“On the first day of Christmas my werewolf gave to me, a furball in a fir tree.
See what I did there?” ~Jen
“On a scale of one to ten, how worried should we be that Jen is going to retaliate on the whole blue Thia thing?” Fane asked Jacque the following morning. He passed Slate to Jacque so she could nurse him. They’d both been pondering the memories Peri had “taken” from them, and Jacque was sure much more had taken place than the fae had revealed. She really wanted to know the rest of the story. It’s not like Fane and Costin just dipped Thia into a tub of blue tie dye for no good reason. She looked up at her mate who was scratching his head and looking very confused. Okay, so it was totally possible he and Costin had indeed dipped Thia in a tub of blue tie dye for no good reason. It was probably Costin’s idea of a joke.
“On a scale of one to ten?” she asked. “I’m going to say about twenty.” Jacque began rocking Slate in the chair. Their son was almost a year old, and she knew the nursing days were coming to an end. She would miss the quiet, bonding time, but she’d also be glad to have her girls back to herself.
“Twenty isn’t on the scale,” Fane pointed out.
“And that’s why you should be very worried. Jen is bad enough when she’s on the scale. Off the scale, things go downhill quickly.”
“Maybe we should send Slate to stay with your mom.”
Jacque shook her head. “I don’t think she’ll retaliate on Slate. You and Costin will incur her wrath. If I were you, I’d pay close attention to all bath products you use on your jewels, babe. That’s where she’s most likely to strike.”
“I thought we were just going to have a nice celebration of the holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries we’ve missed.” He was practically whining now.
“Oh, we will,” Jacque assured him. “There was going to be Jen drama, regardless. There always is. At least now we know where it’s going to be directed.”
“Why did Peri have to give that specific memory back now?”
“Well, you did say that you tolerated her vagina.” Jacque laughed. “And if I was a jealous mate, I’d be asking you what the hell you meant by tolerating her vagina.”
Fane held up his hand, shaking it at her. “I said we—males, collectively—tolerate vaginas, plural. Not me, specifically.”
“Mmm, if I recall correctly—and I do—you, specifically, mentioned Peri’s vagina, specifically.”
“Could you please stop referring to her vagina as her vagina? You’re going to give me a complex,” Fane snapped.
“You already have a complex, wolf-man. Lots of them actually. Would you rather me call it her pus—”
“Jacquelyn,” he growled as his eyes began to glow with his wolf.
“You’re cranky this morning,” she said, unable to hide her grin. Was she a little worried by what Jen was going to do to get revenge? Because the woman would get revenge. Yes. Jacque was honest enough with herself to admit she feared her friend’s wrath … for legitimate reasons. She’d known the crazy blonde for a long time. The chick be messed up in the head.
“Maybe we should just cancel Christmas. There’s only a month left until the period of mourning is up and then everything is…” His words faded off, and he met her eyes.
Jacque couldn’t hide her worry. She’d been trying hard not to think about what was to come. They’d already endured so much.
“I’m sorry, Luna.” Fane walked over and knelt in front of her, resting one hand on her hip and the other on her knee. “I should have thought before I spoke.”
Jacque shook her head and swallowed her emotions. She found herself doing that a lot lately. “You can talk to me about anything, Fane. You know that. And I don’t want you to not talk to me because you’re worried about it stressing me out or making me more afraid. I’m not fragile.”
His beautiful lips turned up slightly. “As if I would ever make the mistake of calling you fragile, mate. You’re anything but, and you’ve proven it more times than I wish you’ve had to.”
Jacque reached up her free hand and cupped his cheek. He was so handsome. She’d never forget the first time she laid eyes on him. He’d literally taken her breath away. His face had changed a bit over the past few years. It was more angular and no longer held the soft innocence of youth. He wore the lines of worry on his brow, and he smiled less easily. But he was still her Fane. The boy who’d stolen her heart was now the man who held it captive. “We’re not cancelling Christmas or anything else,” she said, her hand gently patting his cheek. “We will all just walk on eggshells while we wait for Jen’s crazy retaliation plan to reveal itself. Then, in twenty years, we will think back and laugh.” Fane didn’t look convinced that he’d ever find anything Jen would do funny … ever.
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