I opened by eyes and saw her pale skin almost glistening in the sunlight. She was bare except for the pelt I’d given her when I told her she was my Heart-mother. I smiled remembering her confused disgust. She hated that term, Heart-mother, but what other word could we use? Her language had no word to encompass the safety and love I felt in her presence and my language was… harder to grasp without speaking through a muzzle. She was more accepting now that she’d spent time with the pack and understood the profound importance of our mothers. They were the ones who held us, urged us to grow and soothed us through every transition in life until our heart found another.
I could see the flame in her eyes from across the clearing that separated us. Her gaze never left mine as she stood, like a goddess, unfazed, at the center of the writhing mass of fur around her. She was surrounded by wolves, my mother, my sisters, my aunts, and cousins, every female of our pack engulfed her but she did not flinch. She knew no fear. Maybe others would have pulled away from their teeth and their snarls, but not Bel, not my Heart-mother. Every wolf around her had actively tried to come between us, convinced that a witch and wolf could not be, but she never backed down and now she was being welcomed into the pack, as one of us.
She dropped the pelt from around her shoulders and pushed through the sea of my family into the clearing. I dropped my head to the ground, revealing my neck in surrender as she approached. If she were a wolf, she’d do the same: equal surrender of power between mates. But she was not a wolf, and we didn’t know where this ceremony would lead. We were in uncharted terrain, our favorite place to be together.
With my head still on the ground, her slow and steady march to me felt like an eternity. I panted in anticipation. When she reached me, she dropped to the ground, her pale skin hitting the dirt and sticks below her. She pushed her legs to one side then pulled my head off the ground and onto her lap. She stroked my cheek gently as we sat there. Maybe it was moments or maybe it was a lifetime that we sat, both in our most natural forms relishing being together. Finally, she bent to me and kissed my muzzle gently.
“You are mine, and I am yours; a life as one,” she whispered the little verse her Goddess had sent her when we met. I felt the change starting, the burning before the true pain began, and laid down. She pulled my head into her lap again and waited. My bones crunched and skin stretched, my howls transformed into screams, and she was there. Through it all she was there and always would be: my Heart-mother, my wicked witch, my Bel.
© Rae Davis 2018