I raised my hand to open the door and it fell once again back to my side. Tara looked over at me sympathetically. "We can do this sweetie."
"Yeah. I'm ready. Got everything down about what to say and what not to?" I asked.
"I-I think so. I mean I am now Drappa so confidence is well ensured... I think."
I laughed nervously and turned the brass knob. We both stepped in and I closed the door behind me.
The house seemed deserted, but I knew everyone was either out or down in the council chamber.
Marcus came bounding out from the living room, barking madly and bristling his fur at Tara.
"Marcus hush!" I scolded. Tara bent down to her knees and faced the snarling mutt.
"Tara, I don't think that's such a good idea." I warned.
She didn't answer me but looked right into the dogs eyes. She murmured something and the tabby dog instantly dropped to his belly, his tail thumping on the wood floor nervously. Rolling over on his back outstretching himself to be adored.
"What the?" I asked in awe.
Tara reached out and began to scratch the dog's tummy, making his leg and tail quiver in happiness. "We had a struggle for a moment but he's not so bad."
"Wait does that mean you can talk to animals?" I asked unsure.
"No not animals. But dogs are closely related to the wolf are they not?" She asked still working at Marcus' shabby fur.
"Yeah I guess so." I said kneeling down to help out. "He's a good dog." I added.
"He's more than that." Tara said.
"What do you mean?" I asked
"Flame is that you?!" Janielle shouted from the open door leading to the basement. Her face held the fury of her words.
I stood up quickly Tara stepping back to mirror me. Janielle walked briskly up to me and took hold of my arms.
"Look at you! What happened? Your face is all torn up and you're blood stained and who is this!?" She whirled on Tara eyeing her carefully.
"Tarashitia." William appeared behind Janielle. "The new wolf leader."
My jaw dropped and I stepped farther in front of my beloved. William moved Janielle out of the way.
"Go back to the meeting, let them know I will be only a moment." He said coldly.
Janielle bowed and turned on her heel back to where she came.
"Oh my little firefly," William said softly "What a mess." His hand came to the side of my face and he brushed it lightly with his fingertips. "So much as happened tonight, yes?"
I nodded and turned to kissed his fingers. Tara stiffened beside me. I felt her whole body go cold with jealously. I moved my hand back and gripped hers. Pulling her out from behind me I let her see the gesture more openly.
"This is William, my Maker. William this is Tarashitia as you seem to already know. She's a new kind of really good friend now."
He stepped back to look more closely at the two of us. I couldn't tell if he was angry or just curious. "Something has happened. Tell me."
I looked away from his eyes and spurted out nervously. "Well there was this huge fight like wham! Right in your face battle and I was all like 'whoa now back up' and I and T-Tara fought for out lives from some evil wolves that wanted to kill us and well not all wolves are bad and that's how I came to know Tara, she's good werewolf and a good leader and I sort of made a pact with them. I mean you've been talking about it for like ever now so I just took that final step and-"
He stopped me with his hand. "You made an alliance with the wolf pack?"
"Well sort of, that's what I told them anyway." I said quietly.
His face held the mix shock and anger I had never seen ever directed to me. He composed himself and looked at Tara. "If you'll give us a moment Drappa Tarashitia I would like to ask Flame a few ... questions."
Tara looked wild-eyed from me to him she started to shake her head but I squeezed her hand. "It's all right, just go on in the living room. I'll be there in a second."
She slowly turned her body and stalked away, glancing back at the two of us like we would just vanish. Marcus was right on her heels wagging his tail like a spoiled pup.
When William figured Tara was out of ear shot he calmly began to speak. "Tell me my little firefly what possessed you to make such a rash agreement by yourself?"
"Well it seemed like a good idea I was there the wolves where there and it just sort of clicked."
"No, tell me the truth."
"Truth? That is-"
"No." he said sternly ''tell me why you would risk your life for this cause. I have never heard you mention any interest of the werewolves until now." His voice was slowly growing.
"I just wanted to do something right for the coven." I squeaked out.
"No! No you didn't! Tell me the real cause!" He shouted into my face. I was quite scared I had never had William so upset at me and I panicked.
"There is no way you could have kept the wolf tie secret from me for so long something must have pushed you!" He screamed into my face.
