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       Moonbeam, p.1

           Adrienne Woods
slower 1  faster
Moonbeam


  Moonbeam: A Dragonian Series Novel

  Copyright © Adrienne Woods 2016

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

  This e-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

  Copyright © November 2016

  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 November 2016

  ISBN: 978-0996974837

  TO JORDAN, JAYDEN, MADDISON AND JAMIE-LEIGH.

  OUR FUTURE.

  I would just like to say thank you to the number one in my life. The big guy Upstairs. Thank you for choosing me to write this story, for helping me find new ways of making this series last a teeny bit longer, for guiding me when I hit dead ends, for truly loving me like nobody else ever would. I’m nothing without YOU. NOTHING.

  Second, my family. Heinrich my husband, who went many times to bed without me as I write and craft my work. To my two beautiful daughters, still too little to enjoy mommy’s dragons. Without you, my life would be dull and meaningless.

  To Fire Quill Publishing: Anika, the best assistant I know. I ever had. You are more than just an assistant.

  To Hillery, still a true Paegeian. Sorry that I made your eyes almost feel as if they were going to pop out.

  To Jessie, I’m so honored to have you join the Dragonian Team. I can’t wait to see what you are going to do with the other novels. I’ve learned as a writer so much from you already.

  To Joemel, again for truly capturing my imagination and what I had in my mind for Moonbeams’ cover. Truly breath-taking.

  To all my fans. Without you, this series would not have been anywhere. I can’t express enough how blessed I am to have you as fans of this series.

  I hope you are going to enjoy Moonbeam, which is a story I always wondered about, but then we wouldn’t have the Dragonian series. So hope you love this as much as I enjoyed writing this story.

  4 Millennia later

  It’s been said that the greatest love that ever existed is God’s love. He sent his only son to die for our sins. A son who did no evil and never acted with evil intent. A son who rose from death and lived for eternity. They say that everyone who believes in him will earn that same eternal life.

  My great-great-great-great-Nanna and her beloved Rubicon shared the second-deepest love ever known, a love that lasted thousands of years. They would’ve died for one another without a second thought. You don’t find a love like that anymore.

  The saddest part was that she had to say goodbye to him 1,022 years ago. It was his time, but because he had imparted his essence to her, she couldn’t go with him. She was in some ways stronger than him.

  Everyone thought that she would die of a broken heart. But her family, a tree with many snaking branches, loved her so much—and she them—that they brought a spark back into her. She found a way to make peace with the departure of her Rubicon. She was content to wait for the day when he would come and fetch her.

  I never knew the Rubicon my Nanna spoke of personally, but I’d heard many stories about him.

  I was born only twenty-eight years ago, but I knew what he looked like because her face lit up every time I entered her room. I was always begging her to tell me stories about the “Big Guy.” That was what she always called him.

  Her eyes sparkled as she wove her stories. I knew she loved him truly, even after all this time. I wanted to have a love like that one day. I wished for someone to love me the way she still loved the Rubicon.

  When I was six, a very special egg hatched.

  Nanna could hear the thoughts of the dragon inside that egg before the shell even cracked. It was the new Rubicon entering this world. She still had a connection with it, even after the previous one died.

  The new Rubicon’s name was Morgan. She was the ugliest baby dragon I’d ever seen. But Nanna had stared at her with so much love and admiration.

  She’d helped Morgan into this world, guided her to the light. She treasured her always. Soon she saw that I was the lucky one who would claim her when her sixteenth birthday came.

  Even the Viden couldn’t see that. So many of them had come and gone, all of them Moon-Bolts. Their Foretellings had guided many to do great things. Some Foretellings magically appeared in a book. These books were housed inside the library. Nanna had her own special book. The words didn’t appear magically, but what she said always came true. She always spoke clearly, never in tongues and never in riddles.

  She had guided our family through all of our Foretellings. The Viden’s mind couldn’t glimpse of our bloodline’s futures. Only Nanna and a Moon-Bolt named George, who had died thousands of years ago, could do that.

  George had been one of their greatest friends. When he died, his Dragonian left this world a few days later. They too shared a special bond, the kind that was so rare, just like Nanna and her Rubicon.

  When Morgan finally got her human form, it was the opposite of her dragon form. She was a darling blond-haired little girl, with the most beautiful red brown eyes.

  She had a sweet soul—smart as hell and as naughty as they come. Although we never went to Dragonia Academy together, I’d been one of her friends from birth. I claimed her six years ago when the darkness inside her started to claw its way into her soul.

  She’s known that I would become her rider—her Dent—as Rubicons would never be good without their Light.

  The pain in my heart grew sharper as I watched Nanna’s fragile body lying on the bed. She still had her spark, but her body was finally giving up. Her mind rambled about things that I didn’t know had passed or were yet to come. She’d spoken about an evil so strong that it ripped her entire family apart. It scared me. I couldn’t find anything in the library about what she could be talking about. She was so old. It would cost me my essence to discover what she’d been talking about for the past week.

