Poison, страница 1
Poison: A Dragonian Series Novella
Copyright © 2015 Adrienne Woods
Illustration: Joemel Requeza
If you purchased this e-book from anyone other than Fire Quill Publishing or a licensed FQP reseller, you should be aware this e-book is stolen property.
This e-book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Manufactured in South Africa.
First Fire Quill publishing edition September 2015
To my family; mom Marie, love you to bits, mom Bertha and Dad, thank you for everything. To my entire family; my sister, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and everyone that feels like my family. Your guidance and love and support before all this even started means the world to me.
First and the most important, as always, thanks is to our Father in Heaven, for blessing me every day, without Your guidance, I wouldn’t have done or finished with this if You were not involved in this every day. You are my purpose of life and I will love You till the end of time.
Then I would like to thank my extraordinary beta readers, you know who you are, for your valuable input, patience and willingness to delve into this world time and time again.
For the endless support of my family; I would be lost without your loving support and your ability to keep me pursuing this project when I didn’t want to carry on.
To Vinique; my bestie for your love, kindness and support. Love you to bits and thank you for being such a significant person in my life.
A special thanks to my wonderful editors, Hillery, you are a true Paegeian, still, and your love for beautiful words has given The Dragonian series the wings it needed to soar. Monique and Zoe, have become true citizens of Paegeia too, and your insight to the words on these pages made Elena and all her friends so much more entertaining, and a big thank you for polishing my work to perfection.
To my cover artist Joemel. I don’t have words anymore to describe how your art work is bring all my novels to shine. You have a rare talent and I’m honoured to call you my friend. Your grace and elegance with lines, shadows and colors has made my novel’s covers truly spectacular. You were able to reach into my imagination, capture, and re-imagine a world I thought only I would ever see. Because of your passion and skill I truly hope my book will be judged by its cover.
To my publishing company, Fire Quill, for giving a home to my series and to the best team I ever worked with. Helen, Gerald, Sandra, Carlyle, Monique and Kelly, you are all stars for making my novels reach much further then I dream for.
Last, but not the least, a big thanks to my fans. I will always, always be grateful for your love and support. Without you this series would not have lifted off, and you have given The Dragonian Series a chance to be seen yet again by so many readers. I hope that none of you will be disappointed with Posion.
When it feels as if the darkness will descend, a united team will rise and defend. The power to see their destiny through, lies within the hearts of an unlikely two. Their strength, power and love as one, liberty brought by The Courageous and the Prodigal Son.
Hillery York - words of my personal Viden.
Y MIND WAS full of questions, things I just couldn’t comprehend: why Al had never told me about Elena, what he must have gone through.
In the old days we had shared everything, and I mean everything. I wasn’t just his dragon, I was his companion, his confidant, a shoulder to cry on when nobody was watching, especially when Katie had rejected him. When she’d giving up on life crying all the time, fighting with him constantly.
His men and I always thought it was because of Tanya. I even thought that Al had asked her to choose between him and her dragon, and that she’d chosen him, letting Tanya go free.
It was an easy thing to think as he’d never gotten along with Tanya and it was difficult for him that Katie shared a dent with her, a bond so strong that we would never be able to comprehend exactly how it worked. I was furious with him, none of us could grasp what it would mean if a Dragonian set their dragon, especially sharing that kind of bond, free, but I’d never questioned him as he was also my king.
Now I knew better; it hadn’t been just for Katie that he’d cried, but for Elena too.
He made me so angry, thinking of those times he’d tried to tell me, I could sense it and had asked him more than once what was weighing on his mind. He’d contemplated it a few times, but he’d always send me away, telling me he wanted to be alone.
I should’ve seen it, the way he used to look at Sammy’s dragon figure, staring at her for hours. That one-second warning in his eyes before it turned soft, when he looked at Blake.
I thought it was longing for an offspring he could never have, not the one he’d had to give up because of Goran.
How didn’t I see it? That it was Goran that had betrayed them?
When Blake and Elena found a way to get past those deathly snatchers, I would find him, I would kill him, and I would laugh and spit in his face while my blade stuck in his chest. My acid would burn him alive.
I didn’t care who his brother was, he’d betrayed us all. He would die, even if it was the last thing I ever did.
Footsteps entering the house brought me out of my train of thoughts.
I closed my eyes and let the swift come. I could hear everything, someone breathing, a faint heart beating. It was him.
“What the …”
I switched on the light. “Hello, son.”
He spun around. “Dad?” A confused look was plastered on his face as he looked around, bewildered. “What happened here?”
I smiled. “We don’t live here anymore. I bought ground and we are rebuilding the manor.”
