Her paws carried her to the male's voice. She didn't understand how, but she knew where to go: further north and even further west. She wondered if this was the voice she heard earlier. Had it been a voice she knew in her past? Who owned it and why was she compelled to go? She liked it though, this voice- it had a good sound. She wanted to stop for food, but couldn't, the pull to some unknown location too strong.
The human female voice inside the wolf was faint, but urging. She went, flowing its desperate plea.
He remembered his humanity – he hadn't too long ago left it behind. He knew the decision he had to make and he had to make it quickly. Should he keep the last traces of humanity and hurt or give in completely to the wolf and begin a new life? He chose the latter. Bonds tying Embry to the wolf grew weak as he sunk further and further away. Before he was just out of reach, the wolf sent a comforting pulse: "I will heal us, I will make us better. It is okay forget."
Her legs could not carry her fast enough even as she ran night and day. An urgency grew, a need to be with that voice, though she couldn't understand why. She tried to communicate with him but her barks and howls did not carry as far as they needed to...they didn't float from her head to his. The wolf wished she had not pushed the human female aside. She would have been able to call him back.
Anxious and happy, but mostly scared, wild thoughts carried though her mind. "What if the male voice is not there when I get there? If I cannot tell him that I am coming, will he leave? Can I live without him"
She pressed on, no longer in control. She vowed to get there or die in the process.
Finally, the day arrived.
The Spirits look down:
A lone male wolf lifted his head to the breeze and caught what he thought was a familiar scent. Not too far away, a female ran, tired and out of breath, but when she made it, she felt peace. The female wolf couldn't fully understand what she was thinking or feeling, but if she had a memory or even a concept of home, she realized that it would smell like this.
As the Spirits of those long dead, those who once loved them looked down, they saw the two wolves meeting in a clearing. They viewed the pair sniffing at each other cautiously and they watched with open laughter as the female freely submitted for the first time in her tragically long existence.
The male licked her face, telling her that he accepted her submission just before pressing his muzzle to hers. He made a turn to leave and she followed him without hesitation. He led the female back into the woods where he'd recently made a kill. Going over to the carcass, he brought back a leg in his mouth, offering it to her. He sat down and waited...he hated to eat alone.
Later that night, my wolf called me to the surface and I shifted back to human form, something I thought I'd never do again. Angry and bitter, I couldn't understand why this was happening. I'd given up. I'd made a conscious decision to leave this form and with all the feelings and memories that had caused me so much suffering. I tried to force a phase, but I couldn't. I knew the wolf was there, but he refused to come out.
Aggravated and pacing, I made my way to the back of the cave where, curled in a ball in the corner, was a little sleeping wolf. When I realized what had come to us, or rather, who had come to us, I thanked my wolf and collapsed in the dirt, sobbing like a child. Silently crawling closer to her, I observed the creature that had been my existence for so many years. My tears bathed us both.
My crying grew louder, uncontrollable and the she-wolf woke up, poised to attack. Quickly I phased back to my wolf form and reached out to her mind. It was a wreck. I couldn't get any real thoughts out of it, just emotions: fear, confusion, anxiety.
I projected waves of calm in her direction and sent out only one solid word: Mate.
The she wolf cocked her head to the side in such puppy-dog way that I had to bark out a laugh. I'd remind her of this...when she was better.
Realizing that I intended no harm, Wolf Leah came up to me and sniffed every inch of my body before finally putting out a scent that seemed to indicate I was to her liking. I gently pushed her away and I saw the distress in her eyes. Again, only wanting to send feelings and not complicated sentences that she couldn't understand, waves of care, concern and patience drifted from me to her. It's not that I didn't want to, but I wanted my Leah whole...and human...at least the first time.
I sent the word along with images of us hunting together. She didn't know it, but those images were memories. Sadness of long ago crept into my mind and Leah, even without fulling understanding why, came to comfort me, sidling up to me and whimpering. The love I radiated back came out sharply, too sharply, nearly forcing her to the ground under the weight of it's magnitude.
I felt Wolf Leah try to work through the emotions. I saw that the best her mind could handle, at the moment, was that she was cared for and protected. That was enough for me. With one final nudge, we walked out of the cave, she following just two steps behind.
We tracked the scent of a traveling herd and shifting pictures back and forth between us, planning an attack. Fast as always, she was glorious in her lethality, going for the neck of a young buck while I swooped in to finish him off. Wolf Leah walked away from the kill and sat patiently, but without explanation, I couldn't grasp her reasoning.
After several moments, a weak picture was projected in my head: me eating while waited for her turn. I was her Alpha and she wanted me to go first. "Silly little girl, don't you remember?"
The words were too much for her.
Feeling her confusion, I took a couple of bites then pushed her with my muzzle towards the meal. I felt her content. She felt mine. It was enough for now.
When finished, we ran back to the cave playing and nipping at each other the entire way. That night in our den we curled up together and slept through the night without fear or sadness. I imagine it was the first time either of us had done that in many years.
