When he finally ended the call he looked at her. He brushed some wisps of hair from her face and let out a long breath.

“Fane is missing,” he said roughly.

Jen inhaled sharply. “Jacque?” she asked.

“Unconscious. She was lured into a pond with magic. Fane went in after her and never resurfaced. Jacque came back up right after Fane was taken under.”

“He isn’t dead if Jacque is still alive,” she said. Though, even knowing it, she still wasn’t confident in the truth of her words.

“That is correct,” Decebel agreed.

“What is Vasile going to do?”

“Right now they are waiting for Jacque to wake up. They need to see if she can contact Fane through the bond. We are going to begin heading their direction in the morning.”

Jen nodded. “Good, I want to be with Jacque and I know Sally will also once she finds out. Should we go tell them?”

“No, let’s let them have their one night.”

Jen agreed with that as well, and couldn’t help the heavy weight in her stomach at knowing her nights with Decebel were numbered. She unconsciously rubbed her stomach.

“Is your stomach upset?” Decebel asked her.

She jerked her hand back with a small gasp. “Oh, um, maybe a little.”

“Lie back and rest, baby. It’s a few hours 'til we have to leave.”

Jen did as she was told and closed her eyes. Her heart was breaking. She didn’t know how long she could keep this from him. She was more afraid of telling Decebel her fate than of any evil she had faced or would ever face. The thought of seeing the love for her fade and turn to hate was more than she could bear. She fell into a fitful sleep and even when Decebel’s strong arms came around her, peace still eluded her grasp.


Mona looked into her scrying bowl and smiled as she watched the wolf prince howl in agony. That was too easy, she thought. Now all she needed was to get the other males out of the picture, and based on how Fane reacted to his mate being in danger it wouldn’t be too difficult.

There was one day left until she met with the warlock King. One day left until she rained down her wrath on a world unworthy of her. She had been surprised at how well Lilly had been taking everything. She expected the human to freak out and go into hysterics, but she had totally kept her cool.

She might actually make a pretty good witch, she thought. And then with a rueful smile, said out loud, “Nah.”

Mona cackled a laugh into the empty room.


Lilly awoke to a gentle knocking on the door of the room she had slept in. She sat up and wiped the sleep from her eyes.

“Come in,” she said in a clear voice.

The door opened and Cypher stood there, towering in the entrance.

“How did you sleep?” he asked in his deep voice.

“Not too bad, considering I’ve been kidnapped by a crazy witch, am being held by a handsome, albeit somewhat scary, warlock King and I don’t have a clue how my daughter is. So, all in all, I slept decent.”

Cypher flinched at the sarcasm in her words. He couldn’t deny any of her accusations, but he wouldn’t give her up either.

“I’ve had one of the helpers here prepare breakfast. I would like for you to join me.”

Lilly swung her legs over the side of the bed, not caring that all she was in shorts and a tank top.

“All right, but let me get cleaned up and dressed, please.”

He gave a formal bow and closed the door behind him.

Lilly walked over to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror.

“What on earth have you gotten yourself in to?”

She sighed. She was going to have to ask Cypher if there was a phone she could use. Somehow the wicked witch of the west had fried hers, the sneaky bitch. Jacque would have chastised her for that, but frankly the witch was a bitch. And now she was making rhymes. If she kept at it, she could give Dr. Seuss a run for his money.

She washed her face and combed through her hair, then went ahead and brushed her teeth even though she would be eating. Who likes to walk around with morning breath?

Once she had changed clothes she once again stood in front of the mirror. She was wearing jeans, a long-sleeved fitted tee, and her New Balance running shoes, not that she did any running. But seeing as how the last couple of days had gone, she figured she might be taking up the sport of running just to get away from the things that went bump in the night.

“That’s as good as it’s going to get, kid,” she told the image in the mirror. “Time to face the music, or in this case, the tall and handsome warlock King.” She paused. “I've got to stop calling him that.”

Once Lilly was down the stairs she followed her nose. It smelled of bacon and her stomach growled. Mentally she told her stomach to take a chill pill because she was going to try to get in touch with her daughter before she did anything else.

When she rounded the corner and found the kitchen, she stopped abruptly. Cypher was standing in front of a large window. The morning light was shining in, caressing his tall form, and his pitch black hair glistened and shone. He truly was breathtaking. She quickly snapped her mouth shut when he turned to look at her.

“Good morning, Lilly,” he told her with a quirk of his lips that told her he had caught her drooling over him.

Lilly decided the best defense was a good offense. “I need to use your phone,” she told him, without acknowledging his smirk.

His eyes seemed to dance with humor. He knew the effect he was having on her and it was sort of ticking her off.

“I need to check on my daughter. If you will allow me this I promise to cooperate.”

Cypher let out a loud laugh.

“Might I ask what your idea of not cooperating would look like, little one?”

Lilly ignored the lurch to her heart that the endearment seemed to cause.

“Let’s just say it’s not pretty.” She gave him her best glare. It usually worked on her employees – not so much on a warlock King.

Cypher pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and held it out.

She raised a single eyebrow, “You have a cell phone?” she asked incredulously.

He chuckled. “Even warlock Kings have to keep up with the times,” he told her with a wink.

Lilly took the phone from him and dialed Jacque’s phone number. When there was no answer, she told herself not to panic and called Vasile. Long ago she had made sure to memorize Vasile, Alina, and Fane’s cell numbers.

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