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Thunderlight, p.25
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       Thunderlight, p.25

           Adrienne Woods
 
“Because they both said it was for the best, besides they were the best option dealing with the Council.”

  I took a seat right next to Sammy. “Dealing with the Council? What for?”

  “Elena, it’s better that you don’t know,” Becky chirped at me, before she looked back at George. “You still should have told me. I’m the one you share secrets with, not withhold them from.”

  My mouth gaped slightly at Becky’s remark. “I want to know Becky, tell me. Who dealt what with the Council?”

  She sighed. “Lucian and Blake. Someone had to explain why we went on that crazy trip.”

  “When was this?” I looked at George.

  “Right after Blake came back.”

  “What did they said.” If they took the blame, both of them will get a punch from me.

  “It doesn’t matter, it’s over,” George said.

  “What did they say?”

  “What do you think, Elena? They told them the truth. That we had a plan about going into the Sacred Cavern and everything. Just between you and me, your name won’t get onto that brass plate with all the rest of them. The Council felt that it wasn’t legit, since your Dad was a dragon, and that you are part dragon.”

  I fumed. Going into that Cavern was the bravest thing I’d ever done. Not getting recognition for it? Now that was a hard pill to swallow. Anger sent bile up into my throat. I wanted to scream. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, hoping that it would take my disappointment away. I looked at the scar the Keeper of the Cavern had given me. At least they couldn’t take that away. “It’s fine,” I said as I looked at George and Becky again.

  “Elena it’s not fine,” Sammy finally said. “You could’ve died. My brother gave them a good argument when they made their final decision on that. I guess that speech of his at the exhibition ticked them off.”

  “So now I must pay for his actions. That is so not fair.”

  “Elena?” Sammy said.

  Without answering her, the bell rang and I got up and left for Enchantments. I found Paul in one of the rows. It was written all over his face that he knew what had happened.

  “I’m so sorry,” he whispered as I slid behind the desk.

  “How long have you known about this?”

  “I listened in when I saw something wasn’t right.”

  I nodded. How could they not put my name onto that plate?

  “It’s just a name.”

  “Are you reading my mind?”

  “I don’t have to. It’s clear what you are thinking.” He gave me a side hug and pulled me into his chest. “You’re disappointed about not getting recognition when it matters the most, but know this, everyone does know about that. Blake made it very clear at the Museum, or so I’ve read.”

  I started to laugh. “They should’ve told us about the hearing.”

  “It was the Rubicon and the Prince of Tith. You would’ve only ticked them off.”

  “You don’t know that.”

  “C’mon, Elena. I do. You are exactly like me. Believe me it was for the best to let them deal with the Council.”

  Exactly like him?

  The door opened with a loud bang and Professor Georgiou stepped in with huge steps. She looked upset about something.

  “If my classes are too difficult for you, please, feel free to leave.”

  We all looked at one another. What the hell happened?

  “I’ll find out what’s wrong,” Paul whispered. “Professor?”

  “It’s nothing, Paul.” Professor Georgiou clipped the bridge of her nose, and took a huge sigh. “Constance is just on my case about pushing you guys so hard.” She started telling us everything in detail, things I didn’t think we were supposed to know. I looked at Paul and his eyes twitched. Paul was doing this?

  The fact that he was able to force her to tell us all scared the living crap out of me, but at the same time I was in awe of him.

  “So I’m asking you guys again, if my classes are too much for you, please, feel free to change your class. I’m pushing you for a reason. Danger doesn’t wait for anyone. When you find it, you need to be prepared. I’m sure Elena and everyone that was on that mission can relate.”

  I thought about her words. If Professor Longchester had prepared us better last year we might have been able to save Brian.

  The class fell super silent.

  “I’m staying Professor,” Ed answered. It was followed by a couple of other students’ discussing it and it ended up that no one wanted to leave.

  The lesson was a hard one, one I struggled with. We were supposed to keep a piece of paper afloat in the air, but everyone, including mine, dropped. When the bell rang, exhaustion consumed me.

