Chapter 27 - End
"Okay - who are we?"
Willow smirked at Jason and then Stephen as well. "You're Jason and Stephen and I'm Willow."
Jason sighed, sticking his tongue out at Willow in a moment of childishness. He watched her pace back and forth across Richard's living room, eyeing her body in what he hoped was an obviously appreciative way. "Very cute."
"I know I am." The red head grinned, earning herself a chuckle from Stephen.
Groaning, Willow's boyfriend gave her a small frown. "Okay - let's try this again. What are we?"
"You and Stephen are werewolves and I'm a little witch."
"And the name we call ourselves?" Stephen prompted.
"Oh - *that*!" She grinned, rolling her eyes good-naturedly. "Why didn't you just ask? Lukoi."
Jason sighed, giving Willow a look. "This is a very important ceremony tonight - can't you at least -try- to be serious?"
Stephen snickered. "Take it easy on him, Red. He'll get in trouble with Richard if you aren't ready tonight."
The red head pouted for a moment and then sat down between them, elbowing Stephen out of the way with a playful smile. She wrapped an arm around Jason's drooping shoulders and kissed his cheek. "Stop worrying, sweetie. I know it all. Trust me."
"Be easier to trust you if you weren't trying so hard to be infuriating." He muttered. This was the first big task Richard had ever entrusted him with - make sure that Willow was ready for the ceremony tonight. The one introducing her to the pack. Make sure that she knew the language, the rules and regulations. All of the laws, new and old, and the dictates under which Richard ran things. He had been training with her for nearly two weeks in preparation.
And now, today, she suddenly wanted to play around with it. Why today of all days? The ceremony was in less than two hours! As soon as dusk fell they had to leave for the lupanar.
"Calm down." Willow purred, kissing Jason's earlobe. She felt his body still under her touch, calming ever so slightly. "I'm just playing around, Jason. I'm nervous, too, you know. It's not every night I get adopted by a pack of werewolves."
Stephen snorted. "It's not every night we adopt someone either."
Willow nodded. She knew that the ceremony tonight was one of honor. It would make her a member of the pack without actually making her lukoi. She wasn't opposed to joining the pack in -that- manner, but that wasn't a decision for here or now. For tonight she would retain her status as human and witch, and join the pack with all appropriate fanfare and dignity. Everything she had learned about pack policy and law showed that they were big on ceremony. Tonight was just going to be one of those nights.
She hoped, for both hers and Jason's sake, that everything went well.
Richard intoned the words he had learned only a week before from Verne, his voice carrying out over the lupanar for all to hear. The ceremony was simple but it was one he had never had the opportunity to learn. This position would be a new one for his pack, though not new at all to the lukoi in general. The first part of the ceremony was simply proving that Willow knew enough about the pack to be worthy of the position she was being granted.
Different members of the pack, those with positions, had stepped up one by one to question her in different areas. From language to law she had spouted off the answers as though she had been studying their kind for years. In other words, she had passed with flying colors - something he would have to be sure to thank Jason for later.
The second was just another set of words to be spoken, oaths to be given. The typical 'arcane werewolf shit' that Anita hated so much. He had to agree with her on this one, it certainly was overdoing it. Almost twenty minutes worth of speech to be given on the rights and responsibilities bestowed on one in Willow's position. And then another ten minutes of oath giving and taking.
At least with Willow facing him no one could see the tired, bored look on her face. That was just as well. He would hate to give any of the pack nay-sayers something to bitch about. Lillian had been brilliant to come up with this idea in the first place - he didn't want anyone to do anything to mess it up. Especially this far into things. Even Sylvie agreed that this was the best solution to everything, and she was usually the pessimistic one.
The moon was shining down, not even half-full yet, giving the entire clearing a silvery glow. He could see the faces in the crowd that were against this - they looked agitated, as usual. Paris and the like. He knew he should have taken care of them when he got rid of Jakob. It was too late now, though. Until they screwed up again he was stuck with them - for better or worse.
Those that favored the appointment were smiling, even if ever so slightly. Jason was beaming with pride in such a way that Richard had to fight back a laugh everytime he looked at him. One would think, looking at the blonde haired werewolf, that the entire idea and commencement of the plan had been his idea. It was the radiant glow of someone seeing someone they cared for get something good in life. Aside from Jason, Anita also looked pleased with the situation, but he knew why that was. With Willow joining the pack things would be more equally balanced in his favor. He would have one more person on his side; another light in the darkness that he considered his world to be. He finished the last word of the ceremony and Willow's voice rang out with the answering remarks. It was done. The ceremony was complete.
He turned her around, inviting the pack to gaze upon her. Later they would all learn her scent; come to know her as just another member of the pack. For now, though, this would suffice.
"I now present to you the new vergamor for the Thronos Rokke clan. Willow."