Nightblood

In a world of eternal darkness, the light is slowly seeping in. It’s up to one particular winged warrior to save the Night.

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19. Epilogue

Epilogue

 

Ryan and I leap happily through the forest, dodging trees and jumping streams, racing each other to an unknown destination. 

I feel happy. I feel light, carefree. But I still ache inside. My heart is broken, damaged, and happiness is not a strong enough glue to put it back together. Nothing is. 

Ryan flops down onto a bed of silvermoss, next to a gurgling crystal-clear stream. I walk over and prod him with my foot. 

"Get up you lazy mortal!" I tease, trying to be light, but the words ring a bit too true. 

I would live longer than Ryan. Our love would die, because Ryan would die. Would there be another man after him? I didn't want there to be. I didn't want to lose Ryan. 

Suddenly, I remember something I wish I didn't. He is infected, by a Creature. He is not mortal, not anymore. He is a beast. And with it, who knows how he might age?

“How are you feeling?” I blurt out, gazing into his silver and navy eyes. He blinks, as if he doesn't quite understand why I'm asking this. “Remember the attack? By the—the Creature? The partial transformations?” 

His eyes go wide as he remembers. 

“Is it going to happen to me?” He whimpers. 

“It's inevitable… unless…”

"Unless what? Is there a way to reverse it?” He demands, voice urgent. 

“Maybe. It's risky, but there's a spell I can do that will rip it away… if it works." 

“How risky is it?”

“You might die.”

“Do it," his eyes reveal no emotion, only a hint of love. He's willing to risk everything to stay human, to stay with me. 

With a sigh I prepare myself, slicing open my palm and letting the blood flow freely. I call to it, transforming it into raw magic, just ready to be worked into something new. 

I imagine the magic entering Ryan, guiding it to the Creature part of him that hides just beneath the surface. 

I imagine it pulling it outside, pulling away the delusional thoughts of the beast inside him, freeing him, pulling away all the animal.  

Put suddenly something goes wrong. Not enough power. The magic hitches, my power exhausted. I call to it again, but there's not enough. Not enough strength left. 

So I am forced to stop the spell halfway, having exhausted my capabilities. I watch as Ryan begins to twist and real in pain, as the beast inside him ripples to the surface. I expect him to become ugly, fine features warped and destroyed. But with the animal mentality ripped away, only beauty remains. 

As the wolf slowly bubbles to the surface, I watch as he transforms. It's not gruesome. Or frightening. It is haunting. Tantalizing. 

His fingernails merge into silver claws, his human ears pushing into a point, black fur sweeping over them. Fur dusts his fingers and his hands, ending at the point just past his wrist. His teeth lengthen into fangs, sharp and deadly.

Other than that, he remains unchanged, but agony crosses his face, before it slowly ebbs. He stands, and I stare into his eyes. They are filled with power, with energy, with love. 

“Are you alright? You… survived?” I ask, my voice painfully thin.

“Darling, I've never felt more alive.”

 

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