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Thunderlight, p.35
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       Thunderlight, p.35

           Adrienne Woods
 

  Quickly, Sammy went and dished up a plate of fruit again and to my surprise I ate it.

  I was completely full by the last piece.

  “I’m sorry I sent my brother up there. But I’m glad I did,” Sammy said.

  The corner of my left lip raised slightly, just enough to pass for a smile.

  Becky put her arm on my shoulder. “We’ll take it one day at a time, Elena. One day at a time.”

  HAD A NEW schedule when I finally returned to my classes. Now that I’d become a dragon, I had all my classes with Sammy. First period was transformations. I couldn’t participate. To be honest, I didn’t want to participate. This thing inside of me, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t a dragon. I couldn’t be a dragon.

  But every time I told myself that, the picture of me as a dragon jumped into my head. I didn’t want to force that memory further as it hurt too much.

  The Viden forced me to see her as well. She wanted me to talk about my feelings and how I was coping with Lucian’s death.

  Our sessions turned out to be pretty boring as we just stared at one another day after day.

  “Elena,” she sighed. “I can’t help you if you don’t speak to me.”

  “I never asked for your help, Irene,” I yelled back. “To be honest with you, you are the last person I would want to talk to.”

  She just looked at me. “I know we didn’t hit it off so great at first and I’m sorry for that.”

  “Whatever, you only care about your little prodigies. The ones whose foretelling’s make it into your little black book.”

  She looked down at her hands as I got up.

  “Well you know what? I’m not one of them. This isn’t working for me, you’re wasting my time,” I said. “I’m never coming back!” The door slammed behind me as I run down the steps. I hoped that it was enough, that she would just leave me alone.

  That entire day I was fuming inside, but I tried to keep my poise as I didn’t want to answer my friend’s questions.

  At lunch I found myself in front of the buffet line and for a second I didn’t know what I was doing there until my stomach growled and I remembered. I grabbed a tray and started to dish up.

  “You should have left my cousin.” Clearly, Nicole was back at school. She’d left for a couple of weeks after Lucian’s death.

  “Excuse me.”

  “You should have left him. He didn’t belong to you. Maybe then he would still be alive,” she yelled at me with tears in her eyes and her words hit me hard.

  Arianna’s hand touched her shoulder as I just stared at Nicole.

  The entire cafeteria fell silent. “Come, let’s go.”

  “No, it’s her fault he’s dead,” Nicole yelled again.

  “I know, but it’s not the right place.”

  “You know.” I looked at Arianna.

  She gave me one of her dagger looks. “Don’t start with me. She’s right; it is your fault, Elena. If he wasn’t with you, he wouldn’t have given a damn about you that day and he would’ve stayed here, with me, where he belonged.” Her face was inches from mine.

  My body started to shake gently and I knew it was my dragon that wanted to come out.

  “You are like a poison; everyone who comes close to you dies. If I were them I would try to get as far away from you as possible.”

  I screamed and lighting came out of my hands.

  “You don’t scare me,” she yelled as fire came out of hers.

  “Stop this, both of you.” Becky had finally reached us. “It’s not Elena’s fault that he’s dead Arianna. Even if they weren’t together anymore, Lucian would’ve still found her. He loved her and that is something you never could deal with.”

  My electricity grew stronger and George grabbed me from behind. “Stop this, Elena.” He grunted as his hands tried to keep mine away from lightning up her ass. “She’s not worth it. Please, subdue your lighting, I can’t handle this.”

  I knew immediately that I was hurting George and the lighting disappeared.

  “She is poison. You are all going to die one after the other.”

  Becky’s hand struck and a lightning bolt missed Arianna by an inch. She immediately released a fire bolt which Sammy blocked. Her hand lit up in fire, just like Arianna’s.

  “Don’t,” Dean said and touched Sammy’s hand. Her fire disappeared.

