Though the Serbian pack has been brought to heel thanks to the downfall of their Alpha, the war is far from over. Desdemona, a witch of unfathomable power, has escaped the wolves’ wrath, but she will not go quietly into the night. She takes refuge in a place where even the smallest sliver of light does not dare to enter. Though she had to flee, she has not given up on the treasure she wishes to acquire. Her depravity knows no bounds; she’s even willing to search for the one who can assist her in opening a Veil that has not been opened in millennia – with good reason: the danger is incalculable. Meanwhile, there are major changes rippling through the Romanian Grey wolves. Decebel has become Alpha to the Serbian pack in an effort to begin to unite the Canis lupis species. Their numbers are dwindling in the wake of the shortage of true mates and lack of offspring. The wolves are beginning to lose faith and darkness seems to be crashing in on them from all sides. But the winds of change are blowing, changes that will alter the future of not only the Canis lupis, but of another ancient race as well. Amidst all of this, Sally is continuing to come to terms with her relationship with the playful, charming, flirty, unbelievably handsome bartender – who happens to be a member of the Romanian pack. If all that weren’t enough, the Fates have decided to pay a little visit to Jen. It’s time to collect. She cheated the Fates of a life, her life. Now they want what they are due. The problem? It’s more than Jen is willing to pay. Yes, the war is indeed far from over. Bargains will be struck, declarations will be made, sacrifices will be given, love will be tested, and trust will be questioned as evil makes its stand against them all.
Prologue “No one ever thinks of the consequences of promising to name your firstborn child after your best friend. If your best friend is Jen, however, you should think of any and all possible consequences which are, more often than not, created simply by her presence.” ~ Sally Jacque just happened to be walking by the door when she heard one of her best friends yell, “Bloody hell!” She backpedaled to Sally’s door and, without knocking, turned the knob and quickly pushed it open. “Sally, sweetie, you okay?” she called tentatively into the room. “I’m over here, Jacque, and okay is taking a vacation at the moment.” Jacque followed the sound of Sally’s voice into the attached bathroom. She found her friend standing in her bra and shorts with her back to the mirror, holding a handheld mirror in one hand so that she could see her reflection from behind. Jacque’s mouth dropped open at the sight. “Yeah, that was my first reaction too.” Sally nodded at Jacque’s dropped jaw. “But then I moved quickly into the next possible reaction of, ‘what the hell is on my back?'” “Your markings,” Jacque whispered. “So he really is your mate.” “That, or some random wolf is walking around out there with new markings that he wasn’t expecting. If you hear a loud, deep voice reacting in kind, then we will know.” Sally’s voice was shaky, but she was beginning to regain her bearings. “Peri said that when you turned 18 the mate signs would show up.” Jacque motioned with a head bob to Sally’s back. “Guess the old Fae knew what she was talking about. Today is your birthday.” “I don’t hear anything in my mind.” Sally closed her eyes and scrunched up her face. Jacque laughed. “You won’t have to make funny faces in order to hear your mate, Sal, although you probably will until you get used to hearing a disembodied voice in your head. In which case Jen will be sure to ask you if you’re constipated.” “Who’s constipated?” They heard Jen’s voice coming from Sally’s room. “You know, they make stuff to help unclog the pipes down there.” Jen came into the bathroom doorway and grinned at her two best friends. “So, you guys started the party without me, I see. Sally’s already started stripping.” “Yeah, Jen, we didn’t want to invited you so we decided to have Sally’s birthday party in her bathroom because, ya know, that is all kinds of cool,” Jacque rolled her eyes at Jen. “Mother of pearl,” Jen murmured as she saw Sally’s back. “Well, welcome to the mated family, Sal. I will tell you now that the sex is fantastic. Just in case you were wondering.” “Gee, Jen, that’s exactly what was crossing my mind right about now, as I realize that my life has just changed for, I don’t know, EVER!” Sally yelled. Jen calmly replied, “Now, have you gotten the shrieking out of your system or do you need to hang your head out the window and let it rip?” Jacque silently watched Sally’s thoughts pass across her sweet, gentle face. “No, I don’t think I need a hanging out the window moment right now. However, I reserve the right to have that moment when it is deemed appropriate.” Sally was taking slow, deep breaths as she spoke. She had a hand pressed to her heart as if that could keep it from beating out of her chest. “Your request is duly