Costin growled.

Sally blew out a breath, causing her cheeks to puff out. She knew how relentless the males of his race were once they were on the hunt, and Costin was definitely on the hunt. She threw her hands up in the air. “Fine, fine, crap. Back up so I can roll over, your crowding me.” She pushed at him, but Costin didn’t move. When she realized that he wasn’t going to, she wiggled until she had finagled herself onto her stomach. She nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt him pull at the hem of her shirt.

“Shh, Sally, I will never do anything you aren’t comfortable with and I will always honor your wishes, trust me,” he whispered, against her neck.

“I do,” she told him, breathlessly. She had to bite her lip to keep from moaning when she felt his fingers trace the markings from the nape of her neck down until he couldn’t go any farther because of her jeans.

Costin leaned down next to her ear again and tugged it gently with his teeth. “How far does it go?” He asked her and she could hear the desire in his deep voice.

Sally knew that if she opened her mouth she would say something very stupid and Jen like. The possibilities ranged from why don’t you find out, to good grief, would you touch me already, and her personal favorite, I want to have your babies. Since those really didn’t seem like the wisest choices, she did what seemed to be her trademark response to him and shook her head.

Costin chuckled. “Not going to play nice are we? Okay, two can play at that game.”

Sally tried to prepare herself for whatever ridiculously sexy thing he had planned, but there was nothing on earth that could have prepared her for him. He started at the nape of her neck as he kissed her skin softly. She could feel his warm breath on her back and the firm pressure of his lips made her toes curl. Sally was biting the pillow by the time he reached the small of her back. Her hands clenched so tightly that her nails dug grooves into her palms. He kissed her one last time and she started to breathe easier. He pulled her shirt back down and attempted to roll her back over, but Sally couldn’t move.

“Sally?” Costin’s voice in her mind, sounded every bit as seductive as the stunt he had just pulled.

“Shh,” She tried to silence him.


“I can’t concentrate on breathing if you’re talking to me, so stop talking, and don’t you dare touch me again.”

Costin chuckled at his mate who was currently as rigid as a post. He waited patiently as he watched her body slowly begin to relax. When she rolled over, he saw the indentions in her palms from her nails. He couldn’t help the smugness he felt inside at knowing that he made her desire him with such ferocity.

“Wipe that look off your face, you big fat liar,” Sally frowned at him.

“What?” Costin laughed, and tried to tug her to him.

She slapped his hand away. “You said a kiss, as in a single kiss. What was that?” She pointed to her back wildly, her cheeks still flushed.

“You didn’t like it?” He asked, as he attempted to look hurt.

Sally rolled her eyes. “Throw me a freaking bone. I would have to be in a coma to not have enjoyed that. Mother of pearl, even then I probably would have enjoyed it. I mean seriously, Costin, who wouldn’t ENJOY THAT!” Sally’s voice had risen into screechy octaves by the time she was finished speaking and she was breathing heavily.

“Did I scare you?” Costin asked, suddenly worried that maybe she was responding this way because of what had happened. “I’m not rushing you Sally.”

“Costin,” Sally’s eyes softened, “no baby, you didn’t scare me. I didn’t even think about it, there was only you and your lips.” She smiled at him hoping he would see the sincerity there.

“You will tell me if I ever scare you or hurt you,” he demanded, as only a male dominant could.

Sally rolled her eyes. “Bossy much?”

“Do you want to know what the inscription says now?” Costin asked, calmly.

“Yes,” Sally grumbled, like a sulky child.

Costin tugged her to him by her hand and this time she didn’t resist. He took her left hand and as he slid the ring on, he whispered in her ear.

“It says, Mate, wife, healer, my one, my only, Sally mine.” Costin pulled the hair that had fallen like a curtain in front of Sally’s face, over her shoulder so that he could see her. Her brown eyes shimmered with tears as she stared at the ring on her hand.

“Are those happy tears?” Costin asked, wearily.

Sally nodded.

“You are a woman of few words tonight love.”

“That’s because all too often, you render me speechless,” Sally told him, as she looked up into his eyes. He saw her heart in those eyes, a heart that she had fully given to him.

“I love you, and I can’t wait to be your wife.”

Costin smiled, flashing his dimple at her. “Oh brown eyes, I can’t wait either.”

Sally could see the wheels turning in his, too handsome for his own good, head. She started shaking her head. “Oh, uh uh, no way, that,” she pointed to where, moments ago she had been lying frozen with need and want, “will never happen again.”

Costin laughed so loudly, Sally was sure the entire mansion heard.

“You are one funny gypsy, my love, I’ll give you that.”

“I’m serious Costin, that, that was,” she tripped over her words, as she stared into his hazel eyes.

Costin leaned forward so that his lips were brushing against hers as he spoke. “That was only the beginning love. I hadn’t even gotten to the good part.”


“I’m going, so you can stop your slamming crap and muttering under your breath. Besides, we have company so quit acting like a total butthead.” Jen sat next to Jacque on her bed, while Fane stood in a very Decebel like pose, leaning against the wall. Jen noticed that something in Fane was different, something in him had hardened, and the once gentle soul was gone. He watched Jacque constantly, attuned to the smallest movement, or even the change in her heart beat. Jen should have noticed it in Decebel as well, except Decebel had always been that way. She had never seen Decebel as young and un-jaded. By the time Decebel had found her, he was cold and thoroughly warped.

Decebel stopped in mid-stride and turned slowly to face his mate.

Jacque’s jaw tensed and she shivered internally as she watched her best friend bare the intensity Decebel’s stare. Fane noticed his mate’s reaction and pushed away from the wall to stand next to her.