Chapter 1

CHAPTER ONE….

Epitome

The mysterious Bermuda Triangle.
If you asked a normal person what the Bermuda Triangle is, they will tell you all sorts of things, like it’s the gateway to hell. Planes and ships, they disappear. Humans disappear too. What it actually is, well many people wonder about it, but none can really tell you. If they can, well they are technically not human, they are dragons, and to be honest, you wouldn’t believe them either. For those of us whose curiosity is too great, we discover the truth. The Bermuda Triangle is far from a gateway to hell. Planes and ships don’t get lost, and humans, well, they are still alive in another realm.
Most of them live in an asylum on the other side as their minds can’t perceive the reality of that realm, as it’s filled with magic, dragons and technology that one can only dream of.
The other side of the veil his home to a world called Paegeia and I am one of its royals.
I was born with a special mark, the mark of the Dragonians, or what humans call dragon riders. It’s not a myth, they truly exist, and I do happen to have a dragon of my very own.
He is the Rubicon, one of a kind and also the meanest dragon who has ever lived. So if you mess with me, well, you will have to deal with him too.
My father is the king of Paegeia, the greatest king that ever ruled this part of the world. Paegeia used to be part of the human realm but with a world full of magic and dragons, their greed grew too great and the people of this world had no choice but to protect it. So over nine hundred years ago they wielded an invisible wall to protect Paegeia from the darkness of humanity . Humans that enter the wall, even by accident, can never return unless they are dragons.
However, Paegeia has its own demons to face. My father is trapped behind deadly Creepers, giant beanstalk leaches that tear people apart if they walk too near.
Everyone thinks my father is dead, that he died the night the creepers consumed Paegeia’s capital, Etan, but he didn’t, and the only people who know this, is myself, my dragon and the ten people we rescued from Etan a couple of days ago.
Through an act of pure luck, we discovered that my blood is the only way through the Creepers to Etan. And we were able to deliver some of those trapped from that hell they’d lived in for the past seventeen years.
The Council, the group of dragons and royals who ruled Paegeia, had wanted to put them in quarantine. Well actually the Ancients did, which was a board ruled by five dragons and Dragonians, the oldest there are.
I wasn’t going to have that and told them they would never imprison them again while my body still drew breath.
That night something amazing happened. Most of the Council members stood by me, and we took a stand against the Ancients.
I became a Princess that day, stepping into my father and mother’s shoes and showed everyone that if they messed with innocent people, they would answer to me.
It also brought me to my final decision.
My father begged me the day that I ascended not to free Etan.
It wasn’t going to be easy and finding the missing ingredient to kill the Saadedine, a small revelation that Blake saw in a vision, was laying heavy over our shoulders. Without the ingredient, one of us was going to die saving Etan.
What it was, well, none of us had a clue. I guess time will tell and I hope when it does, it won’t be too late.
My decision was final.
My father was going to come home.

Chapter One

THE CAMERAS STILL flased as we reached the carriages. Everyone was outside now. King Helmut bowed his head when he saw me and I shook my head slightly with a small smile.
I had to admit that it felt good, standing up to the Ancients. I couldn’t believe that they would do that to all of these people.
But I refused to let them get their wish this time. They hadn’t won and everyone was safe.
I saw Blake putting my bag into one of the carriages and giving his to his father. He wasn’t going to come with us to Dragonia Academy?
I didn’t like that, but a part of me didn’t want him to come because I knew he was Tabitha’s.
I felt so bad about kissing him not just once, but four times.
He still made me so confused and I let out a huge breath just trying to make sense of this sudden change in him.
“Hey.” Blake touched my arm. I hadn’t even seen him walking my way.
“I take it you are not coming with us.”
“All of them are safe, Elena. They have you.”
“Oh, shut up.” I smacked him playfully, hard on the chest and he laughed. Flashes reflected around us.
“Can’t they just go home?”
Blake laughed. “You’d better get used to this as it’s going to be our life from now on.”
I smiled. I liked the “our life” part. Still not knowing in what context he meant it as he was my dragon, that wasn’t going to change, but it could only be that. Nothing more.
“I have to go with my father, he wants some information.” A huge grin spread over his face as he looked down. “I think he is going to start with the Dragon League again.”