noted,” Jen said with a curt nod. Jen jumped up on the bathroom counter and began to swing her legs. She felt warmth flow over her as her mate spoke through their bond. “How is she?” Decebel’s voice was deep, and yet very gentle. “Actually, not doing too bad. She didn’t have a break down, and oddly enough she wasn’t interested in hearing about married sex life with a werewolf.” “Imagine that, baby, someone not obsessed with the physical relationship between mates. Someone who doesn’t feel the need to discuss them with others and who would, more than likely, listen to her mate when he asks her to keep her trap shut.” Jen let out a low growl. “You are getting entirely too comfortable with the concept of sarcasm, my dear mate.” “Can I help it if I have had the best teacher known to man?” Decebel’s voice was tinged with humor and Jen swore she could feel him swat her butt. “That’s enough, B. I’ve got a party to get ready for.” “You do understand that that nickname no longer applies? I’m an Alpha, not a Beta.” Jen snorted out loud. “Oh, my sweet fur ball, I wasn’t using the letter ‘B’ to refer to your former Beta status. Nope.” She grinned to herself. “The B now has a whole different meaning. You’re a smart cookie; you’ll figure it out.” She sent him an image of her winking at him and blowing him a kiss. “See you later, alligator.” “Behave.” Decebel’s voice took on a deep timbre. “And, Jennifer, you will keep your clothes on at this party.” “Why, my dear hubby, whatever do you mean? A well-bred southern girl like me would never participate in such public spectacles.” Jen laid on the thick southern accent in her thoughts as she teased him. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” “I feel the need to tell you that Decebel has informed me that I must keep my clothes on tonight at the party,” Jen told her friends as she examined her nails, looking for all the world like she had no plans to oblige him. Sally’s head snapped to look at Jen. “Actually, that’s not a half bad idea.” Jen’s jaw dropped. “You want me to strip at your eighteenth birthday party? You do realize that a stripper is typically used at a bachelorette party, not a birthday party? If a stripper is used for a birthday party, it’s really only appropriate for the big two-one. And even then it has to be at the beginning of the party because shortly after it starts everyone is smashed enough to think that they have the body to be a stripper as well. That’s when things get ugly – literally.” Sally and Jacque stared open-mouthed at Jen. Before they could talk she quickly added, “Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, I am very much a female. I would think that if you must have a stripper at your party then surely you would want someone, oh, I don’t know, who maybe has the absence of breasts. Unless, of course, you are into man boobs. But I think you would find it hard to find a male stripper who is endowed with said boobs. Especially if you were wanting someone with my -” Sally interrupted Jen’s commentary with a loud shout. “SHUT IT, JENNIFER!” Jen’s mouth snapped closed as her eyes widened, staring at Sally in surprise. “Wow, kitty has grown some claws,” she muttered. “The point is not for me to enjoy the show, Jen,” Sally snapped. “The point is, if you strip, you would keep the attention off me.” “It’s your party, you goober smooch. The attention is supposed to be on you.” Jacque snorted out a laugh. “Did you just call her -” Jen interrupted her redheaded friend. “Yes, a goober smooch. It is completely warranted at this point in the conversation. Also, I don’t think you two understand the wrath that I would endure from the Alpha of the Serbian pack for even taking off my shoes and wiggling my cute little toes at everyone.” This time Sally and Jacque laughed together. “Man, that would totally be a Mastercard moment – priceless.” “Who said your toes were cute?” Sally added. “Don’t be brash, Sally.” Jen rolled her eyes. “You just asked me, me of all people to take my clothes off in front of at least 50 people, maybe more.” “Jen, you played strip poker with the enemy. You flashed your not-quite mate in front of the other males of our pack, you -” Jen snapped her fingers together in front of Sally’s mouth with a, “Shh!” “That was the old Jen. This is the newly improved, mated Jen,” she said, the look on her face daring them to contradict her – and, of course they did. “Do you really want me to get into the fact that I saw you running to your room in the middle of the night just a few days ago…in your underwear?” Jen clapped her hands together, laughing. “Oh, man, you guys should have seen his face. I thought he was going to kill me.” This time, Sally and Jacque crossed their arms across their chests, giving their own smirks back. “Okay, okay. So maybe I still have a tendency to run about in less than acceptable attire. Still, this is a major, seriously owe me, like, name your first child after me request.” “That’s