|Somehow I didn’t stick to my side of the plan. I didn’t sleep as I said I would. Instead I sort of became numb. A mechanism that Constance said happens to some people.
My body always seemed to act differently than what I wanted it to do. When I thought I’d killed Blake, my body just ran. Now that I wanted to run, my body didn’t move.
Through my daze, I’d managed to bring August and all the others back before the Council showed up the next day.
I didn’t even stay to watch how Olive hugged Nicky, and Luke embraced Maxine. I heard their thank yous and expressions of gratitude, but didn’t want to be there. I wanted to find Blake. Why weren’t any of them letting me?
“Elle,” August called and I turned around. He looked so guilty, he had the right to be. “I’m sorry about Blake.”
Gertrude put her arm around her son and I turned around and walked up the stairs.
I’d lost my dragon and I don’t know where the hell he even was. He was stuck in Etan and nobody wanted me to go searching for him. Not even Emanual.
Becky, George and Sammy came to the lodge the next day with Isabel and Sir Robert.
I heard Sammy’s cries, Isabel’s concern and Sir Robert’s temper, before it all went quiet and a knock came from my door.
I didn’t say anything but it opened and I felt my bed shift.
A warm hand touched my hair and by the smell of her vanilla fragrance, I knew it was Blake’s mom. Our eyes finally met, they reflected each other as both our eyes were red rimmed from all the crying.
Isabel had a worried look on her face but she gave me a soft smile. “He is the Rubicon, Elena, he will come back.”
I was so sick and tired of hearing that phrase. He was a dragon too. My dragon.
Sammy sniffed and wiped her tears as she pushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear.
I opened my arms and she came over, hugging me tightly.
“I shouldn’t cry, he is the Rubicon.” She sniffed into my neck.
Becky gave me a plate with a piece of pie in the center. “It’s from Connie, she said you haven’t eaten anything today.”
I smiled at her.
They stayed with me as the days flew by. We all waited for Blake to return from wherever he was.
He’d just vanished. What is this? How can someone just vanish? There was no trace of him, none.
Sir Robert’s temper died out after a few days when he’d finally gotten all of his answers and realized that everyone was trying to find the same answers. Something told me that this was another Rubicon thing.
It’d been five days since Maxine and Nicky came back. I heard via Isabel that Leana hadn’t made it. I’d known she hadn’t from Tom’s behavior at the farm house.
Tom told her that Blake had tracked her down easily because she was in a grave. Tom struggled with it, but at least he knew now what his wife’s fate was.
Getting Max and Nicky out was a entirely different story but this was where Raymond and the device came in handy. They just needed the DNA of their new Master.
That was the hardest part.
Blake’s tracking ability was really good. I didn’t want to listen to the stories, but I needed to know where it had all gone wrong.
When they’d finally retrieved them they needed to get out of Eikenborough fast, and that was when everything turned into chaos.
Blake had sensed Billy.
He’d wanted to go after him but he’d decided not to as it would blow the entire mission if he was caught. Raymond wanted to stay too so Blake had to force him to leave, and Billy saw everything.
August told Sir Robert he’d watched how Blake fell to the ground as Billy and a group of troops almost reached him, withering in pain, and then he disappeared. There was no shimmer, like that day he’d showed us his power in the woods when he’d blended in with the trees. The crowd confirmed that as they moved in on the empty space. He wasn’t there and there was no way for him to move past the crowd without being detected.
Where the hell was he?
Not even Sir Robert could answer that.
I started to wonder if this really was a Rubicon thing at all. Blake had made an oath that if he found them he would…I couldn’t even think about it.
Blake told me he could blend in, that was it, not vanish for days.
“Robert is still interrogating those poor men as we speak.” Isabel had a sad tone lingering in her voice. “It’s as if he doesn’t believe a single word they are saying.”
“He should, they all promised me that he would be safe.” I sounded so harsh.
“Elena, it’s not their fault.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s mine.” I wiped off a tear. “I should’ve never let him make that oath.”
Isabel stared at me.
“The one where he said that if he found them, he would kill them.”
As the words left my lips she gasped and kissed me on the temple. “You genius!”
“I think it’s connected to the oath he made,” she said as she ran out of my room.
We all followed her as she reached the library where Sir Robert was speaking to August, Raymond and Tom. Emanual, King Helmut, Charles and Marcus were all there as well. There was a huge white board set up with maps. It looked like there was a rescue mission in the works.
“He broke his oath, that is why he vanished,” Isabel interrupted them all.
They all fell silent.
Sir Robert looked at me. “What oath Elena?”
I told them about the oath I’d never wanted him to make. From the look on their faces they were all starting to believe that whatever had happened was linked to breaking an oath.
