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The Nameless Luna – Book One: Chapter 27

Tristan and I hike through an off-the-beaten road path along the forest beside the lake, and he tells me that Rovers’ Seer is only part-wolf, distantly descended from witches. As we walk between the trees and brushes, he gives me her story.
Sophie had served as an advisor and healer for her old pack, but her gift of sight had always been something of a controversy. Her prophecies were not always pleasant, and many despised Sophie for it.
When Sophie had a horrible vision about the Luna of her old pack, she warned the Alpha that his mate’s pregnancy would kill her. She urged him to seek out healers from other packs and find help across the land in search of a way to save his Luna, but the Alpha was consumed with his desire for an heir. He was too proud to ask for the help of other packs, and when Sophie warned that both his beloved and their child would perish for his greed and arrogance, he did not listen.
So the woman died.
The Luna and her unborn child both perished exactly as Sophie foretold they would, and in his delusional wrath, the Alpha accused Sophie of cursing his mate, choosing to blame someone else for the blood on his hands. He blinded the Seer and banished her from the pack.
If not for Tristan, she would have died alone in the wilderness, but the Exiled King welcomed her into his own pack. He gave her a home and helped her heal, just as his father had done for a witch years before.
As we approach the Seer’s cottage deep within the greenery of the forest, the woods around me grow darker and thicker, the branches of the trees stretching out like skeletal fingers. The house is old and weather-beaten, with a thatched roof and walls made of rough-hewn wood covered in moss and vines. The eerie silence that surrounds the cottage is broken only by the gentle rustle of leaves and the occasional chirping of a bird. There are towering trees that seem to stretch toward the sky, with thick clusters of vines and underbrush snaking around the trunks, obscuring the forest floor from view.
Despite its apparent age, I am surprised to see that the cottage is actually in good condition, and there’s a certain charm to it that I did not expect. The windows are clean and sparkle in the sunlight that streams in between the trees. The pots of colorful flowers that adorn the front porch are bursting with fragrant blooms, and the walkway leading up to the cottage has been swept clean. There’s a warm glow emanating from within, the smoke from the chimney curling up into the air and dancing between the branches of the trees.
Despite its inviting appearance, there is something undeniably unsettling about the cottage. The air around it seems charged with a palpable sense of mystery, and there is a haunting sort of otherness about the place like it’s not entirely from this world.
But then the front door swings open, the hinges creaking as Tristan stops beside me. His relaxed and unbothered posture clashes with the surreal ambiance of the cottage. As a woman appears in the doorway, he smiles slightly.
The Seer is older than I expected, at least seventy years. Her ashy skin is wrinkled and cracked, her platinum white hair straight and sleek and almost as long as my own, grown just past her waist. She wears a dark blue tunic over a pair of loose black pants that billow softly around her bare feet and no jewelry. But her eyes… I could see that her almond eyes had once been lovely, but they are glazed over, the skin around the lids red and scared.
‘If I enjoyed unexpected visitors, boy, I wouldn’t live in a secluded cabin,’ she says, her voice thin and scratchy.
Tristan scoffs, ‘Play nice, Sophie.’
There is a pause, and then the old woman grins, her posture changing as a chuckle escapes her thin lips and her expression warms.
‘Oh, I’m just teasing. You know how I love to play the wicked witch. It’s too easy.’
‘Except there isn’t a wicked bone in your body, and your cottage is a twenty-minute hike from downtown. I’d hardly call that secluded. Lucy visited just the other day. You gave her cinnamon rolls,’ Tristan says, glancing down at me with a smirk. ‘Don’t mind Sophie. She thinks because she’s old and a little introverted, that makes her a hermit and a crone, but she’s just being melodramatic.’
‘And he thinks because he’s King, that means he doesn’t need manners,’ Sophie coos disapprovingly, but there is a hint of teasing in her voice, almost like a mother scolding a mischievous child.
‘Apologies,’ Tristan retorts before glancing back at me. ‘Sophie, I’d like you to meet…’ he trails off, his gaze becoming uncharacteristically uncertain as he struggles for the words to introduce me.
I love the way he calls me his flower, but it is a term of endearment, nothing more. It is not my name.
Tristan stares at me with a sudden sorrow that darkness his handsome features as he remembers what I have been denied, and he seems to realize this is not something he can give me.
‘I’m the one from your vision,’ I chime in quickly, offering Tristan a sad little smile as if to reassure him that I’m okay. As much as I care for him, it is not my mate’s job to tell me who I am. I know that.
‘The violet-eyed girl born of bane and betrayal, nameless in the night,’ Sophie whispers as if she were reciting a poem or recalling the words of an old fairy tale. ‘So the prodigal son found the daughter of darkness.’
Though her eyes are milky and empty, I get the sense that she is looking right at me, and a chill runs down my spine. I can’t shake the feeling that somehow, this blind woman with her carved-up eyes and kind smile can see me, perhaps clearer than anyone has ever seen me before.
Had she heard whispers of me on the wind? Did she see my face in a dream? Could she actually feel my bond with Tristan, or was she merely aware of it?
There is an uncomfortable silence before Sophie finally sighs. ‘Well then, come in, you two. I expect you have some questions, and we can discuss this over a cup of tea.’
I stiffen and glance between her and Tristan, who remains unphased.
How does she know why we’re here?
‘Can you read minds?’ I ask Sophie.
The woman bursts into laughter. ‘Not at all, child. But you two are newly found mates. If things were as they should be, I expect you lovebirds would be otherwise preoccupied and not wasting your time visiting an old witch in the woods.’
I can feel Tristan shift beside me at the way Sophie speaks about us, tensing at the word ‘lovebirds.’ But he only shakes his head in dismay before retorting, ‘Half witch. You’re still a wolf, even if you forget to show your Alpha some respect.’
Sophie steps aside, holding the door of her cottage open for us. ‘Do you want to come in for tea or not, your majesty?’
Tristan rolls his eyes before looking back at me and motioning for me to head inside. I get the feeling that Sophie is a little bit mad, but I suspect she’s capable of being more than a little bit frightening if she wants to be.
Still, like the rest of the Rovers, she has her place in Tristan’s kingdom, and she seems content with it. Tristan’s patience and protectiveness are making more and more sense the better I get to know his pack. His wolves are an eclectic bunch, without a doubt, and I can see why he’s so intent on defending them and protecting this home he’s created.
As I walk into the cottage with Tristan by my side, an uncomfortable thought slithers its way into the back of my mind.
Sophie’s presence feels distinctly different from the one I felt the other night at the lake. But while the Seer is clearly a unique character, it’s quite possible that she’s not the only one on these lands with strange powers.
I have this sinking feeling that there is something else lurking beyond the ragtag world of the Rovers and their benevolent King. As we look into the unknown, I can’t shake the feeling that whatever is out there in the dark… it’s staring right back at me. And it is neither witch nor wolf.


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