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|Fate and Fury(Grey Wolves #6) by Quinn Loftis|
Jacque pushed her legs as hard as she could. The air brushed her face and the hot air brought no relief from the heat. Her lungs burned with the effort to take in more oxygen as her muscles cried out in need. She ignored the pain, and thought of only one thing, get to Fane. He was on the verge of losing control of his wolf. Peri had warned them that it could happen and Jacque knew if she didn’t get to him very, very soon it would be too late.
“Jennifer,” Jen heard the desperation in Decebel’s voice, it was a sound that she never wanted to hear again, because she knew what he was seeing, and it nearly broke her. “Decebel, hold on a little longer babe. We’re almost there.” She could feel the confusion in his mind. He didn’t know what to believe, or what the lie was? What was illusion and what was real? She pumped her arms faster and called on the speed of her wolf. He needed her; she had to get to him.
“STOP!” Perizada’s voice reverberated off the walls. The hallway that had been filled with howls, heavy breathing, and stomping feet, was suddenly silent.
“Look at me,” Peri’s voice was a command and slowly, one by one, they turned to look at the Fae. Alina’s eyes glowed dangerously at the one who would keep her from her mate and she took a menacing step forward.
“Do not do something you will regret Alpha,” Peri’s eyes met Alina’s briefly, and then looked back at the group.
“What are your greatest fears right this moment?” She asked them.
“Can’t we have this little discussion after we have the guys back?” Jen growled.
“NO!” Peri snarled back. “We will have it now. What is your greatest fear?”
“We aren’t going to make it in time,” Sally whispered as she met the Fae’s eyes. “We’re going to be too late. Their wolves are taking over.”
Heads nodded as the others agreed with Sally.
“Exactly,” Peri smiled at Sally as if she were her star pupil. “Now, what did I tell you about this place? It uses your biggest fear. You think that you hear your wolves howling for you and instead of stopping for a moment and thinking you take off like a bunch of yahoo’s running to who knows where into who knows what.”
“What are we supposed to do?” Alina growled, her eyes still glowed in anger.
“Use your bonds. Jen just proved that they are fully operational, so suck it up, and accept that what you are going to feel and see from your mates is going to be unpleasant, but it will tell you if what you are hearing is real. Your fears had you running towards a noise that was only in your mind and you would have continued to run, never going anywhere because your fear is that you won’t make it in time.”
Sally’s hand slapped over her mouth as a gasp escaped and her eyes widened. The realization hit Jacque, Crina, Elle, and the others.
“We would have run forever,” Crina muttered.
Peri nodded. “Until there were no more shoes left on your feet. Now, the worst part,” Peri motioned to their right. “What do you see?”
This time the gasps rippled through all eight of them as they saw the steps, they had descended only a short time ago.
“I felt arms surround me and wetness on my face. I looked up into brown eyes brimming with tears. Her lips were moving, but I couldn’t hear anything. My wolf stirred, begging for release. He could save us from the anguish. But, the beautiful brown eyes stared into mine and the urgency in them had me holding off the phase. I narrowed my eyes trying to hear what she was saying, trying to understand why this Sally was so different from the other, the one I couldn’t save. I knew I couldn’t endure one more moment of seeing my mate suffer, so I closed my eyes to the crying Sally and called on my wolf.” ~ Costin
“The stairs,” said Alina shaking her head. “How is that possible, we were running, I felt my legs moving, the wind on my face,” her speech grew more urgent with every word. “I know I was moving.”
“We started walking when we got down here and you pointed in that direction Peri,” Cynthia pointed out.
Peri nodded. “We thought we did. Our minds were telling us we were moving because our fear is to not make it in time. I couldn’t figure it out at first, but I knew I needed to hurry. I didn’t bother to examine why I all of the sudden knew we just had to go, without thinking about a plan or anything. It was this place, using my fear against me.” She let out a deep breath and shook her head.
“The mind is a very powerful tool,” she said, solemnly. “And, in this place it is your enemy.”
“So if we can’t trust our minds,” Elle prompted.
“Trust your instincts,” finished Peri.
“My mind is screaming at me to run,” Sally said as she stared down the hallway she thought she had been running down, “in that direction,” she pointed.
“Crina, use your nose,” Peri told her. “What does that direction smell like?”
Crina closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She let her wolf out enough to use her senses, to break down the mixture of smells into individual scents.
“I smell,” she paused, “nothing.”
“Good, now what about that way?” Peri nodded.
This time all of the wolves took in deep breaths. Jen spoke first.
“Decebel.” She started to move, but Rachel grabbed her arm.
“Wait,” Rachel said calmly. Jen looked at the healer and then at the others. She could see the realization on each of their faces. Their mates were close. Very close.
“Now,” Peri said as she looked at them, her voice that of a teacher instructing her class, “follow what you know is a fact.”
“Our mate’s scents are that way,” Jen announced. “Does everyone else agree? Because, I really don’t want to run standing in place again thinking I’m getting somewhere like a dumb ass only to find out I’m in the exact same place I started.”
Jacque nodded. “I hear you, and yes, our mates are that way.”
Alina took the lead and they began walking briskly. Every so often Alina would stop and take a deep breath. The other wolves would follow suit while Elle and Sally tried hard to ignore the irritation building, because they needed to hurry, they weren’t moving fast enough.
“Sally, stop.” Jen’s words wrapped around Sally like a steel band and held her in place. She hadn’t even realized that she had turned and was walking away from the group. Her mouth dropped open and her eyes widened.