Chapter Fifteen: Moon Blessed
I attended school the next day. Mostly because my Wolf told me it was our duty as Luna to assure the Pack we would be okay. I wanted to visit the wounded soldiers, but she assured me we could do that afterwards. Right now, the students of Rosary Academy were frightened. They needed to see us, to see that we, their Luna, did not fear these Hunters or this war.
As Lyssa and I made our way to our classes, everyone watched us--students and faculty alike. I held my head high, my shoulders back, my posture saying I was not afraid of the war that was coming.
This seemed to ease their worries a little. The sight of their soon-to-be Luna having complete trust in their new Alpha soothed them.
"He's calling Alpha Cortes today," Lyssa whispered to me, too quiet for other Wolves to pick up even with their sensitive hearing.
"I know," I said, frowning.
Marc had told me he was calling Alpha Cortes last night. While I didn't like Alpha Cortes even a little bit, I knew we would need all the help we could get in this war. We were the biggest Pack in Europe with over twenty-thousand Pack members from here in England to Germany, but the Hunters were strong. I knew just how strong and unafraid humans could be. I had lived as one for seventeen years. Not to mention, when I was being mauled by giant Wolves, the men who found me had been unafraid, telling the pack of huge Wolves to shove it.
"Alpha Cortes is an idiot," Lyssa said, sighing. "I get that we need the numbers, but by the Moon Goddess, I hate that guy."
"It doesn't matter, I guess," I replied, shrugging. "As long as he's useful."
"I suppose you've got a point there," she allowed, as we walked into battle training.
The teacher--a huge male who was almost as intimidating as an Alpha--was named Mr. Diaboli, which meant devil in Latin. He was the third best fighter in this Pack. The first was Marc, the second was Aria, and he came in close to the both of them. He had been training me for the past couple of weeks. I liked training with him. He didn't take it easy on me just because I was Marc's Mate and his soon-to-be Luna. He actually gave me a challenge. My Wolf respected him greatly for that.
"Get changed and get your arses in to gear," he said to us after making sure everyone was here.
After we got changed into something less confining, I went over to Mr. Diaboli who was my regular partner.
"You ready to get your ass kicked?" I asked. I talked a big game, but in truth I hadn't beat him, yet. However, I gave him one Hell of a fight, lasting far longer than any of the males that fought him. He respected me for that.
"Aye, lass," he said, grinning wickedly. "Let's give it a whirl, shall we?"
My Wolf took over my body, then. We weren't allowed to shift in these classes, making your human form stronger actually greatly improved your Wolf.
Mr. Diaboli came at me and I ducked. He came at me with a flurry of attacks, relying on his strength. My Wolf was grinning, that strength would tire him out eventually. Already, he was beginning to slow. I grabbed his arm mid-attack, my extended claws digging into his skin. I raised my knee up, hitting him in the stomach, turning swiftly to throw him over my shoulder and onto the ground. I went to break his arm, but he shot his legs out, kicking mine from under me.
We both stood at the same time, circling each other. The students were watching us, their eyes wide as they watched the fight. I saw Aria standing among them, looking curious. She never really came to these classes. I wondered what she was doing here today.
Mr. Diaboli shot forward, but my Wolf was ready for him, she grabbed his arm, using it to twirl gracefully until my back was pressed to his, his arm still in my grasp. My leg extended, snapping back gracefully and my foot reached his nose, delivering a satisfying crack.
Mr. Diaboli huffed, reaching back with his other hand, he grabbed a fistful of my hair, yanking it and tossing me to the ground.
He was charging at me as I lay on the ground, I rolled to the side. Before he could move to make another attack, I tangled my legs with his, tripping him. Once he was on the ground, I came up behind him, wrapping my arms around his throat, light enough to not kill him, but tight enough to show him I'd won.
He struggled for a moment, claws digging into the skin on my arms, drawing blood. Finally he stopped and sighed.
"Fine, you've got me, lass. I yield."
I grinned, letting him go.
The students cheered, most of them just happy to see Mr. Diaboli get his ass kicked.
"You've gotten better, lass. Your Luna abilities are getting stronger. A war is coming and she can sense it, your Wolf. That need to protect her Pack is making her stronger, and you're getting stronger, too. Don't think I didn't notice. Your Wolf may have been present during that fight, but most of that fight was you, not her. It's an honor to serve a Pack where a Luna doesn't rely on her Alpha to save her." He smiled.
