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       Firebolt, p.10

           Adrienne Woods
 
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  I wanted to punch the wall out of anger. “Just leave it. It doesn't matter.”

  Both girls sat down on my bed, clearly interested, but neither wanted to be the first to start the conversation.

  “She's such a snob.” I sniffed, sick of all the silence.

  “I told you she was vain.” Sammy's upper lip twitched in disgust.

  “Look, nobody likes her very much, except those that she knows are destined to do great things,” Becky said. “She treats their sessions like they're the highlights of her day.”

  “What did she say?” Sammy handed me a hanky.

  “She said that I don't matter, because my dad was a dragon, and dragon children are not destined to wear the mark. I still don't know what that means.” I sighed and wiped off a tear that had escaped onto my cheek.

  “The truth?” Becky said.

  I nodded, ready to hear what she had to say.

  “You're the first human that bares the mark whose father was a dragon. It has never happened before, and some of the professors here at Dragonia feel that Master Longwei is wasting his time.”

  “Becky!” Sammy yelled, clearly stunned at her confession.

  “I didn't say I felt that way! I'm just telling her how it is.”

  “I still don't understand.”

  “Dragonians have human parents, Elena.”

  “Let me try.” Sammy touched Becky's hand softly. “Having a dragon for a father means that you have his DNA. Although you don't have a dragon form, you still carry the gene. A part of you is dragon, and that's the reason you can't become a Dragonian.”

  As I let their words sink in, it was all slowly starting to make sense.

  “There are a lot of dragon offspring, Elena. When a dragon falls in love with a human, their children are human and never bear the mark.”

  “There are others here who aren't born with the mark, and nobody tells them they don't belong,” I said stubbornly.

  “Their daddies paid a crap load of money for them to be here. Only the students with the mark are able to attend Dragonia Academy free of charge,” Becky said.

  “That's why they don't think I belong here, because my father didn't pay?”

  “No, Elena, it's because your father was a dragon. They feel that Master Longwei is taking a chance he shouldn't. I even overheard that some of the parents with non-gifted children, who have been on the waitlist, got really pissed when he let you in. They had this huge discussion arguing the fact you'll never ascend and that your mark it's just a birth defect,” Becky said.

  “It's what she said too.”

  “Did her eyes glow when she said it?” Sammy asked.

  I shook my head, lied and pretended I had no idea what she was talking about. “Her eyes glow?”I wasn’t ready to share that part with them just yet. I was still trying to figure out what she’d meant.

  “Yes, if not, you don't pay any attention. She talks a lot of shit.”

  Becky raised her eyes at Sammy's remark and I giggled, remembering our conversation about how much Sammy liked the Viden.

  “Do you guys think I'm wasting my time being here?”

  “Hell no!” both shouted in unison.

  “Sammy's right.” Becky put her hand on my shoulder. “Only pay attention to what she says when her eyes light up and when her hair blows.”

  I sighed. I was lucky to have roommates who understood. Both were incredibly jealous when I told them that she didn't want to see me again.

  “I would give my left boob for her to say those words to me,” Sammy said, “but I guess being the Rubicon's sister, she expects great things from me too.”

  Shaking off the stress of the whole encounter we went to lunch and found a table inside the cafeteria. It wasn't long before Lucian plunged himself down on the remaining pillow. “So how was your first time with the Viden?”

  “Shhh, we don't mention her,” Sammy whispered.

  His smile disappeared. “That bad?”

  “It's fine, I just didn't like the way she treated me.”

  “Elena, if her hair didn't blow and her eyes didn't shine, then you don't pay attention to the witch,” he said, echoing Sammy’s words from before.

  I gave him a soft smile.

  When the bell rang for class, I felt better.

  * * *

  Before I knew it, the first week was over. I went through a schedule change around Tuesday, and some of my classes got swopped around. To make matters worse, not all the classes were like Professor Gregory's and Sir Edward's. They were extremely difficult, and each one could have been taught in Latin, because I had no idea what they were talking about half the time.

