Jen's hands left his face and traveled to his strong shoulders and then back up to his neck, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him close. Jen pictured them in her mind, showing him how she saw him, and how he made her feel. She pictured what she longed for as his mate and wife, and nearly grinned when she felt a low growl in his chest.

"That's just mean, Jennifer," he spoke into her mind with a groan.

"I'm just being honest. I need you, Decebel. Don't you need me?" Decebel heard the fear of rejection in her voice.

"Need you, want you, more than anything." Even through their bond Jen could tell he was breathless.

Decebel broke the kiss and began placing lighter ones along her jawline down to her neck. Jen pulled her head back, giving him better access. Decebel growled in response to her submission. He kissed the mark at the bottom of her neck and continued kissing down her collarbone and across the swell of her breast. Jen held her breath at the feeling of his lips and warm breath on her skin.

"Jennifer," he whispered against her skin. "Breathe, baby."

A gasp escaped her lungs, feeling Decebel slowly raise her shirt and begin kissing her along her right side, where the markings that matched his climbed from her hip to under her arm.

Decebel chuckled when he heard her whimper as he gently nipped her skin with his teeth.

Then, much to her frustration, he pulled her shirt back down and raised himself on his forearms to look down at her.

"I love you. I want to make love to you. But I'm not about to do it in a tavern full of Canis lupis, in a room with multiple single beds. I can assure you that I'm suffering more than you by waiting, but I won't have my mate's first time be anything less than perfect."

"How can I be upset with you when you say something like that to me?" she pouted.

Decebel leaned down and kissed her slowly. When he pulled back, he grinned at her. "You can't."

"Dec," the tremble in her voice had him looking into her mind, "I love being in your arms. I'm so happy I'm your mate, your wife. I love you."

Decebel ran his thumb gently across her well-kissed lips and whispered through their bond, "You are mine, as I am yours."

Jen nipped his lips with her teeth, bringing a rumble from his chest. "Don't you forget it."

The following day Jen and Jacque sat on one of the couches in the meeting room, watching as Vasile talked to the top males in their pack. The Tavern was abuzz with preparations. Some of the pack members were helping Nicolae prepare food for the coming packs, others helped wash dishes that had been dirtied from breakfast.

"I really feel like I should be up making myself useful," Jen said as she watched the others scurrying around.

"Yes, well, that would kind of be hard for you to do since your mate won't let you out of his sight," Jacque pointed out.

“There is that," Jen agreed dryly.

"Speaking of, how are you two?"

Jen's eyes lit up as she looked over at Decebel, who was standing in a way that kept her in his line of sight while he discussed something with Sorin.

"We're good. He's bossy, possessive, and broody." Jen grinned as she saw Decebel raise a single eyebrow and look up at her. She knew he would hear her. "But I wouldn't change a thing about him." She tore her eyes from her mate and looked at Jacque. "I've never felt so treasured, you know?"

"Completely understand," Jacque said as she grinned at her friend.

Jen and Jacque jumped up when they heard loud voices coming from the other room. Both girls began moving in the direction of the noise, but were brought up short when Decebel and Fane were suddenly in front of them. The doors to the meeting room opened and they recognized Dragomir, the Hungary Alpha, walk in followed by members of his pack. Right behind them was Victor, Alpha of the Bulgarian pack, and his pack members, and then Dillon, the Colorado pack Alpha, with his pack, pulling up the rear.

Jacque stepped around Fane and made her way over to her dad.

"Hey," she said, smiling.

"Hey yourself." Dillon smiled back and pulled her into a hug. "You okay?"

Jacque stepped back from him and felt Fane wrap an arm around her from behind.

"I'm good. It's been a rough few weeks, but we're all in one piece."

Dillon looked past Jacque at Fane. "Good to see you, Fane."

"Dillon." Fane nodded in acknowledgment and added, "We appreciate your assistance."

"I will always come if my daughter is in danger." Dillon smiled once more at Jacque and then made his way to Vasile and the other Alphas.

Jen and Decebel stepped up next to Jacque and Fane.

Jen nudged Jacque. "You seen Sally?"

"She's working with Rachel and Peri again."

"Let's hope that fairy has some tricks up her sleeve. I have a feeling we're going to need them," Jen muttered, then nearly jumped when she heard Peri's voice from behind her.

"Oh, I've got more than tricks, mate of Decebel. I've got legends come to life."

Peri made her way quickly to the front and pushed through the other Alphas, ignoring their snarls.

"Vasile, we need to talk. Now."

Vasile looked at the others. "I apologize, gentlemen. If you will please give me just a few moments."

The three Alphas muttered their consents and turned to clear out of the room.

Vasile then addressed his wolves. "Romanian pack, if you would please step into the other room for a few moments. Thank you all for your help and patience."

The area began to empty. Peri turned to see who still remained and rolled her eyes when she saw all the ones who had been with her across the veil.

"I suppose nothing I can say will get you lot out of here."

Decebel stepped forward. "If this has to do with any of us in this room, then we stay."

Sally and Rachel entered the room. The look on Sally's face told them something was up.

"You okay, Sal?" Jen asked, her eyebrows raised in question.

Sally swallowed with some difficulty before she spoke. "It's just a lot to take in."

Peri looked at each person in the room, pausing briefly on their faces before she spoke.

"Desdemona -"

"I thought we weren't supposed to speak her name." Jen interrupted.

Peri frowned at her. "At this point it's not a concern." She waited, watching Jen to see if she had a response. Naturally, she did.

Tags: Quinn Loftis The Grey Wolves Young Adult