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Starlight: Part 1 – Chapter 7

Becky stared at my bed for a long time.


She didn’t say anything after I told her about this huge omen of death hanging over the two of us.


Paegeia could not live without the Rubicon.


“Well,” she finally opened her mouth. “Blake was right. You have no choice.”




“You need to learn how to wield his abilities in his human form. If they can protect you, you must. It’s not a choice anymore.”


I knew she was afraid. I was scared too, but to see Blake in that sort of pain was something I couldn’t do. It should feel like it was payback, but this Blake didn’t deserve that kind of pain. He wasn’t dark anymore.


“We will help you. I can tell you what I think of, and George can help him find a way to let everything go.”


I nodded. Guess she was right after all.


We found Blake and George at dinner sitting with Sammy and Dean at one of the tables outside. It was a beautiful night. They were both making jokes and Sammy gave her hyena laughter, which made all of them laugh.


“I would so love to know what this dent is. For them to not hate our guts after that torture.”


We walked up to their table. None of them mentioned today; in fact their faces lit up when they saw us, and Becky gave me that raised eyebrow of hers, which made me laugh.


“Are we missing something here?” George asked as he pulled Becky in for a hug.


“Nothing at all,” Becky joked.


I got up to go grab something to eat. In all the time that I’d known Pappi, I’d never been this angry at him. Why did he even have to go and mention this today? It made me wonder about the night my fire showed. How much pain had Blake experienced before Master Longwei told him to shift?


Back at the table, Becky and I ate our food while the others were making jokes with Dean. I felt sorry for him because he was now the outsider. George and Blake had always been friends, even if George had turned to the light. He had mostly stayed good friends with Blake.


“It’s fine, whatever.” Dean spoke. “I’ll find a way to get into the good graces of that Night Villain. Really thought you would help me dude.”


Blake laughed. “Sorry, but when it comes to Sammy, my dad’s seriously not going to listen to anything I tell him.”


We all laughed. Sir Robert didn’t treat Dean like that. He was just very protective of his baby girl, or dragon, the way he’d said it on that day that had ended with a horrible beating.


“So,” George started and looked at me. “What is it going to be?”


“What on earth are you talking about?”


He smiled and glanced at Blake.


“Urgh. I knew that you were going to mention it, but I decided that you guys are right.”


“Sorry,” Blake said, which made me laugh. “Didn’t hear you properly. Where is my Cammy? I have to record this.”


“Ha, ha,” Becky mocked him again. “I know how Elena feels about this, but we spoke about everything, and it’s in Elena’s best interest to know how to wield her fire, at least.”


“What I said.”


“Blake, shush,” Becky scolded him. “She’s not looking forward to it.”


“Still here, I can speak for myself.”


“I’m just saying. It is not going to be fun, but it’s something you will try.”


I smiled. “Who says it won’t be fun. Guess it’s payback time.” I popped a grape in my mouth and smiled.


Blake started to laugh. “I so deserve that.”


“But there is one condition. We need a detailed report from Pappi on how it’s done. I need to read those words over and over until they are stuck in my head. Otherwise, I’m not even going to try it.”


“You wouldn’t need it if you had just stayed in class today.”


“Well,” I didn’t know what to say. “Whatever.”


He laughed again and put his arm around my neck. He pulled me into the side of his chest and kissed me on the head. “I will get a crow to him.”


“They seriously don’t use email?” Sammy wanted to know.


“Guess they love traditional posts,” I said.


We left around seven and Blake said he needed a word with me. “So, I spoke to Master Longwei earlier on and he was really so friendly to give me this.” He handed me a piece of paper. I opened it and saw my detention schedule.


“Repacking the library.”


“You want mine?”


“What’s yours?”


“Cleaning the Coliseum.”


“Repacking the library it is.”


“Thought so,” Blake smiled. “Besides, repacking the library isn’t a bad thing. It means you will clean the restriction section too. You can try to find the missing ingredient.”


“Good thinking,” I said.


“I am actually one of the smartest dragons out there,” he joked. “But picking up on our wonderful time away from one another –” He sounded sarcastic. “– it wasn’t the reason I went to see Master Longwei. I actually went to talk to him about training you, and he thinks it’s a good idea. Your first class starts at eight tonight. Don’t be late.” He turned around before I could protest.


“What?” I yelled after him.


“Parthenon Dome at eight.”


“You’ve got to be shitting me,” I said to myself.


“Nope, just be there.” His reply came from the stairs. He disappeared and I smiled, shaking my head.


I rocked up at eight wearing a pair of slacks, sneakers and a shirt, ready for the workout from hell.


