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Darkbeam part i, p.20
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       Darkbeam Part I, p.20

           Adrienne Woods
 
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  She laughed. “It’s not that.”

  “Is it about a certain Snow Dragon? I told you before, she is just cover.”

  She smiled. “I’m not worried about the Snow Dragon either.” She sat up with her back facing me. Something was really bothering her.

  I pushed myself from the bed, propped up on my elbow, and kissed her shoulder. “Please tell me what is bothering you.”

  She sighed. “Master Longwei. The entire fucking Board of Directors.” She got up, pulling on her robe. She went to the table where her fine china tea set was displayed. She opened the teapot’s lid and took out a joint.

  “What about them?” I didn’t have to ask. I knew what it was about. The new dragon spawn.

  “Her father was a dragon. She is dragon spawn. Her mark is just a birth defect. She isn’t who they think she is.”

  I narrowed my eyes. “We talking about the new girl Matt brought in?”

  She nodded.

  “Who do they think she is?” I played dumb.

  “Really, you haven’t heard?”

  I chuckled. “I’m not always occupied with what the grownups are talking about, Irene,” I joked.

  She laughed and came over to the bed after she lit the joint.

  I took it from her the minute I could.

  “She doesn’t even look like them. I don’t know what everyone is so worked up about.”

  “Look like who?” A part of me wanted to hear her say it, say King Albert’s name, Queen Catherine’s. She sighed.

  “Like Al and Katie.” She called them by their nicknames.

  “They think this girl is my rider?” I let my voice sound sarcastic.

  She laughed. “Yeah, I didn’t even think about that. The offspring of that royal line being your foretold rider. You feel anything?”

  “Like what?”

  “C’mon, Blake. A dragon always knows.”

  “I doubt that mumbo jumbo.”

  “I knew the minute I saw Tansee. I actually felt it before I ever realized it.”

  “Felt it?”

  “Yeah, she put me on edge. My entire body felt wrong.”

  My teeth ground hard. I didn’t like that. So this was real. A dragon did know.

  “She isn’t who they say she is. The Wall. If she was royalty, then how the fuck did they get her to the other side? The Wall would’ve incinerated her.”

  She waved away a cloud of grayish smoke. “I know, but why did Tanya leave?”

  “You know why she left.”

  She gave me a look as I took a drag. “No, I don’t.”

  My left eyebrow rose and I blew out the smoke. “You didn’t see it?” I asked, surprised.

  She gave me a you-know-I-couldn’t-see-anything-about-them look. “Sorry, forgot.” I sighed and smiled. “My dad told me King Albert didn’t like Tanya so he told Catherine to choose. It’s why she hated his guts after a while, why they were so far from each other the night of the betrayal.”

  “He asked her to choose between her relationship and her dragon?” She sounded shocked.

  I nodded. “She chose him and Tanya left.”

  “That’s horrible. He had no idea what he asked of her.”

  “So, don’t worry. You’re right. This girl’s not who they think she is, and they’ll discover that sooner or later.”

  “I can’t even pick anything up from this one.” she added.

  I didn’t like it. All the fucking signs were there. The way I’d felt ever since Matt brought her in. And today. Why today? Was she close and I just didn’t see her?

  My stomach grumbled and Irene laughed. “You need to eat. Go.”

  “You sure?” I said in a seductive voice.

  “Yes, I have a session with Lucian after lunch. I need to get your scent out of here before he rocks up.”

  I narrowed my eyes. “I hope it’s a foretelling session and not the kind of session we just had.”

  She hit me with her pillow. “For heaven’s sake, it’s Lucian. Prince of Tith. Helmut would kill me, not to mention what Maggie would do.”

  I laughed, grabbed her by the robe, and pulled her closer for one last kiss.

  I was one of the first people in the cafeteria. I was ravenous. I needed to eat and heaps of it. I found an open table outside, needing fresh air to clear my head.

  Irene’s scent no longer clung to me. The shower I’d just taken made sure of that.

  The school bell rang and it was officially lunchtime. In less than fifteen minutes, the cafeteria would be overflowing with students grabbing their meals.

