Chapter 19 ~~The Luna Ball~~
The ball was scheduled to start at 7 pm and Kia woke up around 4:30 surprised that she had managed to sleep for almost an hour and a half. She was glad she had followed Angela’s advice as she felt much better now. She jumped in the shower and shaved her legs, thankful that there was a wide seat in the shower stall where she could prop her foot to reach all the way to her ankle. She had just poured shampoo on her head when the door opened and Ethan joined her in the shower.
“Mind if I join you?” he said as he slipped his hands around her waist and pulled her close, nuzzling her ear.
Kia grinned at him and said “Not at all. In fact, I was hoping you might help Tia get a shower too. She wants to be looking her best tonight.”
The surprised look on Ethan’s face made Kia laugh but she offered “I’ll bathe Errol if you will bathe Tia.”
Ethan grinned back at her then helped her finish washing her hair and applying conditioner, which she left in while he shifted. Kia was thankful that the shower was big enough to hold at least 6 people because Errol was huge and took up a lot of room. She poured some of Ethan’s shampoo all over him and he seemed perfectly content to let her wash him clean, especially on his tummy. The shower had a handheld unit and she used it to rinse him clean.
Ethan had thoroughly enjoyed the bath and wished the shower was larger so that she could shift in there as well but as it was, he took up too much room and had to shift back to his human form so that Kia could shift into Tia. He enjoyed bathing her almost as much as he had enjoyed having her bathe Errol.
Once she was rinsed off, she shifted back and they made love standing up in the shower, both having gotten extremely aroused having their human mates bathe their wolf halves. They finished bathing, got out and toweled off and then had to shift so that they could dry their wolves, using the blow dryer to dry their thick fur.
Lucy had asked Kia to let her know when she finished bathing so that she could work on her hair while it was still wet. That meant she wouldn’t have to use so much hair gel to keep the strands in place. As soon as Ethan left the bathroom, Kia was not going to wear her sexy lingerie until after she shifted back to herself but she put on her house robe and linked to Lucy that she was ready for her to do her hair.
As they previously agreed, Kia was to go to Lucy’s room to have her hair and makeup done. That way no one had a chance to peek at Kia’s gown and Lucy would not have to haul her makeup case around. Lucy was getting so good at working with Kia’s long locks that it only took her about 45 minutes to arrange her hair and another 15 to do her makeup. When Kia turned to look at herself in the mirror, she was amazed that Lucy had outdone herself with both her hair and makeup. She had done her eyes in a deep green and silvery gray this time and the effect really made Kia’s eyes pop!
She had arranged some large looping curls on the top of Kia’s head, wrapped by a thick even braid that Lucy had incorporated silver and dark green ribbons to symbolize the Silver Forest Pack. Then she curled the rest to hang down her back in long thick ringlets wrapped loosely with the silver and green ribbons. She used tiny enamel leaves edged with silver hair pins as accents in the curls and in the braid on the top of her head. They made great accents as well as helped to keep her hair in place.
Kia shifted her head from one side to another and turned her head to and fro just to make sure that nothing would slip out of place. Lucy told her, “now shift and let’s make sure it stays this way when you change back from your wolf,” crossing her fingers as Kia stood up, turned her back to Lucy and dropped her robe. She shifted to Tia and then back to herself and thankfully her hair stayed in place, which amazed them both.
“Whew! I wasn’t sure if that was going to work or not. Tell Ethan not to touch Tia’s head and we should be OK. But if not, we’ll just have to do a quick repair job before you join the party.” Lucy said.
Lucy helped Kia get her dress on and tied in place and then to put on her shoes. They had found a simple slip on sandal that looked very authentic for a Greek goddess. The only drawback was that they did nothing for Kia’s height. She had almost considered buying a pair of heels but it would have ruined the whole effect of her gown plus Kia knew that her feet would be killing her by the time the night was over if she wore heels. She would just have to tip toe when she and Ethan danced.
A glance at the clock, had her gasping at the time. “Wow, where did the time go? It’s almost 6:30! Guests will be arriving soon. Go get your dress on, Lucy. You don’t want to miss possibly meeting your mate when he arrives.” Kia teased and watched as Lucy turned about 3 shades of red and got a hopeful look on her face.
“Thank you so much for doing this for me and Good luck tonight.” Lucy helped her with cape and then Kia left her room. She walked down to their bedroom to get Ethan’s present. She took Ethan’s present out of her lingerie drawer and slipped it into her pocket, just turning around when Ethan came into the room.
“Babe, are you............... Wow!” Ethan froze a few steps inside the doorway. He stood looking at her with his mouth hanging open as his eyes scanned her from head to toe.
“Kia, you look so beautiful. You are going to outshine every woman at the ball tonight!” he said as he crossed the room to where she was standing. He took her hands and held her arms open as he looked her up and down again. “I want to start from the bottom and kiss my way to the top.” Ethan grinned at her.
Kia blushed and smiled back at him. She had been thinking about it and while she wanted him to be surprised as well, she also knew she was going to need his help with her cape when she was done so she told him of her plans to shift on the balcony in front of everyone.
