Out of Darkness Ch. 17bylilgirlsix©
The end has come for this series. I hope I've been able to answer most of your questions, although maybe not all. But fear not, I have plans for the future. One of my plans is to re-work Wolf's Pet a bit. So if you see it being posted again, it will be the re-edits. Also, there may be some surprises in store for you in the coming months. When I write something that is more in the middle of these various storylines, I'll put in the tag line which story it is a part of.
As always, a huge thank you to Archangel_M! What would I do without you AA?
Please enjoy, vote, and comment if you feel the urge.
Nevada -- Present Day
Kelly slumped back into her chair, exhausted. Orsolya sat next to her, taking her hand and patting it softly. "You were amazing, my dear, just amazing."
"It's over." Jenna stood looking at her sisters, a smile spreading slowly across her face. "Erobos won't threaten us ever again."
"Grandmother, what do we..." Orsolya spun around in the chair. "Grandmother!" Orsolya jumped to her feet. "She's gone. She's gone." Orsolya slowly returned to her chair. "Grandmother, please, come back!" She whispered in the direction where her grandmother had last been.
Jenna came over to Orsolya and knelt in front of her. "She's not gone for good, Orsolya. She'll be back if we ever need her again."
"How can you be so sure?" Orsolya was on the verge of tears. She'd felt as if she'd lost her grandmother all over again.
"Because she's here with me." Jenna pointed to her heart and smiled. "I think she's always been with me, but I never realized it. I do now, and I know how to ask for her guidance if we need it in the future."
Kelly got up without anyone noticing and stood at the window looking out at the sky. The winter sun had almost passed beyond the mountains. Why did she suddenly feel the urgent need to run? She looked down at her hands, turning them over and over. In her mind's eye she saw them as huge furred paws with deadly claws. But they were still human hands. Hurry, Drago. I need you here so badly. I feel funny.
I'll be there as soon as I can, baby. I promise. I have one more job to do.
Almost everyone from the Baxter and Bertrand/Kardos packs were outside waiting for the return of their fighters. They already knew the outcome, but they wanted to welcome their heroes. The two packs, along with the panthers, had beaten the odds and destroyed their enemy once and for all.
The full moon above portended a new future. For many years their numbers had dwindled. But now, there were many new cubs expected in the fall; it was the dawn of a new day for the Baxter Pack and the were as a whole.
A cheer went up from the gathered Omegas when they saw the headlights in the distance. The long line of SUV's drove slowly into the compound and were immediately surrounded by family and friends.
There was another group waiting silently outside the hospital entrance. They watched for the line of cars that would break off and pull in to deliver their wounded comrades. Sarah stood with her arm protectively around Karen who stood wringing her hands. Karen knew that Cole would live, but he'd come so close to death, she had to see him to reassure herself he wouldn't leave her.
The first SUV stopped and was quickly met by the waiting medical team. Jeff had his stethoscope out immediately and heard the loud, regular heartbeat in the chest of the big chocolate wolf. He turned around, spotting Karen, and smiled. "Let's get him into the treatment room." Jeff stepped to his next patient, shouting out orders as he triaged the wounded.
I think I had some help, but I made it back to you pet. You won't be rid of me for a long, long time. The sparkling green eyes sought out their mate and found her. Her face lit up when she met his gaze.
Karen grinned and hugged Sarah. "I'm fine now, Sarah. Go find James. I know you're dying to."
Sarah returned the hug and dashed off. She knew where he'd be. The patrol cars were escorting the dead to the other side of the hospital. She stopped running when she saw the blue and amber lights flashing. I'll wait for you.
Thank you, baby. I won't be long.
James, Steve, Troy, and Trey somberly carried the bodies of their dead to the area where they would await their final sendoff to their ancestors. Sarah backed into a dark corner as Carr arrived with Nathan. She watched with appreciation as the Alpha went to each of his fallen Betas and touched them, saying something quietly into each one's ear. It was only the Baxter Pack that had lost fighters. She was thankful there weren't many, but any was more than they'd hoped for. Carr spoke with each of his on-duty officers before walking away, Nathan right behind him.
