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Thunderlight, p.16
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       Thunderlight, p.16

           Adrienne Woods
 

  Peter’s father had died two years ago in a hunting accident. They couldn’t get him to a healing town fast enough where Swallow Annexes are plentiful. When he heard his father’s duck whistle he knew what was happening to him. They’d shared a long talk and he didn’t want to end. Finally, when he woke up he looked different. He seemed taller, brawnier and had long, lean muscles I’d never seen on Peter before.

  “What a wonderful experience,” Professor Pheizer addressed the class while sitting on her desk.

  I really hoped with all my heart that I would get to share one with Dad too. To see him again and just apologize and finally give him the thank you he deserved.

  Later that day, Enchantments was also interesting as we had started to elevate a feather with our minds. It was harder than the stupid box and the nose bleeds seemed to come faster.

  It wasn’t as hectic as the first time and I easily snapped out of it.

  “I could help you with all of this, if you want,” Paul said after the umpteenth time I’d failed.

  “Lucian would just love that,” I spoke unable to keep the sarcasm from my voice.

  “He doesn’t need to know.”

  “I don’t hide anything from him, Paul. I’m sorry. He’s not a big fan of yours and I can’t.”

  Okay so it wasn’t the whole truth as I didn’t share my foretelling with him or the fact that I was still dreaming about Queen Catherine, but I wasn’t going to hide this from him.

  “So what you are saying is I have to get his permission first?”

  I giggled. “Something like that.”

  He sighed. “It’s going to take a miracle. Have any ideas?”

  “Save his life?” I joke and he laughed.

  “I’ll find another way for him to trust me.” Paul’s tone carried all the confidence in the world as he slung his backpack over his shoulder and winked at me as he walked quickly to the exit.

  What is that guy’s deal with me?

  That afternoon, in Arithmetic the voice finally came and I couldn’t grab my notebook fast enough. Books fell out of my backpack as I tried to get it out causing a loud racket.

  I apologized to Professor Dungfry, our second year Arithmetic lecturer, and kept my posture like any normal being.

  The voice still spoke, as if it was having a conversation with someone.

  Class must be really boring for whoever it was.

  I wrote the words I heard, even though I was certain nobody would understand what this dragon thought. It didn’t sound like Latin at all.

  I’d written about five pages, then stopped and just embraced the soothing voice as they recited foreign words.

  When the bell rang I ran to Professor Pheizers class and handed her my notebook. She paged through it like tomorrow depended on it.

  “I don’t know how to write it, so I wrote what I heard.”

  She nodded without taking her eyes from it. Tears welled up in her eyes. What did she read? “This is beautiful, Elena.” She wiped her eyes away as she finished with the last sentence. “I haven’t read this in a long time.”

  “What is it?”

  “It’s a very famous poem. The dialect is what they call old tongue. That is why you never could understand it. It’s a bit different than what most of the dragons speak. All I can say is whoever your dragon is they have a soft spot for old poems.”

  “I’ve got a poet for a dragon?”

  She laughed. “One that appreciates the art, just like its rider.”

  I took a deep breath and let it out. Only one way to find out if Sammy likes old poems. “What is this poems name?”

  “Propertius by Virgil.”

  Sensing my interest she carefully explained to me what the poem was about. It was about a boy with no love and how it had tricked him, after which he became free. Goose pimples rippled over my flesh again. It sure sounded beautiful but it didn’t sound like Sammy. I couldn’t help but think this news was only going to worry Lucian even more.

  “Do you still hear it?”

  I nodded. “I managed to push it to the back of my mind but I still hear it.”

  She grabbed both my hands and shook them gently. “This is so amazing.”

  I giggled again. “Now to find out who this poet is.”

  She smiled at me as her next class entered and I barely made it to Mysteries before the bell rang.

  I couldn’t pay attention again as I wondered about who this beautiful voice belonged too. All I knew was that it was my dragon, but who it was, was a mystery and one I doubt even Sir Edward could help me with.