  Enchantment was a nightmare. We had a Professor named Longchester who lectured the entire class period. My head ached by the time his lectures finished, and he made us recite foreign words over and over again. My stuttering made the spells backfire more times than they worked. So instead of protecting myself with a stupid shield nobody can see, I got hit with tiny stings that made me look like a crazy person hitting myself. It stopped the minute Professor Longchester snapped his fingers, but not before the entire class stopped to watch the show. The students always sniggered, and Becky would chuck a pencil or eraser at whoever laughed the hardest.

  She was fairly accurate at hitting her targets, which I appreciated.

  I hoped things would get better by the end of the week, but they didn't.

  When the bell rang I wanted to jump for joy because it was finally Friday.

  I soon learned that Fridays were going to be the worst day of my week, because I ended up with a double period of Arithmetic instead of Anatomy. When the bell rang, I dashed out of the classroom and bumped straight into Brian.

  “Hello, Elena, excited to see Brian?” His jolly personality made it difficult to be rude to him. I knew he was only after my virtue, and I began to understand why Sammy said they were obsessed with hunting virgins.

  “No, I—”

  “Oh, c'mon, Elena, Brian isn't that bad once you get to know him.” Brian laughed when I blushed. “Just hang out with Brian, and if you don't like what Brian has to offer, Brian promises he'll back off.”

  “Is it really making you that crazy?” I said, referring to my virtue.

  He chuckled. “Brian has no idea what Elena is talking about.”

  I laughed. “Nice try, Brian, but you forget that I was raised by a dragon. He warned me about the Sun-Blasts,” I lied.

  “Elena's father would have loved Brian,” he said confidently.

  “Oh, you think so,” I said, rolling my eyes at his candour.

  “C'mon, Elena, Brian just wants one date.”

  “Elena will think about it,” I said. We went our separate ways. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him fist pump into the air.

  “Elena saw that, Brian!” I yelled.

  “Brian doesn't care what Elena sees, all Brian wants is that date.”

  If that wasn't making it clear what his intentions were, I’d have to be blind and deaf.

  I felt better once I reached the room and saw Becky and Sammy already inside.

  “So, Elena, are you coming with us tonight?” Becky asked, as I threw my backpack on my bed.

  “Where to?”

  “The lake.”

  “Is it safe?”

  “Of course! And it's fun,” Sammy chirped.

  I thought about it for a minute. "You know what? I'm in." I was going to regret it later, but I needed a break.

  They clapped their hands, sounding very excited.

  “So, what's at the lake?”

  “A lake,” they said in unison, and laughed.

  “You mean we're going to swim?”

  “Unless you know of something else we could do at a lake during the night,” Becky said in a sarcastic tone.

  "I don't have a swim suit.”

  “You can borrow one of mine. No biggie.” Becky skipped over to her dresser, took out the top drawer, and tipped it over onto her bed. Bikinis of all di
fferent colors were scattered all over.

  I picked up a plain black one, tried it on, and the bikini fit perfectly. I just didn't like my flat ass. I wanted it to be plumper.

  After dinner,we slipped out of the castle and grabbed our bags that were stashed by the bushes close to the entrance. We picked them up and made a run to Sammy and Becky's sanctuary. It took about fifteen minutes just to get there, but I was glad I didn’t chicken out. I was even happier once we arrived, and I took in the picturesque surrounding.

  The tall trees and huge boulders lining the lake and cloaked-in shadows made the place look a bit creepy, but with the stars and the full moon shining on the lake, the place took on a life of its own. The smooth surface of the lake was completely still, and the moon reflecting off the water gave it the appearance of an enormous mirror. It was as if the lake was filled with liquid mercury. As soon as we arrived at the edge, Becky and Sammy yanked off their tops and ran straight into the lake still wearing their shorts.

  “Come on, Elena, the water is perfect!” Becky yelled back encouragingly.

