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       Frostbite, p.14

           Adrienne Woods

  HE TRAINING WAS over. I found Blake after one of my classes resting against the wall like a Greek god. He said that I knew everything there was and that he didn’t see why we should carry on with our training sessions.

  I knew it was a lie because I still had to prepare for Arianna’s claim, but I understood why he wanted to stop and to be honest, I didn’t want to be around him knowing how I felt about him and that it wasn’t a mutual feeling. I was so stupid telling him all those things.

  The worst part of it all was that I’d fallen in love with a version of him, not the real him. Still it hurt.

  Why was my dragon so weak? Cara was really strong, but we couldn’t deal with the dark and we needed Blake close to us to stay calm. What was it going to be like without him?

  I thought about what he’d asked for the next couple of days. That task was too big, I couldn’t kill him. Sammy and Becky got really worried again as I just stayed inside my room.

  They learned really fast not to mention Blake or the training in front of me as the dark inside of me crept slowly into my heart. The back biting came and the snapping heads off by saying the wrong things.

  Even my irises turned red around the edges. I could feel their concern and it was really starting to piss me off. I didn’t need their pity or worry. I had enough shit to deal with.

  Talking to Sammy about why her brother trained me burned at the edge of my tongue, but a part of me couldn’t. I guess it was the old me that kept me from yelling it in her face. But I knew what it would mean, I would lose her friendship and the old Elena was still fighting hard to keep it.

  “Elena, please tell me what happened?” I found Becky next to me on the couch. It’d started to snow as December grew nearer and she threw a blanket over our legs. “Sammy isn’t here. Please. Why aren’t you training with Blake anymore?”

  I stared at the window and I felt nothing but hatred toward his name. Becky wrapped her arms around me. “What happened?”

  I flinched at her touch. I didn’t like this at all and I gave her a glare but releasing the information was all I’d wanted for a couple of days now. It had to come out. “He wants me to kill him.”


  “His darkness is starting to consume him. It was the reason Paul found the Elementals so fast, and when they were gone, I turned. It makes sense if you think about it.”

  “Elena you can’t kill him,” she whispered loudly and her nostrils flared.

  “Why not? He would destroy Paegeia, Becky.”

  “What is wrong with you? It’s the dark, come.” She grabbed my hand and yanked hard for me to follow her.

  “Don’t.” I yanked it out of her hand. “He can’t stand to be near me. I’m not going.”

  “You need him, otherwise you will turn dark yourself.”

  “I don’t. I have to make peace with this, the way he did. I can’t do this anymore.”

  She looked at me with a gaping mouth and disappointment laced her eyes, lips and entire body. “You’re giving up? After everything that we went through, you’re giving up.”

  “It doesn’t matter, Becky.” I got up and walked past her.

  A pillow hit hard against my back.

  “Don’t ever say that!” she yelled. “It does matter. It matters to me, and George, and Dean. Not to mention Sammy or the fact that Lucian died to save your life. You can’t give up.”

  “I am what I am, Becky. I can’t change it.” A tear rolled over my cheek. They came easily now.

  “Fight, Elena. You can fight it.”

  “It’s not that easy. The feeling inside of me feels…”

  “Powerful.” She finished my sentence.


  “I don’t believe that. You don’t want to be evil, Elena. You will always fight for what is right. It is why you went after that sword and saved us from a terrible fate, Elena. You were the sixth woman to get out of a Cavern that no one even dares to go into. You can’t give up now,” she begged me. “Just come with me. He wouldn’t know.”

  “I told him.”


  “He knows what he does for me.”

  She nodded her head slowly. “And, what did he say?”

  “It doesn’t matter. It’s over. He despises me.”

  She frowned. “I don’t believe that.”

  “Well he does, okay.”

  She gasped. “You fell for him, didn’t you?”

  “It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t feel the same for me.”

  “He told you that.”

  “Yes. I’m no match when it comes to Tabitha,” I said in a sarcastic tone.