“It still doesn’t tell us where he is, not one bit,” I said after a while as I turned around and walked back to my room.
Annie, Isabel, Sammy and Becky entered my room and found me once again laying on my bed. It was quiet and then Becky broke the silence.
“I don’t understand this, Elena.” Becky sighed. “Someone can’t just vanish like that from breaking an oath.”
“I can’t reach him. I never could to be honest. It was as if his level of thinking was on a different level than mine. I understand now how all this is making him feel. It’s driving me insane.” I sound tired and so defeated.
“He went through worse during the four months you were missing.”
“This is different.”
“How?” She asked. “You vanished just like him, without a trace. None of us could find you. We didn’t know if you were okay, let alone alive. It was ten times worse than this.”
“I can’t handle this.” I didn’t want to think about that time. It was in the past, this was the present.
They left it there, and I wondered the entire night what it must have been like for Blake after he woke up and found me missing. I saw the clips of him trying to find me. That alone was a wake up call. Even if he’d told me what it was like, now that I was experiencing the same thing I could relate.
The minutes ticked by, then came the hours. It all lay heavy on my chest because nobody seemed to rest without knowing where Blake was.
That night a scream came from a room down the hall. It sounded like Becky.
I ran out of my room as others emerged from theirs and found her in the room down the hall.
George was crouched in a crawling position on the carpet. Constance and Isabel hunched over him as Sir Robert and Emanual ran in after me.
Becky was frozen in one place with huge eyes as she just stared at him, visibly shocked by something she’d just experienced.
Isabel got up and I saw steam evaporated from George’s body, as he seemed to be recovering. We all stared at the steam rolling off his body like he was a hot rock that had just been cooled down with ice cold water.
I grabbed Becky and held her tight as I couldn’t stop staring at George’s body trembling as soft whimpering sounds left his mouth.
Constance crouched next to him on the floor and she rested her hand slightly on his body as if he was a hot potato.
“He’s ice cold.” Constance got up and pulled a blanket off the bed and wrapped it over him. She looked up at Becky. “What happened?”
She still seemed to be in shock.
“Becky?” I shook her slightly and her gaze broke from George and looked at me.
“What happened?” I asked.
She shook her head fast.
“We need to know what happened. Was it something he saw?” I asked but it didn’t explain the steam emanating off his body.
“Darkness,” George spoke and we all looked at him.
“Darkness?” Isabel asked and then he started to cry. I’d never seen George cry. He shook his head and looked up at Becky. Then he moved quickly onto his knees and came to Becky, hugging her around her waist.
Constance put the blanket around him again.
“It felt as if I was dark again. It was suffocating me. But the lightning, the lightning was all around me and I knew if I went to it I would find you again.”
He wasn’t making any sense.
“Babe, you didn’t leave, you were here the whole time.” Becky hunched awkwardly over him and rubbed his body to get the warmth back into him.
“No, I was there. I know I was, Becks.” He looked up at her sounding deranged. “It was so cold?” He broke down again. “So alone.”
She held him tight as he just shook in her arms. Her own tears flowed over her cheeks. Isabel and Constance stared at them. I did too.
What had George seen?
“George are you okay?” Constance asked him and he lifted his head from Becky’s embrace. He looked at her and then he nodded. He sure didn’t look okay.
“Babe,” Becky stroked the side of his face and she fell on her knees too. “What was that?”
He shook his head. “I don’t know, but I’ve got this strange feeling…”
We all stared at him, what feeling?
“I was so powerful, Becks. And I couldn’t do anything. I think it’s connected to Blake.”I couldn’t sleep that night, not after what George told us. If Blake was in a dark, cold place, then how was I ever going to sleep. How were we going to reach him?
I threw up as a nauseous feeling crept into my stomach, one created by fear and worry. I had listened the entire night to Isabel’s crying, Sir Robert freaking out and Constance pleading, because not knowing anything was driving her semi-insane too. She was worried, we were all worried….to death. Where the hell are you Blake?
The morning light shone through my curtains and I got up to take a shower. The chaos from last night had died out, but the worry was still hovering over all of us.
I couldn’t deal with Sammy today, I couldn’t deal with any of this today. I just wanted to go back to the other side and find Blake.
And that was when my body started to act normal again, like it should.
A plan of me escaping to the Creepers flashed through my mind. I’d been a good girl these past few days. I hadn’t tried to escape, and everyone was worried about what George had seen. It was going to work. I just knew it.
I packed my backpack after I put on my jeans and a sweatshirt. Going out the front door would alert Emanual so the only way out was through my balcony.