  “This is not the way we solve our indifferences,” Dean yelled. “Lucian is dead and this is how all of you repay him.” He looked at me, Becky and Arianna. “You went too far, Arianna.” He looked at all the rest of us. “All of you went too far,”

  Arianna’s lip started to vibrate.

  “She killed my cousin,” Nicole screamed again. “She killed Brian, even her own father.”

  “Elena never killed anyone, Nicole. Goran did, and that hippogriff killed Lucian. Stop this fighting amongst you and stop blaming everyone else, because something tells me that what is coming is ten times worse than what we are all feeling at this moment. We need one another to fight this.”

  The entire cafeteria listened to Dean’s speech. “Lucian was my best friend. He was a couple of you guys’ best friend.” He wiped away his tears. “We will always miss him, Nicole, and you are not the only one in pain here.” He turned around and addressed everyone. “Live the life he could never have, live each day the way he did, embrace everything with you whole heart, and learn how to love the way Lucian did. I promise you if ten of us follow in his footsteps, nothing can ever hurt us.”

  One student started to clap and everyone else followed. Dean lifted up his hand. “Don’t, please. They’re not my words. They’re Lucian’s. If he was here, he would’ve said them, and he wouldn’t want any of us to feel this way.”

  He wrapped his arm around Sammy and they left.

  Arianna and Nicole just looked at us, turned around and left too.

  George still had his hands holding my arms.“Come, let’s go.”

  ODAY MASTER LONGWEI left a note with Sir Edward for me to come and see him. It turned out that Sir Edward taught Transformations too.

  I packed my bags and went to his office.

  He was still busy with another student and I could hear through the door how he pleaded with somebody to help him.

  “I’m not going to help her. She needs to find her dragon by herself.” Blake’s voice yelled back and I quickly ran to the top of the stairs. A second later the door flung open and I could hear him running down the stairs.

  Why was Master Longwei always asking him to help me? When the coast was clear and I was sure Blake was gone, I walked slowly to the door of Master Longwei’s office and knocked twice.

  “Enter,” he said and I opened the door. He gave me a warm smile and showed me toward the seat in front of his desk.

  I dropped my backpack and plunged down onto the chair.

  “I spoke to all your friends to get their explanation about things.” He sighed. “I tried to give you some time and I’m sorry for springing this on you. Why didn’t you come to me when you found Elemental dragons, Elena?”

  “Paul asked us all to keep it a secret.”

  “None of you ever thought that he might be using you?”

  I shook my head.

  It was silent for a couple of minutes. “What is going to happen to them, Master?”

  “I could think of a couple of reasons why they wanted them. But they won’t succeed, as Elementals will always be good, unless…”

  “Unless, what.”

  “For the other part they would need a really strong magic wielder to pull it off.”

  “They have Professor Georgiou.”

  “Stronger.”

  “Like Goran.”

  He nodded.

  “What can he do with them?”

  “He can conjure a potion, if he has the right human to sacrifice, in order to become the Saadedine.”

  “No, only the Elementals can form the Saadedine.”

  He gave me a stern look. “I’m not going to ask you h
ow you know about the Saadedine, because I think I already know the answer. There is a potion that can form the Saadedine. He just needs their essence and a dragon’s essence can be guided once it’s taken.”

  “I don’t understand. What do you mean by “guided”?”

  “The potion they will drink made them turn into dust. They get carried on the wind and can be guided to where they need to be with a similar potion the human sacrifice drinks. That body will soak up the essence and become the Saadedine.”

  “Could that dragon be controlled?”

  He nodded.

  “Will it do evil things?”

  “It depends on the host they chose. If the host is good, then yes, it will turn the Saadedine evil, but if it’s an evil host and not pure of heart, the Saadedine will become good. I’m not sure if the Wyverns know that since it’s a secret only our kind knows,” he explained. “I hope it won’t come to that and that they are merely trying to control the Elementals. Once they are grown they will immediately become the Saadedine and they always fight for the greater good.”

  I nodded. “Let’s hope.”

