And Back Again
The day of their departure finally arrived. Willow was busily
packing up her stuff and double-checking her cabin to make sure that
she had not left anything behind. Her perusal of her surroundings
was interrupted by a knocking at her door.
Willow walked up to the door and opened it. Marianne stood there
waiting for an invitation to come in. Willow smiled at seeing
"I was hoping that I wouldn't miss your leaving. I wanted to
say my goodbyes too." Marianne stepped by Willow into the cabin.
Willow shut the door. "Nope, still with the last minute packing.
I was expecting the guys to be pounding down my door demanding to
get the show on the road."
"I'm sure that they will be along very soon. They are
already packing the car." Marianne said this as she sat down on
the bed. She motioned for Willow to join her.
"Willow, I just want you to know that I believe you are capable
of handling all your acquired capabilities. You proved this to me
at the lupanar when you bested Lucy. You are well on your way to
incorporating all aspects of yourself."
Willow gave a little shrug in reply. "I'm trying my best. I
sense a `but' coming."
Marianne gave a sly grin. "Yes, there is a but coming in this
conversation. You can't continue to dabble in witchcraft on your
own. You need the support of a coven. You need others to help you
keep from over-tasking your abilities. Bad consequences result in
"Don't I know that? Many of my spells go wonky on me. I
didn't really have a teacher instructing me in the ways of the
Marianne put an arm around her. "That is why it is so impressive
with what you managed to accomplish on your own. I want us to stay
in contact. If you have any problems at all, I want you to call me
Willow could feel tears beginning to well up in her eyes. She would
miss Marianne. It felt safe being near her. She reminded her of
the coven in England. She missed having a mentor.
"Well, we better get you to the car. Don't want to miss your
ride?" Marianne then embraced Willow in a hug. Willow gave a
tearful smile and hugged back. She hoped she would be able to come
back and visit really soon.
Marianne waited for Willow at the door. Willow gathered up her
luggage and followed Marianne outside to the waiting vehicle. It
was time for a long car ride sitting next to a drop dead gorgeous
male. How ever would she survive?
Shang-Da gave a curt nod to Marianne and took Willow's bag. He
placed with the rest of the luggage in the back. Marianne then gave
a final hug and climbed back into her truck. Willow and Shang-Da
stood watching her drive off into the distance.
Willow finally turned to Shang-Da. "Where is everybody else
Shang-Da shrugged his elegant shoulders. "They're around. I
expect they will be along in a moment."
Willow sighed. They sat down on the tailgate of the SUV. They
didn't have long to wait. Richard's cabin door swung open.
Jamil came out first followed by Richard and Verne. They were
deeply in a conversation. Willow had a feeling that it might
involve her. The pack had been deeply impressed. Willow had even
gotten propositioned by one of Verne's wolves. She turned him
down flat. She couldn't help but be flattered though. She
wasn't used to that much male attention.
Willow's suspicions about Verne and Richard's conversation
were completely accurate. Verne had a long discussion with Richard
about the need for pack stability. Richard was throwing his pack
into upheaval by not having a lupa. He needed to replace Anita with
a worthy candidate.
Verne continued with his peace as they walked towards the
car. "There are probably good candidates already in your
pack." He glanced at Willow as he said this little tidbit.
"You just need to give them a try."
Richard grudgingly agreed with Verne. They shook hands and parted
ways. Verne walked up to Willow. "So, sugar, are you going to
give this old man a hug?"
Willow gave a little squeal and jumped up. "Of course, you know
how I feel about older men." She wiggled her eyebrows at Verne.
She was sure she felt some of her ribs were probably cracked from
"Willow, if you ever get tired of these city werewolves, just
give me a call. We have plenty of room in our pack for you. You
are going to make a great alpha."
Willow blushed in response. She nodded her head. "Well, I need
to finish my degree but I'll keep y'all in mind."
Willow climbed into the backseat and was soon joined by Richard.
Jamil climbed behind the wheel and Shang-Da sat next to him. Jamil
started up the car and they were off. Back to her life in St.
Louis. She pondered what her pack would say about her adventures in
Richard's thoughts were running along similar lines as
Willow's. He leaned on the car door and gave Willow sideways
glances. He had a lot to think about.