The Curse of the Sun and the Moon

Self-hating werewolf, Rosen, has found the cure to the werewolf curse that has condemned her since childhood.

She will need the help of Laurent, a pretentious, too good-looking for his own good, fire demon to succeed in breaking the Moon Goddess curse.

With the magical Moon mirror in hand, will Rosen be able to do what needs to be done? Will she be able to let go of the one thing she holds dear for a chance to become fully human?

Cover by the Fantabulous @AuRevoirSimone. she don't do request tho.

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13. Set me ablaze.

What is being human if not to love and feel. What is being human, woman with skin as pale as moonlight and hair the color of ember? Oh, son of demons. I ask you what is it to be human if not to sacrifice.

It had been six days since we met with the Fire priestess; I was no closer to solving the riddle and it was already the day of the blood moon.

We had spent the days in the  company of the nomads on the outskirts of the ruins. Kali, the stray dog laid beside me as I puzzled over what the fire priestess said.

You will both have to let go of what you want, in order to get what you need.

“I fucking hate riddles,” I muttered into the sands.

The weather was surprisingly cool. Clouds covered most the scorching heat from the sun and provided a shade so rare, the nomads decided to sing in appreciation. Our adopted tribes people sat around in a circle with their instruments at the ready, but I sat a little ways off watching them as they sang a song that chilled me down to my core.

tohse naina laage mili roshni

tohse man jo laaga mili zindagi

mohabbat jise baksh de zindagani

nahi maut par khatm uski kahaani

“What are they saying,” I asked Bharat. He sat beside me, petting Kali to sleep. I was mildly surprised as to how quickly the two became friends.

Bharat sighed, his eyes to the clouds.

“My eyes are entangled with you and I got light

My heart entangled with you and I got life

Love, which forgives -- gives someone his or her life

Their story doesn't end with their death.”

I felt sick.

I needed to get away. Somewhere far from the music and the people. I need some solitude. I wrapped a blanket around me and walked away from Kali and Bharat. I walked away from the camp and the ruins. I just needed to go as far as I could until I couldn’t hear the music. I needed to find Laurent.

Laurent had been avoiding me the last few days.

“If that stupid shit ran away so that I don’t sacrifice his ass – “

Out in the distance I could make out a lone figure sitting on the desert sands; I made my way over to him.

“I thought you ran away.”

Laurent scuffed. “I am bound to the mirror. All you have to do is say my name and I’ll be pulled back.”

“The blood moon is tonight. It’s either me or you.” I chuckled, masking my angst.

Laurent kept his eyes on the sands. “I should not have bound you to that promise. I did not know the price.”

He was giving me a way out.

I did not know why the decision I had to make tormented me so much. It was rather simple; I did not have to honor the pact. I would be rid of Laurent and become fully human. It was exactly what I wanted. Why was I making things more difficult then they needed to be?

“All we need to do is solve the riddle that’s all. Stop being dramatic. Then we can both get what we want.”

I began to pace. I could already feel the change beginning. It was still day, true but I could feel the anxiousness of the beast wanting to be let out.

“The priestess said we must let go of what we want to get what we need, right? So what I want is to be fully human. What about you?”

Laurent said nothing.

I paced. Towards Laurent. Away from Laurent. Towards him. … Away. Back. Away. Back.

“We need to figure this out. What is it that you want?”

Laurent stood up. “You to stop pacing like a wild animal.”

Away. Back. Away. Back. I paced.

I turned to face Laurent on my millionth pace, and he pulled me to him.

“Stop pacing.”

I stood where he held me and I looked into his dark eyes. “We need to figure this out and  you’re not helping unless you want to get sacrificed.”

Laurent glared at me. “Fine, you want to know what I want?”

He grasped me tighter and pulled me closer. I gasped as he pushed himself on me.

“Do you really want to know what I want, wolf?”

His eyes were dark and dangerous, deep and wanting.

I couldn’t trust myself to speak but I whispered out, "To be rid of the demon? To be human?"

Laurent leaned to me and whispered into my ear. “You.”

His breath tickled my ear and sent shivers up and down my spine.

Je veux vous,” he whispered into the nape of my neck. His voice sent cascades of electricity through my body. I needed to hold on to something -- anything to steady myself.

"I want you more than I want to be free,” he whispered. "Will you give me that?"

 I clenched my fists but that was not enough to calm my shaking self and so I grasped at his arms and he smiled.

 “Werewolf and all,” he whispered.

He was an idiot. He shouldn’t have been playing seduction with me, especially so close to transformation.

“I want you to let go,” I croaked, the lie all to apparent in my whimpering voice.

