By Quinn Loftis
The last few days have been the darkest of Sally’s life. After experiencing the joy of finding her mate, she now suffers the pain of losing everything she holds dear. Both the Romanian and Serbian packs have been captured, ripping Sally’s soul mate away from her almost as soon as she had found him. Her best friend and the emotional glue that usually holds Sally together, Jacque Pierce, lies writhing in a restless coma, having been put down by Desdemona’s dark magic. Jennifer Adams, the unshakable one, has revealed to her friends and her mate that she is pregnant, but the Fates have marked her unborn baby for death. Though she rails against the darkness, deep inside Jen knows that Decebel’s baby must die as payment for her own life, and the knowledge is tearing her soul to pieces. Cypher, King of the Warlocks, has claimed Jacque’s mother as his mate and agreed to help Desdemona open a door that would release a horde of demons from beyond the Veil.
Though her world is crashing down around her, Sally holds out hope. The Great Luna is not sitting idly by. She has commanded the Fey council to call upon the packs—all of them. And though Cypher looks for a way to open the Veil for Desdemona, he struggles to protect Lilly and the wolves at the same time. Peri, the ever-courageous High Fae, and a contingent of the remaining females of the Romanian and Serbian packs, push on through the rough Carpathian Mountains. Though they are bound to the human realm, they continue to search for a way to cross over to the land of the Fey. Meanwhile, in reluctant obedience to the Great Luna, the Fey council sends representatives to the far corners of the globe, meeting with the pack Alphas. The Fey must convince the Alphas of every pack to lay aside their petty territorial squabbles and battles of dominance. If they refuse, both the humans and the supernatural races will fall at Mona’s feet.
Sally holds to a shred of hope. Though Vasile, Decebel, and their pack mates endure the torture of the In-Between, living their worst nightmares over and over, Sally holds. Though she knows that it is only a matter of time before their wolves take over, she holds. Sally knows that if the males die, then so too will their mates who have performed the Blood Rites, including her best friends Jen and Jacque. Yet she holds. If the males lose themselves to their wolves and turn feral, so too do their mates. Still she holds. Though Vasile, the strongest Alpha in their history to unite the wolves, is lost beyond the Veil, Sally holds. Though Decebel, the only other wolf besides Vaile strong enough to unite the packs, suffers beyond the Veil, Sally will hold. No one is left to unite their race, and defeat Desdemona. Yet Sally still holds. She holds out hope that the Great Luna will not abandon them, cannot abandon them. Throughout the centuries, the Great Luna has always provided a gypsy healer to the packs, especially in times of great need. Now Sally is that healer. Sally fears what role she has to play in the defeat of Desdemona, but she will play it. Though heaven and hell unite against her, she WILL play it.
For too long the supernatural races have lived in separation, warring amongst themselves, allowing trivial power plays and selfish disputes to keep them from uniting. That separation has made them weak. Now, being summoned as a collective force to the same land, will they come? Will they come in numbers greater than have been seen in centuries? Will they destroy each other and save Mona the trouble, or will they finally unite and fight as one?
“The witch can put myself or any of my race in the In-Between and she could possibly kill you. I’m not real sure on the whole you part because again I don’t know the ramifications of you being my mate.”
Lilly pinched the bridge of her nose as she felt a headache coming on. “And you didn’t think maybe I needed to know this?”
Cypher shrugged, “There isn’t anything you can do about it so why worry about it?”
Lilly shook her head at the warlock King. She knew that nothing she could say would help it make sense to him that she wanted to know these things so she could help endure these burdens with him. In the brief time she had known him, she’d seen how the responsibility for his race was wearing on him. It was a lot, even for one with shoulders as broad as his, to bear for so long. Wasn’t that what a mate was for? Okay yes she was still on the fence about the mate thing, but she knew that she cared about him and she didn’t want to see him come to any harm. She would figure out the whole mate thing when the time came to make a decision.
“Fine, I won’t worry about it.” She finally told him.
Cypher raised a single brow at her, “That’s it? You aren’t going to growl and snarl at me?”
“I’m not a wolf you know,” she purposely added a slight growl to her voice in hopes that it would bring about that devastating smile; she wasn’t disappointed.
Cyn made an impatient shuffle with her feet reminding them of her presence.
Cypher looked back to the Fae. “I have no intention of helping the witch, but I may not have a choice. If it comes to opening the Veil or Lilly’s life then I will have to open the Veil and hopefully get it closed before too many demons escape.”
“Nope, not gonna happen,” Lilly said shaking her head, “you aren’t going to sacrifice the safety of the world, or my daughter, for my life. My daughter is grown and married and I know she will be taken care of. I’ve had a great life, though not a very long one, but that’s okay. I won’t let you choose me over several other races.”
Cypher barely acknowledged her when he responded, “Well it’s a good thing it isn’t up to you then.”
Quinn lives in beautiful NW Arkansas with her husband, son, Doberman and cat (who thinks she is a ninja in disguise). She is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.