The last night

                                        By  Eva  and Natacha (c) 2002


As the night began to fall, the forest of the Wolfriders was wrapped in a slight darkness that turned the trees and bushes into strange silhouettes and the forests inhabitants into living shadows. Though, for Stormwave the evening's view was as clear as the behold of the day and with a slight smile around her lips, her oblong eyes studied the surroundings for any elves. While her gaze rested at two elves in the distance, her thoughts went to the one she'd called 'lovemate' so many times.
The elfess' eyes sparkled and her smile softened as she recalled his pretty features. Tonight would be the last time for the two lovemates to share the heat of their bodies and it would also be the last time to call him like that for her. For a short moment, she closed her bright eyes, sighing softly and then opened them again. A weak streak of sunlight fell suddenly through the small leafs into her den, brightening Stormwave's thoughts somehow and with a slow, graceful movement the elfess stood up. With her thoughts and memories still slumbering for her eyes, Stormwave climbed down, carefull not to make even a single sound.

Once the elfess got below and putted her feets softly at the woodland soil, her bondwolf Warwind cheerfully walked towards her, his tail joyously wagging. Stormwave kneeled down to greet the wolf with a few streeks through his black fur, receiving wet lickings in return for it, which made her smile slightly. She ruffled once more through the wolfs' skin and then climbed onto his back, burrying her hands safely in the wolf's skin, while her eyes studied the surroudings with great precision. With a small nod, she confirmed it was safe to leave and so the elfess and her bondwolf disapeared into the forest, on their way to the small brook that flew nearby.

Owl had his eyes on Stormwave during the feast. Since what happened earlier, he felt as if he get the duty to observe her and to be sure that she was loyal to YellowElk. So when she began to move, he followed her silently. He wondered a moment if he should tell Wintersong about it, but as the hunter seemed busy, he prefered to leave alone. An after all, he was old enough to t ake care of that situation ! 

As soon as they arrived near the small stream, Stormwave's eyes searched for her lovemate Ashlore...He wasn't there yet, so both Warwind and his rider laid down in the soft moss-like grass near the brook. Stormwave gently laid her head at Warwind's back and rolled herself up against his warm skin, her eyes thoughtfully focussed on the water that flew quickly through the small stream and sparkled mysteriously in the strange shades of both sun and moon. Accept for the calm splashing of the water and Warwind's breathing, it was entirely silent in the forest.
She sighed softly and smiled as she reminded that this was the brook she and Ashlore firstly had met eachother... Was it coincidence she'd asked Ashlore to come here to celebrate their last joining as well?
Slowly the elfess shook her head. No, it wasn't... But they wouldn't stay here as the risk to be discovered was simply too great. Stormwave knew a small cavern not far away she'd used as shelter herself many times after her parent's death. It had protected her from being found by her other tribemates and the chilly stone protected her from remembering for a while as well. No, she'd ask the cavern again to protect her. Her and Ashlore from being discovered, so they could enjoy their last joining in total rest...
Stormwave closed her eyes slowly when she recalled some other memories and laid some closer against her bondwolf, awaiting the arrival of Ashlore.

When Warwind suddenly growled softly, Stormwave inhaleted the air slowly and her eyes narrowed angrily. ~Owl!~ The elfess glanced quickly behind her, knowing for sure he was following her... She growled softly. Little brat! 

 ** Beloved ? ** sent Ashlore as he arrived on Sheen's back. Stormwave was so beautiful that he already felt his whole body and soul calling for her. * Why wasn't I the one she recognized ?* he thought. He was looking at her since a little moment before he could be able to show himself and call her. Beloved was a word he dared to use for her for one of the last times and he felt his heart torned in two. That was so difficult. He finaly leaded Sheen at Warwind's side and he took Stormwave's hand, simply sending to her : ** Where ?** 

Stormwave smiled warmly at him and took gently his hand, surprised by her own, strong feelings for the male elf. **A small cavern nearby... It's well hidden.** She looked deeply into Ashlore's eyes, reluctant to think about the far future for this moment. 
Then she turned towards her bondwolf, whispered something to him and then turned towards Ashlore again. "Let's go... Beloved..." she smiled at him, her eyes studying his handsome futures as she sat on Sheen's back as well, laying her arms carefully around her lovemate... 

 " Won't Warwind come with us ? " asked Ashlore. But he didn't really care, all that was important was to have Stormwave with him, even for one last time...this last time had to be perfect. He didn't want to think about what would happen if YellowElk or one of the plainrunners would find them.

Stormwave smiled at Ashlore and shook her head softly, while she caressed Ashlore's cheek with one of her hands. **No, he won't...** Her greenblue coloured eyes, filled with warmth, studied him carefully and she smiled again. **But that doesn't matter for now, does it...?** She brought her face closer to his as she said this, still looking into his beautiful eyes.

Ashlore couldn't help to held her tight, as  both of them rode on Sheen's back. Soon, they saw the entrance of the cavern Stormwave told about earlier and Ashlore felt his heart stopping to beat at the thought of what would happen next. ** Here we are I think...** he sent to her as he helped her to dismount. 

