Whatever she had felt earlier was now gone. She wasn't discouraged, Mona knew that hunting supernatural prey took time. Luckily for her, time was something she had plenty of.
As she turned to leave, she began to hear the chorus of Electric Light Orchestra's song “Evil Woman”. Mona smiled to herself. So maybe the ringtone was a little much.
I'm a witch, she thought. Surely no one would expect her ringtone to be “Lean On Me”.
"What?" Her words were clipped as she answered.
"I need to know what your plans are," Thad answered.
Mona rolled her eyes. She was so sick of answering to the wolves. But, when she finally had the healer they would no longer hold any power over her.
"I made my move. Now it's time to let the Alpha make his. Sometimes, Thad, the best course of action is to wait and watch."
"Fine. I expect you to keep me updated."
"Careful, wolf. Do not think to give me orders like I am one of yours. You do not want me as your enemy." Mona ended the call just as Thad began to respond. She didn't have time to argue with the overbearing wolf. She needed to do some searching through the archives that she'd managed to keep the Fae from destroying; she needed to know who could have helped Rachel remain in hiding and she needed to find a weakness.
Mona had plenty to do, but Thad didn’t need to know that. The thought of doing her own research brought to mind the fact that Vasile was smart. He had to be to have lasted this long and be this powerful. It only made sense that he would do his own digging, especially since the Canis lupis seemed to have disregarded witches altogether. So perhaps it was time to pay a visit to the powerful Alpha's home – after all, while the wolf is away, there's room for the witch to play.
Mona laughed to herself. I must be getting old if something so simple is funny to me, she thought. She grinned as she swept her deep red cloak around her.
After sending out a mental call, she waited. Soon hoof stomps became audible and a second later there stood her black-as-night steed.
"Ahh, Octavian, my faithful friend." Octavian was eighth in his line to serve the witches, hence his name. He was a steed of old, his life supernaturally long just as the ones before him. The witches had begun breeding them further back than Mona could remember.
"Let's go on a journey," she told him as she swung up onto his back. She didn't disrespect him with a saddle. She knew that he didn't have to serve her. He, like any supernatural being, had magic of his own. Octavian turned and headed in the direction he had come, away from the crumbled mansion and the woods that held secrets that Mona would uncover.
Decebel took a deep breath as he waited for Jen to answer him. He didn't have to wait long.
"Where have you been? Why have you been blocking me? Do you have any idea how worried I've been? Do you know what I've been through?" Jen's questions were like a gun going off in his head.
"Are you talking to Jen right now?" Jacque asked as she watched Decebel's eyes get bigger and bigger.
Decebel nodded once, then with a wrinkled brow he asked, "Does she have an off switch?"
"We've been looking for one for years," Sally offered, "but it's a no go."
Decebel held up his hand to the two girls as he listened to Jen in his mind.
"Why are you acting so weird?"
He could hear pain in her voice and wondered if he was the cause of it. "She wants to know why I'm acting weird," Decebel told Jacque and Sally.
"Okay, Dec, you need to tell her she's talking to me…through you," Jacque instructed.
At the same time Decebel heard Jen say, "Is Jacque around? Put Jacque on the line."
Decebel looked over to Fane. "Are they always this bossy?"
Fane and Sally both looked deadpan at him, and at the same time replied, "Yes."
"Jen, I'm going to listen to Jacque talk and you are going to listen through me. I will then give her your response." Decebel explained.
"Ask her why the hell you're calling me Jen."
"She wants to know why the hell I'm calling her by her name."
Jacque raised a single eyebrow at him. "Are you calling her Jen?"
"Yeah, that's not what you call her. You call her Jennifer…or baby…or smart ass, and even once I think you called her a mouthy little thing." Jacque waved her hand as she said, "Moving on. Okay. So, Jen, Decebel's been cursed." Jacque waited for Decebel to pass it on.
The girls watched as Decebel bowed his head and started shaking it from side to side. They looked at each other, confused by his behavior. Then his shoulders began to shake.
"Are you laughing?" Sally asked, bewildered.
Decebel finally composed himself and looked up. "She said, 'So someone else has cursed him. What's the big deal? I curse him all the time'."
They all started laughing; not only Jen's words, but at the puzzled tone with which Decebel relayed Jen's words.
Jacque rolled her eyes. "No, you dimwit. Cursed as in its 'Leviosa' not 'Leviosa'. Not curse as in dumb ass."
"She's asking why the hell you're quoting Harry Potter…again?" Decebel was getting more and more confused by the conversation the two girls were having--through his thoughts.
"Man, this would be easier if she had a cell phone," Sally grumbled.
Decebel looked at Jacque. "Let me try and explain, okay?"
"Go for it, lover boy."
"Jen, I was hit with a curse by a witch. According to Sally it affected my memory. There are huge holes – I can't remember so much... I'm really struggling with this because I feel like there are some things that I should not have been able to forget."
Jen didn’t respond right away. If he hadn't felt her in his mind he would have thought she was gone.
"You for-forgot me? You really don't know who I am." A statement. Her voice was so full of hurt that Decebel felt like his heart was being ripped from his chest. "So you feel like you shouldn't have been able to forget your true mate?"
"Yes," Decebel answered honestly.
Jen didn't respond.
"I think I hurt her," Decebel confessed out loud.
"Of course you hurt her, you oaf, " Jacque growled. "Now that the cat is out of the bag, ask her where she is, if she's okay, and how we find her." Jacque was nearly on her feet. Only Fane's hand on her leg kept her from jumping up and pacing.