Peri nodded once and then she was gone.
“What the…” Jen muttered. “That’s just weird,” she said, referring to Peri’s sudden disappearance.
“Are you going to be okay in here, Sorin?” Decebel asked, sincerely concerned for his old friend.
Sorin nodded. “I just need to be alone, please.”
The steadiness of his voice scared Jen almost more than the outburst. She took a step forward, needing to let him know that it would be okay, but she didn’t make it half a step before Decebel once again had a large arm wrapped around her waist.
“Never approach a male who is in that state of mind.”
Jen let out a huff. “Is there a freaking instruction manual or something?”
Decebel chuckled softly as he pushed her out of Sorin’s room, closing the door softly behind them.
Elle didn’t jump when Peri was suddenly sitting next to her on the cold ground in front of the veil.
“Planning on visiting family?” Peri asked.
Elle didn’t respond right away and appeared to be gathering her thoughts. Her mind was scattered and she was unsure of how she should feel.
“I know you told us that it was a possibility that Adam and I could be mated to one of the Canis lupis, but it didn’t really sink in until Sorin was standing there calling me his mate.”
Peri chuckled. “They’re intense.”
“That’s really putting it mildly, Peri. I can’t even describe to you how I felt when he looked at me, when he got close to me.”
“Did you feel complete for the first time?” Peri asked knowingly.
Elle nodded. “Complete. And even though I was terrified out of my mind, I wanted him to wrap me in his arms. Even now I’m fighting the urge to return to him. I can feel him. I think if I unblocked my mind, I could even speak to him.”
“Why are you fighting it? You have been around long enough to know that this is not something you can walk away from. He will not give you up.”
“How is he?” Elle asked, genuinely concerned for him, knowing he must be frantic to find her and hurting as badly as or worse than she was.
“He is struggling to keep his calm. Sorin is unusually controlled for an unmated male, but you leaving him high and dry like that has seriously tested that famous resolve.”
“What should I do?” Elle looked at her leader and longtime friend, searching for something in Peri’s eyes, something that would tell her everything was going to be all right.
“Go back to him. Listen to what he has to say and try and realize what a blessing this is, to both of our races.”
Before Elle could second guess her decision, she closed her eyes and told Peri, “Show me.” She was asking Peri to show her where Sorin was.. As soon as she saw it in her mind, she was gone.
Peri looked up into the sky and pushed out her thoughts. “I hope you know what you’re doing, Great Luna.”
Sorin turned slowly as he felt her sudden presence behind him. Their eyes met, and Sorin felt the air rush out of him, as if someone had punched him in the stomach. He took slow, measured steps until he was standing less than a foot away.
“You left,” he spoke softly, the hunter luring his prey to him.
“I was a little shocked and quite freaked out. And, to be honest, I still am,” Elle squeaked.
“I will not hurt you.” Sorin stared deeply into her unusual, silver eyes.
“I’m not worried about you hurting me. You can't.”
Sorin’s tilted his head as he asked, “Then what are you worried about?”
“I don’t really know you, and now I’m to spend the rest of my life with you, with your pack.”
“Stay with me, Elle. We will get to know one another.”
“Is it really so simple?”
Sorin smiled gently and Elle’s breath caught. She had never really paid much attention, but now, standing before him, watching him intently, she realized that Sorin was beautiful. Not feminine, but definitely beautiful. He wasn’t especially tall, but he was very muscular and held the presence of a dominant. He had short dark hair that was a little longer on top and in back and contained a natural wave. He had a strong jaw line, defined cheekbones, and a straight nose. Everything about him was symmetrical – nothing seemed out of place. In a word, Sorin was classy. Although he looked to be in his twenties, his eyes and maturity said that he was much older.
“It is only as complicated as we make it, Elle, mon amour.”
“You speak French?”
“I speak many languages. But I find that French is very beautiful when one desires to express one’s...complex feelings.”
“So, what now?” Elle looked around the hotel room.
“Now I will ask you for a small indulgence.”
Elle’s head snapped around and her eyes met Sorin’s light brown, glowing ones.
“Indulgence?” she asked nervously.
Sorin nodded once, taking another step towards her, close enough now to feel each other’s breath on their faces.
“My wolf was nearly out of control earlier. I myself have been more unsettled than I can ever remember being. Not knowing where you had gone, not knowing if I would ever see you again...it was dangerous for anyone near me. I would ask for you to allow me to hold you – to feel you safe in my arms.”
Elle could not believe the amount of vulnerability Sorin was allowing her to see in him. She was, in truth, quite humbled by it.
She nodded her consent to him and in a blink of an eye she was in his lap while he sat on the bed. Even though Sorin wasn’t a particularly large Canis lupis, she was so small that she fit perfectly against him. She laid her head on his shoulder and shivered as he ran small, comforting circles on her back. Before she realized what she was doing, she snuggled closer, needing to be as close as possible and not really understanding why. She heard him murmur in French again. Out of all the languages that she knew, it was amusing to her that French was not one of them.
“What did you just say?” she asked, not moving her head from his shoulder.
Sorin pulled her tighter to his chest.
“I said, ‘I have waited so long for you'.” Sorin didn’t want to tell her that he had also said that he would never let her go. She was already spooked enough; he didn’t want to add to her apprehension.