  Poets were gentle and so my dragon would be as well, especially if it thought of ancient poems that made old ladies cry.

  I couldn’t wait to find out if this did belong to Sammy or not.

  Shaking myself from my thoughts I tried to pay attention. Sir Edward was speaking about some sort of potion. One that was so intriguing that it held the entire class’ attention. “That’s exactly what this potion does.” Sir Edward scribbled the last ingredient on the board and we all gasped as we read the word, Rubicon’s blood.

  “So what you are saying is that a human’s heart will stop for thirty minutes and when the effect washes away it just starts beating again,” Jeff, sitting in the first row, asked.

  “Exactly, Jeff.” He turned back around. “It’s also where it got its name. The …”

  Reily raised her hand again. “The Coward’s Potion.”

  He tossed her a candy bar at the correct answer.

  “When Quito died, scientists took everything they could harvest from him. That was when Gilderoy the first started to experiment with it and come up with a way to defeat death. As you all know it’s illegal to brew this potion and I doubt Blake would just hand you a vial of his blood.”

  We all laughed as he said this but mine died on my lips as I remembered seeing Isabel wiping his blood from the walls of their home. Blood pumped with magic and it was uselessly wasted on the walls.

  The bell ring and I hurried out trying to find Sammy. I finally found her sitting in our room.

  “Do you have a love of poems?” I blurted out.

  She gave me her huh-look and her eyes rose. “The voice came back?”

  I nodded and her smile disappeared. “I don’t, Elena. It’s not me.”

  “Then who? I can’t think of any other dragon that knows poems.”

  “Neither do I.” She replied. “This sucks!”

  “Tell me about it.”

  “I guess Dean will be over the moon by this news.”

  We both give a small chuckle as disappointment lacing our tones.

  “Don’t worry, we will find this poet of yours,” she said as she stroked my arm.

  “I really wish that it was you.”

  “Me too.”

  I knew the chances that the voice belonged to Sammy were small after Professor Pheizer told me it was a poem. She wasn’t the type and I was her best friend. I would’ve known if Sammy had a love of poems.

  We were bummed out the rest of the day and I was so upset I couldn’t even eat. Lucian was not impressed with this outcome either. He was back to being worried about the voice belonging to a member of the opposite sex.

  He read my five, handwritten pages like five times and I could see he was thinking really hard.

  “Do you know who it belongs too?” I asked hopefully.

  He shook his head without looking at me, but he swallowed hard.

  “Hey.” I leaned closer to him. “Nothing is going to come between us, I promise.”

  “Elena, you don’t know how strong a dent can be.”

  “I love you, you are my choice. Whoever this dragon is, they’ll have to deal with that or get slain.”

  He smiled softly.

  “I mean that. I’m not going to give you up just because I’m part of a dent, Lucian. He or she will have to understand that.”

  “Yeah, sure,” he said sounding defeated.

  “You sure you don’t know who it is?”
>
  “I told you I don’t, Elena.”

  “Then stop sulking. I still need to Ascend before we know for sure.”

  “It’s a smart dragon. If they memorize poems, especially this one, word for word.”

  “Poets are gentle, whoever it is will understand. You’ll see we have nothing to worry about.”

  The next morning I almost overslept and rushed to my first class. Cooper, Lucian’s guard, was missing and so was Lucian. My entire day was messed up and to make it worse it felt as if my feet were dragging.

  I hated feeling so tired and I could feel my senses dulling. I walked around the corner leading to my next class and bumped hard into someone. Papers fell to the floor and I apologize without looking up.

  I picked up one of the sleeves and the name printed on it froze my body. I was holding the poem that was playing around in my head.

  “Don’t worry, Elena. I’ve got it.”

  I looked up and stared into the deep brown eyes. My blood ran cold as ice.

  “You like poems?” I asked and he grabbed the paper out of my hand.

  “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill you,” he said slowly.

  I just kept looking at him.

  “I was joking, Elena. I’m not the killing type, although I get all the blame for it. Promise,” Paul said.

  “Sorry, it’s not that. I’ve got to go.”