He narrowed his eyes, thinking hard, and then huffed. “She gave you money?”
“No, I had left some money in the King’s vault a long time ago. I never knew he’d transferred it to the new one,” I lied. My son would never accept any of it if he knew it came from her father.
The corners of his mouth twitched. “No more scraping around, turning each pagoleon over twice?”
“I learned my lesson, Blake, it will be spent wisely.”
“So you’re back?”
Blake shook his head. “I came because you need to get Elena out of there. She’s feeling trapped and I can’t deal with her emotions right now.”
My eyebrows knitted together. “How did you know about her, and what do you mean she’s feeling trapped?”
“Seriously?” He gave me a raised eyebrow. “Dad, she is royalty, by blood.” He chuckled. “You really think they were going to take it easy on her? They’re forcing this stinking world on her.” He stared at the empty spot where the table in the kitchen used to be. “They took away her Cammy, she can’t even call for help. Well, except me and to be honest, I don’t care much at the moment, I just can’t deal with her right now.”
“Blake, you can feel Elena’s emotions?”
He looked at the ceiling and shook his head slightly. He was really getting annoyed. “She asked for you tonight, for Becky, Sammy, Mom, anyone that knows her, but they refused.” He huffed. “They even got her birthday wrong,” he mumble
“Yes, it’s tomorrow, not today.”
“Just get her out of there, before I lose my mind and who knows what I will do.”
“Blake come home. We’re staying at—”
“I’m not coming home, Dad,” he said through gritted teeth. “She’s not my rider. I’m the Rubicon! I can’t be tamed.” He roared. His eyes, the same as his mother’s blue peacock irises, turned red.
It was the only way I could tell Issy and Constance apart. “Just get her out of there.” He turned around and left.
I could hear the transformation, he was becoming silent in ways that I never could have imagined.
He needed to dent, but at what cost?
Elena! Robert, she needs you.
I pulled out my Cammy. “Helmut.”
We’d paired phones a couple of weeks back when Elena was still with us. If you need anything, just phone. Well, I was going to need a shitload from my old friend.
His face appeared, sleep had frozen his features. “Robert? It’s two—”
“What the hell are you guys doing to Elena? I told you Helmut, no pushing this on her. She’s not ready.”
“It’s not like that. She is merely learning about her duty to Paegeia.”
“Her duty! Forcing her is more like it.”
“What? No.” He shook his head.
“Don’t lie to me. Blake was here.”
His face woke up in an instant. “Blake’s back?”
“Not entirely, but he passed by, asking me to free her. Why would he use those words if she was there of her own free will?”
“What do you mean, free her?”
“You tell me Helmut.”
“Look, they told me they will take it easy on her, introducing her to all the advisers and teaching her about her people and kingdom. I still don’t understand why you think she needs to be freed. We saw her tonight and—”
“Blake is feeling her emotions. Their bond is stronger than any of us anticipated. If they dent, we are going to see something we’ve never seen before in all of dragon and rider history.”
“He’s feeling her emotions? She’s not trapped, she is here out of her own free will.”
“By taking her Cammy away, cutting her off from the people that matter to her? Yes, that sounds a lot like free will to me.”
“They threw her a huge party tonight in honor of her birthday. Not one of us was invited, Helmut.”
Margerite’s face and shoulders appeared from behind her husband’s holograph. “No, I sent out the invites. None of you replied,” Margerite said. “Elena was devastated about that.”
“Are you sure?” Helmut looked over his shoulder at Margerite. “Did you speak to her tonight?”
“I said hi, but she had so many friends around her. She enjoyed tonight, but not the way she would’ve if Becky and Sammy had been there. She really looked forward to seeing them.” She gave me a stern look.
“We didn’t get any invitation, Margerite.”
“I gave them to Stan—” She trailed off and stared into space, her eyes closed. Her face assumed the old Margerite’s expression. The one she used when someone stepped on one of her children. “That fucking bastard.” She got out of the bed. I could hear her searching for something and finally heard Stanley’s name.
She was right, he was a bastard. Ever since he’d gotten his clutches into Elena, her old life didn’t matter anymore.
“You promised me this wasn’t going to happen. This thing is over. She’s coming home.”
“Robert she needs—”
“No, she needs people around her who know her well. They even got her birthday wrong.”
“What!” Both Margerite and Helmut said as she was still waiting for Stan’s face to disappear.
“It’s tomorrow and they are making her go to Areeth. They’ll have to kill me first before they drag her to that place. Get her out of there or I will, and you don’t want me to do it my way.”
I switched off the Cammy and both their faces disappeared.
Lucille, she needed to know what was going on. Becky and Sammy would be beyond upset about all of this. The three of them had been inseparable since the day Elena arrived in Paegeia.
