A/N: And this my darlings is the finale of Howling at the Moon.
Please make sure you read the A/N at the end of this for information on the sequel.
She left on Saturday morning. It's Monday morning now. 48 hours had passed and I had no idea where my imprint was. She had told Rachel where she was going and Rachel assumed that she was safe. She knew where Kaia was, and she said that she would be safe. But how could I know that? She said Kaia would be fine, but I could feel that she wasn't. She was confused. She was hurting, and because of that, so was I.
It was Monday, so my mother said I had to go back to school. She was sympathetic, but she said she didn't want me wallowing around the house. I couldn't help but wallow. The most important part of my life was missing and if I wanted to wallow, then I would wallow dammit.
To give them credit, Brady and Collin did whatever they could to keep my mind off the gaping void in my life. I knew they were worried about her disappearance as well, but she was my imprint and they understood how her absence would affect me. And like the brothers they were to me, they put me before their own feelings.
By the time I got to school, I looked like I had been on a drinking binge the entire weekend. Even Lester had nothing to say to me. Just his usual customary glare. I couldn't bring myself to waste my energy on a glare in return. I felt blank. It was horrible really. This feeling of emptiness.
I got to my first class of the day and the empty seat next to me seemed to mock me. Where could she be?
I had phased yesterday to try and see if I could pick up her scent, but Leah was still wolf at the time and she damn near tore my hind-leg off for even thinking of violating Kaia's request.
My head pounded like the worst kind of migraine.
Each throb sounded like her name.
I couldn't blame Jake for ordering me not to phase for a couple of days, the few minutes I had been wolf yesterday was enough to convince the others that the kind of pain I was in was not something they wanted to deal with, even second-hand.
The tightness in my chest refused to let up and I knew it had to do with the fact that I was separated from my reason for living.
I knew that it would continue until she got back, which was why I was ecstatic when I suddenly felt it lighten up Monday night, but when I rushed over to Rachel's, Kaia wasn't there and all Rach could tell me, was that I would see her soon.
How soon was soon?
Tuesday morning, and the only thing keeping me from phasing and staying that way until Kaia got back, was Jake's order. He knew that if I went wolf I might just keep running to avoid the pain, and La Push was where I needed to be when Kaia returned.
A pessimistic side of my head added a cynical, "If she returns," and I was too tired to shut it up.
Collin and Brady had caught a ride with me to school today; they took turns driving my truck so that I wouldn't end up wrapped around a tree, for all the attention I paid when I was driving.
We pulled into the parking lot and all 3 of us came to a screeching halt on our way out of the lot.
Midnight blue Camaro.
Right in our lot.
I could smell the lingering scent of ocean and citrus that I knew was Kaia.
She was back!
I raced to our first class. The twins were hot on my heels even though they weren't in this class with us.
But she wasn't there.
In fact, she didn't show up in any of our classes, and Embry was able to bribe one of his current admirers to check if she was in the girls' bathroom.
I was officially confused. Her car was here, her scent so fresh that she must have gotten there less than ten minutes before us. We checked every place that we could think of. The library, which Collin was seeing for the first time. The bleachers where Embry had found her when she ran away. The auditorium. Everywhere we could think of, we looked, in between classes, until a horrible idea struck me.
We hadn't checked the office.
I raced to the building, and her scent hit me full on. She was definitely inside.
I could hear Mrs. Marshall's hoarse voice, but the words she was saying that had me freezing.
"I don't think transferring in the middle of the term is a difficult thing to do at all Miss Reynolds... feel free to explore the other classes not on your schedule today, this slip should take care of your attendance. Make sure you meet me at the end of the day though, ok?"
I heard Kaia's mumbled assent and while my heart was singing at having her so close again, my brain told me that I would be in deep crap if she found out that I was eavesdropping.
I booked it out of the office only to run into Paul at the door. He looked at me with a stricken expression and I knew he had heard the same thing I had. Was she really leaving? She was transferring out?
We high-tailed it for the cafeteria and barely had time to tell the others what she had said when Embry, sitting next to me, stiffened and pointed at the doorway, Brady, Collin and Ryan turned to face the same direction as Paul and I were looking, only to see Kaia stalking through the door, a determined expression on her face.
I would never be able to clearly recall the number of things that ran through my head in the few seconds it took for her to reach me.