  “He is lying.” Becky’s jaw muscle clenched. “Tabitha isn’t a match against you. The way you guys calm each other down…”

  I shook my head. “He said it isn’t like that with him.”


  “It’s the truth. If I was to him like he was to me, he wouldn’t have begged me to kill him.”

  “No, you can’t kill him.”

  “I have no choice.”

  “You do.” She started to pace with her hands tangled in her hair. “There’s got to be another way.” She stopped and looked at me. “Someone will claim him. Arianna is busy training…”

  “To claim me.”

  She stared at me with her huge brown eyes. “You gotta be shitting me.”

  I shook my head.

  “That bitch.” Becky spoke softly. “Then someone else will claim him.”

  “Who, Becky? The only one that was brave enough was Lucian. Nobody is going to claim him. He knows that. I know that.”

  “Lucian found something, Elena. I know it.”

  “Whatever it was, it wasn’t linked to Blake.”

  “Elena, then why did he get that foretelling from the Viden?”

  “I don’t know. The Viden hasn’t been herself lately.”

  “She’s still the Viden and her foretellings still matter. Lucian found something.”

  “We’ll never know what.” I started to lose my patience with her.

  She could hear it and she just stared at me with a hint of fright in her eyes and then I saw it. It was like a lightbulb shining bright above her head. “Unless we discover what he found.”

  Y HEAD SNAPPED to hers. “What do you mean?”

  “C’mon, Elena. We can do this. We’ve been doing this ever since you entered Paegeia. You and Lucian had something special. You guys used to think exactly like one another, if there is one person that can do this, it’s you. I know it.”

  “How? I don’t even know where to begin!”

  She just looked at me and I could see the answer in her eyes.

  “No, Becky. The Acker Woods…”

  “He came out, you’re a Rubicon, Elena. It’s not that different from the Sacred Cavern.”

  “It’s not the same. Lucian had to do crazy things for them, things so horrible he didn’t even want to tell me about it. What if they ask us to do the same?”

  She gave me her ‘really?’ look. “Then you set their asses on fire with your pink flame, and they will set us free, Elena.”

  I took a deep breath. I didn’t want to admit it, but in that second she said the words ‘set their asses on fire’ a familiar feeling rested inside my core. I knew she was right.

  A day will come and a day will go….No, stop it. The foretelling wouldn’t be the reason this time. “Okay, how do we do this?”

  “First we’ve got to tell the others, we are going to need all the help we can get.”

  E TOLD SAMMY only half the truth, that we were going to try to find what Lucian had found. She was obviously up for it and so were George and Dean. I, on the other hand, didn’t want anything to do with him, but the old Elena still had a say and she was really strong at times, especially when it came to saving Blake. Stupid idiot, he’d rejected her love and she still wanted to help him.

  For the next couple of days we spent our afternoons and evenings in the library. Dean searched the i
nternet, but the minute he went to search for a layout of the forest, the computer died.

  So that was what happened that day, someone programmed the computers to limit our research on some things. To think that Lucian had had all the answers and he was the only one not able to tell us.

  The date kept lingering in my mind. We only had nine months left and then I would get what I wanted. They wouldn’t have a choice. My lips curved slightly thinking about how I was going to do this. It was going to be a slow death. I was going to make him pay for rejecting Elena, me…whatever.

  Sammy did research on King Albert and Queen Catherine. I looked over her shoulder every now and then, but the minute I saw Queen Catherine’s friendly face, I slouched back in my seat. None of the info she got really led to anything. I knew for a fact Tanya Le Frey was a dead end. There was nothing on her anyway. She’d disappeared the minute she betrayed the queen. A voice scowled in my head: she didn’t betray the queen, she was the only one that knew the truth.

  Stupid girl, she was so naive thinking that good would always overcome evil. The old Elena was going to see how wrong she was the hard way.

