Chapter dedicated to Ladybugte1. You are awesome and wonderful for reading and rubbing up against the Vote button! Ps...cutie user name too.

Chapter 125 – Contingency Plan – Raine's POV

The forest was pitch-black, no light reached the ground through the dense covering of trees. But moonlight wasn't required for us to see as we ran. Our extra-sensory vampire eyes provided all the night-vision we needed.

"Can you mask our scents?" Cage hissed urgently next to me.

What?  I snapped my head in his direction. I had only masked my own scent when I switched places with Seraphine. I wasn't sure I could mask an entire group of people. But I understood why he wanted me to. Our lives might very well depend on it. I gave him a hard nod and focused my concentration. Only Talon, Cage and I carried bloodline vampire scents, which was stronger and more powerful to contain, so I started with us, pushing power out from my body. When I had us secured, I huffed, focusing harder and gradually reached to everyone else. It was the best I could do, and hoped it would be good enough. It should slow down any vampire trying to track us.

We continued at an insane speed. The creatures of the forest were silent, hiding. They knew more fearsome predators than themselves lurked in the woods tonight. The only noise came from rustling leaves underfoot and little chunks of bark, which flaked off of thick tree trunks as we careened by.

The sound of Marku's voice still rang in my ears. First, the hitch of his breath that exposed his hurt, I had betrayed him. And second, when his fury replaced his pain, becoming only the voice of a stone-cold killer. He would follow through on his threat. He would break me piece by piece if he ever caught me. Of that, I had no doubt. A shiver ran down my spine.

Echo hissed, "We need shelter. We can't go back to the hotel."

Cage grunted, "I know. Raine, give me your phone."

I handed it to him. Marku must have confiscated his. He typed a message, still maintaining a flat-out sprint, and then returned it to me, advising Echo, "I sent word to Kieran. He will take care of the remaining pets at the hotel. We'll have to find a place to stay once we get clear."

We ran for close to an hour. All silent. Each lost in thought. A little bud of hope sprouted inside of me that maybe we had successfully evaded capture. I wondered how far the forest stretched on and murmured, "Where are we headed?" Running through the woods, in the opposite direction of the hotel, was never part of our plan. I wasn't sure if Cage actually had a plan at the moment.

Cage ground his teeth together, his voice tight, "Marku's forces will be watching all of the hotels, so they are out—" Abruptly Cage's intended sentence cut off and he snarled, "Fuck! Killian and two other Fae are in air, headed our way, fast."

A hard hit of adrenaline shot through my veins, my body's instinctual reaction, preparing for the impending fight. Still, I hoped. Maybe we could get away. Talon echoed my thoughts, gritting out, "Can we outrun them?"

My hope was dashed by Cage's blunt reply, "No."


Okay, a fight it was, then.

I heard it then. The sound of their wings. A heartbeat sweeping through the air, displacing the sky. Another second went by and they were overhead. But the tree cover was in the way, impeding a direct attack. They flew passed, leaving us behind. I hissed, "What are they doing?"

"Trying to turn us around." Echo growled.

"No," Cage interjected. "They aren't trying to push us back. They are waiting for us."

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