Luna's Gift Ch. 01bywhimsical_wishing©
The night was clear with millions of stars twinkling brightly. Jake stood on the balcony that connected to his room and looked across the pack lands.
The air smells so wonderful up here, he thought as he brushed his sandy brown hair out of his dark brown eyes. His deeply tanned skin hid the fact he had spent the last couple of months shut inside, away from home, finishing his education. He rested his arms on the railing and admired the view. The forest was his first love. There were acres and acres of rocks, grass, trees, and animals. Not to mention the clear blue lake just a mile from the pack's home. The lake was huge and he could remember spending hours there as a kid swimming and exploring the caves nearby with his friends. It was the best place to grow up, especially for his wolf half. He was grateful that he had finished school and could remain here.
With the exception of my father's most recent decision, tonight would have been perfect. I wish I could just enjoy being back.
There was a knock at the door. Jake turned to see his best friend stride through it quickly.
"Dude! Everyone's down at the Circle!" Mitch said. "You know it's the your-dad-is-stepping-down-as-alpha-making-you-the-new-alpha ceremony. I thought YOU out of all of us would definitely get an invitation?"
Jake rolled his eyes and huffed as he turned back to look out at the forest.
"Aw, come on Jake I'm just messin' with you. What's got you so down, man?"
Jake, not bothering to turn and look at his friend, groaned, "I don't know. I just feel as if a boulder is about to be placed on my shoulders. There is a lot responsibility being the alpha. I don't know how to be the leader that my people need me to be. I don't want to let anyone down...and I don't know if I can be as good an alpha my dad is."
"Jake, nobody is expecting you to be your dad. You'll do a great job all on your own. You're one of the best fighters I've seen. You'll have no problem protecting our pack. And if you do need help I'm sure your dad and the elders will be the first to give you advise."
Mitch leaned back against the rail. He knew when his friend needed him to be serious, but he couldn't resist giving his friend a hard time, "Look on the bright side man, at least now you'll have even more hot tails chasing after you!"
Jake turned, giving Mitch a lopsided smile. Leave it to Mitch to think about sex at a time like this.
"I can hear it now." Mitch continues now mimicking a high female voice, "Have you girls seen the new Hamilton Alpha? Oh my, Jake is soooo cute! He's tall, dark, handsome and great...."
"Well as my newly appointed beta I'm sure you will be getting the same treatment!" Jake said wanting to interrupt. He looked over to see Mitch's blue eyes go wide with delight at this unexpected announcement.
"What are we still doing up here then! Lets get this party started so we can introduce ourselves with the neighboring packs!"
Making their way downstairs, Mitch double-checked his shirt was still nicely tucked and Jake straightened his tie. Tonight everyone wore the best to welcome in their new alpha.
Making his way over to the duo, Jake's father Aaron smiled. There is no separating those two, is there!
"Are you ready son?"
"Ready as I'll ever be."
Aaron put his arms around his son as they headed outside. They followed the path down, each one lost in their own thoughts, until they came to the Circle. This site was aptly named because it was formed by a gently sloping crescent shaped hill. This was the site where all their ceremonies and challenges took place. There was enough space at the base of the hill for their warriors to practice their fighting skills or declare challenges, but small enough that spectators could sit on the sloping sides and watch the movements of any participant with ease. It was on this hill that the entire pack mingled while waiting for their alpha.
As the trio entered, the pack sat on boulders, fallen trees, and blankets laid out hours before. When everyone was seated Aaron stepped forward smiling.
Traditions are a funny thing. He thought. Here we all are dressed to the nines in the middle of our forest without shoes or socks! Ah well, the only time we seem to dress up is for these kinds of ceremonies. Maybe our ancestors needed a reason to dress up. This as good a reason as any I guess...
"It is with great pride that I welcome back my son Jake from school. I know I had doubts he would ever graduate." There were a few chuckles at this remark. Jake looked down, embarrassed. "But now that his 30th birthday has pasted it is time that he take his rightful place as the head of this pack. Are there any who doubt his ability to lead this pack?"
A large man near the bottom of the hill stood. "I challenge Jacob. Let him prove to us he has the strength to lead this pack."
Jake took a step forward. He knew that Damion, the man who stood and was now moving toward him, was his dad's beta. He had only challenged Jake because tradition demanded that the new alpha prove himself to his pack. Even with this knowledge Jake's wolf was still incited. I AM the rightful alpha.
Both men removed their clothing and swiftly shifted to their wolf's form. Jake's mocha brown wolf circled with Damion's tan wolf. The wolves fought back and forth for almost twenty minutes before Jake bit down on Damion's throat forcing him to surrender. Both wolves grinned, pleased with the outcome. The entire pack stood, removed their clothing, and shifted into wolves.
