Wolf Moon

 The priestess sat motionless with her head bowed. But Lady Starwrathe was uncertain as to whether it was bowed out of respect, or bowed because the priestess wished to hide her jubilation from the First Advisor of Tauroch. “So you are certain there is no way to undo the damage that has been wrought upon my family?”
“No lady,” the wolf priestess said softly. Her face was expressionless when she raised it to regard the First Advisor with golden eyes. “Short of killing your own child there is no way to prevent her change at the time of the next full moon.”
What you do not say is that I should never have been allowed to have a child in the first place. Now you gloat, don’t you, Priestess?
The First Advisor pushed back from her desk and stood with a deadly grace. “Thank you, Priestess. Your help in this matter has been most considerate. I understand how much danger you place yourself in by meeting me outside the temple.”
Priestess Kitresh also rose, but she brushed aside the First Advisor’s polite concern with words that made her mouth go dry. “We shall prepare a chamber in the temple for your daughter. It would be wise of you to bring her to us as soon as possible.”
You could not have me, so you will steal my child in revenge? I will speak with her, Priestess Kitrasha. She will decide what she wants.”
A silver brow rose imperceptibly, but the small tight smile showed that her reply had the desired impact. “You know she must come to the temple, Lady Starwrathe. If the Lords discover she is a were they will kill her and you. Think! Your own king, the man you serve would destroy you if he knew of your mixed blood. No, it is best that she comes to us in secrecy, before she attracts the attentions of a sire.”
The First Advisor’s face became hard and grim. Would that be so bad, Priestess? Would she not at least have known love before she dies? “As I said, Priestess. I will put your recommendations to my daughter. It will be her choice.”
*
The young woman danced to some unheard music. Her naked body moved in a way that was both arousing, and reverent. The moonlight made her body glow.
“Liquid Silver. That is what you are.”
Chimera laughed, a low sensual sound that made Lord Seth shiver with desire. What was it about this one that made him feel like an inexperienced whelp?
“Greedy man, flattery will not get me back into that bed. The Lady Moon desires an audience with me. She is almost full, and my blood sings with her power.
Safe within the shadows of the canopied bed, the were sire smiled. Lady Chimera would be a strong Alpha. She was passionate, strong, and her bloodlines were almost pure. Her mother may only be half were, but her lines could be traced back to the First Sire. As could his own.
Their union would bring him great power.
“Have you spoken to your mother yet?”
The young woman stiffened and turned back towards the bed, her dance and the moon forgotten. “Yes, I did.” Chimera said with a sigh. “Do we have to discuss this now, Seth?”
Lord Seth pulled himself upright in his silken cocoon. “Yes, my love, we must. Do you know what she will do when she discovers that you are no longer the sweet little virgin she thinks you are?”
“The Temple wants me under their control,” Chimera said with a snarl.
Rath sighed. Her words did not surprise him. The Temple of Luna would know of her pure bloodlines also. They would be more than eager to have such a pawn in their control. With Chimera as a priestess they would have a voice among the were and the humans of this world. They would use blackmail to make the First Advisor bend to their wishes. That was a little too much power for a group of sire-hating wolves.

“I just can’t understand why mother did not tell me. Why couldn’t she tell me she was half were?”

Chimera’s pain was obvious, but what took Seth by surprise was his need to comfort her. Seth sighed again and pulled himself from the bed. Three long strides had him at his lover’s side; a heartbeat later, she was in his arms. “She was afraid, darling.” Seth whispered as he brushed a tear from Chimera’s cheek. “If she did not become a were herself, she would not have known until you started to change. Imagine her shock and fear. She is First Advisor, and the only woman to have ever moved so high in the Court. Just imagine what King Tauroch would do if he were to discover the truth.”

“He wouldn’t kill her, would he?” Chimera whispered.
“He might. That is why we must leave here before the moon is full tomorrow eve.”

“Can I at least say good-bye to Mother? She has journeyed for several days to speak to me. It would be unforgivable to leave without explanation or farewells.”

Seth’s smiled and placed a gentle kiss upon Chimera’s brow. “Of course. Talk to her in the morning, but we must be gone from the city before the sun sits high. You and I will start to change once the sun’s power begins to wane. The palace is not a good place to be found in were form. I also want you away from here before the priestesses begin to hunt.”

