Thad stood in his office, which was located in the Serbian pack headquarters, staring out into the cold, dark night. The usually clear sky was veiled in the darkness of rolling clouds. The windows rattled as the wind picked up speed. The trees swayed, causing the snow on the branches to blow away into the night.
His back was stiff with tension, his shoulders pulled back, hands in the pockets of his grey slacks. He rolled his neck in an attempt to ease the tension, but he couldn't shake the feeling that he was missing something very important – some piece of knowledge that had been buried in history. He kept asking himself why Mona was so willing to help him. She was powerful, no longer needing his pack's protection, and yet she stayed.
His brown eyes narrowed with an eerie glow. It was time to start digging, he decided. How long had it been since he had looked into the past of his species? Centuries of history, that if forgotten could be detrimental to them, and yet he knew without a doubt the Canis lupis had become too comfortable in their place on this earth. Mona was up to something, something that would benefit her and bring destruction to all in her path. Definitely time to take a walk into their past.
Rachel had barely moved from Jen's side for the past two days. She hadn't thrown up blood since the night before, but she was afraid to leave her unattended for even a moment. In all her centuries she had never been more ashamed and more scared of her actions. Her selfish need to protect herself was costing this young girl her life, and quite possibly her mate's life as well. Rachel shook her head. No, she refused to accept that. She would not let her die.
Gavril had gone in search of Perizada. He had left hours after Jen started convulsing and vomiting. She was in and out of consciousness, often mumbling incoherently. Rachel took to telling her stories, sharing her past and many adventures. Occasionally Jen would open her eyes, but they were unfocused, not really seeing.
Now Rachel watched as Jen began to take shallow breaths. This was the worst part, when she struggled to breathe, and there was nothing she could do. She propped Jen up with pillows behind her back and head, trying to help open her lungs, but still Jen labored and gasped.
"Please, Jen, don't give up," Rachel whispered fervently. "Hang in there. Gavril will unite you with your mate. Just hang in there, young one."
Jen felt her chest tighten and tried desperately to get more air into her lungs. She hurt all over and the emptiness that continued to swallow her was becoming unbearable. She just wanted it to end. She heard a soft voice somewhere in the darkness telling her not to give up. And truthfully, the idea was tempting, until she thought about his deep voice, his beautiful amber eyes, his amazingly strong body and immovable will. She couldn't give up, she owed him that much. But, damn, it hurt. She tried to open her eyes but they wouldn't cooperate. Lifting her head or any part of her body for that matter was out of the question.
So this is how it ends, she thought. o\One would think with all that has happened in the last months that I would at least get to go out in a blaze of glory. But no, here I lay in a gypsy healer's home, battered, broken, and sick. Man, this just sucks.
Jen thought about her parents and how Jacque and Sally would have to come up with some story as to how she died. Her mom wouldn't take it well. Though their relationship was tumultuous on a good day, she was their only child. Jacque would have to take care of Sally because Sally didn't do loss well. Jen still remembered when Sally's dog, Tick, died in third grade. They had named him Tick because they found him in their front yard, hiding under a bush, covered in ticks. Sally had refused to talk for days. Finally Jen had demanded her mom take her over there and help her do a funeral for Sally. No, Sally did not do loss well at all.
And what about Decebel? How would he handle her death? Of course, since he didn't remember her it might not be that bad, so maybe she should be thankful for the curse. The thought of never seeing his face again caused a sharp pain in her chest. She felt tears slip out of her eyes. She had been crying a lot lately and it was beginning to get on her nerves, but nothing could be done about it. She was hurting physically, yet even more so emotionally. She longed to hear Decebel's voice, even if it was him yelling at her, bossing her around. She remembered the day Decebel had sat with her on that couch and held her, kissed her, showed her with every touch just what she meant to him. She remembered the text messages they had sent each other when he Vasile had locked him up. The tenderness in those messages had warmed her to her toes.
Jen wanted to live, but even if she hadn't, she still felt so blessed to have had that four days with her wolf, her mate.
Sally nearly ran into Peri's back when the fairy came to an abrupt halt. She raised her arms and Sally, Costin, Cynthia, and Decebel watched with wide eyes as the air in front of them rippled and shimmered.
"This is the veil of the Fae. Our world is in another dimension. No one other than a Fae can open the veil and only a Fae can grant permission for others to cross over."
Just as Peri was about to step through the veil, a deep voice rumbled through the trees.
Costin and Decebel moved into a protective stance between the woman and the unidentified male that was coming out of the trees straight at them.
"Gavril." Peri actually sounded surprised, something that seemed out of character for her. "I presume you come because of the dormant?"
Decebel growled and took a step toward the wolf she called Gavril.
"Where is she?" Decebel snarled.
Gavril looked at him and then realization dawned. "You are her mate?"
Decebel nodded once and continued to growl. His eyes were glowing deep amber and his claws had emerged. Costin laid a restraining hand on his Beta.
"You are the healer's mate, you have Jennifer." Decebel didn't question it because he smelled something on the wolf that was familiar, but not at the same time. He took another step toward Gavril and took a deep breath, then he turned back to Costin and Cynthia. "Does he bear her scent?"
Costin and Cynthia took deep breaths in through their noses. Both let out low growls.
"Yes, he has been with her." Costin realized too late how that comment sounded and had to restrain Decebel further and clarify himself. "He has been in the same room with her, Beta." Costin lowered his eyes in submission, trying to calm Decebel's raging wolf.
"Gavril, how is she?" Peri interrupted the wolves' interaction.