"Based on the information Peri has been gathering, we think it would be beneficial to send out two groups to two locations that are opposite one another in the country. We might be able to pick something up inadvertently just by being in the right place. For example, Peri and Decebel were able to get Costin a job at a bar in Ruse, which is right on the border of Bulgaria, close to the forest where we think Mona was headed. This bar is frequented by supernatural beings.
“Sally will join him, along with Jen, Decebel, Sorin, Cynthia, and Drake. And thanks to Perizada, Elle will be joining you as well. The other group will include me, Alina, Fane, Jacque, Crina, Rachel, Gavril, and Adam, again thanks to Peri’s help. Skender will stay behind and take care of my pack and Decebel will appoint someone in his place while we are gone. Our group will be heading deep into the Carpathian Mountains, in the area close to the bridge above the In Between.” Vasile stopped pacing. “Now, at one time there were tribes of pixies…"
"Whoa, hold the heck up," Jen interrupted. Decebel placed his hand on her thigh, which she ignored.
"Pixies? Seriously? Okay, right here, right now, give us a list of all the non-human beings that inhabit this great planet but live in secret all up in our Kool-Aid."
Sally and Jacque were nodding their heads in agreement.
Decebel rolled his eyes and waited to see how Vasile would respond to his mate’s outburst. He probably should have put duct tape on her mouth before the meeting began, but she tended to make things more interesting.
"I heard that about the duct tape, you Neanderthal," Jen growled through their bond.
Decebel chuckled out loud as Jen pushed his hand off her thigh. He just put his hand back, not bothered by her attitude in the slightest.
"How about I have my people get the list typed up and they will give it your people?"
Snorts of laughter rippled across the room.
Jen narrowed her eyes at Vasile. "Did you just make a joke?” She snorted, then added with a growl, “Your people had better get in touch with my people."
"Done." Vasile nodded and smiled slyly, “On both accounts.” He looked back at the rest of the group and continued. "As I was saying, there used to be a tribe of pixies near the bridge. They tend to be quite nosy and like to keep tabs on what's coming and going out of the Veil into the In Between."
"Are they good or bad?" Sally asked.
"Pixies are independent and will tend to side with the winning team. They aren’t inherently evil, but they tend to do what's best for them, not the good of everyone. Hopefully they can see that Mona has no concern for them or the outcome of their species in regard to the demons she wants to unleash."
"Great." Jacque threw her hands up in frustration. "So you're telling me that we are going into a forest close to the opening of what is essentially hell for those of us who don’t want to torture, maim, and rule the world. Then, on top of that, we don't know if the creatures we are looking for even live there anymore, and, just to add insult to injury, we aren't guaranteed to get their allegiance?"
Fane slipped his hand up under her hair to wrap it around her neck. He squeezed affectionately. "You are just a ball of warm fuzzies, aren't you, love?"
Jacque shrugged. "I'm just keeping it real, wolf-man."
"It does look like it will be difficult and quite possibly impossible, but who else is there to do it?" Vasile asked, not unkindly.
Jacque leaned into Fane with a groan. "Okay, okay. I get it. We have to save the world because we can't expect someone else to step up and do it. Gah, you just had to go there, didn't you?"
"Feeling a little frustrated today?" Fane asked her.
"It's just one thing after another. If one of us chicks aren't being chick-napped, it's some deluded, ego-inflated Alpha on a power trip, and if it's not that, then it's a witch that wants to take over the world using some demons from the pit of hell. What's next?"
"Perhaps next the pixies will rise up and decide they're tired of being used and start wreaking havoc all over the place."
Jacque leaned forward and turned to look at Fane. "Really, Fane, that's all you got? Hell, why stop there? Let's go with maybe all the supernatural beings will join forces and decide that they want rule the world."
"Oh, I got one." Jen raised her hand, bouncing in her chair like an eager child. "How 'bout the supernaturals that ban together decide that once they take over the world they don't want to just kill us outright, so they make the humans go out into the woods in groups and fight for supplies and food to stay alive."
Sally and Jacque glanced at each other, rolling their eyes in sync. "Jen, you dork, that’s the Hunger Games. As in the books and the movie."
"Oh, damn. I knew it was a good idea." Jen looked over to Decebel. "It was a good idea wasn't it, babe?"
Decebel patted her leg and nodded. "It was an awesome idea."
Jen frowned at him. "You're just humoring me, aren't you?"
Jen shrugged her shoulders. "At least you’re honest."
Vasile cleared his throat as he frowned at everyone. "Can we continue, or do you all need a little more time to think of the next hopeless scenario?"
Nobody answered, which was the wise road to take.
Sally raised her hand.
"You don't have to raise your hand, Sally," Costin teased.
"After the look he just gave us, I think I will play it safe."
Vasile smiled at Sally.
Jen rolled her eyes. "Sally, are you seriously raising your hand? We aren't in school anymore." Jen grinned wickedly at her friend. "But if you insist on acting the part of the student, what part does your dreamy, finger-liquor good mate play?"
"Would you like to explain to me why you are referring to Costin as finger-licking good?"
"Baby, I think your old age is catching up with you and affecting your hearing. I said he is finger-liquor good. It's a play on words, 'cause he's, like, a bartender. Get it?"
Decebel let out an exasperated sigh. "Could you just please refrain from describing any males in a way that indicates attraction."
"Jealous?" Jen teased.
This time when Decebel growled and looked at her, he held her eyes with his glowing ones. "You're mine. I don't share, not even your attraction. Keep your eyes to yourself, Jennifer, or you're going to get some poor wolf killed."