The smell of leather bound books, the rough feeling of parchment beneath her fingertips, and the soft glow of the table lamp was all Cadence had for company as she tirelessly searched for an answer that could save them all. Every day that ended was another day closer to the fight and even with the pack training harder then ever, wolves were no match against an experienced witch.
From the information she gathered from the archives about the Great War, a single witch could wipe out an entire battalion if they were powerful enough to do so. Luckily, every passage leading up to the last battle mentioned an elixir, gifted to them by the Moon Goddess herself. One that would suppress all their magic, much like wolfsbane against a werewolf. Now, all Cadence had to do was find the ingredients for this elixir and have it made. The only problem was, it needed to be injected directly into her body. ”We’ll find a way to lure her out,” her wolf swore. They weren’t going to underestimate this witch’s power and Cadence was determined to take her out of the equation all together.
It was well past midnight when a familiar aroma of fresh linen filled her senses, pulling her attention towards the doorway. She couldn’t hide the smile that graced her lips while watching in her mate’s masculine form approach her. Cadence could tell he was just woke up, by his tousled hair, tired eyes, and the fact that he was only wearing a pair of flannel lounge pants. Zander chuckled as he spun slowly for her. “Like what you see, babe,” he teased, before taking a seat in front of her. “You know I do,” Cadence admitted with a wink, then returned to her book.
Zander leaned over the table to catch a glimpse of what Cadence was looking at. “What have you been looking for these last couple nights? I’ve missed you,” Zander said, running his fingers through her beautiful chestnut hair. For once she wore it loose, letting it flow freely around her face and down her back. A blush crept up her cheeks at his simple act of affection, but she couldn’t help it. He always had this effect on her.
Cadence cleared her throat as she turned another page, hoping he didn’t see her crimson cheeks. “I’m trying to find the recipe for this elixir. It would be a great asset to have against the witch,” she explained as Zander moved to sit beside her. Her heart raced when she felt his arms encircle her waist and lift her from her chair. She wanted to object, but he didn’t give her a chance as he placed her on his lap and moved the book in front of her.
“Isn’t that better, pet,” he whispered against her neck, causing her whole body to go rigid. “I don’t mind it,” she stammered, keeping herself frozen in place. Cadence didn’t want to encourage him any further than her initial reaction already did. Zander seemed to respect her time as he allowed her to continue her research, but when she leaned over the table to get another book he released a low growl.
His large hands caressed her ass through the thin fabric of her shorts and it took all Cadence had not to gasp in pleasure at his touch. She couldn’t object when he spun her around to sit on the table as he moved between her legs, his hands skimming the insides of her thighs. “Zander,” she called softly, even though her intention was to be more forceful, but as she stared into his swirling blue eyes she couldn’t feel anything but lust.
Zander brought himself closer to her lips and she became overwhelmed with his scent and desire for her. As their lips were mere inches apart, a gust of wind blew through the library, sending pages and books flying in a frenzy. Cadence and Zander broke apart, each taking a defensive stance, but as they
both tried to make sense of what happened, Cadence noticed only one book remained undisturbed by the wind.
She took cautious steps forward, with Zander on her heels, and saw it laid open to a list of ingredients. “Oh. my. Goddess,” she said in disbelief as her fingertips skimmed over the page. “Zander! This is what I’ve been looking for,” she said, shaking with excitement. Cadence looked to her mate with a fire burning in her eyes. “I have to go! This has to be made as soon as possible,” she said. “Hey, wait,” Zander called out to her, but she was already rushing out to find the elder who swore to help her mix the elixir and come up with a plan to easily inject the witch.
Now it was the morning of the battle and Cadence could feel the energy shift in the air as she took in the beautiful sky. She stood in the doorway and watched Tessa become lost in thought. It pained her to see worry etched in her usual stoic demeanor. If Cadence could spare her anymore pain, she would do anything it took, but their conversation on the steps led her to feel like a failure.
