Chapter Twenty-Nine: Faded Away
At some point, I was being shaken awake and through blurry eyes, I could see an alarmed looking Lyssa standing over me. Her nostrils were flared, her eyes were wide. All in all, she looked like the devil was on our tails.
"Lyssa, what's wrong?"
"Cortes's men are here," she spoke lowly, eyes narrowing to slits. "It seems they've figured out that Alpha Briggs was a friend of Alpha Allen's. Once you figure that out, it's only natural they'd come here. Alpha Briggs's men are fighting them off in the forest, but who knows how long it'll be until they get here. We have to go."
"Marc will be here any minute now," I said. "Once he's here with his warriors, Alpha Cortes's men will be unable to fight us off. Until then, we have to stay here and do what we can for Alpha Briggs."
Lyssa opened her mouth to protest but I cut her off.
"These Wolves are here for me. I'm the one Cortes wants, not them. I won't let innocent people die for me, Lyssa. Besides, I'm tired of running. If it's a fight they want, then it's a fight they'll get." I could feel my Wolf rising to the surface and Lyssa drew her eyes from mine and bent her head in submission immediately.
"If you're fighting, I'm fighting, too."
"You don't have to, you know." My voice was so soft that she looked up in surprise, our eyes meeting. "You have a Mate now. If you want to back out of this, I won't hold it against you. You have your own life to live, Lyssa."
There was a long pause before she said, "My life is my Pack. I was born to serve my Alpha and my Luna. My Wolf would never forgive me if her Luna died because I was selfish. And I would never forgive myself if my friend died. If you fight, I'm fighting with you. There are no ifs, ands or buts."
The determination in her eyes said she wasn't backing down, so I nodded once.
"In that case, let's go."
I ended up in a place exactly like Selene had shown me in a vision. Surrounded by bodies, the smell of blood hanging in the air. The only difference was that instead of the eerie calm after the battle, there was the sound of shouting, of bones breaking of Wolves and Hunters alike taking their last breaths. Selene had said history was doomed to repeat itself and as I looked around, I realized that was exactly what was going on here.
I didn't have too long to dwell on that, though, because a female Hunter dove at me, her silver knife raised high. I dodged it and grabbed her wrist and broke it in one clean motion. Then I grabbed her by the throat, tossing her into a tree and knocking her unconscious.
My Wolf and I agreed that we didn't want to be the cause of anyone's death.
I looked over at Lyssa. She and Roy were fighting side by side, taking down Wolves and Hunters alike with devastating blows. My Wolf was growing more fond of Roy and now considered him one of her own. She would not hesitate to protect him the same way she would not hesitate to protect any other member of our Pack.
At that moment, I felt a different presence. I looked up, my nose sniffing the the cool night air. I knew that scent. My lips curled back over my teeth as my Wolf let out a snarl so loud all the fighting around us ceased. Every Wolf and Hunter stepped back and away, revealing a smirking Dolos.
"If it isn't the Moon Blessed Wolf," Dolos said, his tone coolly mocking. "You know, I've gone out of my way just to get you back. Though, it seems they were all completely incompetent. You fought better than I expected, Moon Blessed Wolf. And your Mate is truly a force to be reckoned with. He just killed Cortes and gained control over the Spanish and Brazilian territories." Dolos sighed, looking forlorn. "I had expected this would be easy, but you've proven to be stronger than you look."
I just stared at Dolos, my Wolf sizing him up. He was a god, he wouldn't be as easy to fight as a Wolf or a Hunter. Not to mention that, at the moment, there was no moon present meaning my abilities would be a no-show. I would have to fight him with brute strength alone.
Lyssa, Roy and Sam all filed in around me, their faces severe. It wasn't long before all of Sam's warriors filed in behind him and the rest of Cortes's Wolves filed in around Dolos. Dolos was smiling wickedly, seemingly enjoying himself.
"There must be something about Moon Blessed Wolves," he was saying gleefully, laughing darkly, "that makes Wolves willing to die for them. It was the same thing with Reya. She served Selene, too, you know. But when the time came for her to fulfill her destiny and kill me, she failed. And so will you, Tanaya. You're no different. I know all about Moon Blessed Wolves. There is no moon out tonight. You and I both know a puny Wolf like you cannot defeat a god like me. This won't even be a real fight."
My Wolf--feeling pissed at being called puny--bared her teeth, a growl snapping its way out of my throat.
"Fight me and see if you still feel the same after."
