tagNonHumanFondest Dreams Ch. 10

Fondest Dreams Ch. 10

bylilgirlsix©

Written by lilgirlsix and Archangel_M

Edited by Doctime

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lilgirlsix: I hope you've enjoyed this first attempt at collaboration. I know I did! It won't be the last. Please vote and comment.

Thank you, Doctime, for your patience with us and our idiosyncrasies. I hope we didn't drive you too terribly crazy. You did a wonderful job of keeping us on the ground when we got a little carried away.

AA, what can I say? Can't wait to write with you again!

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Archangel_M: All good things must come to an end.

I would be most honored and gratified to write with you again, LG6. (Translation: "Hell yeah!")

My music suggestion for this chapter is "To Far Away Times" by Yasunori Mitsuda. It's from the OST to the game Chrono Trigger. Should be easy to find.

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{Language Note: Hungarian and English dialogue are in plaintext (they occur separately), <and German dialogue is in carrots.> Thanks once again to Fräulein Anne for her help with the German!}

August 29, 1859

A little girl tugged on her mother's hand, pointing up at the large figure gliding over the square. "Mama, Mama! Was ist das?"

Her mother looked up and easily spotted the brown-and-gold bird. "Das ist ein Adler, mein Liebling," she explained, admiring the eagle just like her daughter. Birds of prey rarely flew over cities like Basel.

Little did she realize that this particular eagle had an appointment to keep. Gazing down with his telescopic sight, he picked out a deserted back alley and dove towards it. Alighting gracefully, the eagle shimmered and transformed into the well-dressed figure of Wilhelm von Helsing. He set off at once, the hobnails of his boots clicking loudly as he emerged into the beautiful, bustling city.

Willi noticed neither the bustle nor the beauty around him. He walked with his back rigidly erect, eyes seemingly fixed straight ahead. The expression on his face cleared the way in front of him; many people who jumped out of his path assumed that he was on his way to murder somebody.

He was not. He was on his way to do something even more painful.

He did not notice the carved chivalric figures gazing at him from the walls of Basler Münster—Basel Cathedral—even as he ascended its steps and passed through its massive doors. The sound of his footfalls echoed from the vaulted ceiling high above as he strode down the nave. It was noon, and there were only two other people in the entire cathedral, a pair of men who stood waiting for him.

Without a word, the men closed their eyes and bowed their heads, sweat rolling down their faces as they channeled fantastic amounts of power. A tall oval of white energy coalesced between them, shimmering in the afternoon light that filtered through the Cathedral's stained-glass windows.

Without breaking stride, Willi walked straight into the oval and vanished.

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Zsálya looked around and gasped. She was standing on a high, mossy ledge, looking out over a lush, verdant valley that stretched away below her. A few buildings of stone or crystal sat here and there in the grass, or reached up from the forest's grasp to gleam in the sun. The blue sky was dotted with a few puffy clouds, and the air temperature felt just perfect to her.

It was a place so beautiful that it almost hurt to behold.

Suddenly, someone took her hand, and she threaded her fingers through his automatically. She gasped again to see Willi standing beside her. "I have a body again!" she whispered as realization dawned. Both she and Willi were wearing simple, comfortable white robes. Zsálya flexed her fingers experimentally.

"A courtesy to you, Miss Zsálya," a beautiful voice explained.

Zsálya and Willi turned as one to behold a tall, blue-skinned figure smiling at them. "Zsálya, this is Archangel Zadkiel," Willi introduced her. "He will be your escort to the Endless Forest."

For a moment, all Zsálya could do was stare at the archangel's broad white wings and glowing golden eyes. Then she recovered and slipped her hand from Willi's so she could make a polite curtsy. "Pleased to meet you, Sir." She smiled politely as she looked around, bewildered. What is this place?"

"Everywhere and nowhere," Willi replied slowly.

Zsálya tilted her head to the side. "Let me rephrase. Are we on Earth, or in Heaven?" Zsálya had learned a tremendous amount from her time with Willi; a year ago she would have never known there was such a thing as Heaven.

"Yes."

"What?"

"Both... and neither."

"That makes no sense."

"This isn't precisely a place," the archangel cut in gently. "It's more of a concept given substance. Don't think about it overmuch, child. What's important is that this is where you and Sir Wilhelm will say your goodbyes."

