"I have a feeling that if it's up to Fane and the other males in his pack, those girls will be in lock down as far from battle as possible."
"Yes...but, mate," Tanya purred, "how often do the males in our race win in a battle of will against a female?"
Dillon grunted, understanding Tanya's point. "You're right, those three will probably be leading the battle charge. I will do anything it takes to make sure no harm comes to them. Vasile explained to me what has been going on since we left." Dillon told Tanya what Vasile had told him and saw the sorrow in his mate's eyes as she heard of the struggles Jen had endured as well as the others. Now more than ever she wanted to go with him, but Dillon couldn't handle having all the women he loved in danger. If he could at least protect one, then he would do it.
"You stay safe, Dillon Jacobs," she told him firmly.
"Yes, ma'am." He winked at her and gave her one more fierce kiss before boarding the plane and joining a select few of his pack members inside.
23 days post-curse
"Sally," Costin's warm breath caressed her face as her eyes blinked open, "you need to wake up, gypsy lady. We are leaving."
Sally's eyes popped open and she sat straight up. "Leaving? What about Jacque and Jen?"
"Vasile instructed Decebel and Fane to get the others to the Tavern. We are to meet them there."
Sally pushed Costin back so she could stand up. She had fallen asleep in the clothes she'd been wearing the day before. She ran her fingers through her hair, trying to untangle it, and blinked her eyes several times to get the sleep out of them.
"Okay, I'm good. Let's go." Sally headed for the door of the room she had been sleeping in. Costin chuckled as he followed her. He grabbed her around the waist before she could pull the door open and she let out a surprised squeal.
"Costin, what are you doing?"
Costin turned her in his arms and held her close, breathing in her scent. He thought maybe it was beginning to change, but worried that it was just wishful thinking.
"I want you to stay close to me. Do as I tell you and don't try to be a hero."
Sally snorted. "You do realize that I'm Sally not Jen, right?"
Costin looked down into her warm, honey colored eyes. "Yes, Sally mine. Believe me, I know the woman I hold in my arms. I also know that when it comes to your friends you will do anything. I'm simply asking you to think before you act, and by think I mean wait for me."
Sally smiled sweetly at Costin and patted his cheek. "I didn't realize it until now but I have to agree with Jen."
Costin cocked his head to the side. "About what?"
"It is cute when you bossy werewolves actually think you will get your way."
Costin let out a low growl that brought a giggle from Sally. Finally, she relented as she rolled her eyes. "Fine, I won't do anything rash. How's that?"
"Better," he told her as he released her, following her downstairs to where the others waited.
Vasile, Alina, Peri, Cynthia, Sorin, and Crina all stood in a circle in the large room. The fire still burned strong in the stone fireplace.
"Sally, Costin," Vasile acknowledged them. "It's time. Peri is going to cloak us. We must move quickly. There will be no time to stop and rest. Sally, if you get tired, I must insist that you allow one of us wolves to carry you on our back in our wolf form."
Sally's mouth dropped open. Costin used a finger to gently push her chin up as he chuckled. "I will carry her, Alpha," he told Vasile.
Vasile let out a knowing smile. "I figured as much." Costin looked up questioningly at his Alpha.
Before an exchange could take place, Peri interrupted. "Enough dillydallying. We need to go."
Without another word, the group headed out of the Fae cottage and toward the veil.
As Vasile had ordered they moved quickly. No one spoke. The males were scanning the skies and the forest around them continually as they continued toward their destination.
Sally could feel the magic in the air. She could feel Peri's cloak, but underneath it there was something oily that tried to cling to her. Sally had mentioned it quietly to Peri and she explained that the witch was looking for a healer, so her magic was tuned to find the healer and link her to the witch. This was why Sally got the feeling that it was trying to cling to her. Peri had reassured her that the cloaking spell would keep the witch's magic from sticking.
After nearly eighteen hours on foot, Sally was growing very tired and very cold. Costin phased to his wolf form and knew that Sally must be more tired than she let on, because she did not argue with Vasile when he told her to get on Costin and hold tight. The other wolves phased as well and then their speed picked up. Peri didn't seem to have any trouble keeping up with the fast, nimble bodies of the wolves.
Sally closed her eyes as she leaned her body against Costin's wolf, and clung tight as she felt the cold hair rush through her hair and sting her cheeks. She tried to imagine a time when she and her two best friends weren't fighting for their lives and realized it had been quite a while.
"You want me to what?" Jen asked Decebel, her eyebrows raised. A crooked smile lifted on her mouth.
"Jennifer, behave and just do it."
Jen was laughing out loud now. They had awoken after just a few hours of sleep and Adam and Elle were creating a cloak to protect them as they made a run back to the village.
"I'm sorry. It's just that it wasn't under these circumstances that I'd expected to hear those words come out of your mouth."
Decebel growled at her.
Jacque looked up at Jen and winked. "What was your answer?"
Jen smiled. "Come now, Jac. What else would a good little mate say to her man when he tells her to get on him?"
Adam, who had been tossing a throwing knife in the air when Jen spoke, choked at her words and cut his hand. Rachel actually let out a bark of laughter with Elle right behind her. Jacque reached over and bumped fists with Jen, laughing.
"How many different ways do you think he went over it in his mind to tell me I was going to have to be carried on his back in his wolf form like you two?" Jen asked.
Decebel was steadily growling.
"Jennifer, enough of this. We must go."
Jen ignored him as Jacque piped in. "Should we go over all the possibilities?" Elle, Adam and Rachel were laughing even as Fane and Gavril joined in Decebel's growling.