“Don’t growl at my friends, either.”
“I wasn’t growling at them, love. I was growling at the idea of another seeing your markings. The markings on the female are meant only for her mate to see, they are precious to him because it is the first thing that indicates she is his. Male Canis lupus do not like other males to see their mates' markings. It was very difficult for me tonight with yours showing, it helps that your hair covers up most of them,” he told her.
“So it’s kind of like some guy looking in her lingerie drawer and seeing all her hot little outfits, huh?” Jen stated with a grin.
“Only you would come up with that analogy. You know that, right?” Sally asked her.
“I’m just clarifying things. You know, breaking it down, making it chewable,” Jen responded.
“Jen, Sally, I love you guys but zip it, okay?” Jacquelyn asked them in exasperation.
Both girls ran their fingers across their lips as if to close a zipper and gave her the thumbs up sign. Jacquelyn nodded her thanks.
“Another way a male Canis lupus shows that he has found his mate is the ability to speak to her by thought. I cannot speak to anyone else, nor hear anyone else’s thoughts but yours. It is the same for you,” Fane continued to explain. He noticed the look Jacquelyn was giving him was less than pleased and asked her, “Does that bother you, Luna?”
“Well, there are some things I don’t want you to know,” Jacquelyn told him shyly.
“Oooh, like that time we snuck out and went skin-” Jen started but was quickly interrupted by Sally.
“JEN!” Sally hollered. “Let's get that popcorn. I think you need something to keep your mouth occupied or we are going to shove your foot in it, okay?” she finished sweetly.
“Once again my parade is saturated in the downpour of hurricane Sally,” Jen retorted.
Jacquelyn watched as her two best friends walked to the kitchen, and then she turned to Fane.
“So what’s the third way a male marks his mate?” she asked him.
Fane simply sent her the thought, I think you would be more comfortable if we talk about it privately.
Jacquelyn’s eyebrows rose in apprehension. “That bad, huh?” she asked him.
In response, Fane simply took her hand and pulled her up from the couch. He turned to Lilly and Sorin and told them, “I think the rest of this conversation needs to be between me and my mate.”
“I can understand that,” Lilly responded.
Sorin simply nodded his understanding.
Fane looked at Jacquelyn and said, “Lead the way, Luna.”
Jacque continued to hold Fane’s hand as she led him up the stairs to her bedroom. Before they reached the top of the stairs she heard her mom yell, “Jacque, leave your door open, please. Mated or not, you are still living under my rules.”
Jacque laughed, so thankful for something that made her feel like she was just a girl with a boy, hanging out. Not a Canis lupus, not a mate, just teenagers.
“You got it, mom,” Jacque hollered back.
Fane could feel her relief and it made him sad that he was causing her life to change so drastically from what she had ever known. He wanted her to be happy, he wanted her to feel safe, cared for, and loved by him.
As they entered her room, Jacque let go of Fane’s hand and stepped away, putting some distance between them. She needed space, she was beginning to feel just a tad claustrophobic.
“You can sit in that chair or the window seat,” she said, indicating both places.
Jacque suddenly felt very nervous, being in her room alone with him felt so intimate, yet she couldn’t deny that she was very relieved that whatever he had to tell her was not going to be broadcasted to everyone downstairs.
“So, what is this other thing that marks the female as a mate? I’m assuming it has to do with the blood rites?” she asked him.
“You are correct, it is about the blood rites. The reason I wanted to speak with you alone is because it is the only part of the ceremony that is private,” Fane explained.
“Whoa whoa whoa, back up. I thought you said there was no taking it lightly stuff happening in this ceremony,” Jacque said a little frantically.
“Luna, I’m going to lay this out plainly for you. There will be no lies, half-truths, or bush beating,” Fane told her firmly.
Jacque tried, she really did, but she couldn’t contain the laughter.
“Meu inimă, would you please share with me what you find so funny?” Fane asked her patiently.
“It’s called beating around the bush, oh prince of wolves, not bush beating,” she informed him, still giggling despite her efforts not to.
“Oh, well, my mistake. There will be no beating around the bush any longer. We are going to call it what it is, so if you turn a lovely shade of red I will try hard not to find it adorable.”
“Fine, spit it out already,” Jacque answered, irritated by his little sermon
She planted herself on her bed, legs Indian-style, back straight, her hands folded in her lap. She was trying desperately to not be anxious but she was quite unsuccessful. Finally, Fane began to explain the blood rites, and he was right, what he told her made her blush so badly that she felt its heat.
“What I told you is true about the bonding ceremony. We do not have to consummate or make love, whichever you prefer to call it, in order to be fully mated. We do, however, have to exchange blood.”
Jacque cringed at that. “That’s really gross. You do realize that, don’t you? I mean, surely that can’t be good for a person.”
Fane gave her an “I’m not finished” look, and she abruptly stopped talking.
“There is no eloquent way to put this, it just is what it is. I will mark you and take your blood by biting you,” Fane paused, waiting for her reaction. She did not disappoint.
“YOU ARE GOING TO WHAT ME?” Jacque yelled, completely caught off guard by his revelation. I mean, she thought to herself, when he said exchange blood I was thinking finger prick, a little embarrassment because I’d have to suck on his finger and vice versa, but biting me? That's in a whole 'nother category of embarrassment.
Fane walked over to her bed and knelt down in front of her. He placed his hands over hers and she instantly felt reassurance flow through her. She closed her eyes and let herself soak it up, embracing the comfort he was providing.