Goodbye. Zsálya felt like she'd been punched in the stomach, and the air seemed to flee her lungs. Somehow, the realization that she wouldn't be with Willi anymore hadn't really sunk in. Her knees went weak, and tears brimmed in her blue eyes.

Sensing her distress, Willi turned and gathered Zsálya into his arms. She buried her face in the crook of his neck and sobbed, her entire body shaking. Zadkiel withdrew, and the human held his Were princess tightly to him, rubbing her back and stroking her silky black hair.

"I do not want to leave you, Willi," she finally gasped, hardly able to think. Inside, her wolf was howling mournfully, the noise echoing and re-echoing through her mind.

"Meine Liebe, look at me, bitte," Willi said as he slipped a finger under her chin, gently raising her eyes to his. "Listen well: you are not leaving me. You are going to your True Mate. Do you understand?"

Zsálya shook her head wordlessly from side to side and clung to him even more tightly.

Willi sighed softly, tears glimmering in his own eyes as he spoke. "Zsálya... you know how deeply I love you, and you know how wonderful our time together has been. Yet all of this is as nothing compared to what you will have with your True Mate. You and he will share a new blaze of love that will make ours seem like a candle, and you will have centuries of life to live that love together," Willi told her, his voice gentle, almost hypnotic. "You will have children, Zsálya. Please, you must set your gaze forward to your future, not backward to your past." Having finished his little speech without losing control, Willi rained kisses on Zsálya's forehead, cheeks, and hair.

As he spoke, Zsálya listened, tears streaming down her cheeks as she gazed into Willi's gorgeous eyes. Her wolf knew his words were correct, but she was as reluctant as the human to leave their 'knight in shining armor' behind. Both of Zsálya's selves knew, however, that Willi was correct.

The decision tore her heart in two, but Zsálya gathered her courage and nodded to Willi. She would go forward, to the Endless Forest.

But not without a proper goodbye. Seizing a double-fistful of Willi's long blond hair, Zsálya pulled his face down to hers and claimed his lips fiercely. They embraced more tightly than ever before, holding each other tightly enough to kill less sturdy beings. And they kissed, over and over, their minds touched, inundating each other in tides of love. Nothing they had shared before could rival the pure emotional intensity of these moments.

No words were spoken as Willi swept Zsálya's robe up her body and over her head. She reciprocated the gesture, then let her beloved guide her down to a supine position. The thick moss was like a mattress, wonderfully comfortable as Willi sank down into Zsálya's eager embrace. Their lips met once again, hands exploring well-known bodies for the final time. Unlike many of their lovemakings, there was no raw lust, no animal abandon. This was their last time together, and by unspoken, mutual consent it was to be a thing of love and tenderness.

Their bodies flowed together, male and female melding until they seemed as one being. When Willi's hardness slipped into Zsálya's welcoming body, it was the most natural thing in the world. Quiet sighs replaced the usual wanton moans, gentle caresses supplanted wild clawing. And yet it was the most passionate, intense sex the young couple had ever had.

Two pairs of blue eyes locked as a series of simultaneous orgasms crashed through their owners, leaving behind a twitching, cooing mass of flesh and emotion. They had been making love for hours, but it seemed like no time at all as they began to slowly, reluctantly disentangle themselves. No opportunity for a soft touch or a tiny kiss was ignored as they helped each other to their feet.

"May I say goodbye to your wolf now?" Willi asked softly. Zsálya shifted without a word, and a beautiful black wolf stared up at him with her big blue eyes. Willi dropped to his knees and hugged the wolf as fiercely as he had her human counterpart, running his fingers soothingly through her onyx fur. "Your human will not remember me when you are reborn," Willi told the wolf, "and that is for the best. You, however, will remember me in some measure, and for that I am grateful. I want you to know that I love you, always and forever.

"Also, I want you to remember that I will always look out for you in any way that I am able. I can make no guarantees, but you must remember this: if you ever find yourself in danger, with nowhere else to turn, call out for me as loudly as you can. No matter where I am or whether I am alive or dead, if it is physically possible I will come and help you." Willi pulled back so he could look into the wolf's eyes. "Do you understand, meine Liebe?"

