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An End of Night(A Shade of Vampire,Book 16)(17) by Bella Forrest

If Magnus had indeed woken up and escaped, he would have been incredibly weak. It would have been a strain just to make it down the mountain. I couldn’t believe that he would’ve left this realm without werewolves coming across him. They would have detected the scent of a vampire from miles away. At least I knew for sure that he was still alive, otherwise Lilith would be gone by now. I just had to find him.

I rushed back down the mountain and through the woods toward the nearest werewolf habitation. It was still early morning, and most likely they would all still be in their wolf forms. It didn’t matter to me either way. I would get what I needed from them.

Approaching a more densely populated area, I could already smell wolf in the air. It wasn’t long before one of the beasts came into view. It was a mother and cub, bathing in a nearby stream. I remained within the shadows, drawing nearer and nearer. I had made sure to cover up my scent with a charm before I even entered this island.

By the time the mother noticed me, it was already too late. Brushing the cub aside, I leapt onto her back, wrapping my arms around her throat and bringing her into submission.

She thrashed beneath me, but I only closed down on her windpipe harder, until she couldn’t breathe at all.

“Listen carefully to me, dog,” I hissed into her ear. “If you ever want to see your child again, you will take me to your chieftain.”

“Run!” she choked to her cub.

The small wolf, his eyes lit with panic, began scampering away. Still holding onto his mother, I summoned him back toward me.

“Don’t mess with me,” I said, my voice soft and dangerous. “Take me to your chieftain now.”

Chapter 12: Rose

Before attempting to enter the realm of the werewolves, we headed back to the Tavern. Ibrahim and Corrine made us appear back on the beach, outside the walls lining the island. We hadn’t stayed long enough in The Cove for my mother, Kiev and Mona to recover. But now that we were out of danger, we laid them all down on the beach where Ibrahim and Corrine could work on them without worrying about another attack.

Our first priority was bringing them to consciousness before treating those who had been wounded during the fight. Now that Corrine and Ibrahim had removed the poison darts from their flesh, the process was faster. After only a quarter of an hour, my mother finally sat up. I wanted to leap at her, but I held myself back. Her eyelids were half closed as she looked around, frowning and looking bewildered. Her dry lips parted.

“Mom,” I said.

Her eyes fixed on me, widening.

“Rose,” she croaked.

She attempted to get to her feet, but her legs were still shaky. My father picked her up in his arms and kissed her.

“You’re safe now,” he said. I walked over to them. My mother reached down and touched my face, then pulled me closer so that she could kiss my forehead.

Kiev and Mona were now waking up too—both looking just as confused as my mother.

“Wh-Where am I?” Mona stuttered.

“You’ve just woken from a stupor induced by poison darts,” Corrine explained.

Kiev groaned, clutching his head.

Now that all three were clearly all right, I moved back over to Caleb sitting on the sand. Most of his cuts had closed up by now, but the gash in his leg was still having trouble healing. Corrine and Ibrahim were moving from person to person, and I was relieved when Corrine reached Caleb. It wasn’t long before his leg was patched up and he could stand normally. He headed straight for the ocean and dipped into the waves, cleaning off the bloodstains. Realizing that I too could use a wash, I joined him. Everyone else soon followed our lead. Once we were done refreshing ourselves as much as we could, we climbed out of the water and onto the sand.

Mona, Kiev and my mother had apparently already been filled in on what had happened since they’d lost consciousness.

“So,” my mother said, looking nervous, “we head to the Woodlands now?”

Mona nodded. “Hopefully Magnus’ trail will be hotter there.”

“You will need to make me invisible and also hide my scent,” Micah said.

“Why?” Ibrahim asked.

“Because I’m not welcome there.”

“What did you do?” I asked, raising a brow. I recalled the story that Rhys had told me about Micah—how he had been banished for falling in love with a chieftain’s daughter while she was betrothed to another. I wondered whether there was any truth in that at all.

“I clashed with the chieftain who ruled my pack. I didn’t agree with many of the decisions he made, and I was vocal about it. He thought that it would be easier to get rid of me. So I was banished from his pack. I moved to another, then another, but I couldn’t find a chieftain I could respect enough to submit to. In the end, I just left. I preferred a life of freedom.”

“I see,” Mona said. “Well, we will be sure to cover you up.”

“We should leave now,” my father said.

We gathered together and I braced myself for my stomach to lurch once again as we hurtled through the air at lightning speed.

When I opened my eyes, I was clutching Caleb tight. We were standing on a cluster of giant boulders, the waves lapping at our feet.

“Now would be a good time to disguise me,” Micah said. “Someone might have sensed me already. I also suggest that you all do the same. Vampires and witches are anything but welcome here, while humans”—his eyes fell on my father and me—“are considered a delicacy by wolves.”