Dark Legend (Page 11)

Something terrible was going on in the city. Francesca could hardly bear to look at the news. There were strings of murders, mutilations, terrible things that seemed to be breaking out all over the city. Was it Lucian? Was he responsible for the crimes sweeping her beloved Paris? If she and Gabriel left, would he follow them? It was more than the brutal murders, it was the feel of the city, as if something evil resided there. Something dark and malevolent, crouching, awaiting its moment to rise. Somehow it seemed to permeate the city until the residents were affected. Fights broke out, wrecks occurred on the streets, and conflict erupted everywhere.

It was important to her to spend as much time as possible with Gabriel. She wanted to be with him each rising, when the night was so beautiful it took her breath away. She wanted the early morning hours. She wanted to make love to him, watch his gaze become so intent that she felt a rush of heat through her body. They had spent every moment they could together, their only responsibility checking on Skyler. Francesca wasn't yet ready to relinquish her time with Gabriel, but he was a hunter and the newspaper reported that evil had found its way into her city. He could do no other than destroy what threatened his family.

Gabriel moved up behind her, silent as was his way, his palm shaping the nape of her neck, his touch warm. “It is not only Lucian, my love. I believe Skyler and you are targets of the undead. You are now out in the open. I have exposed you to a danger you managed to elude for long centuries. Skyler is not of age, but her ability is strong and she has come out of her own mind where she had so successfully remained in hiding. The undead seek ones such as Skyler. We need to move her to this house immediately and set up strong safeguards for her.”

“Brice said one more day,” Francesca murmured, all too aware of his hands on her. She was always so aware of Gabriel. His rich scent, the power in his body when he moved. Most of all, the way he needed her. The way it was so necessary for him to touch her, to allow his fingers to drift through her hair, to touch her skin. The connection between them. She loved the way he glided up behind her and circled his arms around her, his hands locked protectively over their child.

Their child.

It was growing inside her, a part of her, a part of him. A miracle she had never expected. He thought he had committed an unforgivable crime, yet she wanted to weep with the joy of it. He had given her a gift beyond measure, beyond her dreams. Francesca wanted to laugh aloud at herself. How silly and childish she had been to think she would walk into the dawn.

She was a healer, a woman of power, one who knew her body intimately. Gabriel could not have deceived her unless she had wanted to be deceived. She had taken his dark desire willingly, returned it tenfold. He thought he wielded so much power over her, yet on some level she had known all along what was happening. She had known. She was no fledging; she was an ancient. He could not have seduced her without her consent.

Was the call of a lifemate so strong? Or was it the lure of Gabriel himself? The legend. The myth. The Carpathian wanting to share her life, no, needing to share her life. She leaned into him, her body finding the exact niche it sought as if they had been made for each other.

.

Gabriel, a shadow in her mind, refrained from reminding her they had been made for each other. Exclusively. Francesca was the other half of his soul, his heart. She was his world, the reason he had spent two thousand years in darkness. She was the reason he fought so hard to rid the world of the undead. She needed to know he was the reason she had held on to life for as long as she had. They belonged to each other.

Francesca glanced over her shoulder at him, her large dark eyes very expressive. “I am reading your mind, Gabriel,” she said softly, a small smile tugging intriguingly at the corners of her mouth.

“If you were reading my mind,” he responded wickedly, “you would be blushing right now.”

She found herself blushing just at the sound of his voice, the brush of velvet, the whisper of his breath. She didn't need to see the images in his mind, so vivid in detail, so completely erotic. “Stop it, we have work to do this rising.” She took a deep breath. “Especially you.” She could feel her heart skip a beat at her words. She was sending him out into the city to hunt the vampire, to try to find out what was happening to her beloved home. Evil was stalking Paris.

Lucian.

Dark angel, the fallen angel. At once she felt incredibly sad and knew she was catching Gabriel's sorrow, so intense it washed through him like a turbulent storm.

Gabriel turned away from her, removing his touch as well as his mind to spare her the intensity of his grief, but Francesca immediately swung around and captured him within the circle of her arms. Soothing, tranquil, his healer as well as his lifemate. Her mind found his unerringly, sending him waves of peace and comfort. “I am with you, Gabriel, always with you. Do not feel as if you are alone in your task.”