okay,” Sally said enthusiastically. “The chances of me getting pregnant are slim to none, so I can go with that. And of course, if it’s a boy, I won’t have to name him after you.” Jen clucked her tongue at Sally. “Oh, you naïve, sweet thing. You think a little thing like the sex of your child will get you out of naming him after me if I do this for you?” She shook her head as she took slow steps toward the brown-eyed healer. “Oh, no, gypsy woman. You will name him after me. I don’t care if it’s JenBo, JenBob, or JenJakifer; I don’t care if it’s as blatant as YesIAmABoyNamedJennifer. But know this: I will sign my freedom away by simply suggesting that I’m going to undress. I will have to watch my oh-so-possessive mate stare daggers at me while I dance on a table. Then I will have to tuck my furry little tail and run for my life from said possessive mate. For all this, you will owe me.” Jacque let out a low whistle. “Man, Decebel must be tying her up whenever she steps out of line. She’s usually jumping at the opportunity to get freaky in a crowd – the bigger, the better.” Sally was looking at Jen with her mouth dropped open, but nodded, acknowledging Jacque’s words. Jen stepped back and clapped her hands together with a grin. “So, now that that’s settled, when does this hoedown get started?”
Chapter 1 “In the event of some sort of gathering, if one of the bossy, overbearing, possessive fur balls has not flipped his switch and attacked some poor young pup in some misguided attempt to protect his woman’s virtue, then the night is not over.” – Jen Costin paced his room like a caged tiger after having stood in front of the mirror for an hour, staring at the markings that now encompassed more than just his right shoulder and right shoulder blade. The markings had moved up the right side of his neck to behind his ear and down his right arm. There was one swirl that came just an inch over his right shoulder, close to his collarbone. He was more surprised by that than anything. It meant that he had the potential to be an Alpha. The right-sided markings revealed his dominant status, but only Alphas had markings on the front of their bodies. His natural inclination after seeing them was to head straight for Sally’s room and demand she bond with him – now. But, surprisingly, his wolf had stopped him and reminded him that she wasn’t a wolf, she was human, and wouldn’t totally understand the need for him to claim her. So after pausing to think about it, he realized that after all these months of seeing Sally and her friends interact, she would need them as she discovered that they were indeed mates and with the physical evidence to prove it. Of course, that made Costin want to jump up and down like a teenage boy who had just landed a date with the girl of his dreams – which, to some degree, was exactly what had happened. Only this date was going to last a lifetime. He had no problem with that, but he had known his whole life that he would be mated to someone the Great Luna had made just for him. Sally wasn’t from his world, despite having lived in it for nearly six months. Humans chose their mates; Canis lupis had one perfect mate out there that carried the other half of their soul. With those thoughts running through his mind, he decided to give her some time.Well, until her party started. Then she had to face him. A wicked grin spread across Costin’s face as he pulled a deep green dress shirt over his head and buttoned it up, leaving it untucked. He rolled the sleeves halfway up his forearms. Then he slipped on a faded pair of well-worn, loose jeans and grabbed his brown steel toe boots. He looked in the mirror one last time and ran his fingers through his dark, messy hair. Shrugging, he thought that for a bartender he looked pretty good. Good enough. Finally, whistling a random tune, he headed out of his room – dimpled grin and all – to hunt down his mate. Sally tensed at the sound of the knock on her door. She had tried to leave her room with her two best friends, but they’d insisted she wait for Costin. Her response was, “What if he doesn’t come and get me? How dumb would I look?” Jen and Jacque’s responses were identical, with a snort, rolled eyes, and a, “Yeah, good luck with thinking that your mate won’t always come find you.” She walked over to the door and smoothed the simple black dress she wore. It was knee-length, and flared out from the empire waist; just below the bottom hemline was one inch of black lace – a small black bow was tied at her left hip. It was the dress that she had planned to wear to her senior prom. It had a small V back that ended just between her shoulder blades. If her hair was down, it covered the markings on her back, which Jen and Jacque had been adamant about. Covering them in public was important, but it was actually good that the dress showed a little of the marks. Sally had asked why and Jacque had explained how important the markings were to the males and that Costin