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       Starlight, p.1

           Adrienne Woods
 
Starlight


  STARLIGHT

  THE DRAGONIAN SERIES 5

  BY ADRIENNE WOODS

  Starlight: The Dragonian Series #5

  Copyright © 2016 Adrienne Woods

  Illustration: Joemel Requeza

  If you purchased this book from anyone other than Fire Quill Publishing or a licensed FQP reseller, you should be aware this e-book is stolen property.

  This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  Fire Quill Publishing

  www.firequillpublishing.com

  All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

  All graphics and text associated with Fire Quill Publishing.

  Formatting by www.firequillpublishing.com

  Manufactured in South Africa.

  First Fire Quill publishing edition September 2016

  To all my fans….

  What a wonderful journey and you all made it complete and so worth while. The time I spend with these characters are finally coming to an end but thank God that I still have a couple more stories to tell.

  I can’t say thank you enough to all of you. I wouldn’t have been anywhere without all your love and support for my dragons and their riders.

  xoxox

  Adrienne

  .

  OTHER NOVELS IN THE SERIES

  FIREBOLT

  THUNDERLIGHT

  FROSTBITE

  MOONBREEZE

  STARLIGHT

  NOVELLAS

  VENOM

  POISON

  SPINN OFF SERIES

  BEAM SERIES

  DARKBEAM

  MOONBEAM

  STARBEAM

  OTHER NOVELS BY ADRIENNE WOODS

  DREAM CASTERS: LIGHT

  DREAM CASTERS SWADOW (2016)

  DREAM CASTERS: MILLUE (2017)

  www.authoradriennewoods.com

  I have cried while writing this book as it is the end of a long emotional journey.

  My first thanks, as always is to the Greatest King of all times, He is still alive and watches over all His children. Thank you for blessing me with this story, that I was chosen to tell it. It has given me such great pleasure and to know that it was something I could do with You at my side. The times that I didn’t know which way to take it, You guided me and showed me a solution. I would always believe in You till the end of time.

  To my family, for giving up their precious time with me so that I could write this story, and keep writing all of the others that is still yet to come. I love and treasure you for ever and ever.

  To my editors. I can’t believe this is the end of one tale, you have loved this world as much as I have, you have unraveled my sentences, made the descriptions and the characters stronger, each of you are so unique in their special way, Hillery, you are like my limp, as I can’t write any of my novels without you. Monique, you made Elena stronger, set her emotions straight when it wonders and didn’t sound like Elena. Thank you so much for always being honest. Zoe, my British girl, I know this has been a challenge for you as you cringed at every British English word that you had to change to American English. I laughed so many times at that, and treasure your input.

  To Joemel. Joemel, Joemel, Joemel. You are a bright star, just like the Southern star in this book. Your talent is beyond words and you will get noticed real soon, that is a promise. Your compassion, not just to me but to the fans has really proof that I made the right decision choosing you as one of my life long working partners. You are above and beyond and always go the extra mile, you made the image in my head come to life and still found away to blow my sock off my feet. You are just so incredible talented and I’m so glad that I have found you. We will meet one day, that is a promise.

  To Fire Quill Publishing, my home for all my novels. You will grow into a beautiful company as all the people at Fire Quill publishing go above and beyond with everything they do. Their passion for novels is what drives them and passion always conquers experience.

  I couldn’t have done this without the love and support of any of the above people. It takes a team to make a book comes to life and if anyone out there think they can make a success without the help of others, seriously are mistaken. Thank you all for being in my life, I am one of the luckiest people alive.

  A huge acknowledgement goes out to the winners of the Battle of the poets contest: Leandri, Ursula and Abby, your poems gave voice to Blake’s soul. Thank you so much for them. I would never be able to do what the three of you had done. It is a gift, a talent all by itself.

  Last but definitely not the least. My Fans. Your kind words, your comments on my website, the overflow of interaction on the Facebook page, your love for these characters has put me where I am today. I couldn’t make this without you as word of mouth starts with you. Thank you for loving this story as much as I do, and I hope you will treasure it for years and years to come.

  It’s a very sad moment in my life as it is the ending of one journey, a journey that is so close to my heart and now I have to find another to fulfill this space that was created by Elena and all of her friends.

  Thank you so much for treasuring this, I can’t say enough thank you and it will never be enough, and hope that one day we could see this coming to live in any form of visual.

  Lots of hugs and kisses

  Adrienne

  .

  I learned that courage was not the absence for fear, but the triumph over it. The Brave man is not her who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear.

  Nelson Mandela

  The mysterious Bermuda Triangle.

