"It is a curse. Well, actually, it's two curses," she began. "I'm going to try and describe this the best I can. It's kind of complex." She looked at Vasile, waiting to see if he had anything to say.
He nodded, indicating to her to go on.
"Right then. The first is some sort of memory binding curse. From what I could tell it has bound Decebel's good memories. And by good, I mean his precious and life-altering memories. So the mundane, everyday, hoo-ha stuff remains."
"Did she just say hoo-ha?" Jacque muttered.
Fane smacked her lightly on her butt. "Behave."
"I'm just saying. Jen would have loved that one," she said absently.
Taking no notice, Sally went on. "It appears that the curse started binding his good memories from the day of the death of his sister. My guess is that she wanted him to forget his mate. Anything important in Decebel's life that was positive is gone. It's why he doesn't remember becoming your Beta; it's why he doesn't remember new pack mates. I imagine he doesn't remember any matings either. The most important fact, I would like to point out, is that she made him forget his mate."
The entire room gasped. Each of them understood the implication of something so important as essentially losing your mate. If Decebel didn't remember Jen, what would that do to them and their bond? More importantly, how would she be found?
"The next curse is where it gets really messy. The curse makes Decebel the only one able to find Jen. It's almost like she's bound the pack through him. Also, I need to tell you Vasile, that the first curse had Fane's name on it. Decebel blocked Fane with his body and got hit with it."
Jacque wrapped her arms around Fane. "I don't know what I would do if you couldn't remember me," she whispered.
"You probably would beat me until I did remember," Fane teased, easing the tension in his mate.
Jacque snorted. "You know me so well."
Vasile stepped up to his Beta wrapped him in an embrace. "Nici un cuvânt nu-mi poate exprima gratitudinea pentru ca mi-ai protejat fiul, (No words can express my thanks to you for protecting my son). We will fix this, Decebel. We will not stop until you have your memories back and Jen is safely by your side."
Decebel stepped back from the embrace. "Who is Jen?"
"She's your mate."
"I don’t have a mate. I don't care about the curse – there is no way in hell any wolf could forget his mate." Decebel shook his head.
As she watched her best friend's mate deny her, Jacque couldn't stop the tear that slid down her cheek.
"Decebel, I'm telling you, you have a mate. I would never say such a thing if it wasn't true," Vasile implored.
Sorin spoke. "You do have a mate. She's a little spitfire who drives you insane."
Other members of the pack began to nod, trying to convince their Beta.
Decebel continued to back away from the pack toward the door. He had to get out of there. He couldn't stand the weight of their stares.
"I HAVE NO MATE!" he snarled and turned, storming for the door. The crowd parted, some stumbling to get out of the furious Beta's way.
Sally and Jacque jumped as the door slammed shut so hard it rattled the walls.
Fane wrapped his arms around his mate and pulled her close. Through her tears he heard her whisper, "I can't imagine the pain he must be feeling inside, even if he doesn't know why. What if he never remembers?"
Fane rubbed Jacquelyn's back, attempting to calm her. "We won't give up until he does."
At that, her tears returned full force. "What about Jen? How will we find Jen?"
Sally came over, tears streaming down her face as well. "Just the loss of her memory is ripping his soul apart."
Cynthia, Crina, and Costin came over and surrounded the other three.
Costin watched the tears run down Sally's face and felt something inside him break. He stepped closer and took her hand. He gave it a comforting squeeze and then let it go, not wanting to make her uncomfortable. Sally looked up at him with red, swollen eyes. Her expression told him she appreciated the gesture.
Jacque pulled away from Fane and turned to Cynthia and Crina. "Where have you two been?" she asked wiping her eyes. She realized that she hadn't seen them since they climbed out of the Hummers.
"Vasile had us talking to the owner of the tavern about staying here. We slipped in about the time Sally was just finishing her healer stuff. We heard everything," Cynthia explained.
"So what's the plan now?" Crina asked.
"I think we need to wait for my father to let us know. He will utilize every tool he has, so don't worry, you will have a job." Just as Fane finished speaking, Vasile reached them.
The Alpha addressed Fane and Costin. "Sorin and Skender are to help you organize room assignments. I believe there are six rooms in the building attached to this one. Cynthia and Crina, show them where to go. Make it work."
Before they could respond, Vasile left the room.
Vasile decided to seek out the three Alphas before he went to Decebel. He figured his Beta needed to be alone to sort out the information Sally had explained.
He climbed the stairs and found them standing by the railing, deep in conversation.
"I'm sorry to interrupt," Vasile politely said as they all turned to face him.
"Vasile, we offer our condolences for what has happened to your pack," Victor told him quietly.
"Thank you. We all appreciate your support. At this time there really isn't anything you or your packs can do." Vasile held up his hand to preemptively placate the Alphas." I don't mean that as an insult. Sometimes a lot of help winds up being a hindrance."
"Understood," Victor acknowledged. "We can arrange for some pack mates to take the vehicles back as we prepare to depart. We should be on our way by this evening."
Vasile looked at his watch. "With all that has gone on I hadn't realized it was four in the morning. If you and yours need rest, please take it."
All three Alphas shook their heads.
"We are doing well," Victor promised.
Vasile thanked them again and gave his goodbye. That done, he felt it was time to seek out his Beta and try to patch him up as much as possible. Vasile's blood boiled that someone – and not just someone, but a witch – had hurt one of his. There would be hell to pay.