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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“Alina, why is he staring you down like that? And a better question would be... why does he look like he’s about to rip your throat out?” Cynthia asked.
“I imagine that after what he’s been through, he might want to rip me apart and then some,” she answered calmly.
“So I take that to mean that you know who he is?” Jen asked.
“Okay,” Jen drew the word out as she continued to watch the wolf. “I also take it that by your first reaction of shock you weren’t expecting to see him.”
“Bloody hell, like pulling freaking teeth,” Jacque muttered.
“I thought he was dead,” Alina elaborated. “We all did. Would you agree Elle?” Alina did not disconnect the eye contact she had with the wolf, feeling that it was the only thing keeping him from attacking.
“We did not believe there could be anyway he survived,” Elle answered.
“Alright, are you going to tell us who he is anytime this year?” Jen’s impatience and earlier emotions were not helping her keep the sarcasm out of her voice.
“He should not be here; he should not have survived. If they had known, they would have done something. They never would have left him to this fate, they would have…,”
“Alina!” Cynthia interrupted the Alpha, attempting to keep her from getting any more out of control than she was in that moment. “Who is he?”
“He is…he was Vasile’s brother.”
“I’ve seen a horsefly; I’ve seen a dragonfly; I’ve even seen housefly, but I ain’t never seen an elephant fly. For some reason I don’t think this possibility is so farfetched, not any more. In fact at this point an elephant flying would be the most uneventful sight in my day.” ~Lilly
“Bloody hell,” Jacque whispered as her breath caught in her chest.
Jen threw her arm up in the air letting out a loud huff, “Just when you think you’ve heard it all. Next you’re going to tell us you carried his love child and that’s why he ran off into a god forsaken forest so that Vasile wouldn’t rip the jewels off.”
Alina shook her head and said just as serious as ever. “No, no love child.”
“Good to know,” Cynthia added.
The wolf continued to stare Alina down and just when they had begun to think that he was going to become a permanent fixture to their view of the dark forest, he turned and ran off into the dark until the shadows swallowed him up.
As soon as he was gone Alina visibly wilted as she fell to her knees. Her face was pale and her breathing sporadic. She didn’t know how it was possible. She may not have been alive during the battle between the fae and Volcan but she had been told the history behind it. She had read the archives and Vasile had told her of his brother’s sacrifice. Vasile had been so very young then but he remembered the pack having a funeral for the ones who didn’t return. He remembered what it was like to lose a sibling and it had left a hole inside of him.
“So what does this mean?” Cynthia asked.
“I don’t know,” Alina admitted.
“Is this the rest of the dirty little secret that you didn’t want to talk about when you and Elle were telling us about how the dark forest came to be?” Sally asked.
“It isn’t my story to tell, but under the circumstances, it is necessary that I tell you what I know.” Alina rolled off her knees to her bottom and folded her legs. She paused briefly and closed her eyes as a stab of pain pierced her stomach. It was getting worse and she knew that soon there would be no bond left. When she finally felt she could speak without her voice shaking, she began.
The restlessness that was a constant hum in the Romanian mansion was beginning to be fire in Vasile’s blood and with the added pain of the loss of the mate bond, his control was slipping. He was at a loss as to what to do. He had no leads to follow, no past to learn from, and no scent to follow. For the first time in his long life, he was beginning to fear that he would never see his mate again. And should the bond be broken between them completely, he would never know if she was alive or not. There was a knock on his office door and he snarled before saying, “Enter.”
A very frazzled looking Costin stood in his door. The dark circles under his eyes confirmed that he had not been getting any more rest than anyone else. His clenched teeth and tight jaw were a dead giveaway that he was in pain.
“You need to come.” His breathing was heavy as if he had been running and a sheen of sweat had developed on his forehead.
“What’s going on?”
Vasile growled but was running before Costin could get anymore words out. He motioned for Costin to show him where his Alpha was and easily kept pace with the younger wolf. As they rounded the corner he realized that Costin was taking him to Decebel’s room. Vasile came to a quick halt when he reached it and saw that it was hanging on the hinges by a thread and it swung precariously by them. Vasile looked at Costin, “You should go.” He didn’t have to tell Costin twice.
As he stepped into the room he took in the damage and imagined that it was what the room would look like if a tornado came in and stayed for a few hours. The curtains had been shredded and hung in sad looking strips in front of the window. Every now and then a breeze would hit and they would flutter, allowing glimpses of the night. The dresser had been knocked on its side and the drawers had come crashing out of it, clothes poured out onto the floor. Like the curtains, the bedspread and sheets had been torn and it was obvious that claws had been the method of choice. He could see through the smashed bathroom door and that the mirror on the wall was shattered and it made him think of Decebel’s soul. Was it shattered like the mirror? Vasile didn’t know the answer to that question yet.
He heard rustling in the closet. As he stepped into the doorway he was not surprised to see Decebel shredding clothes. He seemed to feel the need to rip and tear. Maybe it was a substitute for the flesh he, no doubt, wanted beneath his claws and fangs.
“Decebel stop.” Vasile was no longer his Alpha, but he was still more powerful and though he didn’t like to use it on his longtime friend, he would if it meant protecting him, even from himself. Decebel’s hands froze and his back stiffened at the command. He growled low and the rumble in his chest shook the clothes around him. “I am not your enemy,” Vasile spoke calmly but firmly. “Stop this madness and come talk to me.”