“Woah. Luna, you look very beautiful.” Lily complimented me. Miranda nodded her head in agreement.
“Thank you guys for helping.” I looked at my reflection in the mirror. I was amazed at the person staring back at me. I was like a completely different individual but in a good way.
“No problem. It’s always good to get to know our Luna.” Miranda said.
“I agree. I also believe that Alpha Knine has somewhat changed since he met you. I saw the happiness in his eyes when he was looking at you. Remember? You were at the town circle with your dog.” Lily told me.
“Right. He hasn’t been the same since he returned home from his visit with the witches that he spoke about a year ago, but then you came and now everything will be better. The ones that returned his eyesight. You do know that he use to be blind?” Miranda blabbered.
“Of course. Alice told me about it.” I lied smoothly.
“Anyway, that’s a conversation for another day. Alec will be here soon.” Alice cut in.
“Yes. We should be going now. See you later Luna.” Miranda and Lily gathered their things and left.
“Wasn’t that something.” Alice muttered, “Sorry they can be overwhelming. They are just excited to finally have a Luna. Everyone is.”
“They seem really nice. I like them.”
“Yeah, everyone in the pack is nice and friendly,” Alice replied.
“So Alec will be here soon?” I asked.
“Yes very shortly.”
“It is about time. I haven’t seen him much this week.” I complained.
“He had lots of preparations to do. I’m sure he will make it up to you.” Alice said.
“Why do I have to be so dressed up anyway? It’s just a pack ceremony.”
“All of our events are formal except for the annual cookouts.” Alice paused and held up a bag, “I guessed your size and bought this dress. You should try it on now.” Alice handed me the dress that was still in the protective cover and she left the bathroom.
Alice had excellent taste when it came to fashion. I quickly changed and admired the dress. She bought a red satin polyester burgundy strapless bunched formal dress that came down to my mid thigh. I smiled in the mirror and did a three-sixty to look at my full reflection.
“I like the color.”
I turned around to greet Charlie. “Thanks.” I looked down at his brown eyes.
“I don’t have a good feeling about tonight.”
“Oh, why?” I asked.
“I just have a feeling like something bad will happen,” Charlie stated.
“I’m sure everything will be fine.”
A knock on the door stopped Charlie from speaking any further. “Who are you speaking to?” Alec asked on the other side of the door.
I quickly opened the door and glared at him, “Where were you? You didn’t even come back to the house to sleep in a couple of days.”
“You’ll figure it out soon.” He said.
“That sounds horrible.”
“Horrible?” He questioned.
“It sounds like your planning to kill me.” I joked.
He scoffed, “Now who has trust issues.” Alec rolled his eyes.
“You are damn right I have trust issues.” I crossed my arms.
“What? And I can’t?”
“No. You have no reason too.” I told him.
He glared at me and argued, “Oh so I have no reasons to have trust issues with other people.”
“Not with me.”
His eyes narrowed. “You look beautiful,” He complimented me. I looked at him and the anger of not seeing him subsided.
“Thanks. You look handsome as well.” I complimented him too. He truly looked handsome. He wore a button up dress shirt that matched the color of my dress, and he had a dark pair of blue jeans on. His hair must have been recently cut and there was a light stubble on his face. His arm wrapped around my shoulders, but his stance was a little stiff. He escorted me outside of the house and into the woods. His stiff arm never relaxed on my shoulder.
“Do you even know how to hold another girl?” I asked.
“Hm? What do you mean?” He asked as we stepped over fallen branches. Since I had no idea where we were going I carefully watched my step, and it didn’t help that the sun was setting. We were on a foreign trail to me.
“Well obviously you know how to fuck, do you know how to be romantic or at least less awkward.” I flat out stated.
“No.” His single word answer made me roll my eyes.
When I stopped moving my feet, he did too. I grabbed his hand and moved it down to my waist. “At least we look like a couple now,” I said in victory. He didn’t say anything so I looked up to him. I notice that his eyes looked glossy- like he was thinking really hard about something. “Are you okay?” I asked as we continued to walk on the never-ending trail.
He didn’t respond verbally, all he did was nod his head. His posture remained stiff but at least we were closer together.
“Have you ever held a girl like this before?” I curiously asked.
His answer surprised me. “Really? Who?”
“You don’t have to worry about her.” Alec lifted up a big branch and allowed me to walk first.
“Did you love her?”
“I did, but not anymore.” He answered.
“Did she die?” I asked. Maybe she died in the war.
“I don’t know where she is at. Let’s not talk about her.” Alec sternly stated.
“Sorry,” I muttered an apology.