“If you are sharing my mind, Francesca, then you will see him as he was, a warrior unsurpassed by any other. He gave his life for our people, for mankind. I believed in him always and he never once let me down. After all the battles, all the times I witnessed his kills, it is still impossible for my heart to accept what I know to be true.” Gabriel raked a hand through his long black hair, his dark eyes stricken. “He fought the vampire night after night. He suffered many wounds, terrible wounds, and often he took my place when I would have been injured. He moved that swiftly, inserting his body between mine and the undead when we battled. I never heard him complain, not once in all those endless centuries. He always did the right thing, no matter the cost to himself, yet now I am sworn to destroy him.”

Francesca chose her words very carefully. “It is no longer the man you are hunting, Gabriel, but a shell left behind. What once was great, the soul and mind and heart of your twin, is long gone from this earth. You cannot think of him as being the one you loved so much, the one you held in such high esteem. This is a vampire, the undead, and is not your twin.”

..

Gabriel caught her hand, held it to his chest over his heart. “I know what you say is true, yet he is not like the undead I have hunted and destroyed for my entire life. He retains certain qualities I would never have expected.”

She moved closer to him, a small protective gesture he treasured. “Perhaps' those small things have been your downfall with him, Gabriel. Perhaps he was cunning enough to know the memories would defeat you where he could not.”

He brought her hand to the warmth of his mouth. “I know only that he was a great man and I loved him much. We were together two thousand years, Francesca, even during the last few centuries when we battled long. He was always there, touching my mind, sharing information, a challenge in a world of emptiness. It was Lucian who allowed me to continue when the darkness threatened and the whisper of power called to me. He was always there, my mission on this earth. To allow another to destroy him would be a sacrilege and I have given my word of honor to him.” He shook his head, his sorrow so great it weighed both of them down, a stone on their hearts.

“Gabriel?”

The voice shimmered in his mind and Francesca heard it as clearly as Gabriel did. It was soft and beautiful. Lonely. Concerned. It sent a shiver deep inside her very soul. How could one so evil possess such a gift, such a weapon? If he commanded her obedience, would she be strong enough to resist the lure of that voice?

“If you seek me, Lucian, simply reveal where you are and I will come to you in all haste.”

Gabriel sounded weary, and his tone alarmed Francesca. She took a firmer grip on his arm, terrified that that beguiling voice was somehow wearing Gabriel down so that he no longer believed in his abilities.

“You are tired, brother. I would not want to take unfair advantage when there is much more entertaining prey. I will leave you to your rest.”

The contact was broken as easily and as swiftly as it had been made. Gabriel buried his face in the warmth of her neck. “Do you see what I am saying? It was my sorrow that brought his mind to mine. He retains a strong connection with me that I cannot sever.” He lifted his head, his black eyes searching her face with such intensity she could hardly bear his scrutiny.

“I want you to know something, Francesca. You have given me more happiness in the short time we have been together than I have ever known in all the centuries of my existence. I am honored that I was given such a wonderful lifemate, a woman of courage and beauty when I have only known evil. I have never had a home before. I look around this dwelling of yours and I see you everywhere. I went into the room you put together for Skyler and it was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I touched the quilt you had wrought for her. It was you. Soothing. Compassionate. Courageous. It was filled with life and love and laughter. I felt the safeguard to keep her nightmares at bay. It was strong, as you are strong.”

Embarrassed by his words, Francesca looked away from the black depths of his eyes. In a way, his words were frightening, almost as if he were saying good-bye. He caught her chin in his fingers, stilling her so that his gaze could capture hers. “Do not look away from me. You deserve to look into my heart and mind and know the truth of my words. There is no other woman in the world like you. I would want no other. If something happens to me, I know you will choose to stay in this world, you will be strong enough to raise our child with enough love for both of us. You will see to it that our child knows who I was and what I stood for.”

“Gabriel, don't!” Francesca jerked away from him. “You are talking about yourself in the past tense. You will destroy Lucian, I know that you will.”

He nodded slowly. “Yes. I have no choice.”

Francesca found herself clutching his arm, giving him a little shake. “You don't believe you will return to me.”

“No, Lucian will take me with him.” His hands framed her face. “You are in my heart, and wherever I go, I will take memories of you with me until such time as you are able to join me. It is enough that you and Skyler and our child will remain safe.”

