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Chapter 61

Was this it....

Soft grains of sand blow across my skin, as I find myself laying out on a beach. The lapping waves of the shoreline is like a lullaby to my ears soothing into this place.

Have a passed on?

I find the energy to pull myself up, and the ache in my heart grows knowing half my soul is gone. Oriel- my friend, my wolf my heart is gone.

Maybe it’s better this way?

Then I see her...

The woman who plagued my dreams, who haunted me, leaving me always feeling empty and incomplete.

She glows in the moonlight and with every step closer her face becomes clearer. So why does she feel like a stranger?

Is it her after all?

“Paloma.” She says, her words filled with emotion.

“Your finally here.”

“Yes.” I replied. “But you’re not... her?” I questioned, shook by my own revelation.

“No, Paloma this is true. I am not the one you seek. Though I think you may recognize me?”

I gasped... “Is it true then- I’m dead? Y-y-you’re the moon Goddess?”

She smiled back at me her gaze full of love and adoration. “I am known as many things― sweet one... The moon Goddess is but one of the more widely used, though that is more a title than my name.

...Many call me Selene, though I like Cerridwen the most, it is my name after all.” She smiles the warmest smile I have ever seen. I feel as though a glow of her aura is surrounding us now…

“I have so many questions!” I said fervently as a tear crept over the boundary of my eye. “Can you answer them?”

“The answer to many questions, lies inside of you.”

“So... you’re not going to answer just give me confusing, stupid riddle answers.” I can’t believe I am being so rude to a Goddess, but I feel so frustrated and angry and so many other feelings are all bubbling to the surface. She takes my hand and I feel an instant calmness wash over me…

“I understand your anger and frustration. I wish to give you the answers you seek. But I can only guide you to your truth you must reveal it yourself.”

“Let me ask you a question?” I nodded for her to continue and as she did, she stepped into the long grass that paints the sand dunes. Slowly pacing through it while brushing her finger across its coarse edges. Then she turns her head back and speaks.

“Have you ever wondered about a soul?”

“A soul?” I questioned.

“I guess! I’ll be honest with you I never really thought that much about souls. Like… I know we all have one. And that it is the part of us that lives on after we die. But beyond that I haven’t!”

“mmm.” She says and continues to walk through the long marron grass with me following behind like a lost puppy. I’m intrigued…

“Well, you see humans are born with one soul. Your kind ― my children, are born with two. That of your human and your wolf. A gift I bestowed eons ago to a very brave and kind spirit. Gaizka…” She says pulling a moon flower close to her face and breathing in the scent. She smiles when she turns back to me.

“You are his blood and you have been granted the power of the Vegus Luna. But there are always those who desire more. Those who push the boundaries of what is right and what is wrong. Natural and unnatural.

They want more than what they deserve...

They take more than what they are given...

and this is why- the Vegus Luna, and the Patria Luna were created.

To bring peace.

To uphold justice.

To rid the world of the darkness that seeks to destroy the light.

You my dear…

Your story hasn’t finished. has only just begun.

Look over there.” Her mesmerizing presences has me washed in awe and I turn to where she points.

There stands a wolf. My wolf… Juno.

And another…

It’s Oriel.

Once I see her, I am reminded of the sacrifice that she made. My heart aches and leaps with joys to see her once again. It feels like a double-edged sword.

The wolves prance around each other. Rubbing their scent on each other. Its wonderous.

“They are beautiful, are they not.” Selene says and I shake my head in agreement lost in thought while I watch my wolves from a distance.

“Sometimes things happen for a reason. Like your mother and her firstborn.” Cerridwen turns and looks at me. Her hand grasps my shoulder. My wolves play in the sand chasing each other and biting at the others tail.

“It wasn’t planned. The child should have lived but the Tenebris used a dark magic witch to make sure she didn’t. A potion poisoned your mother and the child’s soul was taken. But out of that darkness came the light of Oriel.

Her soul survived…

And without her. You would be standing here in a very different position.

...She was bonded to you to make that sacrifice. So that you could live unharmed. So that you could grow into the woman you are today.

It was foretold. Your mother knew as did Nimue. And because of their actions your story is only beginning and not ending like they saw that it would.” The moon Goddess, I mean Cerridwen faces me with her most serious expression.

“Do you understand… Your wolf Juno she is too strong. Too powerful. You could never have lived a normal life. You would have been hunted down by the Tenebris and murdered as a babe or a young pup. You would never have the future that you now can.”

I look over to my two boisterous wolves they both feel like a part of my soul. They both are…

“She knew, didn’t she? She knew that she had to make the sacrifice!”

“Yes. Oriel understood. She has known from the start. She visited a place just like this when her soul was extracted. Overtime she forgot. She was young you both were…

But over the past weeks it came back to her. It was why she withdrew from you. When you bonded with Atreus. She realized. She wanted you to learn how to cope on your own without her. She wanted to protect you. It is all that she ever wanted.” Cerridwen took my hand and we walked slowly towards my wolves.

