“English please, father, I’m trying to get in a better habit of not switching back and forth in conversation. I am good. How is mamă? How is the Pack?” Fane asked.
“Your mother is good, other than missing her pup. The Pack is good,” his father responded.
Fane asked about the Pack for two reasons. The first was that he was to be Alpha one day and his father had been teaching him for as long as he could remember that the other wolves in the Pack were like his children. He was to love them, protect them, and care for them. Sometimes that meant feeding them, other times it meant disciplining them. So as Prince and future Alpha he knew it was his duty to make sure the Pack was well.
The second reason was because there were a lot of un-mated males in the Pack, and un-mated males were restless, aggressive, and for lack of a better term, stupid. It really was true that behind every great man was an even greater woman – it stood true for wolves as well. Until a male wolf was mated, his emotions were volatile; he tended to be restless, and prone to wandering. All could lead to territorial battles and, needless to say, it could get messy. Once a male wolf bonded with his mate, all of those aggressive tendencies were balanced out by the gentle nature of his mate. It was not really known how it worked, but from what some males had said, it was like the better half of their soul was given back to them and they felt whole.
Fane had make sure his father didn’t need him home if things were getting out of hand with the Pack.
“I need to ask you some questions about the mate bond,” Fane told his father. “Does the mate have to be a Canis lupus or can she be human? What does it mean when you suddenly have more markings on you than before? What if your mate doesn’t know anything about your world and won’t accept you?” Fane was sounding a little frantic by the time he stopped talking.
“You’re seventeen, you’ve been in America for less than twenty four hours, and you think you’ve found your mate?” his father asked him.
Fane heard his mother gasp in the background and begin speaking quickly in their native tongue. “Calm down, love. Let me find out,” he heard his father tell her.
“I know how it sounds, Tată,” Fane told his father. “But I don’t know what else it could be.”
“Why don’t you start from the beginning and then we will try to figure out if this is indeed your mate,” his father suggested.
So Fane told him about how he had heard her thoughts the night he'd arrived. He told him about being able to “feel” how she felt and that her scent had nearly caused him to curl up at her feet and pant like a stupid pup. He told him that she'd spoken to his mind as well and figured out that Fane was indeed who she was hearing.
After Fane finished there was silence from the other end of the phone. For a second he thought they might have been disconnected, but then his father broke the silence.
“A mate cannot be fully human; there has to be Canis lupus blood somewhere in her line. It can be generations back, but it has to be there in order for her life to be bound to yours. You know how long we live, and when you bind her to you she will take on your longevity as long as she has Lupi in her blood.” His father paused, then continued. “As for the markings, I hadn’t discussed this with you yet because I didn’t think you would find your mate before you graduated from high school. It’s very, very rare. I was over a century old before I found your mother. The markings of a male Canis lupus only change when he finds a mate – it is a way to tell all Canis lupus you have a mate.”
“Don’t you have to do the blood rites before you can be mate bonded? I mean, the markings changed after seeing her through a window!” Fane stated incredulously.
“Aranjare (settle),” Fane’s father told him. “This is something to rejoice over, not fret. We will figure out the details later. You have a year to woo her and help her understand our world before you come back to Romania.”
Fane was breathing a little easier. It was true that there was no rush for him to bond with her. Especially since she was right across the street where he could see her and know she was safe. His wolf wasn’t totally pleased with the idea of leaving his mate un-bonded, but he would wait and watch. Wolves were very patient hunters.
Fane was brought out of his thoughts when his father asked, “Did you happen to notice any marks on her anywhere?”
“Marks on her like the marks I have?” Fane asked.
“Well, you might not have because the female Canis lupus marks are more of a private thing. I don’t mean they are anywhere that couldn’t be seen if she had on a bathing suit, I mean private as in they are for her mate. The markings will match yours like a puzzle piece, but might not be in the same location and usually cannot be seen by others if she has regular clothes on,” his father continued.
Fane felt a low growl in his throat as he realized his dislike at the idea of another male seeing Jacquelyn’s markings. Even if they were on her arm or leg, they were meant for him only.
“Fane? Fane, are you alright?” he heard his father ask him.
“I’m just a little…I don’t know what, I mean I’m seventeen, and the thought of another wolf seeing markings on a girl I barely know infuriates me. I’m not even out of high school,” Fane said with frustration and confusion.
“I know you are only seventeen, fiu (son), but you have to remember that when your wolf finds its mate he is no longer a juvenile – he becomes a full-fledged adult overnight. Your wolf expects you to step up and be ready to be the Alpha. You are meant to be because you are to protect her at all costs. Yes, you are only seventeen, but you are not a mere human, you are Canis lupus, you are Prince to your Pack, and you are Alpha,” Fane’s father told him.
Fane took some deep breaths to calm and compose himself. It wasn’t like him to get so upset over something he couldn’t change. His emotions seemed a little on edge today and he could only imagine it had everything to do with the sassy red head across the street.
“One more thing. I know that mates cannot usually go long periods without sharing their thoughts or being near one another without feeling discomfort from the separation. I haven’t had that since I discovered Jacquelyn. Why would that be?” Fane asked his father.
“You won’t begin to feel some effects of being mated until after the bond is completed through the blood rites. Until then neither one of you should have any problem being apart.”