“When I am ready to shift back, can you please throw my cape over Tia? But be careful not to catch my head or you will mess up my hair. I might also need your help to re-tie my dress at my shoulders but we can step back behind the curtain so that no one can see us.”
Ethan had a big smile on his face. “You are not only going to knock everyone’s eyes out with your beauty, you are going to wow them with a spectacular shift! I’m impressed!” He said and then kissed her, being careful not to smudge her lipstick.
He had a surprise for her as well, but he wasn’t going to tell her until she was back in her human form and standing before the crowd on the balcony.
“I wish I could shift with you too as we stand before everyone but I didn’t plan to put on any kind of show for them and I don’t have a cape or easy to remove outfit.” Ethan grinned. But while he had been worrying about when was the appropriate time to propose to her, he now knew that he would do it once she was redressed and they stepped back onto the balcony.
He would lift his hand to quiet everyone, then he would get down on one knee, hold out the ring he had bought for her, that had been burning a hole in his pocket for days now, and ask her to marry him right there in front of everyone.
Ethan looked at his watch and saw that it was almost 7 pm. He said, “several of the guests have arrived already but I’m assuming that you want everyone in the ballroom before you make an appearance?”
“Yes and hopefully everyone will be here soon. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach the size of large bats.”
Suddenly they both heard Angela linking them, asking where they were and when they would be down.
Ethan explained that Kia had a spectacular entrance planned and that all the guests needed to be in the ballroom. He asked his mother to let him know when most everyone had arrived.
About 20 minutes later, they heard soft music begin to play and a few minutes later, Angela mind linked to them that the ballroom was full and that most everyone had arrived.
“Are you ready?” Ethan asked as he held out his hand to her.
“As ready as I’ll ever be. Please don’t let me fall over the balcony rail if I pass out.” Kia grinned nervously at him.
“Never. Don’t worry. You are going to be fine. Just take a deep breath and pretend it’s just me and you. It’s just like walking the line at graduation but this time I’ll be right there with you.” Ethan said.
Kia took a deep breath and let it out slowly, then nodded her head with a weak smile. “Ok. Let’s get this over with.”
They could hear a lot of people talking and the music was softly playing in the background as they walked down the hallway, hand in hand. Ethan winked and smiled at her and tried to reassure her that she was going to be fine as they reached the blue curtain that was hiding them from the crowd.
“Wait here and I’ll introduce you and then pull back the curtain and you can make your entrance. Just say “Welcome everyone. Thank you for coming. I look forward to meeting you all in person but first I would like to introduce you to Tia, my wolf.” Then turn and do your thing. OK?”
“Good. It’s a lot shorter than what I was planning on saying and I like yours better.” Kia said as she tried to swallow but her mouth was dry so she just took another deep breath and nodded her head for Ethan to proceed.
Ethan pulled back the curtain slightly and stepped through the opening. Kia purposely did not look so that she wouldn’t know how many people were there. She was afraid that if she saw them beforehand, before they saw her, that she might turn and run and hide.
She heard Ethan speak into a microphone that had been set up on the balcony for them so that they wouldn’t have to yell to be heard, as he asked the crowd to calm down. Everyone got quiet and then Ethan said “Thank you for coming tonight to meet our new Luna. She is truly someone very special. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to my Luna, KIA!” Ethan said as he pulled back the curtain.
Kia took a deep breath and plastered a smile on her face as she stepped through the opening and lifted her hand to wave at everyone. The entire room clapped and cheered. There were oh’s and ah’ and “She’s so beautiful” that could be heard throughout the room.
“She looks like the moon goddess except with black hair.” A woman said and everyone around her agreed.
Ethan put his arm around Kia’s waist and pulled her close so that she could speak into the microphone.
“Welcome everyone and thank you for coming and making me feel so welcome. I look forward to meeting you all in person sometime tonight but first I would like to introduce you to my wolf, Tia!” Kia said and pulled the edges of her cape closed and as she turned, she reached up and pulled the ropes of her dress loose and then the one around her waist. She felt the dress fall to the floor and she took a deep breath and shifted. She shook off the cape and turned around to the ooh’s and aah’s of the crowd.
“Even her wolf is beautiful.” “Wow, she may be tiny as a human but her wolf is impressive!” “A white wolf, how rare.” And many other comments flowed around the room as she stood before them for a few moments. Tia looked at Ethan and then at her cape and linked him. “Cover me up so I can shift back, please.”
Ethan picked up her cape and recovered her. Kia shifted back and then Ethan held the curtain for her as he passed her her dress. Kia quickly re-dressed and returned to the balcony. Ethan held out his hand to her and she placed her hand in his and was shocked when he turned to face her, then went down on one knee.
“You are not the only one with a surprise planned for tonight. Kia, I love you with all of my heart. You have made me feel like a complete man for the first time in my life and I want us to spend the rest of our lives as not only mates, but as husband and wife. Will you marry me?” Ethan said and held the ring, nestled in it’s little box, out to her in a hand that was slightly shaking.
