That part of you will have to die?
My whole body began to shake upon hearing that.
What does she mean?
That I need to die?
If it wasn’t for the support of my two friends, I think I may have collapsed, when Nimue's words sunk in.
“Die? You want me to die? I don’t understand?” My head shook in denial, I didn’t want that. I could stand here and say I wasn’t afraid of death but that would be too big a lie.
Death terrified me! It is my greatest fear.
“Don’t panic Paloma!” Nimue says and rubs her hand upon my face. I felt the calming effect but still it wasn’t enough to quiet my beating heart.
“What I am trying to say is that your true self lies dormant underneath the omega. Haven’t you ever felt like you were capable of so much more. Have you ever felt that you have an underlying strength that you pull from?”
Lowering my head to the ground my eyes scan back and forth as I thought about that, racking my brain for all the instances that I have felt stronger deep down.
So many times, I have stood up to bullies and people of higher rank and not crumbled. The way a true omega should. I have faced countless situations where I should have acted weaker. I always thought it was because I was strong of mind...
Even the first time I came across the paramount zI should have been on the floor. Knocked out by the power of the Elder Wolves and their overwhelming Alpha power. Yet puzzlingly, I found the strength within me to stand up for myself.
...I couldn’t and would not accept a false claim or accusation against me. Even in the face of a severe punishment. I had pulled myself from the floor and stood strong when I should have been crumbling and prostrating myself before them.
I assumed it was my belief in myself, that powered me through. I guess it was. I suppose I must have somehow tapped into the Luna strength that was hidden underneath everything.
She was right!
My head lifted and my eyes met Nimue’s, she smiled a knowing smile.
“Now you understand Paloma. The strength has always been there you just need a conduit to tap into that power and make you into the She-wolf you were always meant to be.
The coming days will be trying and will test you to the point of exhaustion. Though I have confidence in you, you will prevail.” Nimue said then stepped away walking back to the altar. She turned around ready to address the room.
‘You are strong love; I can feel it too. I know you are.’ Atreus mind-links me lifting my mood and strengthening my heart.
“Today marks a beginning, a new start not only for Paloma the Vegus Luna but also Myself the Patria Luna and the rest of the Lycanthropes.
The darkness is here, and it is real.
I am testament to that! After being impaled by a weapon the Paramount thought could kill me. For more than a century I lay in wait for a savior.
This beautiful kind and caring woman before you is that very person, she risked her life to come and grant me freedom from the prison of death that Louise the so called Paramount had caged me with." Nimue spoke such kind words, and I felt great pride that I was the one to help set her free. Murmurs of approval filled the space before the Seer continued.
"I fear the darkness has been here so much longer than any of us could fathom. But what is important now, is that the steps have been taken to end this once and for all.
People have spoken of the weakness of the lesser being from the beginning of time. The desire for power and strength has always been an inbuilt part of our wolfen side. Especially when it comes to the stronger of the pack. It’s natural, they call it the survival of the fittest and fight for dominance.
What is often forgotten is that what lies under everything is just as important. Whether it is dark, or light will impact those around. To take the right path or the wrong one…" Everyone shook their head in agreement.
"Those are the things that make us who we are! You should never be judged for the rank you hold! Not a label given, not the person you love, or the family you were born to. You decide who you are with the choices you make.
Paloma you need to know that you are not just the Omega or the Luna you are you and that is what is important. As should everyone else here realize we are not just the person we are born. We choose a path, we make decisions, we are that. Not just the brand, label, or name we are given.
Even the greatest feat can be done by the weakest of our kind, as long as they are strong of mind and honor." Her words were never more true. When I think of the Paramount. A person Nimue once trusted who took the path of darkness. Changing hers and many others lives from that one decision.
"These people who stand by you did not pick you for the power within or the rank you hold. They may have been drawn to you because of it but they stayed because of the person you are!” Nimue says and both Quinn and Lilly squeeze my hands and arm.
“She’s right Paloma, we love you for you no other reason.” Quinn says with teary eyes.
“So be proud of the person you are today not because of the markings that you hold, not because this is what you were born to be but because you chose to be the person that you are.
Honest, pure, loyal and strong. Many others would have given into the darkness when it surrounded them, but you fought through it. You never compromised yourself or others for your own gain or benefit. And that is why today I am so proud to stand here. To witness your first steps into this new person that you will surely become.”
She was right about one thing… I did it, I got me here. Through all the bad times and the times I was left alone. I didn’t give into the temptation to do the wrong thing for an easier life, or allow someone else take to the blame for me.
This was me. The person I always wanted to be.
I remember the years as a teen spent with Vaughan and all the stick we got. How inseparable we were, and I thought that we were in everything together.
But… now that I have seen what time has made him. How he became twisted easily turning his back on people who cared for him. He let bad people influence him in the wrong way and gave in when I didn’t.
Nimue was so right, I couldn’t agree with her more. Nobody should ever be judged for how they look or the label they have, the title they hold or the things they believe. I may have been an Omega, an Orphan of a rouge but I didn’t let that stop me and I never will. No one should!
Nimue snapped her fingers. The keepers took a step forward and the room blossomed in light from torches up high flaming between the tapestries. My heart raced as she stood at the top of the room. Her posture and body taking on a stronger dominating stance. The markings on her body continued to glow but so did she, like she was almost made of light.
