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Thunderlight, p.5
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       Thunderlight, p.5

           Adrienne Woods

  He bit the side of his mouth and looked at something on the ground. When he finally glanced up again he asked, “Is Blake there?”

  “No, he’s with the Viden.”

  “I’ll phone him. Don’t drink Fire-Powder again. You’re not a dragon.” He’d said the same thing as Blake before his face disappeared.

  “Yes, Mom,” I spoke to the black screen annoyed.

  After our conversation, I went back to Sammy’s room. We spoke for another two hours about everything that had happened. She told me about her conversation with Dean, who had also been there, they had a VIP box so he saw everything. He wanted to help so badly but the VIP Boxes locked whenever anything bad happened and only an elevator leading out of the mountain opened. She spoke again about what it was like when her and her Dad had tried to push the dragons away with their gifts. Hearing her version of it did make it sound as if they were aiming straight at me and Blake.

  “Lucille was right,” Sammy spoke carefully. “They wanted to kill all of us, starting with you. Now that I think about it, it makes sense. Goran said he couldn’t have wannabe’s running around when he finally broke out of Etan. So eliminating us would be the first thing he would do.”

  I’d never felt this confused before. I’d thought he was dead, and tonight I’d discovered that he was still out there, trying to kill us all over again.

  We’ll never be safe.

  A shiver went up my spine as I thought about the day he had thrust the knife into my stomach over and over again. The image it conjured in my head was too much and I rolled over onto my side and closed my eyes

  Y CAMMY RANG early the next morning, waking me from my restless sleep. I picked it up, and Lucian’s face with perfect hair and everything smiled back at me. Who else would it be? “Are you still asleep?”

  “How can you not be?”

  He chuckled. “I told my father what happened. We’re coming home. The Council is going to meet at the castle around twelve. They’re going to get to the bottom of all this.”

  “You phoned me just to tell me that,” I said pushing the sleep from my eyes.

  “I’ll see you around twelve.” He grinned and his face disappeared. I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t so I went into the bathroom.

  The bath I took worked, it woke me up and my mind started to think like a normal person’s once again. The reality of Lucian coming home had finally sunk in. I couldn’t wait to see him.

  Twelve o’clock couldn’t come fast enough as I waited in anticipation. The clock on the wall was dragging and each second that ticked by felt like hours.

  At eleven forty-five, Sammy and I walked to the park near her house.

  We found Dean waiting for us under a tree. His Ascending had turned him into a god, I didn’t want to imagine what Lucian would look like when he Ascended. It wasn’t like their appearance changed that much, it just enhanced the beauty they each carried and for some reason made others struggle to look away.

  Dean gave me a wave and wrapped his huge arms around Sammy, giving her a soft kiss. They really made a beautiful couple. We started to speak about the Warbel games as we waited for Lucian and he sounded so upset that he wasn’t able to be there for Sammy.

  “Dean, you didn’t have a choice, besides, the mayhem would’ve been over by the time you reached us.”

  “Still, Sammy, I could’ve helped.”

  “I know you could’ve,” she said in a sweet voice and gave him another hug.

  I glanced at my watch and it showed twelve.

  Where the hell are you?

  My stomach started to ache. Something’s happened. Lucian wasn’t the type of guy that ran late.

  Before my mind could conjure up any scenarios, a pair of arms grabbed me by my waist and turned me around. When I smelled the cologne of my favorite person in the entire world, all my worries evaporated. Our lips touched and he lifted me from the ground. My legs twirled around his waist like a pretzel. Now I know how Becky felt that day when George finally had his arms around her.

  Our lips parted and I laughed because he was wearing a hoody too. Only his nose and chin stuck out from the soft cotton fabric. “I’ve missed you so much,” he growled and hugged me tighter. He kissed me again as if we needed to make up for all the days and weeks we hadn’t seen each other.

  “Please tell me there isn’t a fishing trip or fairy hunting coming up in the next few days,” I spoke against his lips playfully.

  “Nope, I’m all yours.”

  “YAY!” I said and my arms grabbed him around his neck tighter and I smacked my lips on his again.