“What?”
“Just a small inkling, otherwise I have no idea why he wants this.”
I wielded my shield around us and couldn’t hear anything that was going on in the background.
“You promised you wouldn’t—”
“I’m not stupid. I know what he will do. He can’t know.”
“Okay, then I guess I’ll see you when I see you.”
“I won’t be gone that long, three days at the most as King Helmut wants to know a couple of things too.”
“Okay,” I said. He opened the door to one of the carriages and I got in.
He tapped twice on the carriage and I watched him leave.
This wasn’t good. I was falling for him head over heels and I didn’t know what to do anymore.
I’d promised Tabitha.
I’d broken so many promises already.
I had to give him up. He was never mine, and if it wasn’t for the Dent, a procedure I still didn’t understand, he still wouldn’t have been mine.
When we reached Dragonia Academy, Master Longwei took them to empty staff quarters. It was like a castle and I was sure they would be more than comfortable.
Annie stayed with Constance and our ways parted after I said goodbye and went up to my room.
The meeting had drained me, but I’d never felt so confident in my entire life.
I’d stood up to all of them. Including Caleb, who wasn’t a king in my eyes anymore. He didn’t deserve that title, no matter what King Helmut said.
I found both my friends in our room when I opened the door.
“You’re back!” Sammy yelled, got up and ran over for a hug. I folded my arms around her and I could tell that it surprised her when she froze for a few seconds.
“You are okay!” she said. “Just like he promised.”
I pushed her back. “What are you talking about?”
She shook her head. “It’s nothing. What matters is that you are okay.”
I laughed. “I was alone with your brother for like a month, we talked, Samantha.”
Her eyes raised. “You did?”
I looked at Becky who just raised her one eyebrow with a knowing smile. “I hope you apologized to him.”
I laughed. “Well to be honest he’s the one who can’t stop apologizing.”
“So how many times did he make his Dragon Oath?”
We all laughed.
“Once.”
They gasped.
“I almost killed him. I hate that dragons do that. ”
“So when did you guys have this talk?” Becky wanted to know.
“Well with his dragon form, plenty of times. With the human, the night I discovered I was in Etan all along and when I discovered all the times he’d tried to find me. The Sonic device did come in handy.” I looked at Sammy.
“So you are an item now?” Becky wanted to know as we all three had ended up sitting on her bed.
“I wouldn’t say that, but he definitely wants to be my dragon.”
“Elena, he wants to be more than just your dragon, I can promise you that.”
“It’s complicated Becky.”
“No, it’s not.”
I sighed. She would just get upset if I told her the truth.
“And don’t you dare say it, Elena.” She sounded serious.
“Then explain it to me, please.”
“You didn’t ask him?”
“I did, but he couldn’t tell me.”
“He couldn’t or he wouldn’t?”
“Is there a difference? It’s not him, Becky. He hated my guts, treated me like shit and how can I be the only one remembering that?”
“Don’t, please,” Sammy begged.
“There is a huge difference between wouldn’t and couldn’t. George wouldn’t tell me either, because of what is at stake, not because he doesn’t know.”
I shook my head. “It still doesn’t explain the change in them and that, I can’t trust. Not this time.” I got up and walked to the bathroom.
I was going to feel like this every time I wasn’t near him. The doubts would come and it would drive us apart eventually.

We didn’t speak about the Dent anymore. I knew it was hard for Becky too. She was head over heels for George and loved him with all her heart. Thinking that it could be what I said it was, was too hard for her to admit.
I couldn’t sleep that night either. I kept thinking about so many things.
Okay not about many, about one: Blake. I hated this so much. I didn’t want my life to revolve around him. I was more than that. But I couldn’t get him off my mind.
I drifted away and just like before I started to see the faint light of torches.
My heart started to beat frantically and the entire scene engulfed me.
I was on my back, my hands were held down by Zac and Patrick, and Billy was starting to unbuckle his belt. Seymour had just finished, and was spent. I hated that so much, I felt so worthless again. Huge trees formed a canopy over the entire scene. I always wished right at this spot that Cara was still inside of me, so that I could scorch their asses before any of this happened.
Their laughter and what they were saying had started to die out. Their lips still moved and as they laughed, making jokes…no sound came.
