Dark Wolf Page 30

Ivory stepped back from Rolf. “You do not know me, but I am wolf as well, not in the sense of blood, but I have had my own pack for centuries. I can tell you, someone wants a war between Carpathian and Lycan. I do not know who would benefit from such a war, but there are those of your kind working against you.”

Rolf frowned at her. “I hear the ring of truth in your voice, but there has been no hint of such a treachery. It would be difficult to hide from us.”

Ivory gestured around the room. “Whoever is behind this now has the perfect weapon available to them. These warriors will go to get their children. None will stand down. None will stop. They will hunt every Lycan who took part in the killing of their children. No one will be safe. No one. You and Mikhail must find a way to stop this.”

Abruptly she turned and walked out, following her lifemate.

“Rolf.” One of the guards, a man by the name of Lowell, pushed forward. “We should get all of you out of here, before this escalates.”

Another guard, Varg, nodded in agreement. “We have no confirmation that any of this is true. This could be their conspiracy to kill all of us and throw the Lycan world into chaos.”

Several guards pulled swords so that the light struck the silver, making it gleam as if in eagerness. More than one began to shift from their human form to Lycan, half wolf, half man.

Two of the elite hunters Mikhail recognized moved into position to defend Rolf. Daciana and Makoce, two of Zev’s elite pack, exchanged uneasy glances. They were aware, more than the others, of the danger all the Lycans were in. There would be a bloodbath here, if the tension continued to escalate between the two species.

The De La Cruz brothers spread out immediately, a clear sign of aggression. Jacques Dubrinsky, Mikhail’s brother, and several other Carpathian males moved into the spaces around Mikhail. The two species faced one another, moving warily to give themselves fighting room, yet careful not to trigger an attack.

Rolf did not take his eyes from Francesca’s grief-stricken face. “We did not know. When we heard that a Sange rau had been taken . . .”

“Dimitri is not Sange rau,” Mikhail reiterated, ignoring Gregori’s warning hand and emerging from the line of fierce protectors that had placed their bodies between his and danger. “He is Hän ku pesäk kaikak, Guardian of all. He saved the lives of your Lycans, and they repaid him with treachery. Would the Sange rau have risked his own life to save two of your people?”

Rolf shook his head. “Most of the others have never had to experience the complete destruction such a combination causes. We forbade contact with Carpathians in order to prevent such a mixed blood from rising.”

“If you know Dimitri couldn’t possibly be Sange rau, a rogue vampire/wolf mix, why would you hold him at all?” Mikhail asked.

In spite of the low, cool tones of both leaders, the tension in the room continued to escalate. Mikhail pinned Zacarias with piercing eyes. Zacarias was the leader among his brothers, a fierce, wild predator who remained untamed and uncivilized in spite of finding his lifemate. He was the most lethal man in the room, and the most unpredictable, a throwback to the old days when Carpathians hunted without fear of discovery.

He knew Zacarias was a law unto himself. He had been too long in the wilds, an ancient hunter on his own, far from home, with darkness always tearing at him, yet he had stayed an honorable man.

We will not be the ones to start the war, Zacarias. Keep your brothers, especially Rafael, under control while I sort this out. Rafael was lifemate to Colby, Paul’s sister. He loved the boy and no doubt was furious that the Lycans had dared to attack him.

“We have not interviewed Dimitri as of yet,” Rolf said. “None of us have ever laid eyes on him. We sent word to treat him with respect and care as we were away. One phone call to Zev Hunter, and I will have a much clearer understanding of what is transpiring.”

“Zev is a good man,” Mikhail said. “One we have trusted. He was not a part of the taking of Dimitri and left soon after to track those who had taken him.”

Rolf shook his head. “Zev is the leader of the elite team. They would not have acted without Zev’s authority. It would be . . .” He frowned, looking from Daciana to Makoce, two of the four members of Zev’s elite hunter pack that were there to guard them. “Treachery.”

Daciana and Makoce both nodded their heads. “We were fighting the rogue pack with the Carpathians here,” Daciana explained. “Zev was with us. The Sange rau projected an image, an illusion of himself, and we all believed there was an imminent threat to the prince. While we fought here, two members of our team, Gunnolf and Convel, slipped away, and somehow this incident occurred with Dimitri.”

“How do we get from two of your elite hunters fighting with us, to betraying us, kidnapping the very man who saved their lives, torturing him and murdering our children?” Francesca demanded.

Rolf looked around the room at the posturing warriors and shook his head. “I do not have an answer for you. I can only reiterate we did not come here to start a war. We came in peace to build an alliance with you. An alliance between us would benefit not only your species, but ours and humans as well. Allow me to step outside and make a call to Zev. I’ll get to the bottom of this.”

