Dark Wolf Page 16

I call upon you once again, aloe and comfrey,

I seek and use your healing salve to stop this raging pain,

Seek deep into his flesh where burns run deep and raw,

Seek out the damage that is done deep within,

Use your gifts to repair cell and skin.

The relief was nearly instantaneous. Dimitri had been writhing in agony for so long, for a few moments he almost didn’t realize the pain in his body had dimmed to a very tolerable level. He could actually push it aside entirely. The outside chains were another matter, but compared to that silver moving through his body, forming its own veins and arteries, the damage to his skin seemed minimal.

Mother, I call upon you to take into your arms,

That which is doing no harm.

Take on the poison. Eat it, drink it,

Remake it into something of the earth.

May the green of the great Mother be seen,

And used to hide that which would do evil.

May her beauty bloom, showing all the colors of her heart,

May her beauty shade and hide us from all harm.

Skyler didn’t leave loose ends, not when she was fully aware as she was now. He felt real hope for the first time. As long as no other Lycan discovered the hooks were no longer injecting beads of fluid silver into his body, he would have a chance to gain strength. Fen would come.

You have to leave this place. The Lycans preparing for battle changes everything.

She was already fading away. I don’t care what they prepare for.

Send Josef then. He can slip in and release me.

He cannot. His energy would tip the Lycans off immediately and he’d stir up a hornet’s nest. Paul and I are human. They won’t see us as threats.

Skyler heard him swearing in his ancient language as she found herself back in her hammock. Birds sang loudly, calling to one another as they flitted from tree to tree. The forest was alive as the early morning rays of the sun poured through the canopy. There was such beauty in nature, and now that she knew Dimitri would stay alive long enough for her to get him out of the enemy’s camp, she could truly enjoy where she was.

She didn’t want to argue with him anymore. He was a dominant male, like most of the Carpathian men, and she didn’t blame him for worrying about her. She worried. She knew, because she often merged minds with Dimitri, that safety and health was placed above all else for their females. The species was too close to extinction. Women were too important to risk. There was also the fact that only one woman could be their lifemate. If she was to die, or the male Carpathian missed finding his lifemate, the warrior had no choice but to meet the dawn or choose to give up his soul.

She hadn’t just impetuously jumped into the rescue without thinking it through. She wasn’t an impulsive person. Her earlier life had made her very cautious. Dimitri was severely injured and felt helpless, she understood that. She was human and vulnerable in his eyes, and she understood that as well.

Csitri, I am not in any way reprimanding you. You saved my life. You’ve given me hope and surrounded me with love. I cannot bear the idea of you hurt or injured.

Dimitri, I’m your best chance at escape right now. The longer you’re there, the more likely something goes wrong. I’m not willing to take that chance. I’m just not. If what you say is true, and they are preparing for a war, then they need you dead. And just for the record, I know it’s difficult for you to think of me hurt or injured. Can you imagine what it’s like for me to know you’re hurt? To know they tortured you? That the first night I finally found you I wasn’t capable of removing all the silver? Or stopping the terrible burn?

She brushed at the tears running down her face. She hadn’t been able to hold the connection long enough, but that didn’t make it any easier to bear. Why do men always think they suffer more when their partner is in danger? Women love as much, they suffer as much. You aren’t alone in this, Dimitri. She couldn’t help the edge to her voice.

There was a small flash of amusement, and then he poured love into her mind. It was impossible to stay angry with him when he merged his mind so deeply with hers.

I stand corrected, päläfertiilam—my lifemate. I had no idea I had such a fierce warrior woman for a partner. Just make certain you’re protected. I trust that Josef and Paul will watch out for you while you do this.

Relief swept through her. I promise to be careful, my love. If I get into any trouble, you’ll know. So will the world. I’ll send for Gabriel immediately. Rest now.

One more thing, Skyler. I’m up in a tree, wrapped in silver chain. I cannot free myself. You will need to find a way to remove the chain as well as the hooks.

I am prepared. She had absolutely no idea yet what she was going to do to get him free.

He laughed softly in her mind, as if he knew she was struggling to figure that piece of his escape out. His laughter wrapped her up in his love, and then the connection between them slowly faded as if he were exhausted.

Skyler took a deep breath and let it out. She might be afraid to walk out in the forest, seeking a Lycan, but still, she looked forward to it. That would bring her one step closer to freeing Dimitri. She sat up gingerly, feeling faint and dizzy.

