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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“I know that it wasn’t real,” Fane finally spoke, “but even knowing that, I felt something inside of me break when I saw it.”
Costin took a step closer heedless of their nudity. “We all experienced it Fane. Our mates each went through the same thing but with different males.”
“How could you stand it?” Fane asked desperately.
“It hasn’t been easy if that’s what you’re thinking. But I realized that it would do more harm than good to dwell on it. Sally had hurt enough and I wasn’t about to add to her pain.”
Fane flinched at his words, knowing that he had caused his mate so much pain. He was supposed to protect her and instead he had pushed his fear and anger onto her.
Fane bowed his head to Costin and tilted it slightly, bearing his neck. “I ask for your forgiveness, packmate. I have wronged you. I have disrespected you and I have disrespected your mate.”
Costin instinctively let out a low growl at the submission Fane was showing. “There is nothing to forgive, but even if there was, you are forgiven.”
Fane let out a deep breath as he felt some of the darkness recede. The heaviness that had been weighing on his chest eased and he finally felt as though he could get air into his lungs. He turned to his father then and again gave his neck in submission. “Alpha, I apologize for losing control and not seeking out the help I needed.”
Vasile walked up to his son and patted his cheek affectionately. “It is not my forgiveness you should worry about.” Fane nearly fell to his knees as he thought about Jacquelyn. He had hurt her and now she was going back to Coldspring, so far from him. How could he make things right between them when he couldn’t hold her? How would she see the sincerity in his eyes if she wasn’t there with him?
“She will forgive you,” Costin told him as he took the sweats Decebel handed him, which he had retrieved from a storage locker along the wall. Like most of the places the pack visited frequently, it was stocked with spare clothes for just such an emergency. “Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or in ten years, but eventually she will.” All of the males chuckled goodnaturedly and Fane couldn’t help the smile that curved his lips. His mate was hotheaded, but she didn’t hold a grudge. He might have to do some serious groveling, but he would prove to her once again that she was the most precious gift he had ever been given and he would treat her that way again.
Vasile turned to address the group and as soon as he spoke the humor fled from their faces.
“I know that you are all angry with me and Decebel. I know you think we’ve made the wrong decision. Only time will tell. But until then, we are not going to sit and wallow in anger or pity or even the pain that will accompany the separation. Once again, evil has reared its ugly head and we must be the ones to defeat it. For if we do not do it, who will?” He met each of their gazes and one by one they dropped their eyes. “You were created for a greater purpose, not just to love your mate, but to take care of the world we live in so that our mates will have a safe place to live and our children will have a safe place to grow up. So you have until we arrive back at the mansion to wipe the scowls off your faces and I think Jen would say, 'put on your game faces.' Our women will return to us, and when they do, we had better have good news for them or the Great Luna help us all.”
“Do you think the Great Luna could help us against the wrath of your American mates?” Sorin asked with a smirk.
“Knowing our luck, they would probably convince her to join in their cause to kick our posteriors,” Vasile retorted.
“Posteriors?” Costin asked as amusement danced in his eyes.
“My daughter in-law is Jacque.”
“Evil comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. That is the beauty of it. Because it is dark, you do not see it coming. It remains quiet until it has snuck right up behind you. It is often appealing, so you do not even realize that it is evil until it has caught you in its web and you cannot move. It is the manifestation of the worst parts of us and like calls to like. So as your evil rises to the surface because of wrongs and pain that you can’t let go of, I will find you and latch onto you. Together our evil will devour any good left in each of you.” ~Reyaz
Alston, highest member of the council of the fae, paced the room restlessly. He had summoned the other council members to discuss the treachery of Lorelle, one of their own and Perizada’s sister. They didn’t know where she had gone after the witch had been destroyed. Alston had sent out his best trackers to find her so they could bring her to justice, but they hadn’t heard even a whisper of her whereabouts. When he had asked Peri for her help, her response had been quite candid. “If I find her, I will cast her to the pits of hell where she belongs, and that is after I gut her with a spoon.” He would like to say that Peri was bluffing, but Peri never bluffed so he was sure she would follow through on her threat.
“What is so urgent?” Gwen asked as she entered the council room followed immediately by Disir, Nissa, and Dain.
Alston stopped his pacing and faced the council members. “We agreed to make our presence known in the human realm. We gave our word to Perizada that we would no longer sit back and watch as evil overtook them. A new evil resides in the forest near the Warlock King’s stronghold.”
“We know this,” Dain answered. “But he has made no move yet. How are we to fight him if we can’t find him?”
Alston nodded. “I completely agree with your sentiment. However, Peri dropped in to let me know that Vasile was having a meeting with Cypher tomorrow and thought it might be a good idea for me to make an appearance. She says that they are deciding not to wait for Cypher’s brother to make a move, but to act on the offensive instead.”
“Do you think this wise?” Nissa asked.
“It does not matter what I think. It only matters that whatever we do, we do it as a united front.”
“Do you want us to accompany you?” Dain asked.
“No, I would like for two of you to go investigate the forest yourselves. Find out if the disturbance there is indeed Reyaz.”
“And if it is?”
“Do not engage him. You are simply there to observe. Stay as long as you can without detection.”
“What if he discovers us?” Nissa’s voice would, at one time, have trembled over such a question. Now she had been battled tested and it would take more to rattle her nerves.