“I can only give you the information skimmed from the three lycan’s minds. Using it, would place people in danger. They don’t want to give you testimony, because of that,” Zenlial was on the other side of the big Kennedy table from Devon and Senias. She was holding the back of the closest chair as if it was her standing support. She had spent all night with the trio, not just scanning their memories, but also calming their inner wolves as they were treated and got better and finally fully healed.  

“We have their testimony, we can buy some time to bust into that hive. If we can do that, we can stop any bad things from happening before they do.” Senias was getting frustrated by it all.

“My suggestion would be to make the case first, off the record – have it all together before we get permissions from anyone. But that also means we need the evidence, the witnesses, everything lined up to go. These three, the father? He’s willing.” Zenlial yawned before sitting in the seat offered by Gabriel at his table. Normally Devon would have done so, but he was still pacing on the other side of the table along with his dragon brother. They were both very action oriented and so she understood that.

“Do you have this… coffee…?” the elf needed something to boost her energy. “I would like some.”

Like Zenlial,  Gabriel had been watching the two men pace opposite one another on the other side of the table when the elf asked a question caught his attention, “Coffee? Oh yes of course let me get another pot.”

“Thank you…” Zenlial was cut off when Devon said something very inappropriate in lycan to his brother. The little elf was having none of it.

“Devon, I know you want this done and I hurt for you, but…” Zenlial watched the wolf come to the surface as his eyes glowed. He was so frustrated with this situation and she understood that.  He wanted this ordeal to be over for his mate, to have Eriksson finally gone, so they would stop.

“But what Zenlial? We have a way to find that damned Coven right here and the damn man won’t tell us. You know how hard it will be to get an approval without testimony.” He rumbled without even realizing it.

The elf stood up, her hands on the table and her eyes in his.

“They killed his mate! That’s why he left and took their two pups with him. But he knew they’d come after him and not punish anyone else for his leaving. He was willing to take that chance. It seems to have paid off. But what he’s saying is true. Avery confirmed it. Any time there has been an investigation into their coven, the hive has been wiped clean. People have been moved or killed to keep the evidence to a minimum. That’s why they keep just getting slaps to their hands. Avery is willing to testify, but he’s scared of the same thing. He’s acting like it doesn’t bother him and he’s rationalized it in his mind, but if he testifies to get us a way in, and the coven finds out and cleanses again, he’ll never forgive himself. You need to understand these things, Devon – as an Alpha and a Father and a Mate – before you act on your emotions.”  

Instead of rumbling further at her, Devon turned and walked to the window to stare out of it as his temper flared.

“We need to get inside,” Senias whispered. “But we don’t know where to go or how the interior is set up. If we have a team on the inside when the Council is given the latest complain and issues the investigation, we can stop them from hurting or killing anyone else.” Senias shrugged. “Like Sebastian said, we can smoke them with an agent that knocks most of them out before anything can happen. We just have to figure out where everything is and be there, ready.” the Tasker  was thinking on it.

“Avery had someone in his life at the coven and someone who reported to him every month concerning his sister that lived in the coven beyond his time there. Someone named Evan?”  Zenlial offered, not really knowing where this would lead. “He seemed a bit shady, but Avery has a trust in his mind for this person. There were images of meeting with him on the coast, there was the ocean… and also meeting with him at a university setting. I’m not sure what happened beyond when Avery was put into the pits, though. Things after that get very hazy. I believe he let his wolf take over.” Zenlial sat back down and looked at Gabriel like he was some sort of God when he brought her a platter with coffee and the fixings on it.

“Oh, thank you so very much. How do you make it? I like sweetness. Is it that you have honey?” Zen asked, not paying any attention to the looks she was getting from the others. Her mind was so scattered. She’d not been able to get anything more about her sister-in-arms from the lycan father. He had seen the dead elf and that had been all. So, she had some closure on that question, but she had nothing else.

 “So if we find this Evan then we will have everything we need without these lycan giving testimony right?” Gabriel smiled for the fellow Councilor as she tested the sweetness. He didn’t realize he was giving Devon exactly what he needed and had been looking for. “You’re welcome,  the honey is in the small container to the left of the sugar bowl.”

“Great idea, let’s pop over and grab him.” Devon looked Gabe’s way. “Oh wait we don’t know where he is. I’ve only been lookin’ for that boy for years now. He’s Avery’s brother.” The Alpha snipped as he turned his gaze back out of the window. He wasn’t his usual self with everything going on and it was becoming extremely obvious.