I was crazy with happiness to see her again, crushed by how tired and wan she looked; ecstatic that she had returned and terrified that she was leaving again; hopeful that she still cared about me, and scared that caring wasn't going to make her stay.
It was all there, all of it, and mixed in with the relief of having her around again, that had my inner wolf sighing with contenment.
Of course, all of this only lasted until I recognized the expression on her face; the last time she had looked this determined, she had socked Michael in the face 3 seconds later. I tensed, knowing that if she did hit me, it would hurt her a lot more than it would me.
By this time she had reached our table; she paused and took in the assorted expressions on all our faces and rolled her eyes before glaring at me and then demanding, "Stand Up. Now"
I did what any self-respecting independent man would do when his woman gave him an order.
I waited for a smack in the face - why did she have to be so violent anyway?
I waited for a verbal tirade - why did Leah have to put that word in my head, tirade? Really?
I waited... and kept waiting.
Finally I looked in her eyes and saw it. That spark that I had been dying to see.
The love had always been there, but what I could see now was worth just as much.
I saw her acceptance.
I reached out to hug her, teachers be damned, when she held up a hand and stopped me.
Before anyone else at the table could react, she left us speechless with her next move.
I loved how you could never really tell what this girl was going to do.
She kissed me.
Right there, in the middle of the cafeteria, in front of everyone.
Who cared about detention anyway, and its not like our parents/guardians were going to be miffed about this, they knew what we were, so they weren't going to worry about us making a mistake.
Of course I only thought of all that much later. For that moment, the only thing that mattered was that I was holding my imprint in my arms. She was back and she was right where she belonged. She was with me. The weight in my chest had disappeared and everything felt right again. And she was kissing me, which meant she couldn't be angry with me anymore;this was no goodbye kiss.
Thank the spirits, I had my life back.
She pulled back amidst the hooting and hollering that I was just noticing; most of which came from my own table. Paul smirked while Embry couldn't resist a typical Embry remark. "Been watching chick flicks again McSquizzy?"
"Shut it Call," came the snarky rejoinder. "If the hottest wolf in your little pack is mine forever, then I am going to be damned sure that everyone around here knows it... You hear that? Clearwater is off limits," she called out the last part louder than the rest. There were cheers and a few whistles from some of our assembled classmates, amused at our little show.
Which was why they missed my whispered reply, "Always," although I'm pretty sure my brothers had heard.
It was at this point that we dragged her to sit down with us, my arm still wrapped around her waist. She rolled her eyes at me and I just grinned back with a shrug. It was going to be a while before I could bear to let her go.
Collin and Brady immediately began an inane debate on why there were multiple reasons for their being hotter than me, and Embry just laughed at us all. Paul shook his head before texting who I assumed was Rachel, probably to let her know that Kaia was with us.
Finally Ryan spoke up, "Are you leaving La Push Kai?"
I knew he would have asked this sooner or later, so I listened for her reply, and was surprised when she didn't answer and just raised an eyebrow at Ryan instead. "Well... we heard you asking about mid-term transfers... and we... ummm..." was his awkward rejoinder.
I expected her to flip out because we had eavesdropped, but was pleasantly surprised when her only answer was a smirk.
Finally she spoke... "Yeah... those questions weren't about transferring out, it was for transferring in."
She leaned forward, "Looks like La Push has another new kid."
She paused, letting the others get adequately confused before interrupting again with, "Oh and Wakeh, I didn't come back alone..." and she glanced at the doorway that we all turned to face.
A slightly puzzled red-head stood there, surveying the scene before her, obviously looking for us.
Ryan's face was priceless, and only Embry had a remark to make.
"Welcome to La Push Miss Morgan."
A/N: And there you have it. The end of 'Howling at the Moon' but not an end to the series itself. Watch out for the sequel which will be up super soon. Put me on Author Alert to get an update when it goes up.
The sequel will be Ryan and Michelle's side of the story, which means a couple of chapters will overlap, but with different POVs. Apart from those couple of chapters though, the rest will be about the both of them, and once their story is posted, I will be posting Embry's.
If you want someone else's story to go up, please leave me a comment/message or post it on my blog as well. For those of you who haven't voted on my profile poll yet, please go asap!
For those of you who have stuck with me through my first multi-chaptered story – Thank you and much love