  He wanted to know everything about Paul, why he was here, if it was him behind those attacks and what was said between us in that cave. I told him everything I could remember. How Professor Georgiou had killed Lucian with her stinger and what she looked like when she turned. “I thought that hippogriffs didn’t have human bodies.”

  “She’s not a hippogriff, Elena. She is a shifter that can turn into a hippogriff. Their poison is the same. I didn’t know we still had shifters this side and one thing is for sure, the Council is doing their best in trying to find them.”

  I wanted to get up to leave.

  “There is another topic I needed to discuss before you go, please.”

  I sat back down.

  “The teachers are telling me you don’t cooperate much in class, Elena.”

  “I can’t.”

  “Why?”

  “I can’t be a dragon, Master Longwei.”

  “Dragon is what you are. You need to deal with it.”

  “I can’t. I don’t like the way I feel when I’m one.”

  “It will get better with time.”

  “How? Everyone was born as a dragon this side. I didn’t even know I was one. I’m born with the mark of the riders and just as I accept being one, this happens. Now I have to turn my entire mindset around and embrace her. I can’t.”

  “Elena, stop your whining. Dragon is what you are. You’ve got to learn how to control yourself in that form. Dammit. Do you even know what you are?”

  I looked at him with huge eyes and shook my head.

  “You’re a Thunderlight. It’s a rare breed; one that died out a long time ago. Thunderlights are magnificent creatures. I understand why your father hid you, Elena. You have a powerful dragon inside of you. One that’s just as strong as the Rubicon, but the opposite. Thunderlights are gracious and kind, yet they can wield purple lighting that could spare me on a lot of electricity bills for a few years just by one touch.” He gave me a pleading look. “Not even Blake has purple lightning. Embrace her, let us learn from her. We are there with you every step of the way.”

  A Thunderlight? I still didn’t know what it meant but if Master Longwei said I was powerful, just like Blake, then I probably was.

  The Keeper of the Cavern all of a sudden jumped into my mind along with Goran’s words that day in the woods.

  I shook my head. “Something doesn’t add up Master.”

  “What is that?”

  “The Keeper. He said strictly that no dragons were allowed in the cavern. If I’m a dragon, wouldn’t he be able to detect that? And Goran, he took one smell and said not a dragon. How can I be one if he said I wasn’t?”

  “He was consuming someone’s mind Elena. And your dragon form was suppressed for such a long time, that you must have lost the scent of one.”

  “I’m scared.”

  “Of what.”

  “If the Keeper knows I’ve tricked him…”

  “Elena, calm down. They won’t prosecute you. At that time you and everybody else thought you were human. He can’t claim you, I promise you that.”

  I nodded.

  “Can you answer me one question.”

  I nodded again.

  “Did you see Paul die?”

  Why would he ask me that? I nodded again. I didn’t know what I saw in that cave and if I told him I thought he might still be alive it would send King Helmut on a killing spree again. This time he didn’t have anybody, except his wife to turn too. He could die trying to avenge Lucian. “Master,” I had something else on my mind. “Lucian found something. I could see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice.”

  Master Longwei gave me a lopsided smile, one that didn’t reach his eyes. “I guess we’ll never know what that is, Elena. But have hope. If he did discover something, believe me, it will come to us.”

  “Hope doesn’t exist.”

  “It does. It comes to us in all sorts of forms. You just have to keep your eyes open to it.”

  I huffed, got up and left.

  He sure seemed so calm about everything. What if no hope came and just danger, like Paul said? I guess we would just have to wait and see.

  HERE THE HELL is my son?” I felt a ball of angry bile rise up in my throat. If he betrayed me, I would kill him myself.

  No he wouldn’t. He wanted this responsibility. To avenge his brother’s death; to avenge his biological father’s broken heart that led him to his grave. He wouldn’t betray his new father, unless that Chong Longwei got through to him. I should’ve killed that dragon when I had the chance.

  If he was going to keep those Elementals from me, everything we had planned for the past ten years would be for nothing.

