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Out of The Dark (The Grey Wolves #4)(53)

By:Quinn Loftis

"Are those promises?" she asked as she ducked her head and looked up at him through lowered lashes.
He nodded and rolled her on her back. He spent the rest of the night fulfilling the images he had shared.
Chapter 30
27 days post-curse
"All I'm saying is that we should really consider buying stock in Frontline. I mean, it makes sense. Think of how many of us turn furry. The potential for fleas is astronomical." Jen was going on and on while they sat in the upstairs bedroom they shared in the tavern. Jen and Jacque were sprawled across one bed, while Sally laid on her stomach, propped up on her elbows in an adjacent one.
"Jen, I'm going to say this really slow so that you will understand me," Jacque began, but was interrupted by Sally.
"No, don't say it slow. That won't help. What you need to do is add a reference to sex and some profanity. Then she will totally get you."
"Good call, Vern." Jacque gave Sally a fist bump and turned back to Jen. "Listen up, you flea-obsessed bitch. First of all, we are in Romania where it is freaking cold, there are no fleas. Second of all, Decebel would not want to roll in the sheets with you if you smelled like Frontline. Let go of the fleas, Jen, embrace a flealess attitude. Damn."
Sally was cracking up. Jen sat there, looking at Jacque with her head cocked to the side.
"Well, alright then, Jac. Tell me how you really feel. And, seriously, don't hold back on my account." Jen rolled her eyes.
"See? Told you she'd get it," Sally said in between giggles.
"Jacque, Jen and Sally," Vasile hollered from down stairs. "Meeting room, now."
The three girls jumped up and hurried down the stairs. Jen pulled out her phone and saw that it was already late afternoon and would be getting dark soon.
As they entered the meeting room, the girls saw Fane, Decebel, and Costin standing behind three empty chairs close to where Vasile stood. They walked quickly to the chairs and took their seats.
Jen felt Decebel's breath on her neck as he leaned down to whisper in her ear, "It's almost time."
A chill rolled through her at the thought that within a couple of hours they would be on a field, battling for their lives and the lives of Sally and Rachel. Thinking of Rachel, Jen realized she hadn't seen much of her in the past few days. Sally had mentioned a couple times that Peri had them studying spells, but also that they weren't allowed to discuss them. Vasile's deep voice pulled her from her thoughts."The location that I and the other Alphas, along with the help of our Betas, is fifteen miles from here, in a valley between the mountains. We will go in our wolf forms. Peri, Sally, and Rachel will come separately. Peri and I have discussed the fact that Desdemona will know we are coming as soon as we phase and start running through the Alps. I am under no illusions that we will catch her by surprise. You all need to expect her to use anything she can against us. The weather, the animals under her command, and the Serbian pack. I wish I could tell you to go in there and fight honorably, but Thad has proven he has no honor and Desdemona is a witch, evil to her core. They will fight dirty and so must we."
Jen snorted. "No worries, Alpha. I've got no problem throwing a little dirt in my opponents eyes."
"Or kicking them while their down," Jacque added.
Vasile actually smiled at the two females. "Good. I expect you to use all your resources. Stay together, don't let them separate us." He looked at Peri, who stood toward the back of the room. "Were you able to get the help we requested?"
Peri nodded. "Elle and Adam will be with us. That is all the council would allow."
Vasile narrowed his eyes, obviously not pleased with her answer. "That will have to be enough, then."
He looked around the room one more time. His eyes settled on each Alpha, a silent thank you for their assistance. Then, taking a step toward the door with Alina's hand in his, he growled, "Let's go."
All followed Vasile and his mate out of the Tavern and into the cold night air.
Jen and Jacque stood silently, watching their pack and the others begin to phase as they walked into the forest.
Dillon stopped next to Jacque and pulled her into a hug. "Fight dirty," he grumbled into her hair. Jacque pulled him tight and nodded. When she moved back and looked up at him, she could see the emotion behind his green eyes.
"We got this, dad," she tried to tease him and lighten the moment, but squeezed his arm at the same time, letting him know she understood. She didn't want anything to happen to him either.
He looked at Fane and Decebel, who stood beside the girls. Dillon nodded once and then took off at a swift jog and phased in mid-stride.
