With the challenge complete and the corrupt Alpha of Coldspring defeated Fane is now free to complete the mate bond with Jacque and perform the Blood Rites. Although the challenge is done, the affects are far reaching. Once it is known that Vasile one of the strongest Alphas in the world is in America, specifically Coldspring, TX, there is one Alpha who cannot over look the significance of this. An Alpha who happens to share Jacque’s DNA, but is this the one she needs to fear? With her mom driving and her two best friends, Jen and Sally in tow, Jacque set off for her happily ever after. She will soon realize a plan has been put in motion that will change her course and possibly tear her from Fane’s grasp forever. It will take a wolf pack, her mother’s love, her two best friend’s unrelenting determination, her own will to survive and the undying love of her mate to bring her home. The question remains, if she fights, if she endures, who will she be, what will be left once she is back in her mates arms?
Chapter 1 You know that I will look ridiculous in that, right?” Jacque asked Sally while staring at the red dress her two best friends had hanging on the back of her bedroom door. “I mean, why don’t you just sew a hood on it, put a basket of cookies in my hand and send me off to see grandma?” Jacque asked sarcastically, if not somewhat dramatically. She didn’t understand why Sally and Jen insisted that she wear a dress for the bonding ceremony. She had repeatedly reminded them, and would again, that it wasn’t a wedding. Since the challenge everything had been moving so quickly that she didn’t really have a chance to veto their decision and nobody else seemed eager to jump to her defense. So, alas, she stood in her room with her two best friends wreaking havoc on her life, trying to tell her she was going to put on this ridiculous red dress. “So how did things with Fane go last night?” Jen asked, pulling Jacque out of her thoughts. That simple question reminded Jacque that the challenge had only happened yesterday. It felt like it had been days ago, but it had merely been hours. Last night after the challenge, Fane had come to her to plead forgiveness for making her believe he had died during the challenge. He’d really thought that she would not understand why he made that decision. Jacque was not going to deny the fact that it hurt, but she understood the reasoning behind it, and if it kept Fane alive that was all that mattered. “It’s all good,” Jacque said nonchalantly. The two girls stopped simultaneously and stared at Jacque in disbelief. “I chewed Fane up like a chew toy and spit him out. Sally about smacked him into next week. And that’s all you have to say to us? Hate to break it to ya, wolf princess, but that ain’t going to cut it.” Jen folded her arms across her chest and began tapping her foot. It was very obvious that Jacque would not be leaving this room until she gave up the goods. She figured they did deserve it after all they had done for her. Go on, Jacque, throw them a bone she told herself. “Fane came to my room and sat on the side of my bed while I was still sort of asleep. I woke up to him kissing my cheeks, my nose, my chin, and then my lips. I was sure I was dreaming, but it seemed way too real. Then I freaked out. I decided I must have jumped off the deep end after the week from ‘folk lore stories come to life’ hell. I was seeing my dead mate sitting on my bed.” Before Jacque could go on Jen interrupted. “Ok, that’s all fine and dandy, but I want the main course, not the before-dinner rolls. Main course, Jacque, get to it.” Jacque rolled her eyes. “I have to build up to the main course or else it’s not really the main course. However, for the sake of your sanity I will speed it up. After I realized he was indeed real, he hugged me and I accidentally groaned in pain.” “Oh, hell. He went into possessive, jealous, I-no-longer-have-a-brain mode, didn’t he?” Sally asked sarcastically. “Point to you. He saw the bruise on my stomach and nearly went all werewolf kung-fu on his pack. I can’t believe ya’ll didn’t hear him yell. But I got him to pipe down when I pulled out the ‘I’m bruised because you played dead’ card. Works every time.” Jacque winked. “Nice,” Jen and Sally said, bumping fists. “Then we kissed. A lot. Yep, there was a lot of kissing. Oh, and there was purring. But all clothes stayed on, Jen, sorry to spoil your fantasy.” “You are so not sorry to spoil anything. At least tell me if he’s a good kisser,” Jen whined. Jacque looked at her, emerald eyes narrowed with a wicked gleam. “My sweet, sweet Jen, he’s a good everything.” “Ok ladies, both of you back into your corners. Jacque’s getting hitched today so there has to be a