five

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Illyria groaned as the light streamed through her windows and burned her closed eyelids. She had forgotten to close the curtains last night, too occupied with running through the pack house in tears and collapsing onto her bed; refusing to come down for dinner or even talk to anyone. Jess had tried, asking what happened, the Luna had tried, but she would open her door for no one.

She unclutched her legs from her chest, allowing them to stretch as she sat up and wiped at her once again, swollen eyes. Memories from last night flooded her mind and she fought the incoming current of tears, she would not let him ruin her day.

She slouched against her headboard and her eyes wandered to her open wardrobe door where her mother's dress hung on a hook. Illyria felt the corners of her lips lift into a small smile, last night she had tried it on to cheer her up, it fit her like a glove and she loved the way the black satin fabric swished as she moved. The high neck was a little difficult to get used to at first but she found that it didn't bother her after some time. Most of all the see through lace-mesh fabric that covered her back felt like a dream to Illyria. All in all, the simple, modest dress was a classic that fit her personality to a tee.

Illyria shook her head, and turned to look out her window. She could just see some Pack Members stringing fairy lights into the trees and setting up logs as seating here and there. As much as she didn't want this party, fearing it to be too extravagent, Luna Claire was doing a wonderful job in toning down the decoartions; an effort that Illyria appreciated greatly.

A consistent knocking interrupted her thoughts as she forced herself from the bed and towards the door. She opened it to a flustered looking Luna Claire. "What are you doing? It's nearly 2! The party starts in 3 hours!" Luna Claire rushed into the room, pulling Illyria with her into the bathroom and riffling through her draws. "Claire, chill, I'm going to go down, help set up and I'll be ready by 4.30. Okay?" Illyria rubbed her face as she spoke, trying to wake herself up enough to deal with Luna Claire's energy. Luna Claire shot her a skeptical look but knowing how stubborn Illyria could be, she caved, "Fine, come on!"

Dressed in clean, grey sweats, a baggy Football tshirt from Illyria's stint in the local highschool, and her worn blue converse they made their way down stairs, through the foyer which bustled with busy pack members, and onto the patio. Illyria smiled as she eyed the frantic movements of her friends, the carrying and placing of mossy logs and the stringing up of already tangled lights. She was grateful for her pack, her very large, very unconventional family.

"Illyria!" A little voice called, and Illyria shifted her gaze to the source, "Lily! How are you?" Illyria knelt down to hug the little girl, and ended up with Lily perched on her hip as they looked out onto the garden. "I'm good, I'm starting school soon." Illyria smiled widely, "are you excited?" Lily nodded and then burried her face in Illyria's unbrushed hair, right by the crook of her neck. "I'm scared too," Lily whispered, causing Illyria to laugh and rub soothing circles on her back. "Awh, Honey, it'll be alright. I was scared to, but you make friends and you learn; it's all a lot of fun." Lily pulled back, eyeing Illyria as she scrunched her nose up, "Learning isn't fun!" Illyria laughed, "course it is, silly."

"Nuh-uh," Lily insisted, "the teachers are mean and the girls pull your hair and theres boys! Yeuch, cooties." Illyria laughed harder, "boys don't all have cooties!"

"Yes they do! They're smelly and they're noisy and they're always running and hurting themselves, boys are stupid."

Illyria tried to school her features so she could scold Lily, but her bubbling laughter made it difficult. "That's not very nice," Illyria choked out, trying to fight off her laughter. "But it's true!" Lily's eyes were wide as she argued and Illyria giggled, "doesn't mean you should say it, just pretend like you don't notice and then you won't hurt anyone's feelings." Lily sighed, "but that's so difficult!" llyria set the girl down on the patio and kneeled infront of her, "I know kid," she said, and kissed Lily on the nose. "Are you excited for the-" A loud growl and a crash interrupte her and everyone froze, their heads turned towards the kitchen's open french doors.

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