I feel as though I am stuck in a dream. No. Nightmare.
I am frozen.
Holding the woman, I grew to love. Her almost lifeless body limp in my arms. I want to scream. Roar. I want to burn this city down and burn everyone who harmed her with it.
She is innocent.
And she deserves more.
I can feel my muscles tense as I fight back the desire to tremble and break down. Seeing her like this is like a tsunami to my life. I cannot wash away the pain it only grows.
Even as the fearsome True Alpha stands a threat to us. I cannot move her.
She’s too precious.
How could this happen all over again. How could I lose the woman I love to these vile monsters?
I am lost in her…
Finally! I feel her, my wolf Juno…
She’s back with strength undiscovered. I feel it undulating through my body in waves igniting and firing the cells of my body. Changing it. Strengthening it.
‘Hello sweet girl.’ Juno speaks to me for the first time…
With both shock and awe, I reply an excited. ‘Hi.’ It was like being introduced to your idol or a person you looked up to. I was the meek little fangirl gushing over the one I had always dreamed of meeting.
And that part was never more true. So many things felt like they were falling into place. The puzzle of my life finally being pieced together. All those restless nights of dreams made so much sense. It was her.
...All along it was her. The only way she could communicate was through the dreams.
Giving me glances into the future, one that is now my present. I have ached and cried over those dreams. The connection to the woman…
The desire to be her…
To discover that she is me, she is me with my true wolf. I am so filled with joy and happiness. Filled with excitement for what the future holds.
My body is no longer the weak Omega. I am strong. Powerful. And most of all I am not alone. I have my family, my wolf and I now have a goal.
I must protect my people, our people.
What I had been before was nothing to this. I am me!
The darkness that had shut my eyes was being replaced by the burning light as my eyelids parted awakening me to a new beginning.
It was a new start. I will never forget what I have been rewarded the chance of a new stronger life and those that gave me the chance will forever be cherished.
My lip’s part and a soft moan slips out when I make eye contact with Atreus. Tingles of our bond flow through me from his touch. He is holding me, anguished.
Reaching out my hand cupping his cheek, he’s lost in grief until my skin touches his. His eyes widen, drawing in a sharp breath. He is beautiful. I smile up at my strong Alpha.
“Paloma…” He speaks in a whisper. I can tell he doesn’t want to believe it. It would only hurt him more. Hope…
But I am real…
“Yes, my love. It’s me I’m ok.” I reply and he captures my lips in his own. The soft feel of his touch conveying all the I mean to him. Each swipe of his tongue greedy and possessive. His hands pull me tighter. Even when the thundering growl of an angry wolf should distract him.
He keeps me locked in his hold. His tongue possessively entering my mouth claiming me. marking me. holding me captive in his arms. Lost momentarily I forget about everything. About all my past worries, of the people I have lost. Of the immediate danger. It’s just him and me.
I could die in his arms…
I could live in them...
Atreus fingers slip through the tendrils of my hair, and he holds on. Everything forgotten. Our surroundings. The precarious situation we were still in...
He needed me. Needed the touch, the feel of our bodies together. We were both feeling the strength of our bond increasing, wrapping up and tying the threads together in an unbreakable bond that would live with us for eternity.
It was so much more than just a kiss, it was us…
Juno voice was clear in my mind now. The bond completed and connected both us and our wolves.
The haze only broken by another deep growl.
“I love you abú.” I said and put my forehead to his. Our eyes almost touching. I could see into them. The depth of his soul. In that moment I knew that he was completely mine as he could see the same in my own our souls were bound and entwined.
Then finally my head shot away from Atreus to discover a huge Alpha male wolf standing over us. His teeth bared. Drops of saliva dripping from his jaw.
He looked wild. Feral.
I jumped to my feet.
“You ok Love?” Atreus asked.
“mmm” I replied taking a defensive stance against the Alpha.
His body larger than any other wolf I have ever seen. Was this the True Alpha?
My heart ached a little with the realization. For some reason I felt connected to this werewolf. Maybe it was our sad pasts that made me feel like this.
I was a lost pup with nobody to love me. He was a lost werewolf too haunted by his past that his wolf had taken control. Keeping the man locked inside.
The Alpha growled. I watched his eyes. They were focused on Atreus. He seemed unbothered by me. But agitated by each move that Atreus made. So, I walked Closer.
Juno focusing my mind and power. ‘Remember.’ She said ― and flashes of the time in the Pretisium Liber sped through my mind….
The keepers― what they said to me…
It jolted my body. My power. The reminder of their words…
Standing there... wisps, shadows or ghosts of the keepers appear on the stage around me. I look around in the chaos to see where they stand amongst the battle. They stand still undisturbed by the people around them.
When one person passes through them my breath catches and I realize I am truly seeing them though no one else can.
The first makes eye contact and the same proclamations come from their mouths. When a gust of wind blows them over and through me one by one. Passing through my body. Their words registering, locking in…
“The wanderer returns.” I am jolted, a shock runs through me at the truth of the fact. I had returned from deaths door.
“The wanderer is enlightened” The second passes through me. my eyes widened and I gasp. I am enlightened! I now know who I am.
“The wanderer runs free” The third passes through, and I can feel the freedom that Juno now feels. Released from her hibernation. Finally free. She yips in my head.
“The wanderer is bound.” Another passes through me, and I feel the strength of our bond come forth. I am bound to it and my eyes look to Atreus where they make contact our connection too blazing. We are bound to each other and our people. To love each other and protect those that we can.
