Dark Wolf Page 63

The Lycan guard fighting with Dimitri attempted to shift to his half man, half wolf form, but Dimitri was too fast, using the speed of the Hän ku pesäk kaikak. He slammed his elbow repeatedly into the Lycan’s face. The wolf’s head fell back, eyes rolling in his head.

“Catch,” Makoce tossed a pair of handcuffs through the air.

Dimitri remembered to coat his hands at the last moment, realizing the cuffs were silver. Uncaring that the traitor’s arm and wrist were broken, he held him down with one knee pressed tightly into the small of his back.

The Lycan snarled and raged, howled in pain and fought to free himself. Dimitri pulled both arms behind him, slamming the handcuffs tightly around the wolf’s wrist. The assassin let out a high-pitched scream.

Fen reached for Zev, afraid they had lost him in the explosion. Are you alive? Come on, man, give me something.

There was a moment of silence. Fen counted his own heartbeats, waiting for Zev to answer. He felt a faint stirring in his mind and relief flooded him.

I’m in a little trouble, Fen, Zev admitted. I’ve got a piece of table through me and I’m not going to lie, it hurts like hell. If I pull it out, I’ll bleed out before you can get to me.

Well, I guess you’d better not be foolish enough to pull it out then, because I’d be royally pissed off if you died. What were you doing? Fen cautiously moved part of the shield above their heads. Debris fell into the hole. Playing hero again? Did you fling your body over the council member while his bodyguards were down here trying to kill us?

Something like that. I can’t tell if Arno’s alive or not. He isn’t moving. I can’t even feel him breathing. But then I can’t exactly get off of him either. I’m probably smothering him. There was a faint note of humor in Zev’s voice in spite of the pain.

“Skyler, I’m going to need your skills as a healer,” Fen announced. “It might be ugly up there, but I have no choice. Zev’s in trouble.”

Skyler came back into her own body, swaying with weakness, answering the urgent call in Fen’s voice. She had managed to repair most of the damage to Daciana’s body. “She needs blood,” she announced.

Andre helped her to stand. You need blood, too, little sister, he said. Allow me to shield you while you take what you need.

Skyler knew she would never be able to help Zev if she wasn’t strong enough. Healing took a tremendous amount of energy, but she’d never fed by herself before, not unless it was from Dimitri, and he’d reacted very strongly to her taking blood from another male.

He’s right, sívamet, he has asked my permission and I gave it. I will need all my energy to battle the Sange rau, Dimitri encouraged. If you feel you cannot, I’ll help you.

Skyler was well past being reluctant to feed, especially under the circumstances. She felt the urgency of Fen’s request. He would never put her in harm’s way unless the situation was dire. Worse, she actually liked Zev. She might still be a little angry with him, but it was impossible not to respect him.

It is given freely. Andre shielded her from the sight of the Lycans as he offered his wrist.

Thank you, Andre. I accept your offering. She took his hand and sank her teeth into his vein.

Fen looked across the small shelter to his brother. “You’ll have to keep them off our backs. I’ll join you as fast as I can. They’ll be coming to inspect the damage.”

“By them,” Randall said, “you mean the snipers, the Sange rau.” He made it a statement.

“I’ll go with you,” Makoce volunteered. “You can’t face two of them alone.”

Dimitri shook his head. “You’re one of few we trust. We need you here, protecting the rest of the council members.”

“Are you ready, Skyler?” Fen demanded.

She closed the small wound in Andre’s wrist. “Yes.”

“Andre, I’ll need you here to make certain no one else decides to kill off the council members while we’re out of the way,” Fen said. “I can send a couple of others down to help you.”

Andre raised an eyebrow, but didn’t reply.

Dimitri stepped over the handcuffed assassin and followed Fen and Skyler up to the ground above them. The meeting hall was mostly rubble. Two bodies lay ripped apart a few feet from the entrance to the shelter, as if they’d been running for safety. Skyler coughed and covered her mouth and nose. Floating particles of wood, dirt and stone turned the air in what was left of the room to a thick, gray ash.

Fen rushed around the bodies toward the far wall where he spotted Zev’s leg sticking out from under what appeared to be scrap wood. The table was shredded, great jagged splinters of wood as thick as a man’s arm pointed to the ceiling like spears.

Skyler’s heart accelerated, slamming hard against her chest when she saw Fen stop, his hands around one of the spears. Breaking into a run, she flashed by the dead bodies without looking at them and found herself kneeling beside Zev, shoving one fist into her mouth to keep from sobbing.

