Reece guided me to the raised stone platform. It was shining in the moonlight just like my Luna dress was. Now that I was not hidden by the trees and I was in full view of the moonlight I seemed to be glowing completely. The light all around me made my hair look black instead of brown where it rested against my shoulders.
As Reece stepped up onto the platform, he lifted me with him instead of waiting for me to step up after him. The sensation of having my feet leave the ground completely was disorienting and disconcerting, but it only lasted a moment. After we were on the platform, he switched to only holding my hand and lightly pulling me along beside him.
We were now in full view of everyone in the pack. I could feel all eyes on me. Most were looking at me with awe on their faces, but there were a few who seemed displeased.
"Allow me to introduce your new Luna, Trinity Whitton." Reece's voice rang through the silent air. I heard the collective gasp of nearly everyone in attendance. A few of those near the front with looks of awe turned to displeasure. A sharp scent started to grow among the crowd. Rage! Someone was very unhappy with me it seemed, and their scent was letting it be known.
"NO!" A woman screamed from the middle of the crowd. I could see her pushing her way to the front. The rage was coming from her. It was rolling off her palpable waves.
"I refused to accept her as my Luna! She doesn't even have a wolf!" She was still yelling, her voice going shrill. "She wasn't even in the group from the last gathering! You hadn't even spent time with her! It wasn't her turn yet! You could have mated with someone else! She doesn't deserve to be our Luna, she isn't good enough for you! She is worthless! She shouldn't even be part of this pack!" She was screaming so loud that she was nearly incomprehensible.
Reece had already let go of me and moved to the front of the platform. I heard a rumbling growl beginning deep in his chest and growing steadily louder. His muscles tensed as if he were about to leap in front of the she-wolf who had dared to defy him. Just before he leapt, there was a flash of movement from beside the woman.
CRACK! The satisfying sound rent through the air as someone slapped the woman across the face, hard, and sent her reeling. The woman nearly lost her balance, she just managed to recover before tumbling to the ground.
"What?!" The woman shrieked, shocked.
"Don't you dare talk about my niece that way!" Aunt Eve yelled, fury and motherly love pouring off her so strongly that I could physically feel it from where I stood. Reece, taken aback by the sudden unexpected events paused momentarily in surprise.
"You know nothing about her!" Nikki added.
"My niece is five times the woman you will ever be. She is who the Alpha is fated to be with. It would make no difference if she met him now or in two more months when it was time for her group, the results would have been the same. No other woman would have mated with him because we wolves only have one mate in
"She is not worthy of being a Luna!" The angry she-wolf tried saying again.
"And what makes you think you are! What makes you think that you know what it takes to be a Luna?" Nikki demanded of her. "Trinity is smart, diligent, and fair. She will treat everyone with the respect and care they deserve. You on the other hand would divide our people with your petty prejudices." Nikki scorned the woman further. "You're shallow, egotistical, and self-centered. That's the absolute last thing we need for a Luna. Grow up Donna and learn that the world doesn't revolve around you."
"ENOUGH!" Reece had recovered from his momentary shock and apparently, he was done watching the soap opera unfolding in front of us. "All of you shut up, now." He roared. His voice held the authoritative command of the Alpha. His power and fury were rolling off him in stronger doses than any of the emotions that any of the women were giving off.
"What you fail to understand, Donna, and all of you who showed your displeasure upon my announcement, is that this is my mate, and it is not up for discussion. You will accept her, you will respect her, and you will deal with it. If you do anything other than that you will face the consequences." His voice held a razor-sharp edge as he spoke. "As you all know, the Goddess herself chooses our mates for us, it is not something we can defy or change. And the Goddess herself has said that Trinity is my mate." The hush continued.
Before anything else could happen to further ruin the evening, Michael hurried onto the platform.
"Let us finish the ceremony." He called out in a slightly nervous voice. Reece and I faced the crowd, Michael faced us with his back to the people, he was smiling confidently.
"Trinity, you stand here before your pack, beside your Alpha mate, do you vow to put their lives before your own, from now until the day you pass from this world and ascend to the great eternal land of the moons? Do you vow to uphold pack traditions to the best of your abilities and do what is best for your people? Do you vow to follow your Alpha mate wherever he shall go, no matter the danger, no matter the opposition, to provide him with the support, emotionally or otherwise, that he might need? Do you vow to be the Luna of the Red Springs Wolf Pack?" My heart raced hearing the words, hearing what he was asking me to commit myself to.
"Yes, I Trinity, do so vow to be the Luna of the Red Springs Wolf Pack, performing any and all duties expected of me." I answered as I was instructed to do so. The clearing around us was silent, allowing my voice to ring through the night with a similar power and authority that Reece's did.
"Alpha Reece, please, mark Luna Trinity as your mate."
Reece turned to me. I could see the moonlight glinting in his eyes, a slightly evil look seemed to be hiding behind that glint. He smirked at me with his mouth slightly open. I saw the moment he had shifted just his teeth. His mouth moved just slightly forward, not so much that it could have been called a snout, but it was further forward than a human mouth. I could also see his teeth protruding out of it as they were now too long to fit inside.
Reece approached me slowly. He slid his right hand around my waist and his left hand around my shoulders. He tilted me to his left, my head fell onto my right shoulder. He put his mouth by my ear and inhaled deeply before he whispered to me. I shivered at the feel of him being so close and intimate with me.
"Don't scream." His nearly silent voice rumbled into my ear as he whispered.
He inhaled deeply at the bend of my neck one last time before opening his mouth wide and sinking his teeth into soft tender flesh and muscles at the curve where my neck met my shoulder. The pain was instant and sharp. I gasped loudly.
I could feel the pain shooting from my neck through my whole body. It jolted through me in waves, down to my fingers, my toes, deep areas hidden inside that no one had touched or roused in me yet. The pain was scary, exciting, and erotic all at the same time.
My body was trembling and quivering in his arms. His jaws clamped down harder, holding me in place and causing me to go completely still. I stifled a scream by biting my tongue. A heat was growing in my shoulder now and spreading through my whole body, a slow fire steadily growing. This was what we were waiting for. This was his mark being imprinted on me permanently.
The heat was growing by the second. It was unbearable. But still, I remained silent. Tears were forming in my eyes, but I refused to scream or cry out. I opened my eyes wide and looked up at the moon to stop the tears from falling.
Just as I thought I would not be able to handle the pain any further, that I had to scream or cry to let it out, the fire in my body finally stopped. I felt Reece's jaws slacken and then released me altogether. He pulled away from me, licking the bite mark once, then he held me with just one hand on my shoulder.
"Wolves, I present to you, your Alpha and Luna." Michael declared to the gathered crowd. Everyone in the crowd before us bowed, going down to one knee and lowering their head in a show of respect. Everyone but Donna that is, she went to one knee, but she kept her head up to glare at me.