"No one ever thinks of the consequences of promising to name your firstborn child after your best friend. If your best friend is Jen, however, you should think of any and all possible consequences which are, more often than not, created simply by her presence."
Jacque just happened to be walking by the door when she heard one of her best friends yell, "Bloody hell!"
She backpedaled to Sally's door and, without knocking, turned the knob and quickly pushed it open.
"Sally, sweetie, you okay?" she called tentatively into the room.
"I'm over here, Jacque, and okay is taking a vacation at the moment."
Jacque followed the sound of Sally's voice into the attached bathroom.
She found her friend standing in her bra and shorts with her back to the mirror, holding a handheld mirror in one hand so that she could see her reflection from behind. Jacque's mouth dropped open at the sight.
"Yeah, that was my first reaction too." Sally nodded at Jacque's dropped jaw. "But then I moved quickly into the next possible reaction of, 'what the hell is on my back?'"
"Your markings," Jacque whispered. "So he really is your mate."
"That, or some random wolf is walking around out there with new markings that he wasn't expecting. If you hear a loud, deep voice reacting in kind, then we will know." Sally's voice was shaky, but she was beginning to regain her bearings.
"Peri said that when you turned 18 the mate signs would show up." Jacque motioned with a head bob to Sally's back. "Guess the old Fae knew what she was talking about. Today is your birthday."
"I don't hear anything in my mind." Sally closed her eyes and scrunched up her face.
Jacque laughed. "You won't have to make funny faces in order to hear your mate, Sal, although you probably will until you get used to hearing a disembodied voice in your head. In which case Jen will be sure to ask you if you're constipated."
"Who's constipated?" They heard Jen's voice coming from Sally's room. "You know, they make stuff to help unclog the pipes down there." Jen came into the bathroom doorway and grinned at her two best friends. "So, you guys started the party without me, I see. Sally's already started stripping."
"Yeah, Jen, we didn't want to invited you so we decided to have Sally's birthday party in her bathroom because, ya know, that is all kinds of cool," Jacque rolled her eyes at Jen.
"Mother of pearl," Jen murmured as she saw Sally's back. "Well, welcome to the mated family, Sal. I will tell you now that the sex is fantastic. Just in case you were wondering."
"Gee, Jen, that's exactly what was crossing my mind right about now, as I realize that my life has just changed for, I don't know, EVER!" Sally yelled.
Jen calmly replied, "Now, have you gotten the shrieking out of your system or do you need to hang your head out the window and let it rip?"
Jacque silently watched Sally's thoughts pass across her sweet, gentle face.
"No, I don't think I need a hanging out the window moment right now. However, I reserve the right to have that moment when it is deemed appropriate." Sally was taking slow, deep breaths as she spoke. She had a hand pressed to her heart as if that could keep it from beating out of her chest.
"Your request is duly noted," Jen said with a curt nod.
Jen jumped up on the bathroom counter and began to swing her legs. She felt warmth flow over her as her mate spoke through their bond.
"How is she?" Decebel's voice was deep, and yet very gentle.
"Actually, not doing too bad. She didn't have a break down, and oddly enough she wasn't interested in hearing about married sex life with a werewolf."
"Imagine that, baby, someone not obsessed with the physical relationship between mates. Someone who doesn’t feel the need to discuss them with others and who would, more than likely, listen to her mate when he asks her to keep her trap shut."
Jen let out a low growl. "You are getting entirely too comfortable with the concept of sarcasm, my dear mate."
"Can I help it if I have had the best teacher known to man?" Decebel's voice was tinged with humor and Jen swore she could feel him swat her butt.
"That's enough, B. I've got a party to get ready for."
“You do understand that that nickname no longer applies? I’m an Alpha, not a Beta.”
Jen snorted out loud. “Oh, my sweet fur ball, I wasn’t using the letter 'B' to refer to your former Beta status. Nope.” She grinned to herself. “The B now has a whole different meaning. You’re a smart cookie; you’ll figure it out.”
She sent him an image of her winking at him and blowing him a kiss. “See you later, alligator.”
"Behave." Decebel's voice took on a deep timbre. "And, Jennifer, you will keep your clothes on at this party."
"Why, my dear hubby, whatever do you mean? A well-bred southern girl like me would never participate in such public spectacles." Jen laid on the thick southern accent in her thoughts as she teased him.
"Don't say I didn't warn you."
"I feel the need to tell you that Decebel has informed me that I must keep my clothes on tonight at the party," Jen told her friends as she examined her nails, looking for all the world like she had no plans to oblige him.
Sally's head snapped to look at Jen. "Actually, that's not a half bad idea."
Jen's jaw dropped. "You want me to strip at your eighteenth birthday party? You do realize that a stripper is typically used at a bachelorette party, not a birthday party? If a stripper is used for a birthday party, it’s really only appropriate for the big two-one. And even then it has to be at the beginning of the party because shortly after it starts everyone is smashed enough to think that they have the body to be a stripper as well. That’s when things get ugly – literally.”
Sally and Jacque stared open-mouthed at Jen. Before they could talk she quickly added, “Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, I am very much a female. I would think that if you must have a stripper at your party then surely you would want someone, oh, I don’t know, who maybe has the absence of breasts. Unless, of course, you are into man boobs. But I think you would find it hard to find a male stripper who is endowed with said boobs. Especially if you were wanting someone with my -”