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Darkbeam part i, p.18
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       Darkbeam Part I, p.18

           Adrienne Woods
 
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  She nodded. “I need to do a thorough inspection.”

  “Don’t touch me.” My voice broke.

  Her lips started to vibrate. “Where were you, Blake?”

  I don’t know. “I’m fine.”

  Constance finally released me from the infirmary when she saw that I wasn’t going to talk about the dream.

  I needed Fire-Cain. That was fucking messed up, but I wasn’t going to cry about it.

  What happened in that dream cabin changed me. I didn’t think it was possible to succumb completely. My aunt brought me back before it happened, but that darkness left a mark.

  One that would spread like a virus. I would become dark. It was time to just accept it. To look forward to finally being free. The dark wasn’t so bad. I just had to make peace with it.

  For the next few days, the students and all the professors were wary around me.

  I didn’t understand why.

  I thought I’d just dreamt, until I discovered the truth from Irene.

  “You sure?” I asked.

  She nodded. “What did you dream about, Blake?”

  I shook my head.

  “Talk to me, please.”

  “Stop pushing!” I yelled. “I didn’t know it was him, okay?”

  “Who did you think it was?”

  “Don’t.” I stormed out of her tower.

  The old me would’ve been terrified. The new wasn’t. I was worried for sure, but not because of what I’d done—because I didn’t care.

  As it turned out, when I chucked the creature out of the cabin window, in real life I’d thrown Lucian out of our window.

  Constance and everyone were already on alert.

  Master Longwei and a couple of the other professors had already been on their way, while Constance and Julia waited for me. That was when they saw Lucian being hurled out of the window.

  Julia didn’t think twice; she transformed and caught Lucian in her dragon paws. He was unharmed, but my screams made my aunt worry and she called my mom.

  Apparently they’d had to fix our room. My abilities that didn’t want to come in the dream, exploded against everything and wrecked everything. Lucian was lucky to be alive.

  Irene was worried. Everyone was worried. Master Longwei the most. I saw it constantly on all the professor’s faces. Some of them thought I’d turned for the worst.

  If this was what they were afraid of, then it was my turn now to yell at the beast. He was the weak one.

  I just wanted to grab someone and squeeze, make them feel what I had in that dream. Maybe then they would fucking back off.

  I found myself on Tabitha again. We were fucking in my room. She complained loudly.

  Lucian just left. I didn’t give a shit.

  I pounded her harder and harder. My hands grabbed her throat. I squeezed. Her eyes bugged out and her lips drained of color. She started to hit me against the arm. I let go.

  She was pissed off at me. Tears filled her eyes. She called me a psycho and fled.

  I watched her run out of my room. I was so going to have to see a therapist. Yet, it didn’t bother me one bit. I should try, even if it was only pretend.

  I got up and took a shower as the dream replayed through my mind for the zillionth time.

  It had been more than a week since the incident.

  I got out of the bathroom, took my Fire-Cain out of the lose tile and snorted at least four lines. My head burned and I fell down. I didn’t know who I was succumbing to this time.

  The beast... or the human?

  Shit carried on like that for two months.

  I didn’t go home for the first break. I stayed at school.

  My sister begged me to come with her.

  “Fuck Sammy, get out! I’m not going home. Leave me alone.”

  She held her face, eyes widened in shock.

  I only realized what I’d done then. My hand throbbed. If she wasn’t a dragon her head would’ve rolled off her neck from the force with which I had slapped her.

  “I’m so….”

  “Don’t you fucking dare. If you ever hit me like that again…” Her voice broke. “You will regret it.” She ran out.

  Before the dreams, I’d never struck a woman before, or choked one, or hurt one on purpose. Now? I was a monster. I stomped to the window and jumped out. The ground grew nearer and nearer. A few girls shrieked as my body connected hard with the ground.

  I started to laugh. The pain washed away as if nothing had happened.

