Chapter 34

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Jade's statement finally clicked for Dante in regard to understanding what their fight must have really been about, and he was suddenly heartbroken that his mate thought he had such little regard for her and he rushed over to where she was sitting on the bed, and he dropped to his knees in front of her.

"Jade" he said as he cupped her face in his hands, "I could never choose anyone but you. You are the one that I've always wanted, even before I met you. And now that you're in my life, I could never let you go. You, and only you, are the best and only choice for me, and it would kill me if you left me."

"Why was her scent all over you when you came home?" Jade asked, almost afraid of the answer, but knowing that she needed to hear the truth.

"She came onto me. She's brazen and hugged me when I was on my way to find you. But I promise, I was completely honest with her and told her I chose you. Every fiber of my being wants you, Jade."

"Why? Why do you want me?" she asked timidly, looking down at the floor.

"Not only are you my mate, but you are everything I have ever wanted. You're kind and gentle, you're more gorgeous than any man deserves, and you're everything that I'm not. You're a perfect missing piece to my life. And, you put up with my obnoxious teasing. I'm more comfortable being myself around you, than I have ever been with anyone else in my entire life. Please believe me when I tell you, you're my everything, Jade!"

"So where have you been going at night, after you leave me, when you're gone for hours?" she asked, hoping there wasn't another female to contend with.

"Well..." he said hesitantly, "I've been in the gym almost every night since you've been here."

"In the gym?" she asked, looking at him with confusion. "You don't get enough exercise training with the pack in the mornings? Aren't you tired?"

"I am so tired, Jade" he said, and he laid his head in her lap.

"Why are you going to the gym every night then?" she asked in confusion.

"Well" he said, picking up his head, and giving her a sheepish grin, "that's really more your fault."

"How is it my fault?" she asked with indignation.

"Have you seen you?" Dante asked, grinning at her.

"What?" she asked, shaking her head, without any understanding.

"Woman" he began, "you apparently have no idea what you do to me."

"What do you mean, what I do to you?" she asked innocently.

"Well" he began, getting up on his knees and moving closer to her, opening her legs and leaning up to her between them, his face close to hers. "I can barely keep my hands off of you" and he wrapped his arms around her waist.

Jade pulled back a little, looking into eyes, still trying to understand what he was saying to her.

"I have wanted to make love to you since the day I met you" he said to her. Every day I've been restraining myself. Every night I've gone to the gym, it's because you've gotten me so worked up and I've needed to blow off some steam." And he then moved hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear. "And if I can't kiss you now, I'm going to head back down there."

"Oh" she said, gasping a little, bringing her hand to her mouth.

Dante smiled at her shyness and innocence.

"And what's with all the talking, all of the sudden?" he asked, suddenly realizing that their first real conversation was a fight, "you are suddently very vocal, raking me over the coals about my past exploits."

"You say some weird stuff" she said to him shaking her head.

"But you find it irresistible, don't you?" he said teasingly. "But seriously, I was gone a day, and you've gone from single words to full arguments."

"Yeah, well once I started, now I can't stop" she said, blushing a little at the focus on her speaking.

"I like it" he said, and he brushed his thumb over her lips.

And then without warning, he pressed his lips to hers, kissing her and running one hand through her hair, while the other arm wrapped behind her back. She kissed him back and threw her arms around his neck, and linked her legs around his as he kneeled in front of her. He then gently pulled her head back and began kissing down her neck, as she whimpered at his touch.

Dante continued kissing down her neck, reaching the top of her shirt, and pushing it downward with his face, as he continued to kiss toward her chest. Jade held her breath as she leaned into him, trembling with every touch. She brought her hands to his face, and brought his lips back to hers, and she kissed his lips, passionately taking charge as her tongue separated his lips and pulled his bottom lip into her mouth, sucking on it gently.

"I'm going to take you here and now, if you don't stop me" Dante whispered to Jade, as he pulled away to look her in the eyes.

"Dante" she said, putting her hands on his chest, and pushing him away.

"What is it?" he asked, the concern apparent in his voice.

"I need you to know" she began, "I'm not what you need in a Luna. I'm not a leader, I'm a coward" she said with sadness and regret in her voice.

"What are you talking about?" he asked, confused at the words he was hearing her say.

"When we were attacked" she said slowly. "My pack, the night the rogues came, I ran. I was in the kitchen with Tina, our cook, and she told me to run, and I did. But I shouldn't have. I should have stayed. I should have helped. I was a coward to run" she said, burying her face in her hands. "I should have told you sooner, before you thought I was something I wasn't. Before you believed I could be a good Luna for your pack. I'm sorry" she said.

"Sweetie, my sweet Jade" he said, "you are anything but a coward. You're a fighter. It was right that you ran. Tina was right telling you to, if you hadn't run, you would have died, and they would have killed you."

"But I'm not a leader, I didn't stay to fight. I should have and I didn't, instead I ran. I ran and I ran, until Luther's men caught me. But I should have stayed."

"Jade" Dante said, looking deeply into her eyes, "they would have killed you. You weren't a coward for running, you were a survivor. You were and you still are. You survived the attacks, and you survived Luther and all the time that you were there. You're a survivor and will make an amazing and wonderful Luna. You already possess all the qualities necessary, and I can't wait for you to step into that role and prove it."

"Do you really believe that?" she asked, her eyes searching his for whatever truth they might be able to reveal.

"I do" he said earnestly, "with every fiber of my being."

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