The Savage Grace Page 6

“Like telepathy?” My brain was running much too slow this morning. But it couldn’t be any later than six a.m., so I didn’t blame myself for being so sluggish running on less than three hours of sleep. But there was a much quicker thought—too quick to be my own—that flitted through my mind. If you were a wolf, you could communicate with Daniel, too. You could be together.

“No,” Ryan said. “We can’t read each other’s thoughts.”

“Thank God,” I heard Zach mumble. He and Marcos had edged closer to the porch.

“All animals have their ways of communicating,” Brent said. “Facial expressions, vocalizations, and such, but with the alpha, it’s more like a feeling. Sometimes it manifests as images or impressions. But mostly, it’s like we feel what he feels.”

I mulled that over quietly in my head for a moment.

“What does he feel?” I finally asked, even though I was afraid I already knew the answer.

Ryan and Brent exchanged a look, but I couldn’t read the meaning of it.

Marcos stepped forward. “He loves you very much,” he said in his Brazilian accent. “He wants us to keep you safe … but at the same time, it feels like part of him is … I don’t know quite how to say it. Like part of him is leaving.”

I nodded and bit my lip. That is exactly what I’d been afraid to hear. I didn’t need to be one of his wolves to be able to feel that a part of him—the part that was Daniel—was going away.

You can’t stop him. Not as a weak human, the monster in my head growled. I hated how often I heard its voice now. My hand went to my neck, hoping to clasp my moonstone to help sooth the beast away. But of course the stone wasn’t there anymore. Caleb had smashed it against a wall in his warehouse, along with most of my hope that we were ever going to escape his evil plan.

I’d worn that pendant every day for almost a year, and I kept forgetting it wasn’t there anymore until I’d reach for it. And then my neck would just feel empty and bare without it. In my dreams, Daniel kept telling me that he’d given me the moonstone to help me stay in control—to help me stay human. And sometimes now I wondered if I had the strength to stay myself without it.…

“That’s it!” I jumped out of the swing and practically knocked Brent over. “Oh my goodness, I think I know the answer.”

I ran down the porch steps, my hands to my head like I was trying to hold in my racing thoughts so they couldn’t escape. Brent, Ryan, Marcos, and Zach bounded up to me. Even Slade came closer, standing at the edge of the yard now.

“I keep seeing Daniel in my dreams—the same dream over and over again. What if he’s trying to tell me something? What if I’m feeling what he feels? What he wants me to feel? He and I could be connected somehow, too. So what if he’s trying to tell me how to help him?”

“It’s plausible,” Brent said.

“What is he trying to tell you?” Marcos asked.

“My moonstone!” I jogged down the driveway, once again ignoring Gabriel’s warning about running on my fragile ankle. I had to get to the parish. I had to tell Gabriel and my father what I’d realized. The boys followed after me. “In my dreams, I keep reliving a memory where Daniel keeps telling me that my moonstone will help me stay human. But what if he’s really trying to tell me that a moonstone is what he needs to turn him back into a human?”

Could it really be that easy? Why hadn’t gabriel thought of it before me?

My hand went instinctively to my neck again to clasp my moonstone pendant—the thing that could save Daniel—and once again I was caught by surprise that it wasn’t there.

“No!” I practically howled and stopped in my tracks. I should have known there was no easy answer.

Every moonstone I’d ever known to exist had now been destroyed.

Unless…

I closed my eyes and thought through every moment of that dream about Daniel and me in the Garden of Angels: the sketchbook. Daniel’s tender kiss on my skin. His warm fingers lingering on my moonstone pendant. The pendant that was half the stone Daniel used to wear before it had been broken by…

The beautiful image of Daniel in my head suddenly shifted to one of my most horrible memories—the night Jude fell to the werewolf curse. The night he infected me and almost succeeded in killing Daniel. Jude had pursued us on to the roof of the parish. He’d confronted Daniel, but Daniel had refused to fight. Anxiety ached in my muscles as I remembered the way Daniel had removed his moonstone necklace—the only thing keeping him from going wolf in the light of the full moon—and offered it to Jude. Begged him to take the stone.

I remembered how for a second it looked like Jude was going to take the moonstone, like all was going to be well. As I watched the memory replay in my head, I knew what was going to happen. I remembered the way I’d screamed when Jude took the stone and pitched it from the roof of the parish, and it disappeared into the dark void beyond the roof.…

And then it all clicked. My eyes popped open. I knew exactly what my dreams had been trying to tell me.

Half a moonstone!

“Daniel was only able to find half the moonstone that Jude threw from that roof … and I might just know where to find the other half.”

Chapter Three

HOPE STONE

FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER, OUTSIDE THE PARISH

I stood in the cold, dead grass in the churchyard near the willow tree where Daniel and I used to share occasional picnics after Sunday service. Dad and Gabriel sat on the parish steps. The five boys stood behind me—they’d insisted on coming along, which was good since I was going to need all the help I could get. No doubt they were all wondering why I’d been staring up at the roof of the parish for the last few minutes like a total loon. Only one member of our little group was still missing, and I was taking advantage of what time I had left to gather my thoughts before I shared my revelation with the others.

I heard the screech of brakes in the parking lot. I could smell April’s pear-scented perfume as soon as she got out of the car—along with another mixture of scents, like maple, donuts, and … bacon?

“What’s the big emergency?” she asked as she came up to me. Her voice sounded oddly chipper for six thirty a.m. on a Saturday.

I took my eyes off the parish’s roof for a second to glance at her. I’d given the others only a ten-minute warning to meet me. Dad had creases on his face like he’d fallen asleep at his desk in the parish’s office with only a book for a pillow. Gabriel was just as bleary-eyed, but April looked like she was headed out to the Megaplex in Apple Valley on a Friday night with perfectly placed curls, jewelry, makeup, and an outfit that looked like it was straight off a mannequin at the Gap. I, on the other hand, was still clad in my red pajama pants and shirt under my jacket.

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