"I don't know, she's quite educational."

"Yeah, I don’t think I really want you to be educated by her." Sally looked down and noticed she had begun fidgeting with Costin's sleeve. She found comfort in being free to touch him, so she pushed away any worry that maybe he didn't want her to. She raised her eyes to look into his hazel ones. "So, what are you saying exactly?"

"I'm saying let's talk and spend time together. Let me help you fall in love with me," Costin answered.

Sally's breath came out in a short gasp at the word “love”. She hadn't really considered if Costin loved her. She knew it would be easy for her to fall in love with him – she was already halfway there.

"Do you love me?" she asked cautiously.

Costin leaned forward and kissed her gently on her forehead. "Sally mine, you were made for me. I loved you before I knew you and love you more now. Yes, I love you. And you will love me."

"No self esteem issues, I see," Sally teased.

Costin smiled and leaned his forehead against hers. "It's late, my love. I should go."

Sally nodded her head against his, but made no move to back away. She grinned when he did first, then was caught by surprise when he leaned in quickly and touched his lips to hers.

He laughed at her shocked look and jumped back when she attempted to swat his arm.

"Your innocence is refreshing," he told her as he backed away, toward the door.

"Well, I'm so glad that my lack of experience is such a thrill for you." Sally narrowed her eyes at the grinning wolf.

"Ah, Sally, sweet Sally. Everything about you is a thrill for me." He chuckled as he watched her face turn red and blew her a kiss as he closed the door behind him.

Sally flung herself back on her bed, letting out a long breath. Then she began to giggle, unable to contain her joy. She had been worried he would demand she complete the bond the way Decebel had, but instead he had been understanding, playful, incredibly sweet, and yes, sexy. Darn those wolves and their appeal. Despite their bossiness, Sally thought to herself.

"How could I not fall in love with him?" she asked. And at the tail end of her words her bedroom door flew open and closed just as fast.

Jen bent over, panting as she looked up at Sally.

"Hey, girl. Who are we falling in love with?" Jen asked breathlessly.

"Jen, what's wrong?" Sally paused and then decided on a better question. "What have you done now?"

Jen stood up and, seeming to have caught her breath, spoke quickly.

"First off, I've changed my mind. I don't want you to name your first born after me -"

Sally interrupted, "Thank goodness for that."

"- I want you to name your entire freaking litter after me," Jen growled. "Do you know what I've been through? " Her arms were flinging around as she glared at Sally. "I did that little strip tease to try and keep things from escalating with the rest of the pack. Decebel was beyond pissed. I had to sneak out of the gathering room and make a run for it. I've been running through the freaking forest trying to throw him off by changing back and forth so I could place my clothes, which I carried in my freaking muzzle – CARRIED IN MY MUZZLE, SALLY! – and place them in different areas to throw off him off my scent."

Jen went over to Sally's window and seemed to be judging the danger of using it as an exit.

"Jen, he isn't going to hurt you." Sally said gently to her agitated friend. An agitated Jen was never a good thing.

Jen's swung around, piercing Sally with her blue eyes. "There are worse things than being hurt, Sally Morgan. You just wait until you are mated. Bossy, overbearing, controlling, possessive, mega hot, tasty, sexy -"

"Uh, Jen, I get it," Sally cut in before Jen could get even more explicit.

"What I'm saying, my little wall flower, is desire becomes your enemy when your mate is being a butt head, which Decebel is – in mega, super-sized butt head way. Do ya feel me? You see where I'm going with this or do I have to sit you down and have the birds and the bees conversation?"

"No, I'm good." Sally held up her hands to halt Jen's line of conversation. "Why exactly did you come to my room?" She looked at Jen and then at her door, just waiting for it to be flung off its hinges.

"I figured he wouldn't come here because he would think you and Costin were getting your groove on." Jen looked around, noticing for the first time that Costin was not there. "Speaking of the yummy, dimpled, endowed wolf, where is he?"

"He went back to his room. We talked. It was good."

Jen put her hands on her hips and pinned Sally with the famous “you're going to spit it out or I'm going to rip it out of you”.

"You talked? Sally," she cleared her throat, "you have a mate. A guaranteed husband. A sure thing. Not to mention, he's hot, funny, sweet, and he has a dimple. You talked?" This time, Jen's voice was skeptical.

Before Sally could defend herself, her door opened slowly, calculatingly.

"I know you weren't describing me, Jennifer. So who is this male that has caught your eye so descriptively? Please do tell so I can rip him to pieces." Decebel's power filled the room and Sally took an involuntary step away from the very angry Alpha.

Jen watched her mate cautiously. He was angry. Really angry.  His eyes were glowing, revealing that his wolf was at the wheel. She knew that was her fault because she'd challenged him by running. She needed to calm him down, however, for the first time wasn't sure how to go about doing it. Usually her humor and sarcasm came to the rescue, but at the moment she felt like if she spoke at all he would go feral. Not that he would hurt her.

She opened her mind to him slowly. She had been blocking him in order to hide from him, not to hurt him. That's when she saw the flash in his eyes that showed her the feelings below the anger. With that knowledge she knew what to do.

"I was trying to help Sally, not hurt you. I wouldn't have taken off any more clothing than what I had. Everything was covered, Dec. Baby, please. You're scaring Sally."

Decebel took a slow step forward, but Jen held her ground. He was hers, she was his equal and she would not back down.

"Do you understand how crazy you make me?"  Decebel's voice was a growl in her mind.

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