cease fire.” Sally indicated the corners she wanted Jacque and Jen to stand in. “I am not getting hitched, there is no ring involved.” “Says the wolf princess who’s never been bonded to a werewolf before,” Jen pointed out. “Details, details,” Jacque quipped. She suddenly felt claustrophobic, like the room was beginning to get smaller. It reminded her of Alice in Wonderland when she eats the cake and begins to grow until the room is so small she is squished into it. She needed air. Jacque walked over to her window and jerked it open. She felt the summer heat hit her face, and even though it was blazing hot, it was refreshing and helped clear her brain from all the worries that were slowly stacking up on shelves in her mind. Each deep breath she took felt like it was slowly pushing each stack of worry into a trash bag. Breathe-she pushed worry about leaving Coldspring into the bag, breathe- next was worry for her mom, will she come to Romania or stay here, breathe- worry for her friends, breathe- worry about the bonding ceremony, breathe- worry about the blood rites, breathe. Finally the shelves were clean, and there in her mind amongst the empty shelves was Fane. “Hello meu inimă, doing some spring cleaning?” Fane asked her, using their bond. Jacque couldn’t suppress the smile that followed; she should have known he would be listening. Especially since she was more emotional than usual. Well, that was really not a fair statement because she had been emotional for the past 5 days. Meeting your werewolf mate tends to do that to a girl. “Just needed to put things in their place, how are you?” Jacque felt the warmth he was pouring into her mind, the love he wanted her to feel and it only made her want to be in his arms more. “Soon, love.” “You keep saying that wolf man, when does soon become now?” Jacque teased him. “Now go away. Isn’t it bad luck to see your mate before the bonding thingy?” She heard him chuckle. “No meu inimă, you’re thinking of it being bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the wedding. I can see you all I want. In fact I could come rescue you from those two if you want.” “That’s okay, they mean well, they are just a little rough on the execution. What time is this shin-dig starting?” Jacque asked. “It starts as 1:00 p.m. I’ll see you there Little Red.” Fane’s voice faded out of her mind and she could feel his humor. Oh wasn’t he just too cute, picking up on her two best friends’ idea of a sick joke, to turn her into the little girl who almost wound up as the wolf’s dinner. “My, what big eyes you have, wolf-man,” Jacque said out loud, unable to stop her sarcasm from boiling up. “The better to see you with my love,” Jen chimed in. “What big ears you have!” Sally continued their comic relief. “The better to hear you with my love,” Jen followed. “What big teeth you have!” Sally mocked, her hands on either side of her face. “The better to eat you with my love,” Jen cackled, but she wasn’t finished. True to Jen form she added her own twisted sense of humor. “My, what big -” Sally slapped a hand over her mouth, quickly realizing where Jen was going with that statement. Jacque started laughing so hard she had tears running down her cheeks. As soon as Sally removed her hand Jen quickly added, “Thebettertoeatyouwith,” before Sally could re-cover her mouth. Jacque abruptly stopped laughing, “You already said that,” she said, confused. “So I did, my sweet, innocent flower,” Jen started to explain but was once again thwarted by Sally. “Jen, shut it. Jacque, just allow yourself to ponder on that statement at a later date in time,” Sally told her, sounding everything but the part of June Cleaver. “Ok, moving on from our weird impromptu skit. I get it, you want to dress me up all pretty for this ceremony and I can either play along or you two will make it hell for me. That’s what the red dress is about, isn’t it?” “You’re smarter than you look, Sherlock,” Jen said as she stood up. “We will give you your real dress if you promise to play nice. Otherwise you’re going to be Little Red washed out Riding Hood, cuz that red really does nothing for your skin.” “Gee, thanks for that keen observation, Watson. Fine, you win, bring out the big guns.” Jen stepped out of the room and was back before Jacque could ask her where she was going. She came back with a hanger with what she presumed to be her dress hanging on it, but she couldn’t tell for sure because it was covered in one of those zipped clothing protectors. As Jen hung it on the back of Jacque’s bedroom door, effectively covering the dress that would have made her the living version of a sick fairy tale, Sally began to unzip the bag while humming the bridal march song. “Cute, Sally, that’s