Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.
The melodious beat of the drum reverberated around the Wonderan forest in time to the thumping of the peoples’ anxious hearts. Their hushed whispers ricocheted over the Enchanthral lake and the smell of their uneasiness was so palpable in the dark night. Nevertheless, they each remained gathered a few paces about the cottage either in their human form or wolf form, eagerly awaiting the Packs’ long overdue blessing.
The hung fairy lights illuminated the area together with the torch flames which swayed in the gentle breeze. The flames moved in all directions, circular and side to side, paying homage to the earth’s coordinates and putting the person who stared at it into a hypnotic trance. At least it provided an escape from the painful process of the ceremony but I refuse to let my gaze drift from her. Her face was scrunched up in pain and my heart twisted at the burden she had to carry alone.
The positioning of the large rustic-decorated cottage in the middle of the magical, utopian Wonderan forest had piqued her interest and she had determined to build our love nest here. Not that I had a problem with it, I would give my life over and over for her. Besides this forest was dear to my heart. The cottage was our haven when we needed our time away, but not far, from the pack and lately we had spent long days here due to the sorrow that had become too suffocating to live through.
It held our happy, sad and angry memories and so I wasn’t surprised when she had picked this precious place to have the ceremony. But this moment contained the most intense feeling that we had ever gone through together. Right now, the master bedroom was in disarray, the plush cushions were scattered about, the vintage vase on the drawer had been broken in the midst of her bone crushing pain and the silk bed coverings had been torn. The usual calm had dispersed and in its place was gut-wrenching pain, diminishing hope, dread, confusion and anxiety.
My internal musing was disrupted by a Nyrlian, Joanne, who bumped into me as she rushed past.
“I’m terribly sorry, Alpha,” she apologised hurriedly as she tried hard to concentrate on the water source that was suspended above her head.
I grunted a reply as I couldn’t blame her much. After, an emotionally gruelling twenty hours, she looked dishevelled and worn out. Nevertheless, she powered on for the sake and love that she felt for her Luna.
She made her way towards the head pack druid, Measer Fern, who was bent over a cauldron mixing another concoction that was going to ease Yuna’s pain. She manoeuvred the water into the mix with a move of her hand and took over mixing the contents.
He moved over to Yuna and with his hands outstretched he began yet again to chant ancient spells. Two of his apprentices, Amot and Iona, looked on hoping that it worked this time but I was starting to feel deflated especially after witnessing each passing hour of gradually rising intense pain. However, I had to remain strong for the both of us, I couldn’t let her see me crack it would destroy her and so I took her hands in mine, gathered whatever hope I had left and uttered sweet words of reassurance.
“Yuna my love, we are almost there. It won’t be long now,” with that said she opened her eyes and managed a smile but quickly shut them tight when the pain hit again.
“It isn’t supposed to take this long, so why is she still in pain?!” I growled to the druid who instinctively flinched away from me. “How many more spells would you recite, huh?” I narrowed my eyes at him, “TILL YOU UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NOT WORKING,” I demanded through clenched teeth.
“S-s-she seems to be c-carrying a stronger life force, Alpha,” He stammered, bending his head and looking everywhere but at me.
It wasn’t his fault that she was still in labour, however, with every shout of pain and sharp intake that she took I felt my restrain slip and dwindle from me. My wolf was itching to break free and rain havoc on the unfortunate soul that put her through so much pain but then that would mean his target would be our unborn child. So he retired to pacing about anxiously in his mental cage, growling and baring his teeth when she screamed in pain.
“A stronger life force? What is that supposed to mean?” I asked, perplexed.
The cool air hit me and I looked to my left at Iona, an Airian, who channelled the breeze in Yuna’s direction. The air force assisted with pain and provided stress relief. I was very grateful that she thought to help her Luna out and Yuna’s release of breath was an indication that it was working, however, it wasn’t enough.
Fern knew this as well and if his profuse sweating and painful grimace wasn’t an indication of the severity of the situation then the fact that Yuna’s body was tiring out and soon would not be able to endure anymore and break down was.
