sacrifice of love Page 8

“Fane, you need to control your woman.”

Jacque’s head snapped up as her eyes collided with her friends. They were wide and were giving Jen the what the hell glare.

Jen shrugged. “It’s time he got his head out of his butt and joined the rest of us back here in the living.”

Fane didn’t growl; he didn’t even acknowledge Jen’s words. He just placed his hand on the back of Jacque’s back and began to guide her from the room. Jacque continued to glare at Jen until she stomped past her.

Jen looked over at Decebel. “I don’t get it B. Our baby is scheduled to die on the day she’s born and you don’t see me walking around with a perpetual scowl, looking ready to kill everyone in my path. Don’t you think it’s time for Fane to snap out of it?”

Decebel met Jen’s gaze and reached out to caress her cheek. “Not everyone is as resilient as you, baby.”

Jen’s eyebrows creased together as she watched her mate. He was hiding something from her; she knew it without a doubt. But she couldn’t find out what it was because he was keeping his mind shut from her. He kept their bond open just enough for them to feel each other, but he didn’t give her the open access as he once had. As he stared at her now, the look in his eyes confused her, but she knew that if she asked, he would just deflect the question.

Jen finally turned away from him, knowing he would follow her. She paused and glanced back over her shoulder at him and raised a single brow. “You can’t hide from me forever, Dec. At some point, you will let your guard down. And when you do, I won’t be kind and give you your privacy. I will take what is my right to have, your complete trust and openness with me. So you can continue to delude yourself that you can keep things from me, but I always get what I want. And I’m not just talking about information. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that you seem too distracted at night to take care of your husbandly duties and it’s pissing me off. A girl has needs, B. Put that in your beef jerky and chew on it.”

Decebel followed behind his ticked off mate and tried not to smile at that last comment. “Did you just say husbandly duties?”

“Shut up Dec.”

Chapter 3

“It never ceases to amaze me how the males of the supernatural races think that they are protecting their females when they try to put them in a bubble. You would think that after seeing this strategy backfire many times, they might learn better. But apparently dogs aren’t the only ones to which you can’t teach new tricks. Wolves and warlocks seem to have the same problem. And I don’t think all the kibble n’ bits in the world could condition them to change. Although Jen might be onto something with her type of conditioning, and her poor wolf doesn’t even realize it.”~ Peri

Peri stoodjust on the outskirts of the forest that Cypher’s magic encompassed. She was leery about entering the warlock’s territory. She could feel the wrongness in the air, and see it in the way the plants and trees appeared to be cringing. She narrowed her eyes as she tried to look past the human realm and into the magic that she knew was lingering among the trees.

There¸she thought as she watched the black swirls that were moving and shifting, intertwining themselves with the green swirls that she knew to be Cypher’s magic. His was incredibly strong, but the black swirling wisps were having no trouble interposing themselves and adding their own pungent evil.

Peri huffed in irritation. “Just once could we please have a foe that wasn’t versed in the dark arts and psycho crazy with black magic? Would that be too much to ask? Couldn’t we just have some pixies hell bent on stealing all the lime popsicles in the world?” she muttered softly. As she stood there, her unease growing, she made the decision to call Cypher to her. She didn’t want that taint on her and didn’t want to draw attention to herself.

“Cypher, King of the Warlocks, I request an audience,” she didn’t speak loudly, for she knew that his magic would carry the message to him on the wind.

After several minutes of waiting, she finally saw him emerge as if walking from trees themselves. He wore his signature green cloak and she noticed that his face was tight with worry and anger.

“Peri,” he nodded in greeting.

“Cypher,” Peri responded. “Do you feel the darkness in your kingdom?” she decided to just lead with that because there was no better way to chat up a king than to tell him he needed to get his ass in gear and protect what was his―right, smart move Peri.

“It comes and goes,” Cypher acknowledged. “I know it is the work of my brother.”

“Are you going to do anything to stop it or are you just going to just hang out in your mountain drinking warlock schnapps and wooing that new mate of yours?”

Cypher snarled at her and she was rather impressed with it, but she didn’t back down.

“I am king here, Perizada of the Fae. I decide what’s best for my people and you should not be spouting off about things you do not understand.”

Peri let out a bark of laughter. “Things I don’t understand? I think you forget with whom you speak. I’m older and more wise than your finite mind can fathom. I have watched evil rise and fall for thousands of years and I know what happens when we turn a blind eye to what is going on around us. You have to do something before he has a hold on your forest, on your people, and on your mate.”

Cypher looked away from Peri, but not before she saw the flash of guilt and pain in his yellow eyes.