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Thunderlight, p.36
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       Thunderlight, p.36

           Adrienne Woods
 

  “Shhh. Do they know that you are shifter?”

  She nodded. “I stung the Prince and the girl saw me.”

  Anger consumed me once again. “You didn’t kill her?” I roared.

  “There was no time, my Lord. She’s not who the Master said she was. She’s a dragon.”

  The thought of killing her vanished and it was filled with a roaring laugh. “We’re going to have the Rubicon soon.” I smiled at her wickedly.

  Paul woke up around nine and we shared a bottle of the best wine in the cellar. At dinner we feasted on roasted pork, beef and lamb. It was a time to celebrate and my men sat around the table with Paul in the chair to my left. Nora still slept, she needed her strength as I had another mission for her.

  “Why didn’t you call me?”

  He leaned in closer “Blake got suspicious of Nora, he knew something was wrong and we had to stop meeting for a while. I’m sorry father, but we had to do what we had to do.”

  I rested my head against his. “Lucian paid for what he did to you. Nothing can cure a hippogriff’s sting.”

  We both started to laugh. “Oh, how I wish I could see Helmut’s face. To see the pain he inflicted on my brother such a long time ago when he killed Wyland. I wish your mother was here to see this. You did well. I’m so proud of you.”

  Tears glistened in his eyes. “You don’t know how long I’ve waited to hear those words.”

  We laughed again.

  “I found something else. Something that I didn’t need the girl’s DNA for.”

  He went into the bag and took out a necklace. “Remember this stone?”

  My eyes grew wide as I took in the gem. “Where did you find it?”

  “It was around some silly little Dragonian’s neck.”

  I grabbed him around the shoulders and pulled him in close. “The gods are finally favoring us. Everything is as it should be.”

  HE FULL MOON would shine brightly tonight. The potion for the Elementals was ready and the Master said he’d found the perfect host.

  Tonight the Saadedine would rise and we would become invincible once Blake changed.

  Her turning out to be a dragon was the best news I could have received. Once Blake turned evil, he would find a way to free the Master, Goran.

  We put the Elementals in their cages fifteen minutes before midnight. Their clicking noises had been driving me insane over the past couple of days. I couldn’t wait for them to be gone. The moon shone brightly on the altar and I knew that nothing was standing in our way.

  Everything we did was crucial, everything was worked out to a specific hour, minute and second. One false move and all of this would be for nothing. The Master would have all our heads if we botched it.

  At eleven-fifty I took my dagger and cut the inside of my palm. Blood dropped down into the ceremonial bowl. I closed my eyes and cleared my mind.

  “Master.”

  “You’re right on time Cain. Do you have everything we need?” He’s words appeared inside my thoughts.

  “I do, Sire.”

  “Perfect.”

  “There is one thing I have to tell you. The girl, she’s not who we thought she was.”

  “What do you mean?” I could hear the edge in his voice.

  “She’s a dragon.”

  “No, that can’t be.”

  “Sire, the young Lord has seen it with his own eyes, how she changed.”

  Silence filled both our heads and then a laughter echoed through mine. The Master was happy. “You want to tell me Blake will be mine?”

  “Just be patient, Sire. He’ll come to you.”

  “Patience is all I have,” his tone was filled with joy. “You did good Cain, you deserve to meet our perfect host.”

  I gasped. “I’m honored, Sire.”

  He let me into his mind. He soaked my conscience up and when I opened my eyes, I no longer stood at the ceremonial altar.

  I was inside the Master’s head. I was back in the castle of Etan. His power ran through my veins, it was seductive and I felt indestructible.

  I followed him through his eyes and saw how he opened the door to the dungeons in the old castle in Etan. He walked past cells that held skeletons in their skin looking at me through empty eyes; men that used to be knights, barely hanging on. None of them said a word.

  Cowards, the thought ran through both our minds. They could’ve had everything if only they’d choose his side.

  He entered a larger basement to the right of the other cells. It was huge and had a long dentist chair with its back facing us.

