Adrienne’s newsletter link to chapter 1 (includes chapter 2 and 3): http://eepurl.com/bwHCET
Chapter One – Moonbreeze
Hi everyone, so I’m doing this so that everyone who hasn’t received the welcoming email can be up to date with all of you. It will contain all three emails but please note *SOME EDITING STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE*
Summer was hard, but never in a million years had I thought the beginning of my third year at Dragonia Academy would be harder.
I had a new schedule, again, one that would instruct new riders on how to connect with their dragons. The only plus side to this was that I was sharing classes with Becky and Sammy again.
To make matters worse, I was now being forced, this time by the two ruling kingdoms, to sit with King Helmut and King Caleb to discus Paegeia’s projects. The royals ran a couple of charities, which Queen Margerite loved, and from that money, they found ways to help the less fortunate or fund a project that would produce enough income to sustain their charity work. But not all of those projects were good. Some of these projects were dodgy, and they were conducted on the other side of the world. So every Wednesday and Thursday after school, I was either taken to Tith or Areeth to sit with them and just speak politics.
Blake was still missing, for more than two months to be exact, and if not for his love of booze, I would have thought he was lying in a ditch somewhere without a heartbeat.
Whenever he consumed too much alcohol, well, it was the only time that he “tuned in” and actually spoke to me inside my head, a conversation that was only meant for us. But it was usually vulgar, as I know he hated my guts, but for some reason it was the opposite whenever he was drunk. It was the only time he really wanted me.
He was my Dent. A bond so strong that it actually made people want to puke who had to watch it on a daily basis. Becky, my best friend shared a Dent with her dragon, George, who was a Moon-Bolt. The kind who could see into the future the older they got.
I remembered how he’d loathed her those first couple of weeks after she claimed him. It was before he’d Dented. And when he finally went through the process, a process that no one can explain because the stupid idiot will not reveal it to any living soul, he’d become like her shadow. A limb which she couldn’t function without and her soul mate. They drove everyone around them nuts with the way they stared at one another, giggling and cooing sweet words in each other ears.
It was unnatural, not the real kind of love I’d once shared with Lucian, the Prince of Tith. To me it was a spell that these dragons were put under. It wasn’t something I treasured the way the rest of Paegeia did.
Sammy and Dean, one of Lucian’s best friends, had fallen in love in our second year. When I’d started to show signs that I was close to ascending, we actually thought about teaming up, but then Paul, a Wyvern, came into the picture and said he was my dragon. After that she and Dean had made it official and they became a team. They didn’t share a Dent but they were really close.
“Elena,” Sir Edward called my name and I cringed. Shit, not paying attention in these classes was surely going to make me fail all of them.
I cleared my throat and looked at him questionably.
“You’re free to go,” he said and I narrowed my eyes not knowing where it was I should go.
“For heaven sakes,” Becky spoke softly, but everyone laughed, as the entire class had super hearing abilities. “Master Longwei, the Council.”
“Oh,” I started to pull all my stationary and my books together and put them into my backpack, closed the flap, and got up.
“Thank you, Sir Edward.”
He gave me that look, the one that told me he was seriously concerned about my lack of concentration lately and nodded.
I walked as fast as I could out of the Magical Variances class and ran to the office where Master Longwei was waiting for me.
I pulled hard at the oak door. I remembered when it’d felt like a regular door, but my strength was one of the first things that’d left me when Cara died and also one of the things that I’d never gotten back after I claimed Blake. I missed my strength.
Master Longwei was already waiting for me at the dragon statue inside the lobby.
There was no time to change into something more adequate to meet the Ancients, but they needed to get used to who I was.
Ever since that horrible three weeks of summer learning everything about Paegeia, no let me rephrase, forcing it down my throat, I’d refused to become this dressed up doll whenever the Ancients or Council wanted a word with me.
Master Longwei gave me a slightly raised eyebrow and glanced at his watch.
“Yeah, I know. I’m late. Sorry. I forgot about the Ancients.”
“Elena, you cannot….”
