*Trigger warning, mention of child loss.*
“So, the Tenebris is who’s behind all of this, behind the Paramount?” I asked vehemently.
“I believe so Paloma. It is a sad state my dear.” Nimue stopped for a moment taking a breath. I could see this talk was beginning to take a toll on her.
“Can I ask… were you aware of the Goddess Markings, the Patria Luna and most importantly the Vegus Luna before all this happened?” Nimue questioned me.
“No, not by a long shot. I have heard of the seer. Though all werewolves grow up learning about the seer, about the Goddess Temple but no. I had never heard of the markings or either of the Luna titles until these past days.” I replied and she shook her head like she knew that would be my answer.
“The Tenebris have spent lifetimes hunting down the Vegus Luna and all her offspring. And for this very reason, both Luna’s agreed many generations ago that she would go under the radar.
...Hidden amongst the rest of the wolves. Her markings, now yours hold extreme power when used in the right way.
They can start a war and finish it.
They can destroy and they can create.
So the responsibility that comes with them is immense. It is also the bearers responsibility to protect the markings from others and continue on the bloodline for further generations.
That was what became difficult.
Once there were many daughters on either side. Now mine has diminished though I can still feel there presence you are the last as was your mother.
This was the reason we ended up here.” Nimue said as tears shed over her tear filled eyes.
“What do you mean?” I asked a little confused.
“Your mother, she came to me pregnant many years ago. She was filled with fear, the child was weak within her and she feared that it would not survive the pregnancy. It was her duty to carry on the bloodline and was scared that she would not be able or live long enough to have another child. She was on the run from the Tenebris.”
“What happened to the child? Did it survive, do I have a sibling out there somewhere.” I questioned a little hesitant to hear the answer but knew that I needed to.
“It was our first mistake. I knew how desperate your mother was and I could understand how she felt. The pressure to procreate was also a burden of my own and it hurt to see my sister in such pain and agony. So we did something we should never have and discovered something that was forbidden.”
“Oh, my Goddess what did you do?” I almost screamed out, a sudden jolt of fear running over me as I shivered on hearing her words. I didn’t like the direction this was going.
“It was my fault after years of research and study I had become aware of witches and some of their abilities. Necromancy being one of them.” She paused for a moment as I took in her words.
“You mean to say magic that dealt with the dead? Aren’t those the witches the Paramount has on her payroll!”
“Yes, they can communicate with the dead, with souls and such.” She replied a little too nonchalant for my liking.
“Oh, my Goddess, did you try raise the child from the dead or something fucked up like that. Oh, sweet divine what have I got myself into…” I said and began to pace the room again a little too freaked out. This was not the kind of shit I ever wanted to be involved in. I always knew that kind of crap was going to bring you nothing but bad karma.
“No, our plan never got to that kind of fruition. Calm down Paloma. We would never do something like that in the first place. Raising the dead is not a road anyone wants to go down and we didn’t. Ipek just wanted her child to grow healthy but as the pregnancy developed it became obvious the child would not make it.
The thing was we didn’t realize at the time but what we discovered and who we shared it with was our downfall. I invited the witches into our packlands to negotiate a treaty between the two races, hoping I could utilize their services. Though I never thought how stupid my actions were.
They had already a pact with the Tenebris rouges double crossing us. What was worse was I had allowed one of the Tenebris to infiltrate my inner circle and along with the witches she betrayed me. It was my downfall created by my own stupiditly I regretfully have to admit. And I didn’t see it until it was too late. Until Louise had quite literally stabbed my in the back.”
“What happened to my mother then?” I asked aloud though wasn’t expecting an answer.
“I am so sorry Paloma, I wish I could tell you. The longer I am awake the more sorrow fills my heart knowing she is gone from this world.
We truly were like sisters. The children of the Goddess marked grow up in the temple and that is how we grew up together. Best friends, sisters. I hurts my heart to know she never returned here. Never found me. Though she must have lived for a good few years you are not that old.
I am glad she was able to fulfill her one desire to have a child. She must have been a great mother.” Nimue smiled up at me, with a head full of memories about my mother and I had not one...
“We never met. I grew up an orphan, and now I have been told she’s dead.” I managed to get out the truth, the sadness of my life coming to the forefront.
“I am so sorry to hear that Paloma. I know she would have loved you and been so proud of you. It is the curse of our markings that you and she were separated. Don’t get me wrong the Goddess was very generous with her gifts. But living the life we have had to, can take it’s toll.
I know that your mother wanted to have a child not only to pass on the blood of Gaizka but also because her heart wanted nothing more than to be a mother. It must have devastated her to give you up. I know it would have.
It must have been to protect you. If she couldn’t bring you here when you were vulnerable she obviously made the sacrifice so that you could lead a much safer life.
I am sure it doesn’t feel that way to you, having grown up without her. But please believe me when is say this she loved you. Even before you were born and nothing would have kept her away from you if she could have been there. I am sure she would have.
She clearly planned ahead for you, her future child. So that what happened to her firstborn could never happen again.
We discovered a spell with the help of the witches so that you would be stronger and live unlike Ipek’s firstborn. She did all that for love, Paloma. I hope you can understand.”