just real cute,” Jacque told her sarcastically. “Watch it Red. I’d hate to have to incorporate more of the famous fairy tale into your ceremony, but I’ll do it if you force my hand,” Sally threatened as she pulled the dress out from the hanging bag. Jacque’s breath caught at the sight, so simple yet very elegant and eye catching. She had to admit she was impressed with her friends’ taste. The dress was primarily white, with a double flare skirt that came just above the knees. The waist had a green sash sewn into the dress and the green flared out into the skirt with some floral accents. To finish it off, they had added a hunter green, puff short sleeve bolero jacket made of satin with ruffled edges running up the high-necked collar and down to the sleeves. It was simply perfect. “Hey wolf-man, they even thought of you and provided cover for my markings.” Jacque sent the thought to Fane. “How very thoughtful of them, Luna, although you can’t honestly think I would have allowed you to come in that dress without the jacket,” Fane answered. “You are so lucky that you aren’t with in my reach right now because that little comment would have earned you some retaliation and it still might if I’m not feeling generous later,” she scolded him. His only response was a soft chuckle in her mind and she thought she might have felt his hand caress her face. Geez, Jacque thought, he is going to be the death of me. “Could you please stop talking to your hunky wolf and tell us what you think of the dress?” Jen said, snapping Jacque out of her thoughts. “How did you know I was talking to him?” Jacque asked. “You always get an intense look on your face, so I figure you are either constipated or talking to Fane. If you aren’t talking to Fane then you ought to see a doctor because you are constipated a lot,” Jen explained. Sally was cracking up at Jen and Jacque was giving Jen an un-lady like hand gesture. “I have to admit, you guys have outdone your selves,” Jacque told them. “It truly is beautiful and tasteful and the jacket was the perfect touch. Thank you guys so much. Oh crap, I think I’m going to cry,” Jacque said, much to her chagrin. “Don’t start the water works, there will be plenty of time for that later,” Sally teased her. “Ok ladies, I need something to eat before I slide into that, if I might add, much more appropriate dress so let’s head downstairs so I can get my grub on,” Jacque announced. “Please tell me you don’t say ‘get my grub on’ to Fane when you are talking about eating,” Sally pleaded. Jacque waved her hands in the air in a whatever gesture. “He can either take me as I am, grub and all, or not.” “Oh I’m pretty sure he wants to take you, and quite possibly as his grub,” Jen snickered. Sally gave Jen their usual fist bump, “What would I do without you and your sexual innuendos, my sweet, nympho friend?” “You would be square,” Jen told her, her fingers tracing the shape in the air. “Huh, so I would,” Sally agreed thoughtfully. The girls headed downstairs and threw together some PB and J sandwiches. They were quiet as they ate. Jacque finished first and just as she was going to head upstairs to change, her mom came into the kitchen. “You ladies need to hurry up if we are going to make it on time,” Lilly told them. “I’ve just got to fix my hair and throw on my dress and then I’m game,” Jacque answered. “Correction, I need to fix your hair. There is no telling what kind of mess you would put together on your head,” Sally added “Did you decide to cooperate with your partners in crime so you wouldn’t be the world’s first living Little Red Riding Hood?” her mom asked her. Jacque glared at Sally and Jen, giving them her best ‘if I was a wolf I’d bite your ass’ stare. “Yea, they won this round, but you know what they say about payback.” Jen just laughed as she and Sally trailed her up the stairs to help her get dressed. “Sit down, kick back and chill-out so I can fix this unruly mess you call your hair.” “You have to do it up off her shoulders because of the chomp, chomp thing, if you know what I mean,” Jen said, her teeth snapping together. “Gee, Jen. Thanks so much for the reminder of the fact that I’m going to be a chew toy later on tonight. I’m not nervous enough as it is or anything,” Jacque told her. “I’m just saying,” Jen said with a roll of her eyes and shoulder shrug, “If it was me who was going to get chomped on by a hot, drool worthy, Romanian fur ball, let’s just say I wouldn’t make him chase me too long.” “Yeah, well knowing you, Jen, the so called fur ball wouldn’t be the only one doing the chomping,” Sally teased her dryly. “No doubt, my sweet wall flower. But more to the point, it wouldn’t be just my neck he would be chomping on!” Jen