Pulling a chair out from the table Gabriel calmly seated himself to face the lovely elven female as he poured himself a cup of coffee. Adding one cube of sugar he stirred as he finally remarked on Devon’s snide comment. “Actually I have an idea or two of where to look for him and if I’m correct it isn’t too far away.”

“Mmmm… this is delicious.” She liked the honey more than anything processed.

Gabriel caught Devon’s gaze, “From what Avery has told me, I’d say that he’s at one of the beaches or perhaps even one of the docks near the UNC campus at Wilmington.” He sipped his coffee and looked Zenlial’s way, “You are right this pot turned out delicious.” yes, they were trying to lighten the mood. 

With his mouth slightly open Devon looked from the seated human to his dragon brother. It was a look that asked what the hell had just happened.

“Well, now. Wilmington. Not a huge town, but it’s surrounded by a lot of coastal waters. We’ll need more than a first name to pinpoint him,” Senias smiled. “But a good divination spell and some of Eva’s or Avery’s blood might work.”  

“Might I suggest you approach him with less zeal and more candor?” Zenlial looked up at Devon with more than a bit of worry for how this was all affecting her friend.

“Oh so should I send someone else to talk to him instead of me goin’?” Devon huffed as he rubbed his hand through his hair.

Gabriel set his cup down as he had an idea come to him.”Why not?”

Devon’s attention immediately snapped to Gabriel, “Excuse me?” He stepped the human’s way as he tumbled. “If he’s our pup there’s no way someone else is goin’ in there to him.”

“You shouldn’t go.”

Rising from his seat Gabriel stood his ground as the lycan pushed passed Senias to approach him so that they were face to face.

“I said why not send someone else to talk to him.” He could feel Devon’s breath on his face the man was so close. “You aren’t thinking clearly, and your temper is too short.”

He felt Sen right behind him and the touch of his best friend attempting to calm him. “You’ve no idea what you’re talking about.” Pulling free of Senias, Devon marched out of the room and out the back patio doors of the grand house keep from knocking Gabriel clean out! Pompous ass knew nothing about how his mind worked, how dare he!

Both Gabriel and Zenlial were taken aback, not just with Devon’s behavior, but that Senias’s eyes were aglow. He’d been ready to stop his brother had things gone any farther than they had. The dragon took a deep breath and blinked away the evidence of such before turning to watch the door close behind Devon.  

“I’ll contact Inea. She can divine his location down to maybe a block or if we’re lucky, maybe she can give us some names or something. And I’ll also check on him. Eva’d probably already be here, but I know she’s busy with the pups right now.”  

“That’s a good idea. If anyone can find him it would be Inea.” He took a deep breath to settle his nerves knowing how close things had just gotten to being a whole lot worse than some short tempers.

His eyes moved over Gabriel. ~ You okay? ~

~I’m alright.~ Gabriel assured his dragon as he watched Sen calm himself.

“Maybe run by me who you want to send to talk to him?” Senias asked.

Running a hand over the bridge of his nose, Gabriel ended up rubbing his knuckles on his jaw, “I’d say Raven Evansworth, she’s half vampire just as they are. I think she could have the best chance of not scaring him off.”

“Well, you know how to get them here. See to it. If her dragon is fine with it, and she’s fine with it, I’d say it’s a wise plan.” Senias winked at Gabriel before turning to go out the door and join his brother.

Gabriel gave his love a small flash of smile and then watched him leave to tend to Devon. Looking back at the troubled elf, he took his seat again.

“Finish your coffee first and don’t worry about Devon, Senias will sort him out.”

“How can I not worry for him? This is not the Devon I know.”

“I agree he isn’t himself, but I’m thinking he just has a lot going on.” Gabriel had to admit that Devon was not acting like himself at all.

“You know, Gabriel, this is what his father is like. Have you ever met the man?” Zenlial wasn’t sure of absolutely all of the story where Devon was concerned, but she knew enough and had met his father face to face – so, that told her a lot. “Devon is more of a thinker, even if he pretends otherwise at times. His father is more of a doer. Sometimes that can be considered courageous but other times it is dangerous.”

***

While outside Devon was crouched in the grass in the edge of the pool area and his fingers were buried in the ground, “I know what ya gonna say, but I didn’t touch him. He just talked up shit that he don’t really understand to me and got under my skin.” The big lycan slowly stood up and turned to face the ire of the old claw.

“Actually, I was more worried about you in there than him. He would have landed you on your ass and never would’ve realized how he did it.” Senias canted his head slightly and shrugged his shoulders. “We’re working on it, but he has trouble recognizing his own power.”

