If you’re busy I can come back later this evening, I offered.
Oh, I said. From his expression, I’d been expecting him to tell me quite the opposite. Why? I couldn’t help but ask.She was more reasonable when I went to see her this morning. Though don’t be under any illusions that she trusts you, he added, concern in his eyes. But you can stay among the Northstones until we find another portal.
Until. I couldn’t shake the fear that it was more a question of if, having learned that none of these wolves knew where another gate was.All right, I said, swallowing. Thank you.While I was downstairs, he went on, we also had a meeting. Sergius, Brucella, and the other prominent members of this pack attended. He moved to the bed and sat down. I followed, taking a seat next to him. We discussed what our next step must be. They were in favor of launching an attack on the hunters’ lair immediately. That is only to be expected, because none of them witnessed for themselves the hunters’ beasts and weaponry. I succeeded in swaying them toward a different course of action—rallying all those who are willing to be rallied. We must scour The Woodlands in its entirety and gather together all the tribes that have not yet been eradicated or compromised by the hunters. Those who are still unaware of the hunters’ presence must be warned, and persuaded to join us. Then, once we have gathered together, we must choose somewhere large enough and well hidden enough to base ourselves, and hold a meeting to decide on the best course of attack.
But these packs seem to be so disconnected, I said. Even if you traveled to each of them and informed them of hunters, would they even believe you? Would they agree to join you?We can only try, Bastien said, rubbing his temples. The more packs we manage to accumulate along the way, the easier it will become to gain trust. We do after all share the same land.
Do you know why there’s such strife between packs? I asked. It was something I had been wondering for a long time.
He shrugged. This was simply the world into which I was born. He paused, seemingly drifting into his own thoughts, before snapping himself back to reality. Everyone is preparing to leave now. We plan to depart as soon as possible, in less than an hour. He stood up, tightening his robe around his waist, even as it draped to reveal his muscled chest. We have no idea how long we will be traveling so we must take plenty of garments with us, he went on. I requested Lavonna to come up to your room in a few minutes to provide you with some. In the meantime I have some preparations of my own to make, and—his eyes lowered to my ankle—I should dress that again before we leave.Once the fire-breathers’ business was done, the witches allowed the dragons back into the island. They soared down and dumped themselves into the ocean, mists of steam releasing from their bodies.
Lethe descended to the ground with me, along with Shayla and the other witches who had been hovering in the air to witness the scene up close.All right, Shayla called out to everyone—there really was quite a large crowd by now. Vampires, werewolves, humans, even Brett and Bella had trundled out of their caves. Nothing to see here anymore. Then she took my hand. Let’s go to Josh. The first thing I want to do now is get that tracker out of him. Should have done that the day we brought him here.
She vanished the two of us and we reappeared on my veranda. As we entered the apartment, we found Josh still sitting by the window. He would’ve witnessed the entire battle from this height.They’re gone, Shayla said, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. Now, I would like to take you back to the hospital.