  If you asked a normal person what the Bermuda Triangle is, they will tell you all sorts of things, like it’s the gateway to hell. Planes and ships, they disappear. Humans disappear too. What it actually is, well many people wonder about it, but none can really tell you. If they can, well then they are technically not human, they are dragons, and to be honest, you wouldn’t believe them either. For those of us whose curiosity is too great, we discover the truth. The Bermuda Triangle is far from a gateway to hell. Planes and ships don’t get lost, and humans, well, they are still alive in another realm.

  Most of them live in an asylum on the other side since their minds can’t perceive the reality of that realm. It’s filled with magic, dragons and technology that one can only dream of.

  The other side of the veil is home to a world called Paegeia, and I am one of its royals.

  I was born with a special mark, the mark of the Dragonians, or what humans call dragon riders. It’s not a myth, they truly exist, and I do happen to have a dragon of my very own.

  He is the Rubicon, one of a kind and also the meanest dragon who has ever lived. So if you mess with me, well, you will have to deal with him too.

  My father is the king of Paegeia, the greatest king that ever ruled this part of the world. Paegeia used to be part of the human realm, but with a world full of magic and dragons, their greed grew too great and the people of this world had no choice but to protect it. So, over nine hundred years ago they wielded an invisible wall to protect Paegeia from the darkness of humanity. Humans that enter the wall, even by accident, can never return unless they are dragons.

  However, Paegeia has its own demons to face. My father is trapped behind deadly Creepers—giant beanstalk leaches that tear people apart if they walk too near.

  Everyone thinks my father is dead, that he died the night the Creepers consumed Paegeia’s capital, Etan, but he didn’t, and the only people who know this are myself, my dragon and the ten people
we rescued from Etan a couple of days ago.

  Through an act of pure luck, we discovered that my blood is the only way through the Creepers to Etan. And we were able to deliver some of those trapped from that hell they’d lived in for the past seventeen years.

  The Council, the group of dragons and royals who ruled Paegeia, had wanted to put them in quarantine. Well, actually the Ancients did, which is a board ruled by five dragons and Dragonians, the oldest there are.

  I wasn’t going to have that and told them they would never imprison them again while my body still drew breath.

  That night something amazing happened. Most of the Council members stood by me, and we took a stand against the Ancients.

  I became a princess that day, stepping into my father’s and mother’s shoes and showing everyone that if they messed with innocent people, they would answer to me.

  It also brought me to my final decision.

  The day I ascended, my father begged me not to free Etan.

  It wasn’t going to be easy, and the need to find the missing ingredient to kill the Saadedine, a small revelation that Blake saw in a vision, was lying heavy over our shoulders. Without the ingredient, one of us was going to die saving Etan.

  What the missing ingredient was, well, none of us had a clue. I guess time will tell and I hope when it does, it won’t be too late.

  My decision was final.

  My father was going to come home.

  THE CAMERAS STILL flashed as we reached the carriages. Everyone was outside now. King Helmut bowed his head when he saw me and I shook my head slightly with a small smile.

  I had to admit that it felt good, standing up to the Ancients. I couldn’t believe that they would do that to all of these people.

  But I refused to let them get their wish this time. They hadn’t won and everyone was safe.

  I saw Blake putting my bag into one of the carriages and giving his to his father. He wasn’t going to come with us to Dragonia Academy?

  I didn’t like that, but a part of me didn’t want him to come because I knew he was Tabitha’s.

  I felt so bad about kissing him not just once, but four times.

  He still made me so confused and I let out a huge breath just trying to make sense of this sudden change in him.

  “Hey.” Blake touched my arm. I hadn’t even seen him walking my way.

  “I take it you are not coming with us?”

  “All of them are safe, Elena. They have you.”

  “Oh, shut up.” I smacked him hard on the chest, playfully and he laughed. Flashes reflected around us.

  “Can’t they just go home?”

  Blake laughed. “You’d better get used to this as it’s going to be our life from now on.”

  I smiled. I liked the “our life” part. Still not knowing in what context he meant it, I assumed he was referring to the fact that he was my dragon—that wasn’t going to change. Yeah, it could only be that. Nothing more.

  “I have to go with my father. He wants some information.” A huge grin spread over his face as he looked down. “I think he is going to start the Dragon League again.”

  “What?”

  “Just a small inkling, otherwise I have no idea why he wants this.”

  I wielded my shield around us and couldn’t hear anything that was going on in the background.

  “You promised you wouldn’t—”

  “I’m not stupid. I know what he will do. He can’t know.”

  “Okay, then I guess I’ll see you when I see you.”

  “I won’t be gone that long, three days at the most. King Helmut wants to know a couple of things too.”

  “Okay,” I said. He opened the door to one of the carriages and I got in.

  He tapped twice on the carriage and I watched him leave.

  This wasn’t good. I was falling for him head over heels and I didn’t know what to do anymore.

  I’d promised Tabitha.

  I’d broken so many promises already.

  I had to give him up. He had never been mine, and if it wasn’t for the Dent, a procedure I still didn’t understand, he still wouldn’t have been mine.

