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Darkbeam part i, p.21
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       Darkbeam Part I, p.21

           Adrienne Woods
 
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  “Okay, calm down,” she said and got up. “It’s just the Board—all of them—wants answers. They had a huge meeting during lunch and then your little stunt, well, I guess you can see where it is heading. I know you might not like the fact that Longwei is giving a pass for runts, but it doesn’t look good if you are behind pranks like that.”

  “I am behind most shit that happens in Dragonia,” I countered. “It never bothered anyone before.”

  “Yeah, well, they don’t see this girl as just anyone. She could be the princess, Blake, your rider.”

  “Oh, please. I came here to spend some time with you and now…” I shook my head. “It was a mistake, I shouldn’t have come.”

  I strode to the door.

  “C’mon, don’t be like that!” She called after me.

  I didn’t stop. That was stupid, Blake. Stupid. Now everyone was going to be on my case. I should’ve just ignored the fucking spawn.

  I pulled off my clothes as I reached the entrance of the tower and shifted into my dragon form. The only place that could cool me off was a forest on a mountaintop.

  I lay on my back staring at the sky. How? How did they get her past the Wall? I knew they were smart, but I didn’t think they were that smart.

  I shouldn’t speak to anyone about her; I shouldn’t even ask my father what he thought. It would just raise red flags.

  My mind wandered back to my dream and the meaning of it. The white armor, what did that represent? Royalty? The quantity, that my days of running free were growing shorter? I sighed.

  I pushed myself up and rested my arms on my knees as a feeling I hadn’t experienced in a long time filled my gut. Regret.

  What if Constance did give her the serum? What then? My chance of becoming good again was gone forever.

  No! The beast roared in my mind. There is no hope. Darkness is our only destiny. Get the spawn out of your head or I will make her disappear.

  I closed my eyes. I hated these thoughts. They were mine, even though I felt like Brian whenever my good side’s feelings differed from my dark side. It was a constant battle. I was so tired.

  Then embrace what you are and give in to the darkness.

  “No!” I yelled and birds in the surrounding trees shot into the sky as my voice echoed off the mountain.

  I needed to pull myself together. Needed a distraction. I took out the notebook from my back pocket and started to write.

  Darkest days, dreary night,

  All I seem to do is fight.

  Endless days against the world,

  Only darkness inside can behold.

  A feeling so strong awakens me,

  The Descendant’s here, it cannot be.

  Hope’s light ignites inside me,

  The rider is here to set me free.

  Soon to be a powerful Dent,

  All my deeds would make amend.

  Dreary nights will no longer be,

  Until I saw the he is a she…

  The beast inside my head roared. He was furious at the words I’d written down. Making amends? What the fuck?

  You are mine, mine. We belong to the darkness. I swear I will kill her, Blake. Get this fucking girl out of your head or she will no longer be. Don’t you ever cross me. If you tell her, I will kill her.

  “Okay,” I spoke to myself again. “They are just words, stupid words. I don’t want to be claimed.”

  I could still hear its fury.

  I felt like a fucking loon. Speaking to myself in third person. But I felt it was the only way to hold on.

  I went back to school just before the final bell of the day rang. Thank heavens this day was over.

  I felt weird whenever I got close to the spawn, and it was hard controlling it. Not to give anything away. To act normal. It was as if my skin had shrunk a size or two and was too small for my body. I couldn’t breathe properly with a slight twirl in my stomach.

  As I walked past other students on my way to the lobby, suddenly I was yanked back. My shoulder blades connected with the wall hard.

  Tabitha trapped me with her beautifully sculpted body. Her ice-blue eyes were narrowed, looking deep into mine. It was as if she was searching for answers—where I had been and what I was hiding. Questions about the spawn.

  Her boldness just turned me on. I liked it when women took charge. Her lips pressed hard on mine.

  She grunted softly as I kissed her hard and I pushed myself off from the wall and pushed her against it. Our lips never left one another.