“I am your lifemate, Gabriel. You insisted on the ritual, you bound us together, you gave me a child. You cannot go into battle with the idea that you will not return. Lifemates remain together,” she protested. He believed what he was saying, and all at once she realized he was everything she had ever wanted in her life. Gabriel. Her lifemate. Her legend come to life.

A small smile tugged at his sculpted mouth. “You are so brave, my love, you will remain even when others would not. You have known a life on this earth few others could have managed. You would never abandon Skyler when she is in such need. She must be guarded at all times and brought up to know her own power and strength. Without you, Skyler would retreat back into her mind and be lost to our people. You know that. In your heart you know it is only the link you forged with her that keeps her with us. You cannot leave her. And there is our child, growing inside you, part of me, part of you. You must be the one to raise and guide him so that he has the strength so many others do not. I would want no other to perform this task. He must know you, and through you, me.” Gabriel kissed her forehead gently, his hands tunneling in her hair.

“And you must be here to help me with these tasks, Gabriel,” Francesca replied, striving to remain calm. He was calm. Tranquil even. She felt his deep sorrow, but there was acceptance in him, complete acceptance of the future. “I mean it, Gabriel. Call the others. Call Gregori. He is a great hunter of the undead. You do not know his reputation, but vampires walk in fear of him. There are several others who could help. Aidan would come from the United States. He is feared by those he hunts. His brother is powerful and the Prince would come to aid you. All would do so. Lucian could not defeat all of them.”

Gabriel brought her hand to his mouth, lingered over the pulse beating so frantically in her wrist. “This is all a game to Lucian, Francesca. Right now he is soaking up what this century has to offer, feeding his intellect, but he will soon grow bored and the game will begin in earnest. If I broke my vow to him, my word of honor, I could not live with myself, and worse, he would use his power in such a way as to destroy all those who sought him. The Prince has a lifemate; I believe the others do also. Their loved ones might be his targets. We cannot take such a chance. You would not want me to do such a thing.”

She rested her forehead on his chest, struggling not to cry. “I am very afraid, Gabriel. You attribute all kinds of wonderful traits to me, but I am a woman who had chosen to end her lonely existence before you came. Now you think I will not only choose to stay without you, but I will do so for at least two more centuries. Alone.”

“Or longer if you must. The child is most likely a male. He will need you to give him memories that will last until his lifemate is found.”

“You can defeat Lucian. I know you can do it. There must be a way, Gabriel. We have to find a way.” She raised her head to look directly into his eyes. “I have examined your memories of him. I know that you bested him once. You caught him by surprise and locked him into the ground with you. He did not expect such an attack by you and it worked. We have only to think of something similar, something he would never expect. I will work with you. He will not think a woman would do such a thing. Do not smile, Gabriel, I am serious.”

He bent his dark head to kiss her. She was so beautiful to him in every way. When he looked at her, she warmed him. When she talked this way, she melted his heart. “You are incapable of harming a fly, Francesca. You would want to aid me; indeed you would try, but the healer in you would prevent you from destroying another. Even the undead. And Lucian is not like the vampires you have seen or heard of. He appears beautiful and is more deadly than all others. You would hesitate, and he would kill you. I would never allow such an event to take place.”

“Then do not confront him until we come up with a plan that will work,” Francesca said decisively. “I will not give you to him so easily. I will not, Gabriel. You must defeat him and live.”

“We have been tied together two thousand years,” he replied sadly.

“We are tied together now. What happens to you happens to me. I will not allow him to take you with him,” she said furiously. Her silken hair went flying in all directions. “He cannot have you, Gabriel. He is using his voice to defeat you, using your own emotions. You are an ancient and the strength of your love is vast. He knows you feel for him while he cannot. It is his advantage. You must separate what remains on this earth from what was lost to you. He is no longer Lucian, your twin, your hero; he is foul and unclean and it was his choice.”

Gabriel shook his head. “I wish that were true, my love. It would make my task so much easier, but Lucian did not have a choice. He waited long with me, far past the time he would have met the dawn. He waited to protect me even though he lost his emotions centuries before I did. He waited too long for my sake. In the end he was unable to make a rational choice. He was too close. He rose without me and it was done.” He bowed his head in shame. “I was struggling with the demon. It was with me endlessly, calling, whispering that all was lost to me. I thought I would rise undead if I did not choose the dawn. There was so much death around us, so much violence. I often wonder if my struggle pushed him over the edge.”