I looked back at him and registered his painful grimace once again, I understood now that it was due to the Alpha essence that was emanating from my body. Taking a quick look around, I noticed that the druid helpers were affected as well and so with great difficulty I calmed down and re-phrased the question. Crippling them with my essence was not going to help matters.
“Care to elaborate,” I grounded out with a raise of my right eyebrow. Yuna always said the gesture made me look like a petulant child but right now I could care less.
“Yes Alpha, the pup is much more powerful than the average white wolf and she seems to contain more talents than what we are used to,” He looked towards me to gauge my reaction and when he noticed my nod he swallowed and continued. “It’s my guess that she has control over every element, Alpha”
“Every element? But that’s not possible, the pup’s body...” I was cut off by Yuna’s agonizing scream and death grip on my hand.
Fern hurriedly started to murmur ancient incantations and I focused solely on Yuna, blocking the pack link which was abuzz with the fervent questions of the pack members. The drum beat became louder and faster and with that the shouts of Yuna. My head was spinning and the cottage room whirled about really fast along my vision. My hand throbbed in intense pain and I marvelled at the power source that was radiating from Yuna. It was so compelling and I felt myself falter from my crouched position but I refused to be submissive to this unknown power. I was Alpha and surely they could be no-other as powerful as I was.
Hearing the grunts and howls of pain from inside and outside the cottage, I gathered that the pack members were just as affected as I was, if not more than I was. This went on for another minute and with each second the wind current picked up and shook the curtains violently. From my line of sight, I caught the tree branches swaying violently through the window and the strike of lightning lit up the dark night in an electrifying display of power. The deafening sound of the lake water which roared as a sea during a tempest was very overpowering and the lit torches where burning bright red, surprisingly uncontrolled, as the Forlins were bowed down with their heads in their hands. The intensity of this power was unbelievable.
Almost immediately, the piercing cry of a baby could be heard and with that Yuna fell to the bed, the breath whooshing out of her in a hurry. All was still and quiet as I took a moment to gather myself before rising up gingerly but determinedly from the foot of the bed. Joanne, Iona and Amot took a long time before following my lead but they found it difficult to keep their footing as they moved disoriented towards Yuna.
Fern was the only one apart from me, in the cottage, who had not bowed down and from the looks of his knuckles which were strained as they held onto the dresser in a vice-like grip, it was clear why. Also, as the druid he had to be standing to welcome and carry the baby. I placed myself by the tip of the bed and swiped Yuna’s hair from her face, I was relieved to see that her breathing was regulated and so I placed a peck on her forehead.
“You did well love,” I whispered lovingly and just as if a finger had been clicked to release its captives from hypnosis, the pack erupted in loud cheers and shouts of joy outside the cottage. The baby was finally here.
“Alpha it’s a girl,” the tired druid helper, Moss, announced happily. I turned towards him and took in the bundle that Measer Fern was holding out to me. I hesitated momentarily, afraid that I might crush the baby in my large palms or worse drop her.
“Go on,” Yuna whispered from behind me, urging me on with a tired smile
I gently held the delicate bundle in my arms and was astonished at her beauty, my wolf was as well for he howled his content. She had her mother’s green eyes and the delicate arch of her eyebrows. Her hair was silvery-white with glowing streaks of emerald, azure, scarlet and aqua which dimed gradually till they were gone. This was highly unusual in the white-wolf clan, it probably had to do with the prevailing power source that radiated from her. But why? Tears of love flowed down my cheeks unchecked and I smiled and caressed her cheek tenderly. This earned a toothless smile from her.
“Stop hugging her all to yourself. I’m the mom here, that’s my job,” Yuna huffed with her arms crossed, feigning annoyance. It was a relief that her cheeky nature was back, it meant she would heal faster.
I passed her unto Yuna who was delighted and cooed loving to our daughter. Our daughter. Finally, after years of trying and disappointment, we were now blessed with the result of our love and a future leader to our pack.
