"Great." Jen took a seat in one of the two chairs in front of the desk and Sally took the other. "I'm declaring war on the males who were stupid enough to provoke my mate."
"Your mate?" Cynthia interrupted.
"Ah ah, doc. You promised to keep a lid on it 'til I finished." Jen cocked an eyebrow at her.
Cynthia held her hands up in surrender.
"As I was saying, I'm declaring war. I don't want to hurt anyone but I do want to send a message that the females in this pack won't take crap from anyone, nor will we put up with them pissing our males off." Jen paused waiting to see if Cynthia was going to saying anything. She didn't. "So I've cooked up a plan, that although harmless, will be quite humiliating."
She went on to explain the details of her plan. All the while, Cynthia's eyes kept getting wider and wider.
"Now, one issue I was trying to figure out was how to make sure everyone gets to see the Chippendales. I think I've come up with the answer. Crina and I will be the ones to invite them to come play cards with us. We'll tell them that we need to play in the gym after everyone has left because we can't have their scent in our rooms or our males will freak. Then, after Jacque, Sally, and Costin do their part, they can take fliers – made by yours truly – and go door to door handing them out." Jen smiled, obviously pleased with herself.
Sally looked at her, brow creased. "What exactly is the flier going to say?"
"To come to the multi-pack after hours party in the gym. How you like them apples?" Jen held up her hand for Sally to high five.
Sally gave her a reluctant slap to the hand. "But when they get to the gym instead of a party they're going to get an eyeful of -"
Jen interrupted, "Bare ass were-wolves." Then she laughed.
"You are really beginning to scare me," Sally said wearily.
When Jen looked at Cynthia expectantly, she leaned forward and placed her elbows on her desk. Taking a deep breath, she asked, "And what exactly do you need me to do in this crazy, albeit somewhat ingenious, evil plan?"
"We were hoping that maybe you knew of a way to keep the wolves from phasing," Jen explained. "It would be kind of pointless if they could phase into their wolf forms."
"Wow. No pressure, huh?" Cynthia's smile was slight, but she wasn't kicking them out of her office…yet. "I don't know of any drug developed for this purpose. An Alpha can prevent their wolves from changing, but I take it you don't want any of the Alphas aware of this plan of yours?"
"You would be correct."
Cynthia tapped her chin as she thought about all the things she knew in regards to medicine and wolves. Suddenly, Sally jumped up.
"Uh, Sally dear, would you like to share your obvious epiphany?" Jen asked.
"Nepeta," Sally whispered.
"Nepeta," she repeated. "Don't ask me how I know this because I have no freaking clue. I'm just sitting here thinking about how crazy you are -"
"Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence," Jen muttered.
"- and then, BAM! It's just there in my brain. Nepeta. It keeps wolves from phasing."
Cynthia was sitting with her mouth wide open, staring at Sally.
Sally looked up at the doctor. She threw her hands in the air. "I'm telling you I don't know what the hell it's all about, but there it is."
Jen got up and went around to the doctor's computer, pushing against Cynthia in order to get access to the mouse and keyboard. "Move your stunned butt over and let me do some research, doc."
Cynthia absently rolled her chair out of Jen's way while she went to tapping on the keyboard.
"What are you doing?"
"Looking up Neptun," Jen answered.
"Nepeta," Sally corrected. "N-e-p-e-t-a."
She looked up. "You even know how to spell it?"
Sally nodded and swallowed hard.
Suddenly Jen laughed. "Oh, this is rich. The more common name for our little phase-freeze is cat nip." Sally actually let out a few chuckles while Jen slapped the desk. "I don't know if it gets much better than that."
Cynthia was finally knocked out of her momentary shock when Jen jolted her with the slap to the desk. She looked over to Sally and smiled.
"Uh, doc. You're kind of freaking me out," Sally admitted reluctantly.
"I think you're a healer," Cynthia told her with awe. "A gypsy healer."
Jen looked from Cynthia to Sally and back again. "Come again?"
"Every century or so, a gypsy healer appears to a pack of Canis lupis. There's no rhyme or reason to it. But it's a huge honor and pushes the power scales majorly into that pack's corner," she explained.
"What do you mean 'appears'?" Sally asked.
"Just that whoever she is – and the healer is always female – wherever she is, fate brings her to the pack she is to serve. You were destined to be Jacque's friend because Jacque was the key to leading you to this pack. Just as Jen was destined to be Jacque's friend, because she too was to be a part of the Romanian pack."
"How is that even possible?" Sally asked dubiously.
"There's no explaining the Fates, Sally," Cynthia told her honestly. "Everyone has a destiny and no matter how many times they wander, they will always find their way back to the path that will fulfill their purpose."
"So how do you know I'm a gypsy healer?" Sally sat back down in the chair she had bolted from.
"We'll have to make sure you are, but gypsy healers are blessed supernaturally with the knowledge of herbs, medicine, healing arts, things you couldn't possibly know without years of studying."
"How do you know all this?" Jen asked.
"I didn't just study human medicine when I went to medical school. I learned as much as I could about how to care for Canis lupis as well. Although, I would never be able to learn all that the healers know. I studied the history of gypsy healers within the packs a few decades ago. There hasn't been a gypsy healer, at least documented, in nearly two centuries." Cynthia shook her head in disbelief and smiled. "Wow. If we confirm this, Vasile is going to be thrilled."
"Okay, so congratulations are in order," Jen announced. "Sally, congratulations. Now we gotta move along and come back to this revelation at a later date and time."