Francesca flung her arms around his neck. “Do not do that to yourself, Gabriel. We have enough burdens to bear in our lives without taking on those that belong to others. You must honor Lucian's last request and defeat him. Remember your true brother, the one who shared your life for those two thousand years. He fought to protect you that you might find me, and you have. Your real brother would want your life, not your death.”

He brushed at the silken ebony strands tumbling around her face. “You have given me food for thought, Francesca. In the meantime, I must hunt this night for the lesser vampires that have invaded the city. They are a foul stench in the air, impossible to ignore.”

“I will send out the quilts and stained-glass pieces I have been working on. I do have a business to run,” Francesca said, trying to think of mundane things so that she wouldn't live in terror of what Lucian might do to Gabriel.

“There is no need for worry,” he said softly, his voice magic and so pure Francesca felt instantly better. He was like a clear breeze blowing through her body, removing the terrible fear.

Francesca knew he was using his voice, his magical voice to aid her, but she didn't mind. She pressed her hands to her stomach and thought of their baby for further comfort. Gabriel, like all of their race, would believe she carried a male child. Yet she knew she carried one of the precious females. She had a daughter. Fragile. So very vulnerable. Francesca took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Was their baby one of the rare females because she had succeeded for a short while in changing her body chemistry enough to walk in the sun? As a healer it was all important to find that answer. Female children were so unusual within their race, and very few managed to survive the nine months' gestation. The one in a century that did, still had to face that difficult first year of life. Francesca did not want to have to face that fight without Gabriel. She did not want to lose her child and not have him beside her, rock steady, to lean on.

Gabriel's eyes met hers with sudden understanding. He caught her to him, nearly crushing her slender body in his arms. Yet at the same time, he held her so tenderly he made her want to cry. “It is impossible. Our family produced only one daughter in eight hundred years. Before that, it was nearly a thousand years and she did not survive. We cannot be so blessed as to have a girl.”

Francesca leaned into him, savoring the heat of his skin, his masculine frame, so different from her own. “I examined her earlier while you went out to feed. The child is female and she clings to life stubbornly. I do not want to face this test alone, Gabriel. Find a way to live for us. You are right about Skyler. Without my aid, without her belief in me, she would slip back into her mind. We would surely lose another of our males to the undead. More than that, we would be without a brilliant, rare treasure. I cannot do it without you, Gabriel. Live for us.”

He buried his face in the silken curtain of her hair. “I can do no other than as you command, my love. It is my duty to see to your happiness. I will find a way.”

He meant it. She could hear the resolve in his voice. The weariness was gone, as was the acceptance of his own destruction. Lucian had held him for two thousand years. Francesca would not give him up so easily to his dark twin. She would fight with every cell in her body, every weapon she possessed to keep him with her. Lucian would not win. It didn't matter that he was Gabriel's twin and had been a great man once; he was now the biggest threat to her family. She would find a way to combat him. There was a way. Somehow. There was a way.

They clung to each other for a few minutes longer, each aware of the other's thoughts, each determined to find a way to defeat the ultimate vampire. “You must go,” Francesca finally whispered reluctantly. “I have so much to do this rising, and I must attend to Skyler. I have neglected so many of my responsibilities.”

Gabriel's smile was slow and sexy, heart-stopping. “I am very pleased that I was able to provide such a distraction for you.”

For no reason at all, Francesca found herself blushing. At once she ducked her head so her hair fell around her face, protecting her. He laughed softly. “My beautiful woman, I cannot believe you are blushing after all that we have done together.”

“At least you didn't mention my age,” she said.

“I am not that unbalanced, although I will admit I do not have much practice with women.” He bowed, that curiously courtly bow that always made her breath stop.

Francesca glared at him. “Go away, Gabriel, you have that look in your eyes and I have much to do.”

His hand moved possessively over the long curtain of her black hair. “Nothing is more important than satisfying the needs of your lifemate.” His face was innocent and very serious.

Francesca blinked once, then gave him a good hard shove. “Go tell it to the last century, ancient one. I am a modern woman with many commitments.”

“You are a woman much sought after by these human males and I am beginning to find it tedious.” Her eyebrow shot up. “Tedious?” she echoed. “Do I hear a veiled threat in there somewhere?”

He bent his head to kiss her. “It was not all that veiled.” His grin was boyish and seductive at the same time. “I cannot very well admit I am bothered by those who seek your attention when I am your lifemate. As an ancient I am above such trivial things.”