"I would like to introduce the new alpha: Alpha Jacob Hamilton." Aaron shouted over the howling and yipping.
Jake took off in a brisk run around the pack lands with the pack following close behind. His final part in the ceremony was to lead the pack in a lap around their territory; ending back at the Alpha's home where the party would officially get started. Under the full moon both forms of his pack would run, eat, drink, and be merry!
Jake and the pack rounded the hill coming into the Circle. Some changed forms and put on their clothes; others simply grabbed their clothes in their mouths and hurried off to the Alpha's house. Jake moved slowly, watching his pack's excitement at what was to come. He looked up at the sky noticing the moon had not quite reached the highest point in the sky. Since the party wouldn't start until that point he knew that he had a few moments to sit in the Circle and enjoy the peaceful night.
Aaron saw his son sitting at the base of the hill inside the Circle and sat down slowly by his son, "How are you feeling?" He asked.
Aaron chuckled, "I know how you felt. But hopefully what I have to tell you will help a little."
Jake turned to look fully at his father. Aaron was grinning from ear to ear.
"What do you know of our goddess?"
Jake was confused, this was the last thing he expected his father to ask. Growing up each child was taught of the Goddess Luna. There was so much he was taught, but not knowing what his father was looking for Jake just covered the basics. "Well, she created this world and everything in it. We make sacrifices to her on the first full moon of the new year; and because of her love of the moon she is called Luna. Though she has a more formal name that we do not use. She watches us and protects us.... I'm not sure what else you're looking for."
"Can you tell me how she protects us?"
Jake opened his mouth to answer but closed it unable to answer. It took a few moments before he answered, "I can't give you a specific example."
Aaron smiled, "As an alpha there is something the Goddess gives us to help us rule. It is one of an alpha's most closely guarded secret." He paused, "We guard this secret above all else so that none can take or use what is ours. The night an alpha is called to lead his pack the Goddess Luna bestows him a gift that will help that alpha during his reign."
Jake stared at his father like he had grown a second head. He couldn't believe what his father just told him. Wow, I wonder my father got from Luna.
"Before the moon reaches it pinnacle you need to be beside the lake. It is there Luna will give you something meant just for you. What she gives differs for each alpha and has proven invaluable to that alpha. Now I know you have a lot of questions but it is almost time and you need to be at the lake to receive your gift. You may ask me one question, the rest can wait until you get back."
Jake couldn't hold his questions back, "What did you get from Luna? Grandfather? Has an alpha ever not received a gift from Luna? What if I don't? How will I know the gift when I see it?"
Aaron laughed out loud at his son's questions. "I believe that was more than one question." He chuckled again. "Some gifts are easier to recognize than others, however there will be a glowing light above where Luna has placed your gift. When your grandfather went to the lake he noticed a light, much like the moon, but it was on the shoreline near the lake. When he reached the light he noticed a pendant lying on a rock. The pendant, it turned out, would get really warm when it sensed anyone who wished to do our family harm. At this point in our history treachery was running rampant through the packs. The pendant saved your grandparent's lives on many occasion. However, not every alpha gets a physical gift. Luna gave me the power to tell when someone was lying to me. Which is why you were never able to get away with much growing up! Every alpha from our family line has received a gift from Luna, but I am sure if an alpha had displeased the Goddess she would not bestow them a gift. Now you must get to the lake quickly. The moon will shortly reach its highest point and you don't want to miss out on your gift do you? We can talk about any other questions you may have when you get back home, okay?"
Aaron looked at his son with pride; he knew Jake would receive something amazing from Luna. With that thought he added one last warning, "Remember whatever Luna gives you will be of great importance not only during your reign as alpha but afterwards as well. Guard it well."
Jake gave his father one quick nod before racing off toward the lake with the wind pushing him forward. It seems someone else is also anxious for me to get my gift. He laughed to himself. I wonder what Luna will give me? There has been peace between the packs since his grandfather's reign, but that doesn't mean a pendant that warns when danger is near wouldn't be beneficial. Although being able to tell when someone lied to me would also be great. He thought of all those times he had lied to his father. Most of the time they had been little white lies, but sometimes as a child he had lied to get out of trouble. No wonder I could never get away with anything around him. He smiled with chagrin. He was relieved that Luna would give him something that would help him. Jake would take all the help he could get to be the best leader he could for his pack.
As Jake reached the top of the hill and looked over at the lake quickly, he felt a wave of panic. He couldn't see a moonlight-like glow off on the shore. Slowly his eyes roamed again over every inch of the shore. At last his eyes found the pulsing glow on the edge of the lake nearest him. The light was fading with each pulse so Jake put in a burst of speed, his eyes never leaving the spot where the light was. The light had completely faded before he could reach it. In its place he saw a large black cloth lying mostly in the water. I wonder if Luna gave a cloak of invincibility...or invisibility.
