With Hell We Raise

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Orion walked about the room, her eyes and fingers trailing across the foreign surfaces. Her hand grazed the foot of the bed, brushing over the fluffy blanket that was draped in its edge.

“This is a bed,” Seth told her, getting up from his place following behind her her from a distance as she explored the room. “It’s we’re people sleep, instead of on furs. It’s a lot more comfortable.”

Orion went over to the small bedside table, on top of which stood a small lamp. Her hand brushed the lampshade, and she peeped its head under its cone shaped hat. She looked curiously back to Seth in question.

“It’s a lamp, you turn it on and it lights up.” He came over, flicking on the switch.

He was so close that his chest brushed her shoulder as he moved, his face close enough she could feel his breath on the side of her face. All Orion had to do was turn her head to the side and their lips were sure to brush; if she wasn’t so caught up in the novelty of her curiosity then she surely would have.

The lamp, as he called it, shone bright as light poured from its centre. Orion was fascinated, she wanted to see where the light was coming from. She peeked over the top to see the centre, though the light assaulted her eyes as it shone too bright.

“Little star! Good Goddess,” Seth cried startled. “You can’t look directly at the bulb, it’ll hurt your eyes!”

“Its like a tiny sun!” Orion looked to him with a bright smile, and Seth forgot his worry for a moment as he took her in. She was radiant, beautiful in a wild sort of way—her face shone with the light of a thousand suns.

“Not a sun, a light bulb. It works with electricity.”

The girl looked at him in confusion, but her attention span did not last long enough to hear his explanation. As soon as she got tired of his talk she began to wander off, much too interested in the other strange things around her to listen to his talk on wiring, current, and two human men named Thomas Edison and Lewis Latimer.

She moved across the room towards a strange sliding door in the wall. Inside was a peculiarly small room, with only a railing and some oddly shaped metal hanging onto the rail. Orion could hardly find a reason for such a room, there was hardly any space to do anything.

“That is a wardrobe, it’s where you put all your clothes.” Seth gently tugged her out from inside the wardrobe, she looked at him with a peculiar look. “We’ll have to go and get some proper clothes ourselves.”

“What’s wrong with my furs?” Orion looked down to her bearskin dress that she had fashioned from the beast that had tried to kill her four years prior. “It’s good for winter, and it’s lasted me 4 years now!”

“Well here, people don’t wear furs, as you’ve probably noticed. There are other ways to keep warm here so you don’t need heavy furs.”

Orion didn’t look too happy with the idea of getting rid of her furs, but Seth knew sooner or later she would relent. Especially when she realised it wasn’t necessary, and that she could have a lot more variety and freedom in her choice of clothing.

He couldn’t wait to see her get involved with pack life, to do normal things like go shopping and just be a regular 22-year-old. She had missed out on so much because of their life in the wild, and he wanted her to have fun and let loose now that they didn’t have to focus on surviving all the time.

Orion spotted another door, deciding to go through there too, whilst Seth sat on one of the sofas and waited patiently for her to finish her exploration.

Inside the other room was completely white, the floor was white, as was the walls and even all the strange things in it. The shiny silver taps on the sink drew in her attention, and like any curious person would she began to fiddle with the things. Gasping when they twisted and water came out.

“Seth! Seth! There’s a river in the shiny things!” She called out to Seth in the other room. The man in question sat perplexed, trying to work out what she was talking about.

How miraculous to have a river flowing into the hut, they wouldn’t have to collect and store water like they used to! Then like magic, she realised that once side was cold, and one was hot. She wondered how it was possible- how did they fit all this water inside that tiny contraption?

Orion turned the faucets as far as they would go, she wanted to see exactly how much water they stored in these metal creatures. The hot water in the tap began to steam, its temperature rising dangerously, but Orion did not notice. The girl reached to turn back off the indoor river but the water had grown too hot, she shrieked loudly as it burnt her hand.

Seth was up in an instant, hurrying to his mate. He found her in the bathroom the taps rushing, quickly figuring out what had happened. He went over to her, his face hard with his anger- whether he was angry that she had hurt himself, or angry at himself for leaving her alone, he could not say.

“Orion you can’t stick your hand under the water when it’s steaming!” He grunted, “And you cant leave the taps running either, it wastes water.”

“I wanted to see how much water they stored.”

“They don’t store water, the water comes from a supply through the pipes.” He explained, gruffly as he turned off the taps. “Let me look at your hand.”

He took her hand in his, her smooth palm red and irritated from being burnt. He placed it under the cold water and the girl sighed at the relief. So far she had found the strange place to be worse than their home- here, there were so many unnecessary things, and some were dangerous too... at least in their hut all the things that could hurt you were outside the hut.

Seth took her around the rest of the bathroom, explaining everything to her. He showed her how to use the shower, the toilet and explained all about toilet paper and towels. Orion couldn’t deny that the idea of a toilet seemed nicer than having to go outside and squat over a hole. She was excited to try this toilet, and the shower too; they sounded like fun.

The last thing that she noticed was a full length mirror, that hung on the back of the door.

Orion had seen her reflection before, but always distorted in pools of water, never this clearly. She couldn’t help but be mesmerised- that was really what she looked like! Her smooth, dark skin added a warmth to the whole room, her eyes were a light brown and she even had little freckles smattered across her nose and cheeks. Her white curls were bouncy, even as she moved, they danced joyously after her. But the most astounding was her figure- of course she had seen her own body, but only ever looking down. In the mirror she found a woman looking back at her, had she always looked like that?

She couldn’t help but notice that beside Seth she looked like his complete opposite. If he was the sun, the she was the moon- if he was the winter, she was the summer. They made an odd pairing- a beautifully, perfectly odd pair.

