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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
Alston nodded. “You didn’t have to ask, that was a given.”
Vasile gave the fae a look that told him just how much that meant to him.
“Okay, enough with all the 'we’re united; hear us roar' crap. We’ve got stuff to do. History boy, you’re with me,” she pointed to the right of Wadim, “you too dimple boy,” she told Costin.
The room began to fill with the noises of feet shuffling, murmurs, and then the door opening and closing as people made their way out, until all that was left were the wolves and Cypher.
“Do you have a plan?” Decebel asked Peri.
“Not really, but I figure if I act like I do, then one will suddenly appear.”
“Well what’s the not really part?” Fane asked.
“I’m going to find the pixie king. Perhaps he can remember something from our long past that I’ve missed. I have a feeling that wherever this place is, it is very old. I suggest you go back and find the troll king as well and share the riddle with Thead. He can be trusted and he will want Reyaz destroyed just as much as we do.” She pointed at Adam as she continued to speak in her brisk manner.
“Skender, Fane, Sorin, you three will go to the troll king,” Vasile interrupted, pointing to each of them and receiving nods in return.
“Adam can find the entrance to their land for you,” Peri told them.
“The rest can come with me,” Cypher spoke up, “we have extensive archives and some very long memories.”
Adam motioned to Cypher, “I can take them first and then we will go to the trolls.”
“We will meet back here in twelve hours to find out what progress has been made,” Vasile told them.
“Can I ask why you chose us?” Costin asked as he regained his bearings from being flashed.
Peri rolled her eyes. “Don’t get all giddy wolf. I chose you two because I tolerate you better than the others. In other words, I’m least likely to make a rug out of you.”
“Comforting,” Wadim said dryly.
“All right, less chit chat and more walking.” Peri took off in a run.
Costin watched after her. “She calls that walking?”
Wadim chuckled. “She calls us walking handbags.”
“They don’t make handbags out of wolf pelts,” Costin pointed out.
“Yeah, I said the same thing. She said there’s a first time for everything.”
They both shrugged and then followed after the fae, putting on as much speed as they could. After half an hour they finally stopped. Wadim and Costin both were slightly winded which was evidence of just how fast they had been running, since wolves rarely got winded.
“Can I just ask why you aren’t doing your flashy thing?” Wadim asked.
“Good grief, were you too just let out of the puppy pen yesterday?” Peri huffed, “Magic, we aren’t the only ones with it. The pixie king is powerful and he doesn’t want fae flashing willy nilly around his land.”
“Okay, wait,” Costin held up his hand, “this is the same pixie that turned us over to Desdemona and put us in the In-Between? Why exactly are we seeking out his help instead of having him as an appetizer to the rabbit I’m going to catch for dinner?”
“Ainsel made a poor decision, but he made it out of a need to protect his people. That doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t make him evil either. Vasile chose to spare him, and by doing so, gained a powerful ally. You have to realize that there will always be war, and it is a wise leader who picks his battles, and if he can, his enemy as well.”
Costin looked at her thoughtfully and though he understood what she was saying, it did not endear him to the pixie.
“Ainsel, we need to speak with you. Please do not waste my time; I am in no mood to play your games,” Peri yelled out into the forest.
Slowly one by one pixies began to emerge from the surrounding trees and foliage. Costin couldn’t help the way his muscles tensed when he saw the king. He watched silently as Peri knelt down in front of the small being.
“Dark times have fallen over us again, and we need your help,” she told them in a voice that Costin had rarely heard her use.
Ainsel glanced from Wadim to Costin and then back to Peri. “This request comes from Vasile?”
Peri nodded. “His females, as well as the Warlock King’s mate, have been captured by Reyaz.”
Ainsel’s eyes widened. He knew all about Cypher’s brother and had heard the whispers of the evil that had begun to gather around the mountain he had called home for so long.
“What could we possibly do against one such as him? We may have magic, but we would be no match for him.”
“We aren’t asking for you to fight,” Peri explained. “We need you to think,” Ainsel’s head tilted to the side at the odd request. Peri explained to him all about the riddle and then waited silently for his response.
“And you only have two days to figure this out?” he asked her.
“The clock is ticking,” Costin said and tried to keep the growl out of his voice. He must not have succeeded because Peri turned and gave him a look that said she would cause him bodily harm if he didn’t shut up.
“I will do what I can to help, Perizada. I owe the wolves that much if not more.”
Peri clapped her hands together. “Great! Okay, so do we need to go to your archives?”
“Would we even fit?” Wadim asked from behind Peri.
Ainsel didn’t seem to be offended by the question and answered, “We don’t keep our history on paper. Some of our kind are blessed with the ability to hold great amounts of information and they bare the history of our people.”
“They remember all of it?” Wadim’s tone said he was impressed.
Ainsel nodded. “I will bring them here. Because no, you wouldn’t fit in my kingdom,” he told Wadim with a small smile.
The pixies disappeared into the forest silently leaving Peri and the two wolves.
“So I’ve been running the riddle through my head over and over and the first line I think is actually pretty simple,” Wadim said as he sat down leaning his back against a large tree trunk. “'Home to many', I would think that would mean people, since he uses the reference of home.”
Peri nodded, “I’m listening,”
“Then the second part, 'held deep in my embrace', makes me think, they are in the ground.”