“Then command me to leave.” Laurent’s stubble tickled my neck. I closed my eyes. It was too much. He was too much.

“Do it,” he murmured.

My hands moved up his arms. What I wanted was to rip his shirt apart, throw him on the ground…

I shook my head. I couldn’t do that. That was the wolf. That wasn’t me.

“I com – “

Before I could finish my sentence, Laurent’s lips enveloped mine -- soft and sweet, they forced me to swallow the word.

I couldn’t keep the beast within me restrained any longer. My fingers racked through Laurent’s hair; I wanted something ferocious, something wild. But Laurent was gentle. Every time I deepened the embrace, he’d pull back, cooling me off.

Even kissing the man was irritating. He knew what I wanted and yet he taunted me, giving me soft, chaste kisses on the neck, barely grazing my mouth with his lips. He smiled as if he heard my thoughts. With his lips hovering over mine, he said, “What a bad wolf you are.”

I bit his lip, drawing blood.

His demon blood was sweet, like cinnamon.

Laurent laughed as he pulled off his shirt. I noticed the tattoo from the picture; it wasn’t a pineapple as I had previously believed, but some strange sun dollar looking thing. I lightly traced it with my finger, a circle with what looked like sunrays on the inside.

“It’s the sign of the Fire demon,” Laurent whispered, answering my unasked question.

He laid me on the blanket and murmured, “Je veux vousRosen.”

I smiled at the man before me and I knew just then, at that moment, there wasn’t anything or anyone I wanted more than that ridiculous Fire demon. I ran my hands through his hair and smiled; there was nothing I wanted more than Laurent D’incendie to set me ablaze. I pulled his head to mine, with my eyes locked on his, I said, “And I want you … Laurent D’ incendie.”

***

The sky was quickly darkening, even though it was mid day, the congregating clouds made it much darker a lot sooner.

I moved Laurent’s arms away and escaped his hold. I sat up, with my back to him. I needed to start making my way to the Fire altar.

I felt his fingers lightly traced the scars on my back. I closed my eyes and let his skillful fingers send tingles through my skin.

“What is it like,” he murmured. “Being a werewolf.”

What was it like?

I was only a few hours a way from my most dreaded time of month. What was it like? It was painful. The transformation  was not at all beautiful and freeing.

The horror of the transformation was being awake for all of it -- awake as my bones broke, as my organs shifted, and then came the moment in which I could no longer scream, not because the pain has subdued, but because my throat has constricted and can no longer scream my agony.

“It hurts,” I whispered into the desert.

Laurent’s hand stopped moving. “The scars?”

“No, becoming a werewolf. It hurts. Really bad.” I pulled my clothes back on and turned around to face my Fire demon.

I looked down at him with a smile. He was so beautiful and dumb and funny and smart  and so very dumb.

I could feel my face heat and I quickly leaned over and kissed him on the cheek; he smiled and whispered, “Ne vous inquiétez pas.”

I did not know what he said, only that when he spoke French it drove me wild. It was then I realized that there was no way I was going to kill Laurent D’incendie. I couldn’t. I realized that having Laurent with me ninety percent of the time was a much better bargain than being a hundred percent human without him at all.

“There’s something  I have to do before we go to the Fire altar.”

“Let me come with you,” he said as he as he dressed.

“No. I want to be alone. You know, prepare. I’ll meet you at the alter.”

“Alright.”

I walked away, back to the nomad camp. I knew that Laurent was planning on sacrificing himself. I wasn’t dumb. It warmed my heart but it wasn’t going to happen. There would be no blood drinking tonight; I wasn’t a vampire. I was a werewolf and would gladly remain one, if it meant I could have Laurent at my side.

I walked into my tent and grabbed my Moon mirror. Kali was up and followed me to the convergence of the two rivers.

The sun was dangerously close to setting. I had to be quick. I sat on the riverbank of where the two rivers met.

I scratched Kali behind the ears and said, “Well, here goes nothing.” I took the mirror out of the linen and dunked it into the lukewarm river water. The water surrounding the mirror turned a bloody red. After the red cleared I dried the mirror and said into the fast approaching night, “I reject the blood of the demon, Laurent D’incendie.”

I watched as the name behind the mirror disappeared.

I freed Laurent D’incendie of his demon.

Laurent  was free to do whatever he wanted to, annoy as many people he wanted as a full blooded human. He would be hunted no more. I smiled and walked away from the river towards the ruins, with Kali at my side.

I had let go of my one chance of breaking the curse, all for a man who infuriated me beyond belief and I never felt more complete –

Or more human.

“C'est en risquant sa vie que l'homme s'élève au-dessus de l'animal.”

― Simone de Beauvoir,

Le deuxième sexe I

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