Chapter 18 - Family Bond
Despite wanting to stay forever in the hollow, wrapped up in ecstasy and exquisite pleasure with Hunter, it was in fact, time to go back to Violet. She had been so patient with us, yes, she was making friends and maybe it was just my grown connection to her but I felt we could no longer be apart.
We exited the cave to find the whole pack lined up, side by side, all the way up the path and back to the pack house. Bent on one knee, hand upon their hearts and head tilted forward in respect and submission. The pride of this display crawled from deep within to fill my heart with love and admiration for every single one of them. I was no longer on the outside, with the connection to the pack at our ceremonial marking and the display in front of us, I was no longer an elven born, I was a Luna and this was my family. Hunters pride seeped from every pore as the pack he was graced to lead paid honour to his mate - his feelings through our link swelled my already amplified heart.
At the very end, bent on his knee was Nic. He snuck a peek at me and winked, a large toothy grin appeared on my face at his jovial nature, he knew he did not have to kneel, yet, he did so out of respect for his newly appointed brother. Violet knelt beside him, Nic’s large, intimidating frame, sheltering her from even sunlight as she peered around him wondering where we were.
Both Hunter and I crouched down with our arms out to beckon her forward, she did not disappoint, tears in her eyes as she came hurtling into our embrace at top speed. This was our family, this was our love, the feelings of connection filtered through my body - this is why wolves belonged in packs. It was like an etheric cord was attached from my heart to every single pack member, feeding and receiving energy, love, hope, the exchange between souls was remarkable. Elven life was so different, we valued solitude and knowledge and they valued happiness and connection, this was the part, I felt, had been missing from my life.
“Look at you ah, as if you didn’t need an extra title added to your name.” Nic scoffs at me as we took a walk with violet to the swimming hole.
“Ah Nic, now I am just Luna,” he smiled with pride at my statement.
“Have you sent word?”
“I have, I opened the barrier last night and sent word via the tree spirits but I feel they do not need vocalisation, the connection was broken the moment I was marked, I’m sure our parents felt it.”
“Do you regret your decision?” We stopped and I looked up at him incredulously.
“Never, what is the meaning of this line of questioning?”
“Drea, I am simply just enquiring on the wellbeing of my sister.” Nic’s forest green eyes held an unwavering strength.
“Are you returning soon?”
“No,” he stated as if there were no room for discussion.
“Because the Moon Goddess came to me in a dream two nights ago with a message.”
“Nic?” I warned.
“War is upon us, soon she will flower and when that happens, they will attempt to break the protection.”
“Have you told Hunter?” I panicked.
“No,” he shook his head.
“Because this is a fated war, Drea. My part in this battle is minuscule but necessary - I am to help but not to interfere.”
“So, why did you tell me if you cannot speak of this to Hunter?”
“So she is ready.” We both looked over to Violet doing cartwheels towards the swimming hole, “she is the fate that tips the balance, she is why we exist, she is why we are all here.”
His words hung heavily in my heart as I watched her like a hawk, jumping into the water with Nic. She was just a child and now that I was directly linked to her soul, I could not allow her to face the intended trials all alone. I needed a backup, I needed a solution - if all went belly up and something went wrong, I needed a chance to rectify a broken fate.
Elves do not interfere with fate, that was a law, our law, that stood for thousands upon thousands of years because the world continues to turn and fate always finds a way, even if the outcome is not fair or just in your eyes. If you stay out of fates business your heart remains free from trouble, hate has no chance to take root. But, I was no longer elven, I was now a Luna and part of a wolf pack and they had no rules on fate.
That night, I lay awake, thinking over and over about a way to keep her protected and safeguarded against anything that came to harm her and of course, protected against the Lycan that roamed outside the border protection grid. She had not fully migrated into the pack yet and we had not claimed her as ‘our’ child, we needed the blood exchange, we needed to integrate her properly into the pack.
I sat upon the bay window, watching the still of the night, just as warm muscular arms enveloped me, my tense and ridged body relaxing under the soothing feel of my mate.
“What troubles your sleepless mind?” His husky deep voice rasping from sleep deprivation.
I yawned and stretched my body upward, my spine cracking, releasing it from its on-edge state. “She is due to flower any day now, you know as well as I that this is coming, how can you sleep with such worry looming above our heads?”
He turns me around to face him directly, “because when it comes time to fight, I want to be well rested and not grapple against exhaustion, now, come to bed. We have maybe two days at most before Violet phases into her wolf, tomorrow I plan to integrate her and claim her as our child.”
“You say that so comfortably and without hesitation, you are exceptional.” I ran my hands up his muscular arms, his declaration pleased me and soothed my fragile state of mind. Our blood mixed with hers was like a homing beacon to wolves, it meant they could find them where ever they went. “Okay my Alpha, bed,” my head tipped in that direction.
