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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“We’re going to fix this, Decebel. You aren’t alone and I wish that you would have come to me. We will always be pack no matter what. Do not let it happen again.” Vasile’s words pulsated with power as he reminded Decebel that he had claimed him like a son long ago and he would always belong to him.
Decebel nodded. After several minutes he looked back up. “So what now?”
Just as the question was out, Perizada walked through the door holding a piece of paper. She surveyed the room around her and then looked at Decebel. “If I were you, instead of life insurance, I would invest in counseling. Lots and lots of counseling.”
“Peri," Vasile called her name attempting to pull her attention from Decebel and perhaps save her life in the process.
Peri nodded and then held the paper up, “We found this piece of paper at the front doors, on the floor. It is a riddle from dear old Reyaz. And personally I would just like to point out how pissed I am that he got that close to this house and none of us knew it.”
Decebel was up so fast and snatching the paper from her hands that she had barely enough time to back up to keep from being knocked on her butt by the massive man.
“How many times do I have to remind them who I am,” she mumbled, then took a deep breath and let it out slow. “Think happy thoughts Peri,” she told herself, then added, “If you can’t think happy thoughts then picture wolves with their mouths duck taped closed.” She grinned to herself; she felt that idea actually had potential.
Decebel read the piece of paper rapidly ten times before finally reading it out loud.
“You are cordially invited to a hunt in honor of my brother’s mating. This is like no other hunt you have ever been a part of, nor will it end the way any other hunt has. You will have timed tasks you must complete in order to capture your prize and move forward. Two prizes will accompany each task, but only one may be claimed. Your first task is to find out where the hunt begins. I will be kind and give you a clue to set you on your way:
I am home to many; they are held deep in my embrace,
I have a history of greatness, treachery, and demise,
For many years my land has seen two faces but only one soul,
To know me is impossible, unless the wall is destroyed.
I’m feeling generous due to my good fortune in my own hunt, so I will give you two days to figure out the location and arrive there. I would advise you to not be late."
The room was completely still when Decebel finished reading, as if a spell had been cast, freezing them in place. Shock, disbelief, frustration, and anger became tangible emotions in the air ready to latch onto the first person who came near enough.
Peri was the first to move. She began rapidly pacing and muttering under her breath, over and over again, the riddle Reyaz had given. There was something about it that made her think she knew exactly where he had the females, but every time she reached for it, the thought vanished like a puff of smoke dissipating. “Vasile,” she snapped, “gathering hall, now.” She left the destroyed room at an inhuman pace not worried about having just given an Alpha an order and not wondering if he would follow it. As she entered the gathering room she wasn’t surprised to see that it was full of their allies. Wadim had been with her when she found the paper and he had taken it upon himself to get everyone into one place. Smart wolf, she thought as she hurried into the room with a grace that only a high fae could manage.
Once at the front of the room she turned and faced the group. The murmuring that had been steady when she walked in had now stopped as all eyes were on her. She met many of their eyes, holding them only for a few seconds before moving on to the next. She didn’t speak; she wouldn’t until Vasile and Decebel arrived.
A couple of minutes later the two Alpha’s came through the door and the power radiating off of them caused the wolves in the room to stumble, while the others seemed to shrink back from the two men. Normally Peri would have considered it a power play, but not now. Now they were just both that close to losing it and their power was coming out of them like a leaking fuel tank. Heaven help the ones caught standing too close when a flame finally meets the fuel. She noticed Decebel’s blank face and tense shoulders, and she was reminded of the Decebel she knew before he had mated with Jen. The sight sent a chill up her spine.
“Have you told them?” Vasile asked Peri as he reached the front of the room.
“No,” she answered curtly. He nodded and then turned around.
“Reyaz has made contact with us. He left a note and instead of explaining it, Decebel will read it so you can hear it for yourselves.” Vasile nodded to Decebel. In a voice as emotionless as the man who used it, he read the contents of the piece of paper. Just like before, after Decebel was done, the room was in complete silence.
Cypher stepped forward and looked at Vasile and then Decebel. “I must apologize that you are involved in this, and that your females are in danger. It is my fault and I will do anything I can to get them back.”
“Don’t be an idiot,” Peri’s voice rang out into the silence, “did you put a gun to your brother’s head and tell him to be a psycho? Did you threaten to cut off appendages unless he chose to allow his bitterness to eat him until all that was left was a decaying soul wrapped in malice?” she didn’t give him time to respond before she continued, “No, you didn’t. You just had the misfortune of being related to him and that is not a crime. If you feel the need to apologize, then apologize for wasting your breath and then making me waste mine in order to tell you to make yourself useful and figure out what this bloody riddle means.”
“Well, when you put it like that,” Cypher said with a slight smile as he gave her a small bow and then stepped back to his original place.
Peri crossed her arms in front of her chest and looked out at the males daring any of them to say something stupid so she could tear into them.
“As you’ve heard we have a very limited window to figure out where this so called hunt will be and get there. I’m asking for each of us here to look into your respective race’s history. The tiniest detail could be the break we need,” Vasile said. He turned then and caught Alston’s eyes. “I would ask something of you.”
“We are at your service.”
“Could you please transport those who need to travel so that we aren’t wasting time moving from place to place?”