apparently cracked herself up with that one because she nearly fell out of her chair laughing, although the shoe Jacque threw at her head didn’t help matters. “Jacque, quit throwing shoes at Jen’s head. Jen, if at all possible quite being a pervert for like 5 minutes.” “Make it 2 1/2 minutes and we have a deal,” Jen volleyed back. “Shameless,” muttered Jacque, “the nyphmo is utterly, undeniably shameless.” “We all gotta be something, Jac.” Jen just had to have the last word, so Jacque and Sally finally relented. Sally pushed Jacque down into the chair by her desk and began to gather the various hair items she would need to tame the wild curls. As Jacque sat there staring off at nothing in particular, her mind was drawn back to the events of the past week. It was hard for her to believe that she’d only met Fane a week ago. She felt like she had known him forever and already couldn’t imagine life without him. In one week she’d learned she was half Canis Lupus, her father was full Canis Lupus, and also that she was the mate of the Prince of the Romanian Canis Lupus. She had been claimed by the lunatic Alpha of Coldspring and had to watch Fane fight him for bonding rights. She even thought she’d watched Fane die. If someone had told her last week that all this was going to happen she would have said something along the lines of, yeah, and George Strait is selling me his ocean front property in Arizona as well. “OWWW!” Jacque hollered as Sally’s hair ministrations pulled her from her thoughts. “Well what do you expect with this flaming mess on your head?” Sally asked her as she continued to pull and tug on her hair. “Just make sure you leave me some hair up there, okay?” Jacque said, rolling her eyes. Jen walked over to look at Sally’s handy work. “That actually looks pretty great, Sal. I like the little glitter bobby-pins you put in, very fairy tale-ish.” “Okay, okay, let me look already,” Jacque said as she stood up and went to the mirror on her dresser. “Wow, Sally, it looks awesome. You made me look so much prettier than I really am. Sweet! Thanks, chickadee.” Sally grabbed Jacque by the shoulders and turned her so they were face to face. “You are beautiful, big, wild hair and all. All I did was bring attention to that fact. The way Fane looks at you, you should never doubt your beauty on the inside or out,” Sally told her. “Man Sal, why don’t I ever get pep talks like that?” Jen asked. “If ever you are in need of a pep talk, Jen, I will gladly deliver. As it is, you are a walking ego, so most of the time you need to be brought down a notch, not up. I say that with all the love in my heart,” Sally teased her. “Yeah, you are totally blowing me away with all your quote, unquote love. How ‘bout don’t give me so much love next time, huh?” Jacque grabbed her dress and the jacket and began walking to the bathroom. “Ok, while ya’ll work out your love issues, I’m going to get dressed. I expect ya’ll to have kissed and made up by the time I get back.” “Brush your teeth before you put that dress on,” Sally told her. “Yeah and don’t put perfume on your neck, you know because of the chomp…” Jen started. “Chomp, chomp. Yeah I got it, Jen,” Jacque interrupted. Jacque closed the door to the bathroom and leaned against it. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “I can do this,” she said out loud. It wasn’t that she was scared of bonding with Fane, she wanted to be with him more than anything. No, she was just a big chicken about pain and wasn’t really looking forward to being bitten. Then she remembered what it felt like when she thought he had died. She realized that in comparison to that feeling, a bite would be a piece of cake. On that thought she was able to move forward feeling much lighter. “Are you ok, love?” she heard Fane ask in her mind. She smiled at the warmth she could feel coming through such a simple question. “I am excellent, wolf-man. Although, I am missing you,” Jacque told him. “I will see you soon, micul incendiu (little fire).” “Fane, stay with me,” Jacque whispered in her thoughts. “Always,” was his simple reply. True to his word, Jacque could feel him like a shadow in her mind and it calmed her nerves and made her feel cherished. Jacque soon stepped out of the bathroom and her two best friends stopped and stared, open mouthed. “Well, how do I look?” Jacque asked them, a little unsure. “You look amazing! Fane won’t be able to take his eyes off of you,” Jen told her. Sally nodded her agreement but didn’t say anything. Jacque looked over to her bed and saw that Sally had retrieved her suitcase and begun putting clothes in it for her. “Sally, you don’t have to pack a whole bunch it’s just one night and then I will be back here,” Jacque