As Renee and I charged each other I couldn’t help but feel a little afraid. I knew Renee wouldn’t hurt me, her and I had wrestled and played tons of times in our wolf forms. The difference this time though is that she really had to defeat me, I couldn’t just roll over and give it to her. As we fought I could tell Renee had been practicing, although to be fair she had always been better at this than me.
Renee bit down on my back leg making me whine, she didn’t break it but it still stung. “Come on Annie, give me a little bit of a challenge.” She teased.
I whipped around and clamped my jaw down on her tail making her yelp. “Not so tough now huh?” I taunted her.
“I’ll show you tough.” She said as she head butted my front leg knocking it out from under me. I hit the ground in a not very lady like manner which knocked the wind out of me. Renee took advantage of that and clamped her jaw around my neck.
“Sorry if I hurt you Annie but you know we have to do this.” Renee said. I knew she was right but I couldn’t help my instinct to want to fight back. I started to growl when I saw Troy watching us, I could tell he was trying really hard to not throw Renee off of me. I couldn’t look weak in front of my mate, I started to fight to get out of Renee’s grasp.
Renee clamped her jaw down harder around my neck, “Come on Annie, just surrender and we can be done. Please don’t make me hurt you. Fight your instinct.”
Her voice made me focus on what I was doing, if I fought her back I would lose my family and her. But if I surrendered I could have it all. Renee tightened her jaw a little tighter and I surrendered. I stretched my head back as far as I could showing my neck and whined, the ultimate show of submission and defeat. Renee instantly removed her grip around my neck. I looked over to her and I saw her eyes grow wide, that’s when I noticed that her wolf was getting bigger, I stood up and I realized that I was now significantly smaller. Renee was whining a little as she laid on the ground, I rushed over to her side.
“Renee are you hurt?” I asked her.
“Give her a minute Annie, she’s going to be meeting her wolf early.” Nan told me.
“What do you mean? She’s not 18 yet.” We didn’t meet our wolves till we were 18, Renee was only 17.
“That is true in normal circumstances, but she just took the Luna title from you so she will be shifting into her wolf sooner. She will be okay, she’s almost done.” Nan assured me.
I looked down at Renee and whined, I could tell she was in a little pain. “Hang in there Renee, you’re going to be okay. You get to meet your wolf!” I encouraged her. Her parents started to come to her to comfort her but I growled at them softly to let them know to give her some space. Renee’s form contorted and twisted when she finally let out an ear piercing howl. After she howled she laid there motionless, I went over to her and nudged her with my snout.
“Renee? Can you hear me?” I asked nudging her with my paw now.
“I hear you, you can quit nudging me anytime now.” I yelp and wagged my tail at her response and gave her a lick up the side of her face. She was okay!
“Blech! Did you seriously just lick me? Okay, as your future Luna I command you to never do that aga-“ Renee stopped in the middle of her sentence.
“I can hear her now, I can hear my wolf! Her name is Claire!” Renee shouted thru the mind link to me.
“What’s she like?” I asked.
“She’s sweet, so opposite of me.” Renee said laughing.
“Really? Mine’s sassy!” I told her.
“You’re darn right I’m sassy!” Nan agreed with me.
Renee stood up finally and I could hear all the gasps around us, “Renee you’re huge!” I told her.
“What do you mean I’m huge? Like fat?!” She asked me panicked.
“No! Not fat, I meant huge as in powerful. You look like you could take down an army.” I explained. Her wolf was a reddish color with golden highlights thru out it’s coat, her paws were big and strong, and her body was built for fighting. She was going to be an amazing powerful Luna. “Your tail isn’t as fluffy as mine though.” I teased her and turned to wag my tail in her face. She nipped at my tail making me yelp and turn around.
“You are amazing Renee, you are going to be a wonderful Luna.” I told her.
“Thank you Annie, that means a lot coming from you.” Renee responded as she tilted her head down shyly.
A throat being cleared caught our attention, we had forgotten for a moment that we had an audience. As we looked at the crowd around us, I saw my Oma start to clap and she was soon followed by most of the others. Renee’s parents rushed towards us, her mom reached out to touch her head. “Oh my little Renee. You are such a brave girl, we love you so much.” Renee nudged her mom’s hand to show her that she loved her too.
