"They aren't coming," Thad snarled at Mona as they stood on the hilltop, looking into the empty valley. The night was unusually quiet and still. There was no breeze, no moving tree limbs or rustling leaves. The clear, cold night was lit up by the large golden moon and in the stillness was an eerie feeling.
"You of all people should know, Thad, when you can't hear the wolves," Mona paused as she looked out into the open field below them, "that's when the wolves are coming."
She closed her eyes and raised her hands to the silent sky as she began to chant:
"Earth, water, wind, and fire,
Hear my voice, embrace my desire.
Water, come rain down your flood,
Pour over this valley, soon to soak with blood."
Clouds that hadn't been there moments before began to gather. Thad listened as thunder began to roll and, suddenly, the sky opened and the water fell in sheets of cold rain. He squinted through the raindrops that splashed against his face, attempting now to focus on the field. A low growl rumbled in his chest as he watched several wolves work their way through the trees onto the open field that was being drenched and muddied by the unnatural downpour.
Mona's laugh broke through his thoughts "See? I told you they'd come. The wolves want to play. Let's give them some toys, shall we?" She pushed her arms out in front of her with a mighty shout.
Thad watched as all the beasts and creatures she had gathered began to work their way out of the forest opposite the wolves. He stepped forward, ready to phase, but Mona stopped him with a hand to his chest.
"Not yet, Alpha. We wait."
Cold rain stung Sally, Rachel, and Peri in the face as they opened their eyes. Peri had warned them that when she used the veil to travel it might make them a little disoriented, and Sally could definitely attest to feeling disoriented. But as she looked out onto the field below them, she decided that it wasn't the method of travel that was making her feel that way. She watched the wolves of her pack and the others begin to filter through the forest of the Alps onto the wet field.
Her eyes widened when she saw animals Peri had talked about – the ones Desdemona had taken under her control. They moved with an unnatural swiftness and an uncanny certainty. They were out for blood. It was written in the snarls across their faces and the hair raised on their backs. Bears, wolves, wild boar, and many more with one goal in common: kill the members of her pack.
Sally pulled her shoulders back and stood tall. She was a gypsy healer. She had power and she would not let her friends fall. She would not let this witch win. "Peri, we need to hurry." She motioned to the field.
Rachel and Peri both paused their preparations to look where Sally indicated.
"Sally, hold this as I showed you before," Peri instructed as she handed her a white stone.
Sally cupped the stone in her hands and held it reverently out in front of her. She closed her eyes and began to seek out the magic that lived inside her, that was a part of her essence.
Rachel held a green stone and Peri held a blue one and a red one. These stones were the Stones of the Fae. They represented the elements, and just as the witch could draw on the elements using blood magic, the Fae could draw on them using the stones. The stones came from deep in the realm of the veil. Peri tried to explain how that was possible, but Sally finally told her she would just take her at her word.
They stood in a semi circle, facing the field, and closed their eyes. Peri began to chant in a language she had only just begun to teach to Rachel and Sally. Nevertheless, the two joined her chant and Sally tried very hard to keep her eyes closed and focus steady. Peri had explained that she would have to keep from being distracted, that it would take the combined, directed magic of the three of them to take on the witch. And so they began.
"Uh, babe. You seeing what I'm seeing?" Jen asked Decebel as they moved out onto the field. In her wolf form she could see through the darkness with no problem and therefore saw very clearly what was coming for them across the field.
"Stay to the back of the pack, Jennifer. Go for the smaller prey. And for the love of all things worth fighting for, don't try to be a freaking hero."
"You're confidence in me is astounding, Dec. Really, I'm touched," Jen growled at him.
Decebel chuckled in response.
Doing as he asked, she and Jacque began to slow their run and pull back to the rear of the pack. Crina and Cynthia came alongside, them giving them short yips in greeting. As the four she-wolves began to get closer, they all came to a complete stop when they saw the first wave of wolves meet with the witch's hoard.
Jen had watched many a battle on the big screen and always wondered if it would be that brutal or worse in real life. She decided right then that it was worse. Much worse.
Vasile, Decebel, Fane, Dillon and the other Alphas crashed into the wolves and bears – snarls, teeth snapping, and movements quicker than the eye could track. Jen watched in rapt awe as her white-pawed mate ripped through a bear as if it were a small rabbit. He lunged for the bear's throat and with a mighty tear of his head, the bear's neck burst open. Blood splattered Decebel's fur as the bear crashed to the wet ground. He didn't pause, moving on to the next opponent.
To the far left, Elle and Adam – the two Fae who had saved their butts earlier – were battling it out using their magic and Jen had to admit she was impressed with their moves. None of their opponents got even close to them before they were brought down.
Jacque stepped forward and crouched low, lifting her lips in a deadly snarl. Jen was with her. It was time to kick some evil ass.
Jen and Jacque took off at the same time, with Crina and Cynthia close at their heels. Jen focused on some small foxes she saw along the edge of the battle, veering right. Jacque and the others moved with her. She saw Alina fighting with another wolf and Jen adjusted her direction again, heading to help their Alpha female.
Jen and Jacque lunged at the same time. Jen grabbed one of the wolf's back legs and snapped her jaws, feeling the bone snap satisfyingly beneath her teeth. Jacque had her mouth on the wolf's head, biting down with crushing force. While Jen and Jacque had the wolf occupied, Alina went in for the kill. Grabbing the throat of the wolf, she jerked her head and snapped its neck. The three let go of the wolf at the same time. Jen and Jacque both bared their necks to Alina in submission and from that moment on the females all worked in sync, taking down foe after foe together in ambush.