“Alpha, its time. The pack members are getting restless,” Measer Fern announced. I looked over at Yuna who was still lost in our daughter’s deep green eyes. I would love to just cuddle next to them relishing in the immerse love that cocooned us but the pack members also deserved to see their long awaited future leader.
“Okay then,” I said, inhaling deeply. “Let’s get on with the celebration,” I opened up the pack link and mind linked my Beta, Fint, and his mate, Sheryl. They would be ecstatic to see the baby and I did promise that I would give them first peeking rights as Sheryl called it.
Following my lead Joanne proceeded to mind link more Nyrlians, to help with the bathing and preparation of Yuna and our baby and some Forlins, to keep the fireplace burning and to heat the water. The new mother and child needed all the protection that they could get from the cool night. With that done she asked everyone else to leave the room including myself and so with great reluctance I made my way down the short stairs and sat by the foyer.
“Is she really really here? ... I mean I didn’t imagine that cry did I? You know because I’m tired and haven’t slept a wink. My beloved beauty sleep is so important to me, you know... well except if scarified for other things and....” a sobbing Sheryl rambled on.
“Yes, she’s here,” Fint cut her off gently. “I promise you weren’t the only one that heard it, you are not imaging things okay. So calm down those hose pipes so you can see the baby with clear eyes lest when we get home you start to believe that whatever you witnessed was a low quality blurry recreation of your innermost desires.”
I chuckled inwardly at the sound of their approaching voices. They never failed to crack me up.
“Tyon,” Sheryl called out when she noticed me and without warning she barrelled herself into my chest and hugged me tight. “Is it true? She’s here right?”
“Yes, yes she’s here little dynamo and she’s more gorgeous than I imagined. Takes after her mother,” I replied as I returned her fierce hug.
“Sheryl Lisa McCarthy, disentangle yourself right this minute. My wolf knows no family members,” Fint stated as a matter-of-fact
“That’s what you get for teasing me, you meanie,” She retorted but released herself from my embrace, smiled brightly at me and sulked to his side. I swear they act like little pups all the time. The Sky Lordians certainly knew what they were doing when they paired them together.
Once by his side he slapped her butt and lowered his voice, “You’re getting punished for that one,” Her quick intake of breath and strong smell of arousal didn’t go unnoticed as she looked at Fint’s advancing back longingly.
“Oh no you don’t,” I said as I wagged my finger. “Keep your business to yourself. It’s hard enough knowing little dynamo isn’t little anymore. Now I have to witness these not-so subtle sexual innuendos”
“Salutations Alpha, our princess is finally here,” he said grinning and ignoring my discomfort while he stood at ease. I couldn’t help but smile as he pulled me into a brief man hug. “Hope Yuna and the baby are alright?” he asked, concern lacing his voice and features.
“Yeah they are alright. Just waiting for them to make their entrance after the preparations,” He nodded his relief as I continued. “She’s perfect Fint. Her tiny fingers and toes, cute rosebud lips and delicate cheeks. She’s a wonder,” I gushed.
“I can see that. I mean I haven’t seen you tear-up since we were in element school and even then it wasn’t the full water works,” he mused taking in my dried tears. “I guess it runs in the family,” he laughed and this earned him a scoff and death stare from Sheryl.
“Tears what tears?” I said as I cleared my throat. “Those where from Sheryl when she hugged me,” I clarified, hoping I sounded convincing or else Fint wouldn’t stop with the teasing
“Nope, those were yours Tyon, don’t you dare” Sheryl said as she focused her stare on me daring me to say otherwise.
“You know what I accept, whatever makes you sleep at night,” Fint declared choking on his laughter.
“No, I don’t accept those were my tears so back off,” Sheryl said but immediately turned crimson when she saw the mischievous glint in Fint’s eyes. Punishment doubled.
