“Jennifer,” he murmured as close to her as he dared. “Come back to me baby. Hear my voice. Know that what you feel isn’t real. We are real, and I am real. Remember us, remember our love, and remember my touch and no one else’s. I know it’s hard. I know what you see and feel seems so real, but it isn’t.” Decebel fought to keep the growl out of his voice, but it was so hard because he was beyond frustrated at being so helpless. “This must have been how you felt when I lost my memory,” he told her, “to know that the one person you would do absolutely anything for, is the one person that you can’t do anything for. Sometimes life truly sucks,” he chuckled, “that sounds like something you would say.”

Decebel knelt on the floor beside the bed and laid his head down. He breathed in her scent and tried to keep from losing his control, which was about as likely as Mona becoming a nun.


Jacque was still, too still for Fane’s peace of mind, but he supposed that it was better than the uncontrollable shaking and screaming. He knew that she was experiencing the things he had seen while in the in-between. He didn’t think it was ever possible to be as scared for her as he was when she had been taken by Lucas, but at that moment in time, he had passed scared a few hours back. He thought briefly about going to check on his mother, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave his mate. He knew what Jacquelyn would want him to do, but she wasn’t able to boss him around. He was going to do exactly what he needed to do, and that was be as close to her as the stupid binding words would let him.

As he stared at her, he considered something that he hadn’t really thought of. Since meeting Jacque, he couldn’t really remember a time when he was truly mad at her, but he was now. He was so mad that she would keep his touch from her, that she would take away that comfort for him. Fane knew that his desire to touch Jacque so often might eventually make her uneasy, so he had explained the deep meaning of touch between wolves. It hurt deeply that she knew what touch meant and was still willing to take it away from him. He didn’t want to be angry, but sometimes that was a much easier emotion to process than fear or pain. So, he latched onto that anger, clinging to it like a life raft to keep from drowning in the turbulent sea of his anguish.

“Why would you do this Jacquelyn? I know you were angry at me for not being more open, but can you see now what I was trying to protect you from? Can you see now that I didn’t want you tainted with images of such brutality and hurt?” Fane closed his eyes briefly as he tried to calm himself. He knelt down close to her ear. “This is not acceptable my love. Never again, do you hear me? Never again, will I allow such foolishness. I told you that I would protect you, even if it was from yourself. You need me, you need my touch right now, and because of your rash, emotional decision, I can do nothing but sit here, useless and frustrated. I’m angry with you love.” For some reason he needed her to know that, not because he wanted to hurt her, but because he needed her to understand just how much he loved her and needed her. “Don’t you see? Haven’t I shown you since the day I took you as my bride just how much I need your touch? How many nights have I simply reached for you, for no other reason than to feel your skin on mine? How many times have you found comfort in my arms, skin on skin?” Fane wanted to snarl, wanted to throw something or hit something. He had so many emotions inside him and no way to get them out.

He fell to his knees and threw back his head, letting out a mournful, angry howl. It welled up from the darkest place in his soul and crashed its way through his lungs and out of his throat. He knew his eyes were glowing and his canines had lengthened. His wolf was as angry with their mate as he was and wanted to hunt something and tear it apart. Soon he would feel the blood of a witch, warm in his mouth as he tore her flesh from her bones. She would answer for this crime against his mate. She would answer for all the evil that she had brought on their race and her death would not be quick and certainly wouldn’t be painless.


The howls shook the mansion as one by one the wolves joined in the somber cry. The packs that had been moved to the furthest side of the mansion from Vasile and Alina and the other mated pairs were restless as they heard the utter hopelessness in their brother’s call. They stood outside on the grounds, some phasing to their wolf form, others staying in their human flesh, but all of them answered his call.

Drayden, the Alpha of the Canadian pack, walked over to where Dillon stood, a silent sentry watching over the wolves.

“What would cause a man to sound like that?” He asked Dillon.

Dillon’s eyes didn’t leave the field where the packs roamed as he spoke. “That is the sound of a man who has reached the end of his rope. His sanity is hanging on by a thread and his wolf is ready to tear apart the first piece of fresh meat stupid enough to walk in his path. That is the sound of a male whose mate needs him, and yet he is unable to be what she needs.”

“Is there anything we can do to help?” Drayden asked.

“Pray,” Dillon, said somberly. “Pray that we are victorious, and that the mates of these males are restored, because the wrath of a witch is no match for the wrath of even one male Canis lupus whose mate is beyond any hope.”

Wadim and Skender walked silently through the mansion, both restless because of the state of their Alpha, and both needing to do something.

“Should we go see if he needs anything?” Wadim asked.

Skender would like to say that he knew the answer to that question, but he was truly at a loss. He didn’t know how Vasile would respond to them, even though they were pack and he was Vasile’s fourth. But, like Wadim, he felt like they should do something, anything.

“Where are you two headed off to?”

Skender and Wadim whipped around at the sound of the feminine voice, both in battle stance. They were definitely on edge if they couldn’t even distinguish the voice of one they both knew so well.

“Peri,” Skender nodded as he stood up straight. Wadim followed suit.

Peri walked towards them and, from the shadows behind her, six other forms stepped forward.

“Who have you brought into our territory Perizada?” Skender asked with sudden formality.

“Pipe down Skender,” she told him with a flick of her wrist. “These are the other members of the Fae council. They have come to help me break the curse on the females.”

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