  “We can practice if you want,” Paul said.

  “That would be nice. I really don’t want to suck at classes anymore.”

  He smiled and walked with me to my room.

  We said goodbye and the minute my head hit the pillow, I drifted away.

  It wasn’t that long before the same hill found its way into my dream. I plunged myself down at the bottom of it again and hoped that she would leave me alone this time. If she wanted me to face her again, then she needed to give me some answers. For one, I wanted to know why she kept haunting my dreams.

  I felt a warm breeze of air blowing through my hair. It was followed by a weeping, hollow sound. My skin crawled as my stomach did a hundred flips. She was pissed off because I’d done this again.

  I lifted up my head slowly and saw two huge talons digging into the ground. It belonged to purple scaled claws laying one over the other. I looked up and had to bend my neck backwards to get the full picture.

  My body trembled inside as the most beautiful purple dragon I’d ever seen looked down at me. Its eyes were an icy green and they were locked on me as it lowered its head to lie on top of its paws. I just stared at the beast as it closed its eyes. Its wings were folded over the lower part of its body. While two soft horns and frilly ears lay on top of its head. Its head was diamond shaped with soft curves. I couldn’t recall if I’d ever seen a breed like this before.

  I reached out my hand to touch it when it vanished, twirling into dust as it was sucked up by a person in a black cloak. I woke up shocked and rubbed my eyes. Why was I dreaming this shit, and how did a dragon got into them?

  I was drained the next day. I didn’t know if it was from the Professor Georgiou’s classes or trying to find out what my dreams meant, so I took a nap. When I woke up I found a note from Paul. He’d left it with Becky. The note read that I should meet him at our tree for practice when I woke up.

  I found him leaning against the branch, watching me as I made my way to him.

  His stares did all sorts of crazy things to my stomach and his dark eyes felt as if they could penetrate my soul. Seek out the secrets that he will have the answers to. That was something I was sure Paul knew.

  “Hey, you,” he said as I reached him and he gave me a hug. He smelled amazing, sweet with a hint of oak.

  “So are you ready to practice? I brought a piece of paper.”

  I laughed. “Let’s do this.”

  He stood by me and held the paper gently between his forefinger and thumb. When he let it go, the paper stayed in one spot. He kept staring at it, like it was the most natural thing in the world. Then it moved a bit higher.

  “Get ready,” he said.

  I took a deep breath and moved my eyes onto the piece of paper dangling in the air.

  “Ready?” he asked. “Three, two, one.”

  The piece of paper fell down to the ground.

  He looked at me with a raised eyebrow, and a slight twitched play around the corners of his lips. “You need to concentrate woman.”

  “I am concentrating. It’s not as easy as you think.”

  He laughed. “It will get better, I promise.”

  He picked up the piece of paper again. In three seconds it lingered in the air once more.

  By the tenth time the piece of paper hit the
ground I wanted to scream out of frustration. I didn’t keep it up once. Not even for a small second.

  “I think that is enough for now,” he said, pretending to rub his ears.

  “Sorry,” I said, knowing that he’d heard my silent frustration.

  “Don’t worry, you’ll get there. We can practice again tomorrow.”

  “Okay.”

  We started to walk back to the cafeteria. For some reason I didn’t want to say goodbye yet. I really enjoyed his company and I loved finding out how strong his ability was.

  “Has Sir Edward told you guys about the Elemental dragons yet?”

  “No, but Cheng mentioned them once.”

  “Cheng?”

  “The coolest geek I’ve ever met that helped me with history a couple of months back.”

  He laughed.

  “He’s got a lot of theories and stories.”

  “Let me guess, he’s a Crown-Tail.”

  I laughed. “Yes.”

  “Well, I found something nearby in a cave. I would like to share it with you. Join me on a horse ride this Saturday?”

  “Sounds pretty awesome, deal.”

  We parted our ways by the cafeteria and I found myself really looking forward to Saturday.

