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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12. What is being human?

Bhanupriya, the Fire priestess was a squat, rude little thing.

Brown and as wrinkly as a date, she sat cross-legged, her dark silky black hair, unlike the other women in Rajasthan, was not braided neatly down her back. Instead it flowed rebelliously around her.

She sighed as we seated ourselves. She looked at Laurent and back at me and sighed once more in disappointment.

It was not the welcome I had imagined.

She looked over at Bharat and spoke in Rajasthani. Whatever she had said sent Bharat into raging fits of laughter.  

The old woman grasped my hand and stared at my palm. She traced the line from the cut Laurent inflicted. She then grasped Laurent’s hand and did the same.

She dropped our hands in disgust and shouted in her language.

Bharat looked back at Laurent and I with a scowl.

“Bhanupriya asks whose brilliant idea it was to do the blood pact?”

I glared at Laurent.

The old woman groaned and rapidly spat out some harsh sounding words. I didn’t have to understand Rajasthani to know that the old lady cursed our asses to the Sun God and back.

After she calmed down, she glared at us with eyes that could rival any Fire demon’s. She then looked over at Bharat and rambled off with our guide.

After much shouting, hand gestures, head bobbing and glares in our direction, Bharat turned to us and said, “Bhanupriya says that the blood pact complicates things.”

All that talk and that was all she said? I highly doubted it. They were hiding something.

The little woman grabbed Laurent’s hand and with smooth liquid motions cut his palm. She ran a finger over the black blood and tasted it.

With a sad sigh she let go of Laurent’s hand; she looked at me and spoke. When she was done I asked Bharat. “What’s the problem? Will his blood work for the ritual?”

Bharat would not meet my gaze. “His blood will work.”

“Then what is the problem?” Laurent stared at his hand. “Tell us Bharat.”

“You are a partial Fire demon. Your demon blood is very…” Bharat put his thumb and index finger together. “It is very little.”

“So,” I asked. “What’s the big deal?’

Bharat would not meet my eyes.

“Just spit it out Bharat, or so help me I'll choke it out of you.”

Bharat slowly looked up at me. “Madam, because the demon blood is so little, you will need to drink a lot of it.”

“That’s it?” Blood was disgusting, true, but damn, the way they were acting, I thought it was something much worse.

Bharat sighed. “The amount of blood that you will need to drink in the ritual will kill him.”

Bharat looked over at Laurent. “You will not survive the ritual, sir.”

It suddenly got very cold. I could feel my heart beat quicken. I was surprised at my sudden reaction. Why did I even care. Laurent was a means to an end. Why did I care what would happen to him.

I clenched my fists and braved a look at the partial Fire demon beside me.

“And the ritual to free me,” he asked.

Bharat shook his head. “The pact makes everything complicated.”

“What does she need to do to free me,” Laurent asked his tone nonchalant and cold.

“Madam, you will need to take the Moon Goddess mirror to the river bank where the Drishadvathi and Sarasvathi Rivers meet and wash it. You must then say, “I reject the blood of the demon.”

I stared blankly at the man. “What?”

Bharat sighed and repeated. “The only way for you to free him is to reject his blood.”

It took awhile for the words to sink in.

For the fist time in my life I was shocked into nothingness. I could not feel or hear anything.

“I need his blood to break the curse.” I heard myself say. “If I reject it and set him free, I cannot break my own curse. I will remain a werewolf until the day I die.”

I kept my gaze on Laurent. I wanted him to turn around and just tell me that I had better honor my promise. I was not brave enough to make the decision by myself. I was a coward and I need him to say something -- anything.

“And he – he will have to die in order for me to break the curse. That is what you are telling me?”

I kept my gaze on Laurent, willing him to turn to me, to say anything to me. But he kept staring off. I wanted him to say something to make my decision easier; free him or free myself, either way it was a lost situation.

Bharat sighed. “Yes, madam. If the sir is free of the demon, his blood will no longer be useful to you. If you choose to disregard the promise of the pact and free yourself, he will have to die.”

I took several deep breaths. Calm down Rosen. Calm down. Breath. In and out. In and out. I closed my eyes. Think. Calm down and think.

I opened my eyes and stared into the dark khol-ed eyes of the priestess. “Is there no way around this double edged sword?” If there weren’t another solution, then I would prepare myself to do what needed to be done. Laurent was a means to an end.

The old priestess smiled, a wide Chester the cat smile. She spoke rapidly and looked over at Bharat.

The translator looked sick. There was not enough money in the world to make me switch places with him.

“There is a way to solve this problem. But it is a puzzle and very unclear.”

Laurent calmly asked, “What is it?”

Bharat took a deep breath. “You will both have to let go of what you want, in order to get what you need.”

 I took a deep controlled breath. What sort of quackery was that? I glared at the priestess. “What in the actual fucking fuck am I supposed to do with that shit?”

The woman shrugged and got up. But before she left she said something and sadly shook her head.

With her raven hair trailing behind her she left us in the Fire altar.

“What did she say,” I asked Bharat, hoping it was some sort of  hint to solving the riddle.

Bharat looked me in the eyes and replied, “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.”

I felt my heart sink.

For the first time in my life I did not know what to do and for the first time in my life I was terrified.

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