“I know.” I sounded irritated. I just hated everything about being the princess because I really sucked at it still.
The carriage flight felt like five minutes and we were at Town Hall in Elm where the Ancients were going to meet with only Master Longwei and me.
Since my dragon refused to Dent, we’d had to come up with something to keep our connection at bay in some cases.
In the history of Paegeia, no Dent had a connection between dragon and rider been this strong. Whenever Blake was beaten, as he was still dark and had evil urges, a process that was on hold until he Dented, I automatically went through the beatings as well, ending up with slashes as long as the width of my back. We only discovered this a couple of weeks back when I’d dreamt about Emanuel, King Helmut’s dragon and a really good friend, getting beaten, which then turned into Blake and eventually become my own beating, which nobody could stop. Not even Constance with her magic healing touch.
Master Longwei, bless his mind, put two and two together really fast, even if it did sound far-fetched and phoned Sir Robert to stop beating Blake to a pulp. It took weeks to heal and to be honest I think I still had the scars on my back to prove it.
This bond was so not frawsome at this stage.
The connection was messed up, but it was the one I had to deal with.
I didn’t like the beatings, and I hoped that when it happened again, I wouldn’t feel it like the last time and would somehow be able to get to him before his father ended up killing him.
This was why we were meeting with the Council. A plan to block our bond in situations like this was their number one priority. A situation that I’d made very clear to Sir Robert could never happen again. But he was a dragon and who was I to give him orders, even if I was the princess.
“You are awfully quiet today, Princess.”
“I told you not to call me that, Master Longwei.”
He smiled, “It’s what you are, the minute you own up to it, is the day that you are ready to handle your responsibility.”
I wanted to roll my eyes, but a princess never rolls her eyes. Every time I went to do that, Stanley’s voice, shrilled inside my head, like a horrible alarm.
“You are right. Sorry, Master Longwei,” I said.
It made him laugh. “Elena, you are still Elena Watkins to me. You never have to pretend, please.”
I giggled too but it turned into a sigh as I looked out the window, upon my world. “It’s all still so confusing.”
“Then maybe you should speak to someone Elena, one who was part of a Dent, a long time ago but lost her rider.”
I rolled my eyes, even with Stan’s stupid voice shrilling in my head.
“I’ll die before I walk one step up that tower again.”
“She can help you, Elena.”
I shook my head. I guess it wasn’t just my dragon who was stubborn. Every time Irene’s name, our Viden, was mentioned in my presence, I would remember her harsh words the first time she’d given me that horrible foretelling. I guess a first impression was really that strong.
She told me that I, King Albert and Queen Catherine’s daughter, didn’t belong. That my mark was just a birth defect, that I would never ascend and I would never belong. For someone that had the ability to see into the future, she really sucked with me.
I would never see her as anyone who I could confide in, even if Blake spoke highly of her.
Yes, there was a time when he’d been super sweet to me, it was the only time. A part of me had fallen head over heels for him, but it wasn’t real. He’d only tried to lure me into doing the most horrible thing ever, to kill him when the time came, since my dragon form…since Cara had changed into a Rubicon herself.
In some way, killing him would’ve probably been easier than what he had to do now.
Even if Irene’s very first Foretelling had been about about a love so strong that it would change this world. A Foretelling everyone thought belonged to Blake and me, which it didn’t. Also I still couldn’t trust her.
I would rather free Blake than hear what she had to say ever again.
I saw Dents as evil and not the way the rest of this world saw them.
Dragons had to do what their Dragonians tell them, no matter how sinister their requests are. Cheng’s father couldn’t break from his rider, who according to Cheng was just as evil as Goran himself.
Becky was controlling too, and it was disgusting how George just did whatever she wanted. He actually loved that part of her with all of his heart.
No, our love would never be real. Not like the love Lucian and I had shared. We’d fought, we’d laughed, and fought some more. It wasn’t easy at times, but it was the real deal.
Blake would become like George, and I would know that none of it was real. I would never do that to him, ever and nothing was going to change my mind, nothing.