We spent may days like that and Wolf Leah became better at projecting, not just pictures, but emotions and increasingly thoughts. I phased more and more often around her and she was comfortable walking along with me on four feet while I piddled around on two. Once or twice a day, I'd send pictures of some of her transformations from my memory, hoping that My Leah would grab on to one and claw her way to the surface.
I'd tell her stories that I wasn't too sure she understood and projected images of happier times. Sometimes it was hard, knowing she was in there and unable to get out. I wondered at night, curled up together, if this would be enough for me and frequently considering giving in to my wolf for the rest of my life, just so we could be together in a form that she understood.
One morning, I woke up to see my beautiful little wolf towering over me, looking beyond my face and into my soul. We stayed like that, staring at each other, for hours. By late afternoon I starving, but I knew I couldn't move. Something was happening here and I wanted this to play out. By nightfall, the little wolf took one deep breath, shook her whole body and looked...well...resigned. Rising from her haunches, she projected a desire of wanting to hunt and an image of us playing.
"More than happy to oblige girl!"
Quickly phasing, I took the lead (as always) and we went out to track some food. We ate and ran and ate and played and nipped and jumped and ate and swam and well...we spent three full days without sleep, just having fun. I was beat.
Then the staring contest started again and as much as I loved Leah, I wasn't sure I could hold out much longer. Thankfully this session was relatively short, but it ended the same way as the last one: a look and a sigh.
I sent emotions of love and protection and...a strong desire for sleep. Finding a little cave near the waterfall we'd been hanging near, we curled up and closed our eyes. Sometime in the night, I'd phased and wove my arm around the my little wolf drawing her closer. I felt love radiating from her at all times now, even in her sleep and at that moment decided that even if this was all we'd ever have, that I'd be happy.
I woke up to something crawling on my face. Still halfway asleep, I kept swatting it away, but the little bastard kept inching across my nose.
Opening my eyes, I realized that the "little bastard" was the index finger of a woman who was the reason of my existence. I had no words, just tears as we rocked and held each other. We stayed like that for hours and cried until we were out of tears. Holding her head in my hands, I looked straight into her eyes, wanting to say so much, but my mind was foggy mess of emotion and my throat clenched from hours of crying. I could only manage one word.
I saw a beautiful smile, but she said no words. Instead she phased and indicated that I should do the same. As soon as I did, I was pummeled with feelings of love. I wanted to bath in it but was urged onwards.
I did. I saw her years flash before my eyes: her hatred of La Push, her waitressing, and her wandering across the country, it all came very quickly. But time began to slow in her mind as I focused on a man - a husband - one that she loved, but who was taken from her. I saw her mind crack under the weight of total loss and understood why her wolf took over. Time sped up again and I saw her as a wolf traveling alone, wanting to belong, but not being able to. Time slowed once again and I saw her, seeing me in the clearing and I felt her feelings of "home." Following her last trails of thought, I saw her wolf staring at me, making sure that I could take care of her, that I could protect her, that she could release control.
It was my turn to project then and I allowed her to see how lonely I'd been without her in that damned house. She was able to feel my need to find her and my hopelessness when I thought she was gone for good. But most importantly, I showed her – I told her – I Alpha Commanded her – that we'd never be apart again. I expected anger, but got nothing but joy at the prospect of an eternity without being alone.
Phasing back to human form, I eagerly waited for her to say something, needing to hear that voice that I'd missed all these decades.
Mouthy Leah, who's not spoken in years, had run out words. I understood though. Everything she needed to tell me, she'd just shown in her mind. Those two words? They were enough for me.
Sometime later, in a place very familiar...
Two beautiful people were seen in an old cemetery on the La Push reservation. They were outsiders and had been followed. Of the two packs and two Alphas watching them, only one of the group of 30 knew their faces. One set of the wolves felt their Alpha's longing while the other set looked anxious, wondering who these people were and why they were laying flowers on the graves of their ancestors.
They saw the man place stones and the head markers of the legendary Alpha Sam and his Beta Jared and they saw him weep openly over graves with names they didn't recognize: Quil, Paul, Brady and Colin. They watched as the woman cleared away the overgrowth and resettle a lopsided and forgotten marker labeled: Seth Clearwater: Husband, Father, Elder, Brother.
The larger pack left and soon the Alpha of the smaller pack told his wolves to do the same. He knew the couple was aware of his presence. He wanted to phase, run to them, gather them up in his arms and apologize, but he was...afraid.
The man took the woman's hand and together they walked away, never looking back. Just as the man got in the car, the wolf heard him give a little "woo-whoop" before shutting the door.
The large russet colored wolf turned back to the woods, but looked over his shoulder one last time. His heart was somewhat lighter than it had been in many years and he watched the two wolves who meant to most to him, begin free lives together.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who shared this journey with me. Your messages and reviews were appreciated and I hope you enjoyed this story. The tense in the first half wa