This had never happened before in my dreams, and then the impossible happened.
An invisible hand grabbed Billy and threw him so hard against a tree.
A pink flame engulfed the scene first before he did.
Zac and Patrick were hit with the pink kiss first and I was free. The others actually tried to fight against Blake but in a matter of seconds it was all over and…I bolted up my bed.
My heart raced as if it was in a sprint. But what I felt in my gut wasn’t fear, it was something else. Revenge. Even if that’d never happened, I felt it.
He did it. A small chuckle escaped my lips.
He couldn’t be here, but he’d found a way to change that dream, just like the others.
I gasped as I realized where he was. He was in Tith, I was in Elm.
Had he really seen that from that distance?
I knew he struggled with me close by him, he’d told me so himself. It was too fast, and yet, he’d changed it tonight all the way from Tith. Was he okay?
I wanted to cry again, not because of what had happened in that forest that night, but for being so stupid for even trying to negotiate with Tabitha.
This wasn’t real. I kept saying over and over to myself. The Blake you truly want is gone, he is under a spell even if he thinks it isn’t.
I fell back into my pillow and sleep finally came after I made peace, sort of with everything.

The next morning I found Tabitha in the cafeteria. She looked up at me, but the look she gave me wasn’t friendly at all. It was as if she knew what had happened. Had he told her the truth? My heart was pounding not knowing what she knew.
I looked back down and walked to the buffet.
Chef smiled as he saw me. “Back from Etan?”
“Finally,” I said.
“What you did for Constance, Elena…”
“Please don’t. It was the best thing I could have done for both of them.”
“Still, the papers this morning were filled with pictures of that reunion.”
I smiled but it disappeared as I remembered flashes going off while Blake and I talked. “Can I see it?” I asked and Chef smiled as he handed one to me.
I closed my eyes as I stared at a picture of Blake rubbing his chest and me just after I hit him. We looked like old friends, both smiling.
I knew Tabitha had seen this.
“Thanks,” I said, smiled and gave it back to Chef.
I dished up oatmeal and moved on as Chef spoke to a person next to me. I moved with the line, picking up some yogurt and honey and found Tabitha at the end of the buffet.
“Elena,” she said.
“Tabitha.”
The noise in the entire cafeteria disappeared immediately and I knew she wanted a private word, sealing us both inside her shield.
“Did you forget the promise you made?”
“No, I didn’t. Nothing happened. We simply saw things that were hard to deal with and it brought me closer to his dragon form,” I lied.
She gave me an eye roll. “You think I’m an idiot? I saw those pictures.”
“You think you saw something. It’s not there, Tabitha.”
“You know it’s not him, right?”
“Yes, I told you from the beginning I know what the Dent is. I believe the same thing he did and nothing will change my mind, okay.” The lies just kept pouring out of my mouth. Just keep your mouth shut. “Are we done?”
“We are.” She smiled and lowered her shield and walked to her table.
The noise in the cafeteria came back instantly and I could feel my friends’ eyes on me as I sat down.
“What did Tabitha want, Elena?” Becky wanted to know
“Nothing. Matter of fact I needed to talk to her in private.”
Both girls looked at me in surprise. “She’s not that bad. Quite nice if you just give her a chance, Sammy.”
“Why would I?”
“This isn’t easy for her, okay.”
“This princess crap doesn’t suit you at all. You care way too much about others, even people who don’t deserve it.”
I just giggled which made them laugh too.
George was missing from the table which was weird. “Where is George?”
Becky just crunched up her nose.
“Becky, where is George?”
“Somewhere, Elena. It doesn’t matter, okay?”
I squinted as she got up and left. I looked at her retreating figure as she put her tray at the drop off line. She hadn’t even touched her food.
“Sammy?” I had to know.
She just shook her head.
“What is going on?” I sounded a bit more adamant.
“She broke it off with George, Elena.” Sammy sounded upset.
“What!”
“Because of what you said to her last night. It finally sank in and she asked him this morning to explain it to her and when he wouldn’t, she told him it was over.”
Sammy had tears lingering in her eyes.
“She told him to stay away from her apart from class and dragon duties, they are not an item anymore.”
I closed my eyes. What have I done?
