When she finally saw him come into view she was momentarily confused when he simply sat on his haunches and looked around, looking more like a large farm dog taking a break than a fierce wolf. Once she collected herself she took two large steps and pushed hard with her legs, launching herself into the air. Just before she would have landed on his back, Fane, in a very experienced move, dropped to the ground and rolled her. Jacque landed with an “oomph” sound. She stood up, shaking herself.

“How did you know where I was coming from?” She turned to look at the once again calm Fane.

“I could hear your heartbeat, and smell you.”

“Damn, I was upwind. Amateur mistake,” she muttered.

“You actually got much farther than I anticipated, and that whole zig-zag thing you and Jen did was brilliant.”

Jacque preened under his praise and walked over to him, rubbing against his side. He licked her muzzle and she instinctively lowered her head.

“I’m so glad that I can share this with you,” Fane told her as they lay down next to each other, their bodies pressed close.

“Me too.” Jacque’s voice was a contented sigh.

“Can I ask you something?” Fane's tone was cautious.

“Anything,” Jacque answered.

“Do you miss your home? Are you happy here with me, with my family?”

Jacque heard the worry in Fane’s voice. He could be in her mind anytime he wanted and seek the reassurance he needed. But instead he asked her.

“I miss my mom. But I get to talk to her anytime I want.” She turned her face to his. “Do I really miss my life back in the States? No. My home is wherever you are.”

“Do you ever wonder what your life would be like had you never met me? Where you might be, who you might be with?”

“If you mean do I think Trent and I would have gotten back together, then the answer is no.” Jacque felt Fane tense.

“What’s up, wolf-man? Are you still jealous of him?”

When he didn’t answer right away she sat up to look at him and immediately lowered herself back to the ground at his low growl.

“My father found out something about Trent. About why he ended your relationship so abruptly.”

“Oh?” Jacque sounded surprised. She was a little put out that he hadn’t told her a long time ago.

“Lucas threatened him if he didn’t stop seeing you. Trent actually stood up to him, but then Lucas threatened his family.”

“How did you find this out?”

“Simple,” Fane told her. “We asked him.”

“Did he not find that a little odd?”

“I explained to him that you and I had hit it off and gone on a couple of dates. I told him that you were honest with me about your relationship and the sudden break up. He looked genuinely sorry,” Fane added begrudgingly. “So when I told him that I saw some strange guys hanging around your place and wanted to know if he knew anything, he told me about Lucas.”

Jacque looked off into the forest, lost in thought at the information Fane had just told her. It was weird to realize that Trent hadn’t really wanted to break up with her. What would have happened? Would they have continued to date through their senior year? She heard a low growl from Fane.

“Sorry, I’m not saying that's what I wish had happened. It’s just weird to think that what I thought wasn’t reality at all. Why didn’t you tell me?”

Fane looked away. She nudged his head gently, encouraging him to tell her.

He let out a loud huff.

“I didn’t want to know if you wished that it hadn’t happened, that you might have wanted to continue a relationship with Trent,” Fane admitted.

“That’s absurd.” Jacque laughed. “Even if I had still been with Trent when you showed up, I would have left him. The pull I felt to you was like two magnets. The closer we got to each other the stronger the pull became. No one could have kept me from you, Fane. Surely you know this.”

Fane sent her an image of him caressing her face. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the physical sensation she was able to feel even through the bond. She nudged him to get up and stood. She was tired of the depressing conversation.

“Race ya back.” Before the words had registered in his mind she took off as fast as she could.

Jacque heard a low bark from Fane and pushed even harder. The entire time they ran, Jacque was constantly sending him reassurances that he was the only one she could ever want or love. They made it back to the mansion and saw that Jen’s clothes were already gone.

Jacque phased back into her human form and began to dress as Fane phased as well.  He looked up at her and grinned.

“That was fun.

“I agree.” She smiled and tugged his hand to go inside. “So what now?”

“How about I run a hot bath?” Fane asked.

“Aw, that would be great, babe.”

“I didn’t say it was for you,” he teased and jumped out of her reach when she swatted at him.

“Tell you what,” Fane told her, walking backward while he spoke, “whoever makes it to the room first gets the hot bath.”

Jacque didn’t respond, she just took off running. Fane smacked her backside as she ran past him, causing a sound that was curiously close to the yip of a wolf to emit from her.

Chapter 10

On the road again.  Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway

We're the best of friends, insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way…is on the road again

“Who knew that Willie was writing a song just for our occasion? We even have a gypsy. Now, if we could only get the world to turn our way. Yeah, no. That's not gonna happen.” ~ Jen

After spending the previous day packing and preparing for the journey ahead of them, Jen, Jacque, and Sally spent the morning talking over hot chocolate. Nerves were on edge and the atmosphere of the mansion was tense.

“So...Pixies, huh, Jac?” Jen waggled her eyebrows.

“Knowing my luck they'll be like the little blue demons in Harry Potter and I’ll find myself hung from a tree by my clothes like Neville did.”

Sally choked on her hot chocolate as she laughed at the image Jacque painted.

“If that happens, will you please ask Fane to get a picture? That would be so Tweet-worthy,” Sally teased.

“Yeah, Sal, that’s exactly what I’ll be sure to ask him. 'Hey, wolf-man, can you get a good pic of me up here hanging like a dumb ass? No, babe, don’t worry about getting me down, I want to make sure that Jen and Sally get a good laugh, because that’s what really essential here,” Jacque spouted off.

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