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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“You can see them?” Lilly asked Elle anxiously.
Elle nodded and her jaw tightened when she realized that Jacque was not with them, nor was Alina, or Sally.
“Is Jacque there?” Lilly asked, “Or Sally, or Jen?”
Elle didn’t want to answer her, she knew what Lilly would do if she did. When she looked at her, she knew that her face had not hidden the truth. Tears welled up in Lilly’s eyes.
“What about Fane and Costin, or Decebel?”
Elle nodded and Lilly broke. She covered her face as the tears fell. She knew that if Jacque was still alive Fane would either be with her, or Jacque would be there with him. The same was true of Costin and Sally and Decebel and Jen. When Reyaz had told them of the hunt, the rules, and how each of them would have to make the ultimate choice, she had immediately thought of Jacque and the other two girls, and she knew that any of them would give their lives for those they love. Lilly’s shoulders shook with the force of her tears. She took in huge gulps of air as she tried to get herself under control and tried to think clearly, but her mind just kept going back to the thought that her daughter just might be gone.
“Lilly we don’t know anything for sure,” Elle told her gently, then she looked at Lorelle. “Do you know?” she snarled at the fae.
Lorelle shrugged. “Maybe.”
“If you aren’t going to do anything but stand there and taunt us then get out of here before I rip your cold heart from your chest.”
Lorelle clucked her tongue at Elle. “Being the mate of a wolf has made you bloodthirsty, Elle. That’s not like our kind.”
“And being a selfish bitch has made you a moron, Lorelle, and I would say that makes you even less like our kind.” Elle took a menacing step towards her. “Why are you doing this? All because you hate your sister? Can’t you see that you will have nothing. You are nothing whether Peri lives or dies? You have brought that on yourself. You had everything, Lorelle. You had a sister who loved you, a council who respected you, and a species that looked up to you and you threw it all away because of pride.”
“You don’t know anything about me and I suggest you worry about the lives of your friends, of your mate, and not about me.” Lorelle gave them a wave with her finger and then was gone.
Elle looked back at Lilly who was standing there staring at the edge of the cliff. Tears still ran down her cheeks and she had the appearance of someone who had lost everything.
“Lilly, please step away from the edge.”
“If my daughter is gone...” her words were cut off by a sob and she brought her hand up to cover her mouth. She shook her head and seemed to gather herself. “A child should not go before the parent, Elle. That is not the way it should work; it isn’t right.”
“You dying isn’t going to make it right,” Elle argued.
“But it will save the others,” Lilly pointed out. “It will protect you and your mate. I can’t imagine a world without Jacque in it, and I know you may not understand, but there is no greater love than that of a parent’s love for their child. I couldn’t save Jacque, but I can save someone.” She started to move closer to the edge and Elle ran forward.
“PERI!” Cypher bellowed, “Lift the protection now!” He watched as Lilly wept and moved closer to the edge. He knew, just like the others she was willing to give her life, but he didn’t know why. There was no one dying. There wasn’t an immediate threat that she knew of; so why was she standing on the edge of cliff ready to throw herself off?
“LILLY STOP!” he yelled as loud as he could and knew Peri had lifted the spell when Lilly turned at the sound of his voice. Her eyes widened and she turned and took a step in his direction. Her eyes left his then as she searched the group and when they landed back on him he could see utter grief. He realized then that she was looking for her daughter and by the tears welling up in her eyes anew, she believed the worse.
“SHE’S ALIVE!” he told her and then started moving towards her. He didn’t run, but instead moved quickly but cautiously attempting to ready himself for the assault he was sure would come. “Jacque is alive, Lilly,” he told her again as he got closer to her.
“Where is she?” she asked when he was ten feet away.
“She’s with Sally,” Fane answered.
Lilly looked at Fane and then her eyes landed on Costin. She took in the broken look on his face and Cypher could tell she knew.
“She’s gone,” she said. Her eyes filled with tears again and he wanted to wrap her in his arms and keep her safe forever. He wanted to take her pain and tell her everything would be okay, but that would be a lie. Nothing was ever okay once someone you loved was taken from you, especially if it was before their time and it was so very far before Sally’s time.
“I’m sorry, Lilly,” he said softly as he took another step towards her. He took another step and another and was nearly to her when Elle yelled out. “STOP!”
Elle held out her hand to Sorin telling him with both her words and motion not to come any closer. She looked over at Lilly. “You can’t let him touch you,” she reminded her. She saw the panic in Lilly’s eyes as she turned to Cypher.
“You can’t touch me,” Lilly told him.
“Why?” Cypher asked.
“Elle,” Sorin’s deep voice rumbled as he took another step toward his mate.
“Sorin,” Elle nearly snarled, “I said stop, please.”
“Tell me why and then maybe I will, but you cannot expect me to see you after so long, after having the bond broken between us, and not want to wrap you in my arms.”
“Reyaz has set a trap. If any of you touch us, this cliff is going down, with all of us on it,” she told him and pleaded with her eyes for him to listen to her.
“The cliff is not real,” Sorin told her.
“Does everyone believe that? To the extent that they can see past the glamour of it for at least a second?” she asked and looked around the group. “Can Costin and, from the looks of it, Vasile as well, see past their grief right now?” she was answered with silence. “That’s what I thought. So until all of you, every single one of you, believes that this cliff isn’t real, you cannot touch us.”
“I’m trying,” Lilly said. “But I can see it. I can see the drop and I can feel the wind on my face. I’m getting vertigo for crying out loud.”