"Because I love her!"
He stopped and pulled back from me awe plain on his face. "What?"
"They were going to rape her and me then kill her while I watched. I couldn't just sit back and let that happen. She's my everything, now. Not even my dead life matters anymore. I would gladly walk into the dawn for her." Tears streaked down my face around my chin and I let them fall. There was no point in lying to William he would know. I think he already did, he just wanted me to confess it.
My body shook with all the emotions I had compressed over the years. What it means to die for someone. To give your whole life to love. How could I feel like this? Telling William that I loved this girl, a werewolf no less. This was how it had to be though, sooner or later he would have followed me and known what I was doing.
"Oh Willow." He whispered taking me into his arms. "I understand. I really do and matters like the alliance should have gone through council before you took the lead. But what's done is done, if we take it back there will be an all out war. That I cannot allow, not now anyway."
I looked up at him "not now?"
"Well generally speaking. I don't want anymore bloodshed in this region."
I nodded at his explanation. Now that everything was out what was I suppose to do now? Would William allow me to stay with Tara or break us apart? I tried my best to search his face for an answer but it was placid and unmoved.
"Do I have to leave Tara?" My voice sounded as small and unsure of myself as I felt.
A great sigh escaped his body and his eyes shifted into something I couldn't read. "Do you love her that much already?"
My face crinkled in concentration. "I know what I feel here." I shoved my fist into my chest. "I know that since I've met her I want to do better, to be more than I am. To see her smile is one of the greatest things I wish to experience."
"Very well." He sighed. "We will do a joining ceremony in a month's time. Until then I ask you to savor your... purity. Your are like a daughter to me and I will not allow that kind of thing in my house unless a proper service first."
I looked down at my feet and blushed madly. I didn't think the physical attraction was that evident, guess I was wrong.
There was a loud crash coming from the living room and an uproar of voices and Marcus' snarling snaps. Both William and I rushed to see the problem
We entered the room and came upon Raoul backing away quickly his arm bloodied and Marcus ripping at his pant leg. Faith, another one of our warriors was holding her dagger to Tara's throat. Her stature rigid with tension and her dark brown hair covering her angry features.
"Stop it now all of you!" I yelled bounding towards Faith knocking the blade away from Tara's throat.
"Are you okay?" I asked, tucking a lock behind her ear.
She gave a half hearted smile and shot cold glances at Faith and Raoul.
"What happened?" William asked calmly.
"There is a werewolf in here boss, and by the smelling a pretty powerful one." Faith answered walking over to Raoul and kicking Marcus off. I felt Tara flinch and I squeezed her arm gently.
"Do you think I wouldn't be aware of anyone in my home?" William answered mockingly. I felt a hidden meaning to those words but looked at Tara for support instead.
"No, sir, I was just saying I was trying to take care of it." She said a little uneasy.
"Thank you for the concern. The two of you may go. Marcus down!" William commanded.
The dog looked at him then carefully thudded over to Tara's and my side. I moved my free hand down and patted his head, thanking him for protection.
After the two left William looked at us with mild concern. "Tarashitia I would be honored for you stay in our home tonight. Granted you sleep in the guest quarters."
I looked away from him. I still wasn't too comfortable about his previous rule. Tara looked at me for support. "You will be fully protected." I added.
William gave his best professional smile. "Of course."
Tara nodded not saying a word.
"You two may use the master bathroom to ... clean up." He said looking at me sternly. "Both your faces need a little mending. Now I must go to the council about this new treaty with the wolf pack."
Then he did something unexpected he walked over to Tara and stuck out his hand.
Tara hesitated but slipped her hand in his, they both squeezing gently. "I humbly ask for your trust and acceptance."
"Granted." Tara said looking right into his face.
He rounded quickly and left us standing together, me nervously patting Marcus.
"That was something wasn't it?" I asked quietly.
"It sure was." Tara said letting out a held breath.
"Shower time?" I asked looking away. Did that mean shower apart or together? Was I ready for that? I stepped back and scanned her beautiful body up and down. You bet your ass I was ready for that. Besides showers don't mean sex, since I must wait. People take showers to get clean not to have hot wild Tara sex.
Boy was I in for it.