Sarah cocked her head. She knew Brett was okay, so why was Nathan acting as second? Very odd. But she really didn't care. She just wanted, no, needed to touch James to know he was fine. She was practically dancing around with anticipation as she waited for James to be finished with his duties.
While she waited for her mate, Sarah saw Lee walk purposefully towards Carr, never showing the emotion that Sarah was sure filled her heart as much as the rest of the females that had waited for their mates to return. The Alphas still had their duties to attend to before they could be selfish and think of themselves. Sarah smiled when she saw Carr take Lee's hand in his. They stopped walking for a moment, and she saw Nathan nod his head and walk away. Sarah knew their final duty for the night was to meet with the families of the dead. A tear fell down her cheek as she thought of them.
I'm glad I don't have that job. It's hard enough to face you after a fight, much less parents and mates of the fallen.
Sarah whirled around and threw herself into James' arms. She hadn't even realized how worried she'd been until this very moment. But now, feeling his arms tighten around her, she felt nothing but relief running through her. She almost melted into his embrace, and every bit of her body that touched his felt like it molded to fit his perfectly. "And I always thought being married to a cop would be horribly nerve-wracking. Being mated to a werewolf who's a cop is even worse!"
"Ha! Well it's a good thing this werewolf cop is tuckered out, 'cuz with the full moon, if you weren't already pregnant, you sure would be after tonight!" His hands traveled over her body which he'd grown to know and love so well in the last few months.
Sarah looked up into the brightening sky. "Guess we've all been so preoccupied we didn't even realize it."
"You're just easily distracted. Most of the pack remembered, but we had to ignore it. There will still be a few out tonight."
"Who could possibly have enough energy to go on a hunt tonight?"
"Remember our first hunt under the full moon?" James pushed Sarah's long black hair out of the way so he could inhale her scent. He closed his eyes and nuzzled her neck, his teeth just barely nipping at the scar from her mating bite.
Sarah shivered when she felt his teeth and remembered that first full moon. "I remember." She whispered as she moved her head, hoping to invite him to bite down a little harder. Her hands found her way to his arms, sliding along his hot skin.
His fingers slipped slowly across her skin where his teeth had just grazed. "That first mating under the full moon is what seals a mating bond. So any new mates will be out there tonight, tired or not."
Sarah felt a long, jagged wound on James' arm. "Well we are headed to the hospital to get this tended to, and then we're going to our place to spend the night alone. No hunting for us tonight." She took hold of his arms and spun him around towards the hospital.
"Yes, ma'am. Anything you say, ma'am." James grinned ear to ear. He liked it when Sarah thought she was in control.
Zsigmond looked up at the rising moon, so bright in the sky. He gazed at his son, still throwing rocks into the pit that held the remains of the creature that had once been Erobos. He had destroyed so many lives in the last thousand years, but his reign of terror and destruction was over. It was a new day for the were, both in America and Europe. It was a new day for his family, his son. "That is enough, Drago. Even the carrion eaters didn't want him when he was alive; I doubt they'll want him now that he's dead.
They had sat in awe as the coyote had come down from the hills, sniffed at the dying dire wolf and slowly backed away, not daring to turn their backs until they had reached a suitable distance. Vultures and crows had landed, pecked once, and flown off to find other food.
Zsigmond had thought the idea a good one, but the scavengers weren't playing by the usual rules. He had finally decided he just couldn't wait forever. "Drago, would you start collecting rocks? I'll watch him." He waited as his son dutifully stood up and went searching for rocks to throw on top of the makeshift grave.
Zsigmond climbed off the boulder where he'd been seated and moved slowly towards the still-breathing thing tied spread-eagled on the ground. His stomach had been flayed open, and the two limbs that Leo had nicked with his teeth were quickly becoming gangrenous from the panther saliva that was poisonous to dire wolves. The muscles in his neck had been severed, so he couldn't move his head. His throat had been slashed and he'd bled out almost all of his blood, but still he drew breath.
Drago was newly mated. He needed to finish their mating tonight or wait another month to the next full moon. Zsigmond thought his son deserved to live a normal life. He deserved his chance at fathering cubs. As far as Zsigmond was concerned, the sooner the better. Waiting here tonight would delay that. He had thought the animals would finish the job for them while making Erobos suffer more than he had already. But such was not to be.