  We went for dinner and the minute I entered the cafeteria the hatred vanished. The passion and need to kill Blake disappeared and were replaced with another type of want. A want I would never get fulfilled. I looked around and found Blake and Tabitha quarrelling at a table. I went right up to them, not knowing what I was going to say. When I reached their table both of them stopped and stared at me.

  Blake glared.

  “We’ve got a plan,” I said.

  He started to laugh. “It’s not going to work.” He slouched back in his chair and put his foot on the table. Tabitha just stared at him. She really didn’t look very pleased with him.

  “You don’t know that. It’s better than asking someone to kill you.” I spat back. Although he was near, his attitude still pissed me off.

  Tabitha’s eyes raised in horror. “You did what!” she yelled at him.

  “Calm down,” he told her in a stern voice.

  So he hadn’t told her. I guessed the truth would get out sooner or later.

  He turned back to me. “Stop this, you’re wasting your time.”

  “We’re not. Lucian found something, Blake. I could see it in his eyes. He knew something he just didn’t have the time to tell us.”

  “I told you, he found nothing but Paul’s deception.”

  “That’s not true, and I’m going to prove it.”

  “What!” Blake jumped up and his face was inches from mine. This time it didn’t look as if he wanted to kiss me. It looked as if he wanted to kill me.

  “I don’t need your permission, but I promise you I’ll find whatever Lucian discovered.” I turned around to walk away.

  “No!” Blake yelled.

  “Excuse me, you are not the boss of me, Blake. The last time someone told me no, he discovered pretty fast that there is no way to change my mind when I’ve decided on something.”

  The entire cafeteria fell into utter silence. I didn’t care anymore about what was going through their pathetic little minds.

  “I’m not Lucian. You will kill me, that I can promise.”

  I laughed. The entire cafeteria gasped. “I’m not…”

  “It’s my fault Lucian is dead.”

  I rolled my eyes and sighed. “The Hippogriff killed Lucian.”

  “Don’t do this Blake,” Tabitha begged.

  “No, she needs to know the truth.” He pulled his arm out of her grasp and walked over to me. “He came to me that day when he came back. He wanted to know where you were.”

  “He could’ve asked Sammy or Becky that too. It doesn’t mean it was your fault.”

  “I told him exactly where you were and with who.” He chuckled sadistically, but the emotion of it faded fast. “He told me that Paul was trying to hurt you, even begged me to come with him.” He stared at the ground as he spoke softly. Regret thinned out his big, succulent lips. “I refused.” He looked at me. “If I’d left with him, he would still be alive, Elena.”

  I got what it was he was saying. My eyes darted everywhere in front of me, except on him as I tried to search for the truth in his revealing. He’d refused because it was me Lucian had begged him to help. But then again it could be a lie, a trick to get what he wanted. I looked at him “I don’t believe that.”

  “You can ask Tabitha. She was with me when Lucian came into the room.”

  I looked past him and found Tabitha. She just stared at the table.

  “It was Tabitha that saved your life. She begged me to go after Lucian.” I looked at both of them and when Tabitha’s chin scrunched up, she buried her head in her hands, sobbing. I knew it was the truth. I looked back at him and the worry of me chasing after what Lucian found faded away. He was responsible for Lucian.

  “Elena,” Becky was at my side. “Don’t listen to him. He wants the easy way out.”

  I pulled myself from her one-armed hug. “Don’t.” I shot her a warning and looked at Blake. “You want to tell me you couldn’t help out your best friend because you were too busy fucking Tabitha?” I yelled.

  Heads everywhere ducked closer to one another but a lot of eyes were still on us.

  He shrugged.

  “You arrogant bastard.” My hands were alight with fire and everyone squirmed away from Blake and me as the Pink Kiss consumed both my arms.

  “Elena, stop this!” George yelled from Becky’s side.

