"I know I'm difficult, B. But that doesn't mean I don't know how to be reasonable. And I understand why you pushed me away."

"You do?"

"Sure I do. You're nervous. It's been a while and you're worried about being able to live up to my expectations. It's okay, we'll go slow. I'll give you as much time as you need." Jen was nearly biting her lip she was trying so hard not to laugh at the horror on Decebel's face at her words. She knew what she was saying was a load of crap, but she just couldn't resist. She'd felt like he didn't want her. She'd been hurt when he pushed her away. It wouldn't hurt him if he thought that she thought he was actually stressing over the whole consummation thing.

"I'm going to go to the bathroom and get ready for bed. Don't worry about me, okay? When you're ready, we can explore our physical relationship." Jen started to climb off his lap as she watched his mouth open and then close. As she reached the bathroom door she heard him growl.

"Explore our physical relationship? Nervous? Worried?" With each word his voice got louder and the growling increased. By the time Jen had closed and locked the bathroom door, Decebel was at the door jiggling the door knob.

"Jennifer, open this door."

"Decebel, seriously. Can I have some privacy? We have not been mated long enough to pee in front of each other."

She heard him grumble something under his breath but he moved away from the door.

Jen stood there, waiting. For what she wasn't sure. Then all of a sudden the wall closest next to her just disappeared. Jacque and Peri stood directly in front of where the wall had been.

"What the -"

"Shhh." Jacque motioned to Jen to lower her voice.

Jen walked over to Jacque and the Fae and the wall reappeared as if it had never vanished.

"That is freaking wicked cool." Jen grinned at Peri.

Peri rolled her eyes. "Wolves. So easily impressed."

"So are we planning our secret op?" Jen rubbed her hands together, looking very much the part of mischievous child.

Peri motioned for them to follow her. The front door opened soundlessly and closed behind them. Jen and Jacque both expected to begin shivering, but even though there was snow all around them, they felt no cold.

"I take it you're keeping us warm?" Jacque asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I can't very well talk to you two if your teeth are chattering incessantly, it's annoying."

"Alright then, Peri-fairy, tell us how you really feel." Jen rolled her eyes.

Peri ignored the comment. "The males in your pack will never let you two go on your own."

Jacque and Jen looked at each other and then at Peri.

"Yeah, we know that much. What we don't understand is why you aren't working your mojo to bind them like you did Decebel." Jacque decided that her words must have shocked Peri because the Fae took a step back.

"You want me to bind your mates?" she asked incredulously.

A chuckle emanated from Jen. "No, silly."

Peri took an audible breath and let it out, obviously relieved.

Jen smiled in return. "We want you to bind all the males.”

Chapter 25

"What exactly are you doing now?" Thad asked the witch his pack had employed for centuries. She sat in a chair in the room she called her “cave”. Thad tried not to look around at the things hanging from the ceiling or staring out at him from the jars that filled the shelves lining the walls. He didn't look on the floor to see what he might be stepping on, or worse, in. Mona stared out the window as she flipped her wrist at him absentmindedly.

"I'm doing my thing. A better question would be – what are you doing, Alpha?" Mona threw it back in the Alpha's face.

"What can I do?" Thad blustered. "I don't know where they are. It's kind of hard to attack someone when you don't know their location."

"You know, Thad, beggars can't be choosers. So, you either wait patiently for me to tell you when the time is right, or I can turn you into a toad. Really, it's your choice."

Thad's face was turning an unnatural shade of red as he glared at the back of Mona's head. His thoughts from earlier swirled in his mind. What was in it for Mona?

"Mona," Thad said her name sweetly. "Why are you still helping me and my pack after all this time?"

"You know why. Protection from the Fae."

"The Fae haven't set foot across the veil in centuries and your power is stronger than ever. Why are you hanging out with the wolves, Desdemona? What's your interest in the healer?"

Mona turned in her chair slowly. Her mismatched eyes met his. She smiled as she stood and walked toward him. Thad knew better than to back away from a predator, so he held his ground.

"Thad, Thad, Thad," Mona purred. "You know better than to question me." Mona took a long finge nail and trailed it across Thad's cheek and down his neck. She leaned close to his ear and whispered, "Don't go digging where you shouldn't or you just might find you've been digging your grave all along."

Thad didn't let her see how much her words disturbed him. He kept his face cool and devoid of emotion. She walked away with a sway in her hips and said over her shoulder, "I will contact you when the time is right. Have your wolves ready, Alpha. When this is all said and done you will have more than a little blood on your underworked hands." Just as he thought she was finished, he jumped when he heard her yell, "Oh, and GET OUT!"

Thad stormed into his pack mansion, Mona's words echoing in his head. Digging in. There was something buried that she didn't want him to know. Something about healers and what they meant to a witch. It was time for him to visit his pack archives, even as much as he hated going into the place that smelled of old parchment and dust. But he needed to know what Mona was up to. He was no fool, it was apparent now that Mona wasn't helping Thad, she was using him to achieve her own agenda. He had been blind all along. If she thought to get her hands on his healer, then she wasn't as smart as he always believed her to be. As a witch, yes, she was powerful. But it wouldn't be beyond him to make sure she got caught in the crossfire of fighting wolves. She could stand against some, but there was no way Mona could stand against two packs. Not packs with Alphas and dominants as strong as his and Vasile's. It was actually a shame that he had to rip Vasile's pack to shreds – a  real shame, but necessary.

Tags: Quinn Loftis The Grey Wolves Young Adult
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