  Someone, the person who was worthy enough to be the host of the Saadedine, was strapped inside. He couldn’t move.

  Excitement ran through my veins. This was epic; we would rule this world when the creepers disappeared.

  The Master started to speak.

  “It is time, my friend. Time to meet your destiny.”

  “How can you do this?” The voice was tired. “You always said you’d be there.”

  How dare he speak to the Master like that? With no honor, no respect!

  “And I am,” the Master did a little triple toward the chair, mockery lacing every syllable. “Just not on the side you wanted me to be on.”

  “This won’t go anywhere, the vines will never let you.”

  “Then vines, the vines, the vines. Fuck the vines. Blake will find a way.”

  The host laughed a tired laugh. “He will be claimed soon.” The Master and I both laughed.

  “That little girl is not going to claim him. She’s a dragon.”

  “No,” the man gasped. “She can’t be.”

  The master grabbed his head and pulled his face closer. The man strapped on top was barely alive. He was a corpse of a man but he looked familiar. The Master and I jumped onto his lap and I gasped as I looked into his eyes. This cannot be!

  “I have to say, you almost had me that first time I looked into her eyes. But it’s over, and because of that, you will pay for lying to me.” I was shocked as the Master toyed with him. I regretted now thrusting that iron blade into my father’s back. If he was still alive to see this, I could have spat in his face once more for all the things he’d brought on our Wyvern colony. No good came from his efforts.

  “It’s so ironic, wouldn’t you say?” The Master carried on toying with him. “The greatest King that ever lived…. will become the greatest creature ever feared.

  was back inside that cave, the one where Lucian lost his life. I looked around but I knew he wasn’t going to come for me, he was dead…then what the hell am I still doing here, staring at a psycho who claims to be my dragon.

  “You really thought that I was your dragon, Elena, seriously.” He laughed that sadistic laugh that spoke to my insides and made them twist and turn in all directions.

  “Get away from me you freak.” I spat in his face.

  His hand connected hard against my cheek, it burned and my ears rang for a couple short seconds.

  “I’m not a freak, I’m a patriot.”

  “Patriot?” I laughed as loud as I could. “You are a murderer!”

  Another strike. The Elementals clucked like crazy, they could feel the danger all around them and felt helpless. It was beginning to drive me insane.

  “Stop it you mongrels, or I’ll skin you alive.” Paul yelled and for some reason they listened. He looked back down at me again. The point of his knife was close to my throat. “It’s funny how everyone around you knows who you are, Elena, except you.”

  “What are you talking about?”

  He laughed again. “I guess they like to play mind games with you, like to keep you in the dark.” His eyes met mine. “Some friends you have.”

  “Stop that, you know nothing about my friends or what friendship is.”

  “Why? Because they all betray you at the end of the day. Take it from me; it’s better to live in the dark. You can do whatever you want, be whatever you want. Your friends don’t give a shit about you, and neither does you
r dragon.”

  “You are not my dragon,” I yelled again.

  “Oh, I know that, and for some sick twisted reason, your true dragon wasn’t bothered one bit that I claimed you as my rider.”

  “You are lying.”

  “Am I?” He looked around. “Then were is your dragon, Elena? Why isn’t it …..” The Elementals clucking noises drowned Paul’s words. They drilled through my brain, making it impossible to hear what he had to say. It grew louder and louder and then a cannon shot ran through their cries.

  I jumped up in bed, soaked with sweat. It was like the gazillionth time I’d had that dream. I could still hear their clucking and it made me feel like I was going crazy, but still, no tears came. My heart felt as if it was bouncing inside my ears. No matter how many times I had the same dream, I could never hear Paul’s last words as the Elemental sounds keep interrupting him. But there was one thing that I knew was a lie, I didn’t own a dragon. I was a dragon, and that was a small piece of information I still struggled to deal with.

  lena, you need to focus. Put all your strength and emotions into one place and see your dragon,” Sir Edward, the professor who taught transformations too inside the Colosseum, said. “See who you truly are and the shift will come naturally.”