  Sammy cleared her throat, breaking our embrace suddenly.

  Lucian chuckled. “Sorry Sammy,” he looked around and I saw Dean leaning against a tree as my feet found the ground. “Dean, what are you doing here?”

  Dean just chuckled as he pulled Sammy closer to him and reached out his hand to give Lucian a slap shake.

  “What else did I miss?”

  “Nothing, I kept you up-to-date daily.”

  “You’re up-to-dates suck.”

  I punched him playfully in the gut as his arm found its way around my neck.

  “So did your Dad find anything yet?” Sammy asked.

  “They are busy as we speak,” he explained as we sat down underneath the nearest oak. “Master Longwei and your father had just arrived as I was sneaking out.”

  “Still sneaking out?” The tone of my voice was soft.

  “Hey, they’ll come around. I promise.” Lucian gave me a soft squeeze on my leg. His parents, who were the King and Queen of Tith, still hadn’t approved of me yet. I was starting to think they never would, but I had to be as positive as Lucian.

  “They’d better. I’m not going to give you up to that cow.”

  He hugged me tighter. “That won’t happen, my parents will love you the minute they meet you.”

  “Lucian, they don’t want to meet me.” I gave my sarcastic laugh to hide what I really felt; pain, anger and not to mention how unfair the whole situation was. They didn’t want to give me a chance with him because two years from now, he needed to marry Arianna Kingsley, the Princess of Areeth, so that Paegeia could have one ruler again. It was so stupid. We didn’t live in the dark ages anymore.

  “Well, they won’t have a choice, Elena. They’ll meet you at the revealing.”

  Urgh! I forgot about the stupid revealing. It was going to take place in a couple of days.

  “It’s going to be okay,” he said for the umpteenth time.

  A bell rang not far from us and I saw my favorite thing in the entire world. Where Lucian was my favorite person, Bernie’s Ice Cream Wagon had my favorite thing. They had the most delicious flavors of ice cream imaginable.

  “You guys want ice cream?” Lucian already had his wallet in his hand and was taking out a wad of money.

  “I’ll go,” I grabbed the money from him and took a mental note of what everybody wanted. “Don’t disappear.” My finger lingered a couple of inches from his face.

  He smiled as I went to “Bernie’s All Flavors Ice Cream” chart. I bought four cups for the group. The cones had some magic ingredients that once you took a bite, it grew back. The first time I tried one I ate so many cones that I had felt sick, I hadn’t eaten them since.

  Sammy wanted a Fire-Powder one, and Dean had a raison-mint with a shot of rum. It smelled nice as a draft blew some of the aroma into my nose. Lucian loved his chocolate and had requested the one with chocolate bits inside. I was a strawberry freak. Pieces of real strawberry and another type of purple berry made this flavor my kind of Fire-powder. It was addictive.

  “So, Fire-Wielder,” Lucian asked as we sat underneath a big oak eating our ice cream.

  “You’ve Ascended too?” Dean asked with a twinkle in his big brown eyes.

  “No, not yet, but apparently I’m one.”

  Dean just frowned, clearly not getting it. Sammy told him about the Fire-Powder incident last night and the reason she’d had
to cut their conversation short.

  Dean’s eyes grew wide. “Are you insane?”

  “Nothing happened!” I said. “It burned like hell, but that was about it.”

  “Master Longwei said she must be close to Ascending. Only Fire-Wielders can take a sip and be okay.”

  “So, I’ll be able to take Fire-Powder and be okay?” He looked at Sammy with soft eyes.

  “Maybe,” Sammy said.

  “It really burns the living crap out of you. I thought my ears, throat and stomach were on fire. Lucky for me, Sammy’s mom was close by.”

  “We decided that Elena and I are going to team up when that happens,” Sammy said excitedly.

  “What about me?”

  “You’re my boyfriend. It would be so weird,” Sammy spoke with a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth.

  “George and Becky are together.”

  “Yeah, but George and Becky didn’t date before.”

  “That just sucks, Sammy.” He teased her.

