Chapter 5: The Moon and Stars Above You.

Hello, everybody! We are back with yet another chapter of The End, and I have to say that I am quite proud of this one. So hopefully you guys enjoy it! I know a lot of you are waiting for the second part of Howling 101 to drop, but this story is my priority and I needed to update this one before I broke ground on the next part of the lemon. But hey, enough about that. Let's dive on in, shall we?

Humphrey's P.O.V.

Of all the memories I have of my time with Kate to which I like to retreat, none is more momentous than that night that we shared on the train. The physical and emotional energy we shared together was so genuine and so raw that it felt almost like a dream. I don't know if it was the adrenaline that we each had coursing through our veins after our encounter with the bears, if this energy resulted from Kate finally breaking free from her shell, or if it was some perfectly crafted concoction of the two; all I knew is that she had finally opened herself up to me, and shown me the real wolf beneath the cold, militant alpha that she carried on her skin, and there was no greater feeling in the world.

Just as we had done on the mountain, we two romped and played together as we had done in the days before she left to have her personality destroyed by the pack's alpha training program and in this moment I knew that we two were closer than we had ever been before. No longer was I her constant source of annoyance. I was finally her friend again, but I could tell by the way that she looked at me that we two had finally pushed past the barrier of friendship and had found ourselves at the genesis of something truly magical. She was right on the edge of love and ready to fall, and I was ready to catch her. All I would have to do is think of a way to break down the final wall that she had built around her heart and I knew that she would be mine forever.

Kate's P.O.V.

The relationship that Humphrey and I had built and then later destroyed was, at least in a pragmatic sense, laden with an acute toxicity that I don't think words alone could even come close to explaining. I honestly don't know what our relationship was even founded upon anymore, but I will not deny that our time together, while tumultuous, was also strangely magical. In the time we shared, we created so many memories, but to this day, the train ride home at the end of that life-changing adventure across the country somehow stands out above all others whenever I reflect on the many good times that Humphrey and I shared in each other's company.

I can't explain what had come over me that night, but ever since we had begun to climb that mountain earlier that day, I noticed that I was somehow... different than I was the day before. Even though my paws were sore, my body was exhausted, and the stress was ready to split my mind in half, I would see Humphrey smile at me, and for some inexplicable reason, the pain in my paws seemed more bearable, the fatigue in my body less severe, and home, not so far away. I came into this whole ordeal deeply embittered by his inability to take life seriously, but I realize now that somehow along the way I had actually come to rely on it. His positivity knew no bounds and the energy that he radiated was highly infectious. It latched onto me on the mountain that day and it refused to let me go, and for reasons I don't quite understand, I didn't want it to.

The spiritual liberation I felt in his presence was so intoxicating that a part of me wanted it to never end, and even though there was a part of me that tried to resist it when he beckoned me to howl with him that night, there was an even bigger part of me that didn't care enough about what the consequences of my actions might bring.

Humphrey's P.O.V.

The minutes rolled along as dusk yielded to night and for a moment, the world around us was cast into an inky, black darkness, but between us, there was a new light beginning to shine as we sat together and passed the time with meaningless small talk. For the better part of an hour, we two sat together and allowed our conversation to entertain us, and during this time, my mind still scrambled to conjure the words I would need in order to finally allow our two hearts to meld into one. But it seemed that the harder I tried, the harder my mind resisted my desires and I found my courage beginning to slip slowly away.

This all changed, however, when the train steered its direction to the east and the pale light from the rising moon shone like a beacon through the open cargo door and bathed us in its brilliant, blue splendor. To this day, I cannot explain what possessed me in this moment, but when I saw the face of the low-hanging moon shimmering so splendidly in the water's mirror, I felt as though the night was calling to me, beckoning me to entertain the deepest passions of my soul. The air that whisked into the train car was cool and invigorating and the light from the moon pierced through the void of the night like the luminous luster of creation itself. I found myself mesmerized by the night's enchanting spell and, unable to break myself free from its intoxicating charm, I rose to my paws, seated myself on the track of the cargo door and lifted my voice in song. I'm not sure if she ever felt the same as I did in this moment, but it was one that I wished so dearly that she would share with me, so that together we may hear the sweet song of the land as it harmonized itself with that which we offered.

When she cut into my song and inquired about my actions, I felt my courage begin to slip, but I told myself that this was my only chance to beckon her to lift her voice to the heavens by my side. So I swallowed my inhibitions and continued to try with everything that lied within my heart, mind and soul to convince her to sit by my side and let her spirit soar. Still, she remained where she sat, bound in place by the shackles of uncertainty, but I refused to give up. I swore to myself that I would find a way to make her howl with me or I would sing my song until my energy was spent and I collapsed to whatever fate the Gods willed.

Kate's P.O.V.

