Battle

Alex caught her to him, blood red tears falling. He roared his denial to the heavens. An unexpected, heavy ran began to fall as heavy clouds rolled in. Lightning crackled in the air and several struck the nearby mountains. Animal cowered in their dens. The very earth rolled under their feet. But all Alex could see what his lifeless lifemate in his arms.

Solange and Dominic appeared with Zacarias. Dominic instantly went to the couple and offered aid. Solonge went to her son. She picked him up by the ear, waking him up. He had holes along his shoulder blades, but nothing a night in the ground wouldn't heal.

"Ow, ow, ow!" Donny yelled. "What did I do?!"

"You nearly killed that girl!" said his mother. "What were you thinking?!"

"She just appears at the ranch and you take her side?!" Donny asked. "She's an intruder!"

"She's Colby's cousin and she was raised with the De La Cruz brothers!" Solonge said, throwing him into a tree, breaking it. "Her name is Liliana, and she was raised here! If anyone is the intruder, you are!"

Donny groaned as he stood up. How was he supposed to know who she was? He had never heard of her or seen her before. His dad was giving her blood. Donny, his father, and his mother had special blood. They could stay out in the sun. His father could because he and Solange exchanged blood, but only Donny and his mother could do it naturally.

Alex looked at Donny and he saw red. If it wasn't for the fact that he was fighting for Liliana's life, he would have ripped Donny's heart out. As it was, the earth split under Donny's feet, sending him sprawling.

Zacarias took over for Manolito after he took some of Solonge's blood, after he had been in there a few hours the sun had begun to rise, Rafael had gotten some of the human females that worked on the ranch to offer their blood but it didn't last as long as they needed it too, their energy was fading and they were all barely able to keep holding on to keep going, most of them were fighting the urge to sleep and keep working

"Manolito....I don't know how much longer we can keep going....and I fear....we have not felt her spirit return...I do not want to give up but we also can't risk anyone else dying and Solonge is not getting enough blood for what she is giving she is becoming weak" he said knowing everyone was thinking it as well

Liliana's body had gone cold and pale, and unmoving, Zacarias couldn't bear to look at her so he looked at Alex instead to see how he was holding up, He knew he could turn at this point, and they were all weak form trying to keep her alive it would be dangerous to fight a vampire right now, even one as young as him

"We can't give up!" Alex said, glaring at Donny. "Have him give blood too! After what he did, being a little dizzy won't hurt him!"

"Well, he may be Solange's son, but even..."

"He'll happily do it," said Solange.

"Mom!" Donny said. "You can't just volun..."

"She's in this mess because you can't control your temper!" Solange said. "The one thing I feared most was you hurting a woman. You've done worse! You may have killed her and her lifemate!"

"Way to lay the guilt on thick," said Donny under his breath.

"That had better be 'I understand and offer freely for my stupidity' or it will be much worse," said Solange.

"Okay!" said Donny. "I offer freely. Take what you need so that she may live."

Alex bit deep, causing Donny to wince. When he took enough, he forced Liliana to drink his blood. He would not give up. Not now. Jan had sent some of the workers to erect a temporary shelter to block the sun. It would help them stay out longer, give them a chance, but it didn't guarantee Liliana would survive. Just one more thing to try and tip the balance in their favor.

Donny offered to Manolito who was gentler, but still showing Donny was in the wrong. When Donny began to sway, he had some of the ranch hands replenish him. Then, Manolito set back to work. If Alex could fight the demon in him, roaring for vengeance and the need to kill, they could stay and fight for Lil.

The sun rose in a direction that made it hit them directly, bypassing the shelter, their hope was fading as with their strength, suddenly Liliana's body jerked as she took a breathe, from the line of the woods wolves started to emerge and walked towards them, their faces held no hostility as they slowly approached, the shadow of a dragon blanketed the shelter providing instant shade,one wolf went each carpathian therre minus liliana, once beside them they started digging, they dug into te growned until it was deep enough for each carrpathian to sit in and shelid themself from the sun and be surrounded by the healing soil, one by one each wolf gentle took a mouthful of the healing soil off of lilianas body and put it in the holes. When they were done the shadow of the dragon disappeared and the wolves seemed like they were waiting for something

Alex didn't notice anything. He was fighting to find Liliana's spirit, fighting to keep from turning, and fighting the need to rip Donny apart. Each beat of his heart sent tremors through the land.

Manolito got them moving. He thanked the wolves for their service, tears welling up. He urged everyone to get into the holes. When they made Alex move with Liliana, he gasped. He hid the dead grass from view. Alex was losing his battle. They had to save Liliana now, or lose them both.

Once everyone was in the holes each wolf laid across the top, completely shielding them from the sun but left enough room so they could still see Liliana's body, suddenly once he was safe in the hole with the wolf on top Alex felt a small presence in his mind, it was faint and weak but he instantly knew it was Liliana

Alex took action, latching on to the that dim light and holding on to it like the world depended on it, and he knew it did. He would not let her go this time. If she chose to go into the next world, that's where she would find him... after he destroyed the man that took her from him. No, he would not go quietly. Even the strange wolves would know that.

Liliana started to breathe on her own again, her heart was weak but it was beating on its own, everyone would feel the dim light of her conscious, comforting them, loving them but they would also feel how worried she was for them, how sad she was for putting them through this

With a soft and loving voice, Alex said, "This is not your fault. We want to save you, to have you with us. We have friends who will help us. We will not lose you, Liliana. Let us take care of you, warrior woman. Now, don't waste your energy comforting us. We will be fine. Don't let go of me, my love. Stay with us and rest. We have sent for our best healers. You will live. I swear it."

