I was hardly breathing as Zander came closer. He hesitated slightly, then touched his lips to mine. Instinctivly, I wrapped my arms around his neck, his arms sliding around my waist.We both pulled back, a little stunned. I blushed slightly, ducking my head, smiling as Zander did the same.
We both looked at eachother lost for words. Zander had an odd look in his eyes and he still looked ill. Worry blossomed in my stomach.
"I'm sorry if you didn't want me too...." I cut him off, going to kiss him again. Before I could, the house shook violently, knocking us both to the floor, landing us in a pool of moonlight. With some difficulty, Zander and I got to our feet. I felt hot and shaky all over-meaning that I was struggling to hold my human form. Zander was looking paler than ever.
"What do you suppose is happening?" he asked, grabbing the doorknob, which was trembling still.
I didn't reply, wrestling with myself, trying to hold my form. I was being asaulted with the emotions of everyone in the house, the moonlight opening my powers wide open. I moved out of the moonlight, but the damage had been done and I was shaking visibly.
"Zander...move..." I struggled to speak. I did not want him anywhere near me. He turned fully towards me, about to say something, when another bout of shaking hit the house. I fell to the floor, crying out in pain as the moonlight hit me like burning ice. I rolled to my feet, stumbling, then running out of the room, away from Zander.
"Lirael!" he called after me, concerned. I heard him run after me, making me curse. I ran past a number of the residents, some of whom turned to call after me as I ran.
Finally I burst out of the house, clear into the moonlight. I phased into my wolf form, pantng with relief. Phasing didn't hurt at all, but resisting it did. A group spilled out onto the lawn and I ran off into the forest, ashamed that I had been so weak. I ran straight into a pack of Hunters.
"Well well Lirael. Welcome back." one of the sneered, lunging for me. I howled, bolting back towards the Sanctuary, flickering into panther form breifly, then human.
"Hunters!" I yelled, "Hunters in the-" I flicked into wolf-form again.
Damnit! The confusion of the others bombarded my senses. I growled again, throwing my head side to side, trying to phase back. I managed to flicker between a couple of forms, none useful. In desperation, I projected my thoughts for the second time ever.
The Hunters are here in the forest. This is Lireal and the Hunters are here. They found us again. They are following me here and will arrive any second.
No one moved, I was shaking, trying to get back to human form to make them understand, but they stood, confused.
The Hunters are here-we have to get back inside the Sanctuary for now. Or we stand and fight.
Mercifully, the moon went behind a cloud at that point and I phased into human form, falling to my hands and knees. Zander ran up to me, putting his arm over my shoulder. Shouts floated through the trees.
"We have to go." I muttered.