I found him sitting on the bleachers, checking his watch.


“It’s eight.”


“Just,” he said, and I hated his smirk. It was as if he knew I was really not looking forward to this at all.


“Just promise me that we are not going to try that tonight.”


He smiled. “Depends on what trying part you are referring to.” He had that evil grin that made me blush.


“The abilities one.” Idiot.


“Oh.” He smiled. “Okay. Promise.”


He put down his water bottle and walked toward me.


I tried to hide my blushing face, thinking of what other “try” was going on in his mind.


He just laughed. “You have a dirty mind, Elena Watkins.”


“Whatever. The way you said it makes me think your mind is dirty.”


“I’m not like that.”


I laughed with raised eyebrows. “Sure you’re not. Now let’s get started.”


I had to suppress my laughter as Blake mocked me one more time with his.


“I didn’t mean that, I meant the lesson. The fighting lesson.” Guess it was true what they said: Boys and their hormones got twenty times crazier at night.


“Whatever you say, princess.”


“I’m serious.”


“Okay, so I’ve seen how you fight. Not bad. I see Lucian has trained you well, as you fight more or less in the same style he used.”


I smiled as he mentioned Lucian. It wasn’t that tearful feeling anymore. It was peaceful, grateful that I’d known him.


“He taught you to fight good, clean. I’m going to teach you how to fight dirty.”


“That is not good.”


“Nope, it is. Dirty fighters always win.”


“Fine, then bring it on. Teach me how to fight dirty. Am I going to be able to head butt people?”


He laughed. “I can teach you that if you like.”


“I thought it was as easy as hitting someone with your head.”


“Nope, you do it wrong, you end up with one mother of a headache.”


“Oh, so there are rules in fighting dirty too?”


“There are, but only a few,” he said. “Now pick up your axes. No more jokes. I take fighting quite seriously.”


I did as he said, and we started to fight again.


He was really good and so fast, I could hardly pinpoint his next move. He had me in so many death grips again.


He then broke them down, telling me how to get out of each one.


“I thought that the thing about these grips was that there isn’t a way to get out of them?”


“There is always a way to get out of one.”


I tried the first one; it was easy. The second one was easy too. Starting from the fourth it became hard, because Blake was really strong.


“Use my strength,” he said with a grunt.


I tried, but it didn’t work, and he showed me again.


I didn’t know how long we’d been fighting, practicing, but it was interesting in a very annoying way.


He let go of me hard and was drawing huge breaths. The old Blake, without much patience, was starting to seep through again.


“Again,” I said and we would start all over again, just so we could end up in the same stupid grip I couldn’t get out of.


“What do you do?” He was totally different than in Art of War: very serious, and I could tell he was close to losing it again. This Blake was scaring me, just a tiny bit, and he always knew which buttons to push.


“I don’t know.”


“C’mon, even Tabitha could get out of this one.”


He made me furious just mentioning her name. I wasn’t a Snow dragon. Far from it.


“I’m not Tabitha,” I said and tried to get out of his grip without success. It was harder than the previous one.


He let me go. “I told you many times how to get out of it.”


“I can’t. Your way doesn’t work.” We were both seriously getting fed up with this.


“So you want to tell me that Tabitha is better than you? Never thought that could be possible.” His look of pure disappointment and anger fueled me more.


Why was he mentioning her so many times?


“Again,” he said.


I went for him, ducked and dove the first two grips he tried to catch me in. The third time, he did it again.


“I have to say, it wasn’t the only thing Tabitha was good at. She is a much better kisser than you too.”




I stomped on his toe for that, and hit him with my elbow. His grip faltered, and I attacked him again. But one shove from his body and I fell flat on my ass for real. He didn’t even help try to stop the landing like he had in Art of War.


What is this? I knew he took fighting seriously, but this was ridiculous. My elbow hurt and there was a big scrape on my arm. Shake it off, Elena.


“Get up and fight like you are supposed to.”


“You are seriously pissing me off here. I’m not in the mood to fight anymore.” I got up, ready to walk away. I wasn’t a dirty fighter.


He pulled me back. “Not so fast. You think your enemy is just going to let you walk away? Tabitha would never walk away.”


I laughed sarcastically. “For your information, she is a Snow dragon. She wouldn’t walk away because she wouldn’t give anyone the chance to walk away from to start with. She would’ve fled a long time ago.”


“Not Tabitha. Now again.”


I attacked him. I hated the way he kept speaking about her. I wasn’t the jealous type, or was I? I probably was a lousy kisser, but Tabitha would’ve fled.


He grabbed me into a death grip he should’ve never gotten the chance to get me in.


