F I F T Y - T W O
“Are you insane?” I struggled against the restraints”How the Hell are you going to become a God let alone kill one?”
“Tell me mutt” he ignored my question “Do you know what the Wolf Moon is exactly?”
“The night in which the Goddess Selene bound wolves to Humans” I said “Right?”
He ignored my question again “And do you know why it’s called the Wolf Moon?”
“I’m guessing because of the Moon that night” I said sarcastically
“The Wolf Moon” he started “Originally, was an secret Ancient Ceremony passed down in the Dimitriou Line. Every fiftieth daughter born to the Dimitriou line would participate in the Wolf Moon Ceremony, a ceremony in which all the members of the Dimitriou Pack would welcome their creator with open arms”
He started pacing “Do you know why the Wolf Moon came to be?”
I shook my head
“The Wolf Moon was created as a way for Selene to reunite with her lover” he said “After Zeus granted him eternal slumber as an alternative for death, Selene grew tired of watching him from from afar. The Wolf Moon was a way for her to obey Zeus rules while also satisfying her need to see her lover again”
He gazed up at the shining moon
“Your family thought it was an honor to be chosen as the Vessel” he said quietly “To be the flesh of the Creator herself was...unimaginable”
“And to be the only Pack that was given that prestige caused a lot of conflicts between the fifty Packs” He smiled “Which worked out perfectly for me”
“Continue on with the damn story” I snarled “Why do I have to die for this damn Moon?”
“Oh?” he perked up “So you do know something about the ceremony”
Damn it, I didn’t mean to blurt that out
“In order for the Ceremony to work, certain...requirements must be met” he smiled “A life for a life. That’s how it works. In order for her essence to take flesh, your essence must be drained”
“And only a daughter born from the Dimitriou line can fill this?” I asked
“Not just any daughter” he said “But the fiftieth daughter. The chosen one”
“Selene had fifty daughters for a reason” he continued “Not only did she need to have woman in order to ‘body snatch’ her host but she also needed to be able to retain her powers in her temporary body. The first forty-nine daughters only check one of those boxes”
“But the last one didn’t?”
“The fiftieth was special” he said “She matched the strength and power of her mother within the confinements of her mortal body”
“Once Selene had found her vessel, she made a deal with the Goddess of Fertility to ensure that this specific daughter’s line will continue to exist for generations” He looked at his watch “After the deal was in place, Selene mated her daughter off to the Alpha’s son, Anicetus Dimitriou”
“If this was such a super secret Dimitriou family secret than how do you, a Hunter, know about it?” I asked, challenge lacing my tone “And how do you even know this ceremony works?”
He slammed his hand down next to my head on the alter
“It will work” he said, sounding a little hysterical “Why else would people, all over the world, still be practicing this type of ceremony?”
“Why does any culture or family pass down their traditions or beliefs?” I said solemnly “To remember what once was and to honor all those that came before us”
“You sound just like Aunt” he said with disgust, backing away from me “Foolish to believe in such notions”
“Sometimes you gotta play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks they are fooling you” I smirked, quoting one of my favorite quotes.
Julian frowned, contemplating my words
“The other Packs hate your family” David blurted out suddenly
“What..?” I said, looking at Julian’s spawn “What are you saying over there?”
“The other Mutts hate the Royals” he repeated, glaring at me “Because of who your ancestor was, Selene thought it was best to have a ruling family to watch over and guide her species. What better candidates than the line that shares her powers”
“Over the years, the Dimitriou line has been declining” Julian started after his son finished “The other Packs were tired of having a ruling family telling them what to do or how to act, so they took it upon themselves to eliminate their competition...permanently”
“And boy did they” David piped in, acknowledging his father’s statement “Managed to wipe out ninety percent of the Royals by themselves”
“Impossible” my father spat from the ground “My sister...”
“Your sister killed herself two weeks ago” Julian smiled “Right after we raided you last little secret compound”
Dad paled and started to shake
“Minerva...” he whispered
“Oh, don’t be to sad” Julian said in fake empathy “She put up a good fight, even managing to smuggle a few kids through the air vents. Almost didn’t catch them until she slit her own throat. Little buggers couldn’t keep quiet when they saw that”
I think I was going to puke
“You’re telling me that no other Dimitriou’s exist?” I asked in shock, remembering a few cousins my age that I used to play with we I was younger.
“From where it stands right now, after tonight, your brother Ares will be the only one left of the Dimitriou Pack”
‘But what about Orion’ I thought “Either Julian’s a really good actor or he really, truly doesn’t know that my older brother is alive
“If you touch one hair on his head...” I threatened, trying to keep my emotions at bay.
“You’re not in any position to be threatening me Princess” he snarled, grabbing my hair “After all, the dead can’t keep their promises, now can they?”
After Julian the Lunatics crazy profession of becoming a God and his history lesson, one of his men whispered something to him before he took off with a couple of men.
“Tie them to the tree” he nodded towards my parents, specifically my mother “Make sure her hands are separate and that you keep your eyes on her the whole time. She might not be an active Hunter but she is a Hunter no less”
He took a step to leave but then paused and looked at my parents again
“Make sure you give them a good view of the show” he smiled that deranged smile “Wouldn’t want them to miss it”
My father snarled and lunged toward him but being that he was so weak do to the aconite, he couldn’t get very far.
After my parents were secured to the trees, with their arms bound above their heads on separate tree branches, the Hunters began their guarding duties.
“I’m sorry” I whispered to my parents, looking at the darkening moon
“What are you sorry for?” my father asked
“It’s not your...” My father started but stopped suddenly when the Moon began to illuminate brighter and a fog started to surround us.
“What...the...Hell?” I choked out, watching in equal parts amazement and fear as chanting hooded figures started to surround the alter I was strapped to.
“It is time” Julian’s malicious voice rang out “Now brothers...”
His voice was cut off by a loud, heart clenching howl.
The howl of a Wolf looking for his Mate.