Adam's eyes seemed to watch everything around him at once. Though he was flirty, he was no doubt deadly.

Adam did the same to Jacque and, much to Jen's relief, Jacque blushed candy apple red as well.

"Elle and I are the cavalry," he informed them with a broad smile.

Elle stepped up next to him and smiled. "You ladies ready to do battle?" She handed out small throwing knives to each of them.

Jen grinned wickedly. "Hell to the yeah!"

"Um, Elle, Jen shouldn't be allowed to play with knives," Jacque said cautiously.

"These knives are special." Elle grinned. "These knives are enchanted in such a way that they will only hit what you intend them to. You can't miss. And doesn't matter where you hit, each hit is fatal."

"This is so freaking cool! I mean, like Lord of the Rings cool." Jen's eyes lit up as she took the throwing knife.

"Jen, probably not real kosher to compare them to a movie."

"My bad." Jen smiled sheepishly.

Adam smiled at them. "Elle said you guys were weird. She wasn't kidding."

Jen and Jacque glanced at Elle, who had turned red. "I really was kidding," she said with raised eyebrows.

"Hey, we aren't offended when someone speaks the truth. No worries. Now, if you had said I was sweet, or that Jacque had boobs – well, then we'd be offended."

"Jennifer Adams, I know you did not just say that." Jacque glared at her grinning, completely remorseless friend.

"I don't know who you're speaking to, Red. My name isn't Jennifer Adams."

"Whatever," Jacque snapped.

"So, are we going to get this party started or what?" Jen asked Elle.

Elle nodded. "We're the bait."

Gavril stepped up and grimly looked at Elle. "Peri wants us to distract the witch until the wolves can make it to us."


"Why did she let the imbeciles go in the first place?" Jacque grumbled.

"Because Peri knows when to say when. Vasile's power was rolling through the house, threatening to bring it in on their heads, Fane was threatening Peri, and Decebel was threatening to eat every Fae that crossed his path from then on."

Jen gasped. "No he didn't!"

Jacque rolled her eyes at the thought of Fane threatening the powerful Fae.

Elle nodded. "When they found out you guys were under attack, that was their breaking point.” She shrugged. “Everyone has one."

"Okay, what's the plan, Stan?" Jacque asked pointedly, trying to get everyone back on board.

"Who's Stan?" Rachel, Gavril, Adam, and Elle all asked in unison.

Jacque and Jen groaned.

"We are so going to have to have a class on American sayings and slang," Jen muttered.

Jacque tried again."What do we need to do?"

"Right," Adam started. He pointed to the ground and suddenly a large pile of knives like the ones Elle had handed the girls appeared. "You guys will go out and let the witch get a lock on you. Take some knives. When her minions begin to attack we start our assault. Just think about where you want the knife to go and throw it. Try to hide behind the trees and stay out of their direct line of sight. Keep the animal between you and the trees so you can make it back to rearm yourselves. If she sends the birds, hold the knife up as the bird swoops in – any break in the skin will kill it. Got it?" He looked at them expectantly.

Jen nodded and bumped fists with Jen. "I'm going straight up Rambo in here."

Jacque grinned, she couldn't help getting into the fighting spirit when Jen was so eager. "Let's do this."

Jacque and Jen grabbed several knives and headed out with Gavril and Rachel at their heels.

The six stood about twenty feet in front of the opening to the small cave. Their eyes narrowed as they scanned the skies and the woods in front of them. Adam and Elle snuck off in opposite directions, seeming to melt into their surroundings, while Jen and Jacque took up fighting stances, which they'd learned in the self defense training during the Gathering. Gavril kept lifting his nose in the air, taking deep breaths and cocking his head to the side as if listening closely for something. Rachel stood straight and looked fearless with a knife in each hand.

The trees and surroundings seem to grow eerily still as they waited, watching to see what Desdemona had up her sleeve. They still hadn't spoken her name out loud even though she already had power over them. None of them seemed to be willing to give her any more by speaking her name into the wind.

Jen looked down. She felt the ground begin to tremble. The jarring emanating from the earth was moving up her legs and became so rough that her teeth nearly rattled in her mouth. She looked over at Jacque. "BAWBs?"

Jacque shrugged. "Whatever it is, it can't be good."

"Is anything that causes earthquakes ever good, Jac?"

Before Jacque could answer, their heads whipped around as the sounds of crashing and cracking became audible. They watched bushes, low-hanging tree branches, and clumps of snow being tossed up as the BAWBs came barreling toward them.

"DON'T HESITATE!" they heard Adam holler as they saw a flash of light. Then two of the boars were hit with what seemed to be a ball of flame. They crashed into the others, and several fell while they struggled around them, attempting to continue their charge.

Without thinking, Jen picked out one of the BAWBs and threw a knife. Her eyes widened when the knife embedded itself in the boar's forehead, bringing the animal down in an instant. It slid on its side until its momentum finally stopped. That seemed to wake everyone else up from their shock. Gavril bellowed a loud snarl and phased into his wolf form, running headlong into the scourge. Rachel, like Jacque, had thrown her knives and was already running back to the cave to rearm.

Jen grinned wickedly as she watched Jacque throw two knives back to back, then holler, "Score!" when two boars came crashing down.

Jen realized that Elle and Adam were using their Fae magic instead of knives. That was where the balls of fire  – which kept taking out boar after boar – were coming from. She couldn't help thinking that it would be so much easier to throw fire then having to keep running back and get more knives, but she wasn't going to complain under the circumstances.

Jacque was coming back from her fourth trip for weapons when everything was still again.