He was taller than her by almost a full foot, standing at 6′4, his jet black curls were a thick mess and had even taken over his face in a full beard and moustache. His bronzed skin was marred with countless scars, even his face had a long scar from his eyebrow down to his chin. Most had faded, but she could still see them; it was one of her favourite parts of him, his scars. He had gotten each one in some kind of fierce battle of some kind.

But it was his eyes that really showed his age. His eyes were darker than hers, a muddy brown colour- though they were always full of a permanent grief whenever she chanced a look into them. It was the look of a man haunted by his past.

Orion was a clever girl, she knew that something awful had happened in his past; she heard him crying out in his sleep, she saw the way he would look over his shoulder when he thought she wasn't looking, she wasn’t blind to the rage that possessed him. She guessed it had something to do with him living in the wild for half of his life, but she also knew better than to ask.

Seth’s eyes were focused on Orion’s through the mirror; he had watched her drinking in his features like a greedy pup and he would be lying if he tried to say he hadn’t done the same to her.

He could feel her heated gaze on him, as if she was trying to work him out, as if she knew that he had so much to tell her. She was right, but his story could wait.

The first thing he would do is tell her the truth about them, about what he had hidden from her for last 4 years. The first thing he would do is tell her that they were mates.

“Orion, we need to talk.”

Orion’s mind was blank. She didn’t know what she was supposed to think, or to feel.

Part of her was elated, she already felt deeply for Seth and she knew that over the years those feelings of admiration had slowly blossomed into something greater than friendly feelings. It made her happy to think that the moon Goddess though that they belonged together too.

However there was another part of her that was confused, and downright hurt by his confession. How long had he known they were soulmates? When was he going to tell her? If they were soulmates then why had he treated her so coldly? Did he not want her as his soulmate?

“C’mon little Star, say something.” He finally stopped the pacing that he had been doing for the last hour as he explained that soulmates exists, he had one, and it was her. He looked at her, his face desperate; he himself couldn’t imagine how she felt.

He was relieved to have finally told her the truth, his shoulders literally felt lighter as if a burden had been taken off of him. But, other than that he was afraid, utterly afraid of so many things. It frightened him to think that she might not want him, not like that. He was much older than her and had spent years looking after her, raising her. If he was being honest with himself though, he’d admit that it frightened him more to think that she did want him; he didn’t deserve love, especially not from her.

“How long?” She looked up at him suddenly, her eyes filled with guarded accusation. “How long have you known?”

“Since your first moon cycle,” his cheeks tinged pink as he rubbed the back of his neck in discomfort.

“Is that why you started avoiding me?” She looked to him in question, her eyebrows furrowing as she slowly began to put things together.

At first he didn’t respond, and he had half a mind to look guilty. Seth’s silence was enough of an answer for Orion, but she needed to hear him say the words- she had spent far too long guessing what his mysterious quietness meant. She didn’t want to guess anymore, she wanted the whole truth and he was the only one who could give it to her.

Seth scratched the back of his neck once again, his nails digging painfully into his skin. He hadn’t notice them change to claws, neither had he realised that he had drawn blood; either way it wouldn’t have bothered him. His rapid healing meant he would be fine in a few moments and he had always been one with a high pain threshold anyway, except when it came to Orion. Though it was a different kind of pain he felt around her.

He didn’t know if she would understand, if he could make her understand. A part of him, though knowing it was selfish, still wanted her very much but feared that his coldness in the past was now pushing her away.

“Yes,” his voice was quiet, hardly more than a whisper but in the charged silence between them even Orion could hear him as he spoke.

“Do you not want me?” Orion whimpered, her heart hurting both at his admission and her own question. She couldn’t even hide the raw insecurity, and fear that bled into her voice. She felt as though she herself would splinter and simply cease to exist; if Seth did not want her then what was the point of living? She had no-one else, nothing else.

Seth looked up a fiery, angry, vehemence burning in his gaze. His long legs closed the gap between them in two short steps before he pulled Orion up to him. She had her eyes shut firmly, wrinkling at the corners with how tightly she held them shut- even so a stray tear still leaked from the corner of her eye. The sight alone was like a dagger to Seth’s chest, and for a moment he truly hated himself to the core.

“Look at me.” His words were gruff, and his fingers calloused as he touched her, but he was a man of the wild and had forgotten any notion of softness that he had once held. He tipped her chin up so that her face facing his, she had only to open her eyes. “Orion, look at me.”

Her eyes opened, the hazel orbs brimmed with tears but still bewitching. The sight alone took his breath away. The loathing in him grew for himself; he had made her cry once again, continuously caused her pain. He had broken his promise that he would treat her like a proper mate, he had taken her for granted. He knew that he didn’t deserve her.

“I want you, believe me, I want you more than anything.” Seth wiped away her free falling tears, bending down to press a kiss to her forehead. Then he pulled away to look her in the eyes, his eyes dulling with sadness. “But I don’t deserve you, and I’m not good for you.”

“How can you decide that for the both of us? Why are you trying so hard to push me away?” Her voice rose in agitation, as she realised yet again that he was trying to push her away. “The moon Goddess herself put us together and that’s not good enough for you?! Who are you to decide what I deserve? And how can you say you aren’t good for me when you’ve provided for me for practically my whole life!?”

“Exactly! I raised you Orion!” Seth cried, his distress most evident. His claws buried themselves into his scalp, blood trickling from the cuts down the side of his face and his neck. “It’s wrong. It’s wrong for me to feel this way about you because I’ve known you since you were a child.”

“How is it wrong?” Orion came as close as she could, her movement slow and purposeful; she hated when he hurt himself, and worse yet he never seemed to notice it when he did. She kept her movements slow, as she held onto his arms pulling them away from his head gently. Then she did something brazen, that she had never tried to do before, she slid her hands down into his entwining their fingers together .

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