Return of the Ranger

biist and alareik_001The Ranger and Endre worked their way south. They traveled by night for the most part, resting during daylight hours in the forests, far from any human habitation.

They had many conversations, catching up on time lost during his absence from her. The Ranger used his beast persona to communicate with his love, and this trip together and communication between them was the first opportunity they had to be together openly since childhood. They had needed to hide their love for each other from most of the rest of the pack, with the exception of a few trusted friends, and especially from Rain, whose bad temper was well known and formidable.

alareik and biist_004Consequently they did not rush on their journey, but made their measured way toward the Marches and possible help for Endre. She shared with him her broken heart at his leaving her. Although she understood well the reason for it, she could not help but mourn her loss even of the mere sight of him among the other pack members. When Rain took her, she would imagine he was her beloved, filling her mind with the most recent sighting of him and memories of his glances in her direction. She had never mated with him, but she longed to lie next to him in his tent.

He told her he had to leave, for the time came when he would have seized her in his need, and then they both would have been banished at the very least. They sat near each other and shared their hopes and dreams. They could not mate in any case in beast form. Yet both realized that, if there was any help for Endre, they would both be human again soon enough.

In the sixth week after the Ranger’s departure, they approached the outskirts of the Marches just after dawn. No one stirred, but as they approached the inn where he had stayed, the young baker lit her lamp in the bakery and began to prepare her bread for the day. She did not notice them as they passed.

The Ranger opened the door to the inn and led Endre up to the room he had taken so many weeks before. He lay himself wearily on the bed and she curled up beside him. He planned, upon waking, to contact the wise woman Desire, or perhaps the dark one, Salome, to seek a remedy for the love of his life to return her to human form. He dared not think any further than this. He closed his eyes.

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