Asher’s voice faded in and out of the mind-link, undoubtedly because he had joined the fight. I could hear the anger and exhilaration in his voice, and my heartrate skyrocketed as anxiety took hold.
My skin flushed a bright shade of red, and I slipped my jacket off as I fidgeted. Each mile felt like hours, and by the time the mile marker for our town appeared, I was nearing explosion.
Sean talked over our plan on the way home, but I had zoned out for most of the conversation. While I was physically seated in a moving vehicle, I was with Asher the entire time.
Our bond burned brightly within me, reminding me that he was still alive–still safe, for now.
Sean pulled over at a small gas station on the outskirts of town. The lights in the little cube-shaped building were off, and not a single person was in sight.
This gas station was technically off of Asher’s territory, but it was close enough to need evacuation. I flashed Tristan a grateful glance as I looked at the deserted store.
While the rest of Asher’s men, Sean, Mason, and I headed into battle, Tristan would get Holly to safety. It was a last-minute idea, but I plugged the address to Breyona’s late Aunt’s house into the GPS. Breyona had once been visiting Giovanni there, and it seemed fitting to use the house again.
I passed the keys to Tristan with a hard look in my eyes. I was trusting him, more than I ever wanted to. First, I trusted him with my life, and now, my half-sisters. Even though I hardly knew the girl, I knew she deserved better than this life.
Tristan peeled off down the road, with a pale looking Holly in the passenger seat. Sean had reminded him to stay away from the main roads, and to avoid the werewolves at any cost.
The rest of us slipped into the woods. Maya had been unconscious for the entire drive, building up strength from the constant contact with silver. I managed to make her stir, and grimaced as she yawned loudly.
“Not enough time to explain, but it’s time to wake up.” I called out to her. “The fight is happening now, and were about to head right into it.”
“I expect the full story later.” She replied, and I grimaced as the bones in my body began to shift.
I hadn’t been able to shift while being held prisoner at my Father’s, so the process was uncomfortable. My muscles stretched, my bones cracked, and my teeth elongated.
I resisted the urge to scratch at my skin as large tufts of hair emerged. Once I was on four feet, I followed Sean, Mason and the rest of the warriors into the forest. Our feet thundered against the damp earth, kicking up bits of dirt and grass.
My tongue rolled out as a huff left my snout. Not exercising for a week hadn’t done me any favors. I pushed myself harder, feeling the burn in my muscles as I kept up with Sean and Mason.
I could hear the fighting, and smell the tang of blood before I could see anything. Snarls, growls, and yelps–both wolf and vampire, filled the air. The scent of blood overwhelmed everything else.
I could no longer smell the wet earth, or the warm breeze th at brushed through our fur. The metallic scent was everywhere.
The battle spanned through the forest, into a large clearing, and partially inside of town. We emerged out of the forest and onto the outskirts of town. Only a few houses sat out here, along with a small farm.
The entire fight was mayhem, bodies scattered along the ground, most still leaking fresh blood.
There were no lines to tell one side from another. Some werewolves still fought in human form, using elongated claws and canines to kill their enemies. Others shifted and fought, teeth snapping as they clamored at the Vampire’s.
‘Asher?’ I called out, ‘Where are you?’
A few seconds of silence passed, until his voice flowed through my mind. Even with the situation at hand, Asher managed to sound playful, “In the middle of it all, where else?”
His voice sent a rush of warmth through me, calming my nerves and clearing my addled mind.
Asher’s men were skilled, both strong and fast. His troops were able to take on multiple Vampire’s at once, but I had underestimated my Father’s number of followers.
Some of the Vampire’s looked younger than me, yet they fought for their lives. I wondered how many of them actually wanted to fight, and how many were forced.
We leapt into the fight without hesitation, sinking our teeth into any Vampire that raised a hand against us. The unmistakable flash of silver shined throughout the battle, but I kept my gaze ahead. I knew Asher’s wolf without needing ever see it.
My eyes were locked on one wolf in particular. Larger than the rest, its fur was the color of midnight. Asher’s honey-colored eyes were reflected in his wolf’s. Sean, Mason, and I killed our way through the Vampire’s, making it to Asher’s side. The numbers continued to dwindle, but I couldn’t tell which side was winning.
My heart hammered, and a skin-crawling sensation ran over my skin. There were so many, so many dead bodies. Each lifeless face was a person, someone who had a family. That fact didn’t change my pace, nor my ferocity.
‘Where’s Breyona and Giovanni?’ I shouted through the mind-link, locking eyes with Asher’s midnight wolf. I dodged a silver knife thrown by one of the Vampire’s, snarling as it whizzed past my ear.
I slammed into the Vampire, knocking him into the ground before sinking my teeth into his throat. “Are my Dad and Grandma safe?”
Asher was tossing the body of an older Vampire to the ground before answering. “Breyona and Giovanni, at her Aunt’s place. Your Dad put up a fight, but he’s far from town with your Grandma.”
Crap, I internally groaned. I had sent Tristan and Holly to Breyona’s Aunt’s house. I had assumed Breyona and Giovanni would evacuate with the rest of the townspeople.
Instead, they remained in town, a risk, but they’d be nearby in case we won. Instead of freaking out, I mind-linked Breyona. While she was unable to shift, she still had a wolf living within her, and had a place in this pack.
‘Breyona?’ I called out, narrowly missing an attack. The Vampire had come from behind me, but I caught him in time, knocking him off of his feet before sending the silver knife scattering in the other direction.
Even at night the air was humid and thick. With all the fur on my body, I felt unbearably warm. If I were in my human form, I’d probably be sweating. I fought past the feeling and pushed forward, stashing any physical pain deep in the recesses of my mind.
‘Lola?’ Breyona practically screamed. I could hear the pent-up excitement and relief in her one word. ‘Oh, my Goddess. Where are you? Did you escape your Father?’
‘I don’t have a lot of time to explain.’ I grunted, leaping through the air and barreling into a Vampire that was approaching Sean from the rear. ‘I’m in town, fighting Vampire’s.
Tristan and my half-sister Holly, are coming to your Aunts. Holly’s hurt, she needs help. Don’t kill Tristan, please. He’s the one who helped me escape.’
Breyona was silent for several minutes, and for just a fleeting second, I felt sorry for Tristan. He had no idea what he was walking into. While I trusted Breyona, I had a strange inkling Tristan and Giovanni were close.
‘You don’t want me to kill Tristan?’ She asked slowly, as if she had heard me wrong.
‘Don’t kill him.’ I repeated, giving Mason a nod as he joined my side, tearing down another Vampire. ‘I know what you’re thinking. He wasn’t in my head. He had me pretend so my Father wouldn’t kill me. Trust me, Breyona.’
‘Alright, but get here as soon as you can.’ Breyona huffed, ending the mind-link.
I didn’t have a chance to think as another wave of ungodly warmth passed through me. My entire body shuddered, and I winced as the warmth grew hotter.
I felt uncomfortable in my skin, in my wolf form. All of this fur, it was slowly suffocating me. The warmth grew until liquid fire ran over my skin. A strangled whimper left my mouth as the fire rippled over my skin.