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Thunderlight, p.17
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       Thunderlight, p.17

           Adrienne Woods
 

  I didn’t pay any attention as Mia worked through the entire class names, except mine. When the bell rang I darted out the dome.

  “Elena, wait!”

  I should’ve known the jerk would want to explain, but I didn’t care what stupid explanation he had. It was more than enough that I got this on a regular basis from Arianna. I refused to get this from him too.

  “Hey, wait.” He grabbed my arm and forced me to turn around to look at him.

  “What do you want, Paul? Why didn’t you wanted to fight? I’m not good enough for the mighty Wyvern?” Why did I just say that?

  A small smile appeared on his face and I shook my head, turned around, and started to walk away.

  “Wait, it’s not like that.”

  “I don’t care what it─

  “You’re my rider, Elena,” he said it as if voicing that fact made it somehow all make sense. “Something tells me you already know that.” He looked at me with a frown dented deep on his forehead.

  I nodded.

  “Why didn’t you say something?”

  “I’m with Lucian, Paul. I was sure you’d figure it out.”

  “Elena, this is something we have to sort out.”

  “You are a Wyvern. Lucian will never accept it.”

  “What are you saying?” He swallowed hard and stared at me with questioning eyes.

  “I can’t be your rider if Lucian isn’t okay with it. And believe me he’ll never be okay with it.”

  “You can’t run from this,” he spoke softly but his tone was dead serious.

  “I know I can’t. But I’d rather die than betray Lucian.” I turned around to walk away.

  “What if he approves?”

  I laughed and looked at him again. “He’ll never.”

  “If he does?”

  “Then you have yourself a rider.” I walked a bit faster to the main entrance trying to outrun his voice.

  He ran next to me. “Deal. If I see Lucian, I’ll scram.”

  I shook my head and couldn’t help but smile at him. “That wasn’t what I meant, but something tells me you don’t really care.”

  He chuckled. “So you are not even remotely interested in why I declined fighting against you.”

  “Whatever it is, I’m sure you’ve got a really good explanation for it.” Sarcasm rolled over my tongue so thick I could almost taste it.

  “Believe me I really wanted to. You know, to see what it is you can do, but if I face you, you might Ascend.”

  “What!” I stopped in my tracks.

  He raised his eyes at me.

  “You’re sure about that?” Isn’t that the rare type of Ascension?

  He nodded. “Again, something I’ve picked up. I wish I could explain it to you. When I saw you that day in the Auditorium, it all just came to me.”

  “What ability do you have?”

  He gave me a raised eyebrow look. “You really want me to say it out loud?”

  I looked down. He knew I’d heard him inside my head.

  “Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked.

  “How was I supposed to tell you? After I bumped into you? You would’ve thought I was nuts if I said it out loud.”

  “I wouldn’t as I already knew what you were thinking, Elena.”

  I gasped.

  He raised his hands in surrender. “I’m not reading your mind now if that’s what you are thinking, but I can speak to people’s minds, insert thoughts, images, that type of thing. It’s one of the reasons Wyverns are so dangerous. Because you never know which of your thoughts are real and which ones aren’t.”

  Shock washed over my body as he said those words. I just kept looking at him with my mouth slightly open.

  “What?” He paused in front of me and looked straight into my eyes.

  “You can put thoughts of something that’s not real in someone’s mind?”

  “Relax, as tempting as it is, I won’t put thoughts in yours.”

  Lucian’s fear of him coming in between us just became my own. He had a gift that could do just that.

  “So how long have you heard me?”

  “It comes and goes.”

  He shook his head. “We must have a strong bond.”

  I didn’t say anything.

  “Don’t worry. I won’t do anything without Lover Boy’s permission,” he joked.

  “Hahahaha.” I laughed at him sarcastically and we parted ways as I slipped through the main door leading to the cafeteria.

  That night when Sammy left for drama club orientation, I pulled Becky down onto the couch. She looked at me surprised, since I’d never done that before. “I’ve got to tell you something, but promise me you won’t say a word to Sammy.”

  “Promise,” she said before she properly thought about it.

  “I know who my dragon is.”

  Her eyes became wide and I stared into huge orbs. “Who? How did you find out?”

  “Paul is a telepath. He admitted it to me after Art of War today when he refused to spar with me.”

  “Wyverns have riders?” she said shocked. “Did you tell Master Longwei?”

  “Oh hell no, Paul doesn’t think I’m ready yet. That is why he doesn’t want to face me in any kind of fighting. The fact that I can hear him in my mind…we have a strong bond, Becky.”

  “What does it sound like?”

  “Greek,” I said and we both laughed.

  “You like him?”

  “I don’t know... He has that same mystery as Blake lingering around him. I can feel it pulling me closer to him, but at the same time I have this knot in my stomach that keeps warning me about what he is. It’s like he knew that I could hear him, and nothing that came out of my mouth surprised him.”

  Becky laughed. “A dragon always knows who their rider is, Elena.”

  “Did George?”

  She nodded. “He said the minute I walked off that carriage on my first day, he knew.”

  “Then why didn’t he say anything.”

