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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“That is a question you should be asking me.” Sally turned at the sound of Elle’s voice and saw that Peri was right behind her.
“Sorry to bust up this little sleepover, but if you want answers, Healer, then you need to go to those in the know.” Peri leaned against the wall, looking more awake than anyone at that hour should and definitely looking like she was in the know.
“So what happened to Decebel?” she asked again, this time directed at Elle.
“He asked for me to make it so that when he slept Jen could not get past his barriers.”
“Do we really have to go through this again?” Peri groaned. “Because he has…,”
Sally held her hand up stopping the fae from going on. “I know, I know, he has man parts. I get it, but that doesn’t fully answer my question.”
“He has a secret and he doesn’t want her to be able to go snooping and find it,” Peri told her and appeared very put out at having been interrupted.
“Decebel isn’t the type to keep things from Jen,” Sally argued.
“People will often become very different from who they really are when life and death matters are at hand,” said Cynthia.
“I thought that people showed who they truly are when they are in life and death situations.” Sally’s eyes narrowed at the doctor.
Peri waved her hand as if batting away a fly. “Sally, really, do you think we can possibly unravel the workings of the alpha male Canis lupus, especially starting with Decebel?”
Sally didn’t answer; she simply stared at Peri as if everything she wanted to know was going to explode out of her head at any moment. Then the words hit her again.
“You said life and death,” Sally pointed at Cynthia. “This has to do with their baby, wait,” Sally gasped and covered her mouth. “He wouldn’t,” she muttered around her hand, not speaking to anyone but simply staring at the ground as her mind tried to grasp what she was realizing. “Oh,” she whispered slowly, “but he would. They all would.”
“He’s going to sacrifice himself. But he can’t do that if their bond is intact,” Sally finally spoke up loud enough for everyone to hear.
Peri smiled like a proud parent. “I knew she was the smart one in the bunch. Didn’t I tell you Elle,” she nudge the other fae. “Didn’t I say that the quiet, innocent one is the smart one?”
Elle nodded. “Yes Peri, you did,” she said dryly.
“Jen’s going to kill him.” Sally’s eyes locked with Peri’s.
“You can’t tell her, Healer,” Peri’s face suddenly went very serious. “It is not the place of any of us to meddle in the Alpha’s business.”
“She’s my best friend, Peri. That makes it my business,” Sally argued.
“No,” Cynthia spoke up. “If she were only your best friend, then yes, it would be your business. But she isn’t only your best friend. She’s Decebel’s mate, Sally, his wife. There are some things that are between husband and wife that the friend card no longer holds any sway over.”
Sally glared at Cynthia while hearing her words, hearing their truth, and hating them. She knew that there were some things that weren’t her business because Decebel wasn’t just Jen’s boyfriend, he was her husband and that did make it different.
“But he’s making the wrong choice,” she whined. Way to be real mature Sally, she thought to herself.
“That is not for you to decide,” Peri told her, the words of the Great Luna echoing in her mind. “The Fates will ultimately decide whose life they will accept. There is so little we control in this life, and as much as we would like to think life and death is one of those things, it just isn’t.”
Sally let out a deep, resigned sigh. She couldn’t tell Jen. In fact, she couldn’t tell anyone.
“This freaking sucks,” she grumbled.
“So goes the story of our paranormal lives,” Peri agreed.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” the Great Luna said softly to the wolf in human form before her. The warm night air blew through her shimmering hair and the moonlight made her skin glow.
“You knew I was coming?”
“Yes, and they have agreed to hear you.” She motioned for the wolf to follow her. She walked into the forest. As the trees swallowed her, the wolf paused just for a second before following the goddess inside.
They wound through the trees until there was a canopy of limbs that hung over an opening to a cave. Light flickered at the entrance as if a fire burned inside and the flames danced, tempting them to enter and seek its warmth. The Great Luna stepped aside and motioned for the wolf to go into the cave. “This is as far as I go,” she told the wolf who continued forward, following the beckoning light.
The wolf walked deeper into the cave until a voice said to stop.
“We have agreed to hear your petition.” The three figures of the Fates suddenly appeared before the wolf. “What is it you ask for?”
“I come to offer my life in the place of one that you have claimed. I ask that you allow the child to live and let me fulfill the debt. Let my blood wipe clean the slate.” The wolf’s voice was full of sincerity.
“Why would you offer yourself as a sacrifice for this child? It is one thing for the father to do so, but who is this child to you that you would lay down your life?”
“The child is pack. She is family and she is loved. What greater way to show that she is loved than to give my life for hers?”
Silence filled the cave as the Fates watched the wolf, and then they finally spoke again.
“We will consider your sacrifice, but you will not know our decision until the moment it is due. You must tell no one of your choice. For true sacrifice does not seek approval or crave attention. You will do this and no one will know until you have left this life and passed on to the next.”
The wolf left the cave and walked into the arms of the Great Luna.
“Can you restore what has begun to be broken?”
The Great Luna’s eyes filled with moisture as she shook her head. “I cannot. They still might choose him. If their bond was restored, then she would die also. I am proud of you, but I hurt for you as well.”
“It is what should be,” the wolf told her.
The Great Luna nodded. “Just because it is right, does not make it easy.”