  My heart pounded hard as fear clouded my chest. I went to my room and grabbed my Cammy frantically. I didn’t care what class Lucian had, this was urgent.

  I dialed his number and his face appeared in three rings. He wanted to say something but as soon as he saw the look on my face his expression changed into hard lines. “Are you okay?”

  “No, I’m not. I know why Paul is the way he is with me, Lucian.”

  “What?”

  “He likes poems.”

  “Calm down, what do you mean.”

  “I was late for a class and I bumped into him in the hallway. I helped him pick up his papers without knowing it was him and I found the poem. The exact same poem, Lucian. He admitted that he loves them.”

  Lucian’s face froze.

  “Say something.”

  “No, Elena. He can’t be your dragon. He’s a Wyvern.”

  “Lucian, dragon is dragon. Everything is different with me.” I began to panic. “My father was a dragon, I’m born with a mark I shouldn’t have. What if it’s him?”

  “No, it’s not, Elena.”

  “Are they fire breathers?”

  Lucian didn’t say a word.

  “Lucian, are they fire breathers?”

  “Where are you now?”

  “My room.”

  “I’ll be there in a minute.” His face disappeared and I felt like crying. Why him, why not someone else.

  Lucian would never accept him and I would wither in pain if I ran from it.

  A knock came from my door and I opened it slowly. He walked into my room clearly agitated.

  “Yes, they’re fire breathers.”

  “It’s him, Lucian. Why else does he stare at me, and treat me like gold.”

  “What do you mean, treats you like gold?”

  I closed my eyes. “He has Enchantments with me.”

  “You didn’t even bother to tell me that?”

  “Lucian, I know how you feel about him. I’m sorry.”

  “That explains why he took you to the Infirmary that day. I should’ve known.”

  “I didn’t do anything wrong!”

  “I know, I’m sorry.” He stroked his face hard. “It can’t. It just can’t be him.” He hit the wall as he said the last word. I flinched as I’d never seen him like this before.

  “I’m sorry.” Tears were closed by.

  He turned around and hugged me. “Don’t, it’s not your fault.”

  “If it helps, I feel absolutely nothing for him.”

  He gave a defeated chuckle. “It doesn’t matter, Elena. He will find a way into your heart and he will come between us.”

  “He will only come in between us if we let him, Lucian. I love you and this time you have to trust me on that.”

  “Okay,” he whispered and I felt his lips brushing the top of my head softly.

  “Can you keep this from him?”

  I moved away from him. “Professor Pheizer said that it would hurt like hell if I don’t accept it. It’s the same as a dent.”

  “Dammit.” He closed his eyes and our heads rested against one another.

  “What happened between you and Wyverns, Lucian?”

  “I can’t tell you.”

  “Please. I’ve got to know if one is going to be part of our lives.”

  “You’ll leave me.”

  “Trust, Lucian.”

  He kept quiet for a long time and just stared at me. I could see anger, fear and a deep sadness inside those beautiful blue eyes.

  “Ten years ago, a Wyvern killed my sister.”

  WAS ABSOLUTLEY SPEECHLESS. I’d never even known he had a sister to begin with. He let go of me and walked slowly to the couch with both of his hands in his hair.

  “This is so messed up.”

  “I’ve got a plan. Do what you need to do and then set him free, Elena.”

  “Can I do that?”

  He nodded.

  “Deal,” I said without thinking it through.

  “It’s not easy though.”

  “I don’t care.” I couldn’t let Lucian live with the same species that killed his sister. “What happened?”

  “When I was nine, four Wyverns came to the castle on my father’s invitation. He wanted to fulfill King Albert’s wish of finding an alliance with them. Wyland was one of the Wyvern chief’s sons. His father was really sick and they sent him instead. His eyes fell on my sister. He was like Paul. Everyone loved him but we learned little of them. They stayed for three months. I thought he was the most amazing being I’d ever met. Well, he fooled us all.” A tear rolled down his cheek at the memory. He wiped it away with a sniff. “I know it was ten years ago but, if you knew Dezi, you would have loved her. I know for a fact she would’ve loved you.”

