My eyes open slowly and I see two blurry figures in front of me. For some reason I can’t make out their faces, only that one of them has long, brown hair and the other’s is short and blonde. They lean down towards me and seemingly kiss me on the forehead, leaving a warm spot. Their presence makes me feel so safe and happy. The brown-haired one had tears running down the face, right before they turned their backs to me and left. Suddenly, a cold sensation envelops my body and I feel like I want to start running towards them, but I trip and fall down in the dense, white snow. When I look up, there’s nobody around and everything is cold and scary. So I started screaming for them.
That’s when I wake up, gasping for air. I looked around, and I noticed that I was in an infirmary room, hooked again to an IV and a vitals monitor. Besides my bed, there’s Edward looking at me with a worried expression. “Why is he looking at me like that?” I think, when I notice tears running down my face, even though I don’t remember what I was crying for.
“Sorry, I must have had a bad dream.” I attempted to console him immediately, out of instinct. He doesn’t say anything, but dashes to hug me really tight. His touch makes my whole body tingle with sparks, and I satisfy my body’s impulse to hug him back.
“What’s goin-” I began saying, right as a doctor and a nurse burst in the room, making Edward break away from the hug. They quickly bare their necks in submission and while the nurse goes to check my vitals, the doctor takes my medical chart from the bed support and turns towards me, asking:
“Good morning, Luna. How are you feeling?”
I took a moment to look around confused: “Are you talking to me?” I replied. My hand instantly moves to my neck, where I feel a hot spot, represented by two small scars. My gaze moves to Edward, who quickly adverts his eyes in guilt and mumbles:
“I’m sorry. Your wounds wouldn’t heal and I didn’t know how else to help you.”
The door suddenly opened again, with three other people fighting to get inside and blocking each other in the way. The first one to pass was Grace, followed by Amanda, leaving Michael last. Or better yet, I’d say Michael let them have their way. Both of the girls hurried to hug me:
“You’ve been sleeping for so long, dummy…” Amanda tried to whisper, but it came out louder than she had wished.
“Oh my Goddess, you’re finally awake!!” cried Grace, taking out my IV by mistake, making me flinch. Michael grabbed them by their shirts and pulled them off me.
“You’re both too rough on our Luna. Let her rest!” he scolded them, in his own always elegant way.
My infirmary room was so lively that all I could do was chuckle and ease their worry:
“I feel fine. I don’t seem to have any other wounds left besides this one.” and I point towards my mark, doing my best to make a joke. Though, I only received a few grins. Edward got closer to me again, grabbed my hand into his and asked:
“Emily, what happened in the woods? Your blood tests revealed that you’ve been-“
“-poisoned?” I interrupted him. He nods. “I had lost contact with Accalia before the fight began, so I assumed I had been poisoned before that. As far as I can think of, the only time when I could have ingested wolfsbane was when we drank the mead.” However, to my surprise, Grace was the only one who looked taken aback by my disclosure.
“I feared that would be the case.” Edward replied, thoughtfully, then glanced at Michael. They exchanged an unspoken discussion which determined Michael to excuse himself and leave the room immediately afterwards. Edward then changed the subject: “In any case, when can I take my mate home, doctor?”
The doctor takes a look at the nurse’s most recent notes and exclaims: “Well, the blood tests show there’s no more wolfsbane in her system, but nevertheless, my recommendation would be bed rest for at least one more day. She is officially discharged.”
Both Grace and Amanda jump up in joy and hurry to say, almost at the same time: “Yess! Let’s go to the lake and let our wolves free!” says Grace happily, interrupted by Amanda: “Perfect! We’ve got some Luna training to do! Ooh, and we also have to reschedule the hunt!”
Their plans and energy make my head spin in circles. Edward notices my tired expression and intervenes: “I must apologize, ladies, but my mate is going to abide by the doctor’s recommendation and stay in bed for the rest of the day.”
Grace and Amanda pout, but eventually nod in agreement. Then me and Edward headed home together, on foot, hand in hand, as Grace and Amanda had to go back to their own errands. On the way, all of the pack members that we have encountered stopped to show their respect towards us and some of them even went to the trouble of trying to get to know me better. Even though I didn’t get to talk to Accalia ever since I have woken up, the pride and confidence that are building up in my chest are a definite proof of her presence.
Arrived at the mansion, I quickly noticed that nobody was home. Edward let go of my hand and said softly:
“I had some food prepared for when we got home. I’ll go and fetch it, ok? You can go ahead upstairs.”
My stomach instantly agreed to Edward’s plan. With a self-conscious look, I headed upstairs quietly. By reflex, I opened the door to my room and noticed the emptiness of it. Then I remembered.
“This is not your room anymore.” He whispered in my ear, with his face at a very close proximity to mine. I didn’t have to look at his face to know that he was grinning. However, I didn’t want to give him the pleasure of my embarrassment, so I turned on my heels and went forward towards his room in a hurry, saying: “I am well aware, I was just being, uhm, nostalgic!”
My strategy failed, as he still chuckled at my attempt. I opened the door to his room and paused in surprise: this room was almost identical to the room I had been in.
“We purposely made them similar so that it would be easier for you to adapt when the time came.” I heard from behind me.
“Thank you.” I replied, as I found it very thoughtful of him. My stomach again shamelessly reminded us of a more important event that must happen soon, so I jumped on the huge bed and gulped at the sight of the cart full of food that Edward was pushing around.
I grabbed a few plates and started to dig in. Edward smiled and laid on the bed, with his head propped up on one elbow, staring at my every movement.
“You don’t want any?” I asked him with a mouthful.
“No, thanks, I’ll have my fill later.”
“Alright.” I replied. Since it was an awkward atmosphere, I tried to bring up topics to discuss:
“There was no hunt because of me, right? When is it going to be held?”
“Whenever you feel ready.”
I nodded, and continued: “What happened to Rachel? Is she ok?”
“She is currently in the dungeon, awaiting your judgement.”
I swallowed and asked, despite knowing what it meant: “My judgement?”
Edward’s smile faded into a serious expression and he said, looking into my eyes:
“Yes. You will have to decide if she is to continue her life as a rogue or if she will not continue it at all.”
“I see. I am done with eating. I would like to rest right now.” I said, suddenly becoming aware of my new responsibilities.
He seemed disappointed, but agreed to my demand and excused himself to finish up some work in his office while I rested.
I tried to sleep for awhile, but my thoughts would keep getting in my way. It was still about 7 PM, so I decided that a walk by myself would help clear my mind. And thus, I sneaked out as stealthily as possible from the mansion and went to the lake, which was as peaceful as always, with nobody in sight. Accalia was acting agitated for some reason, which I assumed was the smell of small prey. Her worries fade away, as I let Accalia finally be free in a long while, and she gets to gleefully enjoy the lake and its surroundings.