“Sometimes I just wish you could keep your theories to yourself.”
She got up too and I was alone at my table.
I tried to eat but I couldn’t. When I wanted to get up, George plunged down on the pillow opposite me. He looked completely out of it.
“I didn’t mean…”
“Don’t. She believes that I don’t love her. That this is a spell. It isn’t, Elena. And now…” He couldn’t finish his sentence.
“Then explain it to me, please.”
He chuckled sarcastically. “Blake didn’t tell you?”
“No,” I said.
“Then why do you think I will?”
“You are not making it any easier on us, you know. You hated Becky, George. Remember how you cornered her before the claim? Or did you forget that part?”
His lips thinned out. “No, I didn’t forget okay. I’m disgusted with myself for how I treated her that day and after the claim was made. It’s not what you think, Elena and now she wants nothing to do with me because of your insecurities. We will never tell anyone what the Dent is.” He wielded his shield which made me jump slightly as all the noise disappeared. Tears welled up in his eyes. “Because if our enemies find out the truth, they will kill our Dents. That alone will destroy us, Elena. It’s not an enchantment and it’s not enslavement. We can make choices too, but we choose to follow your every wish because it is what dragons are. I never thought that I would ever say this and Blake can kill me if he wants. Right now, I wish you never existed.” Noise came back and he got up and stormed out of the cafeteria.
Okay, that only made me feel crappier. It still didn’t make any sense. What triggered this love? I needed to know. Not just for my sake anymore but for Becky’s too.
My Cammy rang and I saw Blake’s name flashing in neon letters. I didn’t pick it up and just pressed the disconnect button.
It rang again and I switched it over to silent.
In my first class my heart wanted to break when I saw George and Becky sitting next to one another not even looking at each other. He was respecting her wishes, but he should fight for her, idiot.
I took my seat next to her as my Cammy kept vibrating nonstop.
Then it finally stopped and Sammy’s Cammy started to play his song.
The class started to laugh as she tried to sit on it to keep the ring tone quiet.
“Sorry about that, I forgot to switch it off.” She apologized to Sir Edward and just gave me the look.
Her Cammy finally stopped and she put it on silent.
Then Becky’s started to vibrate.
She looked at it and squinted as she gave me a look.
“Can anyone please answer that?” Sir Edward stopped his lecture and Becky opened her Cammy.
“We are in class you idiot,” she whispered.
“STOP THIS, BECKY! ARE YOU INSANE?” Blake said and everyone just turned around and looked at her.
“No, I need to know.”
“You’ve never had to know before, why now?”
“Because you did a piss-poor job with Elena, asshole.” She switched off her Cammy. “Mind your own business!” She yelled at the class and put her Cammy back.
“Now, I have to pay for it,” George whispered.
“Don’t George, please. I can’t do this.”
“Is there something going on here?” Sir Edward asked and just stared at all of us in the last row. Nobody said a word. Not even George.
“Becky?”
“Yes, I need to know if the Dent is real or just a stupid spell.”
“It’s not a fucking spell, okay!” George yelled.
“Becky what is going on here?”
“I need to understand the change, he doesn’t want to tell me.”
“And he never will either,” Sir Edward said.
“Why not?” She was beside herself.
This was all my fault.
“Becky, please don’t,” I begged.
“No, Elena. Your version makes a shit load of sense, especially last night. Anybody ever wonder why Blake just changed like that after he woke up. It’s not real and these idiots can’t even explain it to us.”
“It’s not that we can’t. We know what happened, why I love you, I just can’t tell you!” George yelled too.
“Why not?”
“Becky, please,” he begged again and I had tears in my own eyes too. “Don’t do this.”
“I just can’t George. I’m sorry.” She got up and walked out of the classroom.
My Cammy vibrated nonstop again. I even got text messages that I was too scared to open. I didn’t even know when he’d paired phones.
I felt George’s pain, but I knew exactly what Becky was going through.
She didn’t return for class and George went missing too.
Sammy didn’t even speak to me. I never thought that Becky would finally admit this and I should’ve kept my mouth shut.
In Aviance I sat alone in the Coliseum when a dragon came in, landing hard.
I jumped slightly from the rumble that vibrated through the entire Coliseum as I hadn’t expected it, but flinched again when I saw who it was.