I didn't know what to expect when Humphrey sat down at the open edge of the train car, so when he turned his nose to the moon and began to howl, I was surprised to say the least. Not only was it the last thing that I had ever expected to happen that night; I never imagined such a beautiful sound could come from the likes of him. Humphrey's howl was... spellbinding. In all my life I had never heard a howl as breathtaking as his and I regret to say that I have not heard another one since. When he howled, it was almost as though the essence of his very soul had manifested itself in the form of song and the more I listened to it, the more I realized that his was more than a simple howl. It was love, a pool of emotion in search of somebody to gaze upon its fetching face, and as I watched his essence surround his body like the pale light from the moon above, I felt it pierce my soul and I could swear that I saw my face reflecting in its crystal mirror. I still cannot say with certainty wether I had allowed my heart to commit to his in this moment, or if it happened as a result of what followed, but what I can say without even a trace of doubt is that Humphrey's howl was so beautiful and so captivating that I completely lost myself in the moment, and before my mind could even begin to consider how this moment would shape my future, I sat down beside him and I, too, lifted my voice in song.

And what resulted was a symphony whose beauty was beyond anything that I could ever convey with my limited vocabulary. The moment I allowed my voice to come into conjunction with his, I felt something awaken inside of me. It seemed almost like a memory, or a feeling that was familiar to me, but had somehow grown distant over time, or had always been inside of me, but lied just beyond my reach. I couldn't tell you what it was, even if I tried, but then again I've never been very good at expressing how I feel. All I can say is that in this moment, everything that I had bottled up for months: that traumatic event in Alpha School, the responsibility I was forced into by my parents, the stress, and the frayed emotions I experienced every time I allowed my mind to think about all of these things... it all seemed to fall away. I can't really explain why, but in this moment, after being trapped for so long inside a world of confusion and trauma, Humphrey, and the howl that we two shared under the moon that night, were the only things that made sense to me and for what felt like the first time, I was actually happy. And to me, there was no greater feeling in the world.

Humphrey's P.O.V.

I don't know what I actually expected to accomplish that night as I continued to sing my song to the moon above, and with how loudly the voice of reason in my head screamed that my efforts would all be in vain, and that this was nothing but a waste of time, I honestly doubt that I ever expected her to join me in the resplendent symphony that my heart had always envisioned we'd create together. But then, from out of nowhere, she was there at my side, and when her angelic voice filled my ears, I felt its sea of sumptuous splendor pour into my soul, wash away the demons that dwelled within, and drown them in its eternal grace. As her essence overtook me, I felt something that I'd never felt with anybody else before... or since... My heart swelled as the song that it had always sang in silent dissonance was finally brought to solidarity by the one voice that it had always hoped would make it complete, and as this sensation grew, and as her essence enveloped me in its pulchritude, I slowly lost myself and became a part of her.

I felt the heartbeat of creation as our aching souls bled so beautifully from our mouths, and as these two souls shared their secrets in the form of song, I knew that the two had become one, joined together for eternity by a bond whose ties could never be severed. I felt it as we sang, I felt it in the silence that followed. I felt it in every word she spoke when she finally decided to break this silence, and I felt it in every move she made that night as she struggled to decide if she should allow herself to have what her heart desired, or force herself to do whatever her responsibilities demanded. This turmoil lingered over her for the remainder of our night together, but based on the soft smile that was born upon her lips whenever she eventually slipped away into the serene realm of slumber, I could tell that in her sleep, at least, she had found peace. I wondered for a moment where her dreams had taken her, if I was there with her, and if I was, was I the one who made her smile so?

I wished so desperately to join her, to lie down by her side and wrap my body around hers, but I knew that the moment I felt her tender body in my arms, I would never be able to let her go, even if she was somebody else's to hold. So instead I sat to the side and admired her from afar as I had done for the entirety of my existence and counted down the minutes until I knew that I would have to say goodbye. After all, this was nothing more than a fantasy. She would never truly be mine, even if what we had was special. The Purity Law forbade our kind of love, and that, my friends, was the most poignant reality I'd ever had to face. No matter what I felt, no matter what she might have felt, no matter what sort of bond our two souls may have shared, they could never truly be one entity of eternal matrimony, for she was an alpha, and I... an omega. A worthless, pathetic, second class citizen whose presence there made no difference. Soon, I was going to lose everything that ever meant anything to me yet again, just as I had done when she left for Alpha School. Only this time, I would be much worse.

The fairytale was almost over. Soon we would be back in Jasper, she would be a goddess, and I would be nothing, but perhaps if I really tried, I could try to hold on to this pleasant illusion for just a moment longer.

Well guys, there it is! I truly hope you enjoyed it! Please keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter, and if you feel so inclined, drop me a review and lemme know what you think. They are much appreciated!

-MTOW out!