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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
Cypher snarled in a blind rage and charged his brother. Alston threw out his hand, just as Reyaz raised his other hand at Cypher, blocking the spell he might have tried. Cypher crashed into his brother with a force that hurled them both back and crashing into the wall. Cypher stood quickly and turned to check on Lilly. She was breathing and Crina was helping her to her feet.
Reyaz got to his feet while Cypher was distracted and, just as he turned back, Reyaz swung and landed his fist in his brother’s face. Cypher stumbled back and felt his head swim from the blow. He shook it, trying to regain his bearings, but the noises around him were muffled. He heard his brother’s laughter, a deep rumble that seemed to be in slow motion, fill up the cave and then he felt the shutter of the walls as Reyaz threw out his hands launching his power at them. Adam, Alston, and Cyn were throwing their own magic as balls of white light flew at his brother. Reyaz jumped, spun, and ducked as he tried to keep from being hit. He got in a few shots that knocked Fane to the ground and Sorin into the wall. But he was out numbered and the panic in his face showed that he knew it.
With a renewed fervor he tossed a ball of blazing fire at them. It crackled as it flew through the air, the oxygen fueling its heat. He hit Cyn square in the chest and she fell back with a shout, more of anger than of pain. Suddenly Reyaz’s body was flung back and he crashed into the cave wall. An arrow shot through his right shoulder and pinned him to the wall. A second arrow flew through the air and pinned his left shoulder to the cave wall. Thalion stood across the room with his bow still raised. His shoulders heaved with his breathing as he tried to gain control of his rage. He looked Reyaz in the eye and smiled a menacing smile. “Be glad it is not I who will mete out your death. For what you just did to my mate, my future Queen, is punishable by death. But in my long life, I have learned there are things so much worse than death.”
Cypher stepped up to his pinned brother and shook his head. “You are a disgrace to your family and to your people. You have betrayed your king and your sentence is death.”
Reyaz’s fought against the arrows that held him captive but it was no use, they wouldn’t budge. “LORELLE!” he roared. He refused to give in, even if it meant calling out for help from the traitor fae.
Lorelle appeared at the entrance of the cave and looked in at them all. Her face showed no emotion as she looked at Reyaz. “You called?”
“Help me,” he snapped at her. His face had morphed into a beast as all the evil that ran inside of him leaked out onto his flesh and features.
Lorelle laughed. “Help you, right, well since what I wanted accomplished is done, I have no more use for you. My sister is dead, and by her own hand at that. You and I are finished.”
“DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE!” Reyaz yelled but was cut off when Cypher’s fist collided with his face.
“Your time is coming Lorelle,” Alston suddenly said. “You will be dealt with.”
Lorelle laughed again. “You’ll have to find me first.” She gave them all one last look and then flashed.
“Are you really going to kill me, Cypher, your own flesh and blood?” Reyaz asked.
“No, I’m not going to kill you.”
Reyaz sagged in relief.
“He is.” Cypher pointed to Vasile whose eyes were glowing and his canines had lengthened. He stalked towards his prey slowly, letting him feel what it was to be hunted and what it was to see your death coming for you.
“For the crimes against my people, for the death of my mate, our healer, and our friend, I sentence you to death. I would rather imprison you and let you rot, but then I would have to run the risk of you getting out. So instead I will just have to be satisfied that you will die by my hand.” Vasile grasped Reyaz’s head in his hands and gave a quick twist. The bones made a sick crunching noise as his neck broke. His body would have crumpled to the ground had the arrows not held him in place. Vasile stared at the broken man before him and it was then that everything flooded into him, every emotion crashing down on him, and he flung his head back and howled.
“I will follow you wherever you lead. I will be your constant shadow, the voice that cheers you on, the arms that hold you up, and the heart that loves you unconditionally. Those are the promises I made to you, and I have failed you, for you have gone and I am still here. Why am I still here?” ~Costin
“What did Vasile mean when he said he took our healer, Decebel? Where is Sally?” Jen looked up at her mate’s face and though she asked the questions, she already knew the answers.
“I’m sorry baby. We failed her; we failed you all,” Decebel told her. Decebel pressed a kiss to her hair and stroked it gently with his hand. He hummed to her and their child as she wept over the loss of her best friend. He held her as her heart broke and her world was shattered all over again.
Vasile placed Cynthia’s body close to the cave entrance and then motioned for everyone to gather around Jen and Decebel. The group moved slowly as grief poured out of them. Each of them took a place on the ground making a circle. The mated males, whose mates were still here, each had their females as close to them as possible.
Crina sat wrapped in Adam’s arms and he held her, rocking her gently, whispering to her words that would bring comfort and stability.
Elle sat next to Sorin with her head on his shoulder and his arm wrapped securely around her. She too watched Jen and Decebel and their baby with a mixture of emotions passing over her face.
Fane sat with his knees pulled up and his arms resting over them. He stared out into the forest beyond the cave entrance, waiting.
Costin sat next to Fane and, though his body was present, his heart, soul, and mind were elsewhere.
Vasile walked over to the group and took a seat beside Jen and Decebel. He looked at each person that filled the small space. The troll king and pixie king were still with them, faithful ‘til the end. Thalion, prince of the elves, sat with them, having been willing to give whatever was needed in order to help their females. Cyn sat beside Thalion her hand was securely wrapped in his larger one and her side pressed close to his. Skender sat next to the Cyn, his jaw tight and his eyes narrowed as he continually swept the room with them. He had been willing to give his life without hesitation. Cypher, the warlock king who was finally free of his past, held his mate gently as she watched Jen with a mixture of joy and pain. All of them wore that same expression, the joy of life battling with the sorrow of death.