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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“I’ve been itching for a good fight,” Jacque said as she popped her knuckles.
“Looks like we’ve got one.”
They both took off at a run. Just when they had nearly reached the battle and were about to phase, they both bounced off an invisible barrier with a thud. Jacque fell back and landed hard on her butt. Her teeth jarred together as she stiffened her neck to keep her head from slinging back and crashing into the hard ground.
“DAMMIT!” she screamed as she slammed her hand onto the ground. Anger flooded her veins as she saw her mate fight off the zombie looking creatures and all she could do was watch.
Vasile saw Alina running towards him and then hit a barrier like the one he had seen Peri use. She fell back, but then quickly stood to her feet so he knew she was alright. He turned his head away just in time to duck as one of the creatures swung out an arm. In its grasp, a wicked dagger suddenly appeared. Vasile could smell the black magic rolling off of the creatures and he had to fight back the nausea. In his long life he had never seen creatures such as these, but much was possible when dealing with ancient dark magic, such as that found in this forest. And all of it was destructive and evil. He and the others continued to fight the creatures. One after another realizing that severing their spinal columns seemed to be the quickest way to keep them down.
Jacque stood next to Alina, rocking from side to side on the balls of her feet. She was itching to get in there and hit a few of those nasty looking zombies, but instead she settled for yelling instructions at the males, as if they needed it.
“Costin, behind you, turn around, turn around now!” she yelled at the top of her lungs. She watched in awe as he spun around with the grace of a dancer ducking at the same time and landing a blow to the being’s stomach. When it doubled over, Costin grabbed its head and twisted, snapping it with no effort at all. The zombie fell to the ground. Costin turned and looked at her, giving her one of his dimple grins and a thumbs up. He jumped back into the fray and Jacque turned her attention back to Fane. He was in battle with two of the zombies, both wielding wicked looking knives. She noticed that Fane’s claws had lengthened and looked every bit as deadly as the knives. He swung around and his claws ripped across the face of one of the creatures. Then he whipped back around the other direction, making the same slashes across the second of his enemies. He danced back from their blades and then closed in again. Instead of blood running down from the wounds, the zombies oozed a black liquid that reminded Jacque of old motor oil. She cringed as some of the liquid splashed onto Fane as he got in another quick slash. She had a feeling he was toying with the things, expelling some pent up aggression. “Finish them Fane and move on!” she hollered at him. She saw a quirk of his lips that told her he found her amusing. Butthead she thought and then felt a pang of frustration over the fact that he couldn’t hear her thoughts. She watched as he deftly relieved one of the zombies of its weapon and then used it to behead them both.
Jacque threw a fist in the air with a whoop, “That’s my man!” Fane moved on to the next opponent and, one after another, he slaughtered them. But where one fell, another took its place.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw a flash of light. When she turned, she saw Peri flinging out her power, one shot after another, taking out creature after creature. Alston, Adam, and Cyn were all doing the same thing. She looked up and saw Thalion, the elf prince, shoot arrows so quickly that she didn’t even see when he reached for the next one. He hit the zombies one after another with such precision that one creature fell for each arrow he loosed. Jacque just knew that at any second they would get the upper hand. At any second, they would defeat the evil beings and she and Alina would be rescued and free to move forward with the males to find the other girls. But she was a fool to think it because out of the forest more and more zombies arrived.
“What the hell! Someone throw them a bone, jeez,” she snarled. She looked over at Alina who looked every bit as concerned as she felt.
Alina’s eyes never left the man who held her heart, her mate who was fighting with everything he had to save her, and yet she knew it was in vain. Reyaz had made sure of it. She wanted to run into his arms to tell him how much she loved him, how amazing he was, and how she treasured every single moment of their time together. As if he heard her, he turned and looked at her. His eyes pierced her heart just as they had the first time he had ever looked at her all those decades ago. She pleaded with her eyes for him to understand and begged him to not be angry with her because she didn’t know what other option she had. She wouldn’t stand there and let her mate, or the others she considered hers, die. She wouldn’t let the life Jacque and Fane deserved be taken from them at so young an age, not when she had the power to stop it.
She reached behind her and pulled the wrapped object from under her shirt. Her hands trembled as she held it and began unwrapping it. When the fabric fell to the ground, all that was left in her hand was a long, deadly dagger. She looked up and again her eyes met her mate’s. His eyes widened as they glanced down to what she held and then back up to her face. He saw it then, and saw the determination in her to do what was necessary. She heard Jacque’s voice from beside her but didn’t look away from Vasile.
“I love you,” she whispered. She watched her name form on his lips and thought of all the times he had said her name, and of all the times he had caressed her face and stared into her eyes and made her feel like the most beautiful woman on earth. He began running towards her, pushing past anything that got in his way. She heard his roar and felt his power and it gave her the strength to do what she had to. Lorelle’s words ran through her mind as she grasped the dagger firmly in her hands and held it above her heart.
“A sacrifice must be made. One of you must willingly give yourself for the life of the other. A life for a life, it is your choice. But the battle will continue until the last of your hunting party falls or until the sacrifice is given.”
With one final look at her mate she raised the dagger higher and then plunged it into her heart. She felt the dark magic dissipate and the barrier drop. She felt his arms around her as she fell to the ground and heard his voice in her ear as he begged her not to leave him. He loved her, he said over and over, and he needed her. He was so strong and he didn’t even know it. She tried to move her lips to tell him, but she couldn’t. Her long life was over and she hoped that those she loved would be safe now. With that thought she let go and let the darkness of death take her.