  Lucian didn’t phone that night and I said a small prayer to keep him safe. I just hoped it was enough to return him to me.

  N SATURDAY I had to find Blake first as I’d made a promise to Lucian. One of the guys in fourth year told me where his room was and I felt stupid when he told me. I should’ve known that he and Lucian shared a dorm. I knocked on the door and Blake’s left eyebrow raised as he found me standing in his doorway. He only wore boxers and I had to force myself to look away from his perfectly built chest.

  “What?”

  “I’m taking a horse ride with Paul.”

  He frowned. “Why are you telling me this? I’m not your babysitter, Elena.”

  “Lucian…forget it.” I turned around and went back to the elevator. Blake really made me so furious but I counted to ten fast a couple of times so that it wouldn’t ruin my day.

  I found Paul at the stables busy mounting the horses and putting saddles on top of Ginger and a black beauty. I tapped Ginger gently on her nose. “Blake said that she is the calmest and she just told me she wants to run with you.”

  I laughed. “That is so good to know, Ginger.”

  The horse looked at me as if she understood every word I said.

  “She said for ten extra cubes of sugar she will be extra careful.”

  “Deal,” I told Ginger, as Paul walked over to her saddle to make sure that it was secure around her waist.

  “You really speak to horses?”

  He laughed. “No, but I’m good with sensing what they want.”

  “Like a horse whisperer?”

  “How odd, a Wyvern that can calm down horses.” He did a funny thing with his eyes and lips which made me laugh, right before helping me on top of the saddle.

  I took the laces from his hands as my heart pounded. I’d never sat on a horse by myself before.

  “It’s not a far ride, just up ahead. We will be back before lunch.”

  “So what is it you wanted to show me?”

  “It’s got to do with the Elementals,” he said as he jumped cowboy style onto his horse.

  As we began to move, Ginger kept her word. She was really gentle. “What do you know about the dragons?”

  “We haven’t covered it yet. Cheng just mentioned that they turned back to stone after they protected Paegeia, and will free themselves again when they’re needed.”

  Paul laughed. “Old wives’ tale.”

  “They won’t wake up?”

  He shook his head. “They turn to stone when their time is done. It’s almost the same way with Wyverns, just slightly different. We turn to ash and the wind takes our remains wherever it goes.”

  “Wow, really?”

  “Yup.” He clicked his tongue and his black beauty started to walk. Ginger followed his lead without me having to do anything.

  Paul turned his head slightly back to me. “There are four Elemental dragons; fire, wind, water and earth. They are all magnificent creatures and really beautiful, the Chinese still use them in their art.”

  “Wait, are they those long dragons with small feet?”

  Paul laughed. “Yes, that’s them.”

  I really thought that it was only the Chinese way of drawing dragons. I never thought in a million years that they really existed.

  “The wind dragon is called Spiritus. The fire dragon, Ignis, Terra and Aqua are the earth and water dragons. Only one was born to each of their elements a very long time ago.” He smiled as Ginger walked right next to his horse. “It’s one of my Pappy’s stories. In the time before time even existed, the four dragons roamed the earth. When there was war between good and evil, all of them decided to sacrifice themselves and become one. They formed a mighty dragon that would fight to gain back the balance, and is what we know as the Saadedine. He is all the dragons in one.”

  “Like Blake?”

  “Exactly like Blake.”

  “And they will fight evil?”

  “If it’s great and no man can destroy it, yes.”

  “But we have the King of Lions weapons.”

  “Ah hah, now you know how long ago Elementals roamed the earth. They don’t feel the need to hatch anymore.”

  Ginger’s mane swayed in the wind and I saw how a muscle close to her neck jumped. I didn’t like it one bit, but I was sure it was natural for a horse’s muscles to move while carrying someone.

  “Why are you telling me this?” I asked as I took my gaze of Ginger’s neckline.

  “It’s linked to what I wanted to show you in the cave.” He smiled and tapped the horse gently with his laces to run a bit faster. In less than ten seconds Paul was a couple of paces in front of me.

