Jacque was quiet for a few minutes after Fane had finished talking. She thought about what she had gone through since meeting Fane and wondered if it was fate's way of showing her that she was indeed strong enough to lead, to take control. After all, she had survived two psychotic Alphas and although she hadn't walked away unscathed, she remained whole. She was still Fane's mate, she was still strong. She looked down at Fane who was patiently waiting for her response. His eyes softened as they met hers and she couldn't help but let her eyes wander on his beautiful face. They traced over the markings that flowed across his neck and disappeared under his shirt and then met his eyes once again.

"I can do this. I'm not saying that I'm not scared, but I got this. As long as you are by my side, wolf-man, I'm game."

Jacque curled up next to Fane, content to be in his arms and continued to think about her future, about their future. She wasn't going to worry, she was going to trust Fane and herself and she would give it her all and be the best mate and Alpha female when her time came.

"You will be amazing, Luna, never doubt that." She heard Fane's voice and the love he poured into his words in her mind.

"I wouldn't dare," she replied confidently. His response was a gentle squeeze and low chuckle under his breath.

Chapter 35

Jacque stood in the room that she was sharing with Jen and Sally in the mansion where Fane and his family lived. It had been a week since they landed in Romania and the whirlwind of preparing for the bonding ceremony had begun. Tonight, in a matter of less than an hour, those preparations would finally bear the fruit of their purpose. Tonight Jacque would tie herself to Fane for all eternity. Needless to say she was a little anxious, and it would be a lie if she didn't admit that she was a bit jumpy feeling that at any moment some crazy wolf would jump out of the woodwork to steal her away in some freakish attempt to make her his mate. Okay, if she took a minute to really think about those fears she just might break down into hysterical laughter knowing that three months ago she didn't even know werewolves existed. She looked in the mirror at the simple, green gown adorned with embroidered flowers stitched in a darker green thread, with gold thread mingled in working its way up from the hem of the dress up and growing sparser the higher up the dress it went. It was cut low in the front but had a high back that would cover her markings. Alina chose this dress as the replacement for the original one ruined in the accident. The green accented her eyes and complimented her red hair and although it wasn't the first dress, it was still just as stunning in its own way.

Today was not only the Blood Rites ceremony, it was also her eighteenth birthday. Who would have thought that on her eighteenth birthday she would be in Romania getting ready to bond with a werewolf? Ya, her either.

"How you doing of there, wolf princess?" Jacque heard Jen ask from the bed she was lounging on while Sally finished painting her toenails.

Jacque turned to face her two best friends, thankful beyond words that they were here to support her and if nothing else, give her sarcastic remarks to help keep her nerves under control.

"I'm nervous, but honestly I'm so beyond ready to be bonded to Fane."

"Well, believe us when we say we wish you would hurry up already because the whole 'crazy Alphas knocking down your door to get in your pants' is getting old," Jen told her dryly.

"Classy, Jen, real classy." Sally rolled her eyes.

"Well, better Jac than me, that's all I've got to say."

"Wait a minute," Sally began. "If I do recall, inebriated Jen was all about some wolf to be her man. What happened?"

Jen rolled her eyes, her mouth going tight. "We all know that's never going to happen. Besides, I'm beginning to think I wouldn't look good in fur anyways." Jen snorted at her own comment. "Get it? Fur? Wouldn't look good in fur? No, no takers, huh? Ok then, tough crowd."

Jacque walked over to Jen and knelt down in front of her, her eyebrows raised. "Jen, um, about that. I need to tell-" Just then the door to their room opened and Decebel stepped in.

Jen jumped up off the bed, causing Sally to fling nail polish all over. "Decebel, how good of you to join us in our private room, where we could be naked at any given moment. I was just saying to my two friends here how badly I wished that a grumpy, cocky, condescending, conceited werewolf would barge in uninvited. So thanks for that. Really, thanks."

Decebel just stared at Jen amd his eyes took her in from head to toe. Jen felt heat rise in her face under his scrutiny. "What, have you never seen a girl in a dress?" she snapped.

Decebel growled low. "Not a dress like that. Is it missing a jacket or some material?"

Jen's jaw dropped open, her eyes going wide. Sally coughed into her hand and Jacque just flat slapped her hand over her mouth.

Jen looked Decebel straight in the eyes as she pulled her already low cut dress just a tad lower, daring him with her lethal glare to make another comment.

Decebel walked over to her, standing directly in front of her. Jen had to lean her head back to look up at his towering form. "This conversation isn't over, Jennifer, and you aren't leaving this room until you put on a sweater or robe, or a parka for all I care. But you are not going out there like that." He then turned to Jacque. "It's time. He is waiting for you. Once Jennifer adds some material to her body I am to lead you and your friends to the gathering hall." Without another word he turned and walked back into the hall, waiting for them to follow.

Sally was already pulling out a soft cream short waist sweater that would go with Jen's navy blue dress. "Just put this on and lets go. It's Jacque's day, okay?" Sally whispered to her fuming friend.

Jen snatched the sweater from Sally and jerked it on, never taking her eyes from Decebel's stiff form. Finally she wrenched her eyes away and looked at Jacque. Her face immediately softened. "Okay Jac, let's do this. I've got your speech thingy so we're good. And you look amazing!"

Jacque beamed at the compliment. She nodded her head, taking a deep breath, and turned to follow Decebel out to where Fane waited for her.

As they approached the gathering room Jen and Sally both gave Jacque a hug. Neither spoke as they had already said all that needed to be said. Jen handed Jacque the sheet of paper that had her vows and gave her a quick wink. Decebel escorted Jen and Sally into their places in the hall, leaving Jacque standing there alone.

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