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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
Sally bit the inside of her lip as she considered the Alpha’s question. She knew what she had seen inside of Fane, knew the extent of the darkness, but she didn’t want to give up on him just yet, even if it did mean that her mate might have to take on the Prince of the Romanian Greys.
“Not right now,” she finally answered as honestly as she could. “But I think at some point he is going to need to talk to Costin.”
Vasile frowned at her while Costin continued to let out low rumbles from his chest unable to completely leash his wolf.
“Why Costin?” Vasile asked.
Sally felt her face begin to heat with the flood of embarrassment at having to discuss such intimate details with Vasile, whether false or not, especially with her mate right at her back.
“When Jacque was under Desdemona’s spell, one of the things she experienced was being intimate with another male,” Sally explained hesitantly and hoped that Vasile would not ask for details.
“What do you mean?”
She groaned inwardly. Of course he would ask. Why on earth would he make this easy for me?
“Answer him, Sally mine.” She heard Costin’s voice in her mind and the irritation and anger behind it. She didn’t think he was angry with her, not exactly anyways.
“Okay,” she began, “as a male, one of your biggest fears is not being able to save your mate from something horrible like torture or rape, right?”
Vasile nodded as he watched the healer closely.
“Other than having her taken unwillingly, in various ways, how else would you fear her being taken?” Sally’s jaw tensed as she waited for realization to hit Vasile. She saw the moment he understood as his eyes widened. “Every man, be he wolf or human, fears his woman turning to another man willingly.” Vasile’s eyes jumped back to Costin.
“Under the curse, Jacque allowed you to have her,” he said as he watched Costin’s eyes begin to glow. Costin was holding onto his temper by a thread. He couldn’t stand the idea of Sally thinking he had been with Fane’s mate, even though he hadn’t. He also didn’t like the idea of Fane thinking that Costin would ever consider looking at Jacque, even though Fane knew it wasn’t real. It hadn’t really happened. But Fane was young, and with youth came insecurities.
“Fane saw what happened through Jacque’s eyes—he saw her enjoy being with another male. That is very hard for any male. Of course Jacque was sick with disgust and despair once the curse was lifted. She wants to be touched by another male like she wants to be boiled alive in acid.” Sally was trying to be as frank as possible because she could feel her mate growing more and more furious. “For now Costin and Fane need to steer clear of one another, at least until Fane can come to terms with his emotions. If you interfere right now, he will feel like you are protecting Jacque from him. That would make him feel like you were going to take her, and we all know how well Fane handles his mate being taken from him.”
Vasile waited several heartbeats before he finally nodded.
“Alright,” he whispered softly, “you protect your wolves.”
“As is my right, Alpha,” Sally reminded him.
“Yes, yes it is. But it is my right to discipline them when needed. Do not wait to tell me until it’s too late, Sally. Do not wait until your mate is in a fight for something that never happened.”
The warning in Vasile’s voice made the hairs on the back of Costin’s neck rise and he bit back the growl that rose in his chest. He wrapped a protective arm around his mate and pulled her close to him.
“Relax, Costin. I am not threatening your mate, I am warning her. But I am threatening my son.” Vasile shook his head wearily and retreated back to his desk. “You both are dismissed. Sally, thank you,” he paused, “for speaking with him.”
Sally gave a slight bow of her head before following Costin from the room.
Vasile sat in the chair behind his desk. The aged leather wrinkled and groaned beneath his weight. His heart was heavy with the burdens their pack had so recently endured, but he knew that there were more to come. A new threat had risen, just as an old one had fallen. Now in the midst of that threat, Vasile also had to worry about his only son. He had known that Fane wasn’t coping well in the aftermath of Mona’s spell, but there had been too much going on for him to address it. Now that he considered it, he wondered if he had fallen short as an Alpha and father for not making the time.
“As usual, you take on blame that is not yours to bear.” He heard Alina’s words in his mind. He smiled to himself as he reached out to her.
“Isn’t it? I am his Alpha, his father. Is it not my place to make sure that he is well?” he asked her.
“He is a grown man and he is mated. It is her place to care for him first. Should she not be able to handle it, then it is her job to come to you. Do not add to your already heavy load my love. For even you, as strong as you may be, can be crushed.”
He chuckled out loud at her chastisement and took pleasure in knowing that she was the only one who could ever get away with it.
“How did I ever deserve to have you as my mate, Mina?” he asked her gently.
He felt her hand brush the back of his neck and her lips against his own.
“When I figure it out, I’ll let you know,” she teased.
Vasile growled at her cheekiness. “I swear I’m going to have to limit her time with those girls and that damn fae as well.”
“Were you ever going to tell me what you saw?” Costin asked Sally as they headed to the pack healer’s room. She had been working with Rachel on different herbal remedies, going through the archives of their people and relearning all that the gypsy healers once used to tend the wolves.
“I think there is some sort-of healer/wolf confidentiality that Fane is entitled to,” Sally told him with thinned lips.
“Did you really have to go see him alone? I don’t like you being with a male by yourself, especially an unpredictable one.”
Sally huffed. “Fane would never hurt me, Costin, and he’s mated. You are going to have to curb your possessive instincts in order for me to do my job.”
“No, you are going to have to learn to let me in. We are a team. It’s my job to protect the healer and I can’t protect you if you don’t let me near you.” Costin’s voice was becoming more and more gravelly with each word.