“But can you?” I turned, standing up while holding on to a tiny ray of hope.
“It won’t be easy.”
“Do it! Do anything. Please.” I fell to my knees in front of him. “Save him. Please. You promised. You promised you’d bring him back.”
“And I tried. I brought him back here.”
I clasped my hands together. “It doesn’t count. You have to save him.”
“There’s one thing I can do, but it’s taking a huge risk. I would be putting my entire pack in jeopardy.”
“Do it. I swear I’ll be yours. I’ll do anything. Please.”
“Be careful what you offer.”
“I’m serious. Anything.” I looked up at him through tear rimmed eyes. Anything was worth saving Gage, no matter the cost.
“It doesn’t matter.” He shook his head. “I can’t do it.”
“You can.” I grabbed a hold of his legs. “Please. Please.” The tears started streaming down my face.
“No one will judge you for it.” Marni’s voice was strong, assertive. I looked around Hunter’s legs to find her. “We’ll all understand.”
“It’s too dangerous.”
She shrugged. “And what isn’t?”
Hunter kneeled down beside me. His face flashed with indecision.
“Please. I already told you. I’ll do anything.”
He nodded and put a hand on my shoulder. “Be my mate.”
“Your mate?” I knew that term had strong meaning, but I’d have agreed to anything.
“Yes. My mate. You’ll belong to me in every way.”
“If I promise, will you save him?”
“Yes. In the only way I can.”
“And what way is that?” I shivered.
He dodged my question. “He may not appreciate the decision your making.”
“Will he be alive?”
“Yes. But he won’t be the same.”
“What does that mean?”
“I have to change him. I have to make him one of us.”
I didn’t care whether Gage would agree or not. Life of any sort was better than death. I couldn’t lose him. “Do it. It’s better than letting him die.”
“No. I need to stay with him.”
“Stand back. We’re running out of time,” Hunter growled. “Marni, hold her. Don’t let go.”
“Of course.” She grabbed my arms. “Are you ready for this Hunter? I know I told you we wouldn’t judge, but do you really want to do this?” She was playing the devil’s advocate, and I wanted to shake her to tell her to shut up. We were running out of time.
“It’s worth it. It’s worth it for her.” The air buzzed as Hunter turned into a wolf. His wolf eyes locked with mine before he bit down on Gage’s neck.
I forced myself to watch as blood oozed out. “Is he hurting him?”
Marni hesitated before responding. “I’ve never seen this before. Only an Alpha Dire can change someone—it’s one of the things that make us different from other shifters. We’re the only ones who still have the power.”
Hunter released Gage and let out a loud and deep howl.
Gage’s body began to convulse, and I cried. I cried for the boy I almost lost, and for the boy I could never have again. I knew I couldn’t get out of what I promised Hunter, and I wouldn’t try. Not if he saved Gage. Not if he gave him another chance at life.
The minutes passed and with no warning Hunter stepped back and transformed into his human form. I rushed over just in time to watch Gage’s eyes open. I moved toward him, but Hunter held me back. I pushed against his arm until Gage stood up and let out a thundering growl. What had we done?