  She was close to her time. She was going home. Back to him.

  I couldn’t imagine life without her. She was the only constant in our family tree, yet even that was coming to an end. Soon she would be no more.

  A knock came at the door. Morgan appeared. No longer a little girl, Morgan was stunning. “How is she?” she whispered as she came over for a kiss.

  She sat on the sofa next to me. I wrapped my arms around her. Although I couldn’t hear her heartbeat, I knew it was beating at the same pace as mine.

  “In and out. She thought I was him a couple times today.”

  Tears welled up in Morgan’s eyes. She walked over to Nanna’s bed.

  Nanna was awake. “My sweet, sweet Morganna.”

  Morgan smiled. “Don’t leave me, please.”

  “Shush, child. You know you are not the only Rubicon who needs me.”

  Morgan fluffed Nanna’s pillow. “What am I going to do without you?”

  “You have Theo. Just think, when I’m gone, the two of you will drive one another insane.”

  I chuckled. I knew I would start hearing Morgan’s thoughts when Nanna passed. There was that twinkle in her eyes once more.

  “You will be fine. I’ve taught you everything you need to know. The rest you must discover together.”

  Sh
e nodded.

  “Do me a favor?” Nanna asked.

  “Anything,” Morgan said.

  “Go see if his star is still gone.”

  Morgan rushed to the windowsill. For the past week the Southern Star had been missing from the night sky. It had been written that the day the Rubicon died, a star would appear in the South. It was the brightest star, even brighter than the North Star. Books spoke about the North Star that guided everyone; even the Bible spoke about the North Star, never the Southern Star.

  It hadn’t left the sky for the past thousand years.

  They all believed it was his star. His soul watching over her. It was so far-fetched, so silly. But seven days ago, that star had just vanished. Did it fall? I didn’t know. But Nanna truly believed that it was him coming to fetch her. The myth didn’t seem so silly anymore.

  Since that star disappeared, Nanna had grown weaker and weaker. It was as if she was giving up. She’d made peace with it. We hadn’t. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Who would keep the peace? Who would they go to if they couldn’t make a decision? Nanna was that person. Sure there were other old Dragonians, but Nanna was the wisest of them all.

  I couldn’t say goodbye to her yet. Not with a world looming over my shoulder. I was the next in line; she’d given the crown to me and not my father. I had no idea if I could do it the way she had with her Rubicon.

  She said that was the reason she’d given it to me: a great king never knew he was a great king.

  I wasn’t so sure.

  It was late. I faded in and out of different timelines. I’d said goodbye to loved ones so many times. Watched them return to the ground, become the dust they were made of. So many had died before my eyes. First my father, then his wife.

  Then my friends, their faces forgotten, the memories weak.

  Blake had always been at my side, making it easier…and then he’d gone, too. I thought I was going to die myself, but I found love again through so many things.

  Especially the new ones who came into this world.

  New ones for me to love, to hold, to guide, and to say goodbye to again.

  One might say it was cruel. That it must be too tiring to open your heart again to love another. But for me, it was natural. It was my life. It felt full.

  I’d helped many. I’d guided plenty. I’d loved many. But had I ever truly loved the way my father had?

  I didn’t know anymore what had truly happened and what hadn’t. Trying to recall where they fit together was impossible.

  Morgan came tonight again. She’d confirmed it. His star was still gone. He was finally coming for me.

  I heard a sniff and opened my eyes.

  Theo leaned back on his haunches near my closet. The sweet boy was a spitting image of my Blake. He laughed it off every time I told him that.

  What is he doing here? Why doesn’t he go to bed and sleep? I’d taught him the most. He was ready even if he didn’t believe it himself. He was ready.

  He finally looked up. It felt as if my soul was on fire. A new kind of life filled me. My stomach fluttered.

  His eyes were soft with compassion. I hadn’t been looked at like that for almost a thousand years.

  Not Theo.

  Blake.

  “What took you so long?”

  “I told you before. Time works differently on the other side,” he said softly.

  He was so handsome, always had been, right up until the day he’d left my side.

  “I’ve missed you so much,” my old voice said. Lucky bastard. He’d gotten his young body back.

  “I missed you more,” he whispered.

  “How long do I have?”

  “One more day, Elena.”

  I smiled. One more day. Then I was going to go home.

  “Your mother is quite the organizer up there,” he joked. “I had to keep on helping her get things ready for you.”

  I smiled. “Our first shopping spree?” His face fell, so I asked, “Why the long face, my love?”

  He touched my rumpled cheek. “You need to remember what truly happened, Elena.”

  I swallowed. I knew what he was talking about. I’d struggled with that for the past week.

  “You need to tell Theo what he has to do. Otherwise they will be stuck with the wrong future.”

  “What do you mean?” I spoke softly.