“Drea, that is a very dangerous and pleasing term purring from your beautiful mouth.”
“You are so insatiable,” I chastise.
“Only when it comes to you, my Luna,” he smirks seductively.
The morning came and with it sprung new hope within my worried and darkening mind, today we claim Violet and migrate her with her family, feelings of pure joy consumed my being as we prepared for the mixing of our blood. Thankfully, her being wolf meant her wounds would heal quickly, however, knowing my palm is to be slashed open brought with it a new fear, will my phoenix rise? Hunter had mentioned he frequently converses with his wolf, so attempting a conversation with mine seemed doable but since we had never spoken before, I doubted my ability.
“Phoenix, Phoenix, can you hear me?” I sat in the middle of our room trying to connect with my inner beast, feeling ridiculous. “126 years, you think you would have spoken by now.”
I sauntered out the door feeling deflated at my pathetic attempt to speak to the creature that lived within my spirit. If the Phoenix could, in fact, talk or communicate in any way, why had it not before? Why had I left to the final hour, in order to try some form of communication?
“Drea?” My gloomy, brooding aura immediately uplifted at the sound of her angelic voice.
“Violet, are you ready?” She looked stunning today, her beautiful dark onyx tresses woven in intricate braids with beautiful red rose buds threaded through. She adorned a black satin one-shouldered dress that dragged along the floor as she walked. I had chosen a black satin corset style dress with a long train, my blood red hair cascading down my back. My silver cuffs long forgotten and replaced by black leather cuffs and wristbands with a special leather headdress that Hunter had made especially for me, that adorned The Mountain Storm crest.
“I am excited!” She beamed up at me, her purple eyes swirling with such pride and adoration.
“I am as well, you look beautiful.” I held out my hand for her to hold as we made our way to the pergola - still covered in twinkling fairy lights and now woven chains of red roses. The sun was setting and an orange and reddish hue streaked across the sky.
Alamiera stood in the centre of the pergola with black candles burning all around her, her one eye winked at us as we walked down the middle of the gathered pack members. Hunter stood strong and regal in his tailored black suit. His redshirt collaborating nicely with the rest of his outfit. I couldn’t help but swoon over the majestic sight. Standing adjacent to him with violet in between us, he leant over and brushed his lips softly against my cheek. “You look beautiful,” he whispered.
“Today our ancestors shine with pride over a tradition that seemed somewhat frozen in time. Many, many, many years ago it was a tradition for the Alpha and Luna to adopt an orphaned child, due to wars that ravished our once prosperous lands. Thankfully, Alpha Hunter’s reign brought peace and prosperity and the tradition was no longer required. But now, we stand here as our Alpha and Luna of Mountain Storm, have made a choice to claim our orphaned she-wolf as their own, this time not out of duty or necessity but out of love. The love they share for each other and love they share with Violet.”
The bongo drums began, along with the steelpans as Alamiera held out an ancient looking goblet and bone knife. The intricate carvings ingrained into the bone knife captured my attention - it was elven - she smiled at me knowingly and I couldn’t help but burst with happiness.
“By The Moon Goddess herself...” Alemiera ran the bone blade across Hunter’s palm. “And the sky Gods that bless this earth...” then sliced my palm - both of us emptying droplets into the goblet which already contained some blue liquid.
“The nature spirits that glorify this abundant land...” she cut Violet’s palm last, without a flinch of hesitation and allowed droplets to empty into the goblet. “And fallen angels that carry life into the underworld...” she pushed Violet’s palm against Hunter’s and then against mine.
“I bless thee, Alpha Hunter and Luna Eleczonjdrea Goldenriverwing...” she held the goblet to Hunter’s lips as he drank, “with your chosen blood child, Thelexapia Fireleaf...” and then the goblet to mine and I drank and lastly Violets.
“Now rightfully named, Violet Thelexapia Talula Fireleaf Goldenriverwing, try and say that ten times fast.” A burst of laughter rippled through the adoring crowd.
The cut on my hand began to tingle and wove itself shut like I had never been sliced at all and my whole body thrummed happily as if millions of tiny popping candies were fizzing through my bloodstream and just like that, I could hear her thoughts.
Violet’s mind spoke of true happiness, love, hope and admiration for both Hunter and I, and now, contentment at being finally connected to the pack. Solitude and disconnection hurts the heart and warps the mind, thankfully, we had found her in time and now we were blessed with our first child. Her blood ran in our veins as did ours in hers, the fact that she had not been birthed from my womb was inconsequential, she was ours - our daughter - forever.
The celebration ran well into the night, wolves drunk off contentment and joy, merriness filtered through the wind like an aphrodisiac and for such a brief moment, everything in the world was perfect.