The words from Nimues mouth cut deep into my soul. I have thought about my birth mother my whole life. I had always believed she didn’t love or care for me. But Nimue’s words gave me reason to believe otherwise, and that lit up a little part of me that I thought was dead. Though I couldn’t help feel a little skeptical about this spell that she had done.
“Well, I am not too sure that spell worked.” I said and guffawed at the remark. “I was always regarded as weak, a mere Omega nothing more.” Continuing with a little resentment in my words.
“Paloma come here.” She requested and for a moment I just stopped and looked at her in disbelief. What was she going to say? What could she say!
“Come here…” She said again and I couldn’t refuse so I walked over to her and stood directly in front of her awaiting whatever it was she was about to spout.
She looked up a me from her seated position. I could still see the struggle it was for her to just sit up and all the defiance that was in me faded away.
What the heck is wrong with me? how could I even be so disrespectful to this mystical woman that had just awoken from her attempted murder.
I shook my head in annoyance with myself and then apologized to the woman before me.
“I’m sorry Nimue, I have never been very good with confrontations and I shouldn’t have reacted this way. I apologize”
She smiled at me and pushed my hair behind my shoulders. Her small fingers ran over my making.
“Your mated that is good. I am happy for you. The mates mark is rather spectacular, your Alpha must be quite the man.” She said with a smile and I nodded a little blush painting my cheeks when I thought of the man who put that there.
Then she ran her fingers up my shoulder and over my collar. Stopping where the butterfly marking sat upon my neck.
“It worked Paloma, the spell it worked, and I believe it worked better than we could have ever expected.” Nimue said full of knowledge that I was yet to discover but what I found strange was that Oriel came to life for the first time in weeks. She was dancing round in my head like she also knew the meaning of Nimue’s words. It made me a little disoriented despite the fact that it didn’t last for long. Oriel once again disappeared back into the recess of my mind before I could even probe her for answers. Answers I knew she wouldn’t give.
I looked again at Nimue and asked. “You mean the butterfly marking?”
“Yes, my dear, the butterfly will play a heavy roll in your future. You really are much more than what you perceive yourself to be. Stronger, more powerful, unstoppable.”
“So, what does it mean?” I questioned though I had a slight suspicion she wasn’t going to tell me the full story.
“Paloma, I have lived a very long time. And through all this time while having the power of a seer. One thing became abundantly clear and that is to know one’s future is more a curse than a blessing.
...I could give you all that I know, though the truth is there are many possible outcomes to one’s future. Your decisions make the road ahead and knowing a potential future can taint the opportunity for all other futures. So, I can only guide you, I cannot tell you what lies ahead because I don’t fully know.”
“I understand what you’re saying but the butterfly is my past. If my mother and you preformed a spell you must know what that spell entails. You must know what it means? Don’t you?” I argued my point though I had a feeling it was falling on deaf ears.
“I had a vision of a possible future for the Vegus Luna. I didn’t know at the time that it was you because you are the picture of your mother- The reason I called you her name when I first saw you. I don’t know why or how but when I warned Ipek she knew instinctively that the vision was not of her but you. I do not understand how she knew, but she did. And this…” She said as she touched my butterfly marking once again. “This is the outcome of that vision.”
“Some things are better left unsaid and some things can only be experienced to understand their meaning. The truth is, the marking is there to make you stronger and protect you from a possible future. How it will go down I cannot say because I actually don’t know. The finer details of all of this was done by your mother. I only helped her enact the ritual and the spell. I am sorry if this doesn’t answer your question but know this one day you will understand. You will know exactly why your mother did what she had to do and you will understand why I could not give you anything more about this because only the Goddess truly knows…” Nimue said softly and her words rang true to me I could feel the sincerity in them.
Nimue began to cough again, it became rather gravelly and rough then she lay back down on the slab that had held her body for over a century.
“I apologize Paloma my weekness seems to be getting the better of me.” Nimue said and her eyes hooded struggling to stay awake.
“What should I do now Nimue? The Paramount plans to do some ceremony to remove my markings and there is all this other underhanded goings on. I don’t know what to do. Will I bring you out of here?” I ardently asked worry was getting the better of me.
“Louise can do nothing; no ceremony can remove your markings so don’t fret. She is only being a brash fool as always. So don’t worry about that. As for me leaving here…. For now, I don’t think that is a good idea. I am yet to return to full health and without that I will be an easy target.
Now that you have removed the silver dagger the life waters here will restore me to full health and then I can be of more help. You can leave me for now and return tomorrow, I will hopefully have more strength then and we can go from there if that is ok with you?” she asked.
“Of course, thank you for everything.” I said sounding a little stupid, I just didn’t know what to say. She smiled at me closing her eyes and I could tell it was my time to leave. I need to get back to Atreus and Elder Tsuki they are not going to believe what just happened. I can hardly believe it myself and I witnessed it firsthand.
The Patria Luna is alive…
"Paloma... c can you do me one f favour." Nimue coughed out.
"Anything!" I answered excitedly.
"Don't tell anyone about me yet..."