IceSurrender, page 7
She reached up and caressed his cheek. “Good, because I’d already decided you are my mate. I don’t need any mating bond to tell me that. Inside my heart, I know it’s true. Do you have your full powers now?”
Ryder took quick stock of himself. Yes, he had them. And thanks to Wren, he had absolute control over them. He didn’t understand how she was able to help him like that, but he wasn’t about to question it. He was able to accept it at face value.
“I’m still mortal,” he said.
Wren shifted until she sat straddling his hips and looked down at him. “Then change it. Allow one of the wolf brothers to bite you. Being a werewolf isn’t a bad thing. That way we can always stay together.”
He gave her a sad look. “That is no longer an option. Now that I have my full powers, I’m immune to their bite.”
“Can’t you come up with a spell to give you immortality?”
Ryder shook his head. “I try that, and I could lose my powers. I’m a shaman. That’s what I was born to be. And I was born to live a mortal life.”
Wren’s breath stuttered. “Then I guess we’ll have to make the most of it.” A lone tear slipped down her cheek.
He reached up and wiped the wetness away while giving her a half-smile. “Don’t have me already on death’s door. I’m only twenty-five. Plus, I may be mortal, but there are some differences. With the gain in powers, I don’t have to fear illnesses. I’ll heal quicker as well.”
Wren leaned over and brushed his lips with hers. “What about recovery time? Is that quicker too?”
As if it had heard her, his cock came to life. He hardened and lifted his hips to show her the evidence of his desire. “What do you think?”
“Mmm, it’s definitely faster.”
Wren kissed him gently at first, nibbling on his bottom lip before she deepened the kiss. She rubbed her pussy along his shaft. It didn’t take long for his cock to become fully erect. Ryder moaned and reached between them to find her clit. He stimulated it with the tip of his finger.
She moaned into his mouth, then lifted her head to say, “My turn to make love to you.”
Wren placed her hands on his chest and sat up straighter. She went on her knees, positioned herself over his straining cock, then lowered herself onto it. Still wet from their earlier joining, she took all of him in one stroke. Nothing felt better than Wren’s pussy closing around the length of him, squeezing him tight.
Ryder held on to her hips as she moved up and down on him. She stared at him with eyes that glowed mutedly. Her full breasts bounced with her movements. Her making love to him was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
He lifted to meet each of her strokes. This time around they weren’t so desperate, but he didn’t want slow and steady either. As if she knew exactly what he wanted, Wren increased the pace. She arched her back. Ryder lifted his head and watched as his cock slid in and out of her body. He grew even harder.
He could tell she was close to release. Her movements grew jerky and her eyes closed on a long moan. When she was there, her pussy fluttered around his cock before it clutched and released him, milking him into his own climax. His moans joined hers as he filled her with his cum.
Wren collapsed on top of him. He wrapped her in his embrace. He couldn’t ask for a better night than one spent in the arms of the woman he loved.
* * * * *
The next day, Wren and Ryder went downstairs to the kitchen to make themselves a late breakfast. So late in fact it would be considered brunch. Not that either of them cared. Their empty stomachs had finally driven them out of their room. They had snagged something in the middle of the night in between bouts of lovemaking, but they’d burned off more calories than they’d taken in.
Edensaw, Wachei and Ketah came into the room shortly after them. “About time you two surfaced,” Ketah said.
“And it’s not as if you and Haven haven’t had a marathon of sex before,” Wren replied.
Ketah gave her a large grin. “You’ve got me there.”
Ryder decided to change the topic of conversation to more important things. “Edensaw, I’m going to call Brice today. Now that I have my full powers, I can do what he asked and pull the dark magic from Drew and Greg.”
His alpha looked at him closely. “Are you up to it? You spent most of yesterday unconscious.”
“I’m fine. I want to do this today. Brice has had the burden long enough of keeping them caged. Once I remove the dark magic Tanner used to turn them, they’ll no longer be a threat. They should go back to what they once were.”