She was a healer and all they had, but she was no miracle worker. Zev’s body lay sprawled over Arno. The elite hunter had wrapped his arms around the council member, protecting him from the flying wood. He must have tried to use the tables as a shield, knocking them over to their sides, both men diving behind them.

Arno turned his head cautiously toward them as Skyler knelt beside him. “Is he alive? I can’t tell but I’ve been afraid to move, afraid I’d make it worse.”

Blood from Zev’s wound coated Arno’s back, but otherwise, he appeared unhurt. Skyler glanced up at Fen’s grim face. “Barely,” she answered.

“I’m going to slip you out from under him,” Fen told Arno. “Slide sideways and try not to bump him.”

I can’t do this alone. I’ll need help, Skyler said. I’m calling Tatijana and Branislava. I’ve warned them about the danger of the two snipers. They know to come in without form.

She glanced around the room. Fen would have to help Dimitri. He couldn’t possibly fight two Sange rau alone. The prince had to be guarded, and someone had to get the remaining council members and Daciana to safety. Still . . .

“I know you need the warriors, Fen, but I’ll need a couple for blood. Can you pull back Lucian and Gabriel from what they’re doing?”

“I doubt it, but I’ll try.”

“I can give him blood,” Arno volunteered. “What the hell is going on?”

“Lycans have attacked us from nearly every direction,” Fen told him. “With them are the snipers we believe are Sange rau. Both of your elite guards tried to kill council members.”

“Fen, hurry,” Skyler hissed. They couldn’t worry about what was going on politically or outside the shredded walls of the building, not if they were going to save Zev’s life.

Fen nodded curtly and sent a cushion of air between Zev and Arno, lifting the body away from the council member without jarring it. Arno shifted his weight carefully, easing out from under the floating, wounded, elite hunter. As soon as he was clear, he scrambled back on all fours, his face a mask of concern.

The moment he saw the large stake going through Zev’s body, he turned white, his eyes going wide with shock. “He can’t possibly be alive,” he said.

Zev’s eyelashes fluttered but didn’t lift. “I’m alive,” he whispered, his voice hoarse with pain. “I’m just not certain I want to be.”

Tatijana and Branislava materialized on either side of Skyler. Tatijana gently touched Skyler in sympathy as they assessed the situation.

“One of us will have to hold him to us,” Tatijana said.

“I can try,” Skyler agreed reluctantly. “I’ve got a connection with him.”

“I’ll do it,” Branislava announced. She leaned over Zev and took his hand gently. You remember me, right, Zev? We danced together. It was a beautiful moment in my life and I’ll treasure it always. We shared blood to bond and to be able to speak telepathically. Allow me to bind your spirit to mine. I’ll keep you safe while my sister and Skyler heal you.

I remember you. Zev’s spirit was already fading, slipping away from them, as his life’s blood drained out on the floor. The shock to his body was tremendous. My beautiful dream lady.

Branislava reached for his spirit, that fading light, and surrounded it with her own. Her spirit was strong and bright and she corralled the flickering insubstantial spirit that remained of Zev so that the two spirits melded together. She wove her light through his to bind him to her.

We can make our own dream right here, together, while they work on your body. You won’t have to feel it or think of what they’re doing, only stay here with me. Stay with me.

Skyler looked at Fen, her heart pounding nearly out of control, her mouth dry. She had Tatijana beside her and that gave her courage, but she knew they all believed she was a great healer. She didn’t have the experience, or the training. They were on their own. A coordinated attack on the Carpathians required every warrior and woman to defend their homeland.

She took one breath and nodded her head. “Do it,” she said.

Fen pulled the stake from Zev’s body. Blood gushed. Tatijana was ready with her hands, pressing them deeply into the wound, light bursting out from under her palms. Skyler shed her body and entered Zev’s, working fast to repair the damage.

The stake had torn through layers of muscle and organ. There were splinters throughout the wound and the tip had actually penetrated through Zev’s abdomen, as well as crashing through two ribs. How he managed to stay alive, she had no idea. For a moment she hesitated, not knowing where to start. His body was a mess.

Dimitri. He had been with her all along, merged deep, so much a part of her. His belief in her always gave her confidence and she needed that now.

Save his life, Dimitri said. It’s what you were born to do. Save him, csitri. He is needed in this world.

Just the sound of his voice soothed her, righted her world, and she began, choosing the edges of the great hole to start closing that terrible gap.

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