  “You are a fucking asshole, Blake!” one of the girls yelled at me as I tried to get up.

  “That was fun.” I laughed more.

  I was insane. I needed to be locked up.

  It never reached Master Longwei, though. Maybe he didn’t really care. It wasn’t as if I’d died.

  I used that night. I was out for like four days. Breaks were the only time that no one really knew what was going on in my room, and using was the only thing that calmed me down.

  I doubted that this would be the death of me.

  I feared that nothing could be.

  No doubt everyone wondered when the turning point was. When did my shit come together again?

  The answer was simple. A huge fucking Night-Villain finally got his shit together.

  Just as I lost mine, my father regained his.

  When school started, I had another incident with Samantha. She heard what I’d done.

  “Why didn’t you fly, Blake? What, are you trying to kill yourself?” She kept pushing and yapping like a little dog. She was driving me insane.

  I pushed back and she hit her head hard against the floor.

  At once Lucian was on me. So was his pathetic little friend, Dean. They all tried to knock me down, hold me back. They all end up with bloody noses and almost-broken limbs. Then George and Brian stepped in with Jeff and a couple other dragons.

  I was sedated afterward. When I woke up, there was still someone I had to deal with. He waited for me in the chair beside my bed.

  “Seriously?” I grumbled. “They sent you? The man who can’t even take care of his own family?”

  One second my father stared at me; the next I was facing him. His hand gripped my neck. “I fertilized your egg when your mother laid you. I will crush you, boy.”

  I couldn’t breathe. But he didn’t let go.

  “I’m not afraid of the Rubicon. Hit your sister one more time, or anyone else, Blake, and I will make sure they lock you up in the dungeons of Tith and I will personally incinerate the key.”

  I was fuming, but I couldn’t breathe. I tried to wrench myself free of his grip as his acid started to burn my throat. I couldn’t get out of his grip.

  “The dungeons of Tith are enchanted. No dragon has ever escaped from them. I will leave you there to rot.”

  I saw the truth in my father’s eyes. “Okay, Dad.” I choked. “I believe you.”

  He let me go. “Get your shit together, Blake. And don’t ever make me come here to sort it out again.”

  I nodded. I had never seen my father like this. He was dark, too, but he was always so weak.

  He looked out the window. “Have you turned?”

  I kept quiet.

  “Have you turned, Blake?”

  “I don’t know. Part of me is darker, but apparently I still feel some fear.” Just felt it now.

  “Then there is still hope.”

  He looked away and strode out of the infirmary without looking back.

  I shuddered. I didn’t think that I would ever fear my father again, but every bone in my body, every scale that covered me, trembled.

  The beast didn’t like that.

  A couple claimings ensued. I didn’t care anymore.

  I developed insomnia. I was scared of falling asleep. If it wasn’t that fucked-up dream where I was sewn up all wrong, it was one where I got claimed by what apparently was light. I hadn’t dreamt either of them, but I was dead tired.

  I went to see Irene again. She was the only one
who made me feel calm. Gave me what I wanted and fucked me the way I needed. A part of me still cared for her, but it was different now.

  Everything was different.

  Every time Lucian spoke about setting a date for his next attempt, I wasn’t afraid for him anymore.

  I just wanted to kill.

  I had two more claimings. I wanted to kill them, to feed my darkness, but the authorities stopped the claiming before it got that far.

  And then one night, I dreamed it.

  It wasn’t one of the two dreams I feared. It was another. I was hopelessly lost, mentally lost. I felt alone, scared, afraid.

  The wind didn’t blow. There was no sign of darkness. The Colosseum wasn’t in sight, and neither was the desert.

  I was afraid; this was the opposite of my usual dreams. It was peaceful. I was underneath a tree. I was lying on a bed, soaking up the warm sun. My body ached from too much sex. She stirred in my arms and I looked down at a redhead.

  It washed over me like a tidal wave.

  I grabbed her softly and my lips lingered on her freckled skin. I started to break down. A part of me hated it.

