“Okay,” Sally said as she reached up and ran her fingers through his hair. He closed his eyes and a rumble emitted from his chest. She watched as the muscles in his face relaxed and he let out a slow, deep breath.
“You know no one will take me away from you, so why do you freak out?” she asked him calmly, not wanting to provoke his wolf.
Costin’s eyes opened slowly and met her brown ones.
“I wish I could explain it. I wish that when I did explain it, it would make sense. But you are human. You do not have the animal inside you, driving you with its instincts. The wolf in me cries out for its mate and longs to make sure that everyone in the world knows that you belong to us. He doesn’t understand that you won’t choose anyone else. He is all instinct, and it’s very hard to separate my emotions from that. Does that help at all?” Costin raised his eyebrows at her, searching for understanding in her face.
She nodded once. She started to say something, but stopped when a person behind him at the bar called out for Costin’s attention. Costin stiffened at the man’s words. Sally didn’t know what the guy had said because he wasn’t speaking English.
“What did he say?” she whispered to him.
Costin shook his head and didn’t answer. He took a slow breath before he turned around. When Costin spoke he sounded cordial, but the way the man’s face paled told Sally that his words did not match his tone of voice. Sally watched the other man shove his bar stool back as he stood. He continued to talk to Costin and Costin continued to grow more and more still with every word the man spoke. Sally reached out and placed a hand on his back.
“Costin,” she whispered. “Come on, why don’t we call it a night?” She was hoping to stop things before they came to blows.
Drake started to walk across the room, moving toward them. Drake made a motion for Sally to step back, which she did. Finally Costin started speaking in English, which she figured was for her benefit.
“She is mine. You belong to no pack, you mongrel. It would be wise of you to remove yourself from this place.”
“This is a sanctuary,” the other man said. “I can be here regardless of whether I am pack or not.”
“That may be, but it is not wise for one who does not have a pack to be insulting another’s mate. Who will fight with you? Who will save you when I rip you limb from limb?” Costin snarled.
Okay, Sally thought. Enough is enough.
“Okay, gentlemen,” she said as she stepped around Costin and held up her hands between the two wolves, regardless of the fact that there was a bar in between them. “There’s no need to start tearing limbs apart. Let’s just call it a night and go our separate ways.”
“She is not your mate,” the other man spoke coolly, not even acknowledging Sally.
Costin lunged forward, at the same time pushing Sally gently out of the way.
“SHE IS MINE.” Costin’s eyes glowed and Sally saw that his hands now had claws extending from them.
She looked at Drake and mouthed, “Do something.”
Drake moved quietly behind the man whose attention was locked on Costin. Drake wrapped an arm around the man’s neck, putting him in a choke hold. Costin started to jump over the bar but stopped when Sally placed a hand on his arm.
“Please don’t,” she told him gently.
“He challenged me, Sally,” Costin snarled.
Sally’s spine stiffened. “I don’t give a damn. I need you with me, not beating the crap out of some idiot. Please let Drake deal with it and take me back to our room. I’m done. I’ve had all I can handle tonight. I need you.”
Costin’s glowing eyes started to fade and he began to regain control. He nodded and pulled her close to him.
“Get him out of here, Drake,” Costin ordered.
“I’m sorry, Sally. I’m sorry,” he told her as he ran his hand down her hair.
“It’s fine, Costin. But I’m ready to go. I want to know if Decebel has found out anything about Jacque and the others.”
Costin found the owner, Andon, and told him that they were leaving.
Costin pulled Sally down the hall until they stood before the door of the room they were sharing. He lifted his nose in the air and took a deep breath. A mischievous grin spread across his face.
“What are you smiling about?” Sally asked him. Costin shook his head, but continued to grin.
“Maybe we should go talk to Decebel before we go into our room,” he suggested. Sally just shrugged and followed him to Decebel and Jen’s room. He knocked on the door and the door swung open before the second knock.
“What are you two doing here?” Jen asked accusingly.
Sally frowned. “Well, it’s nice to see you too.”
Jen smoothed her facial expression and smiled. “Sorry, didn’t mean to snap at you. Is there something you need?”
“What is wrong with you, Jen?” Sally asked through clenched teeth. “We’re coming to find out if everything is okay with Jacque and the others. Haven’t you guys been trying to get in touch with them?”
Decebel stepped around the door and his face looked grave. Jen elbowed him in the gut and suddenly a smiled formed on his lips. Although the smile looked painful, it was there nonetheless.
“I am waiting to hear back from them. We will let you know as soon as we hear something,” Decebel told them. Sally thought it sounded rehearsed.
Jen gave Costin a pointed look. “Okay, well, I bet you guys are tired so you might want to call it a night.”
Costin chuckled under his breath.
“What is going on?” he heard Sally say in his mind as she continued to glare Jen down.
“Nothing, beautiful. I think maybe we interrupted something.” Costin saw Sally blush from the corner of his eye. He winked at Jen and then pulled Sally along behind him.
“Come on, Sally love, let’s let Jen and Dec get back to their evening.”
Sally muttered for Jen and Decebel to have a good night.
“You guys have a great night!” Jen hollered from the doorway.
Costin walked briskly away from their Alpha and his mate.
“How I love thee, let me count the ways…love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.” ~ Costin