Kia couldn’t believe her eyes or her ears and she felt like she had suddenly become a bobble head doll as she nodded and shouted “YES!”
Ethan took the ring out of the box and slipped it onto her ring finger as the crowd went wild, clapping and yelling “HOORAY” and “CONGRATULATIONS” mixed with whistles from the men and “Aww, how romantic!” from the women as Ethan and Kia kissed.
They turned towards the crowd and waved but before they left the balcony, Kia turned to Ethan and said “You are not the only one with surprise gifts to give tonight.” She reached into her pocket and brought out the gift box with the bolo tie she had had made for him.
“A month ago, I was homeless and running away from a sexual predator. You found me and rescued me and have not only welcomed me into your home but made me feel like a part of your family. You awakened my wolf and claimed me as your mate and I can never express to you how fortunate and blessed I feel. And now you’ve asked me to be your wife and I can’t tell you how happy and proud you make me feel. I will do everything in my power to be a good wife to you and a good Luna to the Silver Forest Pack.”
Ethan opened the box and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the bolo tie she had designed especially for him. She took it out of the box for him as he removed the bow tie he had put on with his tux. Kia told him to bend down a little bit as she put it on for him. Ethan pulled her to him and kissed her until her knees were weak with the encouragement of the crowd.
“Go Ethan!” Josh shouted the loudest but several people seconded his opinion.
Ethan and Kia broke apart and smiled at each other before stepping back through the curtain. “I’ve got to go put on some underwear but I’ll be back in a minute.” Kia smiled at him and Ethan stuck his tongue out and began to pant, teasing her as he watched her sprint down the hallway.
A few minutes later, she rejoined him at the top of the stairs and they made their descent together. Angela and Marcus were two of the first ones to reach them and Angela had big tears in her eyes as she hugged them both. Marcus pumped Ethan’s hand then gave him a man hug before turning to Kia and said “Welcome daughter”, giving her a warm hug, making Kia’s eyes fill with tears as she returned his hug. “Thank you!”
Then everyone crowded around and congratulated them on their engagement and welcomed Kia as the new Luna of the Silver Forest Pack.
The ball turned out wonderful. Everyone danced the night away and left in high spirits. Lucy met her mate, Robert, who had a strange feeling that Kia reminded him of someone but he couldn’t remember who. Robert was the Beta from a pack in the northeast, the Clear Moon pack. The ball ended around midnight and everyone decided to just leave the mess that had not already been cleaned up for the next day.
The rogue pack moved more north for a time but Ethan and the Silver Forest Pack kept in touch with packs reporting issues with them. They seemed to be dwindling in size as Lucas became more insane and continued to eat his weakest pack members when they were unable to locate enough wild game to keep him fed.
Eventually, they found out that the pack turned on him and killed him. The rest of them split up and went their separate ways, some begging packs to take them in, while others just seemed to disappear all together. Speculation was that they were living among humans or had traveled to other areas of the country.
The rogue pack members that had surrendered, turned out to be loyal members of the packs they joined. Two of them found mates within the packs they joined.
Tanya and Mitch became engaged and Mitch came to the Silver Forest pack to work as a warrior, becoming Josh’s second in command after a short time.
As soon as Kia and Ethan’s wedding and honeymoon were over, a couple of months later, Angela and Marcus took off for a well deserved holiday.
Angela had come from a different pack, more north of the Silver Forest pack and as soon as they returned from their holiday, she began contacting some of her old pack members asking if they had ever known of a couple by the name of John and Alison Peterson.
Even though it took several weeks before the answer came back, she found out that Kia’s parents had been part of a small pack to the east of Sioux Falls called the Brownstone pack. Angela also found out that John Peterson had been the Beta of the pack and everyone in the pack had always wondered what had happened to them but claimed they had never been informed of their deaths and had never been able to find out anything about what had happened to them.
They also claimed to have been hard hit by the rogues when they had passed through their area. The Alpha had been killed along with his mate and their son, so most of the rest of the pack had called on one of their larger neighbors for sanctuary and had eventually merged with their pack, the Yellow Moon pack, Angela’s original pack.
Ethan drove Kia to Sheridan where she claimed her parents’ remains, which were two small plain metal urns with just the date of their death on a stick-on label stuck to the outside. She purchased two nicer urns and put them on a shelf in her office with a picture of her parents that Angela’s friend sent her.
It must have been taken a year or so before they had gone on their vacation to the coast because the picture showed her father carrying a young Kia as he held her mother’s hand in front of their house. They were all dressed up and must have been going to church or some other special occasion. Kia felt pretty certain it had been Easter Sunday.
Angela’s friend also sent Kia some of her parents personal items that she figured Kia would like to have which consisted of a few pieces of jewelry of her mothers and a plaque showing an award her father had won as combat champion in a competition that the packs in their area held yearly.
It would be a couple of years before Kia got pregnant but she ended up giving Ethan 2 pups, a boy and then two years later a girl. Both became the apple of the eyes of not only Ethan and Kia but his parents as well.
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