“Easy.” Decebel’s eyes met Costin’s. Costin held them for a heartbeat, then dropped his gaze.
“It would be wise of him to complete the blood rites with her as soon as possible,” Creed told Decebel.
“Thank you, Creed, Josef. I appreciate your help, as does Costin.”
Costin had begun to lead Sally away when she called back over her shoulder.
“Wait,” she said urgently. “Tell Dec what you guys were saying about the pixies and the witch and stuff.”
Costin froze and turned slowly to pin the two wolves with his hazel eyes.
“I was telling Josef that I usually hunt in the Carpathian Mountains this time of year, but the forest is a mess with spells and magic right now,” Creed explained.
“What do you mean 'a mess'?” Decebel asked carefully.
“The pixies are casting magic on anything and everything that comes through there. The witch has promised them something, something that is significant enough for them to choose a side.”
Decebel murmured his thanks to the two wolves again and pulled Costin aside.
“I will see if I can get in touch with Vasile. You need to finish out the night here, then you need to deal with your mate.” Decebel met Costin’s eyes. “Are we clear?”
Costin nodded. “Yes, Alpha.”
Sally let Costin tug her back toward the bar.
Jen was glaring at her mate.
“Did you just tell him to deal with his mate?” she growled.
“Jennifer, not now.” Decebel took her hand and led her to the door of the bar. Jen turned and looked at Sally and smiled in encouragement.
“I got this, Sal. Don’t worry, okay?” she hollered to her best friend above the noise.
Sally gave a short nod.
Decebel was growling as he pulled Jen behind him.
“How could you tell him to deal with her, like the blood rites isn’t important and intimate as hell?” Jen was angry. Decebel had made it seem like Sally was a problem to be dealt with.
Decebel didn’t answer.
Once in their room Jen slammed the door behind them and stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at her mate. He ignored her as he pulled out his phone to call Vasile.
Jen lunged forward and grabbed his phone.
“NO!” she yelled. “I am your mate and I am speaking to you. Everything else can wait.”
Decebel let out an exasperated breath.
“Jennifer,” he began.
“Just tell me why you had to say it like that? Sally is being cheated out of her special day and you cheapened what she will have by saying she needed to be dealt with. I am so freaking mad at you. She is my best friend. There are only a few people in this world I will kill for and she is one of them. How could you act like that? How could you?”
Jen jumped and her words froze in her mouth at the snarl from her mate.
“I didn’t mean it like it sounded. I’m sorry, Jennifer.” Decebel took a step toward her, only to have her take a step back. He had scared her. He hated it when he put that look in Jennifer’s eyes.
“Baby,” he cooed softly. “Please, come here.” He held out his hand and after several moments, Jen finally took it. He pulled her into his arms and tilted her face up to his, then leaned down and kissed her gently.
“I’m sorry. You are right.”
Jen reached up and placed a finger over his lips, halting any further words.
“That is all you have to say,” she said seriously.
“Please let me make it special for her. Let me give this to her.”
Decebel nodded once, understanding what Jen was asking. She reached up on her toes and kissed him again and grinned. “Thank you.”
“Keep Cynthia with you,” he told her as the door closed behind her.
He picked up the phone she had dropped on the bed and dialed Vasile’s number. He let it ring ten times before finally hanging up. When Vasile hadn’t picked up on the fourth ring he knew something was wrong. But he had let it ring a little longer, allowing himself hold on to a little bit of hope.
Jen knocked on the door of the room Cynthia was staying in and waited. When the door finally opened Jen smiled at Cynthia and said, “We have work to do.”
When Jen had explained her plan, Cynthia grinned. “I’m in. Let’s help the healer out.”
Costin’s usual happy go lucky demeanor was gone. Ever since the two wolves Creed and Josef had explained about Sally drawing wolves to her, he had been brooding. Sally wasn’t sure what to do. If she tried to help him at the bar he would smile gently and nudge her back against the counter. If she wandered over to the side to people watch, he would grab her hand and pull her back over to the middle of the bar and put her back against the counter in exactly the same spot. When he did it for the tenth time, Sally snarled at him.
Costin’s eyes snapped up at hers and Sally smacked a hand over her mouth.
“Did you just snarl at me?” he asked her, trying very hard not to grin.
Sally took her hand away from her mouth. “Of course not. I would never snarl.”
Costin stepped closer and she backed up until she couldn't back up anymore.
“I think you did, Sally mine. I think you snarled at me, and do you know what else I think?” His voice had gotten deep, and sensual.
Sally shook he head as she stuttered, “N-n-n-nope.”
Costin closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. When he opened them again, they were glowing. “I think it was sexy.”
Sally felt the blush heating her face. What exactly was she supposed to say to that?
“Why are you acting so weird?” Okay, maybe that wasn’t the right thing to say, but she wanted to know.
He cocked his head to the side and watched her before he answered.
“You are mine.”
“We’ve established that,” she muttered.
“You do not bear my mark or my scent. My wolf doesn’t like it; I do not like it. I’m trying to be cool and not let it bother me, but I guess it’s not working.”
“You won’t let me move from this spot, Costin. I would say it’s definitely not working.” She looked deeply into his eyes, searching for some way to help get him through the rest of the night.
“What can I do? Do I need to leave so that you can work?”
“No,” Costin said quickly. “I need you with me. I need to be able to see you, touch you, smell you.”