sacrifice of love Page 27

“Jacque, Sally, have either of you heard from you mates?” Cynthia asked just as she held a piece of pizza up to her mouth. It was covered in layers of cheese but a little sparse on the pepperoni she noticed with a small frown.

Both girls shook their heads but said nothing.

“Has anyone heard anything from any of your mates?” Cynthia had abandoned her pizza as she waited to hear their answers. Just when she was about to get worried, Crina spoke up.

“Adam says everyone’s alive.”

“Sorin concurs with Adam,” Elle offered.

They all looked at Jen expectantly and waited to hear what her mate had said.

Jen reached out to Dec but found that not only was their bond shut tight, it was also weaker than it had ever been. He had a wall up blocking her from even the smallest hint of his emotions. Her wolf felt panicky at the loss of the connection but Jen refused to allow hysteria to rule.

“I got nothing,” Jen finally said.

Her words seemed to bounce off the walls and reverberate in the small living room. Nobody moved and most of them were doing their best not to even breathe. The silence was broken by the chirp of a cell phone. Without a word they all fished for their phones, trying to identify the culprit. Suddenly a burst of laughter rang out through the room, but there was no humor or joy in it.

“Sit on a brick!” Jen snarled as her laughter died down. “He sent me a text! My freaking mate sent me a text!” Ok, so maybe she was going to let hysteria reign. Hell, it could have a freaking field day for all she cared. Jen read the text for the tenth time.

Dec: U made it

A part of her wanted to smile at the memory of the first and only time they had ever texted before. It was at the Gathering, but the other part of her wanted to reach through the phone and beat the living crap out of him. She knew she should wait until she calmed down before responding, but global warming will have finally melted the ice caps and everyone would be flailing around in life boats trying to survive by the time that happened, so she decided against waiting.

Jen: R u telling me or asking me?

She hated the feeling of anticipation that stirred in her stomach as she waited for his response. Hated that he had so much power over her, and at one time she thought that they were on equal ground, that she too had the power to drive him crazy. Now she wasn’t so sure. The chirp of her phone drew her attention back.

Dec: Just want confirmation.

Jen growled. Way to make me feel like a piece of luggage that you are making sure made it to your next connection B, she thought to herself.

“What does the text say?” Sally asked.

Jen looked up and found herself staring at eight sets of eyes. Her attention had been so focused on her phone that she had forgotten there were other people in the room.

“You made it,” Jen saiddryly.

“Is he asking or telling?” Crina asked.

“Exactly what I said.”

“So what did you tell him?”

“I told him if he was referring to the poopy I did on the plane, then yes, I indeed made it.” Jen couldn’t hold back the grin as she watched her friends choke on their pizza and drinks because of her outlandish statement. It was a much needed comic relief. But it didn’t take away the hurt of having her own mate text her when they had a bond that gave him direct access to her mind. Her phone chirped again as the laughter began to subside.

Dec: U r there

Jen realized that she had never responded to his earlier text and as she read his latest text she let out a cackle of laughter worthy of a witch.

“Shut the front door!” Jen guffawed.

“What?” Jacque’s smile dropped as she watched her friend. The others gathered closer around her.

“This text says you are there.  Where else would I be? I mean can he be any more Tarzan-like with the monosyllabic words?” Jen grumbled as she replied.

Jen: I don’t know y u insist on telling me things I already know.

Dec: I just wanted 2 know u arrived safely.

Jen: U didn’t have 2 text me 2 find that out.

Dec: I love u baby.

Jen’s breath caught at his latest text message, and she had to bite her lip to hold back her tears. She didn’t doubt his love. She knew to the very core of her being that Decebel loved her completely. What she did doubt was his truthfulness with her. Since the day she had met Decebel, he had always been very up front about his feelings. He was painfully honest and hilariously blunt and those were things she adored about him. Now he was nearly the complete opposite and she was at a loss as to how to get him to open up to her, to trust her, and it was killing her.

Jen: Good 2 know. Any other headlines u want to share?

Dec: About 2 go n meeting with Vasile, Cypher and the other males. So I will b out of touch 4 a little while.

Jen: Whatev

As soon as the message was sent Jen hit the power button on her phone and watched with sick satisfaction as the screen went black. She tossed it onto the coffee table and let out a deep breath.

“I don’t know about y’all, but I need a drink.” Jen started to stand but Sally pulled her back down to the couch.

“Jen, you don’t drink, and you’re pregnant,” Jacque reminded her.

“Well, my sweet wolf-princess, in the words of the profound band Little Texas, there’s a first time for everything.”

“How about instead of drowning our problems, we talk about them?” Cynthia piped.

“Bloody hell, you aren’t trying an intervention are you?” Jen’s eyes narrowed.