“It wouldn’t be wise to send any males near these females right now.” Dillon heard a scream in the background and felt his wolf rise up inside of him.

“Desdemona is working her bitchery and the females have a spell on them. The males can’t touch them,”

“Why can’t the males touch their mates?” Dillon snapped.

“Once again, keep your trap shut until I am finished.”

Dillon bristled at the order, but ignored it when he heard Fane yell Jacque’s name. It took everything in him not to crush the phone in his hand.

“It’s a long story, but basically the females uninvited the touch of their mates. I can’t get into the whys just now. At the moment, the males are watching their mates endure terrible visions, happening only in their heads. And, the males can’t touch them to help! Peri has tried to break the spell and tried to force the pack magic to break, but it’s not working. We need to know how to restore the male’s ability to touch their mates so we can move the females. Peri thinks that we can break Desdemona’s spell by transporting the girls somewhere farther away. Sometimes this type of magic has a limited range. It’s a shot in the dark, but at the moment I think we’d take just about any suggestion if it would fix this.”

Dillon stared at the floor as his brain tried to process what Cynthia had just told him. He knew that Skender and Wadim had heard everything and he could tell from the looks on their faces that they were working it all out in their head, searching for any solution possible.

“HELLO!” Cynthia yelled. “Look, the world is falling apart as I know it and I don’t have time for you to go into all freaky Alpha mode, so please help me.”

Wadim moved slowly as he took the phone from Dillon.

“Cynthia,” Wadim’s voice was steady and he felt less panicked, as he discovered that he had a purpose and could be of help. “The males were in their human forms when the woman put the binding on them?”


“Okay, okay,” Wadim, said again. “The males need to change. The wolf is not bound by the human female’s desire. The mate bond from wolf to wolf is different than the human bond. I don’t have time to explain it.”

“What about Sally? She isn’t a wolf.”

Wadim thought about it for a moment, but then shook his head. “It should still work. Costin’s wolf sees Sally as his equal, as his she-wolf regardless.”

“Okay so if they shift they should be able to touch them?”

“I think so.”

Cynthia growled. “You think so or you know so?”

“Crap Cynthia, it’s not a freaking exact science. I’m going on what I’ve learned over the centuries of documenting our race, so truly, anything is possible, but what other choice do they have right now? By the sounds of it, they are on the verge of killing anything or anyone. Get those males to change and get them and their mates home.” Wadim was breathing heavily when he finished and his heart was pounding in his chest. This is what it was to be pack. When one in the pack hurt, they all hurt. When one in the pack was in danger, they all felt the urgency to save them.

“Okay,” Cynthia finally answered. “You need to have their rooms ready. The males are going to want their mates in their territory, surrounded by only their scents. No other males, unless you want a blood bath. Wadim, Vasile is not in control. You need to prepare the others for that.”

The phone went dead. Wadim pulled it from his ear and looked down at it. He looked up at Dillon and Skender. “Did you get all that?”

Skender nodded.

“She didn’t give us a time frame for how long till they get here,” Dillon said as he looked out of the window to the forest. “We need to start preparing for their arrival now. It would devastate Vasile if he killed one of his own.”

Wadim shook his head as he let out a humorless laugh. “I swear, I didn’t think things could get any worse. After everything that has happened, you would think that I’d be smart enough to realize that, more than likely, things are going to always get worse—much, much worse.”

“The important thing is that we stand united. Desdemona’s first goal in any battle with us will be to separate us, either physically or by creating division among us. That must always be in the back of our minds. It has never been as imperative as it is now to put aside our pride, our dominance, and our need to control. If we fight as one she cannot win; she is no match for all of us.” Dillon’s words gave Skender and Wadim the encouragement and renewed determination to put aside their fears and do what they could, what was within their power to do.

Dillon waited as the other two males left the office. He closed his eyes and reached for his mate. He needed to feel the comfort and strength that came from being mated to one who is your perfect match. He felt the return of her love, felt her spirit spurring him on to be the man she knew him to be. That’s what a mate was. She was the one who reminded him, in his darkest hour that there was still light in the world. As long as those who stand for good, fight evil, then there was always hope and hope was all they needed in order to stand firm.


“Where did the ginormous dragon go?” Lilly pointed to the clearing where the beast had fallen, the clearing that was now empty.

Thalion shrugged as if a giant dragon hadn't just disappeared. “He was not of this realm, so in death he would not stay here. He was returned to his realm where he will be laid to his eternal rest.”

Cypher, Lilly, Cyn, and Thalion stood just on the edge of the forest while the other elves gathered the arrows so that no humans or other supernaturals would find them.

“Where do we go from here?” Thalion asked Cypher.

Cypher paused and looked at Lilly. She saw the question in his eyes and was touched that he was looking to her for advice.

“Might as well tell him, he’s going to find out,” she told him.

Cypher gave a resolute nod and looked back at Thalion.

“I made a bargain with Desdemona. At the time, I thought it was my only option. I needed a mate and I needed magic for my people. The magic in the human realm is growing thin since the Fae have confined themselves to their own realm. The divisions among the supernaturals were killing us slowly. Mona asked me for a favor, one that only the King of the Warlocks could perform.”

Thalion’s eyes grew wide and Lilly thought it probably wasn’t a look that crossed his face very often.

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