said. Sally’s face fell a tiny bit. “You will be back, but only for a few days. Then you will be packing more than an overnight bag,” she told her, sounding so lost. “I really hope you guys are considering coming to Romania for our senior year. Alina looked into the foreign exchange program, and found that it would look really good on college applications, and she has offered to be ya’lls host family. Have either of you talked to your parents about it yet?” Jacque asked. “I mentioned it to my parents and once I pointed out that it could give me a leg up in getting into the international business degree programs I just happen to all of a sudden be interested in, they were surprisingly okay with it,” Jen explained. “ I kind of think my mom wants a break from me. You both know that if my mom and I are in the same room for too long it’s like two pissed off cats who have been tossed in cold water and are ready to rip someone’s eyes out. So I was going to surprise you later but now’s as good a time as any. Romania won’t know what hit them when I get done,” Jen teased, although the statement was more true than not. Jacque squealed in child like delight and hugged Jen tight. “This is so great!” “You do realize that squeal is totally not sexy and if we are in Romania together and you are with me while I’m trying to get my game on that you are not permitted to make such a noise, right?” Jen told her, sounding put out. “Oh, shut up and let me be all sentimental for a sec.” Jacque hugged her for a minute more and then backed up, holding her hands in a surrender gesture. “Okay, I’m good, it’s all under control.” Jacque turned to Sally, who had been watching the exchange. “So what about you, Sally? Have you talked to your parents?” “I did and I told them the same thing Jen told hers, considering we rehearsed it with each other complete with back up guilt trips if the whole college reference didn’t work, and hell must have froze over, pigs must have sprouted wings, and you must be half werewolf…wait, that last part is true, the point is they said yes!” This time Sally and Jacque squealed in unison. “Oh come on, surround sound squeals? REALLY?” Jen whined. “You two are not invited when I go hottie hunting,” she growled at them. Sally and Jacque relinquished their squeals to turn and look at Jen. “Did you just say hottie hunting?” Sally asked her incredulously Jen turned her chin indignantly. “Spot on, Sherlock.” “Just checking. I want to be completely clear on what I should say to your new beau when you finally nab him,” Sally teased. “Something along the lines of, ‘Hey Don Juan, did Jen tell you about her hottie hunting days back in the day, as in a couple of days ago back in the day?’” “My sweet Sally, the point is you just admitted that I will be successful in nabbing a new beau, hence the hottie hunting will undoubtedly work. Ding ding ding, I win,” Jen chimed. Jacque rolled her eyes at her two best friends. “I’m thinking your parents aren’t considering it a hardship to have you two go to Romania. I don’t know, just a hunch.” Sally glanced at her phone and saw that it was 12:15. “We’ve got to head if we want to make it on time.” Sally and Jen each grabbed a bag and headed for the stairs with Jacque following. “Wolf-man, we are heading your way, hope you’re ready for this,” Jacque sent to Fane. “I have been ready for you since I laid I eyes on you. Be safe, I will see you shortly.” Fane sent the words with a caress that caused Jacque to shiver. As they pulled out of the driveway, Jacque leaned her head back against the head rest, closed her eyes, and pictured Fane’s face, her future.
4.4 rating based on 18,138 ratings (all editions)
Author(s): Publisher: CreateSpace
With the challenge complete and the corrupt Alpha of Coldspring defeated Fane is now free to complete the mate bond with Jacque and perform the Blood Rites. Although the challenge is done, the affects are far reaching. Once it is known that Vasile, one of the strongest Alphas in the world is in America, specifically Coldspring, TX, there is one Alpha who cannot over look the significance of this. An Alpha who happens to share Jacque's DNA, but is this the one she needs to fear?
With her mom driving and her two best friends, Jen and Sally in tow, Jacque sets off for her happily ever after. She will soon realize a plan has been put in motion that will change her course and possibly tear her from Fane's grasp forever. It will take a wolf pack, her mother's love, her two best friend's unrelenting determination, her own will to survive and the undying love of her mate to bring her home. The question remains, if she fights, if she endures, who will she be, what will be left once she is back in her mates arms?