Chapter 18

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Dante continued to talk to Jade, and tell her about the pack house and his pack, all the while several wolves were milling around, socializing and relaxing for the evening. They had finished their dinner in the mess hall by now, and were enjoying their free time. Several offered a greeting to their Alpha and his guest, as Dante and Jade walked along. Even without uttering actual words, Jade still managed to pull off a welcoming and positive demeanor, and everyone she met seemed to like her, which stirred a warm appreciation in Dante's heart. He wanted his pack to welcome Jade, but he also wanted her to care for them as well.

"How would you feel about letting your wolf out, and going for a run?" Jade looked up at him with pure delight and excitement, nodding her head vigorously. Her wolf hadn't been out since that first night, and she was dying to shift and let her out again. She was also looking forward to having an escort this time, and knowing that she wouldn't be caught and accused of trespassing.

Dante smiled at her and took her hand as he led her outside. "There's a changing house there," he pointed to a little shed across the driveway. "We have them all over the territory. They're all stocked with a bunch of clothes, so if anyone needs to shift when they're out and about, there will be something to wear. You can go ahead and leave your clothes in there when you shift, and I'll be waiting for you out here."

Jade nodded to him and went into the changing house. She took off her dress and set it on the dresser inside, and then quickly shifted into her wolf form. It felt so good to be free again. She had missed her wolf, and being together in wolf form was liberating for both of them. She quickly went outside and found Dante waiting for her. This was the first time she had seen him in his wolf form. He was enormous. Most Alpha's were, but she was a little surprised to see just how big his wolf actually was. She felt very dainty next to him. His fur was a luxurious dark grey, with streaks of black. His eyes remained the welcoming hazel like in his human form. He nuzzled up next to her, taking in her scent, and then bounded off into the woods. Jade followed immediately, enjoying every second of running with her mate. Her wolf was ecstatic, and couldn't stay away from Dante's wolf. Even though Jade, in human form was nervous and wary of Dante being her mate, her wolf had no doubts.

As they were out, they even crossed paths several other members of the pack. Even though it had been a long time since Jade's wolf had been out, she was actually more comfortable around others in her wolf form, and they seemed to get along well. Running playfully and interacting as if they had all been friends for years.

Jade and Dante had been running for hours before they finally returned to the pack house. Jade went into the changing house, shifted back to her human form, and put her dress back on. She stepped out the door, but hesitated when she saw Dante. He had shifted and put his pants back on, but hadn't put his shirt on. She couldn't help but stare at his perfectly formed and muscular back. She took a deep breath to calm her internal wolf, who had leapt with excitement at seeing him standing there shirtless. She waited a moment, for him to put his shirt on, but when he turned and saw her, he just slung his shirt over his shoulder, with obviously no intention of putting it back on.

Of course she blushed when he had caught her staring at him, and she blushed even more when she saw the perfectly sculpted muscles that were gleaming in the moonlight. She turned away immediately though, mortified that he had caught her staring, and hoping that he could see how hard she blushed. But of course, he had to tease her about it.

"You like what you see?" he asked shamelessly, walking up to her. She just snorted in irritation, and refused to look at him. She didn't know why he seemed to enjoy teasing her so much. Come on, let's go in, he said as he took her by the hand and they walked inside. He motioned for her to go first up the stairs, and he followed behind.

"This way you can't ogle me so much" he said from behind her, still enjoying how uncomfortable he could make her.

He walked her to her door, and opened it for her, but didn't follow her in, for which she was grateful. Seeing him without his shirt had aroused waves of desire inside of her, but she had no intention of following through on any of it, so she was relieved when he seemed ready to part ways for the evening.

"You can have the bathroom first" he said to her. "I need to go back downstairs to finish some things, so take as long as you need."

She nodded at him, and waited for him to leave, but he hesitated at the doorway for a moment, as if he wanted to say something, but was trying to decide if he was going to or not.

He just looked at her for another few seconds, and then moved a strand of her hair out of her face, tucking it behind her ear, and he took a deep breath.

"Have a good night" he finally said, and the abruptly turned and walked away, heading back down the stairs.

Jade had expected him to kiss her. After the stare that he had been giving her, and then brushing her hair away, she was preparing herself for him to take her into his arms, so when he turned and walked away, she was a little surprised. She was also surprised with how disappointed she felt. She wouldn't have admitted it if he had asked her, and she certainly wouldn't have initiated it, but she knew that she would have been very receptive if he had decided to kiss her at that point. She just sighed to herself, and went to shower and get ready for bed.

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