Twilight over Moldavia
She was dressed in a simple gown and covered in a dark brown cloak with a hood over her head to hide her beautiful, long auburn hair. The directions Hecuba gave to meet her were accurate. A full moon lit up the night sky. Still, Theresa was spooked. Her stomach was tight. She prayed she was doing the right thing to secure her newfound love with Mihai. She saw a small fire in the distance and made her way there. Mihai was on the hunt back in Constanta and would not miss her presence this night. How she fooled him! If only it had not been such agony to do so!
As Theresa approached, she spied Hecuba, dressed in a long silver robe, standing next to a makeshift table with a bag, a cup, and a knife. The fire burned in the shape of a pentagram. In the middle of the pentagram, on all fours was the famed creature – the werewolf. Bane. On the other side, near a line of trees were several other wolves. Theresa recalled the horrible shiver that went spiraling through her body. The night's air was cold – the coldest she'd ever felt. Even in her warm winter clothes, her body couldn't stop shaking.
For Mihai. For our love.
Hecuba motioned for Theresa to approach, and hesitantly she did so.
“Take off your hood, Queen and look at Bane,” commanded Hecuba. She pointed to a rugged, sinewy wolf.
Theresa's hands shook as she removed her hood. The wolf began to transform, standing on two legs. His yellow-gold eyes softened to blue and he became a man, naked before her and totally oblivious to his appearance, as if he was very comfortable being naked. He walked past the fire and into Theresa's personal space.
“As you know, I am Bane. Hecuba is my witch. She tells me you have tried to conceive a child and cannot,” he stated, glaring at her. He crossed his thin, yet shapely muscled arms.
“How long have you been married to the king now?”
“Eighteen months,” answered Theresa, the high pitch of her voice betrayed her fear.
Bane's eyes narrowed, “Eighteen months? You are this desperate for a child after eighteen months? Why?”
“This is none of your business, wolf.”
Bane reached out and brushed a wave of her hair back past her ear. Theresa flinched at the touch. He growled at her reaction.
“If you want our help, you will confess, Queen.”
“The king loves children and wants a family. I love him. I want to give him what he wants, but I fear I cannot. I have no desire to lose him now, after all I have been through,” admitted Theresa, determined to give the foul pair only the briefest of explanations.
Bane sneered at her, displaying the sharply pointed teeth of his incisors. “You know, to give a life, I must take a life.”
“Hecuba told me,” said Theresa. Her stomach churned with fear.
“I will take the life of one of my pack, Queen, but you must promise me the life of the child you will conceive. I assure you that you will conceive within the month if we agree to this.”
“Must I?” Theresa cried. Hearing him speak the words, made it that much more terrifying. The pack of wolves growled as they surrounded the pentagram, but Theresa barely noticed them.
“It is the way. When your child turns eighteen I will require he become a member of my pack to take the place of the one I killed for you,” Bane explained, lasciviously licking his lips for her.
Theresa grimaced just as she picked up on the word ‘he.' Her heart leapt in her chest.
“A boy? My child is to be a boy?”
“My wolf is a man wolf, so yes, your child would be a boy,” added Bane with a cocky smile.
Theresa hesitated. She could not in all good consciousness through with this unless…she manipulated the situation. She lifted her head and regally squared her shoulders, shaking off her fear. She recalled Beatrice's dream, biting the inside of her lip in fierce determination.
“I want a chance to save my son's life.”
“There are no chances. There are my rules and only my rules,” said Bane, crossing his arms in front of her. “Don't waste my time, Queen.”
“I will not agree to this unless you do as I say,” Theresa dared.
Bane's haughty laugh filled the air. “It is you who have come to me, Theresa.”
“If my son falls in love before his eighteenth birthday our deal is null and void.”
“Bane, only love can break this…!” cried Hecuba, stepping up between them.
“I know the power of love, witch,” Bane reminded Hecuba. Theresa smiled. Hecuba didn't care for her condition at all.
Bane continued, “If you want to roll the dice, I require more than that. Your son must be in love and make love to the woman before his eighteenth birthday. Let's face it, Queen, that will be a hard task to accomplish, won't it? Does not a young man's body begin to hunger for a woman upon the onslaught of his teen years? It will be easy for me to win, if your prince takes a wench to satisfy the sexual urges he most definitely will begin to feel as he grows into a man.”
“Ah, but I suspect that if my son has sex with his heart's true love then he will remain a man. My son deserves that much. After all, he will be the crown prince of Moldavia,” said Theresa. She slyly smiled, instigating Bane to take her bait.
Silence fell between them.
“What have you got to lose, wolf?”
“Hecuba!” cried Bane, “Read the cards. Tell me what you see!”
Hecuba went to her table and pulled out her tarot cards from a small bag.
Theresa watched, full of curiosity. Why had he asked her to consult tarot cards? She stood there, wrinkling her brow as Bane hovered over Hecuba. They whispered back and forth until Bane was satisfied.
“Fine, Queen. I agree to those terms. If your son has sex for the first time with the woman he is in love with, then our agreement this night is no longer valid. But, should his first sexual encounter be with anyone else other than the one he loves, he is mine,” stated Bane.
“I agree,” said Theresa.
As she said this, Hecuba lunged for Theresa's hand and sliced its palm. Blood dripped into the ornate cup below. Bane held out his hand and their blood mingled. Theresa bravely drank from the cup and quickly left.
“The Queen did not throw up. Most would,” said Bane.
“She is a strong woman, Bane,” Hecuba's scratchy voice replied.
Those were the last words Theresa heard as she walked away. Once a good distance from the meeting and confident they would not hear her, she allowed herself to vomit. A wolf's death cry could be heard in the distance.
© Copyright by SG Cardin 2005.