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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“You don’t have to do this,” Lilly told her daughter as they walked towards the chartered jet owned by the Romanian pack.
“Life is not about things we do or do not have to do; it’s about doing what we should do, about doing the right thing. There’s no reason for you to go home by yourself, especially after everything we’ve all been through.” Jacque didn’t break stride as she walked beside Lilly. She knew that her mom would try to talk her out of going, but that wasn’t an option and she wanted her to know that.
“Thank you.” Lilly reached over and squeezed Jacque’s hand and fought back tears that had been on the verge of falling since she had arrived at the Romanian mansion. It didn’t feel right to break down in front of her daughter. She was the mom, the mature grownup, and so she pushed away the hurt and disappointment and plastered on her things are fine face.
The mates of each of the females were the only ones allowed to accompany them to the airport and so Vasile, Decebel, Fane, Costin, Sorin, and Adam each stood with their mates while Peri and Cynthia stood off a little to the side, giving the pairs some space.
Jacque had no intention of dragging out the goodbye with her mate. They had said all they needed to and if she stayed too long he would just start his assault of reasons on why she should not be going without him.
“I love you,” she told him as she stood on her tiptoes and took his face in her hands. She gave him a firm kiss on his lips and when she pulled back she saw that his eyes glowed wolf blue. She got the distinct feeling that if she did not get her butt on the plane now he just might throw her over his shoulder and run.
“Be safe,” his words were a growl, but the hand that reached out and caressed her face was as gentle as if he were handling a delicate treasure. “You are priceless to me,” he told her softly.
Jacque took another step back and met her mate’s eyes one last time before turning and hurrying towards the jet. She didn’t look back for fear that she would run back into his arms and tell him to take her home. She needed to be strong for her mom. She needed Fane to know she was capable of taking care of herself and more than anything, she needed Fane to pull himself together. Having her with him didn’t seem to help. Maybe with her out of the picture, he would be able to figure out what he needed to do to move past the anger and hurt that was consuming him.
“I can’t talk you out of this, can I?” Costin asked Sally.
She wrapped her arms around him and pressed her face to his chest. His scent wrapped around her and though she didn’t have the sense of smell that the wolves did, she still knew his scent and would know it anywhere. She never knew that the way someone smelled could stir such emotion and longing. She wished that she could bottle it and take it with her so she could have it when she needed his nearness.
“No,” she whispered softly knowing he would be able to hear her.
He let out an exhausted sigh and she hated that she was causing him such distress.
“I’ll be fine,” she told him as she pulled back and looked up at his all-too-handsome face. “I love you.”
He gave her one of his heart stopping grins, dimples and all, and she felt her pulse quicken. She wondered if that grin would still cause such a reaction in her twenty or even fifty years from now. As she stared into his hazel eyes where mischief danced, she knew it would.
“I love you too, Sally mine.” He wrapped a hand around the back of her neck and pulled her to him pressing his firm lips to her soft ones. He kissed her deeply, devouring the feel and taste of her. It was more than a kiss. It was a claiming. His heart was hers, just as her heart was his. He pushed every ounce of need, want, and love for her into that kiss and Sally felt it deep in her soul.
When he finally let her up for air, he gave her one last kiss on her forehead then gently pushed her in the direction of the plane.
“Go now before I chain you to my side.”
Sally took him at his word and turned and walked briskly to the plane, following the same path Jacque had just taken.
Jen watched as Crina said her goodbyes to Adam and Elle to Sorin. Neither of the males looked any happier than her mate did. The difference was that their tortured looks were because they didn’t want their mates to leave. Decebel’s tortured look, however, was for a reason unknown to her, which thoroughly pissed her off.
“Please try and stay out of trouble.” His voice pulled her eyes from the other two couples and she turned to face him.
“I don’t think many men like to see a pregnant chick strip, no matter how beautiful she is, so I don’t think you need to worry about that―for now.” Jen was trying her best to keep the snarkiness out of her voice. No matter how upset she was with her mate she didn’t want to leave on a bad note.
“Stripping is not your only talent when it comes to trouble, mate.” His eyes were narrowed at her but she heard the playfulness in his tone and that small thing loosened something inside her, if only for a minute.
“Don’t you just take comfort in knowing that you have a very long life to try and keep me out of trouble?” she teased back. And just like that, his guard was back up and it was like the past two hours hadn’t happened.
“Let me know when you land. I love you Jennifer.” He leaned forward and held her face in both of his hands. His eyes held hers for several heartbeats and then he pressed a firm kiss to her lips. She nearly fell forward when he released her, and had his hands not steadied her, she might have landed on her face. She glowered at him.
“I love you too, Decebel,” she said just as stiffly as he had. “Let me know when you decide to act like the mate who claimed me without reservation. Because this,” she motioned to him from head to toe, “is not working for me. I seriously liked you better when you refused to let me out of your sight. What happened to that, B? After I died, you told me you wouldn’t let me be away from you. So what happened?”
“Things change, Jennifer. Circumstances change. I love you. We’ve already been over this. I will come for you soon.” Decebel took a step back away from his mate and the look of rejection on her face ripped at his already shredded heart.
Jen made a motion to step towards her mate, but arms came around her to stop her. “Let it go for now Jen,” Cynthia’s soft voice penetrated the haze of anger and pain that had rushed over Jen when Decebel backed away from her. She nodded, met Decebel’s eyes, and then turned to walk away from him.