The wolf nodded, then gave his cheek a solemn goodbye lick. Her ears were drooping and her tail was limp with sadness, but her strength and dignity were as powerful as ever. Willi was too proud of her to put his feelings into words. The two held gazes for another moment, then the wolf let her human come forward again.

The couple located their discarded robes and dressed each other before sharing a final embrace and kiss. Though they had not permitted themselves to think it at the time, their final lovemaking had been their true goodbye.

Zsálya and Willi were as ready to part as they would ever be. Sensing this, Zadkiel reappeared and stood near the cliff edge, hand outstretched to the little Werewolf.

Before he released his beloved, Willi leaned close to her ear. "Do not look back," he told her firmly. So many other things went unsaid, but Zsálya knew her human well and so she heard them all: I love you. I will miss you every moment for the rest of my life. I will never love anyone else. I wish you every good thing that life can hold.

Letting go of Willi's hand and taking the angel's was the hardest thing Zsálya ever did.

Willi spoke no further word, nor made any other sound at all. He just watched, a few tears burning their way down his cheeks, as Zadkiel led Zsálya through the swirling portal of energy which had formed at the edge of the precipice. He stood unmoving, staring after them for a long time, until the world began to spin around him. The dizziness finally became too much, and blackness claimed him.

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Willi woke to find himself home at Schloss Helsing, in his own bed. His face was wet with tears, which he ignored. The sound of the clock striking revealed that it was one o'clock in the morning. Aside from Senzir and a handful of sentries, the Schloss' inhabitants would all be abed. Sehr gut. It was nearly time to begin his end of the contract.

Dressing himself immaculately for the journey to come, Willi left his chambers and made his way slowly to the apex of the Southeast Tower, the Schloss' tallest. Upon reaching the top, he sat on the edge of the tower and hugged his knees to his chest, resting his chin upon them. Gazing at the full moon shining upon the sea, Willi began to cry. Silent tears became quiet sniffles, which escalated into wrenching, full-body sobs that sounded deafeningly loud in the still night air. He cried, alone, for hours on end, rocking himself backwards and forwards like a child.

Eventually the light of dawn rose over the sea. His tears ebbed, then ceased. He rubbed his face dry and clean, then stood and squared his shoulders, staring into the rising sun until he was forced to turn away, nearly blinded.

A seven-foot oval of swirling pink energy rose from the stone before him. It was a portal, waiting silently for him to step through into another world. There, he would perform his thousand years' service to Zadkiel's masters. Wilhelm heaved a long sigh, then squared his shoulders once more. When Wilhelm von Helsing passed through that portal, he left a part of his soul behind him. He neither cried nor laughed again, for the rest of his days.

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Zsálya awoke slowly, blinking in the rich sunlight that warmed her fur. The little black wolf was lying in a lush green meadow, though she could see a vast, vibrant forest in the distance. A thousand wonderful smells came to her nose, and she breathed deeply. How beautiful this place was! Willi and his friend Zadkiel had definitely been telling the truth.

Oh, Ancestors... Willi! Zsálya could feel his absence, like a hole in her heart. Already, she missed him so much! But she would obey his last request to her and look forward, not back.

A sudden movement caught Zsálya's eye, and she lifted her head and looked to the side. A beautiful red wolf was coming towards her through the meadow, her fur glossy and shimmering in the sunlight. She seemed so familiar... Zsálya felt that she should know her. And then the she-wolf bent her head and nuzzled Zsálya, her eyes shining with purest love.

Realization came.

Momma?

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Present Day (the morning after Out of Darkness chapter 17 ends)

For the first time in what felt like forever, Carr Baxter had a normal morning. He was able to rise at a decent hour and go through his morning routine without any interruptions. His mate, Lee, joined him to go down to breakfast, and he took her hand as they shared a special smile. All the threats were ended, the remainder of their guests would be departing over the course of the day, and very soon the compound would have its own little baby boom. The sense of relief that the alpha couple felt was almost overwhelming, even if it was tempered by still-fresh grief over their lost pack members.

The calm lasted just long enough for a leisurely breakfast. Carr had just walked into his office to start catching up on the pack's financial holdings when Steve, one of the betas on monitor duty, spoke to him through the pack bond.

