Dusk fell on the world unceremoniously. Although we all knew the monumental shift that this event embodied. With the setting of the sun, would come the great unknown. The beginning of the great battle that we all dreaded.
But something was different.
None of us spoke. We all just knew. We filed one by one into the living room, Sam holding tightly onto my hand. I could sense the ferocity mounting within him, remaining from my telling of my encounter with the u-so-nv. I squeezed his hand, our unseen communication buzzing between us like a crackling wall of electricity. It’s alright, I communicated to him. He just looked at me in his stern way, that sorrowful look in his eyes.
We all stood. Rick was beside me, shifting on his feet. Max and Damon seemed nervous. They didn’t speak to each other- their usual banter lost to the seriousness. The air was heavy as Adonis came in behind Paul. Sam took his place beside the Alpha, his hand disconnecting with mine. I stood in solemn silence along with the others.
I could hear everyone’s hearts beating in incredible and powerful unison. Like the beating of a hollow drum. Bum bum. Bum bum.
Adonis’ golden eyes surveyed each one of us. They lingered on mine. My breath hitched. He looked good. Strong. But I knew that looks could be deceiving. He must have been so tired in that moment.
Adonis put his hand over his heart. We all did the same. He closed his eyes, deep mumbling coming out of him, deep enough to touch his soul. The native words reached out to me, and I felt emotion swell within me that was nearly unspeakable. He was praying. I sensed that much. I could somehow understand the strange language of the Lupus- he was praying for our safety.
“Let the pack travel swiftly and without danger tonight, wa-ya. Let us go in peace to the place of our ancestors.” Adonis finished, looking up at all of us. I wanted to linger in the prayer, which was unspeakably beautiful and comforting, but I raised my head, feeling the press of the Alpha.
“Changed Ones. We must not dwell tonight. We must move to the tribe of the Lupus, our homeland. Halona is waiting for us there. We must make necessary preparations for the duty that awaits us.” I felt a chill trickle down my spine, slowly but sharply. I held my breath. The only comfort to me in that moment of solemnity was the thought of seeing Halona. She’ll know what to do, I thought. She has to.
“Bring none of your belongings. We will be leaving the safe house for many weeks. Months. I do not know how long exactly. Clothes will be awaiting us at the home of the Lupus.” Adonis’ topaz eyes were absolutely magnetic as he looked at each of us with such purpose, his power radiating off of him in a shining golden aura.
“We travel close as night falls. We don’t know who, or what, awaits us.” Sam spoke up, saying this with the same gripping seriousness that Adonis spoke with. I could sense the anxiousness settling about everyone as we looked around the room at each other. Les met my eyes. I remembered with a stab of longing the first time that I had met him, at the library in town. Things had been so simple then.
But I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was my purpose. This was what I was supposed to be doing.
“Night is about to fall.” Adonis spoke, and with that, Sam fell into step beside me as we all left the crowded living room. Rick opened the front door wordlessly, holding back the flapping screen for everyone to pass through. I met his eyes. He stared at me grimly.
Sam took hold of my hand. The wind was chilled with winter. The first snow would be falling soon.
Dead leaves crunched under my feet as I followed Sam to the edge of the darkened tree line. The sky was navy blue, purple tinges lighting up the last ghostly rays of sun. I breathed in, closing my eyes. Sam’s warmth beside me was a comfort to me in the cold.
“Are you afraid?” I whispered to Sam, looking over at him with tentative eyes. Sam looked out at the horizon, something distant in his dark eyes. “Not anymore.” He said.
Night fell, and we sunk into the Change as natural as ever. It was like stepping into a second skin, one that was dripping with magic and power and privilege. I was born to do this. I felt the earth beneath my feet and Sam’s presence by my side as I bared myself to the world.
We moved onward, the night an ever-present blanket in our journey towards the reservation of the Lupus, the safe house becoming further and further behind us. I thought to look back, my breath like smoke in the cold night. But it was no longer in my sight.
We were moving into onward territory. The vast unknown.
It was all up to us.