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Thunderlight, p.11
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       Thunderlight, p.11

           Adrienne Woods

  “It was a huge deal, Elena. Besides it’s for our safety that Master Longwei wants to see us.”

  “Extra measures?”

  “You can thank King Caleb for that.” He sounded sarcastic.

  “Do you know what it is?”

  He shook his head.

  We all left together. Dean waited by the stairs while, Becky, Lucian, Sammy, George, Arianna, Tabitha, and I went into Master Longwei’s office. It was really crowded as seven men with black coats stood in the corner in his office too.

  Two of them had bald heads and the others were shaven short, army style short. All of them were basically wearing the same black uniform.

  “Sit, please,” Master Longwei ordered us and we each grabbed a seat.

  I wasn’t the only one staring, Becky and Sammy were too.

  “Ladies, Gentleman, I want you to meet your new guards.”

  UARDS!” BECKY AND George sang in unison. “Master, with no disrespect, we don’t need guards,” George grunted.

  “George, we can’t take what happened at the Warbel games lightly. All these men are trained to keep each and every one of you safe. Whoever compelled those dragons is incredibly powerful. We are talking Goran’s level. If anything happens to any of you, I would never forgive myself.”

  “And yet a Wyvern is attending this year.”

  Master Longwei froze at those words and it was deathly silent as he looked at each of us in turn. “I’m sorry about that Lucian. I know how you feel about them. But King Albert…”

  “King Albert is dead. He’s not here anymore. If he was alive when it happened he would’ve changed his mind. I can promise you that.”

  When what happened?

  “Lucian, I’m really sorry that you feel this way. But we have to learn more about them for the sake of Paegeia.”

  Lucian laughed bitterly. “For the sake of Paegeia.”

  “They are dragons too.” Master Longwei’s tone carried across the room with the authority of his position and I knew he was not going to back down.

  “They are killers! Someone is going to die and then it will be on your head,” Lucian spoke angrily as he got up and left the room.

  I jumped as he slammed the door behind him. What could have possibly happened with Lucian involving Wyverns?

  “We don’t need guards either,” George mumbled sticking to his guns.

  “George, if you don’t like it, you’ll have to pick it up with King Caleb.”

  I shook my head softly and looked at the seven robot-like men standing in a row next to the wall.

  He handed us each an envelope with a red wax seal on the back. I looked in mine and saw a card with big print letters spelling out the name Darius.

  “Each envelope contains your guard’s name, where they’ll be staying and things you’ll need to know. I’m sorry for those of you who are opposed to this but it is measures I welcome. We need the extra help with security around here in the absence of Blake.”

  “Jeffrey,” Arianna’s voice sounded sweet. One of the bald heads stepped forward. “Guess we are going to become buds for the next couple of months.”

  I rolled my eyes. She reeked of fake.

  “Bradly,” Sammy spoke softly. One of the army haircut ogres stepped forward and nodded.

  “I’ve got Sam,” George said still sounding pissed off. Sam just looked at George through thin eyes.

  “Just stay out of my way.” George ordered as he stormed out of the office.

  “Leo? And I’m with George. We don’t need guards.”

  “Becky,” Master Longwei said.

  “There were no guards when we faced Goran, Master Longwei, or at the Warbel games. We don’t need them.”

  “Don’t be so naive. You had back up from grownups at the games, and you lost a friend when you faced Goran.”

  Becky fell silent as his words sunk in. “Still, I don’t like it,” she spoke as she stood up from her chair and slammed the door behind her too.

  “Tabitha?” Master Longwei sighed.

  “Blake isn’t going to like this Master Longwei, but whatever. Jonathan?” She smiled as one of the guards smiled at her. I was positive he was excited about protecting the most beautiful girl at Dragonia.

  There were only two unnamed guards left. The other bald guy and another army dude.

  “I’ve got Darius,” I whispered softly.

  The bald guy nodded his head and I instantly noticed he was more than twice my size. I gave him a lopsided smile, if you could call it one, and nodded back.

