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|Out Of The Dark(Grey Wolves #4) by Quinn Loftis|
Jacque grinned. "Okay. So what were you saying?"
"I don't really know how to describe it. I think Jen is safe, but at the same time something is off. I'll have to see how Decebel is acting – that will help me know about Jen. He doesn't realize that even though he doesn't remember her, she is still connected to him. They affect one another whether they know it or not."
Jacque climbed into the shower. Sally chuckled as she heard Jacque moan, "Oh. My. Gosh. This feels heavenly. Almost so good that it could be bad, but it's so good that you don't care if it's bad. You get me?"
Sally had a smile stretched across her face and her eyes crinkled as she answered, "Yes, wolf princess, I get you. So, anyway, as I was saying, another vibe I'm getting is from a certain wolf -"
"Oh, brother. Are we getting ready to have some Jen moments?"
"Most definitely a Jen moment. He is totally not an option, completely off the menu. But he keeps smiling at me and winking at me. I mean – Come. On. How much is one girl supposed to endure?"
"Let me guess." Jacque talked over the shower spray. "Does said off-the-menu-wolf's name rhyme with lostin?"
"Lostin? Really, Jac, that's what you're going with?" Sally rolled her eyes.
"Okay, fine. Is the wolf's name -"
"Yes, yes, crap," Sally interrupted. "It's our friendly neighborhood bartender. I mean, can you imagine me introducing him to my parents? Hey mom and dad, this is Costin, he's a werewolf and a bartender. So basically he could eat me for lunch and then pour himself a nice cold beer to wash me all down."
Jacque was cracking up as she turned the shower off and pulled the curtain open. She grabbed a towel and started drying off. "Nice one.”
"I'm being serious, Jacque," Sally whined. "He is really beginning to get to me and I don't have time to nurse a broken heart."
"Sally, take a deep breath, let it out slow." Jacque waited until her friend complied while she continued to dress. She pulled on a pair of cargo pants that were just a tad too big, then pulled a dark blue turtleneck over her head. "Now, let's not stress over the little WWBT issue, okay?"
"WWBT? " Sally's brow furrowed.
"Yeah, were-wolf-bar-tender." Jacque grinned, obviously pleased with herself.
"What is with you and Jen and the acronyms? I swear y'all have a notebook full of them."
"If we do, you'll never know." Jacque winked at her brunette friend.
Sally looked Jacque up and down and then smiled. "You totally rock the whole 'I took a soot bath in a fire and now I have to wear clothes a size too big in colors that completely wash me out' style."
Jacque pulled the door to the bathroom open and ushered Sally out. "Well, thank you, Thelma. I appreciate the props."
"Anytime, Louise. That's what I'm here for – to point out when you pull off a look, or crash and burn."
"Let's get downstairs to eat, you dork," Jacque said, shaking her head at Sally and pulling her along.
When the two girls arrived downstairs they saw most of the pack had already eaten and were beginning to disperse, some heading off to help the tavern's owner clean up and others taking care of things Vasile had assigned them.
Their group all gathered around the fireplace in the large gathering room. Fane walked over to Jacque and handed her a plate of eggs and bacon. And to Sally's surprise – and partial chagrin mixed with joy – Costin handed her a plate of the same.
Both girls took seats on the sofa that the guys had vacated when they arrived.
"Nice of you ladies to join us." Vasile addressed them with a firm tone, but his eyes held amusement.
"In America, V, there is this thing called fashionably late. See, it's my job as your daughter-in-law to introduce you to all these customs." Jacque grinned at him.
Vasile chuckled. "Oh. Well then, I suppose I should thank you instead of reprimand you?"
"Now you're catching on."
All those around the room chuckled at the banter, but grew quiet as Vasile stood.
"As soon as you all are done eating you will head out in your separate directions. Alina and I as well as most of the rest of the pack will stay here. This will be headquarters, for lack of a better term. Fane, Jacque, Crina, and Sorin you will take the remaining vehicle and head back to the mansion. Once there, Sorin will get in contact with the pack historian and he should at least be able to point you in a general direction of where to begin looking." Vasile paused and seemed to gather his thoughts. Everyone waited in silence, the fire snapping and popping as the wood burned, and the wind outside blowing against the windows.
Finally he looked to Sally. "You, Cynthia, Costin, and Decebel will head out on foot."
Sally's eyes widened at his declaration.
"On foot? In the cold and snow?" she squeaked.
"I could sacrifice some body heat for you if you need," Costin teased and winked. He took great pleasure in making her blush.
"Costin." Vasile's voice was a warning although there was no real heat behind it. "Now, I have gathered all the things you will need in order to manage in this weather. You will have some help along the way, although you should not seek it out. Just let it come to you."
A groan was heard as Jacque threw herself back dramatically on the sofa. "V, you are killing me. First they get to meet the Fae, and now they get to go on some Lord of the Rings trek across the mountain? And still all I get is some old dude and crumbly paper?"
"Just remember it's all for Jen and Decebel." Sally patted her best friend's leg.
"That is your only saving grace. Otherwise I would so be inviting myself on your little adventure."
Two hours, several arguments, and lots of groaning as packs were loaded later, Jacque, Fane, Sorin, and Crina were once again in a Hummer traveling the long road down the mountain back toward the Romanian Grey Wolves' mansion. Meanwhile, Sally, Cynthia, Costin, and Decebel had begun their arduous journey on foot.
"You think we got everything?" Sally asked Cynthia as they headed into the forest of the Transylvania Alps. They were walking in a single file line with Cynthia in the lead, then Sally, Costin, and Decebel bringing up the rear.
"If we didn't the only thing we left was a toilet."