When I walked into the cafeteria the next morning everyone stared at me. There were even a couple of Dragonians whispering about trying to claim me. I rolled my eyes at that piece of information. As if I was going to be an easier claim than Blake. If they knew her the way I was starting to, they wouldn’t be thinking that.
Around ten, Master Longwei’s voice came from the speaker system. “Elena Watkins come to the office, please.”
Professor Pheizer, who’d helped us with developing our abilities while we’re in human form, nodded her head and I packed my books and left.
She wasn’t so helpful anymore and even limited her advice, but I still saw the question in her eyes of what I was whenever I found her staring at me. She would look away of course, but my dragon eyes were a lot faster than hers. Sometimes that second that our eyes met felt like minutes before she’d drop her gaze. It was hard to explain, I just felt . . . different.
I found Master Longwei behind his desk and he gestured with his hand to the chair in front. I took a seat. He held both his hands with his fingers rested against one another in front of his mouth. “You need help, Elena.”
I huffed. “What’s new?”
His lips curved into a smile and he dropped his hands as he moved his chair underneath his desk. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Blake has agreed to help you find your dragon.”
I froze. What! Blake had actually agreed to help someone else besides himself? Latin jumped into my mind and I shook my head at the words from the last conversation that had taken place between Master Longwei and Blake, right here in his office, after my secret had been revealed. “No, it’s fine. I’ll make peace with her some other way.”
“Elena. The two of you are from the same species. It won’t be anything like your Latin lessons, I promise.”
I laughed. “How do you know, did he say so? For all I know it could be his way of getting closer to me and killing me off. Two Rubicons can’t live together in this world. You know that.”
“He gave me his word that he would not hurt you. He wants to figure this out as much as you do, Elena, and I promise you he doesn’t want to kill you.”
“Just like the way Paul promised you.” It just slipped out but I didn’t regret it. Lucian died because of that choice.
Master Longwei’s eyes froze at my words, and he looked away. “I was fooled. It is a mistake I’ll never make again.”
I took a deep breath. “I probably don’t have a choice, do I?”
“Not this time.”
“Fine, where do I meet him?”
He raised his eyes and looked as if I hadn’t just offended him a couple of seconds ago. “That is up to you two. I’m only the messenger.”
You mean I have to hunt him down and ask him. “Fine, thanks.” I wasn’t thankful really. I didn’t want to spend time with Blake any more than he wanted to spend time with me. I hated how he made me feel. Sometimes I felt like a toy. He was always there, except the last time, when I was in danger, but afterward he would push me away as if he hadn’t just saved my ass. It was a frustrating little game and one I really didn’t have the time or energy for anymore.
“Have fun.” He smiled awkwardly. “Not too much though.”
For some reason I wanted to snicker at his sentence. I’d always wondered if Master Longwei could read minds. As if Blake and I would ever have fun. Nothing had changed and he was still the arrogant bastard he had been a couple of months ago.
DEATH WAS MY constant companion. I’d escaped its icy clutches three times in my short life.
My first brush with the spirit I now knew as Death was the night I learned who my father truly was. The night I witnessed his transformation into a dragon on Interstate 40.
The night we were attacked by dragons. I lost my hero that night, and my world was completely turned upside-down when I was whisked away to Paegeia: a world where dragons and magic exist; a world located inside the Bermuda Triangle, hidden from the human realm behind a magical wall.
Humans have the ability to penetrate the wall, but if they try to exit Paegeia, they are instantly disintegrated.
I used to call it my one-way ticket to Neverland. Now it has become my home.
While the wall may be limiting to humans, dragons are free to come and go as they please, and they’ve done so for the past nine hundred years, hiding amongst the human race to protect the weak, help the poor and trade with the rest of the world.
The second time I almost died was right after I received my foretelling from the Viden. Foretellings are a type of prophecy intended to lead the people of Paegeia to their destinies, but the Viden gives them in a messed up way, in the form of a riddle.
Mine could mean anything, but I knew now that it would only bring death. What the words in my foretelling meant, I still needed to figure out. The question was, would it be worth it?
The first time I thought I had figured out my destiny was when I went to retrieve the King of Lion sword. It was formidable, magical and could slay evil in any form. Brian, a Sun-Burst dragon, died saving my life, and the lives of my friends who were dumb enough to follow me into the madness.
The second time I had the opportunity to fulfill the twisted words of the opaque riddle was when I had the opportunity to claim Paul, a Wyvern, to prove once and for all that Wyverns had the capacity to be good like all the other dragons. Once again I was wrong, and my only love, Lucian, paid the ultimate price. He died saving my life, but not before I turned into a dragon myself.
I was a dragon, I had always been a dragon, and I had never known. It was still a mystery why I hadn’t been able to shift before, and they were still studying why only my anger and fear had brought on the change.
To be honest, I didn’t care about my foretelling anymore. People I loved died, and I couldn’t stop feeling like all of this was my fault.
Losing Lucian took a huge toll on me. I didn’t want to live, but for some reason now that I wanted to die the spirit of death didn’t come to claim his prize. Instead I was left with a hollow feeling deep inside my chest, one that would never be filled. I was left with a broken heart: ice cold, as if no amount of heat could ever warm me again. Arianna is right, I am like poison.
No, not poison.
The people in my life, the ones I love, didn’t die from my touch, their deaths were written in the choices I made. All of them were on death’s list; waiting for the day they would take their last breath.
I’d paralyzed their lives, their futures. I was like ice, like frost freezing their hopes and dreams. I was the living embodiment of frostbite.