Cadence couldn’t hold back the tears after hearing Tessa say she would rather sacrifice her own life than those of her pack. “I have never been able to say goodbye to anyone before they were ripped from my life, and this may not be goodbye, but I want you to know you’re my dearest friend Cade. You always have been and always will be,” she admitted and it was hard for Cadence to accept her words. “I wouldn’t have made it this far without you, but if push comes to shove, we know what I’ll have to do,” Tessa continued and each word has like a knife to Cadence’s heart. “How could she let us in now, after all these years, yet she’s ready to die today,” her wolf whimpered with heartache. “That’s not going to happen,” Cadence growled, refusing to follow her order, no matter what it meant for her.
The fight was brutal, but nothing Cadence wasn’t ready for. She trained day and night for moments like this and had plenty of practice taking out intruders on a normal day. However, once Tessa left to take on the beast herself it posed as a distraction. “Cadence, look out,” Zander yelled from beside her as he pushed her out of the way. A Rogue was moments from snapping its jaws for a brutal blow, but Zander easily countered and killed it himself. “You need to focus,” he called to her, his face etched with worry. This angered Cadence even more. She was never one to let a distraction or Rogue get the best of her and now all the others felt her wrath.
“Where is she,” Cadence heard from behind her and his voice was a saving grace. If anyone could protect Tessa from herself it would be Dainin. “Tessa went after that monster,” Zander responded, angered by her decision as he pointed to the far edge of the woods. “She commanded us not to interfere,” Cadence growled, making it clear she was against it. She watched Dainin’s gaze follow the direction Zander was pointing and her eyes widened as she saw Tessa struggling to stand. ”It dies now,” her wolf roared as an inconceivable rage filled her. ”She ordered us not to follow,” Cadence countered, still trying to break Tessa’s order. “Follow me,” Dainin ordered in his own Alpha command, breaking Tessa’s hold. ”Smart! I knew I liked him,” her wolf smirked as they ran with all they had to their Alpha.
When the Rogues started dropping like flies Cadence knew the witch was close and something was going on. There was no doubt her plan was in position and ready to act on her signal. What she wasn’t expecting was for Tessa to drop her guard at the sight of Dainin, forgetting the eminent threat behind her. As she watched her Alpha’s feet dangle from the ground something snapped inside of her. Cadence bolted for the beast, only seeing red as she let her wolf take over, a rage like no other powered her body.
Launching herself at the unsuspecting monster was easy and snapping its neck was satisfying, but it wasn’t enough. Cadence sunk her claws into its neck, tearing its head from its shoulders. While she stood, catching her breath, reality set in. She couldn’t bare to look at her Alpha, in fear she may have been too late. The weight of the severed head in her hand disgusted her as she let it fall and it was only then she noticed Zander pulled her into his chest. ”Please be okay,” Cadence thought as she watched Dainin carrying Tessa away, but then she noticed the women standing next to Elijah. ”They’re the witches,” her wolf confirmed.
"Take them out,” Cadence order through the mind link and in moments the witches dropped to the ground, each sporting a tranquilizer in their neck. Cadence smirked seeing their motionless bodies at her mercy, but something happened she wasn’t expecting. “No,” Elijah screamed out as he knelt besides one of the women lying on the floor. His rage filled eyes met hers and his eyes darkened, revealing his wolf in control. “What did you do to them,” he growled darkly while Cadence looked on in confusion. “We captured two prisoners,” she answered plainly. “Take them away,” she ordered the warriors, but soon rage filled her own eyes as Elijah pushed them away.
“You can’t take them! They helped us,” Elijah defended in outrage, standing between the warriors and the witches. Cadence didn’t care to ask questions of why and how. “Elijah, stand down or you’ll join them,” she ordered sternly, but she could see his skin ripple with wanting to shift. ”We don’t have time for this! The more we wait the sooner the witches could wake up,” her wolf stated. Cadence agreed with her. Time was against them when it came to the serum. They needed to have them locked away before they woke up. “Subdue him,” Cadence ordered the Elites and they all charged for Elijah, each member fighting to hold him to the ground.
“Now, take them to the prison,” Cadence ordered the warriors. She was satisfied to see them being carried away, helpless and defenseless. ”They’ll answer for their crimes,” her wolf growled, feeling victorious. Cadence followed the warriors with a smirk on her face, ignoring the raging pleas and threats from Elijah. “She’s my mate,” he finally said, making Cadence freeze in place for a moment while she contemplated her next words. “I don’t care,” she stated, not sparing a glance at Elijah as she continued walking away.