Josef looked up immediately from his conversation with Paul. “Are you okay?”

She shook her head. “I’ll need your help again.”

“You’re going to have more Carpathian blood in you than Josef does,” Paul said with a little grin. “You should see the weapons Josef managed to get for me.”

Skyler rolled her eyes. “Men. You just couldn’t wait for me to know all about your cool weapons, could you?”

“I almost came over to your hammock and dumped you out,” he teased.

She closed her eyes and let Josef give her blood, grateful he was adept enough to keep her unaware when she consented to his aid. She took the water bottle Paul offered and drank, more to make certain there was no aftertaste in her mouth than because she was thirsty.

“You don’t think the Lycans will sense the Carpathian blood in her do you, Josef?” Paul asked, suddenly anxious.

“They can’t tell we’re Carpathian until we use our energy to manipulate the elements,” Josef said. “I read the emails between Gregori and Gabriel.”

Skyler scowled at him. “You hacked my father’s email?”

Josef shrugged, completely unrepentant. “He made it easy. I told him his password needed to be a lot better, but he didn’t listen. They never do. I hacked the prince as well.” He held up his hand to stop her when she opened her mouth to give him a lecture on privacy. “Better yet, I managed to find and hack two of the Lycan council members.”

Skyler closed her mouth. Somehow hacking the Lycans’ email didn’t seem nearly as bad as hacking her father’s email or the prince’s.

“Did you find anything out about what’s going on?” Paul asked.

“Only that they seemed to want to work things out with the Carpathians. They want them as allies. They obviously are terrified of the ones they call the Sange rau, but they’re certain they can convince Mikhail of the danger.”

Skyler frowned, shaking her head again. “Josef, Dimitri says he’s being held in a war camp. The Lycans are preparing for a battle. It has to be with Mikhail. Did any of the emails mention Dimitri?”

“No, which I thought was a little odd.”

A small fox trotted into their camp, and then came to an abrupt halt as if confused by the presence of the three of them. He was beautiful, his fur coat thick and bright. He shook his tail, gave an indignant bark and retraced his footsteps back into the brush.

Skyler laughed softly. “Life just goes on no matter what’s happening, doesn’t it?”

“That fox was a little annoyed with us,” Paul said.

“For a moment I thought it was Gabriel and my heart nearly stopped,” Josef said. “I’ve thought a lot about where I want you to scatter my ashes after he kills me,” he added.

Paul and Skyler looked at Josef’s sorrowful expression, the dramatic hand over his heart, and both burst out laughing simultaneously.

“He’s not going to kill you, Josef,” Skyler soothed. “He’ll just . . . you know . . . do his Gabriel thing.”

“He’s going to kill you,” Paul assured. “Dead. For certain. But he’ll make you suffer first.”

“Don’t look so happy about it, bro,” Josef said. “He’s going to kill you, too.”

Paul shrugged. “Better him than Zacarias. I’ve got like five of the craziest Carpathians known that are going to be eager to strangle me; you’ve only got a couple.”

“We’ll get in and get out with no one the wiser,” Skyler said. “That way no one will get killed.”

“Sky, I’m going to be in the ground when you go wandering in the woods,” Josef said, worry taking the laughter from his voice. “You’ll be very vulnerable. Paul won’t be able to be too close to you, so you have to make certain that there is as clear a line of sight as possible from Paul to you at all times. He’s your only protection until sunset.”

“I honestly don’t think the Lycans are going to worry about me rescuing Dimitri. Our papers are in order. We’ve set the camp up perfectly to be a working environment, and they must know of Dimitri’s organization to save the wolves. He’s set up preserves all over the world. Of course they have no idea it’s that Dimitri they’ve wrapped in silver.”

“There are other things in this forest to worry about than just the Lycans,” Josef pointed out. “Wild predators live here.”

“I know, but most of them come out at night. Really, I feel like between you and Dimitri, I could use a little encouragement.”

“I think the plan is solid,” Josef said. “I think your presence will draw a Lycan to you. Just make noise. I want you aware, that’s all.”

She heard the reluctance, the concern in his voice. He would be in the ground, unable to aid her if she got into trouble. She knew, like Dimitri, being helpless would be the most difficult thing of all. “I’ll be hypervigilant,” she promised.

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