Luna had conflicting emotions.
Her human side was horrified by her transformation and confused by the cowering men in front of her. But her wolf side was satisfied with their submission.
She noted that one of the men was glaring at her. Lu was intimidated by his scowl but her wilder, more primal side— Na, wanted to bite his disrespectful expression off his face.
“Powerful one. Spare us,” one man spoke in his native tongue. Lu understood it but was unable to reply since her current form wouldn’t allow it. She looked down at her massive paws and longed to see her human feet. What was happening? Where was her body?
As soon as the questions crossed her, heat and pain consumed as her body started to shift back. The men stared fearfully as her skin cleared and fur receded. She now stood naked in front of them with her long hair draping over her breasts.
She looked around for Na but failed to find her because the wolf no longer had its own body. It found shelter in Lu’s soul and would only manifest itself if Lu called for her.
The open stares of the men had her skin prickling. She tried to cover her nakedness as best as possible with her hands. The men looked away from the dark-haired, tanned young woman when she began to fidget.
“Let us help you.” The same man spoke while keeping his gaze on the floor out of fear and respect.
Now that she was homeless, Luna didn’t have a choice but to go with them. So she followed them. And in a matter of weeks, the garbage her old village threw out became these people’s most prized possession. She became admired by many and known as the woman who got touched by the gods themselves. Saved from death, delivered from evil, and gifted with their strength.
Luna used this strength to find a purpose in society. She helped the village expand by logging and hunting for food.
Raiden watched from the shadows as the woman he considered an intruder stole the affection that belonged to him. He knew that it was only a matter of time before she was seated on the throne that had his name on it. The image was so infuriating that it debilitated his morals. He was only loyal to desperation now and he’d do whatever was needed to keep that woman away from the throne that had been passed down his family line. That chair was his birthright.
In the months that Luna spent getting comfortable, he whispered darkness into the ears of villagers. He was the mastermind behind the rumors that now surrounded the clueless young woman.
What if her wolf isn’t a gift, but a curse?
Her village was plagued. We will probably be next.
The lies, questions, and accusations all came from the same direction: Raiden’s lips.
As time progressed, Luna failed to notice the villager’s newfound distrust. Reality abruptly knocked on her door one night when she woke up struggling to breathe. Furious flames were surrounding her, beckoning her out of her cabin.
She was wrong when she thought that the ruckus would end once she exited the cabin. A large group of villagers was gathered around her home. Instead of holding containers with water to put the fire out, they held spears.
“Murderer!” a woman shouted.
Luna coughed. “Wh-what?”
“You killed him!” a man joined in.
As the insults rose in volume, Raiden stepped forward. Although the chaos around her was fiery, she was able to capture his whisper.
“This is what you get for trying to take what’s rightfully mine. You may have been blessed by the gods, but that is not enough to overpower my greatness. Your wolf should’ve been given to me. When you meet the gods, don’t forget to remind them that you were bested by a mortal,” he spat.
Luna growled and felt her shift begin. This irrational devil was responsible for the revolution of the villagers. Her name had gotten soiled by men a second time.
Before she could transform, a sharp pain erupted in her chest. She glanced down at the dagger Raiden embroiled into her heart. Two stray tears joined the streaming crimson.
Her knees abandoned her and she collapsed.
“Y-” she tried, but words didn’t come.
Satisfied, Raiden turned his back on his bloody masterpiece.
Luna’s trembling fist claimed his pants. He would hear her last words.
“For your contempt. For your unjust anger. For your betrayal, you will...” she stopped and gagged on the blood that rose up her throat.
The knife had been carved with a deadly agent: silver. It was deeply lodged in her chest and immobilized her healing. She was dying. Her mortal days were limited by seconds.
“I’ll get my revenge on you, Wrath! You’ll cry the blood I’m bleeding. If you want a throne so badly, you’ll have one for the rest of eternity as the king of rage! You’ll walk on as those you love age and die while you remain a bitter shell!” she swore.
She made up her mind. Not even death would get in the way of her revenge. The afterlife would become the beginning of her life, not the end.
Raiden kicked her hand off him. “Wrath is not my name.”
Luna’s fingers dipped into the dirt as she searched for strength to get up and change her cruel fate. The only thing she found was a limited amount of oxygen in her lungs.
“You’re not worthy of your birth name...” she wheezed.
“I curse you, Wrath. You...”
“It’s too late. I won,” he told the dying woman with a dark sense of triumph.
The werewolf opened her mouth to reply, but her time ran out. Death called her home. And this time, Aphrodite didn’t intervene.
Luna kept her promise. She cursed him.
One hundred years passed since her death. And then two. And then three.
But... Wrath wasn’t wasting away. His muscles were as firm as they were when he was in his twenties, skin as clear, and bones as strong.
His family and friends died centuries ago. He ruled the village for two decades after Luna died but moved on when he realized something was morbidly wrong with his body. While those around him wrinkled and weakened, he remained frozen in time... unable to age.
While he lost a lot, he gained as well. Luna gave him immortality and made him a lycan- the biological cousin of werewolves.
He was living in misery. The goddess used her power to its full extent; making sure to mock him by giving him twisted versions of everything he wanted: A throne and a wolf.
It was the year two-thousand and something now. Wrath spent the past decade living in a remote forest. Luna kept tabs on him throughout the centuries. Hundreds of years had passed since his betrayal. She knew that Wrath had outlived his sentence.
“What are you thinking?” Aphrodite asked her one particular morning when she found the goddess tuning into Wrath’s misery.
“It’s time. Isn’t it?” Luna asked the goddess of love.
Aphrodite crooked her head. “Time for what?”
“For my forgiveness.”
Aphrodite didn’t answer. Instead, she asked, “what are you going to do?”
Luna watched Wrath rip a tree from its roots and toss it aside with a roar.
“Give him mortality. I’ve paused his life for far too long,” she responded.
“Will you give him a mate? After all, he is one of your creatures.”
Luna nodded once.
Years of isolation made Wrath develop a multitude of psychological complications. He would need a strong female as a mate. One that could keep up with the demons that lurked inside him.
She already had a match in mind. A werewolf female born from two werewolf alphas. She was a young woman in the dusk of her teenage years. Wrath had far more knowledge than she did since he was hundreds of years older. But one didn’t need age to have a strong will.
“Yes, I do. She is Artemis. Daughter of alphas Zena Rhee and Lukas Clark. She’s hard to bend, just like her mother. But stubborn and irritable like her father. She will keep up with the troubled lycan just fine.”
She made a mental note to keep track of the journey of Wrath and Artemis. This was going to be a wild ride.