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|Out Of The Dark(Grey Wolves #4) by Quinn Loftis|
Fane could hear the hurt in her voice. He took her by the hand, and without looking back at the others, said, "We will be going through the documents." The unspoken message was everyone else was to get some rest and leave the prince and his mate be.
Fane walked briskly back down to the archives, never looking behind him as he held Jacque's hand, towing her along. When they finally reached the room they had spent the last eight days in, he turned abruptly and pressed Jacque against the wall. She let out a sharp gasp at the quick move. Her breathing increased when Fane continued to press forward, their bodies touching from toes to chest.
"Why do you question me, Luna? It's my job to take care of you." Fane's voice was low as he spoke directly into her ear. His lips grazed the sensitive flesh with each movement.
Jacque closed her eyes against the sensation.
"I'm a grown woman, Fane. I can decide when I need to sleep," she ground out through her gritted teeth, bracing herself against the desire that began to simmer as her mate placed one hand on her lower back and pulled her even closer. His other hand went to her chin, tilting her face up to his. He stared into her eyes and she watched as his began to glow brighter and brighter blue.
"Fane." His name on her lips was a plea.
He leaned down and pressed his lips to hers. She didn't respond right away and he growled low at her. Jacque responded to this by running her hands through his hair as she deepened the kiss. When Fane let go of her chin and placed his hand on her hip, under her shirt, his warmth sent a shock through her and she moaned into his mouth. Fane pulled back abruptly, his own breathing heavy.
"Let me love you, Luna," Fane whispered as he began placing gentle kisses all over her face, her neck, and collarbone. Jacque groaned and tried to shake off the lust-induced fog.
"Stop trying to distract me, it won't work," she muttered in between short breaths.
"It looks like it's working to me." Fane chuckled as she pressed against him.
His chuckle broke through her haze as she pushed him away.
"GRRR! Fane! I won't let you try to get me to go to bed by seducing me."
"Why not? You need a break and I need you. It's a win-win." Fane leaned forward, trying to kiss her again, only to meet her hand.
"Listen up, Don Juan." Jacque poked a finger in his chest, punctuating her words. "If you think you are needy now, just keep pulling this Alpha crap and seduction crap on me. We'll see just how needy we can make you."
Fane took a step back, straightening his shirt, and ran his hands through his hair. After composing himself, he smiled at her. "A compromise?" he asked sweetly.
Jacque couldn't stifle the giggle at his raised eyebrow. "Lay it on me."
"I was trying to. Geez, woman, make up your mind," Fane told her, eyes glowing.
She threw one hand up to hold him off. "I meant your idea, fur ball, not your delectable body."
Fane let out a growl. "Delectable?"
"Oh, get over yourself. What's the compromise?"
"I give you two more hours, then you come to bed with me."
Jacque shook her head as she rolled her eyes. "You will give me? Really, Fane?" She stepped around him. "Fine, two hours, then bed. To sleep," she clarified and laughed to herself when Fane growled and tugged on her hair. They fell into companionable silence as they both began to read.
An hour and a half later Jacque stood up and walked over to Fane. She didn't look up from the book in her hands as she moved toward him.
"I found it. I found her." Jacque's words were a near whisper as she looked up at Fane, finally tearing her eyes away from the name on the page.
"Desdemona." Jacque shuddered as she spoke the name aloud.
Fane brushed some wisps of hair from Jacque's face as he asked her what it said.
"It says she's the only survivor of the purge. The account is from a member of the Serbian pack in 1711. He is talking about how an unknown female came to their pack and darkness followed her." Jacque looked up at Fane. "She's been working with the Serbian pack since the 1700s?" Her voice was full of dread at the realization of how old Desdemona was, and how long the alliance between her and the Serbian pack ran.
Jacque continued to read the document, explaining out loud what she was reading.
"She started the werewolf wars. After the wars were over, she disappeared." She handed Fane the book and let him skim over it as she thought about what she had read. Desdemona, a powerful witch, probably the most powerful in history.
Fane closed the book gently and wrapped his arms around Jacque. "Good work, love. We now know who she is. There is power in having a name. I think we should call it a night. We can share with the others what we have found tomorrow. Then we can continue to search for a way to break the curse."
Jacque nodded and allowed him to guide her out of the archives and up to their room.
"So..sleep, huh?" Fane asked slyly.
Jacque rolled her eyes. "We just find out the name of the most powerful witch in history, the witch who cursed the Beta of our pack, and that's what you want to talk about?"
Fane chuckled. "Who said anything about talking?" he whispered against her neck as he pulled her toward their bed. Fane gently pushed Jacque onto her back and covered her body with his.
Jacque let out a small moan as her mate kissed her. When he pulled back and stared into her eyes, she smiled. "Talking is definitely overrated."
She closed her eyes and let her mate love her, closing out the nightmares crowding in on them.
(ten days since set out)
It was two days later when another breakthrough finally occurred.
“What could possibly break the curse on Decebel?” Jacque asked Fane as he searched through the stacks of old parchment.
"I've got it!" Crina shouted. Everyone stopped what they were doing.
"What's it say?" Fane asked from across the room.
"Love," Crina answered solemnly.
"Love?" Jacque asked incredulously. "That's the answer? That's what will make Decebel remember?"
Fane began to set aside the documents that crowded his lap. "Crina, bring that paper with you. Luna, grab the books with the references to Desdemona by name. Sorin," Fane started toward the hallway that would lead them back to the main room, "it's time to head back to the tavern. We've got a witch to hunt."