What was he doing here? He was huge and moved to one of the entrances that led to the seats. His human form wearing a robe came running out and he ran up the steps toward me. “Something wrong with your Cammy?” He sounded upset.
“Blake, please, just don’t, okay,” I said, got up and put away my sketchbook I was drawing in.
“No, Elena.” He grabbed my arm as I walked away.
“What do you want me to say? That I feel crap that Becky broke it off with George? I do, okay.”
“Elena,” he grunted. “This is so not my department.”
“I know, it’s my fault but you cannot blame me for feeling like this.”
“Like what?”
“You’ve got to be shitting me right?”
“Just speak to me.”
“I can’t because this is not you.” I tapped him hard on his chest. “I don’t know who this is.”
He narrowed his eyes. “You are not making any sense.”
“No, you are not making any sense. You hated my guts, Blake. Despised me ever since I set foot in this place. You wanted nothing to do with me. And now…” I blew out a huge breath. “You want to blame someone for breaking them up, blame yourself, as it’s your change that made this Dent thing finally sink into her head. It’s not real.”
His entire face fell and everything went dead silent again. I didn’t even hear his shield. “What don’t you get?” I flinched as the old Blake showed himself. “You want me to yell to the entire fucking world what it is we went through? I promise you, Elena I have more enemies than you think and our lives will be the same as what you went through with Jako.”
What does he know about what I went through with Jako?
“Be patient. And stop filling Becky’s head with your theories. I will show you when the time comes.” His shield disappeared as I could now hear the zing of bugs baking in the sun’s rays. He turned around and walked away.
Now that, I trusted. Even if he made me super mad. It was the old Blake. The one that wanted nothing to do with me.
“And answer your Cammy when I call,” he grunted one last time and before I could yell anything back he was already in the air flying back to where he’d come from.
I found Becky that afternoon sleeping on her bed. She was starting to reflect what I’d felt on numerous occasions.
I sat on her bed and tapped her softly on her bum to wake up.
She stirred and finally opened her eyes. Tears lingered immediately. “Don’t try to make me feel otherwise, Elena.”
“This is all my fault. I’m sorry.”
“No, you just finally made sense. Blake hated your guts. For months after he woke up and you were gone, I struggled with this same thing, but we just accepted him like that. Forgot about all the nasty things he used to tell you because he was actually doing a hell of a lot of things trying to find you. He showed us what you meant to him so we forgot what he used to be like. You just reminded me of that last night.”
“Becky, George is a wreck without you. He wished me dead this morning.”
“It’s not the real George.”
“It might not be, or maybe it is. Maybe I have it wrong.”
“You are just saying this…”
“No, I’m not, okay. Blake got pissed off because I didn’t answer. We had a huge fight and he told me more or less the same thing George did.”
Her eyes rose slightly and she pushed herself up. “He told you what the Dent is?”
“No,” I said and wielded my shield. Why couldn’t they just do this and tell us what the fuck it was so we could believe them and just move on. “George told me this morning that if his enemies knew what we mean to them, they would kill us, that alone would destroy them.”
“It doesn’t make any sense.”
“I know. Blake told me more or less, the old Blake not the giddy one, the same thing. He got really angry at what I was thinking. Believe me, that Blake I know. And he still asked me afterwards to answer my Cammy when he calls.”
She sighed. “This is messed up Elena.”
“He said if we can hear each other’s thoughts he will show me. I will know, Becky.”
“It might be a long time, Elena.”
“Then break up with him then, not now.”
“I don’t know if I can trust this.”
“You have no choice. You and George, to be honest, were the only two that gave me some hope with Blake. Don’t ruin this because of my insecurities, Becky.”
“What if it’s not real, Elena?”
“Then we release them and hopefully they will wake up and we can move on with our lives as it should be. We don’t need to cross that bridge today, Becky.”
She just looked at me. “I don’t know.”
“Becky, do you love him?”
“You know I do.”
“Then stop this okay. This, this is not complicated, believe me.”
“So we wait till one of us finds out and we tell the other one.”
“Yeah, something like that.”
She took a deep breath.
“You want me to go get him? I really don’t want him to hate me.”
She smiled again and nodded.
