It was pitch black in the cave. “I can’t see anything. Can you?”
The blond wolf—Chris huffed, and started walking into the darkness.
I pulled my backpack off and started digging around. If my cousins stuck a flashlight in there, I was going to owe them big time.
My hand touched a familiar shape, and I flipped the button. “Nice.”
There were three tunnels ahead of us. Christ. We didn’t have time to get lost.
“I’ll go down this one,” Meredith said. “Adrian, you go down that way—”
Chris turned back to human. Fully naked human.
I spun around. “Jesus. Give me some warning next time.”
He chuckled. “Didn’t mean to offend. But I wanted to tell Meredith that splitting up was a terrible idea. Have you never watched a scary movie?”
They started arguing, but I ignored them and focused on Dastien again.
He was down the left tunnel. I was sure of it. “This way.”
“Wait. What?” Meredith said.
“Chris, go wolf again. I don’t need to see your junk.”
“He’s furry,” Meredith said after a few seconds.
“Good.” I flashed my light down the left tunnel. “Let’s go.”
Every time we reached another fork, I did the same thing.
The stench became stronger with each passing step, until finally it got so bad that I gagged.
“Don’t,” Meredith said. “If you throw up, then I’m going to throw up.”
We turned a corner, and Chris—in wolf form—jumped in front of me.
“Sweet baby Jesus,” Meredith said. “I hope your cousins packed us some fucking good weapons.”
I swallowed. The next cave room was huge—at least a city block wide and long. The ceiling was super far up, a good fifty-sixty feet. There was a hole in it revealing the dark oranges of sunset. Night was only minutes away, and I realized that getting here had taken much, much longer than I thought it would.
Under the hole was a giant rock formation surrounded by stalagmites. Four bound figures sat atop it.
“You might be wanting to hurry up. They’ll be waking up soon.” Donovan’s voice echoed in the cave.
Between their rock island and our perch on the wall, a sea of vampires lay dead on the recessed cave floor. We would have to hop down from our ledge, not impossible for us supes, and then hopscotch over each body. They’d left no clear path.
My heart pounded at the thought of walking over hundreds of sleeping vampires. But the thought of walking over hundreds of almost awake vampires was infinitely worse. I was the last to jump down from the ledge. I missed my mark and crunched awkwardly on a vampire hand. I couldn’t move. More noxious fumes rose from the corpse, but otherwise he didn’t stir. I tried to breathe as little as possible and not step on them, but they were so densely packed in the room, it didn’t last for long.
The cavern was getting darker by the second.
Meredith and my three wolfy friends weren’t as easily spooked as me. They ran off, leaving me to trail behind.
A vampire near my leg reached out, brushing my ankle. “Holy shit. They’re waking up.” Suddenly, I didn’t care so much about stepping on them. I ran forward, glancing up only to keep track of the direction I needed to go, and desperately trying to keep my balance as I stepped on the barely moving vampires.
I let out a breath as I finally caught up. The three wolves faced outward at the seethe. Meredith was in just her bra, the remains of her shirt falling apart in her hands as she tried to remove the silver from Donovan.
Meredith cried out. “It burned through my T-shirt. I can’t get them off. I can’t get them off.”
“Calm yourself, love,” Donovan said. He looked like he was perfectly fine relaxing on this rock, but his skin was smoking where the chains touched him. There was no way that didn’t hurt like a bitch.
She turned to me franticly. “I can’t get them off. What are we going to do now?”
“How the hell did they get them on in the first place?”
“Special gloves made of inorganic material,” Sebastian said. “But they didn’t leave those behind after the cowards tied us up and left us here.”
I didn’t need to see the sheen of sweat covering Dastien’s skin to know he was in pain. I could feel it nagging at the end of our bond.
“You’re going to get out of this cave. Now.” Dastien put a bit of power behind his demand, and I let it fly by me.