They thought that Elena had changed. That her new royal status had turned her into the worst kind of person.
A couple of pictures of her having fun were plastered all over magazines with new girls at her side. It did the trick, but it wasn’t like that at all.
I felt like a failure again. I’d failed her father as I’d given my dragon oath to succumb to his every wish, and that night, he’d sent me away just like that, for the Rubicon’s sake.
I tried to ignore it, but it was his wish, and no matter how hard I’d fought against the pain that boiled through my veins, my core, every inch of my existence, I couldn’t stay. There were too many forces working that night to get me safely to my Isabel who was taking care of her dying mother in Tith.
I rolled up my sleeping bag and left. The drive to Lucille took about fifteen minutes.
It was going to be less soon, now that I’d purchased a lot just a mile from her. It was a gorgeous piece of land with the most beautiful view of the mountains in Tith. My family would feel free, not cramped up in that wretched piece of crap we had called home for so long.
We were going to rebuild the manor, the one we used to live in, now lost behind those Creepers.
Just a few more months and our home would be ready. It would have the old kitchen with the old fire place, big cupboards and a huge dining table, the fridge would have so much food, the pantry would always be full. We were never going back to scraping and begging for anything anymore.
There would be seven rooms, each one would have their own entry, a huge open balcony with no railing from the outside, so they could just fly in whenever they wanted.
Issy would have her library again, and me, I’d have my training room.
I hadn’t trained for a long time, but now that I had a reason to kill again, to protect, I needed to prepare.
The children could have whatever they wanted. Samantha could finally see and experience the old life her brother used to tell her about when they were little.
And Blake…I smiled. Blake would be king one day.
When he dented, and he would dent whether he liked it or not, he’d rule by Elena’s side and be the best king, just like Elena’s father had been.
The car came to a halt right in front of Lucille’s two dragon gates. I’d always admired them, I admired who they were protecting.
She’d lost her husband the night the Creepers came. Etienne and his dragon William had been an amazing pair.
She’d been nothing but kind to my family and now, that I could finally repay her, she wouldn’t take a dime from me.
You don’t get people like that anymore.
Swinging the car around, my hand stretched out of the window and pushed the button. I had to push it a couple of times before Rosa answered.
“Sir Robert?” she answered in a sleepy voice.
“It’s about Elena, open up.”
The old dragon did and I drove down their driveway as fast as I could. Tires screeched slightly as the car came to a halt right by the sculpture with the dancing legs on a fish’s body. So creepy.
When I reached the front door I didn’t even have to knock as Lucille had already opened it.
“What about Elena?” she asked in a concerned voice.
“Wake Becky, it’s not what any of us think.”
“Now, Lucille. She needs to know this.”
She nodded, and Rosa rushed up the stairs. She led me to her dining room table and we sat down.
“What is going on with Elena?”
“They are forcing Paegeia on her. Stan took away her Cammy and that’s why the girls haven’t heard from her. Margerite told me that they sent all of
Lucille shook her head. “But those pictures.”
“Come on, Lucille. Every time Blake wanted to get back at them, at me, he did something stupid and made sure the press was around.”
“She’s been crying out for us, trying to get our attention and we’ve just sat here, doing nothing.”
“What bastard, Mom?” Becky appeared at the bottom of the stairs. “And who is rebelling?”
“Come sit, honey,” Lucille said. “Rosa, can you please get the kettle going. We need coffee.”
“Not to worry, I’ll have it ready in two seconds.” Rosa disappeared.
“Mom, what is going on? Why is Sir Robert here?”
“It’s about Elena, sweetheart.”
Her face hardened the minute Lucille said her name. “Oh, please. I’m going back to bed.”
“They took away her Cammy, Becky.”
Becky froze in mid-step.
“She’s been asking for all of us for a long time, and they denied her every single time,” I explained.
She turned around. “What! How do you know this?”
I looked down at the table. “Blake came back and begged me to get Elena out of there. He’s connected to her in ways I’ll never understand.”
“Blake’s back?” Becky and Lucille asked.
I shook my head. “He just gave me the message, said he couldn’t deal with it and that I had to get her out of there.”
“But those pictures of her having fun, with her new friends…” Becky started.
“She rebelled, probably snuck out and did the opposite of what she was supposed to do, sweetheart.”
Becky shook her head. “She could’ve come here.” Hurt laced her eyes and tone.
“There are guards at all the ports,” I pointed out. “If you haven’t noticed them, I certainly have.”
“Sir Robert is right. For all we know, she tried,” Lucille said.
She shook her head. “The cockroaches would have said something.”