My mind was at peace for a while as I watched us sit in the snow, stare at the setting sun. Nothing could have woken me from this bliss; except for a faint voice which was carried from nearby.
“Cole…” It called gently, I felt my eyelid twitch.
It’s probably just Maxene.
“Cole,” it called again. My eyes opened slightly. The sky had changed from the mid afternoon to a warm apricot and the air was slightly cooler. In awe I slowly sat up placing my hand on a plant. I looked at it; a white flower was crushed under my hand. I swung around to see hundreds upon hundreds of these flowers growing behind me and up the bank. They were spread out until a few metres away from the edge, round petals with jagged edges as well as being orange and a pale pink.
I slowly got to my feet, something in the peripheral of my eye. Turning I looked to my left and gaped. Standing less than a kilometre away from me was her. Dressed in white crop jeans, a red t-shirt with puffy short sleeves, her hair seemed lighter than usual; or was it because she seemed to be darker than before, no longer the pale white but now a soft gold tan.
My heart started racing like never before.
“Luna?” I asked aloud. She didn’t respond, but I did. I walked towards her, hurrying as it became clearer who it was.
Then I realised something. I stopped several metres before her, close enough to see the detail in her being.
“No, for all I know this could be a dream and I’ll wake up to find you not there.” I clenched my fists at my side, the idea of it made me sick. As much as I wanted to go to her, something, guilt maybe was keeping me back.
“Luna I…” I took a deep breath gazing away for a moment, “I...I really, truly wish that this was not a dream right now, because I could not bear it…” My fists started to shake, she remained still.
“I…I could have helped you. Protected you, saved you from those mangy dogs…But I failed,” I slowly swallowed a lump that had built up in my throat.
“I failed in my duty as your protector as your shield and as your wolf.” Her eyes looked somewhat misty.
“Forgive me,” I said with great remorse, “for not being there when I should have…For putting my tail in between my legs and running away from you!” Another lump had managed to form which I found harder to swallow than the first.
“I….I….I…..I miss you, Luna. Damn it I miss you and I still do,” I said finally gazing back at her feeling something wrong with my eyes. Her eyes reflected something deep back at mine.
Just as I felt I was unable to take anymore she spoke, “Cole,” she said with tenderness, “I’m glad that you were able to say this and I’ve already forgiven you for it. But the truth is…Cole I’m really here.”
Something in my mind seemed to snap, like a thread of despair.
“You’re really here?” I asked hope glimmering deep down inside as well as shock and some annoyance as to bearing my soul to her. She nodded before continuing.
“Yes Cole, to be brutally honest. The wolves did not kill me, I was really somewhere else at the time, being prepared for the hard months.”
“But then…Then what the hell did I see?” I asked.
“It was an illusion created, to confuse and convince you that I was really gone.” I didn’t understand, illusions didn’t just happen something or someone was always behind them as my mother had taught me.
“Who made the illusion?” I suddenly demanded, slightly peeved. A small smile came to her face, “you’ll have to ask her for yourself.” My eyes became wide as it made sense.
Why, the old hag! How dare she play tricks on me like that!
“Nana Shima did it!” I snapped bitterly, Luna nodded gently.
“But why would she do that?” I asked.
“Because you hated who you were and she wanted you to accept and cherish the part of you that not many know or see,” she said the smile starting to fade as she said, “and I wasn’t helping you in that way, so she suggested that I disappear for a while.”
“The old hag doesn’t know what I need!” I said wishing I could tear the old woman’s throat out, “there’s only one thing I need in this life and it’s you!”
“And it’s the same for me,” Luna said calmly, “but there was a greater purpose in which you were needed and you did that by meeting Jay and Bronson, fixing things with Maxene and fighting with them; as their alpha.” I had no idea what to say to this so I stayed silent.
“But Cole…” She began after a while, “there’s something which I couldn’t tell you…The thing is…I was attacked by the wolves but before they could destroy me that kind lady. Nana Shima, she saved my life, but it was at a cost.” She swallowed as she added, “the cost was, and I became a walker too. I could not go back to the way I was before all this; I’m now permanently changed into being half person, half creature.”
This caught me off guard and I had to ask her, “but your form…. What were you?” She smiled again, “who else could know your heart better than anyone but yourself?” My heart started to pound as it made sense.
Of course…It was her all along I realised, she was with me all the time.
“So…. What’s going to happen now?” I asked feeling better. She looked at me with that expression I knew could only be answered with one word. The look you get when you know something special is about to happen.
“Cole.” She said moving towards me.
She was here!
“Luna!” I called starting to jog towards her. We stopped at a point and I took her in my arms, spinning us around as we embraced like nothing ever experienced. I lowered her down a little our eyes interlocked as she held on around my neck. We span some more until I was not aware of a rock lying around and I tripped hurling us into the field of flowers.
We landed with a gentle thud. I quickly sat up, I was on top of Luna diagonally and she was lying straight.
“Luna,” I said hastily moving off her as if she were a fragile object, my face about several inches away from hers “are you alright?” As I moved off her, I felt a warm touch to my face. Her soft hand was against my cheek.
“Let’s…Just stay like this, for a while longer,” before too long, my face lowered itself onto hers. Our lips interlocked and retracted slowly.
I clasped her in my embrace, letting nothing slide between us but our breaths while we stayed in our ecstasy, eyes shut tight, contact moving only between our mouths, while she clung onto my hair.
Man how I’d longed for it. But it couldn’t last. Before too long we came to our senses and lay on the grass next to each other staring at the setting sun.
“It’s been so long since we’ve been together like this,” Luna said turning to me.
“Yeah,” I responded before sitting up, she joined me, “but now it feels like it was barely even a moment.” She nodded, deep in thought.
“I’m glad to have you,” she said. Guessing the cue I slung my arm around her.
“Glad to have you too,” I responded as she leaned against my shoulder.
Soon we had to leave, “guess I better get you home,” I said standing and pulling her to her feet. We started to walk, (well we limped a little, for she had a sore ankle and I had been hurt too).
But this didn’t matter. Though I was still fuming at Nana Shima for lying to me and tricking me; somehow it actually helped. I’d made new friends in unexpected places, I’d gotten Luna back and I was now able to accept who I was. No longer ashamed of my inner monster or my morphing, I could cope with the fact that I was a werewolf. Be fine with being a rogue wolf.