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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
Reyaz stood just on the edge of his brother’s forest. He knew Cypher was gone again, visiting the wolves. He chuckled to himself. Cypher thought that the wolves could defeat him. But Reyaz was not a simple witch with a desire for power. His cause was much more specific and much more personal. He wanted revenge, restitution, and recompense. At first, he had planned to be satisfied with taking Lilly, his brother’s new found mate. But now, he grinned. Now he had a whole harem at his disposal.
“I thought you would be more difficult to find.” The deep voice from behind him did not startle him. He had known he was coming, knew it, and welcomed it.
“The King of wolves graces me with his presence. Not the King I was expecting, but you will do nonetheless,” he told Vasile as he turned to face him.
“What is it that you want Reyaz?” Vasile asked bluntly.
“No pleasantries? Well, I must have really offended you.”
“I tend to get offended when someone kills me, so I apologize if I’m being a tad abrupt.”
Reyaz laughed. “I like you Alpha. You have pizazz.”
“My daughter-in-law would be proud,” he said blandly. “Again I ask; what is it that you want.”
“What all men who have lost love want―the one who took it to pay.” Reyaz took a step to the left and motioned in the direction of the warlock mountain and stronghold. “My brother has ruled for centuries. He has lived with my people following his every command while I have withered away with my sorrows.”
“And whose fault is that?” Vasile asked. “You have separated yourself from you kin, from your people. You have made the choice to put the pain from your loss above your good sense.”
Reyaz snarled, “IT WAS HIS FAULT!” He took several deep breaths before he spoke again, this time not as loudly, but with every bit the same intensity. “He is the King; he has absolute power and he should have stopped her from her foolish quest.”
“You know as well as anyone that you can’t control your female. They are every bit as stubborn as we are, especially when it comes to nurturing relationships and creating peace. The death of your mate lies in the hands of her attackers and no one else.”
“Oh really? Put yourself in my shoes. What if it was your mate that insisted on coming here today, instead of you? What if your Beta was the last to speak to her? And what if she came and I killed her? Who would you blame? Me? Of course. But who else? Shouldn’t he have made absolute certain that she didn’t put herself in harm’s way?"
Vasile’s eyes had begun to glow. “As her mate, ultimately it would be my fault. She is my responsibility. But she is also responsible for her actions. Your mate was an adult, and she made a choice to do something dangerous because she believed in the cause behind it.”
Reyaz shook his head. “I think I really could have liked you under different circumstances. But, alas, we have met on a battlefield instead of under times of peace. You may go now, Vasile, Alpha and King of the wolves. But our next meeting will not likely end in such civility.”
Vasile watched the warlock for several heartbeats before speaking again. “I too wish things were different, but I can’t let you hurt Lilly. She is pack and I protect what is mine.”
Reyaz watched in fascination. Vasile turned and, in the blink of an eye, where a man had stood, a wolf leapt off into the forest.
“Well, things just got more interesting,” he murmured and then turned back to the mountain. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the vial of blood, unscrewed the lid, and tossed the red fluid towards the stronghold. His arms reached out and he closed his eyes as he called on the words of the spell he had composed.
“Ancient magic, born of black,
Bring your power, bring your will.
Let chaos reign, bring war back,
No peace shall come, none be still.
Anger, pain will rule their hearts,
Sickness, disease will fill their beds,
Strike their souls like poison darts,
Cast strife and worry upon their heads.”
Reyaz felt a jolt of power rush through him and knew the magic had done its job. Now all he had to do was wait for a few days and let the spell settle in and begin to do its work.
He closed his eyes as he pictured the house that he had visited, Lilly’s house, and all the delectable she-wolves and a gypsy as well. He smiled slowly; his reward for his patience would be great, and Cypher and the wolves won’t even realize what has happened until it’s far too late.
Gerick stood in the armory of the mountain stronghold checking the number of weapons they had. It had been a very long time since any new weapons had been forged. Because of this, he had been in contact with Prince Thalion of the Elves, requesting help to create some new ones. Cypher was hoping to avoid an all-out battle with his brother, but he thought it better to be prepared than just to hope to not need them.
Cypher had been gone, off and on, to talk strategy with the wolves. And apparently, the fae were also involved. It seemed that desperate times continued to unite the supernatural races. Though he wished it were under different circumstances, it was good to see them all working together.
“Have you decided on what you would like my elves to make for you?” Thalion’s voice broke through his thoughts.
“Plenty of bows and arrows for a start; I imagine fighting from a distance will probably be a good thing to do with Reyaz.”
“But what will you be fighting? Will he have an army?” Thalion asked.
“Honestly, I have no idea.”
“Doesn’t that worry you?”
Gerick shook his head. “What worries me is that something about this whole thing feels wrong. Cypher is convinced that Reyaz is simply looking to hurt him or Lilly, but I think he has bigger plans than that.”
“The forest is full of his darkness.” Thalion looked at the rock wall surrounding them as if he could see through it into the forest he spoke of. “It is malevolent and a sickness is in the air.”
Gerick took a deep breath, but the air got caught in his lungs. He began to cough until he had to lean against a row of swords to keep from falling over. He felt light headed and the room swam before him.
“General, are you all right?” Thalion asked as he stepped towards him.
Gerick closed his eyes and tried to focus himself. He counted to ten and finally the feeling passed and he could breathe again.