“Who has a third nipple?” Fane perked up.
“Oh, bring up the word nipple and you’re all ears, fur ball. And you,” Jen said, pointing her finger at Jacque. “You know I don’t have a third nipple, so how can you possibly tell people that?”
“I know that, but do they? And how exactly would you disprove me, flash the school at a pep rally?” Jacque asked, sounding victorious.
Sally burst out with a loud laugh and Fane was grinning.
“Man, she so got you pinned, sista. Ha!” Sally laughed, pointing at Jen and giving Jacque a fist bump.
“Ok, fine. Whatever. Both of you get your royal arses up. Fane, your dad wants to talk to everyone down in the living room,” Jen told them both. Then she grabbed Sally by the arm and pulled her out the door, muttering as they went. “What the hell? You’re supposed to be on my side now that Jacque has to side with her fur ball all the time.”
“Hey I side with the victor, Thelma. So next time, win, and I will be in your corner,” Sally told her with a wink.
“Why do I have to be Thelma? I’m really more of a Louise personality,” Jen whined.
“Seriously, do you really want to argue about what movie characters we are going to be?” Sally asked her in amazement.
“I’m just saying,” Jen retorted, holding her hands up in surrender.
Jacque stood up and lifted her arms in the air, stretching. She looked down and saw that Fane was watching her intently.
“What are you looking at, oh prince of wolves?” Jacque asked him.
“I’m looking at my beautiful mate, and are the nicknames ever going to stop?” Fane asked her.
“Hmmm. Well, I guess I could…nope, sorry. There are just too many possibilities and I like to explore my creative side,” Jacque said in mock seriousness.
Fane stood up and wrapped his arms around her and kissed her hair. Jacque leaned into him, loving the way he felt against her and the way he smelled. She noticed the clock on her dresser said six thirty pm and her stomach tightened. They had slept the day away and every minute that went by brought them closer to the challenge. She closed her eyes and squeezed Fane tighter, wishing she could whisk them away to somewhere safe with just a thought. Geez, she thought, you would think with all this werewolf stuff there would be some way to teleport or something, but nooooo, that would be too weird. Not like werewolves are weird or anything.
“Guess we better head downstairs,” Jacque heard Fane say.
She pulled away from him and put on her best smile, nodding her head. Fane took her hand and led her out of the room, down the stairs and into the living room. Everyone was seated there already, and oddly enough they were all in the exact spots they had been that morning. The other Greys were already sitting on the floor. Jacque noticed Fane didn’t hesitate to sit down on the couch.
“What did you need to talk with us about, Tata?” Fane asked his father.
“Just some finalization of the plans for tomorrow. First, I want Jacquelyn to shower over at the Henrys' in the morning.”
Fane put his hand on Jacque’s knee before she could protest. “It’s so you won’t have my scent on you. It will provoke Lucas and his wolves much more if you smell like me,” Fane explained.
“Oh, alright then,” Jacque said out loud. Everyone looked at her. “Dang, I always do that. I look like a crazy person talking to myself.”
“I take it you explained why I am wanting her to do that?” Vasile asked Fane.
“Yes, I explained that she couldn't have my scent on her. What about clothes?” Fane asked.
“I’ve gotten that taken care of,” Lilly said. “I bought her brand new things and took them to the Henrys'.”
“Oooh, did you get her a shirt that says 'Team Fane' on it? ‘Cause that would so rock,” Jen said, grinning.
All eyes turned to Jen. Sally slapped her on the arm, Jacque just rolled her eyes, and Vasile cleared his throat which brought everyone’s attention back to him.
“Second, the challenge starts at ten pm. Fane, I want you and the rest of the Pack there at eight thirty. I want you to know your battlefield, so to speak. You need to look at the ground, check for any soft spots, holes, or sharp objects. Knowing your battlefield can give you an advantage over your opponent. I want you to check it in both forms, wolf and man, understand?” his father asked.
“As you say,” Fane responded.
“Lastly, Mina and Lilly, I need you to prepare for the bonding ceremony. I thought about waiting to bond them until we get to Romania, but after observing Fane’s reactions, and especially after the challenge, I think it would be best for all involved if it happens as soon as possible. So the evening after the challenge, Fane and Jacquelyn will be bonded,” he announced.
Jacque started having difficulty breathing as soon as she heard Vasile say for her mother and Alina to prepare for the bonding ceremony. Now she was coughing and trying to suck in air through her closing windpipe. Jen jumped up and began pounding on Jacque’s back, hollering, “Cough it up.”
“She wasn’t eating anything, you dip weed. Quit hitting her,” Sally told Jen as she jerked her arm and pulled her back down to sit.
Finally, Jacque was able to get enough air to speak. “Don’t I get a say in when the bonding thingy happens?”
Vasile looked at her like she had grown horns out of her head. “No,” was all he answered.
“NO? What do you mean no? I mean, cripes, I’m the one bonding my life to a wolf for all eternity. I’m the one getting bitten, I’m the one being hauled off to a third world country, so NO is not good enough!” Jacque was standing now and had actually stomped her foot.
“Nu-i doar stomp piciorul? (did she just stomp her foot?),” Jacque heard Dorian say, although she had no idea what the words meant.
Fane growled at him, causing the wolf to lower his head in submission. Then Fane turned to Jacque. “It’s not a real good idea to yell at an Alpha, Luna,” he said as gently as he could. He realized a little too late he should've just kept his mouth shut.
“Oh, this is fixin’ to get good,” Jen whispered to Sally, who promptly shushed her.
Before Jacque could completely blow her top, Vasile spoke. There was a push to his words that made everyone, including Jacque, shut up and listen.
“I am Alpha. I know what is best for my pack. Fane is a ticking bomb right now and I will not have him kill one opponent who is in competition for you only to face five more. If you do not want to bond with him, I will not have him risk his life tomorrow. We will just move you and your mother somewhere out of Lucas’ reach. If you do want to bond with him, then you will do it when I tell you to. I’m not asking you to jump in bed with him.” Jacque flushed at his words. All the while Fane was growling and trying not to glare at his Alpha. “I am asking you to calm the beast that is raging inside of Fane. You are his other half, Jacquelyn. Only you can complete him. Are we clear?” Vasile asked after his speech.