“That’s not the same thing, and you know it.”
He let out a breath. “How close are you to finding something to fix him?”
“I don’t know. I have a lead, but I’m not sure what I’ll find. It could be a day. It could be five. I need time.” My anxiety level shot through the roof. What if I took too long? What if after all this, I found what I needed and I was too late to save him?
He had to hang on.
“Claudia… I just… I don’t know if he’s got that kind of time.”
I thought hard and fast. There had to be something I could do. “Is he sedated?”
“Yeah. But the drugs are wearing off faster and faster. He was only knocked out for an hour and a half before he ripped apart our RV and I gave him enough to put out an Alpha. We nearly wrecked… I don’t think we can stay on the road much longer.”
I let out a breath. Last I knew they were in Mexico City. “Where are you now?”
“We’re almost to Guatemala. We’ve been taking turns driving, so we’re going as fast as we can.”
If they couldn’t make it all the way here, then I’d have to find a way to get to them. I’d had a few hours between flights at the Lima airport, so I’d scanned the flight boards. There’d been a lot of people traveling to Central and South America, but I’d seen a lot of flights headed to Costa Rica. “Okay. San Jose is in between here and there. And I think there are regular flights from Peru. Can you get there?”
“Yeah. We can make it that far.”
“Good. I’ll meet you there.” I took a steadying breath. “Four days.” I could do it in four. I just had to hurry. “Just give me four days.”
“I’ll do my best. But I’m not God. There’s nothing more we can do for him until you get here.”
Maybe I could do something for him. “Put me on speaker. I’m going to do a healing chant.”
“Does that work over the phone?”
God. I hoped so. “I’ve never tried it, but it can’t hurt.”
The phone clicked and I could hear the background noise in the room. “Beth? Shane?”
“Yeah?” they said.
“I’m doing a healing chant. Join in if you want.”
“Okay,” Shane said. “We’re ready. You lead. We’ll follow.”
I started singing an old song that talked of healing the soul and body. The tone was repetitive, which was supposed to be soothing. As a kid, I’d hated this chant, but now I was glad my mother had forced me to learn it.
The words slid off my tongue and with them, magic sparked. My voice twined with Beth and Shane’s. I focused my power melding with theirs, strengthening their magic. As the power grew, I felt myself growing tired, and I reveled in it.
It was working.
When the spell ended, I held my breath, waiting to hear how Raphael was.
“His color is better,” Adrian said. “Much better.”
I let out a long breath. It wasn’t a fix by any means, but I was so thankful it had helped at all. “Good.” I wiped my now sweating face. “Good.” I checked my watch. It was just about dinnertime now. I still had time to eat and rest before the morning. Hopefully a good night sleep would help gain back some of my magic before I went to see the evil brujos. “Will you take me off speaker and put the phone to Raphael’s ear?”
“Sure.” All the ambient sounds from the RV quieted. “Putting it against his ear now.”
I cleared my throat. “Raphael de Santos. You listen to me! You hang on. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to Luciana’s magic. Not ever. You wait for me. Whatever it takes. You wait for me to come to you.” I heard a grunt, and I took that as him agreeing. “Good. I love you. So much.”
“Are you okay?” Adrian asked.
I took about a second to be embarrassed that he probably heard all of that before letting it go. “No. I’m not even remotely okay.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
“No. Just… Keep him alive for me, okay. He’s really all I’ve got left.”
“That’s not true. You’ve got Tessa and Dastien and me and all of the rest of the pack. You’ve got the coven members who left Luciana. You’ve got Axel and your aunt and uncle. You’ve got Tia Rosa. You’re not alone. Even if the worst happens, you won’t be alone. Never.”
A tear fell down my cheek, and I brushed it away. “Thank you. That means a lot to me.”