“The second. When the sun is up, they’re dead,” Chris said.
“Caves.” I glanced at my watch. “Mr. H would leave them in the den to be food when the vamps wake. That doesn’t give us much time to get there, drag their asses out, and stop any attack on the town.”
“I should mention that this isn’t a small den. There are a lot of them,” Raphael said.
“Think hundreds,” Claudia said.
“Perfect. It’s not like we’ll be outnumbered at all,” Meredith said.
“Shit.” I slapped a hand over my mouth as soon as I let it slip.
“Tess!” Mom said.
“Sorry, Mom, but really—this is a completely shit scenario.”
“Tess,” Axel said. He’d been so quiet, I almost forgot he was there. “This seems really dangerous. I think you should leave with us. Let’s just go.”
“Sorry, broham. No can do.” I smiled sadly. Things had changed so much in the past couple of weeks.
“She’s right, Axel,” Dad said. “Even if I want to lock your sister up to keep her safe, she’s got a different path now.”
That made me feel nearly like a grown up. Maybe I wasn’t such a mess after all.
“You need to be sure before you go into a vampire den that the wolves are actually there,” Meredith said, breaking the silence. “Can you connect with him? Like you did before?”
“Maybe. But what if he’s all drugged-out still?”
Claudia reached across the table. “If you can connect with one of your pack, then I’ll give you the power to strengthen the connection. Should be enough to see him even if they’re unconscious and get an idea about their surroundings.”
That seemed like a bad idea.
“You won’t get anything off of me.” She winked.
I didn’t really know what she meant about power.
“You can trust her,” Mom said. “She’s family. She’ll help.”
My hand shook a little as I placed my hand in hers, but Claudia didn’t comment on it.
I gasped as our skin touched. It was like sticking my hand in an electric socket. Or like drinking ten gallons of coffee. I was hyperaware of my senses, and since I was already part-wolf—it was majorly intense. The colors in the room were brighter. The scents stronger. I could hear every breath being taken, every heart beating.
“Now close your eyes,” Claudia said, “and picture your mate.”
I did. My consciousness raced out of my house, through the wilderness, to a cave. Through tunnels. To four men huddled on the floor. They were chained. Their skin smoked where metal met flesh. Dastien and Mr. Dawson were still unconscious, but Donovan and Sebastian were awake.
“And who might you be?” Donovan said, looking my way. He sniffed. “Is that you, Teresa Elizabeth McCaide?”
“Can you hear me?” I asked.
Donovan and Sebastian looked at each other and then down at Dastien. “Wake,” Donovan said. Power rippled over my skin, and Dastien gasped.
“Merde!” He groaned. “What is it? What happened?” he said as he took in his surroundings. “Putain de merde!”
“Dastien,” I said.
His gaze met mine. “Please tell me you’re not actually here.”
If he could actually see me, then Claudia’s extra juice was worth it. “I’m not there. But I’m coming. Just hang on.”
I didn’t give him a chance to say anything else. They were fine for now, but they wouldn’t stay that way. I broke the link, and was back in my parents’ dining room. “I know where they are. Let’s go.”
My chair toppled to the floor as I jumped up.
“One more thing,” Raphael said. He went to the living room and brought back two small backpacks. “You’ll need these.”
“No way!” Adrian said.
The others fell in line, ooohing over them. “Am I missing something?”
“Weapons.” Claudia grinned, revealing two deep dimples.
“Not just any weapons,” Adrian said. “Bruja weapons. They’re the best.”
“Sí,” Raphael said. “For the one who doesn’t wish to change and the one who cannot.”
Meredith took the pack but held it away from her like it was going to bite her.
“I packed these special for each of you. You’ll know what to do with what’s inside,” Claudia said.
That was kind of creepy. I grabbed the other backpack. “Great. Thanks. Now can we go?”