Costin groaned. "I knew I should have just stayed in my room. Kept to myself. But nope, I just had to hang around the hot unmated females. I just had to be my usual charming self."
"No self esteem issues on that side of the room, huh?" Sally interrupted.
He looked up at her and grinned. "I have a weakness for beautiful women and they seem to have a weakness for me."
"Definitely no self esteem issues."
Jen continued on, ignoring their play. "I don't think we need to change any of our plans at this point. I think we just need to be extra vigilant."
"Did you just use the word vigilant?" Jacque laughed.
"Jacque!" Jen growled.
"Okay, okay. I'll shut up. I realize your evil plan is stressing you out."
"Honestly," Jen agreed. "Who knew it would be so exhausting being the villain?"
"Haven't you ever watched any Disney movies?" Sally asked as they all stood up to go to breakfast.
Jen looked at her questioningly.
"Seriously, Jen, do you think all those wicked witches look like they've been ridden hard and hung out to dry because it's easy being evil?"
Cynthia, Crina, and Marianna, who'd been sitting quietly through the meeting, lost their composure at that.
Jacque and Jen were grinning from ear to ear.
"I do believe we have managed to corrupt our sweet little Sally." Jacque high fived Jen.
"It's about time, too." Jen nudged Sally with her shoulder. "I was beginning to think that she was beyond help."
"You two are disturbed. Like, seriously in need of major pills and years of counseling disturbed."
Crina looked over at Cynthia. "Are all Americans like this?"
Cynthia winked. "No, I think it's a Southern thing."
Jen cackled. "It's like I always say, us Southern belles give 'em hell!"
"Yee-haw!" Jacque and Sally hollered as they made their way into the hall.
"Way to not draw attention to us, ladies," Costin muttered as they passed other pack members.
"Costin, sweetie, there is no way to not draw attention to all this."
All the girls laughed as Costin rolled his eyes.
"Let's go -" Jacque started.
"Get our grub on. Yeah yeah, we know, wolf princess."
Vasile waited for everyone to be seated before he addressed them about the day's plans.
"I wanted to give you all an update on the situation with Decebel."
Jen sat up straighter, waiting to see what Vasile would say.
"Alina and I will be dining with the other Alphas tonight, and I plan to broach the subject of Decebel and Jen. Hopefully, once I explain things, they will be willing to allow Jen and Decebel to spend some time together without requiring them to participate in any more events."
Jen let out the breath she'd been holding. "Is Decebel going to be allowed out tonight?"
Vasile's eyes softened as he looked at Decebel's mate. "I don't know yet, Jen. If the Alphas don't agree, then it will probably be best to keep Decebel separate from everyone until we return home."
Jen just nodded her head in understanding.
"As for the rest of the day, our females will be having fencing lessons. Some of the older unmated males come from a time period when guns were not the method of warfare."
"No offense, Alpha," Jen spoke up, "but telling us that the males we should be looking for as mates are old enough to be considered exhibits in ancient museums doesn't do much for the ol' libido."
Crina and Marianna snickered while Sally rolled her eyes and covered her face in exasperation.
Vasile smiled. "So, then you will be happy to know that your mate is at least half a century away from being inducted into said exhibit."
Jen glared. "Not cool, V. So not cool."
Vasile chuckled and winked at her.
"Let's eat and be off. Oh, and one more thing, Jen," Vasile addressed her, face wiped clean of the smile. "Please refrain from stabbing some poor, unsuspecting wolf."
Jen blinked innocently. "Does that mean I can stab a suspecting fur ball?"
"I'll take that as a negative. Roger that, Alpha sir."
Thad answered the cell phone that vibrated in his pocket.
"What?" he snapped at his contact. "So you have found a location to take her? Did you get the urine to pour on her?” He listened. “I understand that you think it's disgusting, but it would be pointless to hide her if they could sniff her out. The urine will mask it. Do as I ask. You know the price you will pay if you do not." He hit the end button and slipped the phone back into his pocket.
He stepped from the suite into the adjoining area that had been set up as a dining room, and watched as two of his mated females prepared the table for the dinner that would take place in less than an hour. He had made sure every detail had been taken care of, down to the moment he would hand Vasile, the greatest Alpha in two centuries, the fatal drink.
Thad smiled to himself as he thought about how the week had played out. Vasile's Beta was locked up, and they were all so distracted by the situation with him and the American they didn't have any idea there was a traitor amongst them.
He walked over to the mini bar and poured a drink. He lifted it into the air as he whispered under his breath, "Here's to a night to remember." He slung the liquor back, savoring the burn it caused in his throat.
A knock at the door brought him out of his reverie. He motioned for one of the females to open it. Dragomir and his mate Agnes walked in.
"Dragmoir," Thad inclined his head to the Hungary pack Alpha, then approached his mate. "Agnes. Looking ravishing, as always." He took her hand and gently laid a kiss on it.
"Thank you, Thad." Agnes smiled genuinely. "We feel honored to be your guests and honored to be included in this monumental event. It's time we stop fighting amongst the packs and join forces to help our species survive."
"Spoken like a true Alpha female."
They continued with small talk as each Alpha and his mate arrived. Vasile and Alina were last, both walking with the confidence that comes with reigning for two centuries. Thad made himself smile and gush over Alina just as he had the other females. He reminded himself that this would be the last time he would have to watch the pair cloaked in their own power. That thought was enough to bring about a sincere smile as he invited them all to sit around the table.