Edensaw nodded. “All right. Call Brice and set up a time for today.” He looked at Wachei and Ketah in turn. “I want the two of you to go with him. I’d go, but I don’t want Cassidy and Wyatt anywhere near dark wolves.”
Ryder could understand that. As a mated pair, Cassidy and Edensaw couldn’t be away from each other before suffering separation anxiety, and they hadn’t been together long enough to last very long. Ketah’s and Wachei’s mates would have to go with them, but they didn’t have babies to worry about.
“And me,” Wren said. “I’m going with them as well. I’ll feel better if I’m at Ryder’s side to help protect him. He’s still mortal.”
The three wolf brothers looked at Ryder with a little apprehension in their expressions. Ryder shrugged. “It’s the way it has to be. And I’ll tell you as I told Wren, you can’t bite me to turn me. I’m immune to it now.”
“Okay, Wren, you can go with them,” Edensaw said. “Though Ryder shouldn’t be in any danger since Greg and Drew are locked up.” His alpha looked at him. “You don’t need to be in the cell with them, do you?”
“No. As long as I’m in close proximity, I should be fine.”
“Then it’s all decided.”
The three wolf brothers each grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge, then left the kitchen, more than likely heading out to the backyard for some training.
Wren and Ryder made their food in silence. Once it was ready, they sat at the table next to each other. Wren was the first one to speak.
“So you really can do that, take the dark magic out of the dark wolves?”
“Yes. I now have a lot more spells stored up in my head than I had before. It’ll take me awhile to go through them all.”
“You’ll be careful when you do it, right?”
Ryder reached over and squeezed Wren’s arm. “Stop worrying. I can do this. You’ll see.”
* * * * *
Ketah drove them all in Cassidy’s crossover to the location where Brice held the two dark wolves. The place was out in the middle of nowhere, the nearest house a few miles up the road. Ryder had put a spell over it to keep it hidden from Tanner.
Brice met them at the door of the building, which wasn’t much to look at, but it had two reinforced cells the dark wolves wouldn’t be able to break out of. Brice had had the place built a year before, thinking there could be a chance they would one day take one of the enemy into custody.
The pack leader led them into the far end of the building where the cells had been constructed. Each one had thick, solid cement walls at the back and both sides. Only the front was barred.
“I was happy to hear from you today, Ryder,” Brice said. “Their capture is no longer a secret, and their families are demanding access to them. I’ve tried to explain they aren’t the same, but they don’t want to listen.”
“Well, after I’m finished with them their families can have them back.”
“Is there anything you need?”
Ryder shook his head. “No. It’s a spell that doesn’t require any ingredients other than the use of my powers.”
“Then I guess I’ll give you some room and let you do your thing.”
Ketah, Haven, Wachei, Eryn and Brice went to stand a short distance behind Ryder. Wren stayed by his side. “I’m not going anywhere,” she said.
Ryder smiled and nodded. He then focused on the two dark wolves, who stood at the front of their c
He walked closer to the cells. The two dark wolves growled at him. Ignoring the sound, Ryder muttered the spell he needed to use. The power slowly built inside him until at the end of it his hands glowed. He reached toward each man, then spoke the second part of the spell.
The dark wolves gripped the bars in front of them, their sounds of agitation increasing in volume. Ryder continued chanting the spell until tendrils of a dark, smokelike mass pulled out of them and flowed toward his outstretched hands. He heard Wren suck in a sharp breath where she stood beside him.
Once the smoky tendrils reached him, instead of being burned to nothing, they flowed through his hands and into him. Once the spell was started it couldn’t be stopped. The dark wolves now howled in obvious pain as they sank to their knees and held their heads.
Ryder felt the dark magic surging through him. He immediately used his powers to cage it inside him, not allowing it to take hold of him. He grimaced as it fought to break free, but he held it in place, though it was a struggle.
“Ryder, are you okay?” Wren asked.
“Yes. Only a little bit more.”
