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Out of The Dark (The Grey Wolves #4)(3)

By:Quinn Loftis

"I thought those were just tales," Decebel commented, remembering the stories other pack mates would share. It was a lot like telling ghost stories, only the ghosts were witches who could curse you to have three eyeballs or no tongue.
"There is always some truth in fables," Sorin told him.
Costin and Fane were now listening intently.
"Why do you want to know about witches and dark magic?" Fane asked Decebel.
"There was something behind that fire. I could feel it, like oil running over my skin. It was greasy and thick."
Fane nodded. "I agree that something was in the air. Something evil."
"There hasn't been a documented witch in centuries." Sorin was shaking his head. "And even when there were witches, it was – is – forbidden for packs to employ them or seek out their help."
"Well, it's pretty obvious that Thad isn't really into obeying pack law. He did attempt to kill our Alpha and my mate, after all," Decebel ground out.
The wolves waiting for the vehicles to return huddled with their pack mates, seeking comfort from one another. Decebel felt the chill again. Something was wrong.
Something was coming.
"I want Vasile's spawn crushed into nothing." Thad paced in the woods a mile behind the burning mansion. "Just a pup and he's found his mate. I've been waiting centuries!"
Thad turned to look at the woman who was holding her hands toward the fire, muttering under her breath. Desdemona – or Mona, for short – was an extremely powerful witch. A witch that his pack had employed for several centuries. She was the epitome of evil. Even her name—Desdemona—meant “of the devil,” testified to the darkness of her soul. Thad watched and waited as she continued to bring the mansion to the ground.
Suddenly she dropped her arms and turned to face him, piercing him with her eyes, one blue, one black – both filled with malice. She had long hair, black as night with one strip of white near her face. Aside from the freaky eyes, she was a beautiful woman – a beautiful woman who would cut your heart out and feed it to the wolves if you crossed her.
"I've told you before, Thad, I cannot kill from a distance without the lifeblood of the one you want dead." She sounded exasperated, as if talking to an annoying child. 
"What can you do to him? Surely a witch four centuries old can do something," Thad taunted.
"Watch yourself, wolf," Mona hissed. "I work for you, but I will not be disrespected."
"My apologies." Thad bowed his head and knew his words and posture had placated her.
"So you're pissed because he has a mate at such a young age?" she asked.
"Pissed is putting it mildly. If you can't kill him, take her away from him."
Mona walked a slow circle around Thad, arms folded across her chest as she flipped through the curses in her mind. Thad watched as a grin – so wicked it could cause demons from hell to cower – spread across her evil, albeit beautiful, face.
"I have just the curse to take care of our little wolf pup." Mona rubbed her hands together as her eyes began to glow," Nutrea uitat, cherished forgotten, a curse that will remove his treasured memories and return him to the worst day he's ever lived through."
"What if the worst day he's ever lived through was while he was with the half-breed?" Thad questioned.
"She is his most treasured memory. She will be wiped from his mind because she trumps everything. So with her gone, his mind will return to a time before he met his mate that was horrific for him," Mona explained, but the tone of her voice made it clear that she didn't like having to do so.
"Now, I need you to keep silent." She glared at Thad until he raised his arms in surrender and stepped back, leaning up against a tree.
Mona turned toward the mansion again and began to seek out the life forces of those near. She could feel a strong pull just beyond the mansion. The packs, she decided. They had run the opposite direction and were waiting. She smiled to herself. Witches had been wiped from the minds of the Canis lupis long ago. The wolves feared the magic and tried to ignore it, thinking it would just go away.
We are not so easily forgotten, she thought. I will remind you wolves who wields the power and to whom you should bow.
As she focused on the power of the wolves she began to chant.
"Earth, water, wind and fire,
Heed my words, fulfill my desire.
Find the one whose name is Fane,
Seek him out, make your claim.
Bind his memories, treasured few,
Take him back to feel the pain anew.
In his mind, mysteries uncovered,
Rip out the mate he has discovered.
Earth, water, wind and fire,
Hear me now, do as I desire."
Mona continued to focus, waiting for her spell to hit its target.
"Did it work?" Thad asked impatiently.
"Shh!" Mona growled. "I will feel it when it hits him."