  “They will be always close by you, but they’ll give you space as well. Whenever you feel in danger or scared, just let them know. There is a button in every envelope.”

  I agreed with George and Becky as Master Longwei began explaining how the buttons and crap worked. We really didn’t need them.

  When the briefing was over we all slinked out of the office, happy to be free. The seven body guards stayed behind as Master Longwei still needed to speak with them about their duties.

  “My brother is going to fume. He doesn’t need a stupid guard.”

  “There were only seven, Sammy. I doubt that he got one.”

  “He is so freaking lucky.”

  “Tell me about it.”

  When we entered our room we found Becky and George sitting on one of the couches. “This is ridiculous!” Becky fumed.

  “I’m so with Lucian. Longwei lets a Wyvern in and thinks a couple of guards will protect us.”

  “I don’t think the guards are here because of Paul, George,” I said in Master Longwei’s defense.

  “Oh, I guarantee that will become the reason, Elena.”

  “Have any of you see Lucian?”

  They all shook their heads in unison.

  “Do any of you know what happened with him and Wyverns?”

  “Elena that is something you’ll have to ask Lucian. It’s not our story to tell,” George spoke solemnly.

  They were really respectful about other people’s stories on this side, but then again dragons were noble creatures, when they were not trying to tear your limps off.

  I didn’t see Lucian until that night at supper. He still looked angry. The guards all sat around a table close to us and ate their dinner too. Everybody just stared at them, except for us.

  Arianna and Tabitha’s guards were the only one not at their table as they sat on the opposite side of the cafeteria.

  I bumped Lucian softly. “Are you okay?”

  The corners of his lips twitched as he put one arm around my shoulder. “I’ll be fine. Sorry about my behavior. It was uncalled for and …”

  “Don’t. I assume you have all the reason in the world to be upset about it.”

  He squinted creating a small dent between his eyebrows.

  “Nobody told me yet, they keep saying that it’s your story to tell, but I can sense it’s not a happily ever after one.”

  He looked down at his food and started to roll the peas with his fork away from his steak.

  “It’s not. I’ll tell you later.”

  We said goodbye to Lucian, Dean and George after dinner, and crawled into bed after Sammy spoke to Isabel to get an update on how Blake was doing.

  I struggled to fall asleep as my mind wouldn’t stop replaying the events of the past few days over and over again. With Blake’s beating and my foretelling not fulfilled, mixed with a Wyvern attending Dragonia and the dream about Brian, frankly I was scared to fall asleep. The last time I looked at my clock it read 11:45. I must have drifted off as faint screams filled my head, turning louder as I held Sammy’s lifeless form. Her head had started to bleed and deep cuts appeared all over her body. More blood oozed from the gash and I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. Then everything started to spin real fast. The room was gone leaving me in the air, darting toward a Sun-Blast dragon once again.

  Kill, kill, kill…. A deep voice inside me roared. Then all of a sudden I started to fall. The desperate revenge faded and I landed on grass,
rolled a couple of times and wondered how I could still be alive.

  Pushing myself off the ground I shook off the lose twigs that clung to my pants and hair. I found myself at the bottom of a large hill.

  I sighed as I looked up at the canopy of trees before me. I knew what was over that hill, more like I knew who was waiting for me. The only thing I didn’t know was what the hell she wanted from me now. The climb was long and it felt like I was never going to reach her. When I finally reached the top, I could see Queen Catherine waiting for me in the distance. Her hair was blowing in the wind along with her flowing dress.

  However, this time something felt wrong. She had changed and when she looked at me, I knew what it was instantly. It was as if she had grown older, weaker. Her eyes had dark circles underneath and her skin was ashen. She finally looked like what she really was, a ghost. I noticed her behavior was different too. She seemed agitated and was constantly fiddling with her hands, something she‘d never done before. I didn’t know if a bad day in the afterlife had caused this, but I could feel the impatience shining out of her. Her one hand jumped into the air in the direction of the forest.

