The pain was overwhelming, and all consuming. I didn't want to die, but some part of me knew that was exactly what was happening. Death would soon greet me here in this clearing, a place that held so many wonderful memories. As much as I didn't welcome death, I couldn't bring myself to regret the choices that had led me down this path.
It didn't take long for Logan to arrive, helping me to push aside some my fear. I needed to be strong for him. It hurt to leave him behind, the man I promised the spend the rest of my life with. If only someone could have warned me of how short, too short my life would be. I would have spent more time with him, told him I loved him more.
"I'm sorry, I am so sorry," he sobbed as he dropped down next to me. "Please just hold on for a little while longer. Help is coming, I promise." His voice broke, and with it so did my heart. He slowly looked over my injuries. I'm not sure how I must have looked to him, but the way his face seemed to crumple only confirmed what I already knew. There was no coming back from this. A chill was gradually seeping into my bone, as a sort of numb sensation took over.
I couldn't look away from his beautiful face. Even covered in mud, blood and sweat he was still the most attractive man my eyes had ever beheld. The need to console him was so strong, to somehow lessen the pain evident in his expression. It took more strength than I thought possible, but I raised my hand to gently cup his cheek. His warmth was comforting, giving me a sort of peace. I offered him a weak smile.
"Logan, it's going to be o-okay," My words prompting a coughing fit. I barely recognized my own voice. The tears that filled his eyes began to flow freely now. The agony I felt was nothing compared to the agony I saw within his eyes. A warm thick liquid filled my mouth slowly choking me.
"I know baby. You're going to make it, just stay with me a little longer, help is nearly here," he said. I could tell that he didn't believe his own words, but he didn't want to let me go as much as I didn't want to leave him.
"I won't leave you. I love you so much," I tried to tell him one last time, but nothing came out. I needed him to know how much he meant to me, but everything around me faded as darkness overcame me. I wanted to scream No, not yet I am not ready to go yet, but I couldn't. The agonizing pain in my stomach ceased though it was nothing compared to the crippling aching I now felt in my heart.
I opened my eyes, not realizing I had even closed them and was in awe of the sight around me. I was surrounded by an endless darkness lit dimly by countless stars of varying sizes and brightness. It was possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
"You like it then?" a young female voice asked. I whirled around but saw nobody and nothing, only the twinkling stars. Where was I? Had I actually managed to survive my wounds? Was I dreaming?
"I am truly sorry my dear, but you are no longer among the living," the same voice answered. I felt another pang in my heart. I did die. I would never see Logan again. My vision blurred as fresh tears gathered in my eyes.
"I'm dead?" I asked even though in my heart I already knew the answer.
"Well, that depends entirely on what you perceive death to be. Your mortal body is no longer, but your spirit is very much alive," she answered. The way she spoke confused me. Her words were confident and well spoken, but her voice was so young like that of a prepubescent girl.
"I don't understand. Where am I? Who are you?" I asked trying to understand what was going on.
"Quite inquisitive aren't you," she said sounding slightly amused. "I go by many names, but you may call me Lady Artemis." The name quickly registered with me. My grandmother use to tell me stories about our history, and Artemis's name came up frequently. I racked my brain trying to recall the details of those stories, but I had never really paid them all that much attention.
"You're the one they call the Moon Goddess," I realized, still not believing this was entirely real. It all felt as if I was having some sort of terrible nightmare.
"Yes again just one of the many names I have acquired over the centuries," she said, this time, her voice sounding closer as if she were standing behind me. I turned around and came face to face with a beautiful young girl. She looked as if she couldn't be more than twelve years old. Her wavy brown hair was pulled into a loose french braid which was held together by a golden cord. Artemis's face was flawless and pale with a slight glow to it. It reminded me of the glow of the moon on a clear summer's night.
"Why am I here?" She let out a deep sigh.
"It takes a great warrior spirit to sacrifice their life for the lives of others and your sacrifice was something greater by far," she said her eyes drifting down from my face. For a moment, I couldn't understand what she meant. Then it hit me and I crumpled to the ground my hands automatically going to my stomach. My baby. I hadn't known for sure, but that must have been what she had meant. Oh god, Logan must hate me. I killed his unborn child. Our child.
Lady Artemis kneel in front of me, her face unreadable. She looked angry maybe. It was hard to tell through my tear filled eyes.
"You killed no one my child but saved many. That is why you are here. Keeping domain over the moon takes up more time than I am willing to offer. It keeps me from the hunt and my hunters. I have been searching for the last hundred years to find someone I feel is worthy to reign over the moon in my absence, and I believe you are who I have been looking for." My tears slowed as confusion took over.
"Reign over the moon? What does that even mean? I don't understand," I said trying to think straight and not let my grief take over.
"It means my dear that you would, for at least the time being, become the goddess of the moon."ns18.104.22.168da2