  “So what, I’ll just meet you there?” I yelled after him.

  He stopped a few hundred meters in front of me, turned the horse around and I could see the broad smile across his face. “It’s fun, just tap Ginger softly and move with her rhythm.”

  “I’ve never ridden a horse by myself.”

  “It’s easy. Trust her.”

  I grabbed her laces a bit tighter. Ginger started stomping her feet and neighing like mad. I let go of the laces thinking she didn’t like being controlled but grabbed them again as she lifted herself up onto her hind legs.

  I shrieked and grabbed some of her mane hair. When she landed on all fours again I grabbed her around the neck, holding on for dear life. She turned around with the speed of light and started to run back to the Academy.

  My ears were deafened from the loud sound that left my mouth. I couldn’t hear what Paul was saying, but I could hear him behind me, or so I hoped it was him and not the rhythm of my heart bouncing inside my chest.

  I started to lose my grip around her neck and before I could grab some of her mane, I found myself upside down. My body hit the ground with a thud and a yank I was dragged forward. My foot had gotten caught in the holster and my back ached as the turf burned against my skin. My entire body felt as if it was going to be ripped apart at any moment. Ginger’s hoofs missed me every time by inches and it didn’t matter what I tried to do, I couldn’t get out of this horrible situation. Agonizing screams left my lips as she kept running faster. A thought shot through my mind; one that would leave me with no skin. Just then, Ginger’s back leg kicked my head hard and everything went black.

  HREE FIGURES STOOD over me; Paul, Julia and Constance. Julia was yelling at Paul, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. The ringing sound in my ear was to blame. Paul’s face pulled in all sorts of frowns. He looked down at me and his eyes grew as he saw me awake.

  Elena… he mouthed my name, but no sound came from his lips, just the ringing.

  Constance’s eyes found mine. My back ached and burned as the smell of blood filled my nostrils. I tried to turn my head
to see where I was but it couldn’t turn. The effort left me in more pain, as aching and tearing raced through my entire body.

  Constance lips kept moving as she looked at me.

  What the hell? I can’t be deaf!

  A shriek turned the ringing sound off.

  “Where did the horse kick her?” Sound suddenly came back and Constance looked at Paul, her tone was harsh.

  “It happened so fast, I wanted to show her a special place when Ginger got spooked. I still don’t know what happened.”

  “Paul, she might be deaf. She doesn’t register when we…”

  “I’m fine,” I croaked out.

  Constance looked back at me. “You can hear me?”

  “Yes.” I bit hard on my teeth as the small word made me feel like I was going to die.

  “I’m so sorry Elena. I tried to get to you, but Ginger was really fast,” Paul spoke and tears glistened in his eyes. “All of this is my fault.”

  “It was an accident,” I spoke out in breaths.

  “What the hell happened?” Sammy came into my view, and she looked at Paul with deep disappointment in her eyes. “I trusted you!” She pushed him away hard and they both disappeared from sight.

  “It was an accident.” I could hear the begging in Paul’s voice for her to understand.

  “Sammy, don’t,” I tried.

  “Stay away from her!” She yelled again and came back into my view. “Elena,” she said as worry lines turned her face into agony.

  “It was an accident, he wasn’t near the horse,” I managed before my head started spinning.

  Everything went black again and all became silent.

  When I woke up, Paul was sitting beside my bed. He looked tired with his head rested on one of his hands.

  “Hey,” I croaked.

  He opened his eyes but stayed in his seat. “Sammy’s right, Elena. This was my fault.”

  “You’re my dragon. Stop blaming yourself. My scars will heal and with what I’ve got in store for us, you’ll have to get used to scars.”

  He moved forward and took my hand gently in his. They were warm. His lips caressed my knuckles softly before he spoke again “You could’ve died today.”

  “I didn’t. Just promise me that next time when you show me something, make sure it’s not on the back of a horse.”

 
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