  She was driving me crazy. My hand tangled up in a piece of her shirt. I realized we were not in the confines of my room or hers, but right beneath the stairs. Still I couldn’t stop touching her.

  Then something hard smacked into me with strength. Dragon strength. I took a few steps back from Tabitha and saw a pissed-off Sammy all up in my personal space.

  She was beyond livid. “You’re such an asshole, Blake.”

  I chuckled, taunting her was easy. News did spread fast.

  “Dad will hear about this,” she threatened.

  My father could not know about it. Not ever. “It was a joke, Samantha!”

  “A joke? ‘Larry and Brent walk into a bar’ is a joke, Blake, not what you and George pulled this afternoon.”

  My eyes twitched and in the corner of my eyes I realized why I had a sudden aching need to turn into a dragon. I expanded my glare and found the spawn, still standing, still trying to cope with this reality.

  She looked away. Weak. She was weak.

  I looked at my sister again, my nostrils flaring. How could she be friends with her? I wanted to yell at her that this was against our dragon code. She was a runt—well, at least that was what everyone was supposed to think. My sister was never supposed to be friends with her.

  “Didn’t you hear what Master Longwei said about Elena the other night?” Samantha carried on. “I guess not. You were probably too busy thinking about Medusa’s naked body.”

  Tabitha lunged at Sammy, but my reflexes were much faster. I pinned her back against the wall with one arm.

  “I’m going to kill you, Samantha. Your mouth is way too big.”

  “She’s not worth it, babes. Calm down,” I said and moved closer to her ear. “It’s worthless to use all that strength on them. I rather you used it on me, up in my room.”

  Tabitha’s smile appeared.

  “Disgusting,” Samantha muttered. “At least I’m not a coward.”

  “Sammy,” Becky said through clenched teeth.

  Tabitha’s jaw muscles pumped. I tried to calm her but she glared at my sister instead of me.

  “Your sister has a big mouth, Blake.”

  “Yeah, and she is much stronger than you think, Tabitha.”

  She smiled. “What? You don’t think I can take your sister?”

  “Oh no, not that. It’s just... my sister grew up as my sibling. When it comes to fighting, as crazy as I am about you, I’m afraid you will lose.”

  She grunted. “We’ll see about that.” She stalked away.

  “My room in ten minutes.” I grinned.

  “Oh, why don’t you ask your sister, if she is so perfect?”

  Fuck! Typical. What was the point of being honest if it was going to bite me in the ass? I sighed and walked past the staircase to the main entrance.

  The trapped feeling started to fade slightly as I walked up the stairs to the seventh floor. Well, at least I had a sign for whenever the spawn was close by. I could just head off in the opposite direction.

  They could never find out who she truly was. Ever.

  When I opened the door, I found Lucian still here. It was Friday; he usually went back home over the weekends unless… Don’t even think about her. It didn’t matter why he was still here.

  I walked past him to the bathroom.

  I could feel his eyes on me, the way he was already trying to put two and two together about who the spawn was.

  I locked myself in the bathroom door, needing something to calm the b
east. I felt on edge. My body reacted to everything that was happening and it was out of my control.

  I lift the bathroom tile and pulled out the powder. I was almost out again, and if I wanted more from Phil, well, I knew what it was he wanted. It didn’t sound so bad anymore.

  I had a gig on Saturday; maybe Ty would have some, or maybe he could get me some. I could always count on him. Still, I need my own stash.

  I took out the powder and cut it in a long, thin line. My father would shave me clean if he knew I was using to keep the darkness at bay. I needed to be in control, to forget, to feel normal even for a few hours.

  I bent over the basin and snorted the powder through my nostrils. It burned. Fire spread to my head, giving me a mother of a headache.

  I had to control the noises coming from me. I needed to control the pain. I needed to be in control. Then the fire finally vanished and a soothing feeling spread. It clouded my mind. A warm sensation started to soothe my aching muscles.

