Dark Wolf(10)By: Christine Feehan
The path was broken, fading away, very faint, but she could follow it, those psychic footprints she was so familiar with. Pain ripped through her until every nerve ending was inflamed and burning. She had to turn her head to vomit, the pain excruciating.
She tugged at her hands, silently telling Josef she was under control and to let go. The moment he did, she pushed her fingers into the soil. That act alone gave her more strength. More determined than ever, Skyler reached again for the fading trail leading back to Dimitri.
She saw the way in colors as she always did, long silver streaks like a comet, only this time those streaks were edged bloodred. Dimitri had once told her he knew of no one else who could see a psychic trail in the same way she did. Bitter cold slipped into her mind. Her body continually shook. She drew on Josef, all that wonderful strong psychic energy he possessed and so freely and generously gave to her.
Csitri. Little one. You cannot be here.
She nearly sobbed. Tears collected in her throat until the lump threatened to choke her. His beloved voice was ravaged and raw.
There is no other place for me. There is only you. Be still and let me examine you. She found it more of an effort to speak to him; the pain, so close to him, was overwhelming.
I don’t want this for you.
She knew that already. He would protect her from any hurt if he could. The biggest threat to her would be to lose him—and that was not going to happen. She took a deep breath, her fists curled tightly in the soil as an anchor, and she sent her spirit into his ravaged body.
Dimitri was being attacked from so many directions it was difficult to find a starting point. Long thin streaks of silver inched through his body like deadly worms, tracer bullets, she thought at first. Had he been shot numerous times with silver bullets? She followed the path of one of those lines back to the source.
Her heart stuttered in her chest. For the first time she faltered. Hooks. He had hooks of silver in his body, great terrible claws shooting out their deadly poison into his system. The silver inched its way through his veins and muscle, spread along his bones, threading its way to every organ, always seeking his heart. The slow spread of silver throughout his body was deadly to the Lycan in his blood.
She chose the line closest to his heart. The silver seemed to be liquid, tiny beads of it stretching through his body. Very small, the threads appearing as veins. She experimented with bringing her spirit close to the end of it. The silver trail flinched back. She didn’t dare melt it because it could run through his body even faster. There were so many hooks. The problem seemed impossible.
She pushed aside anxiety and near panic as the emotions rose so sharp and ugly. She was thinking as a Carpathian, but what of that other side of her? Razvan was her father, and he had mage blood. His father was the most powerful mage ever known. Surely she had mage blood as well. That was the very reason her grandfather had rejected her and sold her to another man. He believed she didn’t have the Carpathian blood he needed to be immortal. It was possible she could use that other side, often ignored because she didn’t want to remember it was part of her heritage.
Tiny silver threads, so deadly and bright,
I call upon the earth to steal your might,
As you were created, I shall undo.
I call on your makers and take on your hue.
Skyler moved forward, closer to the silver threads, concentrating on the end as she stretched her spirit, extending her white light to touch the fine end.
That which was created shall now become mine,
Chlorine, sulfur, antimony and arsenic I bind.
Chlorine that holds the color of green and gold,
I take on your energy and now so do I hold.
She called on the things of the earth. She was a daughter of the earth, bound to its properties. Mother Earth had always come to her aid when she had need. She felt that connection now and drew on it.
Sulfur, oh brimstone with life-giving gifts,
I breathe in your essence and take of your gifts,
Antimony, sweet metal, I take on your shine,
And weave now a barrier that none may unbind,
She was the granddaughter of the most powerful mage the world had ever known, and his blood, whether she liked it or not, ran in her veins. Right now, in this moment of terrible crisis, she used whatever gifts had been given to her gratefully.
Arsenic sweet arsenic so lethal and gray,
I call on your power to shift poison away.
Silver I touch, silver I wind,
Silver I release back to your source.
To her utter astonishment the silver vein began to actually move backward.
It’s seeping out my pores. Dimitri gave a gasp, desperate to suppress the pain, to block it so Skyler couldn’t feel the burn as the silver seemed to eat through his entire body, flame through his very skin, to drop away onto the ground below him.
She followed that thin line of silver back to the source. The hooks the Lycans had placed in his body were actually tubes of silver beads. The tiny beads at the tip of the hook where it was inserted into the body eventually heated from body temperature, turning the bead to a liquid form. The bead dropped into the body and began to stretch out, reaching for the heart. It took thousands of those beads to form the network of deadly veins. It was an ugly way for anyone to die.
Skyler focused on the hook, searching her mind for a way to stop the flow of venomous silver into Dimitri’s body.
Hooks of silver, curved and sharp,
Inserted in flesh to poison the heart,
Iced brimstone and fire I call you now forth.
Come out and heat this evil source.
Skyler focused completely on the tips of the hooks, determined to close the hollowed, opened end so that there was no way for that terrible silver to continue poisoning Dimitri’s body.
Take what is open and seal it now closed,
So no more that is poison can seek what is exposed.
Take what is liquid and give it a form,
Sealing away all, so it no more can harm.
Skyler knew she couldn’t hold the bridge between them for long. There was no way to remove all the silver spreading through his body in the time she had before she collapsed. She had chosen the longest lines, the ones most threatening, and meticulously pushed them back to their source and then through Dimitri’s pores. One by one she removed those thin, deadly threads as fast as she could.
Skyler. Come back. You have to come back now! Dimitri, send her back to us now! She’s lost. She’s too far away and stretched too thin.
She heard the call as if from a great distance. Josef, she recognized, and his voice was filled with fear.
Dimitri’s tone was tender, gentle. Filled with love. Surrounding her with warmth when she was so cold. Icy cold.
You must go back. Now, csitri, I cannot lose you. When you are strong enough, come back and finish what you’ve started.