“This is pathetic. You are better than this – or are you?” he roared as he got me in between his legs on the ground. He squeezed a tiny bit harder, and I bit him on his leg as hard as I could.


I pushed myself up as he pulled his leg back. I hated this Blake. It was…


The dent was wearing off. I didn’t know why I thought about it, but it had to be that.


He was going to hate my guts again.


“You bit me.” He trampled on his one leg. “Only dogs bite.”


“I thought you wanted to teach me to fight dirty. Make up your mind.”


He shook his head. “To think I wasted a dent on you.” He had so much hatred in his voice, and I was having no more of it. I went for him again and in two seconds I was in his death grip for the umpteenth time. I grunted. I was so furious. I knew this was going to happen. It was a spell, one that didn’t work on the Rubicon because he was too strong.


“Calm down.”


“Don’t tell me to calm down.” I tried to get out of his grip but he just held me tighter.


“Calm down.” His voice was gentle and right at my ear.


It felt as if I could breathe fire. “Let me go.”


“Calm down.” He spoke once more. “I didn’t mean any of those things, but I had to teach you the first rule of this class.”


“What are you talking about?”


“Anger. If you fight with anger, you will lose.” He still had me in his grip. His body was behind mine, with one of his arms around my neck and the other one holding my arm behind my back. His one leg was blocking mine, and I had no idea how he kept his balance. “I wanted to use your father’s promise, breaking it, but that would’ve been cruel. I really didn’t think this one was going to work as well as it did.”


“You made that up?” I was furious.


“Of course I made that up. Now calm down.”


“Urgh.” I let out a frustrated grunt, hating that I’d just showed him what he’d become to me.


“Deep breaths,” he said.


“I still don’t understand.”


“If you must use anger to win, then make sure you are where I am. Be the one that makes the other one angry. Crawl under their skin and push buttons. Make them raving mad because if you attack in anger, you will lose.”


I sighed and took another deep breath.


“Sorry about the things I said. I really didn’t mean them.”


“Okay, fine. You proved your point,” I said. “Don’t attack in anger.” I was still in his death grip.


“That’s my girl.” He gave me a soft kiss below my ear and let me go.


I felt like an idiot.


“I think that’s all for tonight. You’ve done good.” He grinned.


I gave him a sarcastic look. “Good. You serious? You had me in so many grips.”


“The beginning you got out of them almost as fast as I thought I got you in them. You messed up when I started pushing some buttons.” He opened his water bottle and took a few gulps.


Okay, so don’t attack in anger. He handed me his bottle and I drank. I still didn’t like how he’d used Tabitha’s name, and to think it’d had the effect he wanted. That was so stupid.


He walked over to me and smiled as he wrapped his arms around me.


“I don’t know if I should thank you or kick you.”


“Is the thank you a violent gesture too?”


I couldn’t help but laugh and gave him a hug back. “You really scared me there for a minute. I saw the old Blake.”


“I can still become him. Whenever I need to.”


“Still, I wasn’t so fond of him.”


He just smiled. “I was an idiot, I know. I said sorry already for that.”


“You did,” I said, remembering that day he’d told me everything I’d made him feel when I came to Paegeia.


We walked back to the Academy.


“When I get back, we can practice that head butt.”


“Who am I going to practice it on?”


“I heal fast,” he said and flinched. “Show me your arm.”


“It’s fine.”


“It’s not fine, Elena. I almost gave myself away there.”


“You what?”


“When I saw the scrape, and that you’d gotten hurt. Well, I almost stopped, and then my lesson would’ve been wasted.”


I pulled up my sleeve and showed him the scrape.


He touched it gently and the warm zing sensation spread all over the burn. When he took his hand away, it was gone.


“Sorry about that.”


“It’s fine. One thing I would say is that I’m never going to forget that lesson.”


“Good, as you should never forget it.”


He opened the main door. It was ten o’clock and I was dead tired.


He hugged me on the landing gain. “Sweet dreams, princess.” His lips brushed my head.


A throat cleared, which made us both jump. “Tomorrow, Elena,” Blake said in a serious tone as he let me go.


I had to suppress my laughter. “Good night, Master Longwei.”


“Yes, I hope it is a good night,” he said while watching Blake’s retreating figure run up the boys’ stairs two steps at a time.


I couldn’t help but smile.


Still, earlier tonight, when he’d said that he’d wasted that dent on me, whatever that meant, brought another wave of doubt in the pit of my stomach. He really had sounded like the old Blake, ready to tear my guts out. It was cruel, but he’d made his point. Don’t attack in anger.


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