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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“Shut! Up!” Jacque’s words were echoed by others. “The fae were the creators of the witches?”
Elle frowned. “No, only one fae was responsible. Volcan. I will only say his name once because names are powerful. He is the one who created the witches and wizards. He used his own blood to fill them with his magic, and then he released them back into the human world. Blinded by his need to defeat and control, it never dawned on him that his creation might turn from him and seek out their own desires. Once we realized what he was creating and letting loose, we knew he had to be stopped. He couldn’t be allowed to destroy the human world. So we destroyed him. It was a long and bloody fight with many lives lost. But in the end we killed him.”
“If he’s dead, why is this forest still on lockdown…and so creepy?” Sally asked.
“Sometimes the infiltration of evil is so profound, so abundant, that it cannot be uncontaminated. There was nothing we could do to purge the evil inside so we had to contain it. That way it could not seek out those who might be easily swayed by its lure.”
The group was quiet as they digested the information, once more blindsided by the happenings in the supernatural world. It was Jacque who finally broke the silence.
“Why is it a big deal that we not know about this? I mean I can understand that you might be worried another fae would seek out the power, but what do the wolves have to do with it?” Jacque could tell she had asked the one question they had been hoping no one would.
Alina glanced at Elle before she spoke, “I think that is enough speaking about such dark things, for now, especially since we are sitting in the home of those dark things.”
Jacque decided to let it be for now, but only because of the haunted look that peered out at her from behind Alina’s stoic demeanor.
“So what’s the plan?” Lilly asked.
“Stay alive,” Crina muttered.
“That’s always a good one to start with,” Jen agreed.
“Okay, let’s think a little broader than stay alive,” Lilly amended.
“Are any of you able to use your bonds?” Alina asked as she glanced at each of the mated females.
“I lost contact with Costin at some point when we were surrounded in darkness,” Sally answered.
“I got nothing, but then that’s not news,” Jen said.
“Nothing here,” Jacque added.
Crina shook her head at Alina and Elle shrugged.
“This feels different than just the bond being closed,” Sally stood and began to pace as she talked. “It’s like the bond is nonexistent, like it never was.”
Alina nodded. “I agree. We’ve all been experiencing the usual pain of being separated from the males, but it is important that you pay attention to the intensity of the pain. If it begins to get worse, then that might mean that it is more than just the bonds being closed.”
“What do you mean more?” Lilly asked as she looked at Jacque nervously.
“It could mean that the bonds are being severed.”
“I’ve decided that I don’t want this news. Let’s rewind and go back to sparkling vampires,” Jen said sarcastically but her words lacked their usual humor.
“For now, we just wait,” Alina told them.
“Waiting sucks,” Jacque complained.
“Not just waiting, Jac, but waiting in a creepy forest where a sadistic, power hungry fae used to turn children into his little minions.” Jen smiled sweetly at her friend when Jacque growled at her.
“You’re not helping.”
“I’m pregnant. I’m not supposed to be helpful.”
“How long are you going to play that pregnant card?” Sally asked her.
“Uh, probably until I am no longer pregnant,” Jen answered with a smirk plastered on her face.
“You being pregnant sucks,” Crina jumped in and it brought a soft hum of laughter from the exhausted, weary group.
“Where could she have taken them?” Decebel asked for the tenth time. “It must be someplace that suppresses the mate bond.”
“What about the In-between?” Costin asked.
Rumbles of growls rippled through the room at the idea of the females in that horrid place.
“Good guess, but no cookie,” Peri said as she flashed into the library where everyone was gathered. “I’ve already checked; they aren’t there.”
“How did you check?” Fane asked.
“I have my connections,” Peri told him but offered no other explanation.
“Perhaps another realm?” Sorin said.
“I don’t know of any realms that would keep the bonds between mates from staying open,” Vasile answered. “And if there were, they would have to be saturated in dark magic.”
“Maybe they are here in the human realm but Lorelle or Reyaz have closed the bond somehow,” Adam offered. “It is well within a fae’s power to block the bond, for at least a little while if they know what they’re doing.”
“It would take a lot of power to do that with this many wolves,” Peri told him, “and to sustain it would take even more.”
“So what do we do?” Fane snarled in frustration. “We have nothing to go on, no leads or ideas, and we have no idea if our females are alright.”
“I know you are frustrated Fane. We all are,” Vasile’s voice was calm but his glowing eyes showed the truth of his emotions. He was every bit as concerned and angered as the rest of them, but he had to keep a level head for his mate and for the males who were desperate to find their own mates. “Wadim, I want you to do what you do best. Find information on all the realms, even ones that might have been forgotten. Peri, join him if you don’t mind.” Vasile turned and looked at Costin, Fane, and Adam. “You three head North, go on foot, and move quickly. Night is taking over and there are lots of things that come out to play at night, things that might have heard rumblings of Lorelle and Reyaz. Gather whatever information you can, and then come back here. Gavril, Sorin, Skender, and Drake, you will head South.
Cypher, I imagine if he shows himself it will be to you. So myself, Decebel, Thalion, and Alston will join you. We will head toward your mountain to see if his presence is still discernible. And if Cyn, Dain, and Nissa could stay here and add a little more protection, I would be grateful.”