As Jake got within 100 meters his steps slowed to a walk. His skin could feel the vibrations of the magic, or whatever you called what Luna did to bring him his gift. The sudden movement of the black fabric stopped him entirely. What the...
The smallest, palest arm he had ever seen lifted the black fabric off her head as she sat up slowly and looked around. She turned onto her hands and knees, steading herself before she pushed off the ground to stand.
Dazed, he didn't realize he had started moving towards her again. Understanding dawned on him: the black fabric he noticed before was a long flow-y halter dress that covered her body. Her hand moved over her body as if realizing the exact same thing. The top of the dress clung to her like second skin until it reached below her hips; then it suddenly flared out cascading into a mass at her feet. She was still unaware of his presence as he continued forward taking in her features and burning them into his memory. Her skin was so pale; it seemed to glow in the moonlight. Has her skin ever seen the sunlight before? Is this the Goddess herself?
She turned towards the lake. Her hands running through her long dark hair, pulling it to one side and wringing water out of it. He noticed her dress was backless, the fabric only covering her small butt and legs. Her entire body seemed small; the only thing she seemed to have a lot of was hair. It reached all the way down to her waist. She was no more than 5'4" and maybe 120 pounds soaking wet. He smirked at his own joke. Suddenly her body shook violently. He was close enough now to notice how her skin was covered in goose bumps. It is a little breezy and she is soaked, but she shouldn't be this cold! She must be very delicate.
Just then she turned to take a step toward him but stopped suddenly when she spotted him. Her eyes went wide. He noticed her dress had a slit up one side that ended at her upper thigh before she took a step back removing her leg from his view. He also noticed the front of the dress was almost as low as the back. He gazed at her breasts. They were not huge by any means, but neither were they small. They're perfect...she's absolutely beautiful. Damn, now what am I suppose to do? Is this Luna? Is she here to give me my gift? Should I kneel? Dad didn't say anything about someone being here. Should I take her to the house? His mind swirled with unanswered questions. Her shaking increased, he knew he should do something but he didn't know what?
The wind changed directions blowing her scent towards him. The ferocity of his feelings would have stunned him if he were able to think beyond one word: MINE!
Rylan woke slowly. It was hard for her to concentrate on the world around her. She felt like the Earth was spinning. Is this what it feels like to be hung over? I don't even remember drinking.
Concentrating on her body she become aware of the fact that she was cold and soaking wet. Slowly she opened her eyes. Nothing changed- everything around her was still black. She lifted a hand. As her fingers touched the fabric she pushed it down off her face. Stars and a bright full moon met her eyes. As she sat up she noted she was sitting on the edge of a lake. Turning on her hands and knees she took a deep breath to steady herself. Her head still swam but she was determined to get out of the water, if only to get somewhere warm.
As she stood she felt a weight pull down on her body. She glanced down seeing for the first time what she was dressed in. Well no wonder I'm freezing my buns off! The dress was made of some kind of silky stuff with lace on top of it. The fabric was lightweight but the amount of fabric, especially at the bottom, weighed her down.
This dress must weigh at least 20 pounds. She thought. Wow and I have basically nothing covering the top half of me. Looking down she saw the dress flowed beautifully up her hips, around her breasts, and hung around her neck. The neckline was an inverted triangle, leaving a generous amount of skin showing. It's a good thing this dress is so tight otherwise it would leave me very exposed. Maybe I could wring out the bottom of the dress and wrap it around me, there seems to yards and yards of fabric below the surface of the water.
She looked out at the lake taking in her surroundings. Okay nothing looks familiar. I don't see anybody. Please, please, please let me be close to civilization. I know I can't make fire by rubbing sticks together. I'm definitely not that skilled!
While pondering her situation she moved her hands to her hair to get the majority of the water out. Okay first thing's first. Get dry then go looking for help. A shudder wracked her body. On second thought maybe I should find help sooner rather than later. Turning to move out of the water she spotted a man only a few feet from her. She unconsciously took a step back. Her mind kicked into overdrive. How did I not hear or see him approach? How long has he been standing there? Wow is he is HUGE! Who is he? Do I dare ask him for help? What if I don't want his kind of 'help'? Man is he is gorgeous. Her eyes quickly roamed over his features. It was too dark to make out every detail, but she did notice he wore a black button up shirt, black pants, and a silver tie. No shoes or socks... weird.
As her body started shaking harder from the cold she knew she had to ask for his help. Hopefully he would take pity on her and help, or at least tell her where she could find a phone. But before she could open he mouth the wind changed directions making her shake harder. His face once curious, if a little dazed, now took on a predatory glare.
Fear gripped her. The edges of her sight began to dim until finally the little hold she had was lost and everything went black.