We've spent almost five days at the Volki pack, slightly longer than we had anticipated, but it was well worth it. The training we were able to do in our human and wolf form will be imperative for the fight ahead and the alphas spent the majority of their free time with Sonja and Anastasia learning more about what their overall purpose will be in this war.
I am not able to get Max to spill any details. He keeps telling me that timing is everything and I'll know once the Moon goddess deems it so. Until then, I'm told to focus on the training.
We head back to our pack, leaving Lyssa and Damien to return to The Claws as we prepare to increase our allies.
I'm nervous - to say the least. It's a big responsibility I have, and I don't even know the details yet of what is in store.
But today is the big day. After discussing with Anastasia and our own pack vote, we're doing the unthinkable. We're renaming the pack. We explained to our wolf community the joining of the White Moon and Blood Moon pack and what is in store for this war. And out of the blue, Max suggested more as a joke that our joining should be a symbol of the new era for our kind and we should rename the pack "The New Moon", a representation of both "Moon" packs coming together for a new beginning. And well, people took a liking to it.
I was shocked to say the least. I had never heard of a pack being renamed, but I can't help but feel warmth at the meaning behind it.
The official transition took place at our common grounds, with the blessing of Max's parents. Our celebrations were short-lived, however, when Lyssa reached out to update us on the progress of our alliances. As we left the rest of the pack to continue the mini celebration, Max and I took our leave to see where we stand.
I had gotten word from Lyssa that in addition to the Volkis and the Claws joining our cause, we had four other packs join us, mostly due to my old pack's kindness and Sonja's persistence. Both she and Anastasia were on a quest to gather more warriors on our side and the clock was ticking. We were good with our timeline, remembering that by the first quarter we would have our allies and by the third quarter, we would know the location fo the battle.
We had a few more days left to try to obtain a bigger gathering, but luckily the four packs near us who joined were large and more than multiplied our fighters 6-fold.
As I'm working out the logistics in our room, I feel Max's presence entering and leaning in to kiss my cheek.
"I love you" He whispers to me, melting my heard considering those are the words I need to hear to ease my worries. We're about 3 weeks away from the battle and I feel like we still have so much to do.
"I love you too" I tell him, looking up into his eyes, thanking the Goddess for giving me such a supportive mate.
I pull him on the bed, grasping his face and taking the time to deepen our kiss, when all of a sudden I feel a sharp pain near my tattoo.
"Ah!" I break away from the kiss and fall on the side of the bed, grasping at it and I look at Max to see he has a pained expression on his face too.
"Max...my tattoo.." I barely whisper.
"I feel it too babe. Not as much as you do, Sonja warned me as much, but I feel warmth"
He leans in to try to sooth my pain, massaging the area carefully.
"What does it mean?"
"It means we're quickly approaching the next phase of the war. The first quarter is almost up. It's a warning that we need to hurry. I'll speak with Sonja immediately tomorrow morning to rally up the packs we have now to immediately bring everyone up to speed. I'd rather not wait until everyone is prepared and just add as new faces show up. We can't afford to be behind schedule"
I writhe on the bed, feeling as if my hip is burning as my eyes roll into the back of my head. Sweat is pouring down my body, feeling as if I'm going in heat as Max slowly trails his arms up and down my body, nestling me close to him. I realize that just like being in heat, my mate's presence calms the tattoo down and reduces the burning. I look up at him with questioning eyes before he explains, "Our presence togther will be the answer to the war Kyda. My purpose is to be by your side, your warrior, your mate, your protector." He leans in to kiss me while I let myself succumb to his warmth as we slowly let sleep embrace us.
The next morning, Max and I wake up, eat breakfast, and grab Sonja.
She was able to gain alliance with five more packs. In total, besides ours, we will have 11 packs joining us, which is incredible. That is almost every single pack within days running distance of us, although three will show up next week as it will take some time to cover the distance.
I head over to the training center, holding Max's hand, to announce to the New Moon pack updates on our progress and share the timeline that we discovered while with the Volkis.
I'm proud of them, seeing how receptive they are to me as their luna, and how accepting they are of being thrust into this future where many will have to risk their lives to protect us.
Max and I quickly plan with Sonja how to integrate everyone with the new training, when I start to feel a headache. I leave the office to take a break, and feel Max slowly trailing behind me.
"Babe are you okay?"
I turn around to tell him it's just a headache, when I feel the tattoo start to burn strongly and feel darkness overtaking my vision.
I start to fall back, feeling Max grab me and shouting at me to stay awake, but darkness consumes me. I try to blink a few times, to help regain consciousness, when I feel a presence in my mind.
"Kyda, it's been too long. I've been looking for you"
I feel my skin pebble at the voice. It sounds familiar, and haunting. It sounds like my nightmares.
I faintly hear Max calling me, but this voice is captivating. I know it from somewhere.
"Who are you?" I ask, barely above a whisper, with courage knowing that I'm still aware that I'm physically safe in Max's arms, although mentally somewhere else.
I hear a chuckling in the darkness, before a face reveals itself to me.
"I am your death, Chosen One"
As my eyes fall on his face, my entire body becomes rigid with recognition.