A few moments of silent went by until he spoke, “Are you excited?”
“Mainly nervous,” I answered.
“Nonsense they will adore you.” He looked at me up and down.
“Mhm, sure,” I said sarcastically. “Just don’t make me speak.”
He chuckled, “I understand that. I have a huge pack. We recently reached our highest in numbers. Two thousand five hundred and forty-one wolves.”
“Oh wow. I think I’m just going to move to a different pack.” I said.
His arm tightened around my waist, “No.” He growled out. His golden eyes came out to play. “I just got you back.” His voice was deeper and I could tell that Lucian was talking.
“Relax Luci, I’m here for good.” I chuckled and continued walking leaving him behind. I heard growling and heavy footsteps.
“Luci!” His wolf spat out the word like it was an insult. I laughed. Suddenly a strong hand grabbed mine and pulled me back forcefully. My back crashed into Alec’s chest. “Be careful what you call me or I might have to punish you,” Lucian whispered in my ear and I shivered. He started to kiss my neck but I stopped him by turning around to face him. “You should let me met her,” Lucian said.
“Who?” I asked.
“Your wolf. I haven’t spoken to her yet.” Lucian said.
I started walking on the trail to hide my face from him. “She doesn’t want to see you yet,” I said when my back was toward him.
The rest of the walk was silent. When we got to the end of the trail I could hear laughing, talking, and light music. Before we stepped out into the open Alec wrapped his arm around my waist. The pack stopped chattering and stared at us. An elderly couple began clapping and soon everyone followed. I smiled at everyone and scanned the entire crowd. I easily picked out Damon, Alice, Lily, and Miranda- my only friends so far.
The clapping quieted down and Alec spoke, “We shall do the blood binding right away. My mate and I won’t stay long because we have business to take care of together,” Alec was interrupted when some whistles and cheers were heard amongst the crowd. I laughed at the crowd’s reaction but began to wonder what he was talking about. He didn’t mention anything about business to me. He grinned like a Cheshire cat, “After the binding, we will stick around for thirty minutes, but everyone is more than welcomed to enjoy the rest of the ceremony.”
I admired the way he flawlessly spoke with dominance. Then again, I am sure Alec had a lot of practice, but he just seemed like a natural pro. Alec held my hand as he led me up on a stage. I peered out into the crowd. White party tents were set up in the open fields with food, decorations, and people all around. Black torches were placed at every corner so everyone could see in the dark. All the women were wearing beautiful white dresses and the men wore white dress shirts. Most of them wore jeans but some had dress pants on.
On the stage, Alec and I approached a table. I knew how blood binding ceremonies worked, I been to many in my old pack. It’s a very common tradition because the mate’s of previous pack members had to join somehow. I noticed the medium-sized bowl with the crimson-colored liquid right away. Everyone in the pack had put at least two drops of their own blood in the bowl. Then Alec would take a knife across my hand so my blood could be mixed into the bowl. Lastly, Alec would do the same to his hand, and that’s how the pack link would be sealed. It was as easy as that.
“Do you, Leah Indica, accept your responsibility to be the Luna of the Knine Pack. You understand that your link with your old pack will no longer exist?” Alec’s voice was loud and bold so everyone could hear it.
What Alec didn’t understand was that my link to my old pack was already destroyed when my wolf died. This would be the first time, as a witch, that I would join a pack. “I understand and I accept.”
The pack erupted in cheers that could be heard a mile away. It was so loud I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts. Alec picked up the short knife, and he quickly swiped it across my hand. I restrained myself from hissing in pain. Thankfully, it was quick. I guided my hand over the bowl so my blood could mix. Alec nodded his head signaling that it was enough, and I brought my hand to my side. I need to wait until Alec was distracted.
Alec cut his hand deeper than mine, and I took this as the opportunity. I made sure my hand was hidden by the table and then I healed myself. I felt my hand began to heat as it turned to a shade of red, yet no flames were produced.
“Indica, you are officially the Luna of the Knine Pack,” Alec said and everyone cheered once again. I smiled pleasantly at my new pack. I felt proud of myself because I was officially the Luna. At that point, I felt more at ease with Alec. I felt a little dizzy as voices in the new mindlink began to flood into my mind. I was happy that I finally gained back a power that I had lost, but right now it was too overwhelming. Temporarily, I blocked the mindlink.
When the crowd died down Alec gave his final speech. “This applies to everyone: As my mate and your Luna, no one will disrespect her. There will be serious punishments for who shall break those rules. She has the same power as me, and I expect that no one will undermine her.” Alec spoke with great power. “Continue with the ceremony.” As soon as Alec said that everyone began to carry on with the party.