The wolves started to whine as if the were sad. The ones closest to lilianas body started to like her, cleaning her off and licking some her smaller wounds. Suddebly the wolves started growling and looking towards the forest, lilianas blood had started to atrack some ghouls, two appeared at the edge of the forest, they only saw the wolves because they were covering every one, the wolvees start to snarl and growl louder as they started to appraoch but they remain laid over the holes covering the carpathians beneath

Alex suppressed a growl. He had to trust the others to do what needed to be done. Dominic took up the fight. He quickly led the ghouls away. Solonge became worried for her lifemate. He would need to feed from her soon so that he could stay out in the sun.

I will go to ground after I deal with these puppets, he said. Help our idiot son fix this. You stay and provide for those saving the girl.

I know how much you want me with you, Solange said with a laugh. Go. But be safe.

"We will be safe," said Alex. "Calm down. You are effecting the wolves. Dominic will protect us. Manolito would kill me if I let go of your spirit for a second. Breath. Keep your heart beating. Don't let go of me. Stay alive."

The ghouls cries could be heard from the forest, but there was also a cry from dominic, before anyone could react all the wolves began to howl and few seconds after growling was heard from the woods and the ghoul's cries were heard again, it went silent. A few moments later three blood covered wolves were dragging a hurt Dominic towards the others, It was obvious they were not hurting him and he was gripping their fur for support and using his good leg to help them drag him, lucky it was only one of his leg that was hurt and nothing serious, but it was hurt bad enough he was unable to walk on it

Alex gasped, feeling her grow weaker. "Don't you dare give up, Liliana!" The earth rolled. "I swear, you will not die!"

Alex sensed more ghouls following the injured Dominic and his canine rescuers. Alex stood up. He would not let Dominic or Liliana die. He had to stop this. He kissed Liliana on the forehead, trusting her to Manolito. Manolito didn't have the heart to stop him.

He got out of the hole. He stood in the open, away from everyone. Power welled up inside of him, a power he had never felt before. Even from halfway across the world, Mikhail could feel the power. It was the power he shared, that only those who would become prince had.

Shut your eyes, he told everyone and the wolves that helped them. When they had, there was a bright flash. When they opened their eyes, the vampire's puppets were nothing but ashes. Then, he fell to the ground, breathing hard. He crawled back to the hole where Liliana lay. He made his way carefully to her side. He took her hand. Manolito let Alex feed from him, in awe of what he saw.

Zacarias went back into his body" the arm......it doesn't look good...she might lose it" he said with heaviness in is tone, knowing what that meant for a huntress and what it would mean for liliana after she had trained so hard

"She won't lose it," said Alex. "If you've called Gregori and Darius, they can save her and her arm. We just need to keep her alive until one or both of them arrive."

"its almost nightfall....when it comes we all need to go feed....we have no choice....alex you must feed too, someone will stay behind with liliana" he said in a tone which met it was not up for debate

"After what I did," he said with a chuckle, "I won't be able to leave this hole to feed. I'm sorry, but I had to end the attack. I know it's an inconvenience for you and your family."

"we will help you" he said plainly "but you need to feed and liliana needs you to feed " he said in an emotionless tone "plus we need to find out who sent these wolves..." he said in a low tone

"And thank them," said Alex. "They saved us."

Donny started to leave but his mother grabbed his ear. "Ow! Mom!"

Solonge ignored him and went to Zacarias, saying, "My son will hunt for Alex and Liliana to make up for what he has done." She tugged. "Right?"

"Ouch!" Donny said. "Yeah! Yeah! I volunteer to hunt for them!" His mother let go of his ear, and he rubbed it, saying under his breath, "That hurts like hell."

"What was that?" asked Solonge.

"I mean, I'm ready to leave," Donny said.

"Good boy," said Solonge.

When the sun went down the wolves got up, but not a minute before, the whole pack started to lick Liliana, every bruise, cut and scrap, to everyone surprise they kept licking the healing soil and then her, until every inch of her was lightly covered in the soil. Then all laid around her up against her, raising her body heat and helping with circulation. In total nine wolves covered her and surrounded her, the alpha of the group emerged from the woods, He was larger than the rest and all black with golden eyes. he slowly approached Liliana keeping a close eye on everyone, the way he walked was more then enough to show is dominance. Once he was there he looked down at her, close to her face, a growl echoed in his chest until he barked a deep loud bark in her face, the second he did everyone would hear her heart start, it was slow but it was there, the alpha nudge her head and she took a breath on her own

Alex said, "Thank you. Please, tell us who sent you. I would like to show them gratitude for saving my lifemate."

The alpha looked at Alex only for a moment before he laid down next to her head and started licking her worst wounds, Liliana's groaned in pain, the alphas big paw went on her chest to keep her still as it continued to lick, the wounds started to bleed again but it was small and it was only enough to start cleaning out anything that was in the wounds but Alex and everyone wound know it would be extremely painful if she felt it, suddenly her heart started to beat faster and a little bit stronger

Alex started to sit up, upset that they were hurting Liliana. However, Manolito held him down.

"He's helping," Manolito said. "Rest and keep holding her spirit to you." Manolito reached for the wolf. Who are you? Who sent you?

questions that can be answered later.....go...you and your kind must feed....we will watch over the girl...but soon...her blood will bring those of the shadows.....I ask that you bring my family food as well....deer...deer is good he could tell by the way he spoke and communicate he was a wild and strong alpha

Manolito sighed. He followed his brothers, Jan, and Donny to go feed. Alex, unable to really move, stayed behind. He hated seeing Liliana in pain.

"Please hurry," Alex said.

"They will return when they are able," said Solonge. "Keep holding on to her spirit."

Alex wished he and Liliana could just sleep. He wanted to hold her close and not worry if she would live to see the next rising. His world was right next to him, weak and fading. His sanity was balanced on the edge of a knife and he feared where he landed when this was over.

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