A/N

This is one of the many stories I have floating around in circulation. Next update will be a random day this month. Next story is noon tomorrow. Keep on the lookout for one or more updates daily until the end of the month. Happy reading, and I hope you enjoy the stories!

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Big thanks to my best friend forever, and my closest friend, for being there for me every step of my journey, and to find increasingly clever ways to deflate my ever-growing head, while expanding my ego. I won't name him, but I owe him a lot, more than anyone will know. More than anyone should or will know. He's going to read this, and know I'm talking about him. Yes Best Friend. I see you. A lot of thanks to you for being there when I was first creating the below story.

….

The werewolf.

The very words strike fear in the hearts of men, cause young mother to clutch their newborn babes a little closer to their chest, and making the old matrons and elders sit and stare at the fire in grim contemplation, remembering times before men could protect themselves, or had hunters to protect them.

The word witch inspires the same feeling in mortals.

After all, ones who operate in the shadows, or under the pale light of the moon at night while all sensible and respectable people are sleeping must certainly be evil.

After all, darkness is just unnatural, as is magic and shapeshifting. All who have those abilities were the evil spawn of chaos, and attacked, tortured, maimed and murdered normal people for fun.

This is wrong. While there may be some rogues in the group, most don't feel in that way.

Take it this way. There are 100 pieces of candy in a bowl. 2 pieces out of all of them are laced with poison, and will kill you almost instantaneously after ingesting. Pick a random piece out of the bowl. What are the chances it's deadly?

The same principle applies to witches and werewolves. Most are happy to stay in their houses, making common cold cures and chasing their tails for hours.

Most intermarry with mortals, their magic becoming diluted and dying out, but popping up every now and then, skipping many generations before disappearing again.

And for werewolves, you have to be born with the gift of the wolf, and receive a bite from a family member during the week of the full blood moon. The longer the line is unbroken, the more powerful a wolf you are.

However, some families actively sought out other wolves or mages so that their bloodline would be pure, their magic undiluted. They could be traced back to the beginning of their trees, even though there were many generations and off-branching in between.

However, neither groups had ever considered each other as romantic partners. A wolf and a witch? Preposterous!

But, life, and love, will always find a way.

Ginerva Rosmerta, daughter of Rosaline Rosmerta, daughter of Song Rosmerta, was a member of the Rosmerta off-branch of the long, illustrious and unbroken line of witches and warlocks. Many of the men died early, protecting their families from witch hunters, or simply dying of stupidity.

Regan Dresden, son of Drake Dresden, son of Regulus Dresden, a member of the Dresden branch of the unbroken line of the werewolf family. Many of the women died before the men, some dying in childbirth, from sickness, or were wrongfully accused of being witches.

In the family of magic users, magic tended to favor women, but you could occasionally see a warlock, wizard or mage. The same was true of the wolf family, but in reverse: women were less likely to be born with the gift of the wolf.

Ginerva was a weaver, herbalist healer, and tended to small flocks of animals. Regan was a farmer, hunter, and lumberjack. She was quiet, soft spoken, and cared for all living creatures, hearing their voices in her head. He was also quiet, but he was not soft spoken, traumatized by the constant speaking and screaming of all the plants and spirits around him.

They met one day one the banks of the river Favdushi, she on the eastern bank, leading her flock of lambs to the stream to drink and eat the mosses that floated gently down the brook, he on the western, fetching fish for his family's dinner.

They looked at each other, one rough and hard as a mighty beech tree, the other as delicate and beautiful as the wildflowers that only blooms on the first day of spring, and is quickly swept away by the winds.

At the risk of sounding clichéd, they felt something towards the other from the moment their eyes met. A sort of mutual attraction; like a magnet. It is possible they could sense the power flowing beneath each other's veins and felt a gravitation towards that energy.

He was the Yang to her Yin, and she was the Yin to his Yang.

They started heading to that section of the brook more often, hoping to meet the other. Like fate always decrees, they always just missed each other.

But where theres a will, theres a way.

Ginerva's family's farm was just outside the village, and on the first of every month was market day. Farmers, hunters, and craftsmen gathered for three days to ply their wares and hawk over the price of wool sheens.

Regan went that day, and walked around. He eventually found her with her own little booth at the farthest end of the market, separate from her family.

She kept her head down, focused on protecting her wares and little money, knitting supplies in her lap, n unnaturally large black cat sitting on the edge of the booth, keeping watch.

He quietly walked forward, not letting her know he recognized her, surveying her wares: baskets of eggs, berries and nuts, spools of yarn, knit hats, gloves and scarves, herbal medicines and remedies, as well as seeds, small pots of wildflowers, a crate of chicks, three fully grown sheep, and a dairy cow.

She had the largest and best selection of wares, yet people avoided her stall.

Regan cleared his throat and she looked up, eyes widening in shock, then surprise and excitement as she recognized him.

She lept up as if to hug him, realizing a second later that they had barely met before.

He nodded at her stall, "How much for the three wool spools, two plant pots, a pair of gloves, a basket of eggs, six bottles of the cold medicine, and a packet each of the vegetables? And throw in a basket of berries."

She smiled, getting his items together, giving him two bottle of milk for free. They stood and talked for a while, agreeing to meet again before the next market day to work together to make a stall together.

He took his bag and handed her his entire gold pouch; twenty five gold coins. She gasped, looking up to hand most of them back, but he had disappeared.

They met often, becoming fast friends, then falling for each other, confessing their love.

Eight years after they had first met each other's eyes across the banks of the river, the married on the same banks, joining their two families.

In doing so, they had no idea they were about to start a whole new era of peace and prosperity for all except witch and wolf hunters.