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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“I’m with Peri on this,” Adam said from behind Cypher. “We don’t have time to be goofing off with a bunch of cursed warlocks, not if my mate is in the hands of a deranged psycho.”
Sorin stepped from around Vasile and met Peri’s eyes. “Why didn’t Elle come and tell us? Why didn’t she flash?”
Peri felt a small pang of guilt in her gut as she thought about Elle. “I bound her power so that she couldn’t flash.”
Sorin let out a low growl. “You kept her from me.”
Peri took a step towards him, headless of his nude form. “I did not keep her from you. You kept her from you when you stuck her on a plane bound for the Americas. I kept her from getting her butt into trouble. I wanted to know that the females were staying all together when I wasn’t around and I didn’t want any of those girls talking Elle into doing something stupid, as we all know they are prone to do. I wasn’t trying to put her in danger. I was trying to keep her safe. You remember this, Sorin. She was mine before she was yours and I will always consider her mine.”
Sorin’s glowing eyes held Peri’s, neither of them willing to back down.
“ENOUGH!” Vasile barked. “Sorin, your mate is going to be fine, just like all of our mates. Peri, don’t challenge my wolves when we are in a crisis. Cypher, have you gotten yourself together?”
Cypher had been listening to the exchange and fighting the curse as he reminded himself over and over of Lilly, her smile, her laughter, her southern accent, and sharp wit—his mate. He felt the effects of the curse flow off of him like water on a slick roof and suddenly he could think clearly again.
“I’m good,” he told the Alpha.
Vasile nodded. “What about your people?” He motioned to the other warlocks.
Cypher drew on the magic that flowed in his blood, his birthright, and pushed it out into the spirit of his people. He helped them fight off the black magic and regain their own power over their minds. Slowly the warlocks began to look around as if being woken from a deep sleep. Their eyes were wide and mouths drooping open at seeing where they were and the state of the forest around them.
Fane stepped up to his father and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I can’t feel Jacquelyn,” he told him.
“I know. I can’t feel your mother either. Somehow the mate bonds have been closed off.” Vasile glanced around to meet the eyes of each of his wolves and then Decebel’s. “We need to get back to the mansion.” He turned to Peri and looked at her as if to say, your call.
“I believe a reunion is in order with my dear bat mess crazy sister,” she told him with a sickly sweet tone that dripped with disgust at the mention of her sister.
“Tell her, 'hi', for me,” Adam said, “and by 'tell her hi', I mean slap the crap out of her.”
“Consider it done,” Peri told him and then flashed.
“Vasile,” Cypher’s voice broke through the murmuring of the warlocks, “I will meet you at your mansion, if that is alright?”
“He has your mate too, Cypher,” Vasile said in answer.
In a matter of minutes the wolves had all phased back and were once again on the run headed back to the Romanian mansion. Cypher ran with them after having told Gerick to take the rest of their people home and have the healers tend to them. The fae agreed to help and told Vasile that they would be there as soon as they had heard from Peri. Thalion had also agreed to help in rescuing the females and offered any aide his people could give.
Vasile ran side by side with his wolves, a desperation driving him that he hadn’t felt in a very long time. His mate, along with others that he cared deeply for, had been taken, right from under his nose. And now that the battle with the warlocks had been averted, he felt the full weight of the news falling on him. His mate, his Mina, was beyond his reach, not only physically, but mentally as well, and it was driving his wolf mad.
Decebel pushed himself as hard as he could. His wolf reveled in the burn of his muscles as he ran, the flexing of tendons, and tightening of ligaments as his paws hit the ground in jarring force. He ran as though the hounds of hell were on his heels. And if he could have ran even faster, he would have. It was his fault. It was his fault she had been taken. If he had just kept her here, by his side, where she belonged, no matter the pain of the bond being broken, she would be safe. But now she was in the hands of a mad man, beyond his aide if she needed him and pregnant with their child. How had he let this happen? He felt his heartbeat pounding in his chest and his lungs burned with exhaustion as he drug air into them. The pain of the separation and the breaking of their bond was a constant reminder of what he had done, a constant thorn in his side of the decision he had made without talking to his mate. Was this his punishment? Was he to be chastised for wanting to protect his daughter and mate? The questions and fears continued to fester like an infected wound inside of him. It refused to heal and with each step his anger grew. He was tired of their women being in danger. He was tired of trying to hold himself together when all he wanted was to crawl into the arms of his female and weep for their loss, whether it was him or their child. He was so very tired and yet he didn’t have the luxury of giving into the exhaustion that racked his body.
Fane glanced over at Decebel as they ran, and noticed the huge dark wolf was running at a full sprint. They had a very long ways to run, but he understood the Alpha’s need to push himself. Jacque had sounded fine when he had been talking to her and she had told him that they had been taken. She was nervous, but she sounded more angry than scared. It was for those reasons that he had not completely lost his cool, but now that the adrenaline from the battle was dropping, a new surge of adrenaline was beginning to pump into his veins and it was fueled by fear and rage. How many times would evil attempt to take their mates from them? How many times would they endure seeing the women they loved hurt? He would like to say that he wasn’t at his breaking point, not yet. But he didn’t know if he could tell that to himself and still be honest. He had been at his breaking point only days ago and when he had finally given in to the need to sate the wolf and man’s rage, he had begun to heal. Now here he stood again, worried for his mate’s safety and wellbeing and unable to do a damn thing about it. So, like Decebel, he ran as hard and as fast as he could. He ran as though she stood just out of his reach and if he could just push himself a little harder he would have her in his arms again, safe, where she belonged.