As the sun dipped beyond the horizon, and the moon rose in the night time sky, Raven left her tiny cabin and headed to the stream for her evening bath. Wearing nothing but the skin she was born in, she  reveled in the feel of the cool night air. Stepping into the chilly water, goosebumps rose on her naked skin, but she didn’t mind, it made her feel alive. Using her homemade lavender soap she washed her long, lean body, enjoying the sensual feel of her hands as they slid over her slick skin. Rinsing off,  Raven then washed her long black hair. Stepping into the deepest part of the stream, she ducked under water, allowing her hair to fan on top of the water like spilt ink on a vellum page.

Standing on the cool grass the air around her began to shimmer and vibrate, and a slow sensuous smile formed on her face. Acting as if she hadn’t noticed the disturbance, Raven pulled her wet hair to one side and began twisting it like a wet towel, wringing out as much of the excess water that she could. Walking towards her cabin, her hips undulated with a little extra swing, for she knew she was being watched. Her Carpathian lover had risen from the earth and was following her every move with hungry eyes.

Sitting on the stool by the fireplace Raven picked up her brush an began running it through her hair. “Let me my love” came his whisky colored voice as he removed the brush from her hand and began to run it through her midnight tresses. “Cole” she whispered. The feel of his lips as he skimmed them over her bare shoulder sent shivers down her spine. She loved the way it felt when he brushed her hair, and she released a sigh of contentment. Chuckling in amusement, Cole put down the brush and turned  Raven to face him. Taking both her hands he helped her to stand. Looking deep into her eyes, he cupped her face and leaned down to kiss her. Gently his lips touched hers for a soft kiss, only to be repeated. Wanting more she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her body against his. Holding her tightly his kiss changed from gentle to deep and passionate, giving to her all the love he felt inside. Just as the spark of their passion was starting to turn into a burning flame, he released her lips and stepped back.

Feeling berift from the loss of his heat, Raven opened her eyes and pouted. With a wave of his hand she found herself in a flowing white gown, made of the finest silk. Two tiny speghetti straps held up the sensuous material as it lovingly hugged every curve of her body.  Smiling in approval she looked up at Cole with questioning eyes. “All I good time my love”  Taking her hand he lead her out the door, and wrapping his arms around her from behind and whispered in her ear “Are you ready to fly?” Nodding her head excitedly she replied “Oh yes!” And in the next moment they were flying over the tree tops to an unknown destination.

Raven loved when Cole took her flying, the feel of wind blowing through her hair, the sense of freedom. And on a moonlit night, just like tonight, she felt she could touch the stars. Approaching the mountains tops they easily landed in a clearing between two of the highest peaks. How it was possible, Raven didn’t know, but there before her was a grassy knoll with a beautiful waterfall spilling into an inviting pool.  The moonlight danced upon the beating water, making the droplets look like tiny diamonds. “Oh Cole” she whispered ” How beautiful!” Turning from the waterfall she wrapped her arms around him and squeezed him tight. ” Thank You” Snuggling into his embrace Cole rested his head on top of hers. “There is more my lovely” Stepping back to look into his face, he bent forward to place a kiss on her forehead. “Come”

Keeping a secure arm around her waist,  Cole led her to the wall of the mountain, and with a wave of his hand a doorway appeared and he led Raven through the opening. Looking around she gasped in amazement at the beauty surrounding her. The walls of the cave  illuminated pinks, greens and blues, yet there were no visable lights. It was if they had a life of their own and radiated their essence to create this beautiful display of color. In the center of the room was a long wooden table with at least twelve chairs set around it. Tall potted plants were set in the corners of the room and a lovely centerpiece of bright colored flowers sat in the center of the table. The air began to vibrate around her, and one at a time a Carpathian appeared, until there were ten. Feeling her fear, Cole tightened his arm around her and whispered “Don’t be afraid my love, these are just my brothers” Looking up at him with eyes the size of saucers, Raven began to shake.

After the introductions were made they all sat around the table and the questioning began. “So little brother” said the eldest ” This is your human we have heard so much about.” Looking at Raven with all the love he felt for her shining in his eyes he replied “Aye Lucas, this is she” Nodding his approval he then asked “And is she your mate?” Cole looked his eldest brother directly in the eyes “Yes brother, she is” once again nodding ” Is she willing to turn?” As Cole was getting ready to respond, a very  agitated Raven responded instead. “Please stop talking about me as if I’m not here!. If you want to know how I feel… ask me!” The look Lucas gave her would terrify a grown man, but not Raven. She stood her ground and never looked away. Moments ticked by until he through back his head a laughed. ” Ok then” he replied. The room seemed to let out a collective breath, and the tension ebbed away. “So tell me Raven, do you love my brother?” Looking at Cole, her eyes reflected what was in her heart ” With all I am and ever will be” she answered. “Then I will ask you, are you willing to give up the sun for the dark of the night? Will you allow yourself to be turned into a Carpathian?” Leaning forward Raven kissed Cole with every ounce of love she had, then looked at each and every man sitting at the table. “Cole is my life, the beat of my heart. I had nothing before him, abandoned and left to die in the forest, I fought to survive, and I won. And my reward was Cole.” Stopping for a moment she once again kissed him. “I gave up the sun the day I lost my soul to this man and I have never looked back. The night keeps all of my heart, and Cole is it’s keeper” Once again the room went silent and one by one the brothers disappeared with the exception of Lucas and Cole.

Cole and Raven stood before Lucas and awaited his judgement. “Cole and Raven, as the eldest, it is for me to decide what is best for our family. I see the love you share and I believe this feisty young women is indeed your life mate.” Taking Ravens hands in his own Lucus continued. ” Welcome to the family little sister.” Grabbing her up in a bear hug he held her tight for a moment, then kissed her on the cheek. Reaching for Cole he repeated the process. “At the next full moon, I expect the transition to be complete, then we will perform the uniting ceremony. Until then..” and he was gone.

Laying naked. entwined by the side of the waterfall, Cole and Raven rested after hours of loving. “The sun will be rising soon my love” Cole murmured between kisses. “We need to take you home” Sleepy and satisfied she allowed him to help her stand, and with a wave of his hand dress her again. Wrapping his arms around Ravens waist they once again took to the skies. Once back at the cabin, Cole tucked a sleepy Raven into bed. “Sleep well my love” Opening a hole into the ground, Cole slept the sleep of the dead below ground, as his love slept above. Soon they would share the some underground bed, and the night will keep their hearts.