“The wanderer brings peace.” The fifth wave hits me. And memories of my past flourish in my mind. How I was always able to calm a conflict. The memory of Quinn and Atreus in my room back at the pack. When I touched both and it was as if my touch alone brought peace and harmony to the both of them. They calmed. I now realized it was an innate power that I have, and I didn’t even realize it. Though now it blossomed forth and I could use it at much greater volume and strength.
“The wanderer can win conflicts, fight wars” The sixth and seventh wisps of Keepers hits me. And I feel the power blossom forth. Flashes of conflicts ending speed through my mind. I am awed, I gasp.
“The wanderer brings strength.” With another wisp of a Keeper, Juno and my own powers combine. Our strength surging forth.
“The wanderer shows benevolence.” The shock of the next wave hits me. Flashes of the future come forth. I can feel the love for my people the love for our kind. I understand now that strength is not only found in power and force but in giving sway, in forgiveness and second chances. Without forgiveness without kindness, we will only bask in anger and rage.
“The wanderer - Vegus Luna, Last of her bloodline, Luna to the Vega Turba Lupi, Luna to the Dark Orb of Knights will bring unity to the Lycanthropes.” Yi appears before me. Her body a solid figure.
Shouts of shock come from the audience and gasps appear from those closer. They see her. As do I.
They recognize who she is. Tales of the keepers have been told throughout the city for many generations. Little have seen one. But all know when they appear.
The clashing and shouting and chaos of the fight lulls to a stop. A deathly silence cuts through the air. Everyone enraptured by the moment.
Holding her hands forth I take them in my own.
I bow my head in respect to her and appreciation.
“No.” She states. “You never bow to anyone. We are the marked. Sisters.”
Then she turns to the crowd. My hand in her own. Momentarily I look to the looming wolf that stands over us. His eyes now locked on me. There is something familiar in those eyes but with no time to think on it. Yi speaks to all…
The silence in the air is deafening before a word comes out of her mouth. All eyes cast on the Keeper that has shown.
“The wanderer - Vegus Luna, Last of her bloodline, Luna to the Vega Turba Lupi, Luna to the Dark Orb of Knights will bring unity to the Lycanthropes. Stand forth and show your respect. Give your allegiance to her, to our kind or the consequences are your own.” She steps aside.
The crowds attention now on me.
“You think you can fool the people with a little trick.” The sickening voice that I hate spits out her lies as usual. I turn and face her the Paramount.
Her aged body bent and mangled the dark markings that she stole from me seeping into her body like poison. The corner of my lip curve up. I can’t help but feel a little smug knowing the negative effects my power is having on her.
“A trick!” I laugh. “You have the audacity to say that was a trick. When all you have been doing for years is tricking these people here. Hiding behind lies and treachery, bribes and stolen positions. You were never even meant for that role. Your were never even given the role of Paramount. You stole it from another. The Seer…” Gasps come from the crowd when the realization forms in their minds.
“You murdered her for it. Stabbed the Patria Luna in the back.” A look of shock washes over her face.
That’s right bitch I know your darkest secrets, and there is no way I am keeping it for you.
“Stealing her position and power. Now you stand here tonight before everyone claiming to be a goddess. There is ONLY one Moon Goddess, and she is where she is supposed to be. You are nothing more than a thief, a swindler. A murderer. Scum.” The words come forth with ease and I state my case with strength.
“Look at the people who were your closest followers. Angelina ―” I point to Angelina’s fallen body on the ground where a grieving Vaughan lies clutching her in his arms. Then I point to Nathaniel's body. “You kicked his body away like it was nothing to you. Yet he gave his life for you. What kind of leader does that make you? What kind of person does that?” I state my voice not sounding my own the power of Juno thrumming through me.
“They knew what was at stake and gave their lives willingly. BUT YOU JUST COULDN’T! COULD YOU.” She shouted at me vehemently.
The eyes of the crowd locked on the Paramount. Confusion and anger brewing up ready to broil over.
“SHUT UP, YOU BITCH!” She screams her once stoic figure almost panicked and jumpy.
“You think I am faking it here. The Goddess has approved my powers.” She laughs manically again. Raising her arms, I can see she is calling forth the power that she stole. Her eyes brighten and glow momentarily then turn crimson red as blood seeps from the corners.
“Look.” She says to everyone and points to the huge wolf that stands by me. “THE GODDESS HAS EVEN SENT A PROTECTOR FOR ME. THE TRUE ALPHA KNOWS THE RIGHTFUL HEIR.” Screaming at the crowd she stands drunk on power.
I don’t know why but the idea he is on her side makes me even more angry than I already am.
“You will pay for your insolence.” Louise says, her mind focused on her hands as the power thrums through her. Then with a sweep of her arms I am knocked back with the force of the power. Though rather than hurt me. It seeps back into me. Joining back with my own. And I smile.
“You thought you could hurt me with my own power?” I state as I straighten myself up and look back to her. Though before I could say more the True Alpha jumps across the stage.
His teeth clamp down on her body as he lifts her in his jaws.
His head swinging back and forth. Her body is like a ragdoll as she screams in his hold. Her body flailing about. Until he lets go and her body flies across the stage hitting the back wall with a thud.
Well, that was unexpected.
He stands over her growling. His teeth bared.
I look to Atreus. “Ahh.” I say not sure what to make of it.
“Like she said, the True Alpha knows the rightful heir.” Atreus replies taking my hand in his own.
But there is something more. Something deep down I can feel it as I look over at the scene. The True Alpha still guarding his prey. I can feel his rage. His pain. I can feel his sorrow.
I step closer, he takes one look at me and in that moment I know.
Deep down it was there hidden amongst my pain and his. Our bond.
Abú ― means forever in Gaelic Irish.