Once the last of the dark magic left the two men in the cells, they both collapsed. Ryder released a deep breath, then turned to look at Brice. “They should be free of the dark magic.”
Brice walked over to Drew’s cell and unlocked the door. He went down on his haunches next to the werewolf and shook his shoulder. “Drew? Wake up.”
Drew slowly sat up and shook his head. “What happened? I feel as if I’ve been run over by a truck.” He looked around at his surroundings. “And where am I?”
Brice looked at Ryder, then at Drew again. “You don’t remember?”
“No. The last thing I remember is Tanner coming to my mom’s place while Hal and I were there.”
Brice stood and looked at the wolf brothers. “They don’t smell like dark wolves anymore, do they?”
Wachei nodded. “Their scents have changed back to that of regular werewolves.”
“Dark wolves?” Drew asked.
Brice helped him to his feet. “We’ll explain later.” He then unlocked the next cell where Greg was now standing, looking around, as perplexed as Drew.
Ryder stood by and watched as the pack leader tried to reassure his pack members. The dark magic swirled inside its cage, looking for a way to escape, pushing. He needed to rid himself of it, but this wasn’t the place.
The entrance door behind them slammed open and Tanner stepped through, accompanied by Tanner’s brother Hal, Tad, Lara and a couple other dark wolf males. They spread out, blocking the only exit to the building.
Tanner’s gaze landed on Ryder. “Did you really think you could mess with what belonged to me and I wouldn’t know? As you took the dark magic out of them, I saw through your protection spell. Now you’ll pay for what you did.”
Wren stepped closer to Ryder. There was no way in hell she’d allow Tanner anywhere near her mate. The two wolf brothers also came to stand close to Ryder. Their mates stood as far out of the way as the room allowed.
“You can’t win against us,” Ketah said.
Tanner laughed. “It’s two sentinels against six of us. I think you are the ones who won’t stand a chance. I’m going to enjoy taking the two of you out.”
“You’re forgetting some of the good guys. There are three sentinels. Meet our newest member, Wren. And of course Brice will put up a good fight. But enough talk. Let’s see who is stronger, shall we?”
Wren had only a second to realize Ketah had called her a sentinel before all the dark wolves went on the attack. Wachei, Ketah, Brice and Wren shifted to their wolf forms and met the enemy head-on. Even Greg and Drew joined in, now firmly on the good side.
Each time a dark wolf tried to get past them to get at Ryder, Wren was there to block him. She noticed the dark wolf female had hung back, staying well out of the fight.
The battle was vicious with neither side holding back. Wren earned more than a couple wounds from sharp teeth and claws, but she hit just as hard. More than one dark wolf learned how much sharper her teeth were than his.
It looked as if the good guys were gaining the upper hand until Tanner shifted to his human form and started using dark magic against them. Ketah yelped in pain. Wren watched as a long, deep wound opened up on his side. It wouldn’t kill him, he’d heal in a very short amount of time, but it was enough to throw him off and have the dark wolf he fought use it to his advantage.
The sound of Ryder chanting a spell drew Wren’s attention to him. She ran over to stand in front of him, to protect him if any dark wolf should draw near to stop him. She looked up to see his hands glowing. He then held them out toward the dark wolf leader.
Tanner howled, appearing to fight against an invisible force that held him in place. “I won’t let you take the dark magic from me,” he shouted in Ryder’s direction.
Ryder chanted louder, his hands glowing even brighter. Instead of tendrils of a black, smokelike mass, billows of it left Tanner and flowed toward the sentinels’ shaman. As with the other two dark wolves, the darkness sank into Ryder’s hands.
Once the last of it had left Tanner, he screamed, his body turning to dust. The rest of the dark wolves stood in place, looking bewildered. Wren noticed their scents had changed to that of regular werewolves, except for the other two males, who were once again mortal.
It was over, they’d won. The dark wolves were no more. Losing his dark magic had ended Tanner’s life, and with him gone, there was no one else who was capable of creating more of the enemy.