Alpha, a white minivan just parked at the side of the road, right at our outer surveillance perimeter.

Carr closed his eyes and sighed. What's it doing?

Just sitting there, right in the middle of the camera's field of view. It's like they want to announce themselves. Colorado plates. Looks like a rental.

Can you tell how many people?

Two in the front seat; male, I think. Passenger's wearing a suit, driver is business-casual. Can't see into the back.

Keep watching, and double-check the rest of the perimeter. Brett, are you up yet? Carr asked another of his betas through the bond. Take three and prep an SUV, but don't go anywhere yet.

You got it, Carr.

Somehow, Carr knew it was going to be a long day after all. Not dangerous—he prayed—just long. No rest for the weary.

As if on cue, the phone on Carr's desk rang.

Only pack members used that number, and he didn't have anyone outside of easy thought range at the moment. Frowning, Carr picked up the receiver. "Hello?"

"May I speak to Carr Baxter, please?" A man's voice, with a slight accent that Carr couldn't quite place.

"This is he. May I ask who's calling?"

"Good morning, Alpha Baxter. My name is Edward von Helsing. I apologize for the lack of notice, but I would like to meet with you, please. Now."

"Excuse me, but who are you?" Carr's sudden burst of exasperation carried clearly into his tone.

He could practically hear the smile in the man's voice. "I'm a Knight-Commander of the Order of the Azure Star." That name Carr knew, and he felt his stomach clench. "With me are two Initiates of my Order and Agent Lance Godwin of the United States Bureau of Parahuman Affairs. The Initiates' attendance is optional, but I'm afraid that Agent Godwin and I must demand some of your time. Again, I apologize for the lack of notice."

"What exactly do you want with my pack?"

"Conversation, Alpha Baxter. With you, all members of the Werewolf Council who are still present, Alpha Creighton, and any other members of your pack whom you wish to include. May we enter your pack's territory?"

Lee came into the study, no doubt worried about Carr's sudden agitation. He gave her a quick smile and sent her reassurances through their mating bond. "Why the two extra Knights?" he asked carefully. "Do you feel that you need an escort?"

A good-natured chuckle. "Not at all, Alpha. I know enough about you and your pack to trust you. These are Initiates, not Knights. They've never met normal Weres before, only one of the ones in the Order. I would like them to meet your pack and learn about your people. Under your supervision. With all respect," he added.

Carr couldn't help his chuckle at the Godfather reference. "Very well, Commander. Please wait there, and I'll send someone out to bring you in."

"Thank you. And please, call me Edward." Dial tone.

Carr drew a deep breath. Brett, some Blue Stars and a BPA rep are here to meet with us. Four in total. You and Bryant each take an SUV and bring them to the house. Leave the van there. This is a diplomatic situation so be polite, but don't take any chances. I'm in no mood for surprises today.

Gotcha.

"What's going on, love?" Lee asked.

Carr came over and took her hands, leaning his forehead against hers. "We have some visitors coming. Humans."

"Seriously? Who?"

"Someone from the BPA, and some Knights of the Azure Star." Getting a blank look at the latter, he smiled at his lovely mate. "As my father explained it to me, they're an international organization dedicated to keeping the peace between species and preventing the misuse of magic. I didn't think they were still operating these days; I've never dealt with them before. I also haven't had to deal with the BPA in forever." Carr sighed. "I think I can guess what they want to talk about. Honey, could you send word for the Council members, Guillame, and Leonardo to meet out front in about fifteen minutes? I need to double-check all the protocols and stuff I used to know."

"Of course. If this order of knights is supposed to keep the peace," Lee asked after a moment, turning back from the door, "why didn't they do anything about Erobos? Or Gary?"

Carr gave his mate a very wry smile. "The same question has occurred to me, my love. And I most certainly intend to ask it."

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Brett parked the SUV he was driving a short ways from the visitors' van, and Bryant pulled up right behind him. The two betas got out of their vehicles and moved to greet their unexpected guests.

The minivan's side door opened, and three humans emerged. They were dressed in snow-white uniforms, cut in a style that hearkened back to the Second World War. The only parts of their uniforms that were not white were their royal-blue neckties and the blue twelve-pointed star insignia sewn on their upper arms.

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