  “You’ll get over it.” She joked back and he smiled. “Besides, you have blue fire. You can claim a Sun-Blast.”

  “I don’t want a Sun-Blast. They are vile creatures.”

  We all gave him a look. Brian was a Sun-Blast.

  “Except for Brian. He wasn’t so bad when he wasn’t speaking to you in third person.”

  We all laughed as we all had our various experiences with Brian.

  “What if Elena has blue fire?” Lucian asked Sammy.

  “What does blue fire mean anyway?” I interrupted.

  “All the fire breathers have a different type of fire,” Sammy explained. “Mine, is red, well orange since I haven’t mastered my red flame yet. I’m not scary enough or something.” Lucian and I laughed. “The Sun-Blast’s fire is blue.”

  “There is no way I’m going to claim any dragon, especially a Sun-Blast.”

  “They come with a lot of fortune, Elena,” Lucian said.

  “So do you.”

  A smile broke over his face at my comment. “Point taken,” Lucian took another spoonful of ice cream.

  “Still she can handle mine even if hers is blue,” Sammy said in her matter of fact tone.

  Dean wanted to say something but left it and pushed a spoon heaped with ice cream into his mouth.

  “Are you really that bummed?”

  “Yeah, you’re one hell of an amazing dragon, Sammy. You’re not scared of anything. You should hear how the Fire-Wielders talk about you.”

  “Really?” both of us said in unison.

  “Really.” He chuckled. “I hope you can fight, because Metallic or not, a couple of them are going to challenge you in the ring.”

  “Let them come. I’m a Metallic. I’m going to choose my Dragonian no matter what it takes, and I choose Elena.”

  “So you’re trying to tell me we are going to be stuck with you forever?”

  Sammy started to smack Lucian a couple of times. I laughed at the way he tried to defend himself. It was hilarious.

  “You can thank your lucky stars it’s me and not a Sun-Blast, Your Highness.”

  Lucian pulled up his lip at her. He hated it when people call him that.

  E SAID GOODBYE to the guys around five. Lucian said he would phone me when his father had decided what the next step would be.

  At six my Cammy rang interrupting a particularly interesting show I was watching with Sammy.

  “They’re going to guard Dragonia.” His face looked a bit worried as he spoke.

  “Is that bad?”

  “Well it’s taking precaution. Everybody thinks you guys were the target. So my Dad and King Caleb just want to take extra measures with protecting all of us. I told you Arianna would have a part in all of this. If she wasn’t part of the mission, King Caleb wouldn’t have insisted on it.”

  “Yay, Arianna,” I said it a blunt tone.

  “Does your Dad think Goran is behind this?” Sammy asked.

  “He thinks so but he doesn’t want to say it out loud. He refuses to believe that there is another magic wielder with his kind of power.”

  “He broke free?” I needed to know.

  “No. If he did, we would’ve known. Goran isn’t the coward type. But he definitely has allies doing his dirty work for him again.”

  “That’s just great,” Sammy said.

  “Blake took Emanual and my father to the site where he saw the hippogriff. The feather is real and my Dad is really worried about the fact that Irene couldn’t see what happened. He thinks it’s some sort of a cloaking spell making it difficult for her to look into the past.”

  Silence filled Sammy’s room as the news sunk in.

  Lucian’s holograph looked over his shoulder at someone behind him. “I’ve got to go. See you tomorrow, Sweetheart.”

  “See you.”

  “One thing I can say; nobody will forget the two-hundred-and-fifth opening of the Warbel games.”

  We both laugh at him as his face disappeared. I fell on my bed and let all of the madness of the last few days consume me.

  HE DAY of the revealing finally came. The drive to the wall flew by in what felt like a matter of minutes. Today was going to be my first time traveling by elevator. It was strange how time seems to slow down and drag when you’re anxiously waiting for something and then speeds at an incredible rate when you’re filled with dread.