"Man, I want to be able to do that." Jen sighed dramatically. The girls, new to phasing, still had to undress and concentrate when they did it.
"Let's do this, ladies," Decebel told them as he and Fane turned their backs so Jen and Jacque could undress.
Once the girls were both in their wolf forms, Decebel and Fane both phased and – after nuzzling their mates briefly – they took off after the rest of their pack. 
As they ran through the forest, the cold air whipped through their fur as they dashed around trees and through bushes. Even with the many wolves that ran through the Alps this night, the forest was silent.
"They aren't coming," Thad snarled at Mona as they stood on the hilltop, looking into the empty valley. The night was unusually quiet and still. There was no breeze, no moving tree limbs or rustling leaves. The clear, cold night was lit up by the large golden moon and in the stillness was an eerie feeling.
"You of all people should know, Thad, when you can't hear the wolves," Mona paused as she looked out into the open field below them, "that's when the wolves are coming."
She closed her eyes and raised her hands to the silent sky as she began to chant:
"Earth, water, wind, and fire,
Hear my voice, embrace my desire.
Water, come rain down your flood,
Pour over this valley, soon to soak with blood."
Clouds that hadn't been there moments before began to gather. Thad listened as thunder began to roll and, suddenly, the sky opened and the water fell in sheets of cold rain. He squinted through the raindrops that splashed against his face, attempting now to focus on the field. A low growl rumbled in his chest as he watched several wolves work their way through the trees onto the open field that was being drenched and muddied by the unnatural downpour.
Mona's laugh broke through his thoughts "See? I told you they'd come. The wolves want to play. Let's give them some toys, shall we?" She pushed her arms out in front of her with a mighty shout.
Thad watched as all the beasts and creatures she had gathered began to work their way out of the forest opposite the wolves. He stepped forward, ready to phase, but Mona stopped him with a hand to his chest.
"Not yet, Alpha. We wait."
Cold rain stung Sally, Rachel, and Peri in the face as they opened their eyes. Peri had warned them that when she used the veil to travel it might make them a little disoriented, and Sally could definitely attest to feeling disoriented. But as she looked out onto the field below them, she decided that it wasn't the method of travel that was making her feel that way. She watched the wolves of her pack and the others begin to filter through the forest of the Alps onto the wet field.
Her eyes widened when she saw animals Peri had talked about – the ones Desdemona had taken under her control. They moved with an unnatural swiftness and an uncanny certainty. They were out for blood. It was written in the snarls across their faces and the hair raised on their backs. Bears, wolves, wild boar, and many more with one goal in common: kill the members of her pack.
Sally pulled her shoulders back and stood tall. She was a gypsy healer. She had power and she would not let her friends fall. She would not let this witch win. "Peri, we need to hurry." She motioned to the field.
Rachel and Peri both paused their preparations to look where Sally indicated.
"Sally, hold this as I showed you before," Peri instructed as she handed her a white stone.
Sally cupped the stone in her hands and held it reverently out in front of her. She closed her eyes and began to seek out the magic that lived inside her, that was a part of her essence.
Rachel held a green stone and Peri held a blue one and a red one. These stones were the Stones of the Fae. They represented the elements, and just as the witch could draw on the elements using blood magic, the Fae could draw on them using the stones. The stones came from deep in the realm of the veil. Peri tried to explain how that was possible, but Sally finally told her she would just take her at her word.
They stood in a semi circle, facing the field, and closed their eyes. Peri began to chant in a language she had only just begun to teach to Rachel and Sally. Nevertheless, the two joined her chant and Sally tried very hard to keep her eyes closed and focus steady. Peri had explained that she would have to keep from being distracted, that it would take the combined, directed magic of the three of them to take on the witch. And so they began."Uh, babe. You seeing what I'm seeing?" Jen asked Decebel as they moved out onto the field. In her wolf form she could see through the darkness with no problem and therefore saw very clearly what was coming for them across the field.
"Stay to the back of the pack, Jennifer. Go for the smaller prey. And for the love of all things worth fighting for, don't try to be a freaking hero."
"You're confidence in me is astounding, Dec. Really, I'm touched," Jen growled at him.