“Alright you two, shift back so we can all congratulate you.” My mom said to us. She, Lily, and Ellie were walking towards us with blankets, and Scarlet had some clothes for us. I smiled at my friends, they had been prepared for this.
I nudged Renee before we shifted back to get her attention, “You are the best friend a girl could ever have, and I am honored to have you as my Luna. I love you.”
“I love you too Annie, my sister from another mister. I’ll make you proud as Luna I promise.” Renee and I looked at each other and gave each other a wolfy smile as we shifted. We quickly put on the clothes that Scarlet handed us and were immediately engulfed in a huge hug by our friends who were all talking at once.
“Whoa whoa whoa, one at a time!” Renee laughed.
“You were so brave!” Scarlet told her as the other’s nodded in agreement.
“I can’t believe you did that!” Ellie exclaimed.
“All hail Luna Renee!” Shouted Lily throwing her fist in the air making us all laugh.
My mom walked over to Renee and pulled her into a hug, “Thank you.” She whispered, she then looked at my dad who was standing there with a shocked look on his face. “William.” My mom said snapping him out of his daze. He made his way towards us.
“I..” He started before running his hand down his face. “I don’t know what to say.”
“How about ‘I was wrong’?” Oma said as she walked up to us. “Renee you are one brave young lady, you are going to make a great Luna. What you did for Annie, it shows leadership, friendship, sacrifice, and love. All qualities that are needed to make a Luna, and to you my dear I will be forever grateful for what you’ve done here today.” Oma then looked at my dad, “I think you ought to introduce our new Luna so we may welcome her properly.” She raised an eyebrow at him.
“Um, uh. Yes right.” He cleared his throat, and his Alpha voice he said. “May I present to you, the future Luna of the Harvest Moon pack, Renee Lawrence.” My father bent his head to Renee in a small bow, and as I looked around I saw each of the pack members that were there get down on one knee and bow to their future Luna. Renee just stood there with her jaw handing open, she looked at me with wide eyes. “I’m only doing this once so don’t get used to it.” I told her jokingly as I got down on one knee and bowed before my future Luna. I then looked up at her and winked before I yelled, “To Luna Renee!” and then let out a howl in celebration, my howl was joined by all of the other pack members around us.
Renee put her hands up to quiet us down so she could speak, “I want all of you to know that I promise to be the best Luna that I can be when it’s my time, I won’t let any of you down.” The crowd came to congratulate the new future Luna.
I was wrapped into a warm embrace and looked up to see my mom, “Annie, have I ever told you that you have amazing friends? I will never be able to repay Renee for what she’s done today, I promise to show her everything there is to know about being a Luna and will prepare her the best that I can.”
“I know you will mom, she is pretty amazing.” I said as we both looked over at her, she was acting bashful about all the attention but I know my best friend, she was loving it.
“Uh, Annie.” My dad said, my mom and I turned to look at him. “I’m sorry.”
I looked at him with wide eyes as he continued, “It was wrong of me to try to force you into taking someone who was not your mate, putting that kind of pressure on you. I just had such high hopes of you being a great Luna that I was blinded to the fact that you needed your mate by your side if you were to ever become a great Luna. I would be nothing without your mother, she’s made me the Alpha that I am today.”
“That’s right and don’t you forget it.” She said teasingly as she kissed my dad’s cheek.
“Annie, I want you to know that I’m not a hundred percent okay with your mate and his kind.” My mother shot my father a death glare, “Wait let me finish before you bite my head off, I may not be okay with it but I will try.” My father finished, I pulled my dad into a hug silently thanking him.
“Speaking of your mate, he is waiting very impatiently for you.” My mother said smiling and nodding over my shoulder.
I turned to look at him and saw that he had tears in his eyes, it was then that I realized I had them in mine also. There would be no more ‘I don’t know’, no more ‘what are we going to do?’, it was over. All the pain and struggle of trying to figure out how to be together was over because we knew. Yes there would be trials ahead of us, there would be things for us to work thru but none of that mattered because we knew. We knew now that no matter what trials were ahead of us, we would be facing them together.
I smiled thru my tears and ran into Troy’s arms, “I love you mate.”
“I love you little fish.”