We stopped in front of the Hall and Master Longwei climbed out first. Flashlights reflected off his face and into the carriage and I took a deep breath.
Ever since the truth came out about who I was, everywhere I went the cockroaches with their cameras were there.
I hated each and every one of them, as the one time when I really needed them, the time when I wanted to break free from all the learning how to be something I was not, none of them ever revealed what I was truly going through. They made it look like I was having a royal time without my two best friends, who’d I almost lost in the process.
These people with their cameras were only in it for the money, and Stan or one of his gang, would throw bags of money at them to not print what was really going on.
They would do anything to earn that penny. It was disgusting.
I climbed out, and flashlights blinded me.
“Princess, what would you do if there is nothing that can protect you from the Rubicon’s bond?”
Yes, that piece of info had been in all the tabloids the past few weeks. How I’d felt Blake’s beating, every single slash of it.
“Mr. Brody,” I answered. “I guess then I will just have to deal with it, like I always have dealt with things, and pray that he will come to his senses.” The last part made a couple laugh softly and I moved through all of them, with a couple of guards at our sides.
More questions came but I only had time for one and I thought I had answered it well enough.
Mr. Brody, or Kevin, was someone I’d met on a regular basis. He was one of the idiots that had been paid off on numerous occasions. He even ran a show on TV called Just Kev, definitely an eye roll opportunity.
I knew that he was the last one I should probably answer, but he was also the most demanding, and always said horrible things about me when I didn’t answer at least one of his questions. His famous line was how I didn’t care and didn’t have a heart or the time to address my people’s concerns, and whether or not I was really a princess worthy to love.
All things that weren’t true, but things that would make everyone believe that it was the truth, especially the people of Areeth, Arianna Kingsley’s father’s kingdom.
We entered the hall and the Ancients were waiting on huge thrones. It always reminded me of a court, a court with thrones.
My Pappi was the first face that I saw and he had a twinkle in his eye as he winked at me. He smiled and nodded a greeting in my direction.
“Good Afternoon Princess, Master Longwei.”
We both took a bow in front of the five thrones and sat on the two seats that were placed right in front of them.
“I hope we haven’t made you wait too long, your Honors.” Master Longwei said and took his seat.
“Not in the least. We know the Princess’s education is of importance now, more than ever.”
I hated the way they spoke down to us, especially the speaker; Admirable Dunclin.
I think he was a dragon too, and it was as if he loathed royalty. Well at one stage I would’ve agree with him, but we weren’t that bad.
My Pappi stared at him, but just took a deep breath and closed his eyes as if he’d passed his afternoon nap, turned his head and stared at the two of us again.
“We might have found an old incantation that we have placed on a charm, a bracelet, that the Princess should wear at all times. It will protect her from the lashes. It wasn’t an easy spell to come by, but in some cases, it’s necessary to look in darker places.
That piece of knowledge made the hair on my arms and back tingle.
The Black Market.
I looked at my Pappi and he closed his eyes once lovingly in my direction to ease my worries with a soft smile.
My heart still beat as it was one of the places I would gladly close down in a second if they gave me the chance to rule this world. They still used dragon parts, parts that kept them alive, as the most valuable potions couldn’t function without them, like the coward potion.
A potion my mother had once asked Goran to make her so that she could pretend to be dead and reunite with me.
She wrote about that in her journal, something she’d done on a daily basis after she’d given me up. If I hadn’t relived what pain she’d gone through giving me up that day, her words of what life was like without me, would’ve done it.
She’d really wanted me with all of her heart, so much that her and my father’s relationship turned to dust because he couldn’t find the person who was going to betray them, a love I thought could never die.
The Ancients still spoke in the background. I hadn’t heard a single word they’d said and was brought back to reality as a short little fat man with medals sewn on his black suit, came running in with a wooden box.
He came to a halt in front of me and opened the lid.
Inside was a beautiful, round bracelet with a small heart charm dangling from it. There was a dark blue stone in the middle of the heart.
The guy with a big belly and beautiful black suit with golden medals nodded once and I just stared at him and then at the Ancients.