Zsigmond knelt down next to the shaggy black head. He leaned in close to the wolf's ear and whispered. "You tried to destroy my family, but you failed. We have survived. We have thrived. And my son will carry on my family line. What sons have you fathered, Erobos?" He smiled when he saw the pained look. "You have failed. You are a failure. You have left nothing to carry on for you. And your life is now over."
Zsigmond stood up as the black eyes followed his every move. He held the shovel high above his head and brought it down with tremendous force, slicing through the dire wolf's neck in one motion, separating the head from the body. The head of the dragon!
I know why you did it, father. Thank you.
Zsigmond turned slowly and gave his son a small smile. "Let's bury this filth and get home. Your mate will be impatient."
Rebecca and Danielle stood on their tip-toes and looked out the window when they saw the reflection of the light bars from the patrol cars. They waited until the cars had left the back of the hospital before racing out the door to find their mates, turning long enough to wave a quick good-bye to their sister panthers.
Orsolya wiped her tears and gave Jenna a long, lingering hug that was really meant for her grandmother. She knew that Jenna understood. She caught a familiar scent in the air and smiled. "My big brown wolf has returned to me, once and for all. No more shadows from the past for us." She hugged each of her remaining sisters and flew to his arms.
Guillame felt her leap into his embrace and laughed as he twirled her around. "It's over, it's finally over." He whispered in her ear. He felt an overpowering urge to inhale deeply, the intoxicating scents of lilac and birch going straight to his brain. His eyes focused on his flame-haired kitten. He couldn't keep from smiling.
"What are you looking at, Guillame?" Orsolya looked behind her but didn't see anything unusual. "Is something funny?"
"It's the full moon, my love."
"Yes, I know. My panther feels the pull. But you must be so tired." She could see the slightly feral look to his beautiful eyes. "What are you thinking?"
"Haven't you noticed?" He laughed at her look of confusion. "My wolf noticed as soon as we walked in the building."
Orsolya didn't understand what he was talking about.
My love, you are in heat. And my wolf and I would very much like to have more cubs. We are ready. Are you?
Orsolya gasped, her hand flying to her mouth in surprise. This prompted a few strange looks from those still in attendance.
"Orsolya, are you alright?" Jenna looked for something that could have surprised her friend. From the mischievous look on Guillame's face, it was obviously something her mate had said through their bond.
Orsolya began to giggle.
We have not had a cub in many years. I would like to have another.
Orsolya was surprised at her panther's admission. She had thought the panther was disinterested in any more cubs. She had never brought up the subject.
Only because it distressed you so. And we had no mate for so long. Now that we are with him again, I would like to have a little one, perhaps a male this time.
Orsolya blushed and looked at her beloved Guillame. I would love to have more cubs with you, Guillame!
Guillame swept Orsolya into his arms and strode through the house, a spring in his step he hadn't felt in decades.
Katy and Jenna were still giggling when Rhys and Alistair arrived in the room.
The two males looked at their mates and exchanged confused shrugs of the shoulders.
"We will be having a quick meeting with the Alphas, other than Guillame, I suppose. Then we will be free for the evening." Alistair gazed longingly at his beautiful mate. But something, he wasn't sure what, something was slightly different.
Rhys sat down with a loud plop and pulled Katy into his lap.
She sighed and leaned back, holding his arms that he had wrapped tightly around her waist. "I'm so glad it's over."
"Yes, we must decide what we will do now." Rhys absent-mindedly stroked her long red hair. The silky smooth feel of it between his fingers was mesmerizing. When was the last time they'd had some quiet time to be alone? He couldn't remember. So much had happened since the day they had met just a few short months ago. So much.
"Do?" She pushed herself a little away from his arms so she could twist in his lap. "What do you mean, what we will do?"
"Where we will go next. The Archivist travels to gain knowledge of the different packs. That is my duty to the Council. Had you forgotten, little one?" He could feel the tension in her body.
She relaxed her body into his and leaned back. "I had forgotten. I'm sorry, Rhys. I just naturally thought that now that we had the Seven Sisters we would stay together."
Kelly had forgotten the others in the room until she heard Katy talking about the Seven Sisters. She pulled herself away from the window where she had been staring at the moon. "No, Drago and I are going to live with my grandfather's pack, in Idaho."