“Go wash your face.” I tapped her on the bum and couldn’t believe I had to track down a Moon-Bolt, who could hide like a needle in a haystack.
I took a deep breath and took out my Cammy. I couldn’t believe I was going to phone him.
His Cammy rang twice. “See, not so difficult.” His holograph appeared. He still sounded upset.
“You know where George might be hiding?”
“Try the roof of the girls’ dorms, Elena,” he said and his holograph disappeared again. Rude bastard.
I walked up all the stairs and took the elevator at the seventh floor all the way to the top. There was a door and I opened it. More steps led to the ceiling and I opened the hatch that opened onto the roof.
I peeked my head outside and found his dragon form lying at the edge of the roof.
“When you are done sulking, Becky wants to see you,” I said and went back down.
I ran down all the stairs and went back into my room.
Sammy was sitting in the lounge with Dean and Becky came out of the bathroom. “You find him?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. “He’ll be—” a knock on the door interrupted my sentence. “Sorry again.” I hugged her and she smiled. She walked to the door and she left.
“Please tell me they are going to get back together.”
“Yeah, I told her this was stupid. She shouldn’t listen to me.”
“Elena,” Sammy started.
“No, you were right. I should’ve kept my mouth shut.”
“Your theories, not your mouth.”
Around five Becky wasn’t back yet. I started to worry about her but felt my Cammy vibrating. I really didn’t want to pick it up but I wanted the old Blake and it was as if I was getting him now. That scared me too because he was unpredictable.
I picked up eventually and his holograph appeared.
“Did you find him?”
“Yes, he was on the roof,” I said.
“Did the two love birds make up?” He sounded like the new Blake.
“They are not back yet, so I guess it’s a good sign.”
“It is.” He had a knowing sort of evil grin on his face.
It was quiet for a few seconds and I looked at his holograph for the first time. He was looking down.
“Elena what do you want?”
“You phoned me,” I said.
“That’s not what I mean. Sometimes I just don’t know, something that is not supposed to be impossible. But it is.”
Make it easy and just tell him. You promised Tabitha. “I don’t know.”
He nodded his head. “Fine, I’ll wing it,” he said and I couldn’t help but laughing softly. Again silence and I heard Sammy and Dean leaving.
“Hey, what is going on in that mind of yours?” Blake asked.
I shook my head and wiped off a stray tear. Why was this so hard? It was Blake for crying out loud. The boy that never knew what he wanted.
“Talk to me, Elena. I can’t read your mind, remember.”
I smiled.
“I’m breaking too many promises, Blake.” I looked at him.
“So, it’s Etan. You want to wait?”
“It’s not just Etan.” I sighed. “I made another promise to Tabitha.”
“Tabitha?”
“You gave me no choice, Blake. I really needed your help in classes and you never…” I couldn’t finish. That time of my life was hard and I was messed up with everything I had to learn, everything I had to deal with.
“What promise?” He wasn’t angry.
“That she could have you, I just need the dragon.”
He nodded. “And I have no say in this?”
“Blake it’s not that easy. It wasn’t that easy. You might have easily forgotten that, I can’t.”
“Oh, believe me I haven’t. I know what I was like, Elena. It’s why I’m trying to make it up to you. Being a bit nicer.”
“A bit nicer. It’s as if you are stuck in some Twilight Zone.”
He chuckled but his smile disappeared.
“So what, you are going to make promises left, right and center without consulting me first?”
“Without consulting you? Blake you hated—”
“Yes, you said that already. Hated your guts. I still do from time to time, especially now when you are so hard-headed that nobody can get through to you.”
“I just don’t know if I can break this promise, Blake.”
His lips curved downwards and he nodded his head. I couldn’t look at him as this was exactly the same as rejecting him and whatever he felt towards me, whether it was real or not.
“So we’re back at square one,” he mumbled, sighed and I could see how he pulled his hand through his hair.
“Okay, fine, whatever Elena,” he said and his holograph disappeared.
I closed my eyes as my heart wanted to break into a thousand pieces. I couldn’t believe we were back there, and the worst part was that it was all my doing this time. He’d been perfect the past few days, well not counting today. Or maybe he’s been perfect too, letting me off easy so that he could be with Tabitha without admitting it, or feeling guilty about it.
He made me so confused.

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