Fane watched as Jacquelyn hurried back to her house. He wanted to growl at her eagerness to get away from him, but he reminded himself it was only because she was scared, not because she didn’t want to accept him as her mate. After all, she didn’t even know him, let alone know what a mate was.
Mrs. Henry called him from in the kitchen and he went to see what she wanted.
“Lilly made you a traditional Southern meal. Are you ready for lunch yet? It’s only 11:30, but I thought you might be hungry since you didn’t get a chance to have breakfast.”
“Actually, I am hungry and it all smells really good.” Fane’s wolf perked up at the smell of the chicken and his stomach growled. He hadn’t realized that he was so hungry.
“The plates are in the cabinet to the left of the stove, and the silverware is in the drawer to the right of the sink,” Mrs. Henry pointed out. “Eat all you want. Oh and she made sweet tea as well. It’s in the fridge. The glasses are in the cabinet next to the plates.”
“Thank you,” Fane said simply.
“I’m off to the grocery store; I didn’t get a chance to go yesterday. Is there anything in particular that you like?” she asked.
“I’m not picky and I like to try new things, so whatever you usually buy will be fine with me. I can give you some money as well, since you will be feeding another mouth,” Fane answered.
“There is no way I’m taking any of your money, Fane, so you can just get that notion out of your head. You are our guest, and we are more than pleased to feed you,” she said firmly but not unkindly.
“Mulţumesc, Mrs. Henry. I am most grateful,” Fane responded.
“You’re welcome. Oh, I keep meaning to tell you, no more Mrs. Henry. Call me Sara and you can call Mr. Henry Brian. Okay, well, I'll see you later. My cell phone number is on the front of the fridge, so put it in your phone in case you need me. See you later,” she said with a wave.
Fane walked over to the fridge and there on the front was a pink sticky note with both Sara and Brian’s cell phone numbers. He took his phone out of his pocket and put both numbers in his contacts.
He found himself thinking it was kind of odd that he would never need Jacquelyn’s cell phone number, because he would always have a direct line to her designated just for him, and she to him as well. He wasn’t sure if that was a little unsettling because it meant if and when Jacquelyn realized it, she had access to his thoughts…all his thoughts. There was a way to put up what you might call a wall in your mind if you needed a break from your mate, but it was difficult for mates to be cut off from each other for any length of time. Not that he knew from experience, that was just what his father had told him about the mate bond.
Even though Jacquelyn had yet to respond to him when he spoke through her thoughts, he wasn’t feeling any ill effects from her lack of reciprocation. Once again, he was going to need to talk to his father about this.
He prepared himself a plate and a glass of sweet tea (and really, it should have been called sugar with some tea in it), and decided to eat up in his room since Sara was gone and he hadn’t seen Brian this morning.
He sat at the desk right next to the window that faced Jacquelyn’s house and pulled the blinds up so he could look out. Taking a bite of chicken, he thought about her for the millionth time since he'd set eyes on her. He thought about her unruly hair, her green eyes, her – what he now knew to be soft – skin dusted with freckles, and most of all her scent. Cotton candy and fresh snow, what an odd thing to smell like, but he supposed it had something to do with who she was, sweet and pure – and he had a feeling she could be as cold as the Romanian snow if the situation called for it.
Fane continued to eat his lunch, his wolf thoroughly enjoying the protein even though it was cooked. He of course preferred it raw and enjoyed it even more after a hunt. Still, it was excellent.
He took his plate back downstairs and washed out his glass, refilling it with water this time. With no sign of Brian, he headed back up to his room. He wanted to see Jacquelyn, and if he couldn’t, he would settle for talking to her.
Once in his room, he shut the door and lay down on his bed, hands behind his head, eyes focused on nothing in particular, and reached out to her.
“Have I scared you, my Luna? I promise that has not been my intention.”
He found it interesting that he didn’t really even know how it worked, he simply would just think of her and he was instantly able to “speak” to her.
Fane realized it had been several minutes and she had not responded. She was either asleep or ignoring him. He was just about to speak again when she answered.
Cautiously she asked, “Who are you? Are you real, or am I just imagining you?”
Fane frowned slightly. He didn’t like the way his mate sounded – strained and a little desperate. He hated that she had to go through this, that she knew nothing of his world. He was going to have to explain it somehow without her thinking he was some nebun stalker.
“I am very real,” he answered. “And you know who I am. Your human mind just does not want to accept it.”
Fane was going to push her gently in the direction she needed to go and let her come up with the conclusion. If he told her he was the voice in her head, if he didn’t let her decide for herself, then she might not be able to believe it.
He listened as she wrestled with what he told her. Her mind was so interesting and comical at times.
“What on earth did it mean by “human mind”? Was the voice implying that it was not human? Oh, wouldn’t that be the icing on the cake. I'm no just hearing a voice, nope, that would still be in the realm of crazy. I passed crazy a few exits back. No, I'm now entering crackpot ville.”
Fane couldn’t help himself when he let out a small laugh. Where did she come up with phrases like “crackpot ville”? He just had to ask. He wanted to know her, to understand her. He found himself using a term of endearment – “my heart” – without even thinking. It just came naturally, even though he never considered himself to be the type for pet names.
“Meu inimă, you are not crazy. And where do you get your odd way of speaking? Crackpot ville? What does that mean exactly?” Fane asked her.
Without realizing it, in using his native language he had not just given her a little push in the right direction, he'd pretty much shoved her off a cliff. So much for subtle. It never was his strong suit anyway, according to his mother.