I slip on my white slacks and white vest woven with golden and red tribal symbols. The sacred garment belonged to my great grandfather and someday I’ll pass it on to my son. Ellie stares at my bare chest and I can feel her excitement buzzing around me. It makes me even more excited for the ceremony.
Seeing her in a tradition Potawatomi dress has my wolf stirring. She looks even more stunning than usual. Her perfect braids fall down her back and I wonder what it would be like to pull them. She must feel my emotions because she glances at me with big brown eyes and blushes furiously.
The fire blazes and the people wait expectantly. We gather around and my father begins to unravel the stories of men passed. Pride and honor wash over me before I’m humbled by fate’s choice to make me a leader to these beautiful people.
“Let us begin. Today is a special day as I am released from my duties and Nikan begins his. We must start with a story to remember the ancestors.” My father says.
He wears the only headdress our tribe has. Eagle feathers run down to his shoulders and the sacred speech begins.
“The Potawatomi tribes consisted of three. We occupied the Great Lakes which the Great Spirit gave us. We lived in peace for some time. The white men heard of our beautiful lands and wanted them for themselves so they killed our people and forced our tribes to move. This became our journey on the Trail of Death, but we had a secret weapon they knew nothing of.
The Great Spirit gave some of our ancestors magic blood and they were shifters. Some eagles, others bears and our people, the wolves. The Magic still runs through our veins today. A few families from the three tribes in Indiana were able to escape by way of shifting. They protected as many as they could as they fought the white man off. We settled secretly among the trees and thus our home still remains today.
When the Mayfield family settled we vowed peace and have lived on the lands together since. They have helped us to see not all men are equal. There are still a few who practice kindness, acceptance and hope.”
Ellie squeezes my hand and smiles softly. My father has accepted her and she wanted nothing more. Neither did I.
“The three councils got together and created keepers. We come together once a year for a powwow. A time of celebration, reunion and business. We were granted the flame and became Keepers of the Fire. Today we honor those who sacrificed, those who protected and those who showed resilience.
Today, I will relinquish my title but continue my duty to you. Today my son, Nikan Joseph Bodéwadmi will fulfill his duty to embrace his destiny. Nikan, do you swear to put the people first? Will you protect them with your life, guide them with wisdom and keep the secret of shifters and fire?”
“It is my duty, my privilege and honor to fulfill these things.” I state proudly. The pack gives a tribal call and I beam.
“Then I present to you the next alpha and chief, Nikan Bodéwadmi.” He smiles as he places the sacred headdress upon my head. The people cheer and Ellie hugs me tight before kissing my lips softly.
The night is filled with dancing, eating and merriment. A day of peace finally upon us. Raza and Mackenzie come up to Ellie and I.
“It will be a pleasure working together, I hope?” Raza asks. I smile and shake his hand.
“It’s nice for Winnie to have some help. I suppose I could keep you around Sam.” He laughs.
“Sam?” Ellie quizzes me.
“Short for Good Samaritan.” She laughs at the nickname I gave Raza.
I pull Ellie into my arms and begin to dance to the beat of the drums. She’s hesitant about the steps.
“Don’t worry. It’s easy, I’ll teach you.” And with that she follows my lead and we dance until the moon is bright above us. We make our way home and I have just shut the door behind me when she attacks.
She throws her arms around my neck and kisses me with more passion than I’ve ever felt from her. It sends me into overdrive. I get over the initial shock as she pushes me against the door and kiss her back fervently. She moans as my hands explore her body and my wolf is screaming, begging to mark her and mate her. I try to talk him off the ledge but it’s not working.
Her hands roam my bare chest and I shiver in delight. I tug on her braids and gain more access to her mouth. She happily obliges. I turn us so that she’s against the door frame, body pressed against mine. I lift her up and slam her into the door like the animal I am. Her excitement elevates and so does mine.
My teeth graze her neck as she gasps for air. Her hips moving of their own accord against me. She removes my vest and I carefully set the headdress down. She goes to remove my pants but I stop her.
“Ellie, are you sure? We are going to be married in a few days. I can wait for you. I’m in no rush.” I lie through my teeth. I’ve fantasized about this moment for years. I always pictured her in control of herself and here she is breathless, flushed and needy. I could explode just looking at her.
“In my eyes we already are. I just want to belong to you in every way possible. I can’t wait one minute longer.” I scoop her up and carry her up the stairs. We undress each other and fall onto the bed.
She straddles my waist and the view is better than anything I’ve ever seen. I flip her over and lay her gently on the pillow. We take our time exploring, touching, loving. The moment our souls combine I let my wolf emerge and sink my teeth into her shoulder as we fall into ecstasy.
I kiss her softly on the temple as her eyes flutter. She holds me like I’m going to disappear so I reassure her with sweet touches. Tonight, I’m going to stay right here. My duty is to love her and hold her. The bond has strengthened and my love grows stronger than I ever imagined possible.
“You now belong to me body, soul and spirit. And I to you. I love you, Elliana Bodéwadmi. Sleep well.”
“I love you Nik, always.” With that we fall asleep and I cannot dream because reality is better than any dream.