To Hell and Back - 13 | v

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Martha couldn't breathe her anxiety tightening her chest. Through her link with Nico, she could feel his growing distress. It urged her to move faster as she sprinted through the hidden tunnels leading down into the subway. Back at Anax Corp Vescovi was assembling a team, a process that was taking longer than was comfortable with her. Nico and the others needed immediate assistance. Communications, already spotty, had gone dead. Not a single response just the constant frying of static. Unable to stand around doing nothing while the man she loved probably laid gutted and dying, Martha snuck off when no one was looking. None of the others knew what she was planning to do. If they did, they would have tried to stop her.

She was the passive one. The one who chose not to fight. For a werewolf, her reliance on that part of herself never went past her primal need to hunt. It was a need that seemed to have died over the years making her more human than a werewolf. Martha thought of herself as the wolf born in captivity. The one you could never release into the wild or she would be dead before the first day ended. Before all this happened, Martha never took much notice of to see it as a negative. She lived a quiet life first with her aunts, then with Nico, Dempsey, and the others. The men hunted while she tended the home. Subservient, some would call it. Weak. She never thought those words true until she was running headlong into danger, her mate's life hanging in the balance and retreating was at the fore of her mind.

Her legs grew heavy, slowing down her pace. Doubt, fear, anxiety, so many emotions fought to overwhelm her. No, she was going to do this. She could do this. She had to.

Clutching Sven's grimoire and relying on her faith in Ava, Martha opened the panel leading to the station platform. It was complete chaos. Her blood chilled when she realized that the shadows attacking were not in their native forms. They were occupying the bodies of humans. Soldiers. Her anxiety shifted to a panic, a low keening sound of distress almost escaping her mouth. Pressing against the wall of the tunnel out of sight, she forced air into her lungs. She could steel her mind against killing the aberrations that the shadows were but flesh and blood? Men who had no control over their actions? What had she been thinking? Martha looked in the direction from which she came. Where was Vescovi? Why were they taking so long?

Breathe, just breathe. She repeated the words like a mantra. There was no one else but her. Either she could cower leaving them all to die, including Nico, or she could grow a backbone, fast, and save the ones she could. Martha peeped out from where she was unable to get a full view of the entire platform. She saw the alcove under the stairs leading up to the floor above. It was as good a place as any to hide. It gave her a direct line of sight while providing sufficient cover.

After counting to five, she dashed from the safety of the tunnels. Martha ducked inside the recess in the wall under the stairs. It was shallower than she expected but her small stature didn't need much room.

By instinct, since she could not understand a single line in the grimoire, Martha chose a spell. It was the only spell in the center of the page. She ran her fingers over it the handwritten letters. The energy it gave off was not like the others. It was—darker. Apprehension formed in her mind. Just below the spell was a drawing of a hand, a rune dead center of the palm. She traced her fingers over the picture. A malevolence was radiating from the page. Everything about Sven was evil, why would his book of personally written spells not reflect that? She started to recite the spell.

"Blec blava an achu a blec navi anac masq a gus a mec..." she continued the enchantment that was one paragraph long. Nothing happened. Martha peeped from the alcove as the fighting intensified. She repeated the verse again, desperate for it to work. "Please, please, please," she pleaded. "You have to work." Again, she tried the spell. There was no stirring of energy, no change in the scene around her. It certainly would be helpful if she knew what the spell was intended for. Frustrated, Martha skipped through the book looking for another spell, but none of the others felt right. She was using the correct one it just wasn't working for reasons he could not fathom. All of the others she performed worked without a hitch.

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