  Getting out of the car and walking through the large concourse, a claustrophobic feeling pressed down hard on my chest. The Wall reminded me of an airport; it was huge with big boards mounted on the walls showing a lot of numbers with destinations on, appearing and disappearing every minute. Below them, silver counters ran in a line as far as I could see. Woman and men operated these counters, selling tickets and giving info when needed. Right above it all, the tubes lingered in the air. I could see the rollercoaster type chairs making their way to the million elevator doors stationed against the Wall. The tubes made me think of a bad plumbing job as millions of them cross over and under one another. The white tubes were the ones that humans could take and they went everywhere inside Paegeia. The green ones above them went to the rest of the world, and only dragons could use them.

  We eventually found Becky and her Mom waiting for us at the check in point. As we got closer, Lucille wrapped her motherly arms around me in a comforting embrace.

  “Can’t you knock me out with a sleeping spell?” I begged softly, my voice muffled against her shirt.

  Her lips spread wide over her face as she pulled me back and looked at me. “You’re going to be fine, Elena. Besides, I suck at sleeping spells.”

  Lucille led us into one of the many rooms that would eventually take us to Elm.

  This function better be worth it. I took another deep breath trying to calm my beating heart.

  Two uniformed attendants standing near the entrance checked our tickets and I was excited to finally use the pass Lucille had gotten for me my first week of vacation. The pass functioned as a glorified ID but looked far more interesting than the typical passport on the other side of the Wall.

  I smiled nervously at the woman who used a small, handheld device to scan my pass. She looked me over with a thin smile but I could tell it was genuine. “Is it your first time?” she asked.

  I nodded. I didn’t want to say anything that would stop her from letting me move on with the others. I didn’t want to do this alone.

  “Just take a deep breath when everything stops and you’ll be fine,” she said with a soft wink.

  When everything stopped, what the hell is she talking about?

  Suddenly, a green light lit up on her device and she carefully handed me back my pass and ticket. “Keep it on you, otherwise it might get lost.”

  Huh? “Okay. Thanks.”

  Moving through the crowd once again, we passed a huge door and I found myself in another location that reminded me of a train station, but instead of a train, what waited for me made me catch my breath. Before me was a huge tube with two huge chairs,
next to one another. There were rows of two seats running down the long tube. I was stuck with everyone in my group in a long queue that the crowd created.

  I closed my eyes and could feel my heart begin to pound harder as I imagined what the ride was going to be like.

  “You acted exactly the same way when you entered that carriage, remember,” Becky said logically. “It’s not so bad, Elena. It’s frawesome.” She pushed me gently to move forward as the queue shortened.

  “Whatever,” I sulked.

  She bumped me playfully with a huge grin plastered on her face.

  “Where’s your other half today?”

  “They left late last night. His Dad had some business in Elm this morning so they decided to go a day early.”

  The line that led to the chairs grew shorter surprisingly quickly and I rhythmically tapped my thigh softly with the ticket that was clutched tight in my hand. I took another deep breath and tried to remember what the woman at the gate had told me to do. I suddenly couldn’t remember and it was as if all memory of our conversation had vanished from my mind.

  Becky nudged me softly again as it was my turn to take a seat. Another attendant helped me into one of the huge chairs. I rested my feet on the silver platform in front of me and waited patiently as he strapped me in.

  Becky was next and once the attendant was done the chairs lurched forward with a gut wrenching jolt. The pace that brought us to our door was really slow. I took a couple of huge breathes and found Becky paging through a magazine. She made herself comfortable as she read through the book. She kept showing me pages and pages filled with the latest fashion trends as the chairs slowly ascended. I could hear Lucille and Sammy’s voices behind us, but they were a few paces away and I didn’t want to look at them, I knew my head would start spinning and it would only freak me out more.

  I had to admit, Becky’s distraction with her magazine worked. I was able to force my mind to focus as I listened to her reading the ‘Funnies’ section. They contained plenty of jokes and we laughed at some, while others received a look and a raised eyebrow as we tried to understand the punch line.

  As we got closer and closer to the top she put her magazine away. “Give me your ticket,” she said and I handed it over to her with my pass without thinking. She took them and zipped them safely inside her jacket. “Never buy a jacket if they don’t have inside pockets.”

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