  I let out a scream, it sounded angry and frustrated all at the same time and as I wanted to release the fire onto Blake I felt a tiny prick in the side of my neck. I touched it and a cold metallic dart grazed my fingers. Everything around me started to spin slowly as I took it out. My fire was gone and I looked at the dart again. When I wanted to look at Blake he wasn’t in front of me anymore. Everything in front of me was spinning as if I stood on a crazy fast carousel. George’s arms grabbed me but it didn’t stabilize my head from the spinning.

  I knew in that instant it was just my head and I looked in Blake’s direction. I knew he was still there. I could feel the heat radiating off his body. “You’ve got your promise.” Then everything faded.

  I woke up in the infirmary. Constance didn’t say a word, she just stared at me. Anger and hatred filled my gut. The first thing that popped into my head was something Blake asked me, ‘why didn’t Lucian warned me that day…’ he knew and he chose to lie to me so that I could trust him, let him prepare me so that I could kill him.


  “Don’t, Constance.” I looked away as her eyes begged me to understand.

  “Nora killed him, it wasn’t Blake.”

  “I don’t care. Blake should’ve been there,” I yelled at her.

  “You can’t hold him responsible for that. It’s the dark…”

  “Bullshit. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about the dark in him. Lucian begged him to come with him. He told him that Paul was dangerous and he didn’t do anything,” I spat and an angry tear rolled down my cheek. I wiped it away vigorously. I hated it, I always had, and now that I feel nothing but hatred, they decide to come.

  “I know you feel betrayed.”

  “You have no fucking clue how I feel,” I yelled again. “I will kill him, and that is final!” I ran out of the infirmary and shifted without taking off my clothes.

  Cara immediately asked questions because she could feel my anger and I showed her in harsh flashes what had taken place the past couple of days.

  “I can’t kill him, Elena.”

  “You don’t have to, I will.”

  “No, please don’t do this.”

  “Don’t tell me what I can’t do Cara. He could’ve saved Lucian and he didn’t.”


  “Don’t Honey me. I don’t need you anymore.”

  She fell silent and after a while I knew she’d shut herself off from me. I was alone. Dragon was what I was. I now knew why I’d turned into the Rubicon.
Blake was right, it was because of him. I was the only one that could kill him.

  Y NIGHTMARES BECAME dark just like the darkness inside of me. Queen Catherine didn’t bother me so much anymore. Neither did Brian ever since Blake took his place. I knew it was the hippogriff that had killed Lucian but indirectly Blake had caused his death. If he’d been there, he would’ve seen the hippogriff’s tail and he would’ve taken her out before she could sting Lucian.

  The Blake I’d met and knew was a trick. A trick to make me do exactly what he said and to push me into becoming a killer. He never liked me, and nothing had changed. He was still Blake and I was so stupid not to have realized that. No more.

  What Lucian discovered would stay a secret. I wouldn’t spend any more of my time trying to find out what he knew.

  They kept Blake locked up after the day I wanted to fry his ass. The dark almost took over completely and one of the professors I didn’t have class with had paid with their life trying to keep him from hurting anyone. The roomers were if he keeps getting darker that they would sedate him and would keep him sedating him until someone stepped up to claim him. When that was going to actually happen, nobody knew, it was just something everyone was talking about lately.

  Arianna changed her mind and said she would try to claim him herself. When that pathetic day would come, was up to her. She was going to see her ass.

  “Please Elena, we can’t do this without you?” Sammy asked after the third day I didn’t show up for trying to find a way to help him.

  “Don’t ask me for help Sammy. He killed Lucian,” I yelled back at her. George, Dean and Becky all stood close to her.

  “He didn’t kill him, he just didn’t go with Lucian when he asked him to.”

  “That puts him directly in the role of killer.”

  “You can’t blame my brother. If you want to blame someone, blame me. Blame Becky, and Dean and George.” She pointed in the direction of our dorm’s bathroom. “Better, go look in the mirror and blame that person. We all trusted him.”

  “Get out!” I screamed at her and Becky stepped in between us as my hands lit up again.

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