would want to look at them. Sally knew that she was safe with Costin, but she had never really had a boyfriend. She didn’t figure that Steven Mathews attempting to kiss her by shoving his tongue in her mouth after school in the seventh grade counted. Everything with the whole true mate stuff seemed so intimate in comparison with anything she knew about relationships. Another knock brought her out of her thoughts. Apprehensively, she grasped the door knob and pulled it open. Costin’s contagious, dimpled smile was positively breathtaking on his handsome face. She took in his appearance and liked how he hadn’t changed who he was for her party. He didn’t try to look fancy or be something he wasn’t; his untucked dress shirt and jeans fit him perfectly and a little voice inside her whispered that he was freaking hot. She called that voice her “inner Jen.” Jacque and Jen did not know about her inner Jen—it was her little secret when she needed a boost of confidence. Sally smiled back and stepped aside to let him into the room. “You look beautiful,” Costin told her as he stepped close. Sally noted, not for the first time, that he had no sense of personal space boundaries—at least not when it came to her. “Thank you.” She felt the blush creep up her neck. “You look handsome.” He winked at her. “Pretty spiffy for a bartender in Romania.” Sally let out a small laugh. “I prefer it to a suit.” “Excellent.” Costin smiled. He began to circle her slowly and his smile turned intense and there was a wicked gleam in his hazel eyes. Sally took in a short gasp when she noticed they were glowing. “Do you have something to show me, Sally mine?” It was then that Sally noticed the markings climbing up the right side of his neck and the ones that crawled down his right arm from underneath his rolled-back sleeve. “Umm,” Sally stalled. “My markings have changed. Surely you noticed.” He was teasing her and the tone of his voice helped her relax. She slipped her hand under her brown hair and swept it over her shoulder to reveal her back to him. A low growl came from him as he stood behind her. She nearly jumped away when she felt his fingers like a whisper of silk against her skin. Starting at the top of her neck, his fingers traced the marks until the dress halted his progression. “Easy,” he whispered to her when she jumped. Sally swore she could feel the oxygen being sucked from the room as Costin’s dominance filled the space. “Umm, Costin,” Sally squeezed out through her tight lungs. “Sort of short of breath here.” Costin immediately reigned in his possessiveness at the sight of the beautiful markings, which climbed up her spine like a vine. He pulled her hair back over her shoulder to cover them. His hand rested on her waist and followed around as he circled back to stand in front of her. “Your friends explained what the markings mean?” The question was gentle. Sally nodded. “They mean that I’m your mate.” Costin grinned. “Yes, gypsy lady, you are indeed mine. But those markings are for my eyes only.” His voice was still gentle, but there was an underlying darkness to them. It was clear that he, like Fane and Decebel, was going to be very possessive and obsessive about the markings. “Your eyes only,” Sally repeated. “Got it.” “So,” Costin’s voice brightened as he squeezed her waist, “I hear you have a birthday today.” Sally laughed. “I don’t know where you could have possibly heard that.” “It might have been from a certain blonde running around the mansion reminding everyone of the party of the century taking place in honor of, and I quote, ‘the most bad ass gypsy healer known to man’, which was followed up with a, ‘no offense to Rachel, but fact is fact’. Sally rolled her eyes and let out a moan of embarrassment. “Sometimes I think we should make a waiver for her to sign so that she understands we aren’t responsible for our actions when she flies off at the mouth.” “Well, I for one have been looking forward to it. It will be the first time that we will be seen before the pack as mates, though not bonded,” Costin’s eyes cut to the side to look at her as he led her to the door, “yet,” he finished boldly. Sally followed him out of her room and had to admit that she liked his hand on the small of her back as he guided her to the large gathering room. The party was already in full swing. Jen and Jacque had gone all out – with the help of Crina and Cynthia, of course. As Costin led her up to the entryway, the music suddenly died and all eyes turned to look at them. She hadn’t considered how large the party would be since Decebel’s Serbian pack had been invited. Not all of them had shown up but there was a good number. Sally almost took an involuntary step back but Costin’s firm hand held her in place as he whispered, “I’ve got you. I’ve always got you.” Sally let out the breath she had been holding and smiled at the room. “Finally!” Jen spoke into a microphone from across the room. She stood next to the table where the “DJ” was set up. “Here’s the birthday girl, everyone! Get your well wishes in because she will soon be on the dance floor partying like it’s 1969.” Jen paused and spoke softly to Jacque but didn’t cover the microphone. Jacque was standing next to Jen, trying not to laugh. “Was 1969 a good party year? Do we know?” the room heard through the speakers. Snickers rippled through the crowd. Jacque looked at her and shook her head. “How about we party like it’s New Year’s Eve 2009?” A huge smile spread across Jen’s face. “Ah, that was a good one.” She turned back to the crowd and yelled again, “Rewind! We’re going to party like it’s New Year’s Eve 2009. If you’re curious as to how awesome a party that was, please see me, Jacque, or Sally. Sally’s version will be much more accurate, and also free of any important inappropriate details.” Before she could say anything else, a large hand wrapped around the microphone and pulled it from Jen’s hand. Decebel handed the mike to Jacque as he growled at his mate and pulled her away. All the while Jen was telling him exactly how much she didn’t appreciate him getting all up in her Kool Aid. “Happy birthday, Sally!” Jacque said into the microphone and the room broke into applause. “Everyone enjoy yourselves. The cake will be out soon, and then presents!” As soon as Jacque put the microphone down and the music resumed, the crowd was back in motion and the murmur of conversation filled the air. Sally looked up at Costin as they continued into the room. “Well, that was interesting,” he said softly and grinned. Sally was wrapped in a tight hug before she could respond to Costin’s remark. “You look amazing!” Jen squeezed her, apparently haven gotten away from Decebel. “Jen, you saw me before I came down.” Sally told her with raised eyebrows. “That’s not the point. It’s all about presentation. You walk up in here in this yummy black dress with yummy, furry eye candy plastered to you… Jeez, you are very striking together.” Sally tried to put some space between her and Costin after being referred to as “plastered” to him. Costin tightened his hold on her and pulled her close. The move did not go unnoticed by eagle-eye Jen, who raised a single eyebrow at Sally and smirked. Sally was very tempted to kick Jen in the shin or give her the one finger salute that Jen tended to throw around when she was in a particularly nasty mood. However, Sally decided that the birthday girl should probably not act that way. She did note that her inner Jen was all for the kicking and saluting. Sally, Jacque, Jen, Crina, and even Cynthia spent most the time on the dance floor. They bumped and ground and gyrated all over, earning them applause and laughs from both packs and growls and frowns from their mates. Crina, of course, loved rubbing in the fact that she didn’t have to worry about a mate dragging her off the dance floor. Finally, after an hour or more of dancing, Jacque announced the entry of the birthday cake, which was beautiful, but Sally did not understand its shape. Perizada stepped up next to the table on which the cake had been rolled out. “I can tell by the look on your face that you don’t know what your cake is supposed to be.” Perizada smiled at Sally. Sally looked at the three round maroon cakes that were pushed together, forming a circle. “Berries?” Peri chuckled. “No, healer. This is a gypsy rune symbol. It indicates a bonding when thrown during a casting of the future, or can link situations together when used properly. This cake was chosen due to what a little bird -” “Jen,” Jacque coughed, trying to disguise Jen’s name as she interrupted Peri, who continued on as if Jacque hadn’t spoken. “- who told me that you have experienced a bond. Am I correct?” Sally froze at Peri’s question. She knew she couldn’t hide her and Costin’s mating signs forever, and she knew that they would have to complete the bonding ceremony – eventually. What she didn’t know was how to face a room full of Canis lupis and discuss her love life. Before she could speak Costin stepped forward, and as he said he would, he had her. “We are here to celebrate Sally turning eighteen.” Costin’s voice rang firmly over the room, and the dominance he so easily hid was very evident now. “At this moment there is nothing more important than celebrating that on this day, eighteen years ago, Sally Morgan came into the world. Thank you, Peri, for the explanation of the cake. I for one am ready for Sally to blow out the candles so I can have a piece.” As Sally stepped forward to blow out the candles, Jen eased over next to Costin. “Well played, lover boy. Well played.” Jen nodded her approval at Costin’s protection of Sally and continued past him toward the cake. After Sally had opened present after present – with the help of Jen’s incessant commentary – the night began to draw to a close. Sally was breathing more easily. Costin had graciously side-stepped a formal announcement of their mate signs and Jen had kept her