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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“Don’t tell Vasile for now,” Alina told Peri.
Peri smiled. “Keeping secrets from the wolves. I like your style Alpha.”
Alina chuckled. “Yes well, I don’t feel there is a need to alarm him until absolutely necessary.”
Everyone nodded their agreements and then began making their way back to their designated sleeping quarters. Peri spoke up before everyone could leave.
“Elle and Cynthia, could you two please wait a second. I would like to speak with you.”
Elle shot Cynthia a worried look but sat back down. Cynthia took a seat next to her and they waited as everyone else cleared out of the room.
“Oh good grief, Elle, quit stressing out. I’m not going to dissect your mind or anything,” Peri huffed as she watched her nervous comrade.
“Wait, could she do that?” Cynthia asked nervously.
Peri quirked a brow at her mischievously.
“Honestly doc, I wouldn’t underestimate anything about Perizada. Not anymore.”
“Dually noted,” Cynthia mumbled.
“So ladies,” Peri said dramatically, “my, my haven’t we been busy.” Both Cynthia and Elle squirmed under her gaze. “I take it the block on Decebel’s mind is your handy work?” she directed the question to Elle.
Elle nodded. “He asked me to.”
“Why?” Peri asked.
“He made us promise not to talk about it with anyone,” Cynthia spoke up quickly hoping to keep Elle from falling under the pressure of someone she obviously considered her boss.
“Doctor Steele, I have the highest respect for you, but I’m going to have to ask you to shut it.” Peri looked back at Elle. “Why?” she asked again.
“He wanted to keep Jen from being able to see into his mind while he is sleeping.” Elle slumped forward once the words were out, as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
“How are you involved?” she looked back to Cynthia.
“He came to me first to see if I could help him. When I told him I couldn’t, I thought of Elle. He seemed very distraught and it’s very weird to see Decebel that way.”
“I imagine it is. Probably just as weird as seeing him fidgeting like a four year old.” Peri sat across from the two women and stared at them, but she wasn’t seeing them. She was lost in thought, remembering just how out of character the Alpha had been acting when she had popped in on their meeting. “He’s hiding something very important,” she finally said, “and if I know anything about our wolves, it’s that they will do anything to protect their mates.”
“You think he’s doing something to protect Jen and the baby?” Cynthia asked.
“I think he’s figured out a way to save his child. And he knows his mate would kill him if she knew his plan.”
“What?” Elle and Cynthia asked at the same time.
Peri shook her head. “Let’s just say that if what I think is happening, is really happening, it’s going to get so much worse, and never better.”
“Don’t you mean it will get much worse before it gets better?” Cynthia asked.
“If he’s doing what I think he’s doing doc, then there is no getting better.”
“Free will is a gift and a curse. It is a gift to the one to whom it is given. They then have the right to choose their thoughts, actions, and beliefs. It is a curse to the one, like me, who grants it. I have to watch when the ones I have gifted with free will make decisions that I know are harmful and dangerous. And though I can direct and guide, I cannot force, and sometimes when you love someone so completely, you desperately want to force.”
~The Great Luna
She was being called again and there was a jolt of joy inside of her that brightened her spirit at knowing her children called upon her. Creator and created working together as it should be.
“I did not expect you,” The Great Luna stated not unkindly to her guest.
Perizada bowed low before standing back up. “It is an honor to be in your presence Luna.”
“The honor is mine, Perizada. You have ministered to my wolves so long now, and still you do not grow weary.”
Peri laughed. “I wouldn’t go that far. Your wolves frequently make me weary.”
The Great Luna smiled as she walked slowly around the yard.
“This is the home of Lilly.” It was a statement but Peri nodded her agreement anyway. “How is she doing?”
Peri glanced at the house and then back to the goddess. “She’s very resilient.”
The Great Luna nodded her head. “She will have to continue to be so, for there is much more in store for her that will require not only resilience, but strength and bravery. Now,” she turned and faced Peri directly, “what troubles you High Fae?”
Peri let out a deep breath and rubbed her forehead. “Decebel has to be the most devoted mate I’ve known in all my centuries. His love for Jen is at times sickening. You know his plan?”
“And you approve?”
“There is no greater show of love than to sacrifice oneself.”
Peri growled in frustration. “There has to be another way.”
“Are you offering your life in place of the child’s?” The Great Luna’s voice was not condescending or expectant. It was simply a question.
“Is that what you would have of me?” Peri asked, her voice a whisper.
“I would have you do what you were put here to do, Peri. You have always been an ambassador of sorts to the wolves. You offer your wisdom and council when needed. You serve when needed, but the sacrifice in this case is not yours to give.”
“Isn’t it,” Peri asked desperately. “I am the one who snatched Jen from the hands of the Fates. Shouldn’t it be my life and not the child’s that they take?”
“It is not your time, Perizada.”
Peri watched as The Great Luna began to fade. “Wait,” she yelled, “what do I do?”
“You be there for her. When the time comes that she needs you most, don’t let her down.”
“I miss you,” Fane whispered into his mate’s mind. It had been two weeks since the females had left. Two weeks since his father had decided to go and confront the warlock Reyaz. Two weeks since Costin and he had ripped into one another. Two weeks away from his mate and it felt as though he hadn’t touched her in two years.