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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“Where are Fane and Jacque on this nice quiet evening?” Jen asked as she, Decebel, Sally, and Costin sat in the library. Jen’s feet were propped up in Decebel’s lap and he was absentmindedly rubbing them. Sally and Costin were on the couch across from them and Costin lay with his head in Sally’s lap while she ran her fingers through his hair. Both couples had inadvertently wound up in the library together. Now seemed like the perfect time to plan an intervention for their best friend and her wolf.
“I think they decided to go to bed early after the meeting,” Sally answered.
Jen let out a hard breath as she pulled her feet from Decebel’s lap and sat up on the couch. Her baby bump was still small enough that she could lean forward and put her elbows on her knees.
“I would love to take that statement and turn it in to some graphic sex talk that would make Sally blush, but the reality is, they probably just went to sleep.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Decebel’s deep voice rumbled from beside her.
Jen’s head turned slowly to look at her mate. The look she gave him could have burned a hole through a brick building. “Did you seriously just ask me that?”
Decebel didn’t say anything. He just sat there meeting her stare.
“When have we ever just gone to…,” she was cut off by a growl from her mate.
“Jennifer stop,” Decebel’s voice was tight with irritation.
A smile spread across Jen’s face and nothing in that smile was friendly.
“You’re right Dec I should stop. That’s a dumb question for me to ask, since the answer is every night for the past two weeks.”
Decebel stood up abruptly and his power radiated throughout the room. “Why are you always discussing the details of our sex life in front of every person we know? Have you ever thought that maybe I don’t want you to discuss it? Have you ever once considered how I might feel about it?” His voice was so deep that it vibrated in Jen’s chest.
Jen stood from the couch slowly. Though she wasn’t huge, she still was getting used to having weight protruding from her stomach and she lost her balance a lot. She swayed slightly once on her feet and when Decebel reached out to steady her, she snarled at him and slapped his hand away. “Keep your damn hands off of me. That shouldn’t be too hard for you since it seems to be what you want anyway.”
After several heartbeats she looked up at his face. She mentally prepared herself to stay calm. Just keep it together Jen, she told herself.
“You forget that I am in your mind B. I am a constant shadow and I know how you feel and what you think,” she paused and gritted her teeth to keep from crying. Damn pregnancy hormones. “That is until now. So now that I can’t see what’s going on inside of you, I have to draw my own conclusion as to what has suddenly made you act like a pissed-off four year old whose ice cream has just splattered to the ground. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I must not be doing it for you anymore.”
She took a step closer to him and reached up to poke him in the chest. “How I figure it, Decebel, is that as long as I’m raving about how amazing you are so you can puff up like a proud peacock..., wholly crap that’s a good one,” she said with a tone of regret in her voice, but then shook it off and jumped right back in to her tirade. “As long as you look like a freaking sex god, a mind blowing fantasy for women everywhere, then you don’t mind me spouting off to everyone who will listen. But as soon as you start to lag in that area, as soon as your ability is put to question, then you are suddenly uncomfortable with your hot mate discussing the now sore issue.”
The room was wrapped in silence but the residue of Jen’s words rung out loud and clear. Jen stood there waiting for her mate’s response. Waiting to see if he would contradict her, yell at her, or decide to throw her over his shoulder and prove her wrong. She was hoping for that last outcome. She might as well have been hoping for the Fates to suddenly appear and say you got punked; you can keep your kid.
“You should go to bed Jennifer. I imagine you’re tired after your fit.” His jaw was so tense that it sounded as if the words had to be pulled from his throat.
Sally’s mouth dropped open as she stared up at Decebel and then looked at Jen. She pushed on Costin to sit up and then stood, about to take a step towards her friend, but Costin’s arm snaked around her waist and pulled her back to his chest.
“Not a good idea,” he whispered in her ear. She nodded, though it frustrated her that they had to tiptoe around the males when they went into possessive, butthead mode.
Jen closed her eyes and counted to ten. That didn’t help so she tried counting to fifteen. Nope, that didn’t help either so she just gave up and gave into her fury.
“You’re right, Dec. I need to go lie down.” Her voice was deceptively sweet as she stepped around him giving him a wide berth so as not to touch him.
“I will be there shortly,” he told her gruffly.
Jen stopped and turned slightly so she could see him, but it was more for his benefit, so that he could see her. She wanted to make this very clear for him.
“I don’t know how they did things back when you were not over a hundred years old, but I know how we do things now. After the way you have just treated me, the chances of you getting near me, let alone while I’m in our bed, are about as likely as Peri putting on a tutu and pretending to be a fairy god mother. And if that doesn’t make it clear then this should. If you value any of your body parts you will stay away.”
Decebel didn’t try to stop her when she turned and walked briskly from the room. He didn’t know what to say to fix what he had royally screwed up, so he decided to let her go so she could cool off. She would be more reasonable after she had calmed down.
“Decebel what aren’t you telling her?” Sally spoke up breaking the silence that had descended once Jen left.
He looked over at the healer and he knew she saw past his walls, past the façade that he had put in place to make it appear that everything was okay.
“Some things are better left in the dark,” he told her gently.
Sally shook her head. “You know that isn’t true. We can’t see in the dark. There is nothing to light the way, so we stumble. We grope around hoping to find our way safe and sound. But there is nothing to grasp onto, and in the dark we can’t see those who could help us.” Sally stepped out of Costin’s hold and walked directly in front of Decebel. Her eyes were filled with compassion and the need to help the wolves that were in her pack. But she could tell that Decebel was beyond help. “Nothing is ever better in the dark, Alpha. Darkness is for those who have lost their way. They have traveled off the road that they should take and the darkness wraps around them, pulling them in with false promises.” she paused again maintaining eye contact, which for all others, except a select few, would be impossible. Sally took a deep breath before she continued. “Now you listen to me, Decebel, Alpha of the Serbian pack, mate to Jennifer. You are pack, and because of that, the darkness cannot have you. You belong to us, and you know better than anyone that we do not give up what is ours.”