  I shook my head at his words. “I don’t like the way she makes me feel.”

  “It is who you are,” he said again.

  “It’s not!” I yelled at him.

  “Here we go again,” a chirp came from Amy, a Night Villain. Glaring at her I couldn’t help thinking how much I would love to zap her ass right now. The others just gave me slight shakes and eye rolls as they stared at me in disgust. They didn’t understand how I would possibly not want to embrace my dragon. When their stares became too much, I turned around and ran out the arena.

  “Elena!” Sir Edward yelled after me.

  He could yell as much as he wanted. I knew starting with dragon classes would be a waste of time. I wasn’t a dragon. I couldn’t be one. For the love of blueberries, I was afraid of heights. Trees flew past me as I ran toward the wooden door that led to the school. I glanced at the Parthenon dome quickly before I ran up the stairs. I loved that dome and would give anything to put my trust in my two axes, than rely on my purple lightning. Or to accept her, the being that was coiling inside of me, begging to come out. I couldn’t grant her that wish because she was too unpredictable and I never knew what the hell she was going to do when she came out. It was like when I became the dragon, I turned into Hyde. A monster that would destroy anyone, no matter if it was enemy or friend.

  I opened the wooden door with a flick of my wrist as if the hulking oak door weighed nothing. I made it around the first corner fast and rested against the wall as I tried to catch my breath.

  I hadn’t been lying when I’d said I didn’t like the way she made me feel. The anger and frustration of not being able to save him that day was ten times worse whenever I shifted into her. The pain and the heartache of losing Lucian was unbearable. It drove her to kill. She wanted to kill and if Sammy and George hadn’t been near me the second time I’d shifted into her, an innocent soul would’ve paid the price.

  I wanted revenge so badly. But how did you kill a ghost and his Hippogriff girlfriend? Paul died that day, he deserved it, but the only thing I still struggled was with knowing for sure. The love of his life, Nora Georgiou, who’d pretended to be our Enchantments professor a couple of months back and a shape shifting hippogriff, didn’t cry out in agony when he went up in golden dust. I’d also heard the words “drink” and my mind jumped to one conclusion. A potion.

  Lucian’s iron blade had killed him, it was the only type of metal that could kill a Wyvern, and yet I had a funny feeling that she had found a way to save his life. How, I still needed to figure out since I couldn’t go and asked around if there was a way to save someone’s life if they were mere inches from death. If something like that existed, I was sure it was something forbidden, something that Paegeia wouldn’t cast even if the King’s life depended on it. And if a potion like that didn’t exist, I would be the fool. So I’d been trying to search for the answer myself, with little success. If one of the library books did contain such information, I hadn’t found it yet. The Internet threw out other potions in the search results that didn’t make any sense. Most of them were healing potions but none of them was what I was looking for.

  The other reason I’d been searching for something like that, if it existed, was in the hopes that I could find a way to bring back Lucian. If I found something, I wouldn’t even think twice about it. I couldn’t live without him and thinking about him made me want to bawl my eyes out again, as the ache in my heart crept into my bones and blood. But since she’d come forth, I couldn’t show that emotion. There were just no more tears. The last time I’d cried was the day Lucian died.

  I guess in some way I’d gotten my wish of never wanting to cry again.

  I just never imagined it would come in the form of a purple dragon.

  Pressing my back against the cold stone wall, I let my knees give out. I hugged my knees after my butt found the cold surface of the floor and rocked.

  As I sat, I could hear a pair of footsteps and someone’s breathing approaching me. A strong fragrance of vanilla and roasted almonds followed, yes something else that had been enhanced was my sense of smell, and I knew it was Sammy. The noise of her footsteps and breath came closer and closer until it sounded as if she was inside of me. Reaching down her arms wrapped around my entire body.

