I walked along the now familiar path to the stone cottage, the flowers in the window boxes dancing in the small breeze that fluttered around the valley. I opened the red front door making my way to the living room “Eva!”
“Allianna? They live!” I shouted. It was the first time I’d seen her since she had found Ash.
“Eva I presume?” the blond-haired man that was attached to Allianna spoke.
“Hello, you must be Ash, I only saw the back of your head last time.” He rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand
“Yeah, sorry about that… Alli has explained but… still can’t believe how out of control I was.” I looked into his bright blue eyes and smiled
“Nothing to apologise about, being mated to an original is intense… I didn’t stop crying for a week. I cried that it rained, I cried when Damian came home, when he left… think I’d have taken sex for two solid weeks.” Ash laughed embarrassedly, Allianna blushed.
“So, Eva, what do we owe the pleasure?” Nicos asked, walking in to the living room from the kitchen
“Oh! Yeah” I’d forgotten why I came “Damian wants me to organise the Luna ceremony… I have no idea how you do it...” I admitted, I wanted to discuss it with Iris more than anything as she'd probably been through the same before. “Typical, he lands you with a job and tells you nothing!” Nicos exclaimed.
“It should be similar to mine, but you’ll be the High Luna, so we need to make it a little more special.” Iris walked in behind me and sat on one of the leather sofas. Nicos sat next to her pulling her closer to him so he could hug her. I made myself comfortable in the leather armchair feeling like I was playing gooseberry.
“Do we invite other packs?” I queried, looking at the two couples.
“Yes… you’re their High Luna, they should see you crowned. Allianna, can you ask the Fae? They respond to you better than I or Damian,” Nicos asked
“I can do that… I can be back by tomorrow,” Allianna announced.
“The Fae?” Ash asked,
“I’ll explain on our way, you’re coming with me!” My eyes widened at her pronouncement
“He can’t go!” I rushed out “They’ll do that thing to him!” I exclaimed remembering what happened to me.
“I’ll sort that, come on baby,” she declared confidently as she stood, Ash’s hand in hers
“Take someone with you sis!” Nicos demanded to her, she nodded and left, leaving me with Iris and Nicos.
“So what do I need to think of?” So many questions ran through my head.
“Nothing, we’ll sort it, I’m going to take you shopping for a dress. Nicos is going to get his butt to Damian and organise, it shouldn’t all be up to us!” Iris grabbed my hand yanking me to my feet. “I’m so excited!” Iris exclaimed.
We spent the rest of the afternoon discussing the ceremony, what would happen and what I'd wear. We giggled, we laughed, we chatted about anything and everything. All-round we had a fun afternoon. “I’m glad Damian found you.” Iris stretched over the sofa.
“... Don’t tell Nicos, but it was sometimes a bit lonely. Yeah there was Allianna, but she’s still their sibling. I can’t talk sex with her. I can’t complain because he’s her brother.”
“Aww Iris…” I leapt up and dove on her, pulling her into a hug. She laughed, squeezing me “Got me now, buddy!” I had to admit, I enjoyed her company too, I’d never had female friends. I'd always found other females annoying and preferred the company of males. Not that I had any male friends at my last pack. Yeah I was a bit of a loner.
I got back home in a good mood. A smile firmly etched on my face from the sheer amount of laughter. I turned into the living room, seeing Nicos still there. Both men were sprawled over the sofa. Despite their relaxed postures, their words were anything but “I can’t fucking believe you.”
“Shut up Damian, she’s a big girl she’ll be fine.”
“But she took Ash!”
“He’s a big boy, stop worrying old man!”
“What if they kill them? What if they capture them?”
“Sam and Terry have gone with her!”
“Oh yeah,” he scoffed “like that’s going to fucking help you cun-”
“OK… OK break it up.” I leapt down into the sofa pit, standing in the middle so they both could only see me.
“Damian, Allianna wanted to go, how else do you propose for the fae to allow wolves from other packs on the land?" I asked Damian, I then turned my attention to Nicos, "Nicos, don’t call him an old man you know it bugs him.”
“Yes mum,” Nicos grumped
“You’re 500 years too late to call me mum.” I cock my head dangerously, folding my arms
“Why you ganging up on me?” he whined.
I sat rather unceremoniously on Damian’s stomach. He grunted. “I’m not,” I jumped, eliciting another grunt as I landed my butt on Damian. He made a good trampoline, albeit a bit of a hard one. “I’ll deal with him, you go talk to Iris. Sounds like someone has been neglecting their bedroom duties.” I grinned mischievously at Nicos as I jumped again, only to be caught by Damain “My stomach is not a couch cushion, quit it,” he growled his cute little dangerous growl. I giggled. He lifted me a little too easily and started using me to bench press “The fuck you doing?!” I squealed.
“I think that’s my cue,” Nicos muttered. I was too focused gripping onto Damian, scared he was going to drop me to hear Nicos leave.