  When we reached Dragonia Academy, Master Longwei took the refugees to empty staff quarters. It was like a castle and I was sure they would be more than comfortable.

  Annie stayed with Constance and we parted ways after I said goodbye and went up to my room.

  The meeting had drained me, but I’d never felt so confident in my entire life.

  I’d stood up to all of them. Including Caleb, who wasn’t a king in my eyes anymore. He didn’t deserve that title, no matter what King Helmut said.

  I found both my friends in our room when I opened the door.

  “You’re back!” Sammy yelled, getting up and running over for a hug. I folded my arms around her and I could tell that it surprised her when she froze for a few seconds.

  “You are okay!” she said. “Just like he promised.”

  I pushed her back. “What are you talking about?”

  She shook her head. “It’s nothing. What matters is that you are okay.”

  I laughed. “I was alone with your brother for like a month. We talked, Samantha.”

  Her eyebrows rose. “You did?”

  I looked at Becky, who just raised her one eyebrow with a knowing smile. “I hope you apologized to him.”

  I laughed. “Well to be honest he’s the one who can’t stop apologizing.”

  “So how many times did he make his dragon oath?”

  We all laughed.

  “Once.”

  They gasped.

  “I almost killed him. I hate that dragons do that.”

  “So when did you guys have this talk?” Becky wanted to know.

  “Well with his dragon form, plenty of times. With the human, the night I discovered I was in Etan all along and when I discovered all the times he’d tried to find me. The sonic device did come in handy.” I looked at Sammy.

  “So you’re an item now?” Becky wanted to know. All three of us had ended up sitting on her bed.

  “I wouldn’t say that, but he definitely wants to be my dragon.”

  “Elena, he wants to be more than just your dragon, I can promise you that.”

  “It’s complicated Becky.”

  “No, it’s not.”

  I sighed. She would just get upset if I told her the truth.

  “And don’t you dare say it, Elena.” She sounded serious.

  “Then explain it to me, please.”

  “You didn’t ask him?”

  “I did, but he couldn’t tell me.”

  “He couldn’t or he wouldn’t?”

  “Is there a difference? It’s not him, Becky. He hated my guts, treated me like shit. How can I be the only one who remembers that?”

  “Don’t, please,” Sammy begged.

  “There is a huge difference between wouldn’t and couldn’t. George wouldn’t tell me either, because of what is at stake, not because he doesn’t know.”

  I shook my head. “It still doesn’t explain the change in them, and that I can’t trust. Not this time.” I got up and walked to the bathroom.

  I was going to feel like this every time I wasn’t near him. The doubts would come and it would drive us apart eventually.

  WE DIDN’T SPEAK about the Dent anymore. I knew it was hard for Becky too. She was head over heels for George and loved him with all her heart. Thinking that it could be what I said it was, was too hard for her to admit.

  I couldn’t sleep that night either. I kept thinking about so many things.

  Okay, not about many, about one: Blake. I hated this so much. I didn’t want my life to revolve around him. I was more than that. But I couldn’t get him off my mind.

  I drifted away, and just like before I started to see the faint light of torches.

  My heart started to beat frantically and the entire scene engulfed me.

  I was on my back, my hands were being held down by Zac and Patrick, a
nd Billy was starting to unbuckle his belt. Seymour had just finished, and was spent. Once again I felt so worthless, I hated it. Huge trees formed a canopy over the entire scene. I always wished right at this spot that Cara was still inside of me, so that I could scorch their asses before any of this happened.

  Their laughter and what they were saying had started to die out. Their lips still moved and as they laughed, making jokes…no sound came.

  This had never happened before in my dreams, and then the impossible happened.

  An invisible hand grabbed Billy and threw him forcefully against a tree.

  A pink flame engulfed the scene first, before he did.

  Zac and Patrick were hit with the pink kiss first and I was free. The others actually tried to fight against Blake, but in a matter of seconds it was all over and…I bolted upright in my bed.

  My heart raced, as if I had been in a sprint. But what I felt in my gut wasn’t fear, it was something else. Revenge. Even if that’d never happened, I felt it.

  He did it. A small chuckle escaped my lips.

  He couldn’t be here, but he’d found a way to change that dream, just like the others.

  I gasped as I realized where he was. He was in Tith, I was in Elm.

  Had he really seen that from that distance?

  I knew he struggled with me close by him, he’d told me so himself. It was too fast, and yet, he’d changed it tonight all the way from Tith. Was he okay?

  I wanted to cry again, not because of what had happened in that forest that night, but for being stupid enough to even try to negotiate with Tabitha.

  “This isn’t real,” I kept saying over and over to myself. The Blake you truly want is gone, he is under a spell even if he thinks it isn’t.

  I fell back into my pillow and sleep finally came after I made peace, sort of, with everything.

 
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