“Princess, you are the only one that can touch it. The spell will start, when it comes in contact with your skin,” my Pappi said.
I reached out with slightly trembling hands as if it was a snake that was going to strike at any moment.
I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and took the bracelet softly.
I awkwardly tried to clasp it on and by the fifth time, with a couple of annoying sighs coming from the thrones, I finally got the clasp to connect with the link.
“The dark stone will turn to a soft blue when the spell is busy protecting you from whatever pain the Rubicon is going through,” Duclin said.
My Pappi cleared his throat. “You can’t take it off, Elena. If you do, the spell will lose its power and the bracelet will be just that, a bracelet.”
I nodded and took a deep breath.
“I understand.” I stood up and Master Longwei followed my lead.
“I thank all of you for finding something so rare to protect me from danger.” I smiled. It didn’t sound anything like me. The old Elena would never say anything like this or accept anything from the Black Market.
“Thank you, your Honors and we appreciate this dearly,” Master Longwei added and all of them got up and made their way without a hint of acknowledgement through another door.
I felt as if I could breathe again, and we turned around and exited the hall.
More questions filled my head but all I did was dangle my bracelet in the air and told myself that there was a reason the Ancients were called Ancient.
Pedro, my Pappi’s most trusted apprentice who I’d met that horrible night everything was stripped from me, waited a couple of yards from the carriage and nodded.
When I opened the carriage an envelope waited on the soft leather sofa.
Master Longwei closed the door and I sat down, opening the envelope with a wax seal, holding the parcel closed.
My dearest Elena.
You have no idea how important this bracelet is. It’s the only object that might protect you from this horrible curse that was placed upon you, a curse that will hopefully soon turn into a blessing. Please, I pray, that you will never take it off. We trust and pray with all of our hearts that it is going to work, and will never give up finding something that will, if the bracelet will not live up to its task.
I beg you not to worry about how we come by it, just trust that the stone and the magic behind it, is rare and as old as time itself.
But enough of that. Meet me this Saturday at 17 Millherb road, ask that Moon-Bolt friend of yours, he will find it in no time.
Much love and thought,
I smiled and felt better about the bracelet dangling from my wrist as I put the letter back into the envelope.
It wasn’t the first time my Pappi had snuck off to meet me for some private time with his great, great, great, great, great grand- daughter.
The last time we just talked while walking in the park, enjoying an ice cream. Pappi was a sucker for ice cream, we were both in disguises and were pleased that nobody recognized us, thanks to Lucille.
The ride back to the academy felt longer than the first.
And for the first time in a long time, I was actually looking forward to discovering if this old spell was going to work or not.
When the carriage stopped the bracelet started to sparkle.
I stared at it, and so did Master Longwei. None of us knew what that meant as the Ancients said that the stone would turn lighter if it was protecting me in some way, not that it would sparkle, the way it was sparkling now.
“Does it hurt?” Master Longwei asked in a concerned tone and I shook my head while staring at it as we walked down one of the cobblestone paths, past the huge statue of my dad and plenty of oak trees.
“Then I should speak to one of the Ancients and find out what all of this means, Elena.”
“Yeah, that sounds like an idea.”
We reached the main building in record time as Master Longwei’s strides widened and I had to run-walk to keep up. He pulled at one of the doors as if it weighed nothing and the bracelet sparkled even more, not that I thought it was possible.
“This is seriously starting to freak me out,” I spoke softly.
“Soon, we’ll have our answer soon,” was all he said as we rushed down the hall toward the dragon that parted the hall and the lobby of the Academy.
I was still staring at my bracelet and it was brighter than ever. I could swear that it’d gotten brighter and brighter as we moved down the hall toward the lobby.
“What do you think is this…” I slammed into Master Longwei who was standing in the entrance of the lobby and hallway.
“Master Longwei?” I asked and looked at what he was staring at.
“I guess I know why that bracelet was shining, Elena.”
Yeah, I knew too, as the reason was standing with his lips against Tabitha, kissing her as if there was no tomorrow.