She continued to stand close to him, reassuring him of her presence as the room filled. She caught Sally’s eye when she and Costin walked in. Jen and Decebel were just behind them. Both males looked ready to rip some one’s head off with their bare hands. And, as curious as the other packs were about the females, one glance from Costin or Decebel and they dropped their eyes. Jacque hadn’t noticed until then that not a single person was facing her direction. Fane was obviously giving the males the same challenging look and it was working rather well.

Jacque gave a small wave to Crina and Elle who were standing across from her with Sorin and Adam. She hadn’t gotten to spend much time with them and hoped that they were recovering all right. They had both kept to themselves since they had returned and she figured that it was to have a chance to spend with the mates they had barely had time to get to know. Rachel and Gavril moved in beside the two couples and she saw Gavril give Fane a slight nod.

“How are things?” Jacque asked Jen as the two mated pairs came and stood next to she and Fane.

Jen glanced up at Decebel and then back at Jacque. “I’ve promised to be on my best behavior.”

Jacque smiled. “For once, I actually believe you.”

Sally laughed. “I guess there is a first time for everything.”

Sally’s laughter brought the rumbling room to complete silence. Everyone froze and their heads turned as a collective whole to where the three girls stood. Low growls rumbled in Costin, Decebel, and Fane’s chest, but the fascination with a gypsy healer was too great to be dissuaded by growling mates.

A flash of light and thunderous boom at the front of the room snapped the attention to the front where Peri stood, smiling at her grand entrance.

“Saved by the fairy,” Jen muttered, under her breath.

“Word,” Jacque and Sally whispered back.

Their attention was drawn to the front along with everyone else’s at the sound of Peri’s voice.


Chapter 20

“Do you ever have that feeling where the hairs on the back of your neck rise, goose bumps suddenly appear all over your arms and your stomach feels like hornets are buzzing around to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic? Take that feeling and magnify it a thousand times, then you will have a small idea of what it’s like to walk into a room full of dominant wolves.” ~ Lilly

“For the pack!” The entire room repeated Peri’s declaration. They stood as one, united in purpose, and joined by a common goal.

Peri let the light around her fade until she finally looked like the Peri they all knew. It was apparent to everyone in the room that, though she now looked less majestic, she still wore power equal to the strongest of Alphas.

“I know it has been a very long time since any of you have seen a healer, if you ever have. That does not excuse rude behavior. You who are Alphas and dominants know better than any, how protective your males are of their mates. So, show the respect they deserve. Show the healer just how precious she is by not acting like rampant idiots.” Peri met each Alphas eyes and held them, letting them see that she was not going to play dominance games with them. She was here as their equal and they would either accept that or not. It would be much wiser of them to just let it be.

Peri saw Vasile and Alina as they approached the entry. She motioned for the wolves to look behind them.

Vasile and his mate walked through the wolves as they parted, each of them dropping their eyes and the Alphas bowing their head slightly to Alina in respect. When they reached the front of the room, Vasile turned to face them.

“We all know why we are here,” he told them. “Our creator, the Great Luna, has seen the evil that threatens our species, as well as all of the others, and she has called us to stand against it. She created us for such a time as this.” Vasile’s voice carried throughout the room, strong and clear. “She made us stronger, more resilient, and more cunning than other species. She made us wolves, because a pack protects its own. Pack protects the weak. Pack protects when all others choose to look away. Thankfully, we are not alone in our stand against the evil that has grown. We have friends who have agreed to help and we will welcome them into our pack and hear what they have to say.”

Vasile motioned towards the back of the room where Cypher, Lilly, Thalion, and Cyn stood with a slew of warriors behind them.

Cypher turned and said something to the others and the warriors stayed behind as the four proceeded forward. The room was quiet as they walked. Cypher and Thalion kept their head straight forward not making eye contact with any of the wolves. Lilly looked everywhere, searching for Jacque, Jen, and Sally. When Lilly’s eyes finally landed on Jacque and her friends her face broke into a huge smile.

Jacque was out from behind Fane and running towards her mother faster than Fane could react. She was barreling through the males not caring who she ran into or how it might affect Fane to watch his mate sprint through a room full of males that he did not know. Sally and Jen were right behind her and all three males tore after them.

Jacque knew what she had done was foolish, but all she had seen was her mother and all she could think about was making sure she was safe. She should have known that Sally and Jen would be right behind her, because they loved her mom every bit as much as she did.

Jacque reached her mom and ran straight into her arms, and for a brief moment, she thought that her little stunt might not be a disaster. She should have considered that a pregnant chick was running full speed behind her in a room jam packed with bodies.

Jen stumbled and Tyler reached out to catch her, but Decebel was there before he could touch her. Decebel glared at the Alpha and Tyler held his hands up and took a few steps back. The room was still as they waited to see how Decebel would respond.

“Hey B,” Jen elbowed him. “Help a pregnant chick out and carry me through the masses?”

Decebel looked down at his mate and shook his head as he swung her up into his arms.

“You are a pain in my a…”

“Tsk, tsk, Dec, no cursing remember?” Jen admonished, as she patted her stomach. Decebel growled, but held his tongue.

Lilly wrapped her arms around all three of the girls as the huddled close. She hadn’t realized just how badly she had needed to see that they were okay. She wiped tears away as she stepped back to look at each of them.

“Look at you three,” she swooned. “You’re beautiful. Romania agrees with you.”

Tags: Quinn Loftis The Grey Wolves Young Adult