“I came to Texas because my wolf somehow knew you were here, and that his mate, our mate, was in danger. Before you ask, I will try to explain this quickly. My wolf and I are one, but also separate. When I am not in wolf form, he is still there. I can still call on him for help and use his attributes. When I am in wolf form he uses my human attributes – I can still think and reason like a man. That is why we don’t call it changing, because that implies that when we are in our wolf forms we no longer retain any human attributes, and vice versa, which is not the case. We always coexist together. Does that make sense?” Fane asked.
“Yeah, I get that. Not that it’s easy to believe, but I understand the logistics of it,” Jacquelyn answered.
Fane let go of her hand and brushed her hair away from her face. She looks so tired, he thought to himself. He was so grateful that she hadn't thrown him out or told him he was crazy . But there is still more, so she might throw me out yet.
“I realize what you’re saying is that I’m your mate. You’ve mentioned this bond thing, and blood…what did you say?” Jacquelyn asked.
“Blood rites. Even though we are mates, we have to perform a ceremony to bond us to each other,” Fane began.
“Oh, Sally, get some popcorn now. It’s fixing to get rich,” Jen interrupted.
Jacquelyn rolled her eyes and Fane just ignored the comment. He didn’t want to be distracted, his Luna needed to know what was coming and know it had to happen very, very soon.
“Ok, back up. When you say perform a ceremony, are you talking behind closed doors type stuff?” Jacquelyn asked him, sounding embarrassed and nervous at the same time.
“If you are asking me if we must consummate our relationship to complete the bond, then the answer is no, Luna.”
He saw her take a deep breath and let it out in obvious relief.
“Put up the popcorn, Sally, things are staying stale,” Jacquelyn announced.
“Can’t you ever just drizzle on my parade or do you always have to have a full monsoon?” Jen asked her with obvious irritation.
“Is the idea really that bad to you, Luna?” Fane asked, honestly wondering.
“We are so so so NOT having this conversation right now. I may be your mate or whatever, but I've only known you three stinking days. What kind of girl do you think I am?” Jacquelyn thought back to him.
“Well in truth, love, it does please me to know that is something you do not take lightly,” Fane told her. Then, sounding a little unsure, he asked, “You haven’t taken it lightly, so to speak, with anyone else, have you?”
Jacquelyn closed her eyes and shook her head. She took a breath and Fane could tell she was trying to reign in her fiery little temper.
“If you absolutely must know, there hasn't been anyone I've wanted to take lightly…ever. And since you are being so stinking nosy, what about you? Is there a double standard in the Canis lupus world? Is it okay for a guy to take any and everyone lightly without repercussions?” Jacque threw back at him.
“Thank you. To answer your question, it is very uncommon for a male Canis lupus to take anyone but his mate lightly.” Fane grinned at the euphemism they were using to keep from having to actually say 'making love'. Jacquelyn caught that thought. “Nope, it’s called not taking it lightly, deal with it.”
Fane laughed out loud at her embarrassment, which caused everyone in the room to look at him. He couldn’t help himself, she was such a joy to his heart. He didn’t care if she never called it what it was, just so long as she would be his.
“Are you two ready to share the conversation with the rest of us, or would you like to take this to another room?” Jen asked sarcastically.
“Nope, no need to leave. We're just all one big happy family, sharing, talking, and getting all the gory details of life as a werewolf. Just another typical Wednesday night,” Jacquelyn rambled on nervously.
“Are you ready for me to continue, my Luna?” Fane asked her.
“Bring it on.”
“The blood rites ceremony is performed by the Alpha of the pack you are joining, so it will be performed by my father. In some ways it is much like a human wedding. There are usually only a few witnesses – family and close friends. We will exchange vows...” Fane took a breath because he knew what he was going to say next she would not like. “...and then we do the blood rites,” he finished vaguely. He knew she wouldn’t let him off that easy, but he thought it wouldn’t hurt to try.
“Fane, darling, what exactly are the blood rites?” Jacquelyn asked him with sweetness that he knew better than to believe.
“Understand, Jacquelyn, we are not human. There are some things that our wolf nature demands, one of those things is a blood rite. A male Canis lupus wants the world to know his mate is his. There are several ways this happens. For example, his mate takes on the markings that he has on his body. The markings on Canis lupus reveal their place in the pack. For instance, I am a dominate so my markings are on the right side of my body. They are also very elaborate and go to the front of my chest, indicating that I am an Alpha. My father explained to me that when an Alpha finds his mate he develops new markings that are visible even with clothes on, like on the neck, in order to tell all Canis lupus that he is mated. A mated Alpha is a much stronger Alpha.”
Fane paused to give her a chance to ask any questions, and then just to humor her he turned and looked at Jen, who responded with, “Oh, I’m good. Carry on, this is great stuff.”
Fane winked at her and grinned.
To his and Jen's surprise Jacquelyn reached over and slapped his arm. “Quit winking at my friends. Jen’s gonna hyperventilate and Sally’s gonna pass out. Get on with this whole blood rites thing,” she growled at him.
“You’re a violent little thing, aren’t you?” Fane teased.
She gave him a look as if to say “I’m waiting.”
So he continued. “That is one way the male's mate is marked.”
Sally raised her hand like she was in school.
Jen rolled her eyes and said, “Put your hand down, you dork, and just ask.”
“How do the markings identify her to other werewolves if no one can see them unless she wears a low shirt like Jacque did tonight?” Sally asked.
Fane growled and that earned him another slap on the arm from Jacquelyn.