The cry rang out as a ragged ball of red streaked across the sky. A moment later a ball of blue flew to meet it and they collided, exploding like a demented firework, red blue and purple raining down. Across the field a green glow spread, absorbing the falling streaks then the night fell silent again.
“How many more times can you do that?”
Ava shrugged as she lifted a water bottle to her mouth. “As many times as I need to.”
“Ava,” Kisten sighed.
“Kist,” she sighed back then grinned at him. “I’m fine, promise. Just hungry,” she said hopefully.
“Well I can help with that at least,” he muttered, grabbing his pack off the ground.
When he looked back up, his hands full of food she was gone and panic rose in his chest.
“What you got?” Her voice came from the ground and he tried to hide his relief as he looked down to find her sprawled at his feet.
“Here,” he said gruffly and shoved the bread and cheese at her.
“My hero.” She sat up as he lowered himself to the ground beside her. She ate ravenously as she always did while he stole bites of cheese and ate his own apple. “Look at how beautiful it is,” replete she leaned against his side so he looped his arm around her shoulder.
“Gorgeous,” he agreed, his eyes not on the night sky like hers.
“Sad though.” Ava stood up with a groan to stretch. “How that thing of beauty.” She lifted her eyes to the moon, hanging full and low in the sky. “Is the cause of this madness.”
“True.” Kisten looked up at the glowing orb then out over the battlefield, the hill beyond where their opponents waited. “What are they waiting for?”
“The barriers to fall probably.” Ava pointed to the towers that stood at intervals, the faint blue glow linking them like chains.
“Will they last the night?” The glow was weaker than it had been before the last attack.
“I hope so, if not … well we’re well prepared.” Ava shrugged and turned away to talk to another caster.
“I suppose we are.” The field below was filled with men and women, all clad in Kevlar and armed with tranqdarts and stun batons. No bullets or blades, no one wanted to accidentally kill a friend or loved one.
There was a flare of blue along the barrier, a wolf trying to break through. Further along another flare then another, they were attacking the barrier.
“Here we go.” Ava’s hand was heavy on his shoulder.
“What’s the plan?” He placed his hand over hers, let his power trickle into her.
She gasped, her fingers digging into his flesh for a moment. “Gods that’s good,” she whispered.
“The plan?” Kisten prompted because it was good but they needed to focus.
“Cass and Dec are boosting the barriers.” Ava’s voice was a little slurred, as if she were intoxicated. “I’m going to attack, try to drive them back.”
“Take what you need,” Kisten reminded her and a moment later he watched streaks of blue tinged with gold fly though the sky. A howl went up and the attack on the barrier stopped, red light flared beyond the barrier in fine streaks but it wasn’t enough. A mournful cry rose above the yips and growls and the red faded away.
A cheer went up from the field and the other casters, the barrier glowed bright blue.
“You did it Ava!” Kisten turned to look down at her with a grin. “Ava!”
“Kist.” She managed a shaky smile before her eyes rolled back in her head and she collapsed into his arms.
“Is she okay?” Cass rushed over, her blonde hair flowing around her face.
“You know Ava, she never takes what she needs,” Kisten growled.
Cass looked up at the sky with a scowl. “Be more persuasive, we still need her for the next two nights of this full moon. Or else …”
She didn’t need to finish her sentence, they all knew what would happen if the werewolves got free.