“Have you finished using me as a piece of gym equipment?”
“Nope.” His hand was edging a little too close to my crotch.
“I want to spar you.” I’d been thinking about it for the last few days, but since the full moon I’d felt stronger and my sparring with Peta was improving drastically. Finally, Damian set me down “Did I just hear you right?”
“Yeah, I’ve never seen you spar.”
“I’m not sparring you, you’ll get hurt.”
“You can spar and not fully hurt each other.”
“How about you watch me spar?”
“HoW aBoOt YoU wAtCh Me SpAr”, I exaggeratedly mimicked, folding my arms
“Eva you’re not a child don’t talk like that.”
“Then why are you treating me like one?” I countered, he sighed, sitting up.
“OK, we can have a sparring session together.”
“Why did you emphasis session like that?” I had a feeling I won't be actually sparring him.
The day had arrived. Iris helped me into the beautiful champagne gold dress that cinched in at the waist then flowed out around me. Beautiful flowers were appliquéd over the skirt. A sweetheart neckline grazed my cleavage and showed my shoulders so Damian’s mark was in full view.
Allianna had put my hair in a loose braid down my back, Diamond flowers adorning it. Both girls kissed my cheek as they looked me up and down “I think you’re ready.” Alliana beamed
“You look gorgeous!” Iris exclaimed.
“I’m nervous.” I looked at the two women, half wanting them to say I didn’t have to do it.
“You’re going to be fine, come on. The boys will already be there.” Alliana gave me a small push. I hadn’t seen Damian since the day before. I was itching to feel his arms around me, to feel his lips.
We drove to the other side of the wood, where a stage had been erected on the edge of the treeline. Iris parked up and we walked into the trees so we were hidden from the crowd that was obviously on the other side of the stage. I could hear them chattering, I wondered which packs had turned up… I wondered if my pack had turned up? I doubted it… they were too angry with me.
“You ready?” Nicos stood straight, waiting with Ash behind steps leading up to the stage. “We’re going to go up there, Damian will announce you, just come up onto the stage,” Nicos explained with a warm smile. “Is he already up there?” I glanced up the steps to the green curtain.
“Yes, you look gorgeous by the way.” He smiled and gave me a quick hug before offering his arm to Iris while Ash pulled Allianna to him. The four walked up the steps and out of sight behind the curtain. I heard the sound of hundreds of hands clapping.
My heart thudded in my chest as I heard a quiet descend before Damian’s voice reverberated around. “Welcome everyone. I appreciate you taking the time to welcome your High Luna. She has proved herself already in the last month to be a gracious and caring Luna. Now join me in welcoming High Luna Eva!” My ears burnt but I shakily made my way up the steps. Pushing aside the forest green velvet curtain. The number of people in front of the stage made me stop for a second… I’ve never seen so many faces! Every pack must have been in attendance. Oh Goddess what do I do?
I looked to Damian who had turned to look at me and his face was a picture. His beautiful blue eyes were wide, his mouth slightly hung open. However, the sight of him rendered me speechless. He was wearing black tails with a champagne waistcoat. A short black fur cape hung from one shoulder demonstrating his wolf. He held out his hand which snapped me out of looking at him. I gingerly walked towards him and grasped his large comforting hand.
He kissed my cheek and whispered “You look stunning, gorgeous,” his breath tickled my cheek.
“You don’t look bad yourself.” He chuckled, pulling away and placing his hand on my waist. He turned back to the crowd “First is the deceleration of loyalty.” Whoops and howls echoed around the crowd as Damian turned to me, and grasped both my hands. A quiet descended again “Do you pledge to stand by my side and be my softer side?”
“I promise.” I looked into his eyes, seeing the amount of love he had for me, and I hoped I was showing the same emotion. “Do you pledge to take care of all the packs that look to us for support and guidance?”
“Do you pledge to protect any wolf that needs protecting?”
“I will protect all.”
“Lastly, do you pledge to serve the Moon Goddess for the rest of eternity and follow our laws?”
“Then by the power vested in me by the Moon Goddess herself, I crown you High Luna of all wolves!” Damian let my hands go and turned to the six chairs I hadn’t noticed. They were carved out of logs, and the back had been carved out in the shape of a wolf head. Four were occupied until Nicos stood, producing a crown on a green cushion. The gold glinted in the sunlight, it was beautifully dainty, thin threads of metal entwined loosely together. Small sapphires were encased in the threads.
Damian carefully lifted the crown from the cushion and placed it on my head, letting one of his hands graze my cheek as he dropped them. The crowd dropped to their knees, fists on their hearts as murmurs of “Our Queen,” and “High Luna,” rippled through the crowd. I saw five people at the back, stood away from the crowd who did not kneel and I recognised the three in the middle as Archimedes and his two crones. I purposefully nodded towards them, the Fae had come to watch.