"Is she wolf as well?"
"No, she's home grown, all American human," Jen said dryly.
Rachel thought about the revelation for a few quiet moments. About what it meant that a gypsy healer had returned to the Romanian wolves after three centuries of absence. She didn't count herself since she and her mate had effectively slipped from view.
"You said you are a healer?" Jen asked.
"Yes, I am. But I am not only a healer."
"Your eyes glow," Jen's words were soft as she pieced the puzzle together, "Mother of pearl; you're a dormant aren't you?"
Rachel's mouth took on a slight curve as she smiled at Jen's odd words. "Yes, I am a dormant. I'm the last one born in 5 centuries, both gypsy healer and dormant Canis lupis."
"Why are you living here all alone without a pack?"
"Try to relax. This could take a while," Rachel sat back in her chair and crossed one leg over the other. She looked off at nothing unparticular gathering her thoughts and trying to decide where she should begin her story.
"Gavril, my mate was a mighty Alpha three centuries ago to the Western Romanian Pack,"
"Western Romanian?" Jen interrupted.
Rachel cocked her head, a very wolf like gesture.
Jen raised her hands in surrender, "Sorry, got it. No interrupting, hold all applause until the end of the show."
Rachel shook her head, "You are very strange."
"You have no idea," Jen muttered under her breath but kept her attention on Rachel, waiting for her to go on.
"For centuries the Romanian packs were divided. Eastern and Western. Both were ruled by powerful Alpha's who were surprisingly agreeable most of the time. They had a shaky alliance that turned into a friendship over the years. My great-grandmother was the gypsy healer to the Western pack. Eastern pack did not have a healer and because of the friendship between the Alphas, the Eastern Alpha would allow my great-grandmother to go and attend their wolves when needed. She wound up having an affair with a werewolf, although now I believe she was actually his mate. Through that pairing a daughter was conceived and so on and so forth until I was born. At first, I thought that I was just a fourth generation healer and dormant. Gavril was the pack historian. He had no reason to know otherwise, so that is how he recorded me. But after the werewolf wars, and my mother's death, it became apparent that I was the only healer left. That was when I was finally told who I really was. She had finally decided that it was time to remind the wolves of their history."
"She who?" Jen asked.
"We will get to her soon enough."
Rachel paused momentarily and Jen took advantage of the silence, "Okay back up a sec Charlie Brown, what do you mean they think your great-grandmother had a mate? Wasn't she human?"
Rachel nodded, "She was human," before Jen could interrupt Rachel held up a finger stopping her, "But more importantly, she was a gypsy healer." She didn't elaborate but just let that sink in.
Jen's mouth fell open. Even though it hurt horrifically, she propped herself up on her side gingerly, "Bloody hell, you can't be saying what I think you are saying. But you are, aren't you? Gypsy healers can mate with Canis lupis."
"Not 'can'," Rachel clarified, "will."
"Will?" Jen's eyebrows rose at the declaration.
"Gypsy healers are always the mate to a Canis lupis."
"Then why aren't their more dormants?"
"It is very difficult for werewolves to procreate, there is a reason for this but we won't get into that right now. It's even rarer with healers and a wolf. A child born of a healer and a wolf only comes every four or five centuries. I was the last known gypsy healer/dormant."
"Okay, so how can there be gypsy healers that aren't dormants then?" Jen challenged.
"How was the mate of the Romanian Canis lupis prince conceived and not full wolf?"
"Touche'," Jen conceded, "So there are gypsies who have chosen to be with humans?"
"When they could not find their mate, or their mate died before they were bonded. Then yes, some chose a life with a human and would wind up bearing children from that union," Rachel explained.
"Okay, I'm with you. Hit me with some more," Jen laid back down, her lips flattening in a tight line as she eased onto her back.
"Since my mother was a healer, I grew up around werewolves but most of my friends were from a village a couple of miles away from the pack den. My mother kept me, for the most part, away from the males for as long as she could. I believe she was worried that I would find a mate at too young an age. When I hit puberty, I began to exhibit unusual physical attributes that were getting difficult to conceal from the humans. My eyes, for instance, took on a slight glow. When I would feel strong emotions, they would glow just like a full blood Canis lupis. I had to be careful and learn to control my emotions. Although my mother wanted to keep me from the males, I had to learn the skills of being a healer. As I continued to get older I started going with her to see her patients. I would see Gavril from time to time and began to feel a pull towards him. When I mentioned it to my mother she told me that it wasn't time. I didn't really understand what she meant until later.
"One day, I was with one of my friends from the village and she saw my eyes glow—really glow. You have to remember that this was a time when the mere mention of witchcraft would get you hung, or burned. Anything out of the ordinary was looked upon as suspicious. She promised not to tell anyone, but naturally, her fear overcame her loyalty to me. After she told her mother what she had seen, her mother convinced her to bring me to their village. I trusted her; she told me she had something to show me. And because I trusted her, I followed her to my death."
Jen's breath caught as she heard the raw emotion in Rachel's voice. She saw her eyes glowing but also the steely determination written on the healer’s face.
"What did they do to you?" Jen asked gently.
"They tried to burn me at the stake," she answered matter of fact like.
"What?" Jen's mouth dropped open and her eyes, wide as saucers, revealed the indignation she felt at Rachel's revelation.
"I say tried because as they were about to light the fire, he came. Like an angry, wild, magnificent storm. He tore through the crowd that had come to watch me burn to death. I thought he would kill every person there. And the ones who chose to stay, he did slaughter."