Damian finally pushed his face away from my stomach, his bloodshot eyes looked up to me. “What made you think such things? How… how could you believe I’d be happy with anyone else?” I sunk to the ground next to him.
“Because my whole life I’ve been reminded of my rank. Or lack of. Every day a warrior would push me over because they could. I wanted to be better. I wanted to show people I was more… show my pack. So I tried to train with the warriors. It just demonstrated how weak I was. Then… at the ceremony, I was reminded that I was just that… an omega. An omega that can’t defend herself. Just a-”
“Stop saying it.” Damian snapped “The more you say the lies the more you believe them. Why can’t you see how perfect you are?”
“Because I’m not… look.” I thrust my arm out to him… showing the ugliness. He looked up to my face then down to my arm, gently taking it in his hand. With the lightest of touch, he traced down the largest of the cuts “You know what I see when I see these?” I shook my head “A survivor. Someone who went against the odds to survive. A strong capable Luna who was let down by those sworn to protect her. Our scars remind us where we’ve been. They remind us of the past so we learn and grow.” I dropped my arm from him.
I sat silently, thinking about his words. Thinking about his reaction to me leaving. Thinking what I said to him. “I’m sorry,” I said down to my lap, ashamed.
“It was what Jeremy said wasn’t it?” Damian pulled me onto his lap nuzzling into my shoulder
“Kinda… it’s been echoing around… also what Cameron said.” I heard him sigh against my shoulder “Well… I was feeling so sure, and safe. I felt ready to be High Luna… then… he had to remind me I wasn’t.” I felt like I needed to explain myself.
“But you’ve proved yourself time and time again. You’re fair, you’re kind, you’re just. You’ve proved that. You’ve only been here two months and you’ve proved everything. And the Moon Goddess agrees or she wouldn’t have granted you a High Luna wolf.” I moved so I could press my face against his still wet shirt “I’m sorry”.
“Let me get changed then we’ll go on a walk, yeah?” I nodded against him moving from his lap. I also went and got changed; he’d got my clothes wet too.
We walked out of the house hand in hand. It felt amazing to be walking on something other than carpet and wooden floors. I dropped Damian’s hand just to speed up to a jog. I felt the wind whip my hair back. As my feet pushed off the ground kicking up wet mud. Damian had matched my pace and chuckled. “Maybe I have been a little overprotective.”
“A little?” I said in disbelief
“Fine… a lot,” he admitted. I nodded satisfied.
“It was sweet. I know you care. But I felt really suffocated,” I said honestly as I slowed my jog back to a walk. I was starting to tire.
Damian matched and slipped his arm around my waist. “I understand. I broke my promise… I’m sorry.” I looked up to him but he wasn’t looking to me
“That no-one would hurt you again. My whole job is to protect you.” He tightened his grip
“Again, the Fae causing hurt and arguments,” I muttered down to the wet earth
“Yeah… they do that.” We’d walked into the woods, the wet mud squelching under our boots mixing with the fallen leaves. Greens were turning to browns and yellows making the woodland even prettier than usual.
We walked, enjoying the rustling sounds of animals, the leaves floating from their branches. The cool sun’s rays stretching through the leaves clinging to life. “Damian.” I stepped in front of him placing my hands on his chest. (and had a little feel of his muscles, sue me). “I didn’t mean what I said… I don’t want to leave.” I met his eyes and reached up to trace his strong jaw until he grasped my hand and laid my palm against his cheek, leaning his cheek in, closing his eyes. “Damian… I love you.” I knew he’d said it to me before, and I’d never responded (I was rendered unconscious the first time). His eyes snapped open and the biggest grin crossed his face “Te amo angelum meum.”
“I don’t even know what language that is.” He chuckled as he brought his lips to mine brushing them gently “Latin,”
“What did you say?” Another chuckle
“I love you, my angel.” And his lips were on mine pulling me closer into him, deepening the kiss.
′I’m baaaack′ A voice I hadn’t heard in a while popped up. I squeaked in excitement pulling away from Damian “Sorry, wolfie’s back!” I exclaimed to him
“You haven’t heard her in all this time?”
“No.” I looked away ashamed “But she’s back now.” I gave him a small smile. “I’m starting to get tired,” I admitted to which Damian nodded and turned us around.