I nodded, acknowledging his compliment. My Wolf pride was thrumming through me at the mention of our Pack and our abilities.
We're strong, she was saying. Dolos won't know what hit him.
At that moment, I saw from the corner of my eye, Aria stiffen. Her skin paled and before I knew it, she was at my side, her eyes going back and forth as she scanned the area for an unseen threat.
"Aria?" I watched as she stepped closer to me, her eyes far away yet here at the same time. "What's going on?"
She glanced at me, her gaze serious before she leaned in and whispered quietly, "Hunters broke through the gates of Rosary Academy."
My eyes widened. "You mean...?"
She nodded, her full lips pressed in a thin, grim line.
"They're here already. They're on their way here. To the gym. It's almost like..." she trailed off for a bit, before shaking her head. "Never mind that, there's no time for theories. We need to get you somewhere safe."
Lyssa sidled up beside me, her pretty face serious.
"I second that emotion," she said.
"And what about them?" I asked, looking at the innocent members of my Pack.
Mr. Diaboli was telling them what was happening. Their faces went from shock to pure horror within seconds. My Wolf's maternal side was fully operational at the moment. She wanted to kill the people who dared to put such fear on the faces of the members of our Pack.
"They're not as important as you, Tanaya," Aria was saying. "I'm sorry, but it's true. If you die, Marc will be completely unfit to continue his duties as Alpha and this Pack will fall apart."
I frowned, looking at the frightened faces of my Wolves. Aria said I was more important than them, but that was completely untrue. What made my life worth more than theirs? The fact that my soul was entangled with the soul of their leader?
"How many Hunters are here?" I asked.
"Tanaya, we don't have time for this," Lyssa pressed, looking on edge. "We need to go. Now."
"How many?" I asked again, the command in my voice was staggering.
Aria and Lyssa both took a step back and Aria answered immediately after that.
"Marc is on his way here, right?"
"Of course. You're here." Aria answered that without a hint of hesitation.
"Good. It's settled, then. I'm staying." I nodded once, turning to head over to the frightened Pack members. My Wolf wanted to comfort them, to let them know she was here. And to my surprise, so did I.
"Are you crazy?" Aria whisper-yelled. "You could be killed..."
"I'm not abandoning my Wolves," my Wolf snarled the words through my throat, my lips curled back over my sharpened canines in an animal-like fury. "They need me and you would have me abandon them, for what? Because I'm the soon-to-be Luna of this Pack. Let me ask you a question, little Wolf, what kind of Luna abandons her family when they need her the most?"
Aria's eyes were wide as she and Lyssa both held their heads down and to the side, showing their submission.
"I apologize, Luna," Aria said, meekly. "If this is what you think is the best course of action, then I will stay and protect you, no matter what."
My Wolf receded back to my mind and I nodded once at her, heading over to my family.
There was only the sound of screams and deafening gunshots throughout the halls. My stomach turned at the thought of innocent Wolves being killed. It literally made me sick to my stomach.
I leaned toward Lyssa and asked, "Is Marc okay?"
She nodded. "Marc's fine. He's tearing through Hunters as we speak."
The sound of screams and gunshots grew closer, I swallowed hard.
"You know, I have a question. How come all you guys can communicate with each-other, but I can't?"
It was a question that had been bothering me for some time now, but at the moment, I was asking it to distract myself from this situation.
"Oh, that's easy," Lyssa said, answering quietly and a tad bit nervously. "When Marc became Alpha, the Wolves he trusted the most--me, Carlos, Louis, Aria, the faculty here and his parents--all were added to his Mind-Link. So, we can hear what he hears, see what he sees. When he wants us to anyway. The Alpha and the Luna can block out other Wolves, but other Wolves can't block out the Alpha or the Luna. You haven't been added to the Mind-Link, because you haven't been fully instated as Luna, yet. When you fully accept the title and have the ceremony, badda-bing, badda-boom, you can Mind-Link."
My sharpened hearing picked up the sound of something sharp--a dagger or a knife, maybe even a sword--cutting through flesh. I flinched a little and noticed a few other Wolves do the same.