I looked over the railing after I put the backpack over my shoulders and took a huge breath as the drop was quite a few stories high. There was a pipe, and I closed my eyes just thinking about it. Blake would’ve done it for me. He’d almost flown through the Creepers for me.
I threw one leg over the railing then the other and shook the pipe to see if it was thoroughly attached to the wall, still holding on to the safety of the balcony. It seemed strong and solid.
I placed one leg on one side of the pipe and then my other and clung to it with all my strength.
It’d seemed so easy inside my head, it’d looked so easy on the big screen, but now actually doing it, it felt as if my heart was going to explode.
I took a huge breath and let it out slowly.
You can do this.
I let my grip go slowly and started to slide down the pipe.
When I finally reached the bottom, I smiled because I couldn’t believe I’d just done it.
I peeked around the corner, it was clear and started to make a run for the hill.
Once I was over the hill, I didn’t think. I just ran toward the Creepers.
They were getting nearer and nearer and I just knew that my plan had worked. I was going to find…
I yelped as talons grabbed me and my feet suddenly left the ground.
“Let me go!” I tried to get free from the talons but I couldn’t. The more I squirmed the tighter the grip became. I looked up and saw red scales.
“Dammit, Emanual! Let me go! He needs my help!”
“Elena, it is too dangerous,” he said using a deep scruffy voice. “I can’t believe you did this.”
“He would’ve done the same for me, you know it! You were there, why can’t I…”
“Because we need you, Paegeia and Etan need you to get through this war.”
He descended close to a group of people and then he let me go.
“Elena,” Isabel was the first to reach me.
“Leave me alone!” I yelled, pissed off that I’d failed at sneaking out and trying to go back to Blake. I stormed into the lodge and up the stairs.
“Elena, we need to speak about this?” Emanual’s voice was right behind me.
“I said leave me alone. If you don’t want to help me find him, than I don’t need anything from you,” I said and shut my bedroom door in his face.
The emotions of failure and loneliness overwhelmed me as I slide down to the floor and just cried like I’d never cried before.
I was never going to find Blake and the worst part was that I had nobody to help me.
The day moved by slowly and around five a soft knock came on the door.
When I opened it, Sir Robert and Isabel stared down at me. When I saw Emanual’s face I wanted to slam the door in all three their faces.
“Elena, wait. We have a plan.” Sir Robert put his foot in front of my door just as I went to shut it.
“A plan to go and find him?”
He nodded and I stepped back from the threshold. The door closed behind Emanual as I went to sit at the edge of my bed.
Sir Robert took one seat and Emanual just stood in front of my door.
“Elena, just to get one thing clear. Blake vanished, which means he could be anywhere.”
“What if you are wrong? What if he is in Etan right now and he can’t get back?”
Isabel came to sit next to me, rubbing my shoulder.
“Think about it.” Emanual sounded frustrated and crouched down in front of me. “If George had a connection with Blake, he is far from Etan, nobody can reach him, not even you. Only he can find his way back.”
I was close to tears again. I felt so helpless.
“So what you are saying is I just have to wait? Is that it?”
Emanual sighed. “I don’t know. All I know is that the last time you ran, Elena, you were gone for four months. I do not want to tell him that you went looking for him if he comes back. I won’t relive that time again, so please, I’m begging you, just wait.”
I looked at him for a short while, closed my eyes and shook my head. When I opened them I stared at Sir Robert.
“He will come back, Elena. I know he will.”
“What if it’s in Etan? What if he’s already there? He wouldn’t be able to come back.”
Sir Robert stared at me. “We will go in once a day, just to make sure. If Goran has him, there will be rumors of it.” He shook his head. “It will be too late then, but we will do something to get him out of there. If not, we come straight back, Elena.”
“We’re going in tonight?”
Emanual closed his eyes. “Tomorrow, Elena. It’s day time that side. I’m not going to risk it.
“I don’t like this, not one bit, but if it’s the only way to stop you from sneaking off where nobody can reach you, then okay, but we do this my way or you can forget going back.”
“I promise.” I would say anything if it would allow me to go and find Blake.
They all left after that and I struggled to fell asleep again. I was really anxious and excited about tomorrow. Blake just had to be there.
When I finally dozed off, I dreamed about the Saadedine again. Blake was still the size of a crow. His black armor, wherever the hell he’d gotten it from, didn’t seem to protect him from the Saadedine’s wrath.
I saw him crashing into a cave-like wall, and woke up by the sound of a thud.
A cold finger traced a path up my spine as I realized it wasn’t the dream’s thud that had woken me up it was a real thud. I could smell a strong scent of sulfur and feel the presence of something dark in my room. Someone dark, someone that didn’t belong in this world was inside my room.