Wren shifted to human form and turned to Ryder, ready to throw herself into his arms. But one look at him and she knew something wasn’t right. He had his eyes closed while he smiled in a maniacal sort of way.
She stepped closer and put her hand on his shoulder. Ryder’s eyes snapped open and she sucked in a sharp breath. His normally brown eyes were pure black, just as Tanner’s and the other dark wolves’ had been. He even had the scent of dark magic about him. This was what she’d “seen” in one of her visions of him. This was why he’d appeared dark.
“Ryder? You have to get rid of it.”
He laughed without humor. “Get rid of it? No way. You have no idea how good this feels. I can do anything, and there’s no one strong enough to stop me.”
“It’s not you. It will poison you just as it did Tanner. You can’t let it win.” She touched his arm. “This isn’t the true Ryder talking, the one I love.”
Ryder shoved her away, using some of his powers to throw her across the room and slam hard into the wall. As Wren pulled her wits about her, the wolf brothers and Brice charged Ryder. They propelled him backward, pushing him into one of the cells where they locked him inside. Ryder grabbed the bars, shaking them with all his might. Concrete powder rained down from the top of the cell’s door.
“He’s full of Tanner’s dark magic,” Wachei said.
“Yeah, but how do we get it out of him?” Ketah asked. “We aren’t shamans. Ryder is. And that cell isn’t going to hold him for long.”
Wren slowly pushed herself up to stand as she listened to Brice and the wolf brothers discuss what to do with Ryder. Eryn and Haven gathered up all the ex-dark wolves and took them outside.
She watched Ryder as he swore at them all, promising to kill them. Wren had no idea what to do to save him. The way the bars were slowly pulling away from the concrete, there wasn’t a lot of time to do much of anything to control him.
“Help,” she said quietly. “You’re his ancestor, the sentinels’ first shaman. Ryder needs your help. You have to do something. I won’t lose him like this.”
Ryder’s ancestor appeared before her, ethereal, shimmering slightly. All conversation ceased and Wren saw she wasn’t the only one able to see him.
He smiled at her.
“I don’t know how.”
“Bite him in your wolf form.”
“I can’t turn him. I’m not a male sentinel. Plus, Ryder said he’s immune.”
Ryder’s ancestor reached out and placed his hand high up on the left side of her chest. It glowed, sending a jolt of energy through her. Wren sucked in a breath. He nodded. “Now you bite him. With it, you’ll tie your souls and life forces together. He won’t be a werewolf, but he will be as immortal as you. And once your new mating bond forms, the dark magic will leave him.” He stepped closer and kissed her forehead before disappearing.
Wren walked toward the cell. “You heard him. I have to bite Ryder.”
Ketah nodded. “We’ll hold him for you and you do the biting.”
Brice unlocked the cage and the men rushed inside to subdue him. With many threats on Ryder’s part, they grappled him to the floor. Knowing they wouldn’t be able to hold him for long, Wren shifted to her hybrid dire wolf form and ran to Ryder. She put her front paws on his chest, bent her head, opened her jaws, then bit him where his shoulder and neck met. She tasted blood on her tongue when she pulled away.
Ryder bellowed in pain, his back arching. Wren jumped off him and shifted to human form as the others released him. On her knees next to him, she felt a bit of her soul reach out for his, wrap around it and become one. The instant it did, their mating bond formed. And with it the dark magic flowed out of Ryder’s hands. It disappeared to nothing once it hit the air.
Once the last of it was gone Ryder lay on the floor, panting. He turned his head and looked at her. Wren smiled at the sight of his beautiful brown eyes. He opened his arms and she threw herself into them.
“I guess everything is all right,” Ketah said. “We should go help the girls with Tanner’s ex-pack.”
The men left. Wren kissed Ryder’s chin. “You do anything like that again and I’m going to kick your butt.”
Ryder cupped her face in his hands and kissed her deeply. After he released her mouth, he said, “I love you. And now thanks to your bite, I’ll never have to say goodbye to you.”
MARISA CHENERY SERIES:
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