sacrifice of love Page 21

Sally was extremely surprised at Costin’s volatile response to her decision to go to the States with Lilly and the others. Of all the male wolves, Costin was the most relaxed and easygoing. But his relaxed nature was gone as he paced around their room, having just hastily shoved on a pair of pants, which was necessitated by his rage induced run.

She stood silently next to her packed things and waited for him to speak. She had packed everything while he was gone and now had an hour to spare, or argue with her unreasonable mate, whatever the case may be.

“I’m not unreasonable,” he snarled. “My mate wants to fly across the globe without me. I’m sorry if I find that a little upsetting.”

“Costin,” Sally’s voice was gentle but firm, “come here please.”

She waited patiently as he made a couple more laps across the room and then finally walked over to her. She looked up into his hazel eyes and saw turmoil dancing frantically in them. She reached up and brushed the hair that perpetually fell across his forehead to the side. His eyes closed and a low rumble emitted from his chest at the contact.

“I love you, and I need you to let me do this,” she told him as she stepped closer to him. She moved until she was pressed against him and his scent swirled around her. She opened her mind and their bond as wide as she could so that he could see this wasn’t easy for her. She didn’t want to be away from him. Surely he had to know that leaving him was not the ideal choice, but it was the only choice there was.

“No,” he whispered as their foreheads touched, “you could choose to stay.”

“Lilly needs Jacque, and Jacque needs Jen and me. That is the way it works with family, Costin. You know this. Don’t ask me to choose between you and my friends because you know that I will choose you. How can I not choose you, the other half of my soul? But you know it would kill me to do so.”

He squeezed his eye closed tight. She was right. If he asked her, then she would stay and it would destroy her if anything happened to her friends and she hadn’t been there. But then if something happened to her while she was gone, it would destroy him. Where was the compromise in that? How is a man to send his mate off without protection and be okay with it? He let out a slow breath and then reached up with one of his hands, gripping the back of her neck. His other hand rested on her hip and tugged her closer. He tilted her head back and looked down into her eyes before he pressed his lips to hers.

It wasn’t a gentle kiss. Costin was feeling anything but gentle and he couldn’t even feign it. He kissed her deeply, attempting to drown in her taste and hoping that when they came up for air all of it would just be a bad dream. Sally responded passionately as she always did when he touched her. She leaned into him and reached up, wrapping both arms around hisneck. The small noises she made drove him crazy and he was beginning to think kissing her was a bad idea because it was only reminding him of what he wouldn’t be able to have the entire time she was gone.

“It won’t be that long,” she told him as they continued to kiss.

“How do you know?” he asked as he nipped her lip roughly.

She pulled back and looked up at him. Her cheeks were flushed and her breathing was rapid. She was beautiful.

“Because if you think it’s going to be easy for me to be away from you then you have been sniffing too many of the herbs I’ve been working with. I don’t want to be away from you any longer than I absolutely have to be.”

His hands slid to her back and then began sliding lower.

“Could I convince you to stay? Show you what you will be missing?”

Sally nearly groaned as she watched the playfulness return to her mate. It was this flirty, teasing manner that drove her wild and he knew it. He wielded it ruthlessly against her and she nearly always caved.

“Believe me. I know what I will be missing.”

Costin smacked her backside, something he seemed fond of doing, and growled at her.

“As long as you know, then you should know I will be reminding you frequently.” He tapped her head indicating their mental bond.

She felt her skin heat as blood rushed to her cheeks.

He chuckled. “I see you’re remembering just how good I am at using our bond to drive you crazy.”

Sally stepped back from his hold and narrowed her eyes at him, though there was a note of playfulness in her tone. “You just remember that payback’s a bitch, dimple boy.”

Costin grumbled as he wrapped an arm around her. “Name calling, Sally mine? Do you really think now is the time to start that. You know that I like it when you play rough.”

Sally elbowed him in the side as they left their room, and though she appreciated the playfulness he was showing her, she could still feel the underlying anger that he had chosen to bury. She could feel his wolf fighting with the man for dominance. She tried to take a deep breath and not worry about how and when that anger might come bursting free and whether or not she would be there to help him regain control.

Chapter 7

“How does a man protect his heart from a lust for power, greed, and self-indulgence? How does a man remain humble and able to recognize that the world is not his to create and command? I truly believe that the only way to protect myself from becoming one such as this is to give sacrificially of myself, my love, my time, and my possessions. If I am not doing these things, then how am I any different from the tyrant we now pursue? How can I say I am on the side of good, if evil reigns within?” ~Vasile