Chapter 16: Revelation
Sometime in the late night I am awakened to the soft whisper of a woman’s voice. The necklace pulses with a light again and I hear my mother's familiar angelic voice.
Luna's voice: Willow...
I quietly slip out of bed to get dressed and follow my mother's voice out of the estate and to the forest's edge. The moon near full, casts a blue haze through the trees, calling to my inner beast. I shift to my wolf looking back over my shoulder. I can sense someone, another wolf hiding nearby. I know right away it’s Luke. Liam must have given him watch duty again, knowing I might try to leave. But it doesn’t matter, he won’t be able to follow me where I’m going.
I feel exhilarated by the freedom of the night, weaving through the trees. I quicken my pace, losing him briefly, while listening to the sound of leaves lifting from the ground caught in my breeze as I fly past. My breath barely a whisper as I come to a sudden stop. The moon's light embraces the sacred willow tree.
The place of my birth, as well as the first wolf. It was by his blood and that of his dire wolf Oden that the willow tree sprouted. A faded orange light pulses in the trunk of the tree like a flame flickering. Shifting back to human form, I reach out placing my palm upon the tree, my other grabbing the necklace now glowing brighter than ever. The sound of a twig snapping nearby startles me. Luke steps in view shifting to human form with fear in his eyes.
I offer him a calm smile. Linking to him.
Willow: It’s ok Luke. You must go to Liam, he must lead them to battle.
Luke: You can’t leave like this!
Willow: I will be there, I promise.
The light grows blinding and forcing Luke back while consuming my being as silence falls.
My mother's voice calls out to me. I open my eyes to find myself far from where I’d been, looking upon a beautiful unscathed meadow covered in a golden mist, and my mother standing before me. I am unable to hold back the swelling of tears as she reaches her hand out touching my face. I lean into her palm to feel the warmth of her flesh.
Willow: How can this be.
Her smile grows wide as her eyes gloss over, wrapping her arms around me, embracing me in a warm hug. Neither of us speak for some time, we simply listen to each other’s heart beats. I find comfort in the feel of her chest rising and falling with each breath. After a while she pulls back, looking me over with such pride.
Luna: My beautiful little Willow.
She wraps an arm around mine as we walk.
Willow: How am I here? How are you here? And where is here?
Her giggle is almost contagious.
Luna: Sweet Willow, you are by far the strongest of my children! You can be anywhere you want to be, as well as I, and this.....she brushes a hand across the sky.
Luna: This is our realm. Our life line between all other realms. A place untouched by man, where the gods can live peacefully, to heal, to hide, to grow, to love.
Willow: To die.
She turns to me with a warm glowing smile.
Luna: You are a goddess child. Death is not forever.
Willow: But my brothers died, you died.
Luna: Did we?
Her giggles echo.
Willow: What about my visions and the stories told. Hades killed my father and then you vanished with him in an explosion of light?
Her smile remains as she continues walking.
Luna: Your father's mortal body died years before Hades. Not only was he the first wolf, but he was my husband, my soul mate. My blood ran through his veins. Hades' sword did not kill him like I had thought. After the many years and many battles, we were simply tired and chose to rest. To live out our immortal lives here.
She gestures out through the golden mist of endless trees and clouds as a figure appears in the distance. As he came closer, though I had only ever met my mother briefly when she brought me into this world, I knew. With his black wavy hair and sky blue eyes I knew him to be my father. With tears of joy in his eyes he scoops me up in his arms.
Thomas: Look at my little princess all grown up.
I cry, throwing my arms around his shoulders, burying my face in the nook of his neck as he cradles my head. After what seemed like an eternity, he gently sets me on my feet, before taking my mother’s hands, looking at her with the same loving eyes Liam looks at me with. I was confused, a part of me almost wanted to be angry with them. Why hadn’t they come back for me. My mother turns to me as if reading my thoughts, wiping away a tear.
Luna: Everything is as it should be, and you my dearest Willow, you are more powerful than you know.
She kisses my forehead soothing my nerves, bringing to light my confusion. It was then I somehow understood everything. Why they did what they did.
Thomas: Not everything we see is clear, always trust what is in here!
He points to my chest, where the sapphire heart pulses once again with a glowing beat.
My mother and father begin to fade as they walk away from me. When they reach the tree line two young boys appear, and with them a large golden dire wolf with violet eyes. It was my brothers Lukas and Maximus, and my mothers dire companion Freya.
I run as fast as my legs can carry until the sounds of howls stop me in my tracks.
The battle has begun. I shift to my wolf running faster than I ever have, till I come to a clearing. Wolves and vampires fighting to the death. Bodies blanketing the field. Several wolves form a circle around Daniel in the middle of it all. My eyes fall upon Liam and Luke fighting off in the distance, seeming to have fun? I raise a brow and almost laugh out loud at the scene. Luke takes out a vampire and I think he shouts out a number. Just then they both pop off two more and look at each other. It is quite comical, but a distraction as I nearly get flanked by a vampire. His neck severs like a knife through butter as my teeth separate his head from his body.
More vampires have caught sight of me now, but I chose to shift to my human form, stunned to find my mother’s sword in my right hand. I make quick work of the first few, before setting my eyes on Daniel. Cutting through the growing numbers till we finally come face to face.
Daniel: For a moment there I was afraid that you decided to run and hide like you always have.
Willow: Well I’m here now.