  She wore the same robe as me. It was a piece of clothing that dragons would throw over their human forms after they transformed back. It was nothing special, but I cling onto it because I didn’t like being naked in front of everyone. It was the one thing I would never get used to. She was one of my best friends, and had been with me on every life threatening experienced I’d encountered since I came to Paegeia.

  “Elena, you need to try.”

  I looked at her. “Sammy, I can’t. Look what happened the last time.”

  “It’s normal. You are grieving and you want justice like all of us, including your dragon form.” She sat next to me. “We experience emotions on a different level, a more intense one and I don’t know if you will ever get used to it, but you are what you are, Elena. You can’t deny her.”

  I sighed as I stared at the floor. “I thought I was done with the questions, but I can’t forget them. I can’t forgive him. Why didn’t he tell me?” I was speaking about my father. How many things had he hid from me?

  “I don’t know?” Her lips arched downward and she had a huge frown between her eyebrows. “I wish so badly that there was something that I could tell you that could make all of this easier on you, but there isn’t. Being a dragon is hard, Elena. For all of us, but it’s who we are and we have to embrace it.”

  “What if I’m like the Chromatic, Sammy. I don’t want to be beaten.”

  She grabbed me around the neck. “You’re not. Master Longwei said that Thunderlights are good, remember.”

  “Then why do I feel so evil?”

  “You are not evil. You lost someone you love in a messed up way. It is bound to make you feel angry and frustrated because his killer is still out there. You want justice. That is what you are feeling. Not getting it, made you do what you almost did the last time. It’s not who you are, you’re just experiencing the emotion of that loss and want justice on a more intense level.” She said the same thing again as if I didn’t get it the first time. The bell rang and she stared at me with soft eyes, with eyes that pleaded with me to open my mind and just accept things the way they were. When students started to pass us, I sighed.

  She made sense though but still, I didn’t want to feel that pain and anger. It was too much and my Thunderlight would just have to stay trapped inside this human form a little longer.

  “Come let’s go and see what Chef has made for lunch.” She reached for my hand after she got up and pulled me onto my feet in one swif
t movement.

  We entered the cafeteria, and my back connected hard with the wall. Amy’s long and pointy nose almost touched mine. Her first clutched my robe and with her Night Villain strength she lifted me almost off the floor.

  Her two buddies held Sammy tight. “Leave her alone, Amy.”

  “Sammy, shush. I’m doing this for all of us.” She snapped at Sammy over her shoulder before her head shot back around to face me. “Just move on, Watkins.” She spat and I could feel her acid saliva spray gently onto my face. It burned slightly and I ground on my teeth to stop myself from showing my pain. Still it didn’t burn as much as I thought it would.

  “Get your paws off of me,” I said back through slightly clenched teeth.

  “You’re pathetic. Arianna was right. Lucian wasted his life saving yours.”

  The two girls that held Sammy snickered.

  “Amy, shut up!” Sammy yelled.

  No, she was right and I agreed totally with Amy’s last statement. Though my Thunderlight didn’t. She got mad and when I opened my mouth again, she cussed like crazy. The voice wasn’t mine anymore and Amy let go of my robe and started to back off. When she became smaller I knew exactly what was happening and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it.

  The tables close to us crushed into splinters underneath my dragon weight. Pillows that came in contact with my talons tore into pieces and sponge popped out everywhere around me.

  Huge scaly paws tore free out of my skin and I didn’t care about the robe on my body that shredded into a million pieces, lying in a pathetic heap on the floor. I only concentrated on calming myself down as anger burned through my veins and revenge warmed my belly. If I killed Amy today….

  The walls started to shake and the students who were inside the cafeteria made their way outside in total hysteria.

  “Elena, deep breathes, calm yourself.” Chef was in front of me with his hands up in defense. He had to arch his neck and made his voice thick as he yelled the words.

  “Do as he says, Elena. Calm down,” Sammy was yelling from below on my other side. “Should I turn?” She asked Chef softly, but whispers were no longer soft to my sensitive ears. They sounded as if someone had spoken them directly to me.

 
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