I vaguely listen to the discussions taking place around me. The meeting is ending, and people are standing to leave when Aerlinniel decides we all need to go dancing at the Fantasy Ranch. I immediately begin formulating excuses as to why I can’t go: Clients early in the morning, a horrible clog in my bathroom sink at home, not wearing the right shoes, etc. Anwen and Chira left hours ago, saying something about having to go to work, but the rest of the pack seems excited by the prospect.
I extricate myself from the rug near Ruv’s warmth and am slightly surprised as he reaches out to help me stand. I look down at him, my eyes meeting his, and I see a flash of the heat that is burning in my own belly. I pull away, muttering my thanks, and start to move off.
“Ruv, you will escort Fey to the Fantasy, please.” My mind turns over all the possible fantasies he could be escorting me to, and I blush. Aer has a definite lilt to her voice, as if she is making a request. We all know better. It is a command. I groan inwardly, feeling the muscles in my legs and back tense.
“Aer, I’m not dressed for dancing. Please excuse me from tonight’s festivities…”, I say lamely. As the pack’s Lupa and Kraven’s mate, her word is as solid as his, and I am silently praying that she will let me off the hook. I step over Ruv’s legs to move off the rug, and he catches my boot heel in one hand, making me wobble just a little. If I were to fall, I would land right on top of him and surely melt into nothing. I would be completely undone.
“Nonsense. We will go shopping, and the boys will meet us at the club. It’s not like you’ll have to wear a lot of clothes anyway.” Aer giggles at her own innuendo, then winks conspiratorily over my shoulder to Brittainy. I gaze at Britt, then look down at Ruv, who’s face is carefully blank, but his hand is now on my ankle instead of my boot heel.
They are NOT trying to set me up with the pack Eros….are they? I no sooner need lessons with the Eros than I need to sprout an extra ass. Britt had to have a hand in this, I could smell it. Didn’t she know I was trying to behave?
I was well-versed in the part the Eros played in other packs, but it was my understanding that Ruv’s betrothal meant he would be retiring as pack Eros, and as yet a new Eros had not been named. I had been privvy to the tittering and gossip of the female pups since my acceptance into the pack, and Ruv’s prowess as Eros was, well…legendary.
And oddly, it had nothing to do with why he made me so…uneasy. I was wizened enough to discern the difference between charisma and true desire. Right? I slowly ran my tongue over my canines, deliberately, watching Aer and the Fae. There were only a two ways to play this…I could accept the challenge, or I could run scared…