“Decebel, what was that about?” Vasile calmly asked his Beta.

Decebel averted his eyes in submission as he answered his Alpha. “I was just watching out for her. You were with Fane, Alina was with Sally and Lilly. There was no one but myself to make sure the humans didn’t harm her.” Decebels words sounded true to Vasile, but he picked up an underlying emotion that he didn’t think Decebel was even aware of.

“Her family will be here soon, Alina has called them. When they get here you can let them take over her care. Until then I would ask that you stand outside this door and if the doctor comes out before her parents are here, get any information he has so you can pass it along. Are we clear?”

“I will deal with her family when they get here. We are clear,” Decebel responded, his voice emotionless, his expression hard.

“One more thing, Beta. Keep your wolf under control,” Vasile warned.

“Yes, Alpha,” Decebel answered as he backed up against the wall, folding his arms across his chest. He stood as a sentinel to the operating room where Jen was being cared for.

Vasile turned to walk away. Decebel watch him go, seeing him shake his head in confusion. Decebel was confused as well but he wasn’t in any shape to look too closely at why. Just leave it alone Dec, he told himself.

“What was that all about?” Fane asked his father as Vasile walked up to him. Fane was still standing exactly where Vasile had left him, in front of the operating room where Jacquelyn was being treated.

“Decebel was protecting Jen. He felt responsible for her since all the rest of us were elsewhere.” Vasile noticed his own voice didn’t sound like he believed what he was saying.

“Really? That’s what he said?” Fane asked skeptically

“I don’t know what to make of it either, but when I came around that corner into the room Decebel was guarding her, not letting any of the staff near her. When they began undressing her he shoved me out of the room,” Vasile explained, his brow furrowed, his voice heavy with disbelief even though he had seen it all with his own eyes. Fane didn’t know how to respond to that, but he knew he couldn’t worry about it right now because all he could think about was his mate. He just kept seeing her limp form, the only sign of life her breathing and pulse. No spunky attitude, no gentle touch. He closed his eyes, shutting off his emotions so he could keep his wolf in check.

“Fane, Vasile, where is Jacque and Jen?” Fane heard Lilly ask as she was walking towards them.

“Jacque is in this operating room and Jen is just down the hall. Decebel is guarding her door,” Fane told her. Lilly’s shoulders slumped and her head fell forward as silent tears fell to the floor. Fane walked up to the woman who had brought his precious mate into the world and folded her into his embrace. She squeezed him tight as if her life depended on it. Fane couldn’t help but think it should have been Jacquelyn’s father standing here consoling Lilly, but what had happened wasn’t his fault. He and Lilly had made the choice to stay together knowing that he would probably one day have to walk away. It still sucked.

Finally Lilly pulled back, she looked up into Fane’s face and patted his cheek, “Thank you Fane, thank you,” her voice hoarse with emotion.

Lilly backed up against the wall across from the operating room and slid down to the floor, prepared to stay there until the doctor came out with news of her daughter. Vasile walked over and knelt down in front of her. “Lilly, can you tell me what happened? What do you remember?” he asked her.

Lilly tilted her head back against the wall, looking up at the ceiling, then squeezing her eyes shut. She tried to picture herself driving away from her book store, then she began to talk. “I had gotten a call from one of my employees.” She told him all about Jeff and the supposed irate customer that didn’t exist and how Jeff was gone when she arrived at the store. Then just before she started to tell him about the loud noise and losing control of the car she remembered the man that Jen had pointed out on the side of the road.

“Wait, did anyone see a tall man on the side of the road standing next to a blue car?”

Vasile shook his head. “There were no other cars Lilly, just yours. Did you see a man?” he asked her.

“Just before the loud noise and then me losing control, Jen pointed out this good looking guy on the side of the road. It looked like he might have had a flat tire or something. He couldn’t have been far from where the wreck was, he had to have seen it.” Lilly was beginning to sound frantic.

Alina and Sally had just arrived, hearing the end of Lilly’s comments. Alina knelt down on the opposite side her husband and took Lilly’s hand. “We will figure it out Lilly, it’s going to be okay,” Alina told her gently

Sally spoke up then. “She’s right, there was a man on the side of the road. He was tall, and big. I didn’t get a good look but according to Jen he was what she classified as a tall glass of somin somin,” Sally explained

Vasile looked up at Fane, who had been quietly listening to the girls describe what had happened. “Did you see anyone driving away as you approached to the girls? You were the first one there.”

“No, there was no one, only the girls,” Fane told him, bringing the image of Jacquelyn’s damaged form to the forefront of his mind. He closed his eyes and willed the image away.

“Sally, Lilly, you both are okay?” Fane asked them, trying to get his mind off the images of the accident.

“Just a few cuts, minor burns other than that we are both fine,” Sally answered. “I’m sure Lilly asked, but how are Jen and Jacque?” she asked

Vasile spoke before Fane could. “Jen is down the hall in the other operating room and they are treating her. Decebel is standing guard outside the door. Jacquelyn is in this one here. The doctors have said they will let us know something as soon as they can.”

“If you all have it in control down here I think I will go keep Decebel company while we wait for news on both of them,” Sally told them.

“I think that would be a very good idea,” Vasile agreed. Sally found this comment odd but didn’t respond, she simply turned and walked down the hall to find Decebel.

Everyone was quiet, none daring to break the silence as if the breach would somehow cause harm to Jen or Jacque. So they waited, like silent sentries waiting for news on their fallen comrades.

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