  I finished mine in record time. What could I say? I’d worked up an appetite. Tabitha was the first to join me. George and Brian were next, and soon people occupied tables all around us.

  “So my brother asked when are you going to call him,” Tabitha babbled. “He’s been waiting for ever. What is going on with the two of you, anyway? What does Phil want with you?”

  I took a sip of my Coke and then I felt it. The nausea had come back.

  I took a deep breath. “None of your business.”

  “Seriously? My brother is bad news, Blake.”

  I started to laugh with George and Brian, which annoyed the hell out of Tabitha.

  “Why are you laughing?”

  “Blake is bad news too, buttercup,” George said in a way-too-flirty tone I didn’t like.

  My gaze snagged on the girl from before and George’s entire demeanor changed without even looking at her.

  Oh my fucking scales! The girl was his rider. He was hiding the exact same thing I was trying to hide too. Was she also making him nauseous?

  Then my eye caught on a newcomer. I couldn’t help but stare.

  “Damn,” Brian said. “That’s the new girl?” He asked and took a deep breath in.

  Sun-Blasts. I shook my head. I knew what he was smelling for. I was tenth Sun-Blast and the scent of her virginity hit me like a tidal wave, without sniffing like a crazy idiot.

  “Ahh,” he said. “As intact as they can come. Not even tampered with.”

  I couldn’t help but laugh.

  “You are such a pig, Brian,” Tabitha said.

  “What? It’s the truth. Brian is what Brian is, and I would like to play a little bit with that.”

  “Disgusting.”

  I couldn’t help it but to laugh again. Brian was hilarious.

  I could feel her eyes on me. Why I had this effect on all the fucking girls was beyond me. I hated it. It made the beast grunt and hiss. I tried hard not to give us away, that half the professors here were right about her.

  She was royalty. I didn’t have to look at her to know it. She was the spitting image of her father, King Albert, but there was something about her that was also Queen Catherine. Bright blonde hair, light green eyes. She was their long-lost daughter and I didn’t care at this moment how she’d gotten her out. They were the king and queen of Paegeia and they’d wanted that girl with every ounce of their beings. It was why Tanya left. It must have been the reason.

  My dragon side hated everything about it.

  I wished that she could just stop staring.

  George said something funny again about the girl torturing him which made me laugh again. Fucking idiot. How long had he known what Rebecca Johnson was to him? I only knew her name cause she was my sister’s best friend—Becky.

  Suddenly, Tabitha’s hand, well her middle finger to be precise, covered my face and the entire table laughed. If that didn’t make the new girl look away, well, then nothing would.

  Becky laughed, which made George flinch.

  Everything about her was making him insane, like this spawn who was supposed to tame me.

  “Don’t pay her any attention,” I heard Becky say. I hated to eavesdrop but this one I needed to keep tabs on. Nobody could know who she truly was. It would be the end of me. “She’s a bitch. You’re not the only one who stares at him with googly eyes and a drooling mouth.”

  “Who’s he?” she asked and it sent little
shudder through my skin. It made me feel stiff, as if I hadn’t stretched my wings for a long time.

  Their conversation carried on, making introductions I didn’t want to be made. I tried to pay attention to the one at our table instead.

  Then my eyes caught her looking at the sky. It had Becky’s attention too. She asked why she kept looking at the sky.

  “It’s stupid. You’ll laugh.” She sounded nervous.

  “I might, but I can’t help it. You’re hilarious.” Becky replied. So she was funny. Just like her father. Don’t, Blake. Just don’t.

  “I keep waiting to see... a dragon.”

  I froze when she said it. She truly had no idea. How was that possible?

  Sammy’s hyena laugh pierced through the cafeteria. “She’s hilarious!” my sister said.

  Brian looked at her with those puppy-dog eyes.

  I kicked him underneath the table. “Forget it,” I warned him.

  “Easy,” he said. “Brian knows the girl is Blake’s family. Brian is just getting his fix.”

  “And that is where it is going to stay. I’ll kill you if you so much as think of touching my sister.”

