Chapter 31

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Dante walked out of his meeting with the Council angry and frustrated. The good news was that they agreed with his assessment, and believe he was correct in his deduction that Jade's uncle was the inside man who had allowed the attacks to occur. Additionally, they were confirming his authority to deal with the matter as he saw fit. The frustrating part was that they weren't willing to offer any assistance or resources in dealing with the situation. Even when presented with the almost certainty that they would be attacked when meeting with the current leader of the Silver Crescent Pack, they were unwilling to offer help. Without an overt threat, they acted as though their hands were tied and that it would be an impropriety for them to interfere. Yet they fully expected Dante and his pack to neutralize any threat and deal with any offenders quickly and to restore swift order to the region. Additionally, the meeting had taken longer than scheduled, and Dante wasn't able to make his flight back, so he would need to catch the next available flight in the morning.

"Dante won't be back tonight" Jackson told Jade when she came to the dining room for dinner. "The meeting with the Council took longer than planned and he wasn't able to catch the flight, so he won't be back until the morning."

"Thank you for letting me know, Jackson" she said quietly. Jade was crestfallen and tried to hide it, but she wasn't fooling anyone.

"Just one night, Dear" Evelyn tried to console her. "He'll be back first thing, before you even know it."

Jade appreciated Evelyn's words, but they didn't help much. If Jade was being honest with herself, a part of her was actually relieved that Dante wasn't coming back tonight. After her run-in with the blonde, she didn't know how she was going to react to Dante. She knew her first instinct was going to be a desire for him to hold her and kiss her, but part of her wasn't sure that's what she really wanted, if he'd actually been spending time with the blonde, when telling her that he wanted her as his mate.

After dinner, Jade went back to her room and tried to read more, but again struggled to keep her mind focused on the words. So after several failed attempts, she decided to go back out to the obstacle courses. It would be a good night for it, the moon was shining brightly, and she wanted to see if she could do any better since the last time she had tried. She felt like her speed and strength had increased with so much time spent in the gym, not to mention being a werewolf, she was able to develop her muscles and abilities faster than if she were only human.

Jade was pleasantly surprised when she was able to complete the easy obstacle course with little difficulty, so she tried the next challenging one. Even that one was easier for her than the first one had been when she first arrived. She decided to try the most difficult course, but wasn't very successful, so went back to the second course, and completed it 5 more times before she decided to quit for the night. It had been an invigorated exercise, and she was exhausted when she finally made it back to her bed, after a long hot shower.

Dante paced back and forth in his hotel room, he was frustrated that he wasn't able to get home that night, and frustrated with the Council. He spent the evening going through different plans in his mind for the coming confrontation with Jade's uncle George, current leader of the Silver Crescent Pack. Dante was certain they would be attacked and he kept second-guessing every plan he came up with. He also missed Jade. He felt like he needed to protect her, especially against the current threat of her uncle, but he also felt like she brought him a sense of safety and security. Here, thousands of miles away, he felt alone and nervous. He just want to wrap his arms around her and let her comfort him. He ached for her touch. He was also nervous about seeing her because she would want to know about this meeting with the Council. While he appreciated her interest in what was happening with the pack, he also dreaded the conversation when he had to tell her that her uncle likely helped to orchestrate the death of her parents.

Jackson was there to meet Dante when he got off the plane, and he noticed Dante's haggard appearance.

"Rough night?" Jackson asked. Dante had already mind linked with Jackson about the meeting with the Council, so they were on the same page, but he hadn't yet filled him in on the plans he had been going through the night before. Mostly, because he hadn't come up with any plans he felt confident in.

"I'm still not happy with any of the solutions I've considered for this meeting with George. Every plan leaves us vulnerable somewhere, and we're running out of time." Dante leaned back in his seat, resting his eyes, as he hadn't slept much.

Jade knew that it wouldn't be until mid-morning that Dante came back, so since it was a Saturday and the pack wouldn't be at the training grounds, she planned to go for a run on the track around the fields after breakfast. She hadn't gotten very far when Peter trotted up to her.

"Mind if I join you?" he asked, knowing that it didn't really matter if she did. Especially while Dante was gone, he had been tasked with keeping an eye on her.

"Please do" she said to him. Now that she had broken the barrier of speaking in front of others, she felt almost as comfortable talking to Peter as she did with Dante. The words still didn't flow, but she knew that would come. She was actually looking forward to carrying on more and more conversations with people, and not having them always try to guess at what she was hoping to communicate.

Peter smiled when she spoke to him. He was glad that she felt comfortable with him. He also felt that she was going to make a great Luna. Even without speaking, he could tell that she was growing fond of the pack and interested in their well-being. She was a genuinely caring person, and he knew that she would be a complement to Dante, making the entire pack stronger.

After a couple of laps around the track, Peter suggested they spar a little, and Jade readily agreed, and even suggested they use a few weapons. So, they each grabbed a bo staff, and began fighting. The first time, Peter won pretty quickly, but Jade just needed to get herself reacquainted with the weapon, after the first few minutes, her muscle memory kicked in, and she made a good showing, and their spar continued for several minutes before Peter had forced her submission. But the third time around, she not only held her own, but ended up beating Peter, having almost completely regained the techniques she had once honed to a competitive capacity.

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