  “He’s Chromatic. You really think that they’ll go and blurt out who their riders are? Believe me they’d rather take the beatings before owning up to that.”

  “It doesn’t make sense.”

  “Nothing makes sense when it comes to the Chromatics. What does Lucian say about all of this?”

  “He’s freaked out,” I sighed.

  “A Wyvern is your dragon. This is so messed up,” Becky said as she looked back at me. “Did Lucian tell you about…?”

  I nodded. “It’s horrible. He thinks I can claim him and set him free.”

  “You would do that? Giving up your dragon is not easy, Elena, especially when he is your dent.”

  “What else can I do, Becky? One killed Dezi and to ask Lucian to live with one for the rest of his life…” I shook my head at that thought. “I can’t. Just don’t tell Sammy.” I referred back to Paul being my dragon.

  “I promise, but we have to tell her sometime. If she hears it from someone else, she might be hurt.”

  “Deal, just give me some time to figure out how.”

  It felt good telling one of my friends. Becky sounded excited, but she could definitely feel my worry about Paul being a Wyvern.

  When I crawled into bed, I couldn’t sleep. Today had exhausted me but my mind felt refreshed. Could it be Paul’s influence?

  I didn’t hear him again as I closed my eyes and said a small prayer.

  I thought about my foretelling. ‘A day will come, and a day will go.’ The day is today; the first day knowing that Paul is my dragon. ‘A choice you have to make,’ it must be referring to me claiming him, ‘Otherwise the truth will never be known’; that Wyverns are destined to be good.

  HE NEXT COUPLE of days I barely saw Lucian. He was missing for some reason again; this was an old draw of his. He once disappeared on me in my first few weeks at Dragonia. However, this time I worried that it was the fear of Paul and me together that drove him away and the guilt lay thick on my chest. Running would’ve eased t
his tension in my body, but I hadn’t run since the day we’d found Darius’s body in the woods. When three days had passed and I still hadn’t seen Lucian I was really starting to get annoyed. I couldn’t figure out why he was acting this way.

  “Where the hell’s Lucian?” I asked Becky during lunch as I walked angrily over to our table.

  “Calm down, I’m sure he has a good explanation.” Becky had her arm around me.

  “I told him not to do this. He’s going to give him….”

  “Shhh. He can read your mind and he’s staring at you.” Becky said without thinking and Sammy’s head shot up.

  “Who can read your mind?”

  I gave Becky a scowling glance.

  “She was going to find out sooner or later, Elena.”

  “Who?” Sammy looked at Becky first and then me.

  “My dragon,” I said slowly, gauging her response.

  “You found out who it is?” Her eyes sparkled. “Tell me.”

  “Chill, jumping pants. It’s not good,” Becky chirped.

  Sammy’s smile disappeared immediately and she shook her head fast. “No, Elena. He doesn’t have a rider. Please tell me you don’t believe him.”

  “Sammy, he’s a telepath. It explains the voice.”

  “Wyverns don’t speak Latin.”

  I stared at her for a minute.

  “He loves poems though,” Becky said and Sammy gave her an angry glare.

  “No, you can’t believe him.”

  “Sammy…”

  “No, Elena. Think about Lucian and what they have done… ” She swallowed her words.

  “I know what they did to his sister, okay. I told Lucian when I found out about Paul.”

  “Who else knows?”

  Becky and I looked at our plates.

  “You are so unbelievable.” Hurt made her eyes turn hard.

  “We know how you feel about Paul, Sammy. It’s not like Elena did it on purpose.”

  “I can’t run from this. If I’m a dent the way Professor Pheizer thinks I am, it will physically put me in unimaginable pain.”

  “Well you can’t put Lucian through living with one either,” Sammy snapped as she jumped up and left.

  Becky and I just stared after her as she pushed the doors open with more force than was necessary.

  “She’ll come around, Elena. You can’t run from it,” George said making me jump. I sometimes forgot he was there too. “She just knew the Princess well.”

  TRIED TO PHONE Lucian the entire afternoon but he didn’t pick up my calls. I finally found him at the buffet line at dinner that night. I shoved him away from the conversation he was having with Dean. “Where the hell were you? Why don’t you return my calls?”

  He ignored my foul mood and put both hands on my face and give me a kiss. “Relax. I’ve decided to put my guard to some use. Coop is showing me some moves like Sam showed George.”

  “Why?” When had Sam started to train George?

  He gave me a raised eyebrow look. “Because you can never be over trained in combat, especially when it comes to claiming Blake.”

  I swallowed hard. “You’re training again to claim him?”

  “I made a promise, Elena. As soon as he gets back, I’m going to give it another shot.”

  “You think it’s wise after…you know.”

  “It’s wise. He’s usually a bit more reasonable after a beating. It’s my best shot. I’m already getting everything in place for my meeting this Friday with the Council.”

  “Professor Pheizer said you have to do all sorts of explaining about why you want to claim Blake.”

  “And it’s not as easy as you think. Not having my ability yet does make it harder but somehow I always manage to get their approval.”

  “Lucian.” I closed my eyes thinking about him facing Blake. He’d really gotten so big and Lucian was going to look like a mouse next to him.

  “Hey, I’ve been there before, twice.”