  “Brian would never touch Blake’s sister.”

  He sounded like an idiot. But he was an idiot who could put a genuine smile on my face.

  “Good. Don’t forget it,” I warned, playfully this time.

  Then the new girl presented me with the perfect plan. Sammy tried to explain what she was and the spawn shrieked. Her voice filled with fear. She was afraid dragons.

  “Oh, shut up,” Becky yelled as we all guffawed. “Eat your food.”

  “Sammy, you should take her to Constance for the serum, before she goes mental,” Tabitha said, making everyone around the table laugh again, this time cruelly.

  Sammy flipped Tabitha off. “Suck on that, bitch.”

  Tabitha jumped up from her seat the same time I did. Why couldn’t the women in my life just get along? It would make my life so much fucking easier. Tabitha was gorgeous and smart, but she always come in second when it came to Sammy. Sammy was advanced already as a dragon and would beat Tabitha, scales down. I guessed it was the perk of growing up as the Rubicon’s sibling.

  “Forget it. They are wasting their time. The cause is a hopeless one,” I whispered in her ear. She smiled.

  Sooner or later the spawn would break, and with George’s help, I had a feeling it was going to be real soon.

  I sat for a couple more minutes listening to them chatting. Trying not to eavesdrop too much, I actually cringed when Lucian introduced himself. What was it with this fucking guy?

  Then it hit me. Sammy, Becky, and this spawn. If they were going to end up being friends, it would mean that I was going to see her a lot over summer break. No, no, no, no, no. This cannot happen. She needed to break, and she needed to break soon.

  “George, can I see you for just a second?”

  George smiled as if he could read my mind already. Or maybe he’d just seen glimpses of what I wanted to do. He was a Moon-Bolt, after all. He got up without saying a word and we went to my locker. “What’s the plan?”

  “Easy: scare the living crap out of her.”

  He grinned.

  “In your dragon form.”

  His grin slipped. “Blake.” He rubbed his neck. “I know you were busying with Tabitha that day in the auditorium, but scaring her as a Moon-Bolt… Her dad was killed by one.”

  “Dude, she doesn’t belong in our school. She’s a mix-breed. Just do it. I’ll give you Silent Trapper and Underdog.”

  His face broke into a huge grin. “It’s not even due out for another couple of months. How the hell did you get your hands on it?”

  I smiled. “Rubicon perks. Do we have a deal?”

  “Fine, and let me guess, this is all my idea?”

  “You sure you can’t read my mind?”

  “Haha. Better go wrap up that game, Blake.”

  “You got it. And as soon as possible. Like, now, if you don’t mind.”

  “For real?”

  “The sooner the better,” I mumbled, sauntering away.

  I did not want to miss the look on her face. She would be begging for the serum after this.

  The bell finally rang and lunchtime was over. The hallway filled with students rummaging through their lockers. A normal afternoon.

  A smile spread on my face as I saw George shifting into his dragon form.

  Tabitha had almost reached me and she had to sidestep to get out of his way.

  I heard sniggers, chuckles, and laughter. I had a feeling all of them knew it was aimed at the spawn.

  Tabitha rolled her eyes. “Please tell me you had nothing to do with this.”

  “Me? Why would you think that?” I spoke through a huge grin, arms folded, watching George make his way to the entrance of the hallway.

  “Is Sammy really a dragon?” I heard the new girl asking. They were close. I felt it too.

  Becky chuckled. “Yeah, Fire-Tails are babblers, but they’re also the kind of dragon you can ask to incinerate a body when in need.”

  Three, two, one. Becky appeared first and then a smile spread over my face as the spawn froze, craning her neck to look at George.

  Everyone sniggered.

  George did his part. He growled, spitting on her face. The growl echoed off the walls and it was bound to reach the teachers.

  More laughter erupted.

  He stomped his paws, causing a rumble in the floor. She was going to piss herself. A tear rolled over her cheek and some of the laughter died away.

  I enjoyed every minute of it. It disgusted me to think that someone in this fucked-up universe had given her the power to tame me. She was weak and my dragon would never yield to her. I would crush her the minute she faced me.