Jenna noticed the almost hysterical pitch to Kelly's voice. "Don't worry, my dear. We haven't forgotten. When the Seven Sisters need to be reunited, we'll find a way." Jenna gave her a quick wink.
Alistair cocked his head. That didn't sound like Jenna. He'd never heard her speak to one of the women in that way, calling them "my dear".
Jenna saw his strange expression and stifled her own laugh. I'll explain later, my love. I have so much to tell you.
Indeed? Alistair raised an eyebrow and smiled. He had a feeling a great deal had happened in this room that he had not been privy to. He hoped she would share it all with him.
I promise not to leave out a thing!
Tracy sat so quietly in the corner that they had all forgotten she was even there. But as soon as Konstantin arrived, the little blond was suddenly a different person, animated and lively. She giggled when he tickled her before squeezing her between his big arms in a long hug.
"Now that the drama is over, and I am staying in America, we must decide where to live, můj anděl." He tucked her under his arm as he gazed at her lovingly, his steel grey eyes meeting hers. She was so tiny he always worried that he could crush her by accident. He was always very careful of his anděl.
Tracy gave him a worried look. "I'd always hoped we would stay here. My friends are here. Where would we go?"
"I don't know. I know no one but those I've met here. I just thought you would like to find your own place to live. We can live anywhere we want. A member of the Council owes no allegiance to any one pack. We can live with a pack, or away by ourselves, if we so choose. I will leave the choice to you, můj anděl."
"May we stay here?" She looked up at her silver-maned mate hopefully.
The tall were dropped to his knees so he could look up into his mate's lovely grey eyes. "I will ask for permission from the Alpha, můj anděl. My life is wherever you are, so if this is where you wish to be, I will move heaven and earth to make it so." He took her small hand gently in his large one and brought it to his lips, kissing it lightly, as he watched her beautiful face light up.
Tracy blushed a bright crimson as her fellow panthers giggled behind her and waved imaginary fans in front of their faces.
"Now why can't you be that romantic, Rhys?" Katy playfully hit his arm with a balled-up fist, then shook it as she silently mouthed the word "ow."
"I am at my most romantic when we are alone, little one. Unless you would like me to show my love more in public. I am more than willing to take my mate right here in the house." He mockingly leered at her and took a step closer, his hand at his pants zipper.
She laughed as she put out her hand to tell him to stop. "I think I like my romance more in private, thank you."
"As you wish, little one. As you wish." Rhys winked at Alistair as he sat down, pulling his mate back into his lap to wait for the rest of the Alphas and Council members to arrive.
Sandalio sauntered through the hallways, his voice reverberating through the large rooms as he spoke on his cellphone. "¿En serio? ¡Qué maravilla! Estoy tan feliz por ti, Álvaro. Sé que tú y tu pareja se Alphas espléndidas. Te llamaré más tarde para más detalles."
The tall Spaniard had a wide smile on his face as he entered the room and found a seat. He grinned as he looked at his friends. "Isn't it wonderful?" He saw their blank stares. "What? You don't think it is wonderful?"
"Sandalio, unless you would like us to use "Google Translate", we have no idea what you're talking about." Alistair thought his friend must be having a nervous breakdown brought on by the stress of not sleeping enough. When he wasn't in meetings with the Alphas or on his cellphone with his Council, he was playing with Julia, the Baxter female who had caught his attention.
"I am so sorry. I was just speaking with Álvaro. He has informed me that about fifteen minutes ago the Sardinian pack, as a whole, felt their Alpha bonds dissolve. So I assume that means that Erobos is finally dead. A few moments later, they bonded with a new Alpha, and that is what is so wonderful." Sandalio could not believe they didn't understand the implications. "They have bonded with Álvaro. He is the new Alpha of the Sardinian pack. Of course he will be hard for me to replace, but I think it is well deserved."
Alistair cracked a grin. "Yes, Sandalio, I agree, it is a wonderful thing."
"And with the death of Erobos, I believe I am no longer needed here. So I will be leaving in the morning. I have just one more bit of business with Carr before I leave."
Alistair watched the Spaniard closely. For the first time since they had known each other, Alistair thought that Sandalio seemed nervous.