"Jennifer, you must wake up! Now."
He waited to see if she would respond. He could feel her stirring, but she still slept on.
"JENNIFER!" He snarled at her and imagined tugging her beautiful blonde hair just enough to get a reaction.
"What the hell, man! You don’t have to get violent – or is that just another form of foreplay for you?" Her voice was strong in his mind. She was okay.
"You need to wake up. You must not sleep."
"Why? What's the big deal? We've made it to Rachel's and we're waiting on them to pack some things. Jacque and I pulled up some ground against a tree and dozed for a moment. We have been going nonstop for two days, Decebel."
Decebel looked at Peri. "Why can't they sleep?" He made sure she understood it wasn't really a question so much as a command.
"What little magic they have will leak out of them while they sleep. It's unconscious, but they can't prevent it."
"Why didn't you bother to tell them this when you sent them out to their possible demise?" Decebel couldn't contain his snarl.
"Jennifer, magic slips from you while you're sleeping."
"Crap," he heard her mutter. "Well, that can't be good. By the way, I do realize that is an understatement."
"Tell her she needs to get Rachel to put a cloaking spell on them. I taught it to her," Peri urged him.
"Baby, Peri says to get Rachel to put a cloaking spell on you guys. Then haul your beautiful butt back here."
"Aw, does Peri really think I have a beautiful butt? You will have to break it to her that I'm taken."
Decebel tried to suppress his chuckle, but he failed. He was smiling as he told her to hurry up. I love you.
"Rachel." Jen stood up from the spot she had been holding in place. "Peri says you need to cloak us. Jacque and I fell asleep and she said our magic leaks out when we sleep. So now that fun witch of ours might know where we are."
Rachel began muttering under her breath, her eyes closed. Jen and Jacque shivered as they felt an unnatural coolness brush against their skin.
"Done," Rachel told them.
Jacque stood up and stretched. "So Dec wake you up too?"
"Yeah, the punk pulled my hair."
Jacque laughed. "Fane tried a different form of coercion." She smiled suggestively and winked at Jen, who politely flipped her off.
"We're ready," they heard a gruff voice say.
"Great!" Jen smiled at them, and Rachel chuckled as they started off at a brisk pace. Jacque once again pulled out the LT and whispered "the veil" to it. Peri had said this would allow the device to point them back in the direction they needed to go.
Gavril quickly took the lead – a result of the whole Alpha thing, Jen decided. He set a quick pace and a couple of times Jen and Jacque eyed each other, wondering which of them would pass out first.
"I am so out of shape," Jacque wheezed out as they continued at a light jog.
"I'm in shape." Jen grinned. "It's called curvy."
"That's not a shape, Jen," Jacque told her dryly.
"It is on me."
Rachel and Jacque laughed at Jen but never slowed their pace.
They jogged, they walked briskly, and they jogged some more. Gavril was relentless in his focus. He let them walk slowly at one point so they could drink and eat the Fae food, which Jacque and Jen were quickly tiring of.
Their first night in the woods came around quickly. Jen pulled out her phone to check the time – her battery was dangerously close to dying. She would have to get Peri to charge it for her, she decided with a grin. That grin was quickly wiped off her face when out of the dark sky a large bird swooped in, claws forward, straight at Jen.
Jen stumbled back, throwing her arms up in the air in an attempt to keep the bird from scratching her eyes out of her head.
"What the crap was that about?" Jen growled as Gavril and the others came to a stop. They all eyed the sky wearily, waiting to see if that had been a fluke or if the bird had been under someone else's power. They didn't have to wait long for their answer.
A loud rumbling rolled across the sky and the air began to move, rushing over their heads. The sound got louder and louder. Their eyes all widened as they realized what was causing the noise. A hundred or more birds were flying straight at them.
"RUN!" Gavril yelled. "Deeper into the cover of the trees!"
Jen and Jacque didn't have to be told twice. They both took off at a sprint, their arms thrown over their heads, waving wildly. Jen was sure they looked like crazy chicks, running through the woods with birds chasing them.
Jacque looked back over her shoulder to see if the birds were still pursuing them. Her stomach dropped when she saw that it was no longer just birds.
"Gavril," she hollered over to the male wolf, who was trying to stay in between them and the pursuers. "The birds have friends!"
Gavril looked behind him and cursed.
Jen's curiosity got the better of her fear so she too looked over her shoulder. "Holy -"
Jen was cut off by Jacque's stern warning. "Jen."
"Sorry. I mean, bloody hell!"
"Better," Jacque approved.
"Are those -" Jen kept glancing back as she ran, trying desperately not to meet a tree face to face.
"Big ass wild boars?" Jacque finished for her.
"Well, I was going to say big ass pigs, but we can go with wild boar if you'd like."
"Yes, that's what those are. And they have tusks. Big, deadly tusks," Jacque added.
Gavril pointed at a drop off that was to their left. Jen had been trying to avoid it, but apparently Gavril had other plans.
"Slide down it!" he yelled, and Jen and Jacque watched in horror as Rachel fell gracefully into a slide from her steady running – worthy of a professional baseball player – and went over the ledge.
Jen and Jacque came to a halt right at the edge of the drop off. They looked down and watched as Gavril and Rachel slid, rolled, and slid some more.
Jen looked back behind her as the ground began to shake – what she had deemed as the BAWB were getting closer. She looked over to Jacque and shrugged. "Die by being mauled by the BAWB tusk, or die by drop off. I will always chose the latter." She grabbed Jacque's hand and pulled her down to her butt. Jen then gave a huge shove that pushed them both over the edge.