sacrifice of love Page 6

Like an indolent cat stretched out for an afternoon nap, Reyaz sat lazily on a large tree branch. He leaned back against the trunk of the ancient tree with his legs stretched out in front of him and his hands behind his head. Though his body gave the appearance of being languid, his eyes were ever watchful and vigilant.

For two months he had roamed the Balkan Mountains, observing his brother’s kingdom and listening for any information of what the supernatural world was planning now that he had revealed himself. But that was not all he observed. He also had paid special attention to the human woman his brother had taken a shine to, and, if he wasn’t mistaken, planned on taking for his mate.

His upper lip lifted in a snarl as he thought about his brother having something that he did not, something that had been ripped from his hands so very long ago. Yet the wound left behind was as raw and bloody as it had been the day she died. Thea, his love, his reason for living, was gone and it was Cypher’s fault that she was no longer by his side. In truth, he should be glad that his brother had found a mate, because now he had something to take from him. Something that would be equal what Reyaz had lost.

The leaves rustled in the trees and the entire forest shuttered with awareness of his malice, but he ignored it and continued his waiting and watching. His time was coming, and when it finally did, he would rain down his fury in an eruption of destruction unlike anything the supernaturals had ever seen. And he would destroy anyone who got in his way.

Lilly Pierce stood in what was known as the throne room of the warlock castle. The castle itself was built into the mountains, hidden from any who didn’t know exactly where to seek it. She watched as Cypher paced around the large chair that sat at the front of the great room. He had been restless for weeks, and though they were still getting to know one another, she was beginning to understand the responsibility he had to his people and the passion he felt for them. He wanted what was best for them. He wanted them safe. But most of all, he wanted to know that they had a future in this world. That wasn’t the only thing bothering him, however. Lilly could tell he struggling with something else, but she didn’t feel as if she had a right to ask him about it. They hadn’t discussed moving forward in their relationship, and even though he claimed that she was his mate, he had yet to pursue anything more with her. They spent time together. He was affection towards her and she could tell that he cared deeply for her, but something was holding him back and now she was unsure as to where she stood with him.

She hadn’t decided how long she would stay at Cypher’s mansion. Jacque and the girls had wanted her to stay with them and she had for a few days after Desdemona’s death. But Cypher had needed to get back to his people, and she had felt at the time that she needed to be with him. It was weird to think of her daughter as a grownwoman with a husband and no longer needing Lilly’s constant guidance. Her first instinct had been to stay at the Romanian mansion, but she knew deep inside it wasn’t where she belonged.

Now she didn’t really know where she belonged. After everything that had happened, after everything she had experienced with Cypher, she couldn’t imagine going back to her life as a bookstore owner and single middle-aged female with a grown daughter and a broken past. She wanted more. She needed more and she thought that more had been here with Cypher.

“Lilly.” The deep voice made her stomach clench in anticipation just as it had been doing for the past few months.  Cypher held his hand out to her, beckoning her to come to him.

She walked slowly across the room towards him and nearly melted under his heated gaze. Good grief, Lilly, what are you seventeen?  He’s a man, not a freaking Greek god. She silently chastised herself, even as she thought that Cypher probably resembled exactly what a Greek god might look like. The closer she got to him, the shakier her breathing became. Once again she wanted to kick herself for acting like an infatuated adolescent, but then, why shouldn’t she be affected by him?  He was incredibly handsome, strong, caring, and surprisingly gentle for such a large man. There would have to be something seriously wrong with her if she wasn’t affected by him at least in some way. Well at least I’m not defective, she shrugged inwardly, deciding it was okay for her to swoon like a school girl…sort of.

“I’m sending you back to your home.”

Lilly’s stomach dropped to the floor and her heart clenched painfully in her chest. Damn, didn’t see that one coming.

“Have you heard any news?” Decebel asked Peri.

“Nothing definitive,” she told him through clenched teeth. “The forests are restless; nature knows when evil is among us. He’s out there. He’s not hiding out behind another veil in another land or hunkered down in a hole somewhere.”

“Did you just say hunkered?” Jen asked with a sly smile.

Peri’s eyes snapped over to the female alpha. “I find that being around you humans is expanding my vocabulary. And unfortunately, it’s not in ways that make me sound intelligent.”

“We aim to please, Peri fairy.”

Peri snorted. “Judging from the look of your expanding belly, I would say you must be succeeding.”

Jacque spewed the water she had been drinking out of her mouth as laughter bubbled up.

Jen patted her rounding stomach and grinned over at her mate. “What do you think B? How’s my aim?”

“Jen,” Jacque was still laughing as she tried to talk, “your aim is not the one you should be worried about.”