Patting his pockets down in search of a cigar as he sighed in frustration, “Think he’s got that much in him do ya, brother?”

“I’ve seen other Kennedys with the same signs he has. I’ve seen them put lycan and vampire alike on their back with a flash of power. He’s capable. He just has no desire to learn.”

“So, are you going to tell me what’s changed in the past few days that makes this situation so much more of a load on your shoulders than it was a month or a few months ago? Because this has been going on for a very long time, Devon. Yes, it needs to be handled, but you seem to be in overdrive.”   

Devon’s beads in his hair clicked as his head tipped back to look up at the sky, “The pups are makin’ Eva even more stressed than all our others ever did. Now with findin’ Avery, she’s eager to find the other two and every day asks me if we’ve found anything more or heard anything more. I ain’t got nothin’ new to tell her and it seems to depress her every day a lil more. It’s also bringin’ up bad memories… “ He rumbled low and looked at Senias, “She’s gotta get out of the house and get her mind on other things ya know.”

“Then, perhaps, after we do this you should focus more on getting her out of the house. I’ve not seen the woman leave these lands in quite some time. Even if it were to go and visit with Rosie or have Inea take her somewhere nice and pretty. You know how that dragoness loves a beach. We’re close to finding the boy, sure. We still may fail in it, but I just… I have a gut feeling this is gonna work. But then, the girl? That may yet take years, if then.”  Senias was just thinking, Devon needed to help Eva as best he could with what they had and not put all his eggs in this one basket. Even if they got Eriksson Coven down, that didn’t guarantee they’d have all her pups for her. “It might ease her nightmares knowing that no one else will be victimized by these assholes. But there’s no guarantee we’ll find your Becca.”

Devon was nodding his head as Sen was putting into words everything that he’d been thinking for the past two months since finding Avery. Eva needed to be out of this entire scene for a bit so that she could relax. “Yer right, yer right brother. Let’s get this seen through and then I’ll take her away for a few days break. I’m sure our pups will be alright with their brothers watchin’ over ‘em. Ryan will be comin’ home for a break soon and will help out for sure.”

“Good. I’ll hold you to that. Both of you need a break,” Senias looked to the stars of the new night and sighed. “Gabriel’s trying to get in touch with Starr and Raven. She’s half-vampire, like him. He felt that maybe we could get the boy to listen to her easier than anyone else.”

It was a good suggestion, Devon wouldn’t deny that. “What would you suggest Sen?” He really wanted to hear what the dragon thought.

“Well, I know I need to send Zenlial on her way. She looks like she’s ready to fall over in there. She’s been through a lot today. And it may take some time before the others can leave their day-to-day and get here. So, my suggestion would be to take some time and go home and tell your mate you love her and ask her where she wants to go for a vacation. Relax as best you can. I won’t make a move without you, brother. We can meet back here when things are a go.”

“Let me go inside and send Zeni home, then I’ll go spend the rest of the evening with my mate and let her know what’s goin’ on and see where she wants to go.” Devon held his forearm out to his blood brother to grasp. He trusted this male with not only his life but those of his family. He hadn’t led him wrong in a very long time. 

Senias took the arm of his brother with his whole heart. “This will be done. My hope is that we get your whole family back together before those next pups come. That would mean everything to me.” He wasn’t lying. His own agenda was pushed to the side very easily for his brother and the lycan pack he knew as family.  

As they returned inside, Devon moved to Zenlial after nodding to Gabriel along the way. Holding his hand out to the elf, he grinned, “Sorry for worrying ya Zeni, I’ll get a car around to take ya home. We thank ya for ya help and really appreciate everything that you got for us.”

“Thank you, Devon.” her smile was there, but she was still very worried about him. She tried to tuck it away as best she could. There were just so many things to think about.  And she needed to update the Elves on the other side. In other words, she still had a long time ahead of her before rest could be found.

Devon was walking Zenlial out and Gabriel was feeling exhausted from the long day that they’d just had. Standing up he stretched and felt muscles expand and joints pop causing him to groan in sheer pleasure. Taking a deep breath he walked to his lover and rested his head on Sen’s shoulder while simply taking a nice lung full of his scent.

“Are you okay, love?” Senias asked Gabriel as his hand went to Gabe’s waist.

“Long, very intense day and evening that I’d like to wash off. I think it’s time for a shower before I have to sleep and start another day. Want to join me?”

“Absolutely.”