Alec and I got off stage and immediately there was a huge line of wolves waiting to greet us. I was introduced to many pack members and I shook more hands that I could count. I personally talked to most of the women and men and they seemed to love me. Everywhere I turned it seemed like someone wanted my attention, and I was okay with that. It was great to meet so many nice people who could easily accept and love you. Random children ran up to me and hugged me while claiming, “Finally you are here!” or “We waited so long!”
It was easy to say that everyone craved a female leader because I didn’t get more than two seconds to myself. It was like I was the most popular girl in high school. Alec was off in the distance watching me talk to pack members with a faint smile on his lips. Every few seconds I searched for him and he was staring directly at me.
Sadly, my little time spent with my new pack came to an end when Alec approached me. I was in the middle of talking to a crowd of people but I knew he was there when everyone instantly stopped talking and backed away. “I have something to show you.” A muscular arm slithered around my waist.
I followed Alec as he led me into the forest on another completely different trail. “See this is the part where you kill me.” I laughed and my voice was filled with happiness due to the well needed social time.
“Haha, very funny.” He jokingly mocked. “Do you like them?”
“I love them! I’m going to spend every day with my new family members.” I was so thrilled to be around so many people that I completely forgot about my nervousness. It felt natural to me but it made me miss my old pack at times.
“What about me?” Alec asked.
“I’ll spend time with you too,” I told him.
I could see a bright light in the distance that contrasted against the dark woods. “What are we doing?” I asked.
“Is this the business you were talking about?” I asked and he ignored me.
We finally reached the light and my eyes widened. “Is this why I haven’t seen you lately?” I asked.
“Yes, I was busy talking to Alice and Damon to plan this.”
“It is beautiful!” I exclaimed.
I studied the white fuzzy blanket on the grass. Red and black candles were placed around the blanket in the form of a heart. There must have been at least a hundred candles. A big weave basket was in the center of the blanket. Alec stepped over the candles and reached out his hand for me to take. I grabbed his hand and stepped into the heart with him.
“I didn’t know you could be romantic,” I said.
“You don’t know a lot of things about me. Like how you are the first girl that I ever took out on a date.”
“Awe. That’s sweet.”
We sat down and stared at each other for a second. “I love your eyes.” Alec stared into my green orbs like he was amazed.
“I love yours more,” I told him.
Alec took the food that was in the basket and unwrapped it. He lifted two plates and two cups out of the basket along with champagne. “You like champagne?” He asked and I nodded.
He handed me the bottle and cups and I poured them into glasses. “I really like this idea. What is that?” I asked Alec as he served the plates with two different types of food.
“Sarmale and Julfa with Walnut Mousse. One of my mom’s favorites. I learned out to make this when I was young.”
“It has been a while since I’ve had that,” I commented.
“I hope you like it.” He smiled brightly at me. He looked down at the plate once more and I noticed something on his face. It must have been the light given off from the candles that allowed me to see that he had a very thin scar that ran from the bridge of his nose down to his cheek. It was almost unnoticeable.
Alec handed me my plate and I handed him the other cup. We enjoyed the nicely put together meal before we had any conversation.
“Who made this?” Whoever made this food had serious talent.
“I did, but Alice helped,” Alec said.
“It is wonderful.” I complimented.
Alec tilted his head to the side, “Tell me something about yourself. I hardly know anything about you.”
“Um, okay. I have three brothers. Chris is the oldest, Nick is a few years younger than me, and my favorite brother is Blake. He’s six. My best friend is Xena. Hey! I just thought of something- can I visit them soon?” I asked. I couldn’t remember if I told him that before, but nothing was really interesting about my life. Besides, the only interesting things about me was the information that I could not tell him yet.
“You could come with me.”
“I’d like that very much,” Alec said.
“What about you? Tell me something about you that I don’t know.” I told him.
“Well, I like to go fishing and hunting. Maybe one day we could do that together?” He offered.
“That would be fun.”
“I also like to read- as weird as that sounds. I use to be able to play the guitar too.” He told me.
“I wanna hear you sometime,” I said.
“That was a long time ago. I’m probably no good now.” He said.
“Would I be able to have a greenhouse? I always wanted one.” I asked out of the blue.
“You really want one?”
“Yeah, why not?”
“Nothing wrong with that. I could help you get that. I can have one by next week.”
“Really, that fast?”
“Anything for you. Oh and I forgot to tell that you need a bodyguard while I’m away doing business. Sometimes I won’t be there during the day.”
“Is that necessary?” I asked.