  And you barely escaped with your life. I didn’t say it out loud though.

  “Third time’s a charm!”

  I smiled as it was the only thing I could do to show some positivity toward the news.

  WATCHED THE NEXT day as Coop and Lucian battled. I had to say, Coop was really good. He had Lucian in so many death grips that could have easily ended his life numerous times I could hardly believe it.

  My air pipe closed with every single one of them as I watched Lucian struggling to get out of Coop’s arms.

  I gave it a miss after the second day of watching them, and found myself inside the library with a book about Wyverns in front of me. They hadn’t been kidding when they said they knew almost nothing about them.

  From what I could gather there were five species.

  The Hammer-Head, had horns and a hulking head that looked like a hammer. Its massive face featured a budgie shaped nose that was bright yellow with black stripes. Two wings instead of two front paws laid flat on his back and his hind paws looked like eagle’s claws.

  The next one was called a Brown-Horn. They had one long horn on top of their head followed by a row of brown horns that ran down straight to the tip of its tail. It was one ugly bugger as tiny horns appeared all over its face and it too had a sharp bird beak.

  The Spike-Tail and Spear-Tail almost looked the same. Their scales featured the same red color with black inked around the wings. The only difference I could see was their snouts. The Spike-Tail had a larger snout than the Spear-Tail and the tip of both their tails were very different, for which I assumed they got their names. One had a ball of spikes that looked like it could do some serious damage and the other one resembled a long spear.

  The last one was called a Raven-Snout. It was raven black with yellow stripes along its back. Its snout was shaped like an eagle’s beak, and it had a crown of various sized horns on top of its head.

  There wasn’t much in the book about their abilities but most of them were fire breathers. As I took in each image, I silently wondered which one was Paul.

  “Is it safe?”

  I looked up. Speak about the devil and you step on his tail.

  “Sure,” I said and he sat down on the chair in front of me.

  “Wyverns?” He leaned over to get a better look at what I was reading. “That book isn’t going to help you much, Elena.”

  “So I’ve gathered. Which one are you: the Hammer-Head?”

  He laughed. “No, I’m much prettier than that.”

  I shook my head but couldn’t help giggling.

  “Here,” he tapped his finger on the last one.

  “You are a Raven-Snout?”

  “Is that what they call us?” He raised his upper lip in disgust.

  “It’s not what you’re called?”

  “No, I’m a Black-Weaver.”

  “A Black-Weaver?”

  “It must be the ability thing.”

  I laughed. “We can rewrite this book if you want.”

  “Fun activities already?”

  “Just a suggestion, if you are serious about us learning more about your kind.”

  He gave me a hurt look.

  “Sorry, it slipped out. I sometimes don’t think before I speak.”

  “It’s fine. I get that nobody trusts me and half of Dragonia thinks I’ve got a hidden agenda. But I really am trying Elena. If you could just give me a chance….”

  “I told you before, it’s not up to me, Paul.”

  “And if it was?”

  “Then maybe it would’ve been a totally different story,” I said without lifting my head from the images.

  “Right, then I probably should go and watch how Lucian practices. You think a bright banner rooting for him would do it?”

  I laughed. “He might be into those types of things.”

  “What, you don’t know?” He joked back. “Damn, and here I thought I was going to get pointers on how to get the boyfriend to like me.”

  “I don’t think liking you is his problem. It
s more of a trust issue.”

  His entire body dropped, all jokes were gone in an instant. “I heard about what happened to his sister. I’m really sorry about that.”

  “Me too.”

  “I’m not going to lie to you, Elena. Wyverns are bad and it wasn’t easy to betray my kind and come here. Ever since I was little, I didn’t feel like I belonged. I don’t know if you know what I mean.”

  “I can relate.”

  “Something we have in common.”

  I smiled at the thought.

  “To get back to my soppy story, being different caused a lot of shit. My father tried to beat it out of me, and my mother treated me as if I was a rotten egg.”

  I felt sorry for him as he said those words. Something else I could relate too. Mine just left.

  “If it wasn’t for my Pappy, well, I’m sure I wouldn’t be here today.”

  “Your Pappy?”

  A small smile broke over his face as he stared at his hands that were delicately folded on the table. He looked up straight into my eyes when he spoke. “My Pappy was the Wyvern who wanted to have an alliance with King Albert. He was chief for a long time, and thought it would be good for the colony if we found some sort of truce, but not everyone shared in his enthusiasm so they over threw him and cast him out.” He sighed. “I knew where he lived so whenever things got too hectic for me I used to stay with him for a couple of days and regain myself before I went back. The last time I visited him, he told me to come here. I’ve got to say, it feels so good not having to watch over my shoulder anymore.”

  “I’m sorry about the way some people are treating you. Some just don’t do so well when it comes to second chances.”

  “It’s fine. Just as long as you know where I come from.” He used his hands to push himself from his chair. “I’ve got to go, before Lover Boy comes and decides to cut off my head.”

  “Yeah, that sounds a lot like him.”

  The vertical lines on his face reached his eyes and he flashed a perfect set of white pearls my way. “Thanks for the chat.” He started to walk toward the library’s exit.

 
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