Fane had to step outside to calm down and his father had followed him out. At first his Alpha didn’t say anything to him, he just let him wrestle with his emotions. But then he spoke.
“Some of the intensity of your emotions is because the bond is not complete. Once it is, you will have much more control. Until then you are going to have to reign it in. Tomorrow during the challenge, if you lose control you will not be able to think clearly. The rage will fog your brain and that will slow your movements. You have to separate your emotions from your fighting. Do you understand what I’m telling you?” Vasile asked.
“Yes, but it’s easier said than done. I will try.” Fane lowered his head and in a very soft voice, told his father, “I’m afraid. Does that make me weak?”
Vasile went to his son and wrapped him in a tight hug, like he used to when Fane was a pup.
“That you are able to admit your fears shows how strong you are. Only a fool pretends not to fear difficult and frightening things. I am Alpha of the Romanian pack, the largest Canis lupus pack in the world, yet I am afraid too. All will be well, Fane. You are strong and able, you have trained all your life to fight in both of your forms. You will win, you will be bonded with Jacquelyn, and one day you will be Alpha,” he told Fane with complete confidence.
Fane took in the comfort that came from having his Alpha hug him, pouring his power over him. For wolves, touch was a major part of their comfort, and he appreciated his father’s willingness to give him such a gift.
As Vasile pulled away from Fane, they both turned toward the sound of a door opening.
“Sounds like your mother and Jacquelyn are back. Let’s go fill them in on what is planned for tomorrow,” Vasile told him.
Fane hesitated, he couldn’t believe it but he was actually nervous about seeing Jacquelyn. He knew she was upset with him and he felt ashamed that he had withheld information. Okay, more than that, very important information from her.
“Is something wrong, Fane?” his father asked.
“While Jacquelyn and mom were out, she learned about having to move to Romania,” Fane explained.
“Ahh,” Vasile said in understanding. “You did not tell her yourself, and now she is upset with you. Rightfully so, I might add. You know that there should be no secrets between mates.”
“I was trying to spare her any further stress, at least until the challenge is over. I wasn’t trying to be deceitful, but I see now I should have put more faith in her ability to handle it,” Fane admitted.
“You will learn, son. Granted, you may fail a lot in the process and even spend nights in, as the Americans say, the dog house, nonetheless you will learn,” his father told him, patting him on the back.
“Come, let’s go face the wrath of your little fire. Once she gets it out of her system she will feel better.”
Fane walked cautiously into the living room, feeling like prey, which was a really weird feeling since he was a predator. He didn’t like it at all. Jacquelyn was seated in the ugly chair, as he had heard her think of it. That told him that she didn’t want him sitting by her. He couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face. As if she felt his presence, she looked directly into his eyes and that look pierced him to his soul. She was his…and she was angry. In fact, if it were possible, he imagined steam would be coming off those red curls. Before he could go to her, Jen walked right into his line of vision. She didn’t look too happy either.
“A word, fur ball,” was all Jen said as she turned to walk into the dining room. Obviously she expected him to follow.
Once in the dining room she pinned him with a stare equal to the one Jacquelyn had already given him.
“I’m going to say this one time, and only once. It would be very wise of you to listen up. If there is anything, and I mean anything, even if it’s something like you have an extra toe or whatever, anything at all you are not telling Jacque, you had better come clean. What you did was so, so, so not cool. Do you get that? You have walked into her world and pulled the proverbial rug out from underneath her feet. She deserves to know the truth about everything. If there is some weird mating ritual, then I’m giving you fair warning, ‘cause in case you haven’t noticed, she’s a little touchy about the whole physical part of a relationship. If you don’t tell her now, you’re liable to end up as a rug in front of her fireplace. Are we clear, Cujo?” Jen asked.
“Very, very clear. I didn’t mean to hurt her,” Fane started to say.
Jen held her hand up to silence him. “Save it, flea bag. I’m not the one you have to convince. You make Jacque happy, that makes Sally and me happy.”
“Jen, are you done laying down the law with my mate yet?” they both heard Jacquelyn ask.
“I suppose I’m finished,” Jen said as she turned to go. But before she was out of the dining room, she added, “For now.”
Fane watched Jen walk out of the room, thankful that she had not lived up to her reputation of inflicting pain. When she was no longer in sight, he turned to look at Jacquelyn. She was leaning against the wall, arms folded across her chest. Her glare wasn’t quite as harsh as when she was sitting in the chair, but it was a glare nonetheless.
“Jacquelyn,” Fane started, but Jacquelyn shook her head.
“I don’t want to talk about it right now. I want to get something to eat, I want to get away from those wolves that just came into my living room, and I want to go lie in my bed and brood. So whatever you have on the tip of your tongue, just save it.”
Fane had been so engrossed in his conversation – well, his scolding – with Jen that he had not heard or smelled the other wolves come in. He growled as his eyes phased to his wolf sight.
“I understand,” Fane began. Again, Jacquelyn tried to silence him, but this time he would not submit. “No, Jacquelyn, you are going to listen to what I have to say.” Jacquelyn’s head snapped up at the tone in Fane’s voice. He tried to soften it but by the look on her face he was unsuccessful. “I understand you are mad at me, and rightfully so, but for the moment I need you to please trust me and do as I say. We are going to go in the kitchen and get something to eat and then we are going to go up to your room. If you don’t want me in the room with you that is fine, I will sit in the hall. As long as the other wolves are in the house you will be close to me,” he finished with a low growl.