Francesca found herself laughing. “You're above something all right, but I'm not entirely certain what it is.”

“Watch yourself tonight, Francesca,” Gabriel cautioned as he glided through the room toward the door. “You must always remember you are a target now, and so is Skyler.”

“I'll send word to Aidan's family, asking them not to delay. That way if Skyler is home, she can be protected while we sleep.” Her dark gaze was suddenly anxious. “Gabriel, don't let Lucian undermine your confidence in yourself. I really need you and so does our child. Our children.”

He paused at the door, looking back at her, his world, the only real joy he had known. “I love this home of yours,” he answered softly.

She watched him leave. “Ours,” she corrected, knowing he could still hear her even though the door was closed. Gabriel's hearing was phenomenal and he often shared her mind.

It was their house, their life. Gabriel had to separate himself from his twin if he were to survive the battle that was to come. Francesca was carefully folding quilts into large boxes when it suddenly occurred to her that Lucian might lead him out of the city and far away from her. Her hand went protectively to her throat.

“Stop worrying over what has not happened.”

There was a wealth of love in Gabriel's voice. It felt like a caress.

She glanced at herself in the mirror. “Quit mooning about and get to work. You have much to do and little time to do it in.” She was very stern with herself but a curling heat stole through her body as Gabriel's warm laughter echoed softly in her mind.

Francesca completed as many tasks as she could. She took orders for her stained-glass pieces and her quilts. She sent out the ones she had completed and paid her bills meticulously. There were the shelters to call and the hospitals. There were charities she had neglected and friends she wanted to keep in touch with. Because they had risen late and spent a great deal of time talking together it was already well into the evening and past time to call too many. She kept each conversation brief, but very upbeat. It was necessary to maintain the appearance of being human at all times. She was firmly entrenched in society and it wouldn't do to simply disappear. Her contacts would be helpful to Skyler.

Once her phone conversations were concluded, Francesca drove to the hospital, scanning the surrounding area along the way. She was worried about Skyler, worried that something was going to upset their careful plans for her. She had been vaguely uneasy ever since her encounter with the reporter. Something about him bothered her immensely. He was the type of man who could cause her tremendous trouble.

She walked into the hospital, greeting the nurses with a little wave of her hand as she made her way down the hall toward Skyler's room. Her heart dropped when she caught a glimpse of the reporter lurking just a few feet from the room. Francesca paused for a moment, waved her hand to create a clone-like image as she blurred her own. She sent her soft musical voice out ahead, so that her body seemed to be moving quickly along the hall as she called to an unseen nurse around the corner.

At once the reporter turned his head, catching a glimpse of her slender shape and long hair. He hurried down the hall in an attempt to catch up to her. Francesca laughed softly, waiting until he disappeared before entering Skyler's room.

The girl turned her head, her soft dove-gray eyes wide and beautiful. There was a welcoming look in her gaze that hadn't been there before. “I was waiting for you.” Her voice was stronger and Francesca noticed for the first time how melodious it was. “I thought you'd never get here.”

“I had quite a bit of work to do,” Francesca said, seating herself and reaching for Skyler's hand. “I make stained-glass windows and also quilts for people in need.”

A slow smile curved the young girl's mouth. “I had my friend here to keep me company.” She hugged the stuffed wolf to her. “I like the way you say that. 'People in need.' People like me. I've noticed you have a way of making me feel like everything is going to be all right. Sometimes, when my mind is very chaotic, I think of you and feel you in my mind.” Her long lashes swept down, concealing her expression, but Francesca was holding her hand and could read her mixed feelings. The girl was struggling to come to terms with the idea of entering life again.

“I'll be with you every step of the way, Skyler,” she softly reassured her. “You won't be alone, and you won't be expected to take on more than you can cope with. I see you are worried about school. It isn't necessary to think about it at this time.”

Skyler turned her face to wall. “Dr. Brice said I would have to go to school immediately so I wouldn't fall behind. I didn't want to tell him, but I hardly ever went to school. I'm different. I could never fit in.”

“You are different,” Francesca affirmed, “but that is not a bad thing. It doesn't matter about school. You are gifted, quite brilliant actually. We can provide tutors for you and I can help when there is need. It is certainly nothing to worry about. Dr. Brice is a good man and he wants what is best for you, but he doesn't have a clue about your special talents and gifts. He does not understand what it is like to be a woman and be abused as you were. He does not understand what it is like to be a child and have no guidance, no one to love you unconditionally. He has no say in your future, Skyler.”