Damian said he needed to get things done the next day. So I made my way to the training ground “Duckling!” Peta roared in excitement as soon as I got there and made my way towards him “Good to see you alive!” Warriors that were training bowed their heads to me as I passed. I knew it was a respect thing but it felt weird. “What are you doing here?” I’d reached Peta and gave him a half hug
“I want to get my strength back.”
“Does Alpha know?”
“Nope,” I popped the ‘p’ and smiled
“Nuh huh no. No training today if Alpha hasn’t okayed it.” He stepped away
“But Peta… I’m Luna what I say goes! I’ll take the wrap Peta. I promise,” I begged. He sighed a long deep sigh
“If you’re sure. But you’re using me as a punch bag. I’m not striking you.”
“Fine, fine.” I waved my hand and got into a readying stance.
We’d been sparring… well I’d been kicking Peta for twenty minutes. I got cocky and attempted a double kick… falling heavily to the floor “Duckling!” Peta reached down
“WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOUR DOING!” Damian’s roar cut through the crowd, parting the red sea towards us. I pulled on Peta’s hand to stand. Blocking Damian’s path to Peta. I put my arms out in front of me in a placating manner “I’ve been using him as a punch bag… he’s done nothing.”
“You should be at home!” He stopped in front of me but looking over my head to Peta.
“I wanted to train, I need to get my strength back,” I reasoned
“You’re not safe!”
“Damian… the safest I can be is surrounded by like, fifty warriors.” His chest heaved under his navy shirt but I could tell he was trying to calm down. I took a step towards him resting my hands on his chest, pressing. He closed his eyes taking a few deep breaths. “He didn’t touch you once?”
“No, I fell because I tried a double kick… but I’m not quick enough to land it.”
“Oh… like this.” Damian sidestepped me and leapt into the air, kicking his feet one after the other into Peta’s chest… then landing back on his feet. Peta flew backwards landing heavily on his back. “Damian!” I yelled at him as he swiftly strode to Peta
“Don’t train her without my permission again! Clear?” Peta rolled onto his side coughing
“Crystal Alpha… I’m sorry,” he wheezed before Damian turned back around and grabbed my hand, marching me off. I wanted to explode in anger… but I waited until we got home.
“What the fuck did you do that for?!” I rounded on him as soon as we reached the top of the spiral stairs. “You scared the shit out of me! I got home and you weren’t here!”
“So you kicked Peta?!”
“No, I kicked Peta to prove a point. He disobeyed my orders!”
“What the ‘The Luna needs to be wrapped in cotton wool and never leave the house again’ order?!” he blinked at me
“No,” but his quiet sheepish tone suggested he was lying.
“I’m not a prisoner Damian! And I’m not some weak pup! So stop treating me like one!” He let out a long breath
“You could have linked me… left a note.” He rubbed the back of his neck, his shoulders slumped “I thought someone had taken you,” he muttered and pulled me into a bone-crushing hug.
He kept me glued to his chest for a while, sniffing my hair and neck. “I’m sorry,” I muttered against his chest “I didn’t mean to scare you.” I wriggled my arms out of his embrace and slipped them around his waist gripping onto the back of his shirt. “You can train if no-one lays a hand on you,” he muttered
“Really?” I looked up to him, elated at his shift in thoughts
“Yes, but only an hour a day. And only if you’re up to it. And you eat before and after,” he demanded
“Agreed.” I beamed up to him
“Not that I can tell you what to do… but… I know I’ve been protective and I’m struggling to relinquish that again.” His arms tightened slightly around me.
“We’re partners… we should ask things to check in… not ask permission but… just to let each other know,” I spoke slowly, thinking of the right words.
“True. I’ll tell Peta later today you can train from tomorrow.” His forehead rested on mine
“What else are you going to tell Peta?” I half scolded
“I don’t have anything else to tell...” His eyebrows furrowed
“Maybe an apology?” I pushed my face into his shirt
“Yes, that.” I rubbed my nose against his shirt, the button’s catching but I didn’t care. I’d argued with Damian more in a week than I had with anyone in my life. I hated arguments, I hated conflict.
Damian loosened his grip around me “You hungry?” I shook my head against him “What do you want to do?”
“Hug.” Damian chuckled above me but I felt him lift me so I wrapped my arms around his neck and he walked into the living room, stepping down into the sofa. He sat resting me on his lap and we remained in each other’s embrace. I felt safe and secure and in that moment all I needed was Damian’s arms wrapped around me.