  I felt tired, so tired. I hadn’t slept lately.

  I walked out of the bathroom. I could feel Lucian’s eyes on me. I pointed weakly at him. “Don’t you dare judge me. I’m doing whatever I can to hold on.”

  Tears glistened in his eyes. I didn’t need his pity.

  The entire room started to spin. I literally crashed onto the bed. And the rest was one big fucking blur.

  I remembered music, whether it was in my head or not, I had no idea. Maybe Lucian had thrown a party. It would be a first for him.

  I remember screwing. Tabitha? How the hell? Was I even part of all these things? Fuck, why was I speaking to any of them? Was I enjoying myself? Telling things I shouldn’t be telling?

  And then the loud singing overpowered my head. It sounded like a thousand bugs baking in the sun. That deafening sound that made my skin feel too tight. Was she close by?

  I hated the comedown, the agony of feeling so alone. Weakness. It was the worst.

  I opened my eyes and the buzzing noise that had drowned out everything else finally turned down. It was just a buzz now.

  Snow-white hair covered my chest. I sighed. Tabitha. I hated not remembering having sex. Sex was one of the things that calmed the beast. I didn’t think that this would happen. She’d said to go ask my sister. Gross, she was my sister, and the time of screwing siblings so the dragon race don’t die was so over.

  If I knew it was going to turn to this, I wouldn’t have used my last Fire-Cain.

  I pulled my arm from underneath her and pushed myself up on the bed with my legs touching the floor.

  I had a mother of a headache and my healing ability was still shitty. Why did the good ones always take the longest to develop?

  Beer cans littered the floor. Fuck, what had happened here last night?

  I hated being so out of it. I’d had no control. I can’t even remember what I’d said. Had I spoken about the spawn?

  I sighed. Calm down. It’s why you took Fire-Cain last night, to calm down. To forget about the spawn, to just be free even if it was just for a few senseless hours.

  Whatever the damage, it could be fixed.

  After I took my shower, I spent the entire day in bed. My head was still pounding, and I was still so out of it. At times it felt as if I was awake. If people were coming and going from my room, I didn’t even register.

  It felt busy; the background noises started to irritate me, but I couldn’t do shit about it as I was so out of it.

  I hated the day after. The crash. It made me feel insignificant, weak, alone, unworthy. Things I hated.

  At length, I opened my eyes. I felt better, but still like shit. I lifted my head as the sun was going down.

  The room was clean. Tabitha? A part of me loved her, and a part of me hated her. She was so pathetic just like Snow Dragons were. She was merely a toy that I could play with whenever I was bored.

  I found a note on my bedside table.

  CALL PHIL.

  I pressed my eye sockets hard with my thumb and forefinger. He wasn’t going to take no for an answer or let me ignore him.

  My stomach grumbled. Time to have dinner. I got up, took another shower, and got dressed.

  The note was still taunting me from the bedside table. I put it in my back pocket and left.

  Junk food, burgers, fries, pizza... I guessed someone other than Miss Know-It-All had gotten the riddle this time.

  “Good evening, Blake,” Chef greeted me.

  I grunted my hello. Why he still kept trying to get me on his good side was beyond my knowledge. I’d never known Copper-Horns to be liars. The spawn’s guardian was a Copper-Horn, and she had no idea what he was. He was a liar. If one Copper-Horn was a liar, others could easily be liars too.

  I grabbed a burger and a plate filled with French fries and two sodas. I was glad that I was one of the very first students here and prayed I wouldn’t catch the spawn on my way out.

  It was hard enough not to wring her little neck, not to mention the feeling she brought with her.

  I bit into my burger and as I closed my eyes, I saw Queen Catherine’s eyes on me. Her glares. It wasn’t because she didn’t like me. It was because she knew her little girl was going to be my rider.

  What had happened? Why did they feel the need to take her to the other side? How had they gotten her out? I needed to find out.