  I shook my head and she started to let out a scream. It sounded like a steam train as I covered my ears and watched in horror as her mouth got bigger and bigger, tearing the corners of her lips. Blood poured out of her eyes and ran down her cheeks in torrents.

  I jumped straight up in bed. My breathing was horribly fast as I tried to collect my thoughts and come back to reality.

  It was just a dream.

  NCHANTMENT FOR THE Advanced 2, are they insane,” Becky, yelled pulling me out of my daydream. “What the hell happened to Enchantments for the Advanced 1?”

  “It’s a walk in the park, Beck’s.” George called her by the nickname he’d given her over the summer. It was sweet and Becky would smile at him, which eventually turned into a kiss, whenever he called her that. I hadn’t even looked at my schedule for this year, and glanced quickly at some of the subjects I had this morning.

  “Here is your Enchantments for the Advanced 1,” I joked at Becky as I pushed a piece of jam covered toast into my mouth.

  “That is so unfair,” she said and shook her head.

  “Unfair, I didn't even pass Enchantments for Beginners.” I noticed that Aptitude and Ascending came after Enchantments. I couldn’t help but sigh as I read over the words, this year wasn’t starting well.

  Latin and Arithmetic II, only made it worse. The only class I looked forward to was the three subjects I loved: Mysteries, Anatomy and the Art of War.

  Arianna’s laugh echoed through the entire cafeteria breaking my chain of thought and when I looked up, Nicole, Lucian’s cousin, was sitting on a pillow right next to her. She must’ve enrolled with the first years. Nice too when daddy had so much money he could buy you into Dragonia.

  I’d had the pleasure of meeting Nicole the night of George’s Welcome Home party earlier this summer. Lucian couldn’t make it as he just left a couple of days earlier with his father on their hunting trip. She was with Arianna that night, not a friendly little thing either and hated me before she even met me, thanks to Arianna.

  “They really should keep the standards high,” Becky said as she glared in their direction.

  “Just ignore them,” I sulked as I bite into another piece of my toast.

  Sammy glared past me as her jaw muscle tightened again. I didn’t have to turn around to see who it was. Sammy wasn’t the type that disliked anybody for no reason, so it could only be one person, Paul Sutton.

  “He is unbelievable,” she spoke with venom in her voice.

  “Just ignore him.”

  “Oh, crap,” Becky said and George started to chuckle. When I looked over, Lucian and Paul’s faces where inches away from one another. I threw down my toast and walked over to pull Lucian away from him.

  “Stop staring at her,” I could hear Lucian growl.

  Paul laughed in his face, but stopped and stared as I put my hand on Lucian’s arm. “Ignore it!”

  He kept looking at Paul with hatred in his eyes.

  “Hey,” he spoke to me using a soft seductive tone. “I’m Paul.” He reached out his hand for mine.

  What! I looked at him and could feel the tip of my eyebrows meeting one another. Does he not see Lucian standing in front of him? I just stared at him and looked at Lucian again. “Lucian! Let’s go.”

  He looked at me, took a breath and turned around.

  As we sat around the table I tried to change his mood but it was no use. He was like a bear with a sore tooth.

  I finished my breakfast while Becky and George picked on each other playfully. When the bell rang the look on my face said it all.

  “Enchantments is not that bad, Elena” Becky tried to reassure me as we made our way out of the cafeteria.

  “Not for you guys because for some reason you blossomed into a Latin goddess,” I chirped, and she giggled.

  Lucian flung his arm around my neck and gave me a peck on the cheek. “It's a dent thing.” He smiled softly. “I’ve got Arithmetic first period, see you later.”

  We all waved at him.

  “Is Lucian serious?” I asked Becky, looking at George who walked right next to her.

  He nodded and a huge grin that showed his deep dimples appeared.

  “It's so unfair.”

  “We’ve got Art of War,” Becky said. “See you later.” Both of them walked in the opposite direction of me and my eyes caught both their guards not far behind. I turned around and found Darius. He looked like a giant as his shoulders and bald head stick out from the crowd.