“Why do you need permission for anything from those who harbor the Sange rau?” Lowell, the guard who had insisted there was no proof of the attack on the children, demanded. His raised his voice, a belligerent sneer adding fuel to the fire. “Look at them, living in the mountains, hiding from the world. They think they have the power to dictate to us, but they are nothing at all. We don’t need them. No Lycan would kill a child.” He looked around at his fellow guards. “They have contrived this story in order to have reason to kill us all.”

A murmur of agreement nearly ignited Rafael into action. He made a move, his hands coming up, but Zacarias glanced at him, his face set in stone and Rafael subsided.

“Lowell,” Rolf said, his voice firming. “You will remain silent.”

“It is my duty to keep you and all council members safe,” Lowell insisted. “I have a job to do, and while I respect your authority, in this instance, I believe that it is important to save you from yourself.”

The majority of the guards seemed to agree, nodding their heads, or simply drawing more weapons.

Mikhail, you must leave now, Gregori insisted. This is getting out of hand. Lowell is deliberately turning the other Lycans against us. He wants to start a fight. Your safety is too important to risk you.

Perhaps that is so, Mikhail agreed, but once I leave the room, a fight will start. I don’t want to give up yet. Rolf is an honorable man. Not only do I sense that, but Ivory confirmed my belief, and you know she is extraordinary.

Gabriel moved up to Francesca’s side. Lucian, his twin, slipped through the ranks of the De La Cruz brothers to join his brother in protecting Francesca.

“You will stand down, Lowell,” Rolf ordered. “All of you. We are not going to escalate this without knowing all the facts.” He returned his attention to Francesca. “I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling, but I promise you, I will get answers.”

Francesca looked into his eyes for what seemed an eternity before she nodded her head and turned to bury her grief-stricken face against Gabriel’s shoulder. As Gabriel turned away from the Lycans, his arm around his lifemate, Lowell lifted his sword, executing a fast, fluid sweep at the two Carpathians.

Lucian was faster. The legendary Carpathian met sword with sword, parrying away the blow so that Gabriel and Francesca were unharmed. The sound of metal clashing ignited the room.

Josef sank back on his heels, trying not to sob. He had no idea how Dimitri thought to save Skyler, but there was no real life in her body. She lay as if dead, her eyes open and staring, yet they were not her eyes. Not her spirit. Paul had packed each bullet entry with rich soil in an effort to stop the bleeding. The bullets were silver, designed to kill a rogue wolf or the Sange rau. Josef had a mad desire to cut the silver out of Skyler’s body. Even that seemed an abomination to him.

He looked at Paul’s grief-stricken face and then down at his body. “You’ve been shot,” he announced, as if it was news. He realized he was in shock. Of course he knew Paul had been shot. He had been shot. Dimitri and Skyler had been shot. The Lycans were out for business. He looked around him, feeling dazed and a little dizzy. “They’ve surrounded us.”

“Yeah, I noticed,” Paul said. “I think they intend to bring in a nuke.” He took Skyler’s limp hand in his and stretched out beside her. “Go to ground, Josef. You can heal yourself in the ground. Skyler would want that.”

“I’m not going to ground until I fix your wounds as best I can and see if Skyler comes back.”

Josef choked several times, clearing his throat repeatedly, determined not to break down and cry. He wanted Paul to believe there was still a chance to save Skyler. He didn’t believe for a moment that Skyler could come back from the dead and judging by Dimitri’s crazy choices, he feared the Carpathian would turn from Guardian to Sange rau and everyone would be in trouble. The thought terrified him. He could never defeat Dimitri in battle, not even a weak, starved, tortured Dimitri, but he couldn’t leave Paul to face him alone—or face Skyler’s death alone.

Skyler’s body jerked so unexpectedly both men nearly jumped out of their skin. Josef caught her hand. It was ice-cold—cold enough to make him shiver. Wherever she was, she didn’t inhabit the body lying between them.

See to Paul’s wounds.

Dimitri’s voice in his head made him jump nearly as much as Skyler’s awkward jerk. He sounded far away and strained as if whatever he was doing was costing him dearly.

What are you doing? Josef demanded. Dimitri, possessing Skyler’s body won’t bring her back.

I have found her spirit. It is still warm. If her human body undergoes the conversion, I have a chance to thrust her spirit back into her body. She has consented, given me her complete trust.

Prev Next
Free Novels Read Online | Read Wuxia Novel | Read Xianxia Novel