  I devoured the rest of my burger and half of my fries when the trapped feeling overpowered my core again. My skin crawled as a cold shiver ran up my spine. How on earth was she doing this to me? She wasn’t worthy. Not one bit.

  When the swirl to my core came, I almost felt like barfing up my food. I tried to control it, tried to relax my face muscles, to not show that I felt sick. Too many questions that I didn’t want to answer.

  They walked in, chattering about their day. She’d gotten clothes from a trip to Elm.

  I took a huge breath. C’mon, Blake. You can control this. It’s not so hard.

  I felt tired and just stared at the fire that was coming from the lantern that was sitting in the middle of the table.

  I played with the fire, while concentrating on something else besides the spawn. It seemed to be working.

  The Wall. How had they gotten her past the Wall?

  I found her eyes on me again, boring into my soul as if she knew her destiny lived inside of me. I had to get out. I got up, dropped off my plates, and left out the side door, farthest away from them.

  The feeling started to vanish the farther I got from her.

  I still had Tabitha’s note in my pocket. Maybe it was time to call Phil.

  Getting away from everyone was the best. I loved going to the mountains just to think, to fight with myself, to hold on.

  I transformed back to my human form the minute I reached the spot, and didn’t even bother putting on clothes.

  If I had it my way, I would embrace my form and walk naked every day.

  I took out my phone that was still in my pants pocket lying on a heap next to me. I dialed Phil’s number on my Cammy and waited for his face to pop up.

  “What took you so long?” he said. Not Hi, bro, how are you doing? Nope, Phil wasn’t the kind of guy who gave anyone choices. He knew I needed the fights to keep the beast calm and he knew eventually I’d need more Fire-Cain.

  “One fight,” I said, “and you’d better make the payment worth it this time. Oh and Phil,” I said and waited until he met my eyes. “Stop telling your sister to call me. I will call when I need you, not the other way around. Remember who you’re dealing with.”

  I disconnected before he could say anything back.

  The weekend went fast, and by Monday I got a note from Irene to come and see her. She hadn’t left me a note for a long time and a part of me wasn’t looking forward to speaking with her.

  I put the note in my nightstand.

  The first few periods went fast and I’d made the choice not to go see Irene when Sir Edward stopped me during transformations and sent me to her.

 
What’s the use?” I was adamant. “I’m still going to end up on the other side.” Meaning I would become dark.

  “Just go see her, Blake. It’s mandatory.”

  “Fine,” I grunted. I transformed back and walked out the Colosseum without a shred of clothing on. I pulled on my pants as I reached her tower.

  She opened the door. She didn’t look happy; she look drained.

  “I don’t want to fight,” I grunted. “So if you are here to fight over stupid things, I’m gone.”

  “I don’t want to fight either.” She let me in.

  I didn’t give a crap why she looked drained or tired. I just wanted her. And the Rubicon always got what he wanted.

  For some reason the more I tried to forget about the spawn as the week went by, the harder fate pushed us together, or made it hard not to think about her.

  She was everywhere. I thanked heaven that my reflexes were fast so she didn’t really see me.

  Brian started talking about her during lunch. How she reminded him of a popular actress. He claimed that behind those too big shirts and jeans was no doubt a goddess. All that while speaking in the third person, of course.

  All Brian was after was one thing, and it had nothing to do with her personality or who she reminded him of.

  Then my roommate joined in. It happened on Thursday night, when I caught him speaking to his mother over his Cammy.

  “Nope, not this weekend. Maybe another?”

  “So let me get this straight,” she said haughtily. “You don’t want to come home?”

  “Mom, I’m tired of all the traveling.”

  “Are you sure it has nothing to do with a certain new girl?”

  “No, I just have a lot of studying to do, okay?” He glanced up, realized that I was in the room, and quickly changed his tune. “I have to go, I’ll see you next week. Promise.” He switched off his Cammy.

  “Staying during weekends now?” I said. I felt irritated. WHY?

  “I just don’t want to go home. Is that a crime?”

 
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