I had to pull it together. I had to be stronger for them.
"What about the rest of the Pack? They're not automatically initiated into the whole "Mind-Link" thing?"
Lyssa shook her head, eyes focused on the door that--on the other side--hid monsters, who were killing innocent people. My Wolf whimpered.
"That's another ceremony," she explained, hugging her knees to her chest. "We Wolves love our ceremonies." She wheezed a laugh and continued. "After your Luna ceremony--where you fully become Luna, gain all the Luna abilities and responsibilities, yada yada--you and Marc will hold a third ceremony. It will be the very first ceremony you'll host together as Alpha and Luna. There, the Pack will pledge our loyalties to you and you'll open up you Mind-Link to us."
Maybe it was just my Wolf, but I found that oddly romantic. Marc and I, side-by-side, looking over our Wolves together. I liked that a lot. Too much, in fact.
All the screaming outside the door abruptly came to a stop. I stopped breathing, my heart pounding and adrenaline pumping through my veins.
The doors burst open and in walked three Hunters, two males, one female. They looked us over with scorn, their faces twisted up with disgust. They were looking at us like we were the monsters, yet they had just killed innocent Wolves. I held back a snarl at their disrespect and got to my feet, standing in front of my Wolves like a shield.
"Who the hell do you think you are?" my Wolf was speaking for the both of us. "You come here, slaying innocent Wolves. Give me one reason why I should spare your pathetic little lives."
All three Hunters eyed my viciously.
"I guess you're the Luna, then," said the woman, her mousy brown hair tied away from her plain face.
"Ah, I've heard stories about you," said one of the males. He was blonde with three scars--that looked like claw marks--dragging from his eyebrow to his chin. "You were human before one of those filthy mongrels turned you."
"She was Bitten," the woman said, eyes wide with shock as she turned her head to look at the male. "I thought that was just a myth."
"It's supposed to be," the blonde responded, eyes twinkling with dark humor as he eyed me up and down. "Humans normally die from Wolf Bites, but not this one. Nope. She turned, instead. Chose by the Moon Goddess." He laughed. "As if she exists."
My Wolf snapped her jaw at this disrespectful waste of space.
"If you're finished discussing how I became a Werewolf," I snapped, glaring at the three. "I think you should leave now. While you still can."
The woman narrowed her eyes to slits, stepping closer.
"Your little mutts,"--my Wolf growled at her disrespect for the Wolves of our Pack--"may treat you like you're some kind of goddess because you're their Luna, but we don't have to follow your orders. You don't scare me. You don't scare any of us."
My Wolf curled our lips into a grin.
"Is that so? Are you truly not afraid?"
I could feel energy swirling around us. I could hear my Wolf explaining that it was both my Luna abilities and my Moon Blessed abilities together.
I saw the woman swallow hard, I sensed her fear, but she held her ground, trying to appear unafraid. The blonde man with the scar whistled lowly, while the second man just watched like he had been doing the entire time.
My hands shot out, quicker than lightening, and wrapped around the female Hunter's throat. The two males raised their guns at me.
From the corner of my eye, I could see moonlight pouring through the window. It wasn't even two o'clock in the evening and yet it was dark and the moon was out. That could only mean one thing: Selene was here, helping me.
The light from the moon seemed to have strengthened my Wolf, feeling invigorated, she lifted the female up into the air by her throat, her feet dangling helplessly.
"You treat us like we are monsters, but you are no better," I said, as my hands tightened around her throat. "You come onto our territory and declare war on us after four-hundred years of peace. Idiots."
I kept my hold on her neck until she went limp and passed out from the lack of air, then I dropped her. I was at in front of the males in a flash.
I remembered Lyssa reading that book to me in the library. The book had said moonlight made the Moon Blessed stronger and faster than even Alphas.
I reached out and placed my hand on both of the Hunter's foreheads, closing my eyes.
My hands grew warm and before I knew it, their bodies hit the floor. They were sound asleep.
I sighed and turned to face my Pack. All of them had shocked looks on their faces, all except Lyssa who had already known my secret.
I sighed, as Mr. Diaboli walked forward, looking at me in shock.
"Yer Moon Blessed, little Wolf."
The other Wolves just held their breaths, watching me and waiting.
I sighed again.
"Yes, I am."