  The timelines, the different stages of my life, all jumped back into place as his finger brushed my temple. The one that had truly happened, but only the two of us remembered…and another one that everyone else believed was the truth.

  “They can’t be stuck with that past. You need to tell him what he must do.”

  It didn’t make sense. But then it came back to me. The night Blake had run into our room and uttered a horrible truth.

  “That was…Theo?” I asked.

  He nodded.

  A tear welled up. “But you said it was you?”

  “I was wrong. I wish I wasn’t.” His expression held immeasurable compassion.

  “So I did…” My lip started to tremble. I couldn’t even finish my sentence.

  He nodded again.

  “She was an innocent baby, wasn’t she?”

  “Shh. She understands, Elena. She knows why we had to do it. Silho is waiting for you, too. She cannot wait to finally meet her mom.”

  I sniffed hard.

  “Will I remember this tomorrow?”

  “It will hold.” He smiled.

  I returned his smile, although it didn’t reach my eyes. “Still a master. I hope I don’t have to kill other women up there.”

  He laughed. “It’s a kill-free environment. And I only have eyes for you. You know that. Sleep, my sweet love.” His lips brushed across my forehead. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

  I closed my eyes and waited for the last day of my life.

  What was I going to choose tomorrow…my daughter or my entire family tree?

  4 millennia ago

  It had been eight years since my father was freed from Etan, and four years since I became Mrs. Blake Leaf. It had been the most amazing four years. He was my soul mate. He treated me not just like the princess of Paegeia but the queen of his heart.

  And he was one hell of a romantic! The night he’d asked me to marry him had been magical.

  He’d written me daily poems—I was a sucker for them. We had a date planned and he’d taken me on a special trip on my father’s yacht.

  We spoke aloud a lot that night; he’d been guarded with his mind. A whole ten and a half months after I could read his mind, it happened for Blake. We’d spent almost an entire year in silence, using only our minds to communicate with one another. We did it so long that it actually started to worry our parents.

  But whenever he had surprises planned for me, I couldn’t get a peep out of him. He was highly skilled at hiding things he didn’t want me to know.

  I struggled to such a degree that it left me with headaches, yet I still had no idea what he had planned.

  But on that night, I forgot about everything.

  Dessert was set. The chef who had gone with us gave Blake a basket. He started to strip down. I yearned for him; he still refused to break the promise of chastity he’d made my mother. For a moment, I got lost in my mind, searching for the delicious memory of the only night he’d slept with me.

  “Where are we going?”

  “Wait and see.” He unbuttoned his shirt. I stared at him and reluctantly turned around.

  “Stop thinking about that,” he said, making me laugh. “It’s not that easy for me either.”

  I shook my head. I can’t help it.

  When I turned around, I grunted. He was buck naked with only the basket in his hand.

  “Stop,” he warned and I laughed again.

  I tried to think of anything else, but it was hard not to think of his perfectly sculpted body and with me lying…

  “Elena!” he roared.

  “Sorry!”

  He shook his head as he helpe
d me up onto the ledge of the yacht.

  “Seriously, woman.” His lopsided smile and smoldering eyes made my knees go weak.

  He wrapped his arm around my waist and leaped into the air.

  I couldn’t help but shout out, “Woohoo!” It was an awesome feeling.

  He morphed into his dragon form and held me in his paw because of the tiny excuse for a dress I had on.

  I was always trying to get him to forget about my mother’s promise, but Blake had turned into such a good boy that sometimes I ached for the bad boy he used to be.

  I felt the landing. It was gracious, but I still felt it.

  He opened his palm. We were on a mountaintop. The stars shone brilliantly. The huge, full moon illuminated the landscape below.

  The trees were behind us. A blanket was spread out in the clearing. A lantern shed warm light over the pillows stacked on the blanket.

  He’d come here before our date. I saw it from him, and then he closed off his mind.

  “How do you do that?” I muttered.

  “Easy,” he said. He pulled on his pants and picked up his shirt, pulling his arms into the sleeves. He didn’t button up his shirt. He grabbed me and kissed me fiercely.

  My hormones raged.

  He laughed. “You are driving me insane with your thoughts.”

  I grunted; I got nothing from him whatsoever. I hated this.

  “Oh, it’s payback time,” he whispered.

  I hated it. Ten months were hardly worth payback. And what happened when he start hearing my thoughts? He’d gone and found a way to block me out.

  We settled on the blanket. He popped a bottle of champagne. Nothing special about that. I had secretly hoped he would just ask me, but I had always been disappointed on date nights when champagne was popped and no question came. I knew my father was behind this. How many times he’d asked him for my hand already, I didn’t know. A lot. But my dad just kept telling him, “It’s not time yet.”

  The champagne meant absolutely nothing.

  He read Shakespeare aloud as I listened. The faint light didn’t affect his eyes. He was stirring up things again that shouldn’t be stirred up.

 
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