  I moved closer to him and gave him a hug. “I’m sorry you had to lose her.”

  “I really miss her a lot. My father changed after that. He told me over the phone how he begged them not to let Paul in here but the Ancients had already made up their mind.”

  “How did Dezi die?”

  “They never wanted an alliance but information on the land, the castle, and who my father was. My sister fell for him and I guess a small part of Wyland fell for her too. Nobody could pretend like that, nobody.” He looked at me with sorrow filling his eyes.

  “At that stage I thought it was cool. I would be the only one in Paegeia who had a Wyvern family. What did I know? I was only nine and naïve.” He stared at the carpet as he said that last word and I could tell he felt shame along with guilt. “The day he decided to strike, my sister caught him as they had made plans. I found her body drowning in her own blood as he stood over her with a dagger in his hand. He’d slit her throat. When I yelled, Emanuel stormed into the room, and their plans were ruined. Wyland and another guy got away but Emanuel killed two of them.”

  It all sounded so horrible, to lose a sister that way. Poor King Helmut, and her mother…

  “My father got his revenge though. He killed every Wyvern in his path until he found Wyland and he burned his ass slowly.”

  I closed my eyes and let out a sigh. “This is really messed up. First Arianna, we overcome that, now this. It’s like fate….”

  “Shhh.” He put his finger on my lips. “Don’t think like that. We will get through this too. Like you said, he won’t get between us.”

  I nodded. “He knows who I am. It’s only a matter of time before he shares it with someone, Lucian.”

  “I know. When he does, we’ll pretend that it doesn’t matter. Okay.”

  “Okay.” It barely came out.

  We looked at each other and L
ucian leaned in closer. Our lips brushed gently against one another before it turned into a kiss. It was hard, fast and greedy, almost feverish. I couldn’t recall Lucian ever kissing me like that. It felt if this was the last kiss we would ever share.

  Please, don’t let it be the last kiss.

  He stayed the rest of the afternoon as he’d just walked out of his last class of the day.

  We fell asleep on the couch and when we both woke up the sun was starting to set. None of the girls were in the room so I laid my head back onto his chest. I could sleep next to him like this forever.

  At dinner, Paul just stared at us. I could feel his eyes on me the entire time. “He knows we know,” I whispered to Lucian.

  “Keep it cool. It’s fine.” He gave me a smile and kissed the tip of my nose.

  I giggled.

  The next day I found Paul at our Art of War lesson. Professor Mia had a bright smile over her face as she spoke to him over to the side of the room. She couldn’t get enough of him. It must be a Wyvern thing.

  Our eyes met and I looked away.

  I know he knows about me. Every dragon knows who he’s rider is.

  “Good morning class, please take a seat.” Professor Mia gestured with one of her hands to the bleachers.

  I took a seat next to Finn. The girls in the front row whispered to one another and by the smiles on their faces and the way they undressed Paul with their eyes I knew that the subject was him.

  “Today is going to be so fun,” Mia said.

  Collin was sitting right behind me.

  “Paul agreed to teach us more about fighting against Wyverns.” Mia had a huge grin on her face.

  Some gasped while others made exciting noises.

  I just stared at him. Why would he do that?

  “Elena,” Professor Mia called my name. No surprise there.

  I got up and Paul put his hand on her arm and shook his head with a very serious look on his face. He leaned in to Professor Mia and whispered something in her ear.

  When her eyebrows raised and a gasp left her mouth, I knew exactly what he’d told her. What that had to do with this sparring lesson, I had no clue.

  She called Collin’s name, and as I sat back down. Collin jumped up, pretending to be Rocky and bounced on one spot before he ran down the bleachers.

  As much as I wanted to rejoice at seeing Collin’s ass getting kicked again, I was hurt that Paul didn’t want to spar with me. For someone who’d really tried to get my attention, I thought he would grab this opportunity with two hands. His actions made me feel as if I carried some sort of disease.

 
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