Prologue

“How long must we hope?  Hope for help, hope for redemption, hope for retribution, hope for good to win and for evil to finally lose. Because to be honest, I’m ready to knock hope to the curb and tell her to step aside while I kick some wicked witch’s behind. See, I can keep from cussing if I want to…so bite me bitches.”  ~Jen

 

 

“I told you she would be beautiful,” Decebel held their baby girl in his arms and stared down at her, his eyes holding more adoration than Jen had ever seen. He seemed even larger than usual, holding the tiny person in his arms.

“Duh, she came from me, what else could she possibly be?” Jen snorted.

Decebel looked up from Cosmina and smiled at her. “She is half mine you know?”

Jen let a wicked smile cross her lips. “As far as you know.”

Decebel let out a low growl. Jen knew he couldn’t retaliate while he held their daughter. Jen pumped her fist in the air. “Oh heck ya, you are going to hold her all the time because you can’t do jack when she is in your arms you big teddy bear.”

Decebel stood slowly, looking every bit the predator he was. He walked over to the frilly, yellow bassinet that stood at the foot of their bed. It was hideous but Jacque and Sally had been so proud of it that Jen endured its presence.  This didn’t keep her from rolling her eyes every time that she looked at it. He laid Cosmina down and gently caressed her little cheek with a finger. Then his face lifted and his glowing eyes met hers. Upon seeing the hungry look in her mate’s eyes, Jen made a costly tactical error.  She took a step back. Never, never retreat from a predator. It simply makes them all the more excited to chase.

“Did it dawn on you Jennifer, that maybe I could just put her down?”

Jen tried to speak but only a squeak emerged. She cleared her throat and tried again.

“Of course it dawned on me,” she said flippantly. “I was just counting on the fact that you never let her out of your sight.” Jen cursed herself when she picked up her foot to take yet another step back. Decebel grinned and it was her turn to growl. She was not prey. She would not behave like prey. But as she watched her mate crouch down in an attack stance, she decided that maybe today she was prey, and prey ran like hell when someone wanted to eat them.

“Jennifer,” Decebel purred. “Are you offering yourself up for lunch?” She shivered as he smiled, his canines gleaming.

She took another step back and felt the door knob in her back. Victory, she thought. She knew that Decebel would not leave their little Cosmina alone to chase after her. Decebel must have seen the triumph in her eyes because just as she turned the knob and jerked the door open, he lunged with a huge snarl. Jen took off like the hounds of hell were on her tail; really what else could you compare Decebel too?

She heard her mate growl and then in her mind, “Chicken.”

“Maybe,” she responded. “But this chicken lives to fight another day.”

She heard Decebel laugh and felt the familiar butterflies of desire stir in her. Damn wolf, she thought.

“You have to come to back to our room sometime Jennifer; you can’t run forever.”

Jen rolled her eyes. “I’m not running. I’m simply choosing to take a long detour.”

“Don’t be too long. I need you,” Jen heard something change in his voice, a sort of uncharacteristic desperation was channeling through their bond.

“Dec, you okay? Is Cosmina okay?”

“Cosmina?” He said her name slowly as if he’d forgotten it.

“Decebel talk to me.”

“I’m trying. I keep telling you that I would save you if I could. I keep trying to get to you but you just keep dying and screaming and then our baby is born and she’s so little and not breathing. I’m trying baby, I don’t want him to touch you again but I can’t get to you, I can’t save you. NOT AGAIN, I CAN’T WATCH THIS AGAIN. JENNIFER!”

 

Jen’s eyes flew open as she gasped for breath. She blinked several times and slowly sat up.

“A dream,” she cried. “It was a bloody dream.”

But not that last part. Not Decebel calling for her. That had been real. She could feel him, feel the heat of the hell he was enduring caress her skin and scorch her soul. He had somehow contacted her in her sleep and part of her wanted to fall back asleep so that she could go to him.  She wanted to tell him that she was fine. Well not really fine, she was pissed, but otherwise unharmed. She wanted to reassure him that she was coming for him and she would shred the gates of the In-Between down to rubble to get to him. The other part wanted to kill something, anything. Her wolf was restless and constantly paced inside her. Mate, mate, mate was a mantra in her mind as her wolf pined for him. It was maddening, and yet comforting because she wasn’t alone in her pain and fear. But her wolf was able to do something that Jen was not, she didn’t have emotions messing with her brain. Her wolf was focused on two things; get their mate, protect their pup. She would do anything for those two things. There was no crying, or fear, or anger. Only determination to reclaim what belonged to them. Our mate, she heard her wolf in her mind. He is ours and we will kill the one who took him.

Damn straight, though Jen. We will kill her and then stick her head on a spear in the middle of the battle field for all to see what happens when you mess with the females of the Canis lupis.

Blood thirsty, much?  Maybe a little.

 

 

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