What would I do without their comic relief? I felt the knots and tension in my body relax as I engaged my sister and Fint in playful banter. Abruptly, Sheryl and Fint stopped talking and stared fixated on something behind me. I turned around and locked eyes with Yuna who was now dressed in a royal satin dress, on her head was a beautiful flower garland and in her arms was our daughter wrapped in the same satin coloured blanket. Her powerful, intoxicating scent hit me as Yuna made her way down the stairs gently with the pack members who assisted with the preparation behind her. Once she got to the foyer, the pack members went outside to give us a moment.
“Yuna, I’m so glad you’re okay,” Sheryl moved towards her, pecking her on each cheek and giving her a hug while been mindful of the tiny bundle cushioned in the crook of her arm. “She’s gorgeous,” she cooed. “Can I?” She asked hesitantly, Yuna nodded and placed the baby in her arms.
“You won’t drop her, just place one hand here to support her head and the other by the lower part of her body” Yuna whispered to an uneasy Sheryl who smiled back, grateful for the pointers.
“I’m so glad you are alright Yuna,” Fint said, stepping forward and bowing respectfully. “I mean who would make Tyon weak in the knees and blubber like a love struck teenage boy,” he continued with a slight raise of his head and a snicker. This caused Yuna and Sheryl to laugh, even the baby giggled.
“I’m starting to think granting you first peeking rights was a huge mistake,” I said a little louder to be heard above their laughter
Upon hearing this he quickly moved towards Sheryl, fearful that I might make good on my threat before he got so much as a glance at the baby.
“He’s right though,” Yuna said to which I rolled my eyes. “Stop with your sassy attitude missy,” she slapped my arm playfully and giggled
“Missy eh?” I pulled her gently towards me. “We both know I’m no missy but I’ll let you have that seeing as you just went through a great ordeal,” She wasn’t happy with my response and was about to put in a smart retort about how strong she still was to take me on. My fiery Yuna always up to the challenge. But I needed to continue so I placed my finger to her lips.
“Don’t get me wrong, I admire your strength and valour in bringing our precious gift into this world. Despite all our disappointments you remained hopeful that the Sky Lordians would grant us our utmost desire and I’m glad to say that your perseverance payed off. You are now a mother and I a father, I have no doubt in my mind that you would make an excellent mother to our pup. You are a powerful, witty and wise Luna to our pack and I would never have it any other way. You are not just my mate but my rock, better half, love and yes captor of my heart and powerful compeller who brings me to my knees...” this earned a chuckle from her and I could see Fint’s subtle smirk as he pretended to have his whole attention on the baby. Damn him and his supersonic ears. “....when I need to tip you into the abyss of ecstasy” I added, earning a blush from her and a grimace from Fint. Serves you right for eavesdropping
“I never thought I could be happier with you,” Yuna said, choking back on a sob. She looked up at me with unshed tears and love. After a brief moment to gather her thoughts and composure, she whispered, “Yil” I looked at her in confusion.
“Her name will be Yil, it means cherished one,” she said looking back at our daughter.
Indeed, it was a name that fitted like a glove because as a result of our love and devotion we begat her, our cherished one. I’m sure the pack members would also agree.
“I love it. Princess Yil McCarthy. So be it,” I smiled
Measer Fern entered the cottage and bowed to both Yuna and I before he said “It is time Alpha and Luna”
I looked towards Yuna who now had Yil nestled back in her arms. Sheryl was by her side and Fint was by mine as he placed an arm by my shoulder giving it a reassuring squeeze. Without any unspoken word we all made our way outside where I faced the pack members in their multitude. Young and old. Feeble and weak. All with the same loyal and anxious expressions. They, just like Sheryl and Fint, where eager to see with their eyes what their ears had heard. Their fierce love washed over me and with confidence I moved forward as I collected Yil from Yuna.
“Behold White-wolf Clan, our long awaited gift, Princess Yil McCarthy” I announced with a booming voice which reverberated along the forest. Immediately after I had said that the whole forest filled up with the shouts and howls of joy.
The pack was finally complete.