  Checking the sky, I noticed that the weather was starting to play up. To hell with it. I took off my clothes and joined the girls. The small pebbles hurt my feet as I tiptoed into the lake, but I stopped noticing as soon as I hit the water.

  The water felt warm, not quite bathwater, but pretty close. We enjoyed splashing and dunking each other's heads so much that none of us was paying attention to what was happening on shore. All of a sudden, the bushes near where we left our bags started to quiver. We turned into pillars, frozen in the eerie darkness. Flashes of whatever might be lurking in the bushes drove me nuts, as I tried to figure out what was stalking us.

  A tall figure with blonde hair emerged from the bushes. A dark-haired boy followed him.

  “Lucian!” Becky splashed water in his direction. “You'll give me a freaking heart attack!”

  My heart started to beat faster.

  “Why are you scared?” he said, chuckling. “You've got Sammy here.”

  Hot flushes went through my entire body, and my stomach rolled around as if it was now home to a million trapped butterflies.

  Slowly he walked to the edge of the lake and took off his shirt. For the love of blueberries, I was going to faint. His silhouette was all lean muscles and ripped abs shining in the moonlight. The effect made him look like a Da Vinci statue.

  I dipped my head under the water to cool off, hoping he hadn’t noticed my stare.

  When I came back up for air, his back was turned towards us. Finally able to tear my gaze away, I noticed that the dark-haired boy wasn't bad looking either.

  “Hi, Dean. Long time no see,” Sammy said in a flirty way.

  “Hi, Sammy,” the dark-haired boy with beautiful legs said in singsong tone. She giggled.

  Lucian jumped, cannonball-style, into the deeper part of the lake, with Dean right behind him.

  Dean came up first, and I looked anxiously for Lucian. There was no way he could stay that long under water. I shrieked when he emerged right in front of me, sending water flying everywhere.

  Lucian laughed as he stood before me, dripping water. “Hello, Elena,” he said in a seductive voice.

  I couldn't help but smile, thinking about what Becky and Sammy had said. I would give anything for the girls' rumors to be true.

  “Hi, Lucian. What are you doing here? I thought you were one of the spoiled brats that went home over weekends.” It slipped out without me even thinking. I didn't know where I had gotten the guts to say that.

  He bit his lower lip, which made me lose my breath.

  “I'm not a spoiled brat,” he said in a serious tone, and splashed me. The corner of his mouth twitched, giving his bluff away.

  Dean emerged from watery depths, like Rambo, and grabbed Lucian from behind. Reaching an arm around his neck, Dean took him under the water with him. We all laughed at the two playing with each other. Eventually the game dissolved into a big dunking contest.

  I tried to swim away and yelled when Lucian caught hold of my foot, yanking me under. When we came up, his arms were around my waist and his face was only inches from mine.

  I could feel my heart pounding and wondered if he could feel it too.

  He stared at me with those smoldering eyes, searching for something hidden in my gaze, and then gave me one of his million-dollar smiles.

  I smiled back like an idiot. He leaned in closer. My body shivered from head to toe as our lips touched.

  It felt like a dream, and I decided if it was, I needed to make that kiss last for as long as I possibly could before I woke up. I opened my mouth and started to kiss him back passionately. My hands got tangled up in his wet hair as I leaned in for more. It was the most amazing and perfect first kiss a girl could ask for.

  His mouth felt as if it was made to fit mine. There wasn't a nose or chin in the way, and our tongues danced in perfect rhythm. It made me want more.

  He pulled away softly. With my chin cupped in his hand, he made a satisfying grunt as if he had just finished his favorite meal.

  Heat jolted up to my face. I was glad that he couldn't see me blushing in the dark.

  “I’ve wanted to do that since the first day I saw you,” he whispered, and wrapped his arms tighter around me.

  My legs curled around his waist. I just wanted to kiss him again, I couldn’t get enough.

  “I hope you don't mind.”

  “Oh, you would have known if I did,” I said. Our lips found each other again.

  Lightning rumbled, making us both break away and look up at the threatening sky.

