Costin must have seen the determination settle in Fane’s eyes as he took a step away from Jacque.

“Fane, I would never hurt your mate,” Costin told him, firmly.

“You touched her,” Fane’s eyes narrowed, dangerously. “You took her in a way you had no right to. YOU KISSED HER, YOU BEAST,”

“ENOUGH!” Vasile roared, cutting off Fane’s words.

Fane fell to his knees as Vasile’s Alpha command, pushed him to submit. He pulled his head up and his eyes met Jacquelyn’s. Tears streamed down her face and he could see the fear and knew she was on the verge of running.

“Don’t,” he told her urgently. “Don’t leave me.”

“You don’t want me,” she responded, and flinched at her own words.

“I will always want you.”

She shook her head. She knew what she had felt inside him, the revulsion that filled him.

“Not at you,” he answered her thoughts. “At everyone else love, but never you.” He held his arms open to her. “Come to me.”

Jacque fought the urge to rush to him. She feared his rejection and knew that she couldn’t handle it if he pushed her away.

“Jacquelyn, come now.”

“Here we go with the damn dog orders,” muttered Jen as she folded her arms across her chest.

“Let me go,” Fane told his father, never turning away from Jacquelyn. “I’m not going to hurt her,” after a long pause, he added, “or anyone else.”

“Why is that not reassuring to me?” Crina asked, Jen softly.

“Because his wolf’s eyes still stare out from his too handsome, albeit quite deranged looking, face.”

“Yeah, that could be it,” Crina agreed.

Vasile gradually let his hold on his son lesson as he carefully watched to make sure that he wasn’t going to attack. When Fane didn’t move, he released him fully.

Fane took a step towards his mate and stopped to make sure she wasn’t going to back away. When she stood her ground, he took another step and another, until he was standing right in front of her.

“Please leave us,” he spoke softly, but knew everyone would hear him.

Decebel let out a low growl and was going to take a step towards Fane until Jen stepped in front of him.

“He won’t hurt her.”

Decebel stared at his mate a moment before he finally relented. He took Jen’s hand as he turned to follow the others to give Fane and Jacque as much privacy as the forest would afford.

Once they were alone, Fane placed two fingers under Jacquelyn’s chin and gently raised her face to look at him.

“How could you possibly think I wouldn’t want you?”

Tears slid down her cheeks as she tried to speak. Her lips trembled and she tried to look away, but he held firmly to her chin.

“How could you after watching that? How could you ever want to touch me again?”

Fanes eyes closed briefly as he realized that she had thought his emotions were directed at her. He wasn’t mad at her and she didn't revolt him. She was his. His precious mate and he knew that she hadn’t really been touched or kissed or loved by another. He knew it, but still his wolf and he needed to connect with her emotionally as well as physically. He needed to reassure himself that she still wanted him, desired him, and no other.

Jacque stood on her tip toes and pressed her lips to his. She reached up, ran her fingers through his thick, black hair, and moaned when he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer. She opened her mind to his and poured her heart into their kiss. She thought about their wedding night, about the blood rites and then the time after. She reminded him of their first time together and all the times after, showing him the only way she could in that moment, how much she needed him, wanted him, and thirsted for him.

She was his, no doubt, but he was also hers.

“You are mine,” she told him. “There is no other for me. My heart, my body, and my desire is for you alone.”

Fane’s body shuddered as Jacquelyn’s words reverberated to his very soul. His wolf and he was hers. He felt the truth in those words and it eased something inside him just a little. His hands roamed her body as much as he dared in their semi-private environment and he didn’t think he had ever wanted to be alone with his mate more than he did in that moment.

She pulled back from his kiss gasping for breath and he smiled slightly at her swollen lips.

“Soon,” she panted.

“Not soon enough,” he growled.

They stared at each other as they tried to get their breathing under control. The image of her looking at him in fear flashed in his mind and his heart ached.

“I’m sorry I scared you,” he whispered.

Her arms were still wrapped around her neck and her hands gripped his neck tightly.

“I wasn’t scared of you; I was scared that I’d lost you, because of what you have endured. I saw what you had visually endured and even now, I can’t think of it or I’ll be sick again. Fane,” her voice wavered as she tried to keep it together, “the thought of any man’s, hands besides yours, is revolting. I don’t want those images in your mind. I don’t want our bed tainted with that.”

“I’m sorry. It’s my fault that I saw it. It was my fear that created it and after I saw it once, it just grew inside me. More and more I feared that I wasn’t enough for you, that you would realize that you deserved someone better.”

Jacque silenced him with her lips as she kissed him deeply. When she pulled back, again she nipped his collar bone as punishment for his doubt.

“There is no one better for me. Not in this realm or any other.”

Fane pressed his forehead to hers and breathed in her scent. Then his eyes found his bite mark from the blood rites ceremony and he growled. He kissed down her face to her neck. When he reached the mark, he kissed it gently and then gave into his wolf.

Jacque gasped as she felt Fane’s teeth sink into her tender flesh and as quickly, as the pain had started it was gone. A rush of pleasure brought another gasp from her and then a deep, throaty moan. She gripped him tightly as she felt the pull of his mouth and she smiled as she heard him sigh in contentment. He liked the way she tasted, she heard his thoughts loud and clear, and it only made the experience that much more intense and intimate. Finally, he released her and licked her neck tenderly. He kissed the bite several times before he nipped her ear and growled. “Mine.”

Tags: Quinn Loftis The Grey Wolves Young Adult