"I want you." He spoke the words he had spoken to her what seemed ages ago in an indoor garden standing in a gazebo. "I've waited more than a century for you."
Jen gasped as he lifted the hem of her shirt, revealing the dark tattoo-like marks that matched his own. His fingers traced the marks as he said, "You bear marks that no other ever will – marks that say you're mine. There is no other who will take the emptiness from me and no other who can love you as I will. I. Want. You."
Jen twisted in his lap and placed her hands on either side of his face. Her eyes narrowed as she stared at her destiny. "And so you will have me," she whispered against his lips.
Her lips pressed firmly to his as he wrapped one arm around her waist. With the other, he cupped the nape of her neck as if to keep her from leaving him ever again.
Decebel pulled his lips away long enough to say, "Tonight. Tonight we finish this."
Jen grinned against his lips, feeling his urgency build.
"Eager much?" she asked with a smile that almost reached her eyes.
"You have no idea," he whispered in her ear, bringing goosebumps to her skin.
Jen closed her eyes and took slow, deep breaths as she allowed his breath, his kiss, his touch to ease away the pain she'd brought upon herself.
Decebel pulled back and placed his forehead against hers, breathing hard. "I will never let you go."
"As if you would ever want to," she teased, regaining the humor that brought him so much joy. "There is all kinds of awesomeness going on here."
Decebel growled. "Baby, I think it's time you shared the awesomeness." His voice was a sensual caress.
Jen shivered. "The ceremony will be tonight?"
He nodded once in confirmation.
"So tonight I'm to spread the love, so to speak?"
Decebel grinned a wolf's smile and another shiver ran through her body. " As much as I want that, you need to heal. Tonight we will bond and do the Blood Rites, I will make you mine. But our consummation will have to wait."
"That makes you laugh?" he asked, taken aback.
"Did you seriously just say consummation?"
"Disrespectful woman," Decebel growled as he gently nipped her bottom lip. That brought a shiver of awareness at the closeness of their bodies, which brought on another giggle from Jen.
"Now what's funny?" Decebel raised a single eyebrow at her.
She shook her head. "Sorry, I was just thinking it's going to piss Sally off that she'll be the only one left in the sexual frustration club."
Decebel laughed. "Oh, I don't know about that. Costin looks more than on his way to becoming a member."
Decebel stood and placed her back on the bed. He leaned down and kissed her one last time as Jennifer Adams. For their next kiss would be as mates and, little did she know, as husband and wife.
Decebel grinned to himself at that thought. It was good to keep his little spitfire of a mate on her toes, goodness knows she was going to constantly give him a run for his money.
"You have two hours to prepare. I'm sending Sally and Jacque in here to help you. I realize this is short notice, so don't stress. The only thing I care to hear from your mouth is yes. No more thinking, Jennifer." Decebel stared so deeply into her eyes she swore he could see her soul.
Jennifer smiled sweetly and said in her most mocking voice, "One of these days, fur ball, you and me are going to tango and you are going to wish – however briefly – that I had said no."
Decebel stood and rolled his shoulders back, his six foot four inch frame towering over her. He bared his teeth at her, canines lengthened. "I guess I haven't told you yet just how much I like dancing with you, and even you should know that there is no greater turn on than an Alpha's mate challenging him. So if I ever wish that you had said no, then, baby, it's only because it's my favorite form of foreplay."
Jen's mouth dropped open at his statement. She didn't miss the smug look in his eyes that said he knew he had rendered her speechless. And so far he was the only person, wolf, whatever, on earth capable of doing that to her. And here she was, going to tie herself to him forever. She watched as he strutted out of her room, a proud peacock pleased that he had stunned his mate.
Jacque and Sally walked in only moments after Decebel had left. She could see him standing in the other room. He made sure she was never out of his line of sight and though part of her wanted to roll her eyes at his protectiveness, the other part basked in his attention and care.
She still had not composed herself when her two friends approached her bed.
"Okay, I have got to know what he said to put that look on your face." Sally's eyebrows were raised clear to her hairline as she looked at Jen.
That snapped Jen out of her temporary stupor.
"Get used to disappointment, Sally girl. I will never repeat what that pervert just said to me."
Jacque laughed." Oh, no." She climbed onto the foot of Jen's bed and laid out on her side. "If you think he's perverted now, just wait until the physical aspect of your relationship has a big, fat green light. I swear, having a mental link to your mate is like having front row tickets to a never-ending porno."
Now it was Sally's turn to drop her jaw and turn all shades of red. Jen couldn't help the bark of laughter that forced its way out despite her groan of pain afterward.
"How would you know? You've never seen a porno." Jen snorted.
"Well, I can assure you that it's not an after school special running through my mate's head 95 percent of the time."
Sally squeaked, "95?"
"Chillax, healer. I think you have a little time before your wolf claims you." The words were out of Jen's mouth before she could stop them. A deer in the headlights had nothing on the look on Jen's face.
Sally and Jacque spoke at the same time, "What?"
Jen backpedaled as quickly as she could. "I don't mean a fur ball – I just mean, you know, a guy. Who are all dogs so might as well call your future man a wolf. It was just an expression, force of habit since we are constantly surrounded by unnaturally fine, too good looking for their own good, flea-infested fur balls." Jen took a deep breath. "So, can we please get back to me and getting me ready to one of the said fur balls?"