"Baby," Decebel's voice was a low growl and full of hurt, "please tell me there's more and that it no longer includes ripping my heart from my chest."
Jen took his hand on the right side of her chair and lifted it. She pulled it closer until his hand was on her waist, his fingers directly over the mating marks that her dress did not completely cover. His eyes brightened at her bold and very blatant move. She was reminding him through touch, a touch that only he would ever have the privilege of, that she was his.
"I say all this so you will understand the importance of what I am going to say next."
"Go on." His words were soft as he gently squeezed her side in encouragement.
"We've been through some tough times in the short amount of time we have known each other. We've both been through tough times in our lives before we knew each other. But it is those tough times that make us who we are, that make us valuable to one another, because those times in our lives when we were walking through the valley, those times are what built our character. Those times are what made us the people we are today, people who have been able to endure the past three weeks.
“You didn’t give up, you didn't walk away even when you didn't understand what was going on, even when things seemed to keep going from bad to worse. You stuck around. You are a man of your word, you have integrity and honor. No matter what we go through; the choices we make; the failures we endure; the victories that come; the sorrow that tears through our lives. No matter the passion we have; the anger we will feel; the joy or the love that will fill our hearts and souls, memory or not. You are a man of worth. The very definition of value does not do you justice because your value to me is vast, endless, infinite, inestimable, completely and utterly beyond measure." A promise from her very soul only meant for him. Jen leaned forward, placing her hand on the nape of his neck, and pulled him until their foreheads touched.
She whispered, "Decebel." Her voice caught and she felt a tear slip down her cheek.
He ran his hand down her hair to her bare back. "Shh, baby, it's just us. Just you and me."
Collecting herself, she tried again. "Decebel, my love, my mate, I will spend every day for the rest of our lives striving to make sure you know your worth."
They sat like that, forehead to forehead, breathing each other in for several minutes. The room was utterly silent. No one moved, not wanting to disturb the couple lost in their love.
Finally Decebel pulled back. Jen smiled and whispered, "So is that it? Are we bonded?"
Decebel's face lit up in a rare smile that radiated off of him. "Yes, baby, we are bonded, but that's not it."
Jen's brow furrowed as confusion colored her face. "Please tell me you are not going to bite me in front of them."
Decebel growled and frowned. "That's the equivalent of letting them watch us -"
Decebel was cut off by Vasile before he could finish the thought. Jen understood his meaning and realized her faux pas.
"My bad." She smiled and gave a weak chuckle.
Decebel held out his hand to her as he stood. "Can you stand with me a few moments longer?"
Jen took his hand and stood, silently answering his question. He placed her opposite him and frowned when Vasile stood behind them, facing the room. Jen caught on real quick as to why Dec was growling and turned to look out at the others in the room.
"Hey, Jacque, could you ing-bray e-may a-way acket-jay?" Jen hadn't used pig latin in a long time, but Jacque was as fluent as ever.
" On-way it-way" Jacque ran up the stairs to grab a sweater from the closet in her room.
A few moments later, sweater in hand, she jogged up to Jen and helped her put it on.
" Uch-may obliged-way"
Decebel raised an eyebrow at Jen. "I speak pig latin, love, and several other languages. So you might want to figure out one I don't speak if you want to be sneaky."
"I'm going to speak a language that is universal to everyone even if they don't know much sign language." Jen grinned wickedly.
"Jen, behave,” Jacque scolded. “You're getting ready to get -" Decebel's head snapped around and Jacque slapped a hand over her mouth. She turned away, quickly mumbling something unintelligible through her hand.
Jen looked up at Decebel. "I'm going to be getting what, fur ball?"
"You are going to marry me now," he stated matter of fact. "We've bonded in the way of our wolves, now we will bond in the way of your species. Make no mistake, Jennifer, there will be no question in any species, be it human, wolf, Fae, vampire, witch, or the like who will question what you are to me or who you are to me."
Jen's mouth dropped open and for the second time in twenty four hours, Decebel had rendered her speechless. Decebel gently pushed her jaw closed and smiled. "Seeing as how speech has left you momentarily, we will begin, and you don't have to worry because you only have to say two words."
Jen knew in her heart that she wanted to marry Decebel. It was the logical next step, seeing as how he had just branded her name on his body and they would be exchanging blood in a short while. But, bloody hell, the barbarian could have asked! Without thinking, Jen stomped on Decebel's foot as hard as she could and though it probably more startled him than hurt, he snarled at her and reached to pull her to him. She wanted to kick him in the shin, but she didn't have her shoes on and it would hurt her more than him. So when his hand came down on her shoulder she turned her head and bit down as hard as she could.
Decebel pulled his hand back and snarled again.
"What the -" Decebel stopped himself just barely before he cursed at his mate. His eyes were glowing and he swore that Jen's blue eyes were lit up with their own faint glow.
"Jennifer, why did you strike out against your mate?" Decebel's voice was deceptively calm.
Jen crossed her arms over her chest and glared.
Decebel decided that if looks could beat the crap out of someone, hers would be doing it at this very moment.
"I can't believe you even have to ask. You just told me – TOLD ME – that I was going to marry you!" Jen threw her hands up. "Are you KIDDING ME, DECEBEL? SERIOUSLY?"
"Don't you want to marry me?" Decebel asked, truly at a loss as to why she was angry.
Just then a snicker from across the room made its way to him and his head whipped around to stare down the culprit.