Decebel wasn't really sure how to respond to that. He didn't know how to handle a discouraged Jennifer. Sarcastic, bitchy, playful Jennifer, yeah, that he could deal with. But this crushed, fragile spirit he didn't know what to do about it. He pulled her closer and laid his chin on the top of her head. "I would do anything to take the fear from you, to bring your friend back to you unharmed."

Jen pulled back so she could look up at Decebel, taken back by the words that were thick with emotion.

"I believe you," Jen told him as she stared into his eyes.

Decebel leaned forward slightly and for a moment Jen thought he meant to kiss her, but he caught himself. He coughed to cover the awkward moment. "Well, I guess we better get back up to the room and see if they are about ready to head to the airport."

"Yeah, I guess we better." Jen stood and turned to head back to the hotel. Despite Decebel's kind words she felt worse. Not only was her best friend in the hands of a psycho wolf but the guy she was falling for could never be hers. What had she been thinking to even consider a fling with a guy, a man like Decebel? It would break her heart when he found his mate. She wasn't as strong as Lilly. Once Decebel was hers she would never be able to let him go.

Fane watched as everyone boarded the plane .He had reached for Jacquelyn several times since the last time she had contacted him and still she would not let him in. He was beginning to get angry at her rejection. Why would she not let him close to her? Did she not understand how painful it was to be separated from her? Did it not hurt her as well? For the first time since he had met her Fane felt the fear of the possibility that she didn't want him, didn't love him as he loved her. But he knew that couldn't be true. She was his mate, the other half of his soul, she must be feeling the pain at their continued separation. Something had to have happened to cause her to keep him away. As soon as he was alone and could concentrate he would, for the first time, force her to let him into her mind. He knew he shouldn't but enough was enough. He was her mate, how could he help her if she wouldn't let him near?

Sally watched as Jen buckled into her seat on the plane. Her face was devoid of emotion. It was the only time Sally could remember ever seeing her sarcastic, outspoken friend look so lost. She sat down next to her, buckled in, and then took her hand.

"Talk to me, Jen," Sally said.

Jen looked at Sally and to Sally's surprise Jen leaned forward, burying her face into Sally's neck. Sally felt Jen's shoulders shaking and realized she was crying.

"Oh, Jen." Sally wrapped her arms around her broken friend. "Sweetie, tell me, did that wolf hurt you? I'll kill him, just say the word and I'll gut him like a fish."

Jen's shoulders shook harder. Finally she pulled back and looked at Sally. "I'm just so scared for Jacque. What if that piece of crap has hurt her? What if, god Sally, what if..." Jen couldn't finish the thought, it was too horrible to even consider.

"Then we will help Fane rip him apart, and then we will love her so fiercely that she will know we will always be there for her. No matter how long it takes for her to heal, we will be there for her."

Jen nodded solemnly. "In the middle of worrying for Jacque, I think, crap I don't know. I feel something for the big, dumb wolf, but I shouldn't. He will only break my heart."

"Oh, my little Jen. Who would aim for the stars if not for you? Don't give up, not yet, okay?" Sally told her.

Jen just shook her head. She wouldn't continue to hope for something that would never be. She would focus on getting Jacque back, and then she would have to seriously think about whether she could handle being in Romania, where he would be.

Decebel looked over at Jen across the aisle from him. Her face was blotchy from shed tears, her eyes swollen. He felt his chest tighten and an unfamiliar desire to protect her, to rip anything who dared to harm her to pieces. It was killing him not being able to do anything about her pain. How did you fight an invisible enemy? How do you repair an irreparable situation? Decebel growled as he leaned his head back against the head rest and closed his eyes, though he would glean no rest, not while Jen's fear was pulsating over his skin. He wouldn't rest again until he could see the light fill her eyes and the sarcasm roll easily from her tongue once more.

Chapter 31

As Cynthia ran the warm washcloth down Jacque's back, trying to wash off the dried blood, she thought about how when she had finally come to after being knocked out by Logan, she had yelled until Logan had finally come back into the room. She had shamed him for the treatment of his so called mate and he finally had relented and brought her some warm water and a cloth so she could clean Jacque's bloody skin. She had wanted to try and talk Logan into letting her help Jacque take a hot bath, but she hadn't been able to rouse the poor girl at the time. Cynthia imagined she was in shock from the brutal treatment of the wolf. Hell, she herself was in shock. Now that Jacque was awake she feared how her mind would handle all that had happened to her at the hands of Logan.

"Why did he do it?" Jacque finally raised her face and looked Cynthia in the face.

"Oh honey, come here.” She pulled the chair her leg was cuffed to closer so she could take Jacque in her arms. Jacque began to cry silently, her face buried in Cynthia's shoulder.

"He made me drink his blood and then he took mine. How will Fane want me now?"

"He will always want you, Jacque. You are his mate, his and his alone," Cynthia told her as she gently rubbed her back.

"I still hurt. I thought his blood was suppose to make me better," Jacque told her.

Cynthia pulled back to look at Jacque. "Really? You don't feel any better?"

Jacque shook her head. "No, I still feel like I'm on fire, burning from the inside. He didn't do anything sexually to me but I feel so violated, so dirty." Jacque closed her eyes as tears slowly streamed down her face.

"In some ways what he did was more intimate than sex."

"It was supposed to be Fane, Cynthia. God, it was supposed to be Fane. It wasn't supposed to be like this."

"I know, sweetie. I know. It's my fault, Jacque." Now Cynthia was crying. Cynthia knew what she said was true, it was her fault. She had helped this monster get his hands on Jacque. How could she live with herself ? "I was so angry at Fane for taking my brother, I didn't want him to be happy, to have you. I didn't think Logan would hurt you. I thought because he wanted you as his mate he would treat you reverently as most males do their mate. But you aren't really his, you aren't taking his darkness and it's only feeding his madness. I'm so sorry. I did this and I will deserve any punishment that your Alpha decides."