clothes on. All in all, it was a successful party. In fact, she had been having so much fun with the girls that she had pushed her and Costin’s bonding to the furthest part of her mind. It wasn’t until she pulled her hair into a pony tail that the hell that she’d hoped wouldn’t break out…did. Jen, Jacque, and Sally sat on the far side of the great room, pretty much oblivious to everyone else as they reminisced about things from high school and how, if a year ago someone had told them they would discover the existence of werewolves, they would have busted a gut laughing. Then they started laughing over the things Jen had pulled over the past year once they all had gotten their driver’s licenses. Late one night, two weeks after Jen had gotten her license, she took her new found independence in her new Honda Civic and used it to wreak havoc on the good people of Coldspring. Jen – and, of course, she dragged Jacque and Sally along – made the rounds to each student or teacher that fit into her “waste of perfectly good oxygen” category. Depending on the amount of oxygen the person wasted, according to Jen, determined the intensity of the prank. Some got their cars saran-wrapped so they couldn’t open the car doors; some had their yard forked, which was very time consuming and utterly annoying to the prank-ee when it came time to mow the grass; some got Vaseline put on every visible handle of any kind. After that night, Sally and Jacque had wholeheartedly agreed that allowing Jen access to a vehicle was definitely not in the public’s best interest. “I can’t believe your parents thought it was a good idea to let you have a car,” Jacque said, then cocked her head to the side. “Speaking of parents, when are you two going to call dear old mom and dad and give them the news of your change in circumstance?” Before either Jen or Sally could answer, Sally felt a finger brush gently against her back, directly over her spine. She knew instantly that it wasn’t Costin because the sensation of ants crawling all over her skin rippled over her. Jacque’s eyes looked like they were going to pop out of her head as her mouth dropped open and Sally just had time to hear Jen mutter under her breath before a deafening snarl ripped through the room. “Guess I’m going to have to strip after all.” Jen stood, motioning to the DJ by bumping her thumb in an upward motion, indicating she wanted him to increase the volume. As she climbed up onto the table, she watched Costin, who was now glaring at the young Serbian pack member who stood behind a terrified looking Sally. Everything seemed to move in slow motion from that point on. “Shit,” Jen breathed out as she watched Costin lunge and phase in mid air. Only a few in the back of the room had realized what was going on, so Jen took the opportunity to jump across from table to table, like a frog on lily pads, until she landed on the table closest to the dance floor – and in one of those rare Jen moments, the DJ started The Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get it Started in Here”. Jen thought, How appropriate, and then let out a loud whoop, pulled her hair out of her pony tail, and shook it out as her body moved to the rhythm of the music. She tried to ignore the growling in her mind. She knew that Decebel would be torn on whether to drag her off the table or help restrain Costin from killing one of his pack members. She could admit that maybe by now she would have learned not to poke the sleeping tiger, or in this case, wolf. But as she had said in other stripping situations, desperate times call for desperate measures. The crowd was clapping and all turned to watch Jen as she kicked off a shoe. She was trying to do as much dancing as possible in between removing items from her body, hoping to minimize the damage. She kicked off her other shoe, and when she began to pull up the sheer black top she wore over a camisole, the room erupted in whistles and more applause. The music switched and Pitbull’s voice came across the speakers, “Give Me Everything” streaming out. Again Jen mentally rolled her eyes at the song, wondering if each one was going to describe the current situation. Someone in the universe was taking great pleasure in adding to the already dangerous situation. Jen made a big show of using the sheer top as a dancing prop so she could keep from removing more clothing. She heard Decebel’s voice in her mind and the anger that radiated from it. “Why are you always the one to volunteer to take your clothes off in public?” Decebel’s tone barely covered the contained rage. She could feel his power pulsing through the room as he commanded Costin not to attack. She was amazed that he could admonish her while dealing with a feral wolf. “Is it some compulsive behavior that every so often makes you feel the need to strip? Because that can easily be accommodated. The difference? I will be your ONLY AUDIENCE! Now put what you have removed back on and step down from