  I took a deep breath as I stopped in front of Enchantments. I’m going to hate Tuesdays.

  HE SECOND BELL rang just as I walked into Professor Georgiou's Enchantment class. She was really beautiful with her long blonde hair tied into a pony that hung over one shoulder. I climbed up the stairs to take a seat in the last row. I froze as Paul sat in the corner.

  His lips curled up and his dimples dented deep when he saw me. I looked away quickly and sat myself down on the furthest seat away from him.

  Lucian’s message clearly hadn’t reached him.

  Why is he making me so uncomfortable? It’s because he’s staring like a lost boy.

  Professor Georgiou addressed the class in Latin.

  For the love of blueberries… just what I needed.

  I had no idea what she said, and I wished that the Keeper of the Sacred Cavern hadn’t taken the gift of understanding Latin fluently away.

  Her assistant, who was in the fifth grade, gave us each a handbook plus sheets scribbled with unknown words. The lines underneath and pictures told me more or less that it was some sort of a work sheet.

  “You don't have an idea what she just said, do you?” Paul's voice came from behind me. I turn around quickly and found him leaning with crossed arms on the back of the chair next to me.

  “No.” I tried to make my voice as cold as I could.

  “Don't worry. It's a load of crap anyway," he whispered.

  I couldn’t help it. A small giggle escaped my mouth.

  “Now see that wasn’t so hard.”

  “Shut up.” I sounded annoyed.

  “I can help you, you know.”

  “I don’t need your help, thanks.”

  “I doubt that. If you have no idea what she’s saying how are you going to pass this class?” He kept smiling at me as if this was some sort of a joke I didn’t catch.

  “I guess I’ll just have to learn how to speak Latin,” I said with a smile tugging on my lips.

  Why are you talking to him?

  He chuckled and looked the other way. “Fine, suit yourself. But remember, I was the first one being nice.”

  “I really don’t care.”

  He mumbled something I didn’t catch as he made his way back to the corner again.

  I silently wished that I could drop this class, but I really needed it.

  “I can always make you
a deal?” He was back behind me in an instant. “I’ll help you if you help me with some of the things I don't understand.”

  “You’re back…I don’t need your help. Shoo.” I waved him away.

  He chuckled again and moved back to his corner. A part of me was starting to feel sorry for him. I knew Wyverns were bad and I shouldn’t even speak to him, but what if the guy really was trying to be….Stop it, Elena. He’s bad. Wyverns are bad!!!! I would just need to keep reminding myself that.

  For the next half an hour I could feel his eyes burning straight into me and I forced myself not to pay any attention to him. Some boys were like lost puppies if you just patted their ego

  So I just kept looking at Professor Georgiou as she lectured the class. It was hard to concentrate on what she said. When all of them gasped I wished that I’d taken Paul’s offer.

  Professor Georgiou spoke loudly and I could only understand Paul's name. I didn’t look back to give him that satisfaction as the rest of the class did. But the stares lasted only for a mere second as they all stared back at something in the front of the room.

  With a jerk, the box next to Professor Georgiou flew against the wall. I looked at Paul who was grinning from ear to ear. I had to admit, the guy was in the same league as Blake when it came to looks, but then again they said the devil was one of God’s most beautiful creatures. Looks aren’t everything and by the looks of what he could do, Paul Sutton was one scary kind of guy.

  “Okay, now it's time for practicing. She just asked Dirty Harriet in the first row to make the box move.” Paul was back in the seat behind me, translating what Professor Georgiou said.

  I ignored him, but was glad for the heads up. I bit the inside of my lip and my foot started to tap on the floor softly.

  The entire class watched patiently as we stared holes into the box.

  Professor Georgiou spoke something to some girls in the second row that tittered.

  I just kept staring at the box, watching for any movement. Nothing happened for at least ten minutes until Thea’s nose started to bleed.

  Professor Georgiou went over to Thea, who Paul had called Dirty Harriet, and put her hand on her shoulder and she snapped out of it.

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