“It was in this very temple that a great crime was committed tainting the place we have worshipped and thanked our Goddess for centuries. Tonight, that poison will be removed. Tonight, you will witness the birth of the new generation of Vegus Luna.
A young woman born from love and hope, with the blood of the first flowing through her veins. She holds the power to protect us all within herself.
…Come to me Paloma.”
Rippling and flickering shadows cast through the torchlit room as I walked closer to Nimue. Each footstep felt like I was taking a stride closer to something huge. Immeasurable in the world I had grown up. It was magical and fierce.
…It called to me.
A few paces more then Nimue raised her hand for me to halt my steps. The atmosphere was electric, magic sparked in the air. I spun around to take in the room. The Keepers took another step closer and surrounded me in a circle. Atreus, Elder Tsuki, Quinn and Lilly stood behind them with hopeful smiles.
My eyes welled with unshed tears from the support my family gave. I placed my hand on my heart and clenched it tight to show them how much they meant to me. They were my heart my everything and I couldn’t be happier.
My eyes grew wide when I looked to the open doorway to see the rest of our group stood in shock and astonishment. David, Levi and his mate George hand in hand. Mia ran to Lilly, and they embraced holding each other close. Then in came Niamh, Charlie and to my surprise Nabi walked in with the warmest smile, that melted my heart. When did she get here? How did any of my people know to come here?
“It is only right that your family should be here with you for this very special moment my dear.” Her voice came from my right as she wrapped an arm around my waist, supporting me.
“I don’t know what to say…” I reacted with a tear chocked voice.
“How?” I inquired for the answer that puzzled my brain.
“Anything is possible when you have the keepers on your side.” She winked with a bold smile. A little giggle slipped out at seeing her mischievous side. When tears slipped out of my eyes I smiled, knowing that for the first time in forever they were happy tears that drenched my warm cheeks.
The temple was filled with an auspicious atmosphere. Honor, hope and pride saturated the room. Everyone’s eyes loaded with optimism and a confidence, that I never experience before. Its effect was intoxicating. I became like a sponge soaking up everything that was offered to me in this ambience.
Hope for a future without the weight of the Paramount’s suffocating rule was prevalent. The indominable woman brought to justice by the very people she persecuted. This was now a very real possibility and though that thought delighted me. It scared me, tenfold.
The feat being placed on my shoulders. Though with the help of my family and the good people I have surrounded myself with. I found strength and confidence that the person they needed was inside me.
I just need to call them out.
“Exactly.” Nimue whispered in my ear and left me standing surrounded by everyone. She joined the Keepers in the inner circle. While everyone else took their place on the outer circler that encased me.
One by one, I made eye contact with each and every person here. Thanking them with a smile and a nod. Atreus was last.
When I met his pride filled beautiful blue eyes, my heart bet with his. He was my everything, my world, my Alpha, my mate, my savior, my love. He was meant for me. He was mine and every day from this day forward I would be his. He has crept into my soul and stitched his own to mine. I knew in that moment, everything happened for a reason.
Fate had cast our thread wide. Many people had become entangled in our story, but nothing could stop what fate had granted us. They could try as they might, but fate had other plans, guiding us back together. Stronger as a pair. We were soulmates and the universe was on our side.
“Knock em dead my little bunny. I love you.” Atreus ardently shouted across the room, to cheers from the crowd. Was this even real because I could pinch myself now.
If my cheeks were not already red, they became inflamed in that beautiful second. Caught up in the moment I jumped when Nimue began to speak again.
“The hour has arrived.” She spoke and everyone turned to her however I looked down momentarily and noticed how the ground beneath me had strange craved lines and was uneven.
“Paloma.” She hailed me and my head shot up.
“Sisters we stand here, with family to witness your rebirth. Take your place where you belong in the center.” Nimue called and I looked to the floor to see a carving of the moon emblazoned into the stone floor and took my place standing atop of it.
The atmosphere suddenly took on a more serious tone. And suddenly I was bathed in the moonlight that shone through an upper skylight.
“Sorror in Sanguinem. Let the light in you come to life.” Nimue hollered out. The air sparked. The torch flames illuminated and raged.
“Floreat vigeatque. Blossom and be reborn."
A crackle of thunder sounded from outside. Everyone’s eyes were drawn to the door where a low hanging mist creeped up the stairs and into the temple, soon surrounding our feet.
I was frozen.
Not from fear or awe, my body was held by some great power as it wrapped itself around me. The mist slithered up my legs wrapping me in its hold. I felt light weight as it lifted me up in a swirling vortex.
My body arched froward as my arm hung lax. And somewhere in the midst of it all my eyes shut my body tingled and enflamed. I could feel the change begin as sparks shot through my body. It started on my neck where the butterfly marking was and spread throughout my body.
Muffled sounds of chatter and gasps could be heard across the room, as the Patria Luna and the keepers began to chant in a language foreign to me.
My body spun on its axes. Then with a whoosh my eyes shot open though what I could see before me wasn’t the temple or the people that were in it. I saw a beautiful and proud wolf. It’s eyes swirling vortexes of gold with little specks of silver.
Like the sparks of the moonlight. It stood strong and tall with a beautiful mixed coat of sliver gray with a thick mane and white underbody and legs. It was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen and when it looked into my eye’s...
I knew that this was the part of me that I had been missing all my life. My wolf.
Sorror in Sanguinem ― Sisters in blood.
Floreat vigeatque ― Flourish and be strong.