  I picked up the plate of grapes next to me and watched them smash against the wall.

  “Me Lord, take a deep breath.” I could feel Tansee’s hands on my shoulders. She pressed real hard and I could feel the knots disappear under her touch. “Your son will never betray you, that thought hasn’t even crossed his mind.”

  “You’re sure about that?”

  “Yes, I would’ve seen it through her.”

  “She’s still not buying that your dead.”

  “No, Irene will never give up the search for me. She knows I didn’t die, but she’s not in a very good place at the moment. She has many quarrels with herself. She doubts her gifts. The night I blocked her vision, did the trick.”

  “Tansee, you are one hell of a woman.”

  “I know. So relax, Paul will come with your prize soon.” She lowered her head and our lips touched. If it wasn’t for her connection to the dragon she used to share a bond with, none of this would’ve been a success. They would’ve known that Paul was pretending from the first day. Without Irene’s sight, she had nothing else to rely on but her gut. And her gut was weak. She was lost without her sight. My beautiful chocolate Princess took care of that.

  Suddenly, the door sprang open and our kiss was interrupted. “Sorry for the intrusion, my Lord.” Micha bowed as low as he could. “The hippogriff is on her way. She is carrying the bag.”

  I pushed Tansee out of the way and with huge strides followed Micha to see for myself.

  My heart stopped and a smile spread across my face as I saw her flying in the horizon. She looked tired but she had the bag of mongrels around her torso just as Micha had said. I searched the skies again. There was no Paul. “Where’s my son?”

  “There is no sign of him, me Lord.”

  “She’d better hope and pray nothing happened to him.” My fists turns into balls as rage, hate and fury filled my chest.

  The hippogriff listed to the left then to the right, as if she’d consumed too much alcohol. She came crashing, beak first, into the ground. I crouched down and could hear the mongrels clucking noises. “Take them and put them inside their cages.” I give the bag to Avika, one of my slaves. I looked at another.

  “Gi
ve her water, quick!” I ordered and three women ran in with buckets of water. She drank all of it in a matter of seconds and breathed heavily as if she was in labor.

  She changed back and the strain on her face told me my biggest fear. I took my sword out of my sheath.

  “Wait, my Lord. He’s inside of me. He needs another body.”

  “You gave him the Calupso potion?”

  “I had no choice,” she breathed heavily. “The Rubicon, as dark as he is, smelled the hippogriff on me. I didn’t have enough human blood to hide my scent. He got suspicious but trusted Paul with this secret of finding out what I wanted. So I conjured a potion just in case. But it wasn’t Blake that killed him, it was the Prince. He found a way to multiply himself and tricked Paul.” She screamed and clawed at her stomach. “I gave him the potion with his last dying breath. He drank it, and my body soaked up his soul.”

  In a flash I changed the course of my sword and struck Micha hard in the gut. “Keep him alive, and prepare the two potions.” |

  At six the potion was ready. I watched Alfred prepare it myself. Trust wasn’t my friend and I never knew who to trust in the colony.

  Micha and Nora lay right next to one another. She was barely holding on with another entity writhing inside of her.

  I gave her the first part of the potion and she drank it slowly. We had to force it down Micha, who would become Paul’s host, to drink the other. He’d died about twenty minutes ago and when Alfred was sure it was inside of him, Paul started to arch Nora’s back.

  A milky grey mass poured out her nose, eyes, mouth and ears. It came together in a cloud and slipped through Micha’s parted lips.

  When he gasped and his eyes flew open, I knew it was Paul. I went to him with a healing potion and watched how the hole in his stomach closed. He looked at me and whispered “father” before he fell into a deep and peaceful sleep.

  I went back to Nora who was still awake, but fatigue hung around her like a dark cloud. I crouched beside her bed, pushing the hair out of her face. “I can see why my son has favored you all these years. You’ve done well.”

  She gave me a smile and wanted to speak.

 
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