“Very. Hear me out- Damon agreed to do it. I thought it was better for him to guard you because you know him and he would be the strongest in the pack since he was alpha blood.”
“Okay, I’m actually fine with that now.”
“I thought you would be.” He agreed. The moment then got very intimate. My green eyes met his brown eyes, and it was like we were entranced in each other. Gravity was pulling us closer together and soon our lips were centimeters away from touching. My eyes glanced at his lips and quickly returned to his brown eyes.
The moment was crushed when he pulled away quickly. Alec’s eyes glazed over and his head tilted to the side, almost like he was hearing something.
“Shift!” He commanded me. He rose to his feet like lightning and shifted to his wolf. His massive wolf ran to the direction of the ceremony with loud snarls and growling erupting from his mouth. He moved quicker than my mind could adjust to what happened, and the light to the candles went out due to his wolf’s speed. I was left in darkness, alone in the woods.
“What the hell?” I muttered.
“Leah! Quick you have to go. Rogues are attacking the pack. There are many of them.” Charlie appeared and urgently told me. I immediately got up, but I couldn’t see because it was too dark. I raised my hand and created a flame in my palm to light the way.
As I neared the forest line the screams of people became louder and there were multiple sobs that rang through the night sky. I extinguished the flame and ran to the edge of the woods. I was around to run out into the field and help fight off rogues, but then I stopped. I had to play this smartly because everyone assumed I was a wolf. I would be able to fight better if I stayed hidden and used magic.
It was hard to spot out any rogues because everyone was running around. However, I did see Alec destroying rogues left and right, and other wolves in the pack were helping to defend the pack. For the most part, they had the situation handled, but then I heard a loud scream. My head immediately snapped toward the left. A vicious looking rogue had a child and a pregnant woman trapped in a corner. As the wolf pounced I raised my hand slightly and the wolf stopped in mid-air. I almost laughed at the shocked look on the wolves face as his head scanned all around him in the air. The eyes of the kid and woman widened in surprise but then looked relief.
I chanted a spell while staring at the wolf and watched as he whimpered in pain. I lowered him to the ground so it was less noticeable because he was pathetically whimpering and attracting attention. Within two minutes he was dead because his blood was boiling inside of his body. It was like he was being baked in an oven.
I scanned the area for more rogues and when I found one I repeated the steps. Soon the only rogue left retreated into the other side of the woods and two of our wolves went after him. As the screaming subsided, everyone quickly ran to hug their loved ones. I walked out into the clearing to finally make sure everyone was fine.
As I walked to the crowd of people I was engulfed into a crushing hug. “Where were you?” A harsh voice demanded. I looked up at Alec who had shorts but no shirt.
“I was coming! I didn’t know there were rogues.” I gasped.
“You should have heard them!” He shook my shoulder and whispered so no one could hear. A cry of pain interrupted us. Immediately we scanned the area and found a small circle starting to form. People began to rush up to the scene but as Alec and I moved to get a closer look, everyone moved out of the way. A teenage looking girl laid on the floor with a deep gash in her stomach. Sweat was all over her body and she ended up passing out.
The pack doctors rushed up to the scene in their formal attire to assist her. The next couple minutes seemed to pass by in a blur. I felt an extreme amount of pain inside. I hated seeing people hurt especially my new pack members. I never felt this amount of pain before and I doubled over in pain. Maybe this was the pain that Insuvai was talking about. I shook my head at the thought. Something inside of me told me that it was not the case. Everything began to dull around me and fade away.
A hand rested on my back pulling me back into reality, “Leah, are you alright?” I looked up at the source of the voice. Everything seemed so dizzy, and the world started to spin.
I tried to resist the feeling of throwing up. “What?” I asked confused. I looked around and realized I was in my room. I don’t remember even going to my room. “How did I get here? I thought we were at the ceremony?” I confusingly asked. He must have seen my facial expression because suddenly I was lifted into his arms and placed into my bed with him. I hugged him tightly not wanting to let go.
“Baby, that was three hours ago. You have been zoning out off and on.” Alec explained.
“What?” None of this registered in my mind but Alec seemed to understand.
“Shhh.” He said while soothingly rubbed my head. “Everything will be okay.” He consoled me.
“What is happening?” I was then overwhelmed by sadness.
“You’re still a new Luna, this happens to all Lunas and Alphas. It’s something that can be managed in the future, like blocking the mindlink. Anyway everytime someone dies in the pack this happens to us.” He explained with empathy in his eyes.
“Why are you not?”
“I learned to block the pain, but it still hurts emotionally.” He admitted, “Get some sleep, we have a big day tomorrow.”