Skyler's fingers twisted together, a small betrayal of her nervousness. “I don't like it here. I never feel safe unless you're here, or…” She trailed off as if she had done something wrong. “Sometimes the other one touches my mind and I feel reassured.”

Francesca's heart skipped a beat. “Not Gabriel?”

“He is there sometimes, but it is different. The other one never really says anything, he's just there, touching me, but I can feel I'm not alone and he only comes when I'm very frightened. Like when I have a nightmare and I wake up. In the middle of the afternoon there was a stranger in here. I didn't like him and I was so scared. That's when the other one touched my mind. It was soothing and comforting.”

Francesca bit her lip. The other had to be Lucian. Was he so strong, then, that he could defeat the daylight and reach out to touch Skyler when she was frightened? Was he already so connected with her that he could read her fear even when his strength was at its lowest ebb? She forced air through her lungs, remaining calm. “What stranger entered your room, Skyler?”

“A man. He asked me lots of questions about you, but I didn't answer or look at him. I retreated like I do. Into my own mind.” Skyler continued to look at the wall as if she were slightly ashamed of herself. Her hands were clutching the little stuffed animal until her knuckles turned white. “I don't know if I can keep from doing it when I'm really afraid.”

Francesca gently pushed her hair from her forehead. She couldn't wait to get the child home, where she would be surrounded by love, by feminine things. She couldn't wait to do something with the wealth of hair that had been neglected for so long. “He's a reporter, honey, nothing more. Someone told him a story about me and he wants to write about it. It has nothing to do with you, but I'll make certain there's a guard posted outside your door at all times. No one else will get in.” She should have posted a guard long before this.

A small sound escaped Skyler's throat, something between a laugh and a cry. “A guard? I don't think you have to go that far. I think it's a little late for guards.”

Francesca leaned over the teenager and brushed her forehead with her lips in a small caress. “You are so silly, young lady, to think it is too late for a guard. You are beautiful and unique, a rare treasure. I intend to guard you and keep you safe for all time. There is no need to have idiot reporters breaking into your hospital room and questioning you.”

“He asked strange things. He wanted to know if I had ever seen you during daylight hours. Isn't that a strange thing to ask?”

Francesca went very still inside. There were many people throughout Paris who would testify they had seen her during daylight hours; and there were photographs to prove it. Her picture had appeared more than once in the newspapers at various charity functions around the city. The reporter would soon lose interest in her if he was no more than a simple reporter; she wouldn't fit the profile of what he was looking for. But if he was more than a reporter, if he was a member of the society hunting the Carpathian people, seeking proof of their existence, she needed to know.

“Francesca?” Skyler sounded tired and forlorn. “I want to go home with you. When can I get out of here? Everything scares me, even Dr. Brice, and I know he means well. I just can't stand to be around him anymore. He doesn't feel the same.”

Skyler was very sensitive to the emotions of others. All around her, the plots were thickening. Francesca had to get Brice to agree to allow the child to go home with her. She would have to face him and use the power of her voice if necessary. They could better protect her if she was in their home.

“I think you're right, honey. I'll track down the good doctor and get his permission to allow you to leave. You'll like the house. It's big and roomy and filled with all kinds of books and treasures.”

“I've seen stained glass in churches before. Is that what you do?”

“Most of the time I create pieces for private homes. Sometimes I'm asked to do windows for a church or cathedral. I mostly like to do residences. I want to know all about the people and get a feel for who they are and what they need. I try to incorporate feelings of safety and comfort into the patterns.” Francesca shrugged casually. “Sometimes I'm successful.”

“Can you teach me how to do it?” There was interest in her voice. Real interest. “I drew pictures of wolves one time. They're so beautiful. I used to read everything I could find on them. That's why I love my blue-eyed wolf. I always wanted to study them, but I know it won't ever happen. Not here anyway. But maybe I could do a picture in stained glass.”

“You can do anything you want, Skyler, anything at all. If you wish to study animal behavior, I am behind you one hundred percent. And I know you can make stained glass. I would love to work with you.

Rest now while I go to find Brice.” She patted the wolf gently and bent to kiss the girl's head before leaving.

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