  She woke up. There were tears in her eyes. I wanted to ask what was wrong.

  “You don’t love me.”

  “What?” I asked, confused.

  “You don’t love me.”

  “Baby,” I said as alarm rose in my chest. What was wrong with her?

  “You don’t love me. You don’t love me. You don’t love me.” She started to cry. Then she screamed and I woke up.

  The old numbness came back, but a tear escaped and trickled across my cheek.

  She was right. I didn’t love her.

  I never did.

  I didn’t belong to anyone, and I never would.

  “What is going on with your back?” Tabitha yelled one morning.

  “Don’t,” I warned her.

  “Who are you seeing, Blake?”

  “It was nothing.”

  “You are unbelievable.”

  “You don’t like it? There’s the door, precious.” I pulled my T-shirt over my head.

  She wasn’t going to tell me what I could and couldn’t do. There were already rumors that we were an item.

  “My brother still wants you to call him. Just speak to him. He’s driving me insane.” She pulled on her pants and walked out my room, wearing only her bra.

  I shook my head. Phil could rot for all I cared.

  The past few months had been a cruise, to be honest. Irene supplied my stash now. I just had to try and hold on.

  I didn’t feel that dark.

  I always thought that when I went dark, I would want to free Goran and would die trying to do, or incinerate my world and rule the rest. That sort of thing.

  Maybe my father was right. I still feared and with fear, I didn’t know. Maybe the sign of my capitulation to darkness was there would be no fear.

  I was fear.

  But I still feared.

  I got dressed and made my way to one of those boring fucking classes again.

  Tabitha was next to me. Her hand moving up my leg and then she touched me. I closed my eyes. It felt good.

  When the bell rang, I pulled her into a closet and fucked her brains out.

  See life wasn’t that bad. Well, not yet.

  Back in the Colosseum. Cheers echoed against the walls. Dull sounds vibrated through my scales. Everything that I was shivered. Ugh fuck, not this. Please.

  I knew what was going to happen once that gate opened. It was going to be a knight wearing pure white armor, and the sun’s sharp rays would reflect on it, robbing my sight.

  Everything about this night scared me to death.

  The knight had a weird ability, one that made him replicate into an army. And although it was against dragon law to claim a dragon through multiple riders, this one didn’t count.

  I stared at the gate, as if by some miracle I would gain an extra ability that could incinerate the knight with nothing but my baleful stare. My heartbeat became audible. Everything around me went super quiet. It was just me and the knight—or should I say knights?—behind that gate.

  The gate opened with a loud screech, and then I heard the clang of armor and the reflection of metal in the sun blinded my sight.

  I woke up.

  Sweat dripped from my face. Lucian was still asleep across the room. The clock on my bedside table read midnight.

  Why was I dreaming this shit?

  I struggled to shake the feeling. For some reason it was harder getting harder after each dream.

  I shifted my legs off the bed and rested my head in the palms of my hands. My elbows rested on my knees and I took huge breaths to calm my nerves.

  It didn’t work. Something was wrong tonight.

  A tap came from the window. I froze. I looked up slowly and saw nothing but the inky depths of night. Even that felt wrong.

  I pushed myself from the bed and slowly approached the window.

  It felt as if the wall backed away from me and it took forever to reach the damn window.

  I finally reached it and looked out. Something was definitely not right; I stared up at the sky and couldn’t even see stars.

  My heart beat fast, hard. I heard it, something which wasn’t possible, but here I stood, in my room that wasn’t my room, staring into a starless night. I began to wonder where the hell I was.

  A rumble of some sort vibrated through everything I was, and…

  I jumped up in bed. Again.

  The first thing I saw was the moonlight reflecting in my room. A breeze fluttered the curtains. Every single hair on my arms stood up.

  I still felt it. The vibration. It was humming through my scales hiding deep underneath my skin. My jaw muscles pumped and I ground my teeth. I only realize then that my hands were in balls of fury.

