Strange Eyes

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Thirty-six

Although we were all still weak from our night of travel, and our lack of rest, we knew that we had a task at hand.

Halona, with her quiet strength, summoned us all into her living room just before night fell.

I couldn’t help myself- I ran to hug her when I saw her. She absolutely glowed with some ethereal light that I can’t even begin to explain. Her dark hair hung low down to her waist, streaked with an honorable gray. Her raven eyes were as sharp and withholding as ever. Everything about her was enormously maternal. She was a comfort to everyone.

“Hello, my flower.” She said, smiling as I hugged her. I breathed in her sweet scent.

“I missed you.”

She pulled away, her hands holding mine. “I am very glad to see you, a-ge-yu-tsah.”

I could feel Sam calling me. I squeezed her hands once, our eyes meeting earnestly, before turning away from her, joining him on the far side of the living room.

My hand instantly connected with his, our imprint charging from beneath my skin. Halona spoke with Adonis, their faces serious and their voice quiet. Adonis’ presence filled the room as everyone began to file in. I couldn’t keep my eyes from him for long. It was as though his Alpha aura had doubled in power since we’d arrived.

Sam and I didn’t speak, but the presence of the other was enough to sustain us.

Rick stood beside me, looking as serious as I’d ever seen him. Max and Damon seemed solemn- they hadn’t been keeping up with their usual antics. Les was stoic. Paul stood beside Hunter- they looked deep in conversation. I was curious as to what they could be saying, when Adonis called us to him so strongly.

The room fell silent as Adonis and Halona ended their conversation, and my eyes were torn from Paul and Hunter, totally transfixed with the Alpha.

Adonis’ topaz eyes were nearly black they were so dark. I didn’t know from what. I could sense his fatigue. As the center of the pack, we all felt his energy as easily as a sixth sense. His hulking form stood tall in spite of it all. His face was grave. His skin glowed in the dim light.

Even Halona fell silent in his presence, folding her hands in front of her. The reverence in the air was nearly tangible.

Adonis put his fist over his heart in greeting and in a sign of respect. We all did the same, bowing our heads. Sam’s arm brushed against mine.

“I understand fatigue has gripped all of us. These past days have been challenging- especially since the Change is still so new for some of us.”

Adonis’ eyes met mine. I returned his gaze.

“However, these times are much different than those past. We are facing evils that are far beyond this world.” There was complete stillness as he said these things. The heaviness was unbearable.

Adonis’ voice was deep and broad and beyond his years. He looked at each one of us.

“The shaman of our tribe has agreed to prepare us for the threats of the u-so-nv. This will not be an easy task. We must be strong. We must be ready.”

I glanced at Halona, despite Adonis’ pressing gaze. She looked sorrowful. I could see her pain as Adonis spoke of these things. She didn’t want to lose us. Any of us.

“We depart tonight. Prepare yourselves.”

Adonis’ voice had grown in power and resonance, until it seemed to have a body of its own as it reached out to every single one of us in that room, touching our hearts and our minds and our souls. I closed my eyes, soaking in the moment.

I knew that this was one of the last times where everything would seem normal. When we would be inside of a warm house, with all of the comforts of home. Things were going to be trying. We would be tested beyond our limits.

I didn’t know what the future held. None of us did. Not even Adonis or Halona.

“You are dismissed. We leave at sunset.” As he spoke to us Adonis’ eyes rested on Sam. Sam nodded his head ever-so-slightly. I felt the aura of the Alpha depart from the room, retreating back into Adonis’ essence, the pieces that had reached out to us joining together.

Sam took hold of my hand, slipping his into mine. I looked up at him. We didn’t have to say anything.

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