“Holy fuck,” Lucille said.
“Mom!” Becky teased. “But I’m with you. Elena! For crying out loud open your eyes.”
It opened and I couldn’t believe what was in front of me. Becky pushed me inside as my own feet couldn’t find their way.
It was a neat vault made of steel. Cages and cages filled with gold lined both sides. All of us were speechless. I walked to the end and another door slid open. It was filled with jewels. My father and mother’s crowns were both on pillows right at the end. And it had a third pillow with the most beautiful tiara I’d ever seen. Beautiful ball gowns and jewels lay open on the velvet shelves surrounding it. It was covered by glass that you lifted up but I was too scared to touch it.
“Elena,” Sir Robert said and I found him at the entrance we’d just come through. He had a huge envelope inside his hand. He handed it to me and I struggled to open it.
I took out a thick envelope with my name on it. There were a couple more envelopes inside of it, with a couple of journals. I took out all the envelopes and saw Sir Robert’s name written in manly handwriting, and Blake written in the most beautiful cursive that graced mine.
I handed Sir Robert his letter and Blake’s. He wouldn’t accept anything from me and if it was from my mom, he should read it. Sir Robert took both envelopes with caution. He closed his eyes when he saw his name on one of them, and tore the top open.
I did the same with mine.
It was a thick letter.
“My dearest Elena,” were the first words on the letter.
“I knew first love the minute I met your father, but I only knew what unconditional love was when I held you inside my arms. You were so tiny and so fragile, I can’t imagine what life will be without you and I hope with all of my heart that you never get to read this letter, because it will mean that I never got the chance to meet you again. I love you so much and I miss you like crazy. You were the only thing, beside your father, I ever wanted.
To give you up in order to save your life was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’d fight twenty more wars if it meant that I could’ve kept you, but it’s not how life works.
I’m writing this letter with deep sorrow inside my heart but knowing that one day you might read it, is the only pleasure I have.
We left you everything we have, and hope that it will be enough for you to find it in your heart to forgive me.
I tried everything to keep you, but the odds were against that the minute you were born. If only I was a Moon-Bolt and I could see into the future of who was going to betray us, I would slit him open from chin to navel to have you in my arms again. But again the Malones don’t have the luxury of knowing what is to happen.
I love you more than words can say and I’ve written my stories down hoping that one day you will read them.
I wish I knew the type of woman you will turn into, that Elena I would give anything to meet. And remember, I will always be with you until we meet again.
There were more letters but I decided to read them later as both my friends hugged me while I struggled to keep my tears at bay.
“Shhhh,” Becky said, but they didn’t say anything else, what could they say?
There was another letter apart from my mother’s thick one. It was from my father. It read almost the same as my mom’s. How much he wanted me and how badly he wanted us to reunite. He also said if I read this, that he would be dead, but he wasn’t. He was stuck behind Etan and who knows what Goran was doing to him. I’d made a promise I should’ve never made.
“P.S. Everything inside this vault is for you, except Vault F. It belongs to the Leafs, it belongs to my dragon.” A small key was inside that I assumed would open Vault F.
I looked at Sir Robert. He still read his letter but he finally stopped and turned to the wall.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He spoke softly. I felt for him and Sammy and her mom both went to his side.
“This would’ve been different if he’d trusted me with his daughter and not Tanya. She left when she was supposed to stay.”
“Please don’t,” I said and went to him. “I told you, and I told my father that day, that Blake needed you more, and my father knew that. He did trust you.”
“I would’ve stayed, you would’ve known who you were.”
“I know who I am, if you’d left your family, what would’ve been the outcome? Everything was exactly the way it was supposed to be.” That was something Jako’d told me.
“Now wipe away that anger and help me find Vault F.”
We all walked past the huge vaults and finally found numbers hidden behind the bars. The last one had a door. “This must be F,” I said.
I took the key and pushed it inside the door. The vault opened and we all gasped again. Bars of gold were stacked on the shelves and black sacks which I assumed were full of diamonds took up a small shelf.
I gave Sir Robert my letter. “Below, at the bottom.”
He read the last sentence which said Vault F belongs to him and he froze.
“What is it, Robert?” Isabel asked him.
His eyes glistened with tears and he gave me a look and shook his head.
“It’s not from me, it’s from him.”
“I can’t. It’s too much.”
“It’s what he wanted.”
“Robert?” Isabel asked again.
“What the hell is going on?” Sammy asked her father.
He started to laugh with tears in his eyes and hugged Isabel and Sammy both. “This is ours,” he whispered. “My rider took care of us even in death.”
“What!” Both woman yelled and he gave them my letter stating that Vault F belonged to the Leafs.
Isabel cupped her face.
“The bastard came through. He always came through. I should never have left his side.”
“He ordered you away, Robert.” Isabel hugged him again, tears rolling down her own cheeks.
“I could’ve stayed.”
“You would’ve been in pain if you disobeyed him. He wanted you to live. I’m thankful every day that he did what he did.”
He hugged his wife again and they both cried. “I miss him so much.”
My father was right. I couldn’t tell him that he was still alive. He would have killed himself to get through those Creepers to be reunited with his rider.
“I know you do, honey, we all miss them.”
Sammy was still in shock. I grabbed her by the arm and gave her a long hug. “Neither of us will ever have to worry about anything ever again.”
“This is too much, Elena.”
“I’m glad my father left that for you, your dad would never have accepted the money I wanted to give you guys.”
She hugged me again.
“Who would’ve thought that the girl that struggled to accept this crazy place filled with dragons would end up becoming the person who will rule it one day,” Becky said and I pulled her in for a group hug.
“You know what this means don’t you?”
“That you’re filthy rich and have a shit load of power.” We laughed.
“No, that you will become part of my royal court one day. I won’t be able to do this without my girls.”
Becky grabbed me around my neck.
“I love you Elena Watkins Malone,” she said and I laughed again. “I love you too, Becky Johnson Mills,”
We all giggled.
HE STAYED INSIDE the vault just looking at the various things each section contained. It felt so unreal to think all of this was mine, and my mind wandered back to my father who was stuck behind Etan.
He did all of this, him and my mom. They did know this day would come, they did know that no one would believe me and that is why they made preparations.
I only took my parent’s journals and the letters they’d written more than seventeen years ago and wondered what it would have been like if they’d found out that it was Goran who would betray them. What type of a person would I have been if it was Albert and Catherine that had raised me and not Herbert who was constantly on the run, protecting the girl that killed his own daughter? How much did he hate me, loathe me at times? I tried to remember if there was a time he treated me unfairly, but I couldn’t think of any. I only remembered the times I’d treated him unfairly, blaming him because he was paranoid. If only….if only didn’t exist.
Sir Robert opened the door we’d entered and we climbed up the stairs again. I almost bumped into Sir Robert who just stood on the top of th stairs. He moved away and housands of people were standing outside.
They all became super quiet as I stood there, frozen in one spot. Then one by one they took a knee, just like the people had a couple of hours ago.
I gasped when it became too much and had to suppress my tears as all of this was so overwhelming. A couple of hours ago, it was only a small party believing me, now, it was half of Paegeia.
“Long may you reign!” one guy shouted.
He shouted it again and this time a couple more joined him. It grew and grew until it was a chant that didn’t even seem real.
Sir Robert touched my shoulder gently, tears in his eyes too as he stared at all that was before us. Something in his eyes told me it wasn’t the first time he’d witnessed something like this.
He looked down at me. “Long may you reign, princess.”