“I don’t care what anyone says ― she’s badass! Much stronger than any omega, she could rival an Alpha in my opinion.” I say with heart looking to the wolf who gave her life for my own.

“Will I ever see her again?” solemnly I ask.

“You will… but not for a very long time. She has lived her life and now she will be reunited with the other half of her soul, her mate. Her time has come.

...But it was more than she ever expected. She asked me to let you know. That she will miss you, she loves you and she wants to thank you for the life you gave her.”

The Goddess waves the moon flower that she picked and Oriel prances over to me. Her tongue hangs out as she walks. She has this carefreeness about her that makes me feel happy for her. I haven’t seen her like this before.

Bending down when she approaches, she licks a slobbery tongue across my face. Joy bubbles up inside and a burst of laughter tumbles forth. I grab her one last time and hold her close. She knows it’s goodbye, I rub my face against her own. “I love you Oriel, thank you for you sacrifice. I will always remember you and I’m thankful for all that you gave me.

She licked a slobbery kiss and with a whimper she pranced off into the long grass, taking one last look back before she disappeared into the overgrowth. The loss will always be there, and I will live with it for the rest of my life. Though I am happy that she will finally be united with her mate.

“Watch…” Cerridwen commands, her voice floats through the air like whispers of knowledge and promises of truths.

My eyes trained on the area where Oriel travelled. They scan over the long grass to the distance where a mound of a dune juts out of the ground. It’s the place I had always dreamed of…

Where the woman would run free, she was everything and she haunted me.

Out of the marram leaps Oriel. She’s free I can feel it. It is hauntingly beautiful as she pounces over the sand and up to the summit of the dune until she leaps and transforms into a butterfly.

My mouth drops open in shock and awe. Stood in the same spot I feel as though I cannot move or think. What did I just see?

Turning my gaze to Cerridwen. “W-what d-did I just witness. You can’t brush this off I need to know.” My hand travels to my neck where the marking of a butterfly lies, this has to mean something but what?

“Remember child― I asked you have you ever thought about a soul.” I nodded fervently. “Yes of course. But what has that got to do with this?”

“Well, you see ―” she says holding out her hands then butterflies begin to flutter up from the long grass they were hidden in. Hundreds maybe thousands. Some landing in her hands and arms. So so many. It’s so wonderfully strange and beautiful.

“When someone is lost, when their life is taken. The soul must travel from the realm of the living to that of the dead… This my dear ―” she says as she lifts her hand to my face. Still perching a butterfly in the palm. “This is how they make there way there, you see butterflies are souls of the lost traveling to the beyond. To another life.”

My eyes are enraptured by the butterfly as it lifts off and flutters away in the soft breeze that’s blowing by. My skin erupts in goosebumps the synapses flaring when I watch with a wave of the Moon Goddess hand thousands of the flying souls fluttering away until they disappear in a ethereal display.

My hand still caresses my butterfly marking. Thoughts running through my head about it and Oriel.

“It is the marking of her soul upon you. It will remain though she is now gone to the beyond. This will stay as a reminder that she is always with you, even if you can no longer feel her or hear her. She will watch over you with your mother and family.

My mother…

I wish I could see her, speak to her. Thank her for giving me life and making sure I had a future.

“Oh, sweet girl somethings just aren’t possible. I am sorry. But you mother she gave you life and watches with pride. She knows you will succeed and one day when your time has come you will be reunited…

There is so much waiting for you back there. Your life has just begun. Your family is growing… Open your eyes and see what awaits. Open your eyes and embrace your future. Open your eyes and meet your family. Open your eyes and meet your wolf. Open your eyes and become what you were always meant to be…

Look over there…” Cerridwen points to the high dune again and my heart races. There she stand the woman from my dreams, she is waiting for me. I don’t think, I just run.

Through the long grass. My hands sweeping over the tips as I run with a goal.

I will meet her. She will not get away this time. The Moon Goddess long forgotten.

I run as fast as my legs will carry me.

I run with purpose.

I run with need.

I run to the bottom of the dune as she summits the top.

She won’t get away; I won’t allow it.

Climbing through the soft spill sand I reach the top to face her, and shock overcomes me.

She was always there taunting. The person I always wanted to be, but never could.

Her face…

It's like a bombshell when I finally look into those blue eyes.

They mirror my own…

She is me, or a reflection of me. The realization seep through my bones.

She always was…

I reach out to touch her and she smiles. I smile.

Then with a breeze she dissipates and there sits Juno in all her beautifully fierce glory.

Cerridwen walks between us.

“Return sweet child. Become that vision. Open your eyes and become her. She is you as you are her. Return…” The Moon Goddess voice drifts in the air soothing me. My vision becomes blurry and dark.

The pain in gone…

The strength of Juno the Vegus Luna flows through me. I can feel the power sparking through me. I am stronger now. I am more determined.

I am the Vegus Luna.

My once heavy eyelids feel weightless separating and opening…

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