Stormwave gently stroke along Ashlore's cheek, before her eyes went to the cavern, studying it thoughtfully. It was a confortable cavern, quite well hidden... In case her YellowElk might suspect something and would go outside to seek her. She shook her head. No, that wouldn't happen. He was at Nowater's wedding and had no reason to suspect her from doing this, did he...? The only one who could ruin it all now, was that little boy Owl... But Warwind was already taking care of him!
Besides... Stormwave's eyes sparkled when a small ray of moonlight touched her face. She was doing it for the three of them, not just for herself!
Yes, that was so... So there was nothing to fear! Stormwave's thoughtful expression dissapeared again and her smile returned as she cheerfully grabbed Ashlore's hand and ran towards the cavern, taking her lovemate along...
Meanwhile, still near the brook, a four-legged shadowlike creature stalked Owl. It silently followed the youth, his head lowered while he kept his eyes focussed on Owl. His elfmate Stormwave had asked him to make sure the youth didn't follow her anymore...But how...? Warwind was quite sure that his elfmate didn't want him to kill the boy. The wolf suddenly stood still, as Owl did the same.
With his sharp gold-yellow eyes, the wolf studied the boy, thoughtfully holding his head askance, while an idea grew in the wolf's mind...
Owl was still studying the surroundings of the brook, searching for any useful traces of Stormwave, when Warwind suddenly leapt out of the bushes, right onto the poor Owl. Threatening the wolf looked down at Owl and growled slightly to make sure that the young male was convinced of his strenght... 

 Owl gasped as the big wolf began to growl. He didn't move, knowing that any suspect movement would make the wolf attack. * Darn wolfriders with their beasts !* he thought. He knew that this wolf was Stormwave's one, he already saw her often with this wolf. And she sent him to avoid him to follow her. Clever but foolish girl. He was sure now that she was doing something deloyal to YellowElk and he had to be warned ! 
 The youth kept his eyes focused on the wolf and he sent as powerfully as he was able to : ** Wintersong, YellowElk, I need you ! Come quick ! ** And he sent them an image of Warwind growling. 

Warwind held his head askance as the youth kept his eyes focussed on him and then slowly stepped off the youth, but still keeping an close eye on the boy and growling slightly. The wolf felt as there had went something wrong, but what?

 Meanwhile, Ashlore sat with Stormwave on some furs and he began to kiss her, whispering loving words to her ears as his hands were busy to undress her slowly. ** You're so beautiful, beloved, I waited for this moment since so long...I-I feared it would never happen again...** he locksent, unable to speak anymore. 

" Don't think of it now, Ashlore... Don't.." Stormwave whispered softly, holding her face close to his and pressed a tender kiss on his lips. "Just enjoy..." Her warm eyes studied him for a moment, while a softened smile formed around her lips. She had missed him too, and she could never imagined she'd still have such strong feelings for him. Greedy, her hands glode on his body and she pressed her lips once again at his', kissing him passionately.

Meanwhile, Wintersong and YellowElk arrived to Owl. The poor youth didn't move a finger since he sent for them. Wintersong stared at Warwind and knew the wolf wouldn't harm Owl, he was just here to avoid him to go...elsewhere. ** Owl...step back and come to us. We're leaving. ** he sent to the younger one. Owl nodded and obeyed as YellowElk exclaimed : " But this is Warwind, Stormwave's bond, why is he acting like that ? "
" I know why.." began Owl as he was at Wintersong's side now. But the wolfrider made him stop talking by a simple gaze. It wasn't the time for that. 

Later, following the traces of Sheen, the three males and the big wolf called Strongheart arrived near the cavern where Ashlore and Stormwave were in secret. Owl bite his lips during all the trip under Wintersong's constant gaze, better not say anything now...YellowElk was silent too, feeling worried for his lifemate. He wondered why sickness took her to go that far from the holt when humans and others dangers could be around. She was bearing their child ! Did she forget that ?

YellowElk ran as he saw the silhouette on a large rock. ** Wahl ! What are you doing here, alone ? It is dangerous, did you forget that humans can still be around ? They already took one of your packmates, I don't want to lose you. You should stay at the camp !. ** he locksent to Stormwave as she slowly looked at him.

** Your wolf, Warwind, why wasn't he with you ? Protecting you instead of threatening Owl ? ! ** he asked again as Wintersong and Owl looked at them. But Owl was scruting the area too, trying to notice any sign of Ashlore, because HE knew he was there, with Stormwave !
** Quiet young one. ** locksent Wintersong to him ** This is not about our concern, they have to deal about that together alone. **
Owl growled but nodded, he didn't want to disapoint the wolfrider.

 "Warwind was after someone following us..." Stormwave finally looked up again, speaking the words slowly. "He caught a strange scent and thought it might be an enemy. So I sent him after our stalker."  Stormwave's eyes went to Owl, not betraying even the slightest emotion, while a smile fromed around her lips.

" Following you ? " asked YellowElk. " You mean following you and your wolf ? But why didn't you sent for me ? Why did you go that far instead of calling for help ? "
" Because she wasn't alone, she was with him..." growled Owl, still staring at Stormwave, but not loud enough for YellowElk to hear it, only Wintersong asked him to shut up for now.

Stormwave smiled gently at Owl , she understood his worries, and knew how hard it had to be for the youth to shut his mouth. But he shouldn’t have followed her in the first place…!
“Because I wanted to be alone for a few moments. But it seems I’ll never have the opportunity to with you all worrying all over the time…” She winked and looked up as she saw someone arriving. “Aaah, Warwind! I missed you!” 
She slowly stood up and embraced her wolf as greeting. “Did you found the one following me…?” she then asked loudly, while a smile formed around her lips.

Owl blushed and frowned but stay silent. He was really angry and upset about the whole thing.
" Well, it's time to go back to the holt now. " said Wintersong.
YellowElk nodded and took Stormwave's hand as they all came back to the holt. No one saw the shadow of Ashlore moving in the trees above them....

The end ?