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|Out Of The Dark(Grey Wolves #4) by Quinn Loftis|
Jen winked at him as she stood up, pulling from his embrace. "I'm just trying to help you get ready to drop the bomb on Costin."
Decebel snorted. "I think I'm perfectly capable of talking with a pack mate without you telling me to grow a pair."
Jen's jaw dropped. "Why do you get to say it? It takes all the umph from it when you say it," she pouted.
Decebel stood up as he laughed and pulled her into his arms. "Ahh, my sweet, sweet love. What am I going to do about that mouth of yours?"
"Did you seriously just ask me that, B?" Jen pulled back and smiled at him wickedly.
"I did just walk right into that one, didn't I?" he asked sheepishly.
"Yes, my love, that one was all you." She took him by the hand and pulled him toward the door. "Come on, let's go let the lovebirds know that, unbeknownst to them, they are indeed lovebirds, or wolves, or whatever."
"Sally, my dear, we need to talk," Jacque announced dramatically as she entered Sally's room without knocking, Jen right on her heels, and Peri behind her.
"Yes, Jacque, you may come in. Thank you for knocking," Sally said sarcastically.
"Man, this whole gypsy healer thing has given you some back bone, Sal. I'm digging it." Jen winked at her and laid down on the bed next to where she sat.
"So what's this big news?" Sally asked, looking each of her friends pointedly, then ending up looking at Peri, who she figured had the information.
"Brace yourself, Thelma," Jen muttered.
Peri stepped forward. "There is something about healers that we haven't told you yet. I didn't think you needed to know until you were 18, since it really wouldn't affect you until then."
Sally watched Peri closely but didn't interrupt.
"Sally, healers are mates to Canis lupis."
Sally's mouth dropped open. Her eyes widened in shock. After several moments of opening and closing her mouth, she finally found her voice.
"You mean they can?"
"No, I mean they do," Peri said firmly. "A gypsy healer is always a true mate to a Canis lupis. The bond doesn't present itself until the healer turns 18 and is around said Canis lupis."
"So you're saying I will be someone's true mate?"
"Come now, Sally dear, don't be obtuse. We know there has been a certain fur ball sniffing around you." Jacque smacked Jen's arm at her lack of tact.
Jen snarled. "I'm just telling it like it is."
Sally stood up abruptly. "You think Costin is my mate?" She couldn't believe the words were coming out of her mouth and she couldn't believe the relief that seeped into her bones at the possibility.
"Sally, he hasn't been able to take his eyes off you the past month. He is constantly with you. Seriously, how could you not notice his interest?"
"It's not that I didn't notice, I just thought with everything going on that emotions were high and whatnot."
"Yeah, well, it's the whatnot that we're going with here," Jen said with a nod.
"Costin doesn't know this information, or didn't know. Decebel and Vasile are speaking with him now."
Sally's head snapped around at Peri's words. "They're telling him now?" her voice rose as she began to process the information. Costin was being told that Sally was possibly his mate. What if he was horrified at the idea? What if he really didn't think of her that way and he had just been being nice the past month because her friends had been going through such horrible things? Sally lowered her head and covered her face with her hands. She didn't think her heart could handle Costin's rejection. She wasn't strong and resilient like Jen or Jacque. She was already falling for Costin and, as she'd predicted, he had the ability to tear her heart out. The thought of him doing it was actually more painful than the threat she'd received from the witch.
As Sally stood there with her hands in her face – thoughts, worries, fears running through her mind – she nearly jumped out of her skin when, once again, her door flew open.
"I need to speak with Sally." Sally's heart plummeted into her stomach at the sound of his voice. Costin's words were firm, and not a request.
Sally turned to look at him – the intensity in his eyes had her taking a step back.
"Don't," he told her as he stepped toward her.
Jen, Jacque, and Peri began to make their way to the door. Jen stopped next to Costin and looked him in the eye. "Hurt her and there is nowhere you will be able to go that I won't find you, and when I do I will do unspeakable things. Got me?" She raised her eyebrows in challenge.
Costin's eyes widened. He looked from Jen to Sally and then Jacque.
Jacque wrapped an arm around Jen's shoulders, tugging her along as she smiled at Costin, "We know she's disturbed, Costin. Believe me, we've tried to get her help. But I will help her do those unspeakable things if you hurt our girl."
Costin nodded once, acknowledging their words. When the door closed he looked back to Sally and stepped closer. Sally didn't move. Costin raised a hand and cupped her face gently. Their bodies were now only inches apart.
"Sally mine," his voice was a whispered caress across her face, "I think maybe we have a few small things to talk about."
Sally let out a very unladylike snort, "I think that's an understatement. A 'few small things'? Really?"
Costin's lips twitched at the exasperation in her voice. "Yeah, just a couple small details. Ring size, do you prefer boxers, briefs, boxer briefs. You know, minor details."
Sally jaw dropped open at Costin's words, which only made the wolf in front of her stretch a wide grin across his face.
"I already told you, Sally. You are mine. Once you get that major detail into that sharp mind of yours, the rest will be child's play."
Sally didn't know what to say. She stood there, looking into the most beautiful hazel eyes she had ever seen, and wanted to pinch herself to make sure she was awake. She was his. That's what he had said –she was his. Sally's head cocked to the side as she considered that thought. Her eyes narrowed as she continued to look at Costin's too-beautiful face.
"If I'm yours," she paused and licked her lips nervously, "that means -"
Costin wrapped an arm around her wais,t pulling a gasp from her as he wrapped the hand that had been cupping her face around the nape of her neck possessively. He pressed his forehead to hers and smiled when her breaths quickened.