sacrifice of love Page 28

“Jen, I think she’s just trying to help take some of the pressure off. You haven’t exactly been discreet about things between you and Decebel. We love you and hate to see you hurting, either of you.”

“It is an intervention,” she whined and slumped back into the couch, “of all the things I could possibly have needed an intervention for, it had to be Werewolves Anonymous.”

“I take it that you have no loyalties.” Reyaz walked leisurely around the forest that surrounded his lair. He had decided to take a much needed break from spying on his brother, but on his way home, he was interrupted.

“I am loyal to myself,” Lorelle told him boldly, though she felt anything but bold. She hadn’t planned on approaching him this way, but the opportunity presented itself and she had to take it while it was there. Reyaz was not an easy man to find.

“How do I know you will not betray me?”

“I have no reason to betray you. I simply want my sister out of the picture. I can’t kill her. If I did, I would be banished from my realm forever. But in your line of work, and specifically your latest endeavor, you will more than likely run into her. I was just hoping you could give her a little zap.”

Reyaz’s brow rose and his mouth twitched as if to smile. “A little zap?”

Lorelle nodded. “Like you did to Vasile.”

He laughed at this and she tried not to cringe at the sound. The air coming out of him sounded as if it was grating against lungs that had not been used for this purpose in a very long time. Like the creaking and moaning of an old wooden staircase that had not been walked on in years. His raspy laughter assaulted her ears.

“You are calling that a little zap?” he asked as his skin crawling laughter died.

Lorelle decided that it was a rhetorical question and did not answer.

“What do I gain if I give your sister this little zap you are asking for?”

She had known that he would ask for some sort of payment. It’s not like evil people do anything for free. There was no such thing as evil charity. Lorelle had wracked her brain endlessly trying to come up with something that he would consider valuable. But she had come up empty-handed.

“I can grant you a request to redeem at your liking.” She had finally decided on the granting of a favor. Though she hated to give him such power over her, there was nothing that she could give Reyaz that he couldn’t simply take for himself.

He didn’t respond right away. She watched as he took slow measured steps, his feet crunching on the dead leaves that littered the ground. He was considering it, no doubt thinking of all the possibilities such a payment would give him.

“Any request?” he qualified.

“Yes.”

“I accept. And I already know what you mustdo,” he finally told her.

Lorelle gave a short nod and tried not to look as nervous as she felt.

“What will it be?”

“You are going to deliver a message for me, but not from me,” he told her. “It seems that my brother has finally realized that the trolls need to pay for their part in the death of one of his females. He has attempted to keep the peace with them, but he has come to see that in order for justice to be served and real peace to reign, then they must pay. So you will take Thead, the Troll King, a declaration of war on behalf of the King of the Warlocks.”

Lorelle’s mouth dropped open and she knew her eyes were as wide as saucers. She couldn’t believe what he was saying.

“Why? Why would you do this if all you want is your brother’s woman?” she stumbled over her words as she spoke. “You want to destroy two races over the life of your mate?”

“They won’t destroy each other,” he scoffe. “The trolls don’t stand a chance against my brother. As much as I hate to admit it, he is extremely powerful.”

“Do you honestly believe that the wolves will just stand by and let the trolls be slaughtered?”

“What do you care, Lorelle, faithless and one without loyalty?” He snarled at her.

“One person is very different from an entire species!” She felt nauseous as she thought about the part she would play in this, but there was no getting around it. She had cast her role in his game and she would have to play her part or it would be her life on the line instead of her sisters.

“Fine,” she said and the word tasted like bile in her mouth. “I’ll do it.”

“I had no doubt that you would,” Reyaz told her smugly.

“Some free advice, woman,” she heard his voice just as she started to go, “if you betray me, I will kill you in the same manner that I take your sister, only much slower and much more painfully.”

He was gone before she could even swallow down the lump in her throat. She had come to him wanting his

help in destroying her sister, the one thorn in her side who wouldn’t go away. Now she would help him

destroy at least one entire species, and quite possibly even more.

Chapter 9

“None of us are exempt from the difficult choices in life. They are written in the fine print on the day we are brought forth into this cold world. And though they are set in stone, what is not set in stone is how we respond when those difficult choices are put before us. That is when we discover if the pain and suffering brought on through our birth was worth all the trouble—when stand before those difficult things and say, I can do this, and I will do it for the right reasons.” ~Decebel