The newly mated couple returned to the Old Kingdom hand-in-hand. Their matching ring of scars adorning their necks on display for all to see. Their family was waiting for them upon their arrival home. Syn was embraced by all while his mate stood back, unsure of his position.
The alpha female had disowned him but he had righted his wrong. He didn't know if he would be welcomed back like his mate, if he should be welcomed back. Yes, he had saved Syn and brought him home, but the male only needed saving because of him in the first place.
The alpha male bridged the awkwardness as his pack stared at the werewolf, unsure if they should be grateful. Hakota pulled Terrin into a hug, whispering his thanks. One by one the others did the same, some embraces warmer than others. The last one left was Cleo, the alpha female that had disgraced him and made him an outcast. His friend that he had considered an older sister. A sister who had decided his worth to be less than his lycan mate's.
They stood silently, Terrin keeping his eyes on the ground. This female had welcomed him into the pack, gave him a family and home but then she also took it away. "Your scars," the female said at last, causing Syn to stiffen and Terrin to reach for his mark.
The werewolf often forgot about the other scars he now wore. They weren't important, not like the one on his neck.
"Not that one," the female said and the werewolf's hand moved up to brush across his head.
Terrin's eyes flicked up to her, "These scars brought us closer together, they have not driven us apart as yours have." A challenge and an offering. A promise that he and Syn would be happy with each other, that they had forgiven each other and been healed. The alpha female nodded once, accepting his promise.
Cleo hugged the large male, "I needed you to learn your lesson," she told the werewolf what he had already suspected, "I needed you not to repeat my mistakes."
Terrin said nothing in reply. He knew this already. At first he had been upset, but he had quickly realized he had been thrown from the nest to learn how to fly. The initial plummet have been terrifying, but once he spread his wings he was able to discover a beauty beyond the nest. She had pushed him away to help him and she wasn't going to let him back in until she was sure he had truly learned to fly. And he had. Terrin had soared, fighting through a storm to find his wings – to find his mate. But he wasn't back with the intent to re-enter the nest. He was ready to build his own now. And he would.
Grabbing his mate's hand, the weary travelers were the first to enter the castle. Night had fallen long ago but the couple had been eager to return home and so had pressed on. Now entering the room reserved for Syn, despite his personal dwelling outside the castle, the lycan felt immense relief that he would no longer have to sleep alone.
Terrin hardly made it to the bed before collapsing. The lycan chuckled and attended to his mate. He changed the sleeping male from his travel worn clothes and used a rag to wash off the dirty streaks on his skin. Tomorrow they would bathe properly.
Climbing under the covers, the large male pulled the blankets high over his mate. Syn did not pull the werewolf in right away, he used the space between them to properly examine the face of his sleeping mate. He caressed the gashes along the smaller male's skull, smiling as he recalled the words Terrin had spoken about them.
His mate stirred and groaned, his lips parting to breathe out, "cold."
The lycan drew away, stepping out of the bed to close the window left open to keep the room from smelling of must and stale air. But as he reached out to pull the pane shut, he halted, catching sight of a figure sitting on the sill of his own open window.
The beta stared wistfully at the moon, his words and whisper in the wind, "Never is a long time but forever is longer."
With a small, sad, smile for the defeated male, Syn silently close the window, leaving Sitka to have his privacy.
All of the Lycans knew what it was like to stare at the moon and wish.
Syn joined his own wish come true, pulling the male in close and closing his eyes, breathing in his mate. Never had he believed he would have this, but he had forever to cherish it.