Chimera pushed closer into the circle of Seth’s arms. Her scent was one of both excitement and fear. “Will it hurt? The change?”

Seth growled softly, unable to control the desire that coursed through his veins. Her skin was smoother than the silk sheets he had just left. Her scent was as captivating as the moonlight. “Yes, the first time will hurt, but there is a way to make the pain less. ”

Caressing fingers stroked at the sensitive skin over the small of Chimera’s back. Seth’s embrace tightened as his head dipped and he kissed the side of her neck. The moan that escaped her lips delighted the were; his hands slipped down to cup her buttocks and pull her hard against his hips. His kisses slid downwards to tease the shadowy peak of her breasts.

“Is this how you will make the pain go away?” Chimera said, her breath coming in short panting gasps.

Seth raised his head and laughed softly. Instead of answering, he reached for her hand and led her back to the bed. “Tis not a time for words, my Chimera. Instead, let me show you how I will lessen the pain for you.”

*

Chimera woke the next morning to find herself alone. Seth had vanished with the dawn, his scent and a small leather bound book were all that he had left for her. With a curious smile, the young woman reached for the gift. What would she find within?

What she found was a journal filled with the story of her grandparents. There were also over a dozen letters, which revealed the tragic truth of her lineage, of how they had loved and been forced apart by the hatred humans had for werefolk. What her grandmother’s lover not known when he left her was that she was pregnant with his child. To avoid scandal, Chimera’s great grandparents had married their only child off to an ancient man who needed an heir more than he desired a virgin bride.

“What have you there, child?” Lady Starwrathe said from where she stood by the end of the bed.
“Mother! I did not hear you come in.”

“Sorry, Chim. I am not used to having to knock in my own house. I keep forgetting that you are no longer a child. So what is it? What has you so interested that you cannot hear the shambling footsteps of your old mother?

Chimera laughed. Shambling? Not likely. “Mother, I think I should give this to you. Somebody left it here for me, but it should be yours.” With small precise movements, the young woman bundle the letters up and handed them to her mother.

“What are these?” Lady Starwrathe said with a frown as Chimera placed the bundle in her mother’s hands.

“It is our past,” Chimera said with a wry smile. “I suspect it was given to me so that you would know the why of our present situation. Mother? I will not be going to the Temple.”

Lady Starwrathe’s face came up, and she looked at her daughter in consternation. “But where will you go?” Suddenly her face paled. “Dearest Mother, tell me you have not …”

Chimera smiled a very contented, very satisfied smile. “Yes, mother, I have.”

The First Advisor sat down on the bed with a thump. “How? Who?”
“Did you not know Lord Seth is a were?”
“Lord Seth?” Lady Starwrathe voice was incredulous. “No! You jest!”
“No, mother. I do not.”
“But he is a ranking noble.” Chimera’s mother shook her head, her shoulder’s slumped, her voice became resigned. “So when do you leave?”

“Lord Seth will come for me at sun’s highest. We will be gone from the city before moonrise.”

“Is this really what you want?”

Chimera laughed. “Yes, mother. It is. I have never done well inside walls. Life in the Temple would kill me as surely as the King would if he knew what I was. I would simply die a longer more painful death.”

“But you will become little more than an animal.”

“Animal? Is Lord Seth an animal?” Chimera said softly, her expression pointed. “He has successfully fooled all of you for the last handful of years. I will not live like an animal. I will simply be a wolf for two weeks of every lunar month, and a lady for the other two if I choose to be. Lord Seth tells me that many stay in wolf form because it is a more honest way of life.”

“Will you be happy, child?”

“I will be, Mother. Lord Seth will make a fine mate. I am choosing the right path.”

Two hours after sun’s highest, Lady Chimera paced her chambers. Her eyes were filled with fear and concern. Lady Starwrathe stood on the balcony, which over looked the gate. Her face was pale, her lips pinched and white with anger. Could Lord Seth have used her daughter? Would he stoop so low as to claim her daughter’s maidenhood and then leave her to an uncertain future?

“Chimera, we cannot wait any longer. If I am to keep you safe, I must get you out of the city myself. Gather your things. We will leave via the tunnels under the family crypt.”