Seconds ticked by. The wind began to pick up and Mona's hair started to whip around her face. Her eyes glowed and darkness seemed to wrap her in a cloak, caressing her, embracing her as a lover. She closed her eyes once more as a crash of thunder echoed across the sky. Then she let out a skin-crawling growl.
"It didn't work? What happened? Speak, witch!" Thad snarled.
"His Beta protected him." Mona spoke through gritted teeth. "Somehow he heard the spell in the wind. He shouldn't have been able to."
"What are you going to do now? Can you send another spell to Fane?"
"Damn wolves." Mona turned on Thad. "There are laws that bind our magic. We can't just do whatever we want, wolf. The curse hit the Beta instead. You said he was mated?"
"Yes, but I tried to have his mate killed. I don't know if she is indeed dead but I don't think so. From the way he spoke in those last few moments in the mansion, she was still alive but injured."
"So you want the Beta's mate dead as well? Damn wolf. Do you want all of their mates killed?"Thad growled at her.
Mona shook her head. "Just hold on."
She began to think aloud, working through the possibilities. "Now the Beta no longer remembers his mate. Right about now, he should be awakening. He will remember the worst day of his life and will think that today is that day. I can't curse Fane now. Even I don’t have the power to maintain two curses such as this. Damn the laws fate has bound me with. I could curse the Beta again to make sure his mate is never found..." She tapped her lip with her long fingernail. "Hmm. That has possibilities. If the Beta couldn't find his mate, then the Alpha would assign his most trusted to the hunt. That would leave them exposed, vulnerable." Mona smiled and turned back to Thad. "The Beta will be the only wolf able to find his mate," she announced.
"How is that going to help?" Thad's brow furrowed.
"He won't remember who she is, dummy," she told him, waiting for him to get the obviousness of the situation.
"So?" Thad shrugged.
Mona groaned. "Are you kidding me? The universe wasted a perfectly good amount of energy on your life," she mumbled. "As her mate, he would be able to use their bond to find her. If he doesn't remember her, he doesn't even remember her scent. Even if he can still hear her through the bond, he won't trust the voice. He doesn't know he's met his mate."
Thad made an “oh” motion with his mouth.
"We don't have to worry about the bond. Though I'm convinced they are mates, there were no mating signs," he told her.
"Excellent. So the only wolf who can find her can't remember her." Mona wiped her hands together as if to clean dirt off them. "That takes care of one mate."
"What of the others?" Thad asked.
"Vasile will have his most trusted wolves looking for the Beta's mate. That means they will be out from under the protection of the pack. Susceptible. It will give me time to work on some special spells for our little prince." She grinned wickedly.
Thad shivered. "You give me the creeps sometimes."
"That's too bad. I was going for warm fuzzies with all the cursing and killing." Mona waved him off. "Give me the name of the Beta and his mate and then be quiet."
"Decebel and Jen," Thad told her as he resumed his position against a tree.
Once again, Mona reached out for the life force. Specifically, she sought out the one full of confusion. As soon as she felt him, his strife, confusion, pain, and anger rolled over her.
"There you are, little wolf," she muttered. Focused on the Beta, she began.
"Earth, water, wind and fire, 
Heed me now, fulfill my desire.
Follow the curse given this day,
Continue to bind with what I say.
Decebel, Beta, Mate to Jen,
Though he is, strong as ten,
Unravel what their fate has wove,
Should he seek her, let him rove.
No bond will master what I've wrought,
No mate he'll find if she's sought.
Earth, water, wind and fire,
Go now, fulfill my desire.”
Evil smiles stretched across Mona's and Thad's lips when moments later they heard a howl so full of pain it made the hairs on their arms stand up.
Chapter 3
Decebel closed his eyes and tried to tune out the pack mates around him. There was something on the wind – like a whisper. Using his wolf's hearing, he listened intently.
There it was – a chant of some sort. The only words he could decipher were something like, “binding memories,” and then he heard Fane's name. At that moment, Decebel felt his wolf push forward, a primal need to protect their Prince propelling him ahead. Thunder rolled across the sky. Before his human mind could even think, Decebel leaped in front of Fane. A supernatural bolt of light hit Decebel in the chest.