“It’s good to see you too, sis,” Michael smiled at her, almost beggingly as if asking her for forgiveness.
They just stared at each other, as if they were speaking without using words. When Aurora finally did break the silence, she only asked one question, “How are you here?”
“It’s a long story, Aurora,” Michael spoke hesitantly.
“You died,” Aurora looked almost broken as Xander moved behind her and took her into his arms as he gave Michael a disapproving look at making his mate upset, “I saw you die.”
He smirked a little bit, “I can same the same thing about you.”
Xander growled at Michael as he said that. I didn’t understand what either one of them were talking about and honestly, I didn’t care right now. All I wanted was to find Ellie.
Breaking their intense stare down, “Michael, if you help Ellie with the spell, will it work? Can you find her?”
They both looked at each other once more before both Aurora and Michael nodded their heads.
“We can do it,” Michael answered but Aurora didn’t give him a look of gratitude. It was more of one of pure shock and awe.
“Michael, are you sure? You know what the cost is,” Aurora stated, obviously weary of her brother doing the spell.
“What cost?” Walker asked, “Isn’t it just the same spell you just tried?”
Michael shook his head, “Not exactly. It’s similar but will come at a much higher cost.”
“I don’t care what the cost is. Whatever it is I will pay it,” I told them, “Just find my mate.”
Aurora gave me a sad look, “The cost isn’t yours to bare. You won’t be the one paying it.”
“I will be. As it should be,” Michael stated. Aurora looked like she wanted to argue with him, but he didn’t give her the chance, “Everything that has happened is my fault. I will pay the price to fix it.”
Aurora hesitated before finally giving in to him. Moving out of Xander’s arms, her and Michael moved to stand next to the map. She reached her hand out to his, “Are you ready? There is no going back.”
Michael just nodded his head as he placed his hand in hers. They both started to mumble as the rain and wind picked up again outside. The lights in the room grew brighter as the sound of electricity filled the air. The dirt on the map began to move again as everything grew louder and louder.
As the mumbling grew louder, the lights in the room exploded all at once.
“Is it done?” I asked as Xander and Jade rushed over to their mates who were now lying on the ground.
Aurora nodded her head as she handed me the map off the desk, “It’s done. The green light on the map is Cortez. When he moves, the light will follow him.”
“Thank you,” I told her.
She smiled softly at me as she leaned into Xander for support in standing upright. The spell must have taken all her energy from her.
“Michael! Michael, open your eyes!” Jade screamed, making every head turn to look at them. Michael was still on the floor, unmoving, “Michael! Come on, open your eyes,” Jade begged.
Aurora moved over to her as Xander kept her steady, “You’re Jade, right?”
Jade looked up at her for a second to nod before focusing back on Michael, “Why isn’t he waking up?”
Aurora gave her a sad look, “The spell was draining on both of us, but because he payed the price the spell required, he will need time to feel. Now that he is human, it will be slower.”
Jade’s eyes snapped up to hers as Aurora said that. We all just looked at her in surprise.
“What do you mean now that he is human?” Reid asked.
“The price of the spell, in order to get around the witches, was his magic. All of it,” Aurora said as she watched her brother, moving to sit onto the floor next to his head.
“He’s not a warlock anymore?” Jade asked.
“He will always be a warlock, but he no longer has any connection to magic,” Aurora answers her, “He is subsequently as human as any mortal. I’m sorry, Jade. I thought he would have told you the price.”
Jade just shakes her head no as she strokes the side of his face, “He didn’t tell me. He just said that he was willing to pay any price for me to forgive him for what he had done.”
“He loves you, the way any mate would,” Aurora smiles at her as Xander kisses Aurora’s cheek before standing up and motioning us to leave them in piece.
I clutch the map tighter as we head out into the hall.
“Do we have what we need to get to Ellie?” Xander asks as he closes the door.
I look down at the green dot in the middle of rogue territory to the north. For the first time in the last couple of hours, I finally feel hope.
“Let’s go get my mate back.”
The second we crossed into rogue territory, I could feel it. From the looks on my warriors faces, they could feel it too. I don’t know what it was, but I could feel that we didn’t belong here as my wolf scratched in the back of my mind.
Pushing the uneasiness aside, I focused on feeling out for Ellie. I could feel screaming pain in my thigh and paw as pain spread through my body. She was being tortured.
She’s alive. She’s alive, I keep telling myself. I push past the pain and focus on the connection staying tethered as we move through the trees in silence.
The man who took her won’t be for much longer though, Knox growls out. I immediately agree with him as we glance at the map again. The green dot is right in front of us.
Eyes sharp. You see any wolf that is not in our pack, kill them. No one will be left alive, I order the warriors.
Yes Alpha, They all reply immediately as they all nodded their heads.
We move forward slowly as a soft glow of lights bounce off an entrance to a bunker ahead of us. Crouching down lower into the brush I look over to Walker. He gave me a slight nod before taking a third of the warriors to the right as Reid took another third to the left.
We waited for the wolves to take position as the rest of my pack surrounded them. I was not taking anything for chance, Move fast and quiet. We don’t want to give up the element of surprise, Reid said in the pack link.
I was about to give the order to attack when one of the warriors behind me yelped out. Turning quickly, I saw rogues start to run past the trees we just came through. They led us into a trap, Behind us. Take them all. Reid, Walker, take the bunker.
Wolves charged into my warriors as I ran straight into a reddish-brown wolf. Pushing my wolf weight into the collision, I threw the wolf into a tree to my left as I heard the crack of his bones breaking on impact.
I let Knox take over completely as we ripped into every rogue in sight. I was not leaving these trees until every rogue out here was dead. No more surprises.
I felt the wolf’s neck snap between my teeth as I through his body to the ground, Alpha, we’ve cleared the bunker. Get Ellie, we can take it from here, Walker states.
I looked back to him and nod. As I head for the door, I see Reid to my right as three wolves jump on top of him.
Letting out a growl, I changed directions immediately and charged straight two of the wolves as Reid throws the third one off his back. I snap my teeth at the first one as the second tries to reach my neck. He was too slow as I twisted my head so to drag my claws into his side.
I looked over to Reid as he finished the third one and jumped onto the first one again, killing him. He nods to me in thanks, Go get El.
Giving him a nod again, I look around the field as my men kill the last of the rogues. Letting out another growl, I shift back before pulling the door open and entering the bunker.
The walls were musty as I moved down the corridors checking every room I came across. I tried to focus on Ellie’s scent, but I couldn’t smell anything over the rust covering the walls and doors.
I was about to go down a hall on my right when I heard a scream in pain as the pain I could feel from Ellie intensify. I growled as I charged towards the noise before bursting a door at the end of the hall.
Sitting, tied to a chair, was my beautiful mate. Blood and dirt soaked her clothes as her eyes connected to mine. I found her.
“Ellie,” I said as I moved further into the room. I cup her face in my hand as I use the other to untie the chain around her wrist.
“Axton,” her voice is barely above a whisper like she had been screaming for hours.
“It’s okay, baby. I’m here,” I tell her as I move to her other wrist.
“No,” her eyes widened in shock, “Behind you.”
Turning around, I felt the knife go into my side before I even saw him standing there. I looked straight into the eyes of the man who helped raise me, who had helped me lead the pack when I lost my parents, who has always been there for me, “Rolfe.”
He just smiled at me as he twisted the knife further into my side.