His lips turn into a grimacing smirk.
Daniel: I know you’ve seen how this plays out Willow. So, the question is do you really want to drag out the inevitable. Or shall we just end it now.
Willow: First, I want you to tell me why?
Daniel: Oh, Willow you really don’t know?
You can’t see the family resemblance?
At the exact moment his words hit, Celia came to mind. Her blue eyes piercing back at me through his.
Daniel: My own mother was ashamed of me. By the time she realized who my father was it was too late. She had me as a result!
Willow: Who was you’re....
I didn’t need to complete the question, I knew the second his eyes turned black who his father was.
Daniel claps his hands and nods before twisting his face into a grimacing glare of hate directed at me.
Daniel: She pawned me off on some rich dutches, while she ran off to raise the child of a goddess. To raise you princess.... over her own son! What kind of a mother does that? How could she choose you over me?
Willow: She would never have done that without purpose!
Daniel: How would you know, at least your parents' deaths were an excuse. Celia abandoned me plain and simple, because I was a son of Hades. The older and more powerful I got, the more determined I was to find her, to find you and have my revenge..... I almost pitied her when she so willingly took me in as her apprentice, and how easy you made it to keep tabs on you.
Daniel: For a vampire he was quite easy to manipulate till he got greedy and wanted to keep you for himself. Then again his little accidental revealment of your powers actually played in my favor. As far as my mother, well her death took a little longer than expected.
Willow: How could you kill your own mother?
Daniel: She was no mother to me, and you! You have no idea the kinds of things I’ve had to endure over my lifetime because of her choice!
Willow: She was given her task by the goddess of the moon herself. Surely deep down you must know had she any other choice?
Daniel: Hades was dead, and yet she still fled with you instead of trying to find me. She made her choice.
Willow: I know she grieved for you. I didn’t know who or why. But for years I could sense it. A loss so deep it was effecting her mind. I know she loved you. Whether she knew who you really were or not. She loved you.
Daniel's face contorts like a venomous demon.
Daniel: She thought she loved her dear sweet apprentice because of a spell. Not me! Not her only son!
Willow: I loved you like a brother.
He stood clenching his jaw before finally composing himself.
Daniel: Love is a fickle thing isn’t it. Let us get on with it.
He rolls his shoulders back flicking the blood off his sword before pointing it to my chest.
Willow: And why all this. If killing your mother was an act of vengeance for abandoning you, then why all this, why go through with this?
Daniel: I am the son of Hades after all. It’s in my nature.
We parry around each other, mocking the other's strikes, anticipating the other's moves.
Willow: I know there’s good in you Daniel. Just because Hades blood runs through your veins, doesn’t mean he controls who you are.
Daniel: But doesn’t it? You of all people should know!
I move swiftly as his blade comes within an inch of my throat. Spinning quickly I knock his sword out of reach. He stands in shock holding a bloodied arm. His eyes flick past me as I hear Liam call out to me.
In a moment of hesitation I drop my sword and fall to my knees. Daniel pulls the titan dagger from my chest. This time my wound does not heal immediately and my blood slowly seeps into the ground.
Liam screams as he runs towards us. I raise my hand summonsing a force field as Luke and Nicoli rush to hold him back. Black ash begins to rise swirling around Daniel's body.
Daniel: I had to add a little spell of my own cursing your dagger to keep you from healing too quickly.
His chuckle is deep and menacing. Fearfully eerie as his muscles begin to tear through the fabric of his suit. Like watching the incredible fucking hulk. The dagger falls from his enlarged hands. With what strength I had I grab the dagger, flying to my feet in one swift motion embedding it through his heart.
His face is contorted with pain and anger realizing his mistake. The black ash of Hades' power is sucked back into the ground. Daniel attempts to pull out the dagger, but I keep a firm grip on the handle pushing it further in. He tries desperately to push away from me.
Daniel: Your blood was on that dagger, once you let go, I will heal and I will kill you.
He smirks and tries to laugh but it comes out more as a cough with blood coming from the corner of his mouth.
Willow: Do you know what happens to demons when they’re burned from the inside?
Daniel: Victor drank your blood and healed.
Willow: Victor only had a small taste of my powers when they were suppressed.
I look away catching a quick glimpse of Liam mouthing the word fate, before turning my full attention to Daniel. Daniel's eyes widen with fear as I begin to glow. I wrap myself around him sending small electrical pulses through my touch before kissing him, and releasing my inner light. Unlike with Victor, Daniel's body convulses like a man holding a live wire while standing in water. My light erupts into an explosion of blinding light shooting a sonic blast across the field knocking back any standing in its path. Daniel slowly turns to ash. There’s a look of fear and sadness in his pale blue eyes. The eyes of a man I once considered a brother. A man I still love as such.
Willow: I forgive you.
His eyes widen with surprise before turning soft and vanishing along with the dagger. My own hands become iridescent formed by microscopic soft blue lights like the moon dust that had consumed me when my mother’s masking spell was lifted and my powers where returned. My body hovers over the ground, weightless.
I turn as Liam runs towards me, collapsing to the ground searching blindly through the ash and moon dust. He doesn’t see me.
His cries echo through the field where all but ashes remain. Luke falls to his knees beside his brother. With tears in his eyes he holds Liam in silence. I bend down brushing my fingers across Liam's face. For a brief moment he looks up as if he sees me, but his eyes are lost as the reflection of my blue light dims.