  Soft voices came from way below in the courtyard. I tiptoed to the window.

  Lucian stirred as I pulled the curtain back. Down below, Matt was carrying a body. Constance was voicing concerns and Master Longwei guided the way to the infirmary.

  On any other night, I wouldn’t have paid any attention to this, but something within me reacted with pure instinct.

  I had to find out what the hell Matt was doing here. He lived on the other side and only came to Paegeia... well, when something brought him back. Only the most important matters. I simply had to know what was so important this time.

  I strode over to my dresser, yanked open a drawer, and put on a shirt. My jeans were still on the floor of where I’d kicked them off this evening, and I pulled them back on.

  “Blake,” Lucian said in a sleepy voice. “What the hell? Where are you going?”

  I looked back at him. “Go back to sleep. This doesn’t concern you.”

  I shouldn’t have said that. In fact I shouldn’t have said anything. My tone was filled with alarm and he knew me too well.

  “Blake, what is it?”

  “Go back to sleep, Lucian,” I said, trying a calmer tone, it looked as if it worked. Then a voice—Mia’s—rang out below. I could hear it clear.

  Apparently, so could Lucian; his gaze snapped to the window and he got out of bed. He gave me a quizzical look as he looked down on the courtyard of the main entrance. “What the hell is Matt doing here?”

  I pulled on my shoes as Lucian dressed. I didn’t wait for him. I didn’t want him to come, to figure out what had brought Matt to Paegeia before I did.

  Lucian would. He always put two and two together so fast. I hated that. I pushed the call button for the elevator and just my luck, tonight it was taking its time. I was contemplating taking the stairs when the elevator opened. It was almost closing with me inside when a hand appeared in the door and the elevator doors opened again.

  My lungs expelled.

  “Seriously, you couldn’t wait two seconds?” His tense posture made it clear just how unhappy he was.

  “Bite me,” I grunted, hardly audible.

  The ride down
to the seventh floor felt longer than usual. I kept staring at the numbers. My nerves stood on end. Who was the person Matt had brought in and why did they have this effect on me? Was he linked to me, somehow?

  My mind almost went there. But then again my father would’ve known. I needed to see Irene. She must know something.

  The elevator finally dinged and the doors opened. I walked out first and wished I could just say something so that Lucian would go back to our room.

  Seven floors down I tried to shake him, but he was just as fast as I was and kept up easily.

  Just face it, Blake. Lucian is here to stay.

  On the last set of stairs opposite the girls’ staircase, I found Mia hurrying toward the main entrance, back to her dormitory, which was close to Irene’s wing.

  “Blake.” She sounded surprised. “Lucian.” Her body inflated as if she was annoyed with the two of us coming to investigate. “What are you guys doing here?”

  “I saw Matt.” I squinted at Mia, who for some reason couldn’t look me in the eyes.

  “What is going on?” Lucian asked.

  “Nothing. Just some dragon spawn they brought in from the other side. I don’t have all the details yet, but her father didn’t make it and Matt has no idea who he was.”

  I squinted. “If they lived on the other side, they should’ve been regesterd?”

  “Exactly my point,” she said. “Go back to bed, I’m sure Master…”

  “Blake,” Master Longwei’s voice came from around the corner, just exiting the hallway. “What are you boys doing here?”

  “Couldn’t sleep,” I lied.

  Lucian’s eyes fixed on me. It made me feel uncomfortable.

  “Why is Matt here?” I insisted.

  “He brought a girl from the other side.”

  “A girl?” Lucian said.

  “You boys should mind your own business,” he admonished. “You should get back to bed, both of you.”

  They were all hiding something.

  Irene’s voice filled the hallway from the lobby. “No, Matt, I would’ve known.”

  “Come on Irene,” Constance spoke. “The resemblance…

  Then Matt spoke. “I can’t help but to think that somehow…?”

 
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