"I need to do something, Sally. I don't know what but I can't stand this. I've never wanted a guy I couldn't have. As conceited as that sounds, truth is truth."
Sally's finger was tapping her lips as she closed her eyes in thought.
"Um, what's cooking in that sadistic brain of yours?" Jen asked nervously.
Sally's eyes snapped open. "I was just thinking that maybe if you met someone else then you could get past your furry problem."
"My furry problem? Really? You make it sound like I have abnormal leg hair growth or something." Jen rolled her eyes.
"Look." Sally stopped Jen before she could walk out of the room. "Let's just give it a go. You, me, and Jacque – tonight. We'll get Sorin to take us somewhere where there are going to be guys. Then you can do your thing."
"My thing?" Jen asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Yeah. You know, your thing. The hottie hunting thing."
Jen laughed. "Man, it sounded like such a good idea at the time."
Sally groaned. "Oh, come on, Jen."
Jen interrupted her before Sally could continue. "Don’t. Don't do that whiny voice."
"Then say you will go tonight," Sally challenged. "Or are you chicken?"
"You really like living on the edge, don't you, Thelma?"
"Hey, I'm just calling it how I see it." Sally shrugged.
Jen growled as she threw her head back. Sally knew she couldn't stand to be called a chicken. Jennifer Adams was many things, but a chicken was not one of them.
"Fine, I'll go." She paused, thinking about Sally's idea. "I think a night out is just what the doctor ordered."
"Excellent." Sally grinned, rubbing her hands together in suppressed glee.
"Man, you scare me sometimes, Sal. Truly, you do." Jen grabbed Sally's hand and began walking towards the bedroom door. "Let's do this."
"If that tutor tries to cram anything else into my head, I swear it's going to explode," Jacque whined.
"I feel ya. This three hours a day is kicking my super fine butt." Jen groaned as she slid into a seat in the dining room. "I mean, I get that she has to get seven hours of school into three, but seriously."
"I know, right?" Sally agreed as she laid her head on the table after taking a seat across from Jen.
Jacque sat at the head of the long table and leaned back against the chair.
"How are you, Luna?" She heard Fane's voice in her mind and felt his fingers run across her cheek. It made her shiver involuntarily.
"Oh, ya know, aside from my brain feeling like it's going to become mush and ooze out of my ears, I'm great." She heard him chuckle which made her grin like an idiot.
"I see you've been working on that constipated-looking face when you talk to Cujo," Jen teased.
Jacque just rolled her eyes at her friend.
"The girls are wanting to go out tonight. That okay with you?" she asked Fane.
"Sure, what time? My father has a conference call that was supposed to take place this afternoon, but has been pushed back to later this evening."
"That's fine. We were going to get Sorin to take us. They kind of want it to just be the girls."
That really made Fane laugh. "I'm sure Sorin will be so happy to know that you all consider him one of the girls."
Jacque laughed out loud, causing Sally and Jen to roll their eyes at her. "Sorry," she mumbled.
"So you cool with that, wolf-man?"
"I guess as long as Sorin is with you then I can deal with it. I love you, Jacquelyn."
"Funny that. I was just thinking the same thing about you." Jacque felt Fane's lips against hers. She was still getting used to being able to feel him even though he wasn't with her.
"Houston, we are clear for take off." Jacque grinned.
Jen looked at Sally, then back at Jacque. "Did you smoke something this morning and not share?"
Jacque rolled her eyes. "Do you really think I have to smoke something to get happy when I wake up next to Fane every morning?"
"Okay, point to you," Jen said, waving Jacque off.
"So I take it what you were saying with the whole Houston reference is that we're a go for tonight? Operation 'forget bossy werewolf guy' has been green-lighted?" Sally asked.
Jen covered her face and groaned at Sally's words. "Did you seriously just say that? Operation forget bossy werewolf guy? Really, Sally?"
Sally nodded in all seriousness.
"Well, if you're going to call our night out an operation – and you know how I love ops – at least get it right. It's operation 'forget freaking fine, brooding, bossy werewolf guy'," Jen supplied.
"Good call." Sally bumped fists with Jen, glad to see her friend was regaining her snarky sense of humor.
"Okay, girls. I think we need to head out and begin phase one of operation triple F, double B, WG." Jacque tried to say it with a straight face but as soon as she realized that B and G rhymed in her little abbreviation she lost the battle. Jen and Sally were laughing along with her as they all headed up the stairs.
"What exactly is phase one?" Jen raised her eyebrows at Jacque.
"Phase one, my dear, is find your inner hoochie mama."
"Ahh, I get it." Sally nodded. "It's all about embracing your inner skank."
Jen shook her head. "I think the air is thinner here because you two are clearly not getting enough oxygen to the brain."
"Oh, come on. Give us a break. Out of all of us, you've got inner skank-embracing down to an art form," Sally told her.
"True, very true, Sally. I am expert on all things skank." Jen was laughing as hard as Jacque and Sally when Decebel came around the corner.
The three girls froze while Decebel continued forward until he stood in front of Jen.
For a brief moment they simply stared at one another. The intensity that flowed between them was strong and nearly suffocating.
"I put your clothes and your suitcase in your room," Decebel told her.
Jen took a step back, surprised at his words. Decebel had seen the clothes in her suitcase, and by clothes she meant her womanly garments. She knew her face must be bright red because Decebel's eyes were glowing as she looked back at him. Before she could respond he leaned down and whispered in her ear.