*

Lady Starwrathe and her daughter made their way out of the maze that ran under the city. A large oak tree grew in front of the exit, its wide trunk hiding the dark crack in the hillside. As she walked out into the daylight, the First Advisor felt confidant that they could get away unnoticed. But her confidence wavered when she looked back at her daughter.

There was at most another hour before the sun set. Chimera was in obvious pain. Her face was pale and her hands were clenched into tight fists at her side. More telling was the gold flecks that were beginning to appear in her blue eyes. Lady Starwrathe was not sure if they could be far enough into the surrounding countryside before her daughter would begin to transform.

“So, you thought to deny us the pleasure of your daughter’s company, First Advisor?”

“Priestess?” Lady Starwrathe whispered in shocked surprise.

Priestess Kitresh walked forward out of the shadows between the trees. At her side were several others, hooded, cloaked, their faces hidden from view. “You are a fool, Lady. Your daughter could have found sanctuary with us, but instead you let her be despoiled by Lord Seth. Now she will come to us a prisoner, not a novice priestess.”

“No! You will not have her. Let her be free to find Lord Seth. I will destroy you if you take her.”

“You will not, because if you try to stop us, you will die, you mixed blood bitch. I have other plans for you. You are going to become our voice in the Council.”

“You have no proof that I have mixed blood. You cannot use me.”

Kitresh smiled a gentle smile that made Lady StarWrathe’s blood run cold. “Oh but I do have proof. You should not be so careless in leaving ancient love letters lying around. And as for Chimera’s reuniting with, Lord Seth? That will not be happening. That is one sire who will never again despoil a future priestess. Know he screamed like a maiden when we fed him his manhood.”

“No!” Two anguished voices spoke as one.

“The letters were hidden …”

“What have you done to my mate,” Chimera said with a whimper as she fell to her knees. Her body felt like it was on fire. Her bones felt like they were being pulled apart. Her mind felt like it would shatter.

Chimera’s heart felt like it would break.

And then an anger like no other swept through the young woman. She put back her head and howled in rage and pain as the change took hold. Her face and body began to twist and change. Her nose lengthened, as her eyes became deeper set. Canines grew long and sharp.

Her body also reformed like wet clay. Chimera’s hands and feet became paws as her arms and legs shortened and reformed into the legs of a wolf.

Within heartbeats, the daughter of the First Advisor became a large and powerful snow-white wolf with eyes of golden flame.

Lady StarWrathe took several steps back from the growling werewolf. Fear sent icy fingers up and down her spine. Her daughter was like no were the First Advisor had ever seen. Chimera was almost twice the size of any normal were female, easily the size of any male. Her eyes flickered like flame, a flame fuelled by hatred, sorrow, and pain.

The priestess Kitrasha and her followers had also transformed, but when the were females scented the white werewolf they began to whimper in fear. They cringed low to the ground, their tails between their legs. Even Kitrasha cowered back from the furious Alpha female.

Chimera could no longer think clearly, or feel compassion. Instinct willed her to leap forward at the priestesses. Her body crashed into Kitrasha, knocking her to the ground. Ebon claws slashed at the smaller grey wolf’s fur as the priestess were tried in vain to fend off the snapping teeth of the white wolf.

But Kitrasha did not have the size or strength to fight for long. A gurgling scream echoed through the woods as Chimera bit down on the throat of the killer of her mate.

And at the sound of her scream, more werewolves came out of the shadows. All had come to pay homeage to the new Alpha female. All came to serve their new queen.

Chimera raised her blood stained muzzle from the gaping throat of her fallen foe. She turned and looked back at the woman she called mother. The First Advisor stood still and silent with her back against the oak tree.

Go home, mother. This one cannot hurt you now. You are safe.

“But what of you, Chimera? Will you ever come home again?”

The white werewolf regarded her mother silently, and then looked back to the weres who waited patiently among the trees.

No, mother. I have found my home. And without another glance the white wolf leapt into the forest.

*

Lady Starwrathe never saw her daughter again, but stories of a great white wolf began to circulate throughout the land. At her side ran a wolf pup, whose fur was also as white as snow. This wolf was called Sorrow.

And it was said that when lovers were parted by death the white wolf would howl in memory of her own lost love.