Jacquelyn took in a sharp breath when she finally noticed that his eyes had phased. She walked over to him and took his hand and place it against her cheek. She closed her eyes, pressing her face against the palm of his hand, and whispered, “Yours.”
Fane leaned down and blew warm air on her neck, putting his scent on her. Then he kissed her lips softly. “I love you,” he told her gently.
“I know,” Jacquelyn said in reply.
Fane pulled his hand away from her face and took her hand. He led her into the kitchen, deftly made two sandwiches, and grabbed a bag of chips and two bottles of water from the fridge. Then, turning to Jacquelyn, he told her, “I want you to walk in front of me, please.”
Jacquelyn acquiesced to his wishes without argument. They walked through the living room, and as they did she could feel the eyes of the other wolves on her. Fane snarled at them and Jacquelyn saw them all drop their gazes to the floor. Fane was holding it together by a thread. Je really needed to bond with his mate or he was likely going to wind up killing one of these wolves.
Once in Jacquelyn’s bedroom he eased up a little. Knowing she was safe and with him helped calm him and his wolf. They both sat down in the floor and Fane spread their make-shift picnic in front of them.
“Do you want me to sit out in the hall?” he asked her.
“No, you dork. I’m not going to make you sit in the hall, even though I’m very not pleased with you,” Jacquelyn told him. “I don’t want to talk about that right now. Tell me about these other wolves. Why did you go all postal on Boian when he got in my face, even though he wasn’t doing anything?
Fane took slow breaths, calming himself. Jacquelyn didn’t realize how valuable she was to a Grey male. He had to help her understand, but in order to do that he had to stay calm.
“You are a female.”
“Spot on there, wolf-man. Any more bright revelations to share?” Jacquelyn interrupted.
“You didn’t let me finish, Luna.”
“Oh, my bad. Please do continue,” Jacquelyn said.
“You are a half Canis lupus female, able to mate with a male. The female ratio to male werewolves is somewhere around thirty to one. To put it simply, you’re in very high demand. Now, yes, you have found your mate, but the catch is you are not bonded to your mate. No blood rites have been performed, no mating has taken place, and to unmated males, that makes you fair game. So naturally, around other unmated males I’m just a little territorial when it comes to you. I can never show weakness to another dominant wolf. For them to see weakness in me means I’m vulnerable, and vulnerability to a wolf means easy prey,” Fane explained.
“Is that why you would not sit down until they did?” Jacquelyn asked.
“That’s correct. A more dominant wolf’s head is never lower than the less dominants. As for why I took Boian to the floor, he was closer to you than he should have been and he scared you. For those reasons he needed to be disciplined. He now knows not to go near you or I will kill him,” Fane said matter of factly.
“Isn’t that a little over the top?” she asked him.
“Not when it comes to Canis lupus. Unmated males can be volatile and unpredictable. Giving them boundaries helps them keep their wolf in check. That's the other reason is a mated female is not to be touched by another male unless her mate says it is okay – it's just another way to prevent fights. I know it doesn’t make sense to you and seems archaic, but there is an animal that lives inside us and that animal has to be kept under control. The human part of me is what kept me from tearing Boian to shreds. The wolf would not have shown mercy, which is what sets us apart from full-blooded wolves,” he answered.
Jacquelyn didn’t say anything, she just took bites of her sandwich and chewed slowly, obviously in thought. Fane ate his sandwich as well and let her think about what he had told her. He knew it was a lot to take in, but he also knew that she had a right to know everything.
“So did I freak you out?” he asked her.
“Fane, sweetie, I’m way past freaked out, but I’m dealing.”
Fane finished his sandwich and stretched out on her bedroom floor, arms behind his head. He let out a big yawn and closed his eyes.
“I’m gonna take a nap, if you don’t mind. Could you please stay up here until the other Greys leave?” he asked her, trying very hard to not sound like he was ordering her around. See, he thought. I’m learning.
“Since you asked, and not demanded, I will stay. I’m actually kind of tired, too.”
Jacquelyn stood up and stretched, then kicked off her shoes and climbed up onto her bed. She laughed when Fane turned and propped himself up on an elbow, looking at her questioningly.
“You’re just gonna let me sleep on the floor, Luna?” he asked her incredulously.
“Well, you are a wolf. I don’t think it’s a good idea to start the habit of you sleeping in the bed, you know, with all the shedding and whatnot,” Jacquelyn teased.
Fane stood up, unfolding his tall form, and stalked forward, eyes squinted, looking every bit the predator. Jacquelyn squealed and started to get off the bed, but before she could, Fane wrapped his arm around her and pulled her back down. They were both laughing and breathless when Fane looked down into Jacquelyn’s eyes. He kissed her on the forehead and settled in next to her, pulling her close against him. Once again, he started humming his favorite Willie Nelson song until they both drifted off to sleep.
“Should we wake them up?” Sally asked Jen.
“Yeah, but first we should draw on their faces. We could put paw prints on Jacque’s face and claw marks on Fane’s,” Jen said, laughing. “Get it? Paws. Ya know, ‘cause he’s a wolf.”
Sally was looking at her like she had grown an ear on her forehead.
“Oh, never mind,” Jen said, batting her hand at Sally.
“You are one disturbed little girl. You know that, right?” Sally asked.
Jen gave Sally a “go to hell” look and said, “Just wake them up already. Fane’s dad said he needed to talk to all of us and I’m guessing that means the prince and princess here.”
“There’s no need to wake us up, you dip. Nobody could possibly sleep with Thelma and Louise standing over them gabbing. And if you had drawn anything on our faces, I would've personally make sure the entire school knew you had a third nipple,” Jacque told her crankily.