I'm returning it to the dealership. I wasn't impressed with the outcome."
Jen laughed. "The outcome? So you didn't like how I answered the door?"
Decebel chuckled with her. "I prefer the annoyed look you give me when I come in uninvited."
"Well, I suppose on your next entrance you will get full compensation for having wasted your time on an unsuccessful test drive. I will be sure to be doubly annoyed."
Decebel grinned at her playfulness. It was that grin that made Jen realize that only with her did he ever look like that. Only with her did he let down the hard outer exterior.
"You're the only one who makes me feel like this," Decebel told her, having once again guessed correctly at the direction of her thoughts.
"Tell me again why we need to have that mental connection thing, because you already know what I'm thinking most of the time."
"Your face is very expressive. I would never choose you as a poker partner." Decebel laughed at the glare she sent his way. But his wolf was pacing inside, tired of the bantering, ready to move onto the scent marking. His eyes must have started to glow because she swallowed hard.
"I'm sure your partners in crime will be arriving any minute. Come here, Jennifer," Decebel's voice was a growl. He was trying to tone down the possessive gleam in his eyes, but judging how she looked like she was ready to bolt, he was unsuccessful.
"I would never hurt you," he tried to reassure her.
Jen mentally slapped herself at her reaction to Decebel's possessive demeanor. It's Decebel, dimwit, she admonished. He would die before he hurt you. Sufficiently scolded, she pulled her shoulders back confidently and walked over to stand in front of him.
Jen knew this was probably the only time he would touch her today, and she was going to savor it and burn it into her memory. Once they were out of her room, under the scrutiny of the Alphas, they wouldn't be able to show serious interest in one another. It was bad enough that they'd already brought attention to themselves to the extent at which they had in less than twenty four hours. You would never be able to accuse Jen or Decebel of being subtle – it definitely wasn't either one's middle name.
He gently wrapped his large hand around the nape of Jennifer's neck. He watched in fascination as her eyes fluttered closed, as if she relished the feel of his skin on hers. He pulled her close. Her arms wrapped around him and she laid her head on his chest as if she had done it a thousand times. Decebel growled deeply, his wolf was basking in his mate's touch.
Mate, Decebel thought. Every fiber in him said she was, and yet a small part of him still worried that the lack of mating signs was confirmation that she did not belong to him. He felt a howl of rage welling up in his throat at the thought of her being another's. He had to get a leash on his wolf.
He laid his cheek against the top of her head and blew gently into her hair. Jennifer shuddered in his arms, making him pull her tighter. After standing that way for what felt like seconds, although he knew it was longer, he pulled back enough to lean down and placed his nose on her neck, the sensitive place where it met her shoulder. He took a deep breath and again blew out gently. This time Jennifer's knee's nearly buckled and had his arms not been around her, she probably would've fallen to the floor.
Decebel smiled to himself as he continued to breathe close to her neck. It was taking every ounce of control left in him to keep from biting her, even just nipping her. Showing her where she would wear his mark. He kissed her neck gently and when he heard a breathy moan come from her, he quickly stepped away. He kept his hands on her arms until he knew she was steady on her feet.