  “Dammit, George, this isn’t funny!” Becky screamed. At least she wasn’t scared of him. I bet it made him even more furious.

  “Make him stop!” Tabitha’s sharp voice was coated in horror.

  I gaped at her. “I thought you wanted this. She doesn’t belong here, Tabitha.”

  “Make him stop now!” she ordered me.

  I hated she did that. Nonetheless, I whistled before she could put two and two together and figure out that I was truly the one behind this.

  George turned around and ran back in our direction, morphing back to his human form.

  I stared down at Tabitha. “Don’t ever tell me what to do again,” I grunted.

  I’d done my part. Hopefully Constance would give the new girl the serum and in a few weeks, everyone would forget about the girl with the dark mark, the girl who looked like King Albert.

  As I was walking, something strong connected with my body and I was pushed into the wall.

  Lucian’s face was inches from mine. “Why did you do that?”

  “Get off me.” I pushed him away.

  “Who is she to you, Blake?” he demanded and everyone close by stopped and stared at us. I didn’t like the attention.

  “Nobody, idiot.” I laughed. “I told you before, she is dragon spawn, born on the other side of the Wall,” I said the last part slowly so all of them could hear it. “I wasn’t the one scaring the living crap out of her.”

  Lucian chuckled. “No that was your buddy, George, who would do anything you asked him to do.” He pointed his finger at me. “I’m watching you.”

  I narrowed my eyes. “Is that supposed to scare me?” I shouted at his retreating figure.

  “Yeah, if she turns out to be the one, Blake, your days are numbered.”

  I laughed again. “Whatever, dude.”

  I turned around and my grin disappeared fast. Shit. He was the last person I wanted to dig into this. If he discovered the truth and told someone like Master Longwei, it wouldn’t matter how good my lies were. I had to make it clear to him that she wasn’t the girl they all thought she was.

  During Art of War, news started to reach the professors regarding what happened after lunch. Mia w
asn’t very happy. “Please tell me you weren’t behind it, Blake.”

  “Mia, it was a fucked-up prank, okay? What do you want me to say? I didn’t think it would cause her to have a fit,” I lied. I wanted her to lose it.

  She grunted and smoke actually escaped her nostrils. “Dammit, Blake. Why? You heard what Master Longwei said about her and what happened that night. A Moon-Bolt dragon killed her father. How could you…”

  “Just stop. It’s not my fault that she was unaware of the existence of dragons. Her father should’ve told her. She doesn’t belong in Dragonia Academy, Mia. She is dragon spawn. Have you all forgotten that?”

  “Out,” she pointed to the door.

  “Fine,” I dropped the sword I’d been clutching. “If it carries on like this, Wyverns will soon be attending.”

  “Out!” she yelled again and I left.

  I hated how fast news spread through the school. I knew Master Longwei was going to have a talk with me, too, as soon as it reached him.

  I should’ve just played dumb, pretended it wasn’t me, but it would just made them more suspicious. I never hid the shit I did. Okay, that was not entirely true. Nobody knew about the killings and the fight club, and Irene, and now this new girl.

  I took a huge breath and decided to go back to Irene. I needed to clear my head. The walk from the dome to the tower wasn’t a long one.

  I was about to knock on her door when she yelled to enter. I opened the door and found her sitting by the window, a cup of chamomile tea in her hand. I hated the scent. She also had a joint.

  She didn’t embrace me or even smile as I entered. “Why did you do that, Blake?”

  My face fell. “Not you too.”

  “Is she who they say she is?”

  “Do you hear yourself?” I asked. My tone sounded strong, believable. “She was living on the other side, Irene.” That part really was really starting to annoy me. I knew that they’d found a way to get her through the Wall years ago, but the others didn’t. Now they just forgot about it, like it wasn’t a big deal. “Dammit, I thought you agreed that she doesn’t belong here. She is a runt, born with something that resembles the mark. Nothing more. If someone doesn’t stop this, I don’t even want to think about who they are going to let in next.”

 
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