Dolos chuckled impishly. When he tilted his head toward us, the Wolves and Hunters came charging. Some Wolves were in Wolf form, some still in human form. The Hunters were equipped with silver weapons, their eyes gleaming menacingly in the moonlight.
I looked up and saw that what had once been a dark empty sky was now gleaming with a bright beautiful full moon. A smile stretched across my face as the power seeped into my skin. My Wolf howled as the power welled up inside of us. Now, Dolos and I would be on equal footing.
I turned to Lyssa, Roy, Sam and the Warriors and said, "Take care of them. I'm going after Dolos."
They nodded and I zoomed forward, far faster than a normal Wolf. I weaved through the charging Wolves, taking down ten of them on my way to Dolos.
I heard Sam let out a quiet whistle and say, "Damn. I've never seen a Moon Blessed Wolf in action before. Remind me not to get on her bad side."
When I was finally in front of Dolos, I wasted no time in trying to claw his face off. He dodged my moves quickly, smiling mockingly the whole time. Finally, he caught my hand saying, "Even with the moon giving you strength, you'll never be as strong as me," before he flung me away from him.
I crashed into the tree, but was on my feet quickly. I looked at the broken tree branch beside me and closed my eyes. Where there was one a broken tree branch, there was now a great white Wolf. Its fur was as bright as the moon, its eyes as dark as the night sky. It knew its job and snarled charging at Dolos.
Dolos could not dodge the Wolf. Where I was flesh and blood, the Wolf was made of pure moonlight. While the Wolf distracted Dolos, I grabbed another tree branch and closed my eyes. The tree branch was now a sword in my hand. I thanked my lucky stars for all the training Mr. Diaboli had forced us to do.
I charged forward as Dolos flung the Wolf away from him, swinging the sword expertly. He caught it with his bare hands, thinking it was a normal sword, but flinched back instantly when the moonlight pierced his flesh. His momentary pain provided enough time for me to shove my sword through his stomach.
He roared and smacked me, flinging me into another tree. My head was swimming, but still I tried to force myself to my feet. My illusions were gone and my head was swimming far too much to make more. Looking over at him, I saw he was still wounded.
I got to my feet, ignoring the dizziness and charged at him. He dodged a few of my attack, but I got a lot of good hits in. He grabbed me by the throat, his hands tightening as he raised me up. My feet dangled helplessly as I struggled against his hold.
"You silly little girl," he hissed, shaking me as I gasped for breath. "Did you really think you could kill me? Did you really think it would be that easy?"
I looked up at the moon. Was it just me or was it getting brighter?
There was a powerful burst of light and Dolos was flung away from me. I coughed as the air forced its way into my lungs. Through my hazy vision, I could make out an elegant white dress billowing in the wind, dark hair tousling in the night sky. She turned and her eyes met mine, smiling in reassurance before she turned back to Dolos.
"Selene," he spat, standing up with a little difficulty. "I never expected you to show up until after she was dead."
"What happened with Reya was--"
"Your fault," he hissed. "I loved her and you promised her to someone else."
"She came to me, Dolos, begging to be a Wolf. Begging to be stronger. I looked into her heart and saw it was pure, so I turned her. You know when Wolves are created, they are to be given Mates. There must be balance. There must be light for darkness, strength for weakness, love for hate. The only way to repay nature for allowing Werewolves was to split their souls in two and attach it to another. I didn't kill Reya. You did. The moment you sent the Hunters after her."
"If I couldn't have her no one could," he yelled, his eyes wild. "It's your fault. It's all your fault."
He charged at Selene who merely held up and hand. He stopped mid run, suddenly floating in the air. Selene turned to me as he struggled to move. She put her hand on my face, smiling proudly.
"You did well, daughter. I am proud of you."
I smiled back weakly. "Thanks, but," I glanced over at Dolos who was still struggling, "what's going to happen to him?"
"That is not for me to decide. Zeus will decide his fate. All I can assure you of is that he will never bother you or the ones you love ever again."
I nodded, letting out a breath of relief. "I guess I should thank you, then. You kind of save my ass."
She smiled in amusement and shook her head. "No, I believe it is I who should thank you. I am only able to hurt him like this because you wounded him, therefore he is weak. Your Mate is on his way. Live your life happily knowing Dolos will be dealt with. Take care, daughter. Call on me if you need me."
I smiled and nodded as she faded away with Dolos, leaving the battlefield quiet in her wake.