the table. If a male touches you as you remove yourself from that table he forfeits his life.” “Aren’t you being a little dramatic? You would rather me fall off this table than let a gentleman help me?” Jen put her shirt back over her head and took her shoes from Crina, who had picked them up. Crina winked at Jen and mouthed, “You’re my hero”. “You got your butt up on that table on your own; you will get down on your own. I might not be bothered by a male helping you if you had not just sparked all kinds of excitement in their young, immature minds.” With an exasperated sigh Jen sat down on the table and slid off. “It’s not like they’re going to get all hot and bothered over my sexy little toes,” she muttered, heading back to the table where she, Sally, and Jacque had been sitting before the evening’s main – and dramatic – event. Costin’s wolf was out of control and the only thing able to hold him in place was Decebel’s dominance. Vasile had not intervened since a Serbian pack member had committed the offense. Decebel commanded him to stop and the Alpha command wrapped around Costin and halted him in his tracks. He stood snarling, his eyes glued to the wolf that had so stupidly touched Sally. Costin was trying to push his wolf back and regain control, but the wolf was having none of it. The possessiveness he felt toward Sally was like nothing he had ever experienced, and on some level it worried him that as long as they weren’t bonded he was dangerous to anyone and everyone. But it did not bother him enough to keep him from making it clear, when he walked over to Sally and stood in front of her, that no one was to get close to her. He snarled and met the gaze of each wolf and waited for them to lower their eyes. Costin looked at Sally and let out a low rumble. She started to take a step back at what seemed to be a growl, but Costin shook his head. Then he motioned with an upward nod. “I – I…” Sally’s voice was hoarse as she tried to speak to the wolf that was Costin. “I don’t know what you want.” Jen stepped up and gently pulled Sally’s dark brown hair from the pony tail and arranged it in a way that covered the markings on her back. “He wants these out of sight so that no other flea-infested fur ball will see them,” Jen whispered. Sally’s head snapped around toward Jen and then back to Costin. “I forgot.” Her voice was apologetic. “I’m -” She started to say more but stopped when Costin nudged her hip, trying to push her toward the door. “I think he needs to call it a night,” Decebel told Sally. She still had the shell-shocked look that had come across her face when Costin landed next to her, looking every bit the part of the big bad wolf. Sally nodded absently as she turned and headed for the doors with Costin walking so close to her that she could feel his fur brushing her leg. Sally heard Decebel tell someone – she assumed Jen and Jacque – to come check on her in a little while. Sally wasn’t sure what she would say to them. Am I okay? she thought as she continued up the stairs toward her room. She decided to be honest with herself: no, she was definitely not okay.
4.5 rating based on 11,441 ratings (all editions)
Author(s): Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Though the Serbian pack has been brought to heel thanks to the downfall of their Alpha, the war is far from over. Desdemona, a witch of unfathomable power, has escaped the wolves' wrath, but she will not go quietly into the night. She takes refuge in a place where even the smallest sliver of light does not dare to enter. Though she had to flee, she has not given up on the treasure she wishes to acquire. Her depravity knows no bounds; she's even willing to search for the one who can assist her in opening a Veil that has not been opened in millennia - with good reason: the danger is incalculable. Meanwhile, there are major changes rippling through the Romanian Grey wolves. Decebel has become Alpha to the Serbian pack in an effort to begin to unite the Canis lupis species. Their numbers are dwindling in the wake of the shortage of true mates and lack of offspring. The wolves are beginning to lose faith and darkness seems to be crashing in on them from all sides. But the winds of change are blowing, changes that will alter the future of not only the Canis lupis, but of another ancient race as well. Amidst all of this, Sally is continuing to come to terms with her relationship with the playful, charming, flirty, unbelievably handsome bartender - who happens to be a member of the Romanian pack. If all that weren't enough, the Fates have decided to pay a little visit to Jen. It's time to collect. She cheated the Fates of a life, her life. Now they want what they are due. The problem? It's more than Jen is willing to pay. Yes, the war is indeed far from over. Bargains will be struck, declarations will be made, sacrifices will be given, love will be tested, and trust will be questioned as evil makes its stand against them all.