Sally snorted back laughter at her own thoughts. She would definitely have to share that one with Jen.

“I caught that, ya know?”  Costin whispered slyly.

“Eavesdropper,” Sally teased, trying hard not to be embarrassed over her Jen and meat thought.

“Do you like meat as much as Jen?” Costin tried to sound simply curious but the wicked gleam in his eye when Sally looked at him told her he was far from just curious.

“Please don’t tell me you’re a vegetarian,” he groaned.

It was Sally’s turn to laugh out loud as she watched Costin grab a towel and tuck it into the back of his pants. Costin caught her watching him and saw the slightly dazed look.

“Definitely not a vegetarian.” He licked his lips and winked at her, causing a bright red blush to heat her skin.

Sally rolled her eyes but her breath caught in her throat when Costin reached around her to stick a towel in the back of her pants just as he had done to his. Costin’s face was less than an inch from her own. Her breathing grew shallow as she watched his hazel eyes begin to glow. Something weird was going on here. Sally could tell by the way the people sitting at the bar grew still and the talking softened to a low murmur.

“Um, Costin,” Sally whispered. “What are you doing?”

Costin moved even closer and she felt him breathe on her neck. Her eyes closed of their own accord but she was able to stop the moan that crept up her throat from escaping.

“Costin, you’re making me nervous. Please talk to me.” Sally’s voice grew desperate as she tried to subdue her response to him.

Costin chuckled out loud but still spoke through their bond. “I’m definitely making you something, but nervous is not it.”

Costin released her when she pulled back. A satisfied grin stretched across his too-handsome-for-his-own-good face.

Sally scowled at him. “What was that about?”

“Just sending a message, beautiful, nothing to get all worked up over.” He winked as he turned and took a drink order from a customer, not even acknowledging the growing irritation Sally felt at being brushed off.

“What message, Costin,” she ground out through gritted teeth.

After handing the customer his drink, Costin turned on his heel and stared at his mate. He watched as her body tensed and her chin jutted out in defiance.

“I was putting my scent on you. Any wolf who gets near you will know that you are taken.” Once again the satisfied smirk was back.

“You couldn’t have done that before we came inside?” she asked as her eyes narrowed.

Costin shrugged. “Doing it publicly only solidified that you are mine.”

Sally rolled her eyes. “Jen is right, you guys should just pee on us and get it over with.”

Costin laughed out loud.  As he walked toward her, he pointed to some glasses that were lined up on the back counter. “Get to work, female, and dry those.” He punctuated his teasing order with a smack to her backside.

Sally squeaked and she quickly moved out of his reach. She threw a glare over her shoulder as she reached for the towel he had put on her earlier. Muttering under her breath, she began to dry the glasses, trying, and failing miserably, to ignore her incredibly magnetic mate. This was going to be a long night.


Jen grumbled as she took a seat in the far corner of the room. She slumped ungracefully into the chair and glared at her mate, who was standing along the right side of the wall, no more than two feet from her side. The butthead had the nerve to ignore her. She growled before she could stop herself. Cynthia sat down next to her and smiled gently.

“You okay?”

“He put me in the damn corner. What do you think?” Jen snapped. Then, realizing she was taking her anger out on Cynthia, replied, “I’m sorry, doc. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I just don’t think I have been this angry in a very long time.”

She looked over at her mate, who was continuing to ignore her glare. Jen was hoping that if she stared at him long enough she could zap him, or something.

“Zap me, babe. Really?” she heard him say in her mind.

“I’m going to do a hell of a lot more than zap you when we are alone later. You can wipe that smug-ass grin off your face because you aren’t going to enjoy it. Rest assured I sure as hell will.” Jen’s voice vibrated with anger.

“Language, Jennifer. A lady doesn’t use such vulgarity.”

Jen knew that he was teasing her and she might have enjoyed it had he not gone all Alpha on her.

“I would think from your experience with me behind closed doors that you would've already figured out that I am a far cry from a lady.” She smiled when his head snapped around and he leveled her with glowing, amber orbs.

“That’s enough,” he snarled at her.

Jen’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “Oh, believe me, I’m done.” She broke their stare, snapping her head and sliding her body in the same direction, effectively giving Decebel her back.

Cynthia’s head lowered at the power rolling off of Decebel.

“Do you think that was the wisest move?” Cynthia murmured to a seething Jen.

Jen snorted. “What’s he going to do? Spank me?”

“What did he do to make you this angry, Jen?” Cynthia kept her voice low and tried to remain calm, so as not to encourage Jen’s wolf to surface.

“He used his position on me. On me,” she growled.

Cynthia’s mouth dropped open as her eyes widened. It took all her strength not to look at Decebel even though she could feel his eyes on them.

“He used an Alpha command on you?” Cynthia’s voice was full of skepticism.

Jen nodded once.

“What was the command?”

Jen’s eyes roved over the room as she answered. “He told me not to stand.” Her voice quivered, a momentary show of vulnerability, but then it was gone. She steeled her eyes and regained her indifferent expression.

“He’s just trying to keep you safe, Jen,” Cynthia implored.

“He doesn’t trust me,” Jen told her.

“Jen, you know how the males are. Possessive doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how they feel toward their mates. All he can see right now is a room full of males. He doesn’t know any of them; he can’t begin to control the possible outcomes. The only thing he can control is you. He can keep himself from worrying about you if you can’t get yourself into trouble.”