  “I think we should call it a night,” he said.

  I complained silently, as I wanted to spend more time with him.

  Becky and the others were already busy getting out of the lake as we swam over to them. I felt insecure that I wasn't wearing shorts too, just my bikini bottom.

  I made a run for my towel as lightning sliced through a tree nearby. Red sparks shot in all directions from the impact and jumped off the branches.

  I shrieked, terrified, and found myself in Lucian's arms once again.

  Lucian laughed, but stopped and immediately let go as something caught his attention. He darted towards the clearing behind me.

  I turned around and found Becky lying flat on the ground. My hands covered my mouth in horror as electricity danced along her body. She shook violently as if she was having a seizure.

  Lucian crouched beside her and started to search for something. He shouted orders to us, but they sounded hollow.

  I just stared with huge, unblinking eyes at Becky lying helplessly on the ground.

  Sammy reached her at the same time and fell to her knees. Her arm stretched out toward Becky.

  “Don't touch her, Sammy!” Lucian smacked her hand away.

  “But, Lucian!”

  “Touch her and your ass gets fried too,” Lucian said. “Elena, go get Constance and Master Longwei.”

  My feet were nailed to the floor as I tried to process the situation playing out before me.

  “Elena! Now!” he roared, this time waking me from my stupor.

  The fear that had consumed me disappeared and I ran as fast as I could back to the main building.

  At about the halfway mark, the trees started to blur around me. I realized my tears were making it difficult to see the path and wiped them away determinedly with the back of my hand.

  I found the main building and yanked the door open. Pain crawled up my legs and my lungs burned as I kept running. I heaved like a vacuum cleaner by the time I reached Master Longwei's dorm.

  “Master Longwei, come!” I shouted, the fear still evident in my voice.

  “Elena, why are you wet?” he asked. He clutched a pot of tea in his hands.

  Tears streamed down my face as I tried to control my breath. “Please, there's no time to explain, just come with me.”

  As I looked at him with panic in my voice my eyes begged him not to ask questions. Understan
ding my urgency, he called Constance over the phone and told her to meet us down at the main entrance. With me leading the way, we ran down the stairs back to the lake and met Constance near the entrance carrying a doctor's bag.

  “Elena, the lake is off limits at night!” Master Longwei roared once he realized where we were heading.

  “I'm sorry, sir. Becky said ...” I couldn't finish my sentence as my throat began to close with emotion.

  Tears rolled down my face in torrents, and I was so scared that it might already be too late.

  “Becky knows the rules, she should've known better. What happened?” he asked. I couldn't speak.

  “Elena, we need to know what happened,” Constance tried.

  I could tell she was just as concerned. “Lightning!” I managed to squeak out.

  The instant the word escaped my lips; Master Longwei and Constance found a faster speed and left me in the dust.

  When I finally made it back to the lake, I heard Master Longwei scolding someone.

  “Becky, how could you be so irresponsible!” he said. The sound of her name lifted my spirits instantly.

  I saw Becky. Where I had left her on the ground, with a thousand electricity volts running through her, she was now standing, facing off against Master Longwei.

  “March!” Master Longwei shouted, looking pissed off.

  I struggled to take my eyes off her. She looked fine, except for her hair. It was standing straight up in every direction. The smell of burnt hair lingered in the air and electricity ran up from the tip of her strands to the top of her roots, releasing a spark every once and awhile. Her face looked petrified, with big round eyes that were forever changed by the horror of tonight.

  “What happened, Lucian?” I asked when I finally found my voice.

  “I don't know. One minute she was down and the next she was back on her feet shaking it off as if it was nothing,” Lucian said, rambling fast. His voice broke on the last part.

  “Are you okay?” I could see how shaken he was by the whole event.

  He was pale and looked as if he was about to faint. “Yeah, I'm just trying to figure out what the f--” He wanted to curse but swallowed his words.

  We were all ordered to return to the castle and were escorted straight to Master Longwei's office.

 
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