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Starlight: Part 2 – Chapter 19


The next two weeks flew by.

 

By the end of week one, I’d found a number of exotic plants and seeds that could be used for a tranquilizing potion.

 

The restricted section had really scary potions, but none of them helped with destroying something as evil as the Saadedine, or could slow down something that was conjured.

 

That really scared me, as I doubted now that any of the plants and seeds we found would do anything.

 

I struggled with the fact that it was the Elemental babies we’d helped enter this world that had become this evil I had to kill now.

 

It wasn’t fair.

 

They had names. How do you kill something that was once held so dearly?

 

Goran was behind all the evil and disappointment in my life.

 

He was to blame for everything I’d lost.

 

I mean, if it hadn’t been for him, Cara would’ve never had to give up her existence to save me, but then I would’ve died, so maybe she hadn’t had a chance from the beginning.

 

Still, Brian would’ve been here, and Lucian would’ve never gone on that quest to find a way to save Blake and discovered the truth.

 

I would’ve grown up a princess with a mom and a dad – my real mom and dad.

 

Blake would’ve never been this dark; he would’ve always had hope. Annie would’ve never lost her dragon form.

 

Constance would still have her husband.

 

And Herbert and Tanya would still be alive.

 

Everything dark in my life was because of one man. Goran.

 

I agreed with the conversation at the lodge the other night. If we could do one thing over, I would kill Goran myself and spare this world so much pain, so much loss.

 

Blake was right; I would’ve been a completely different person.

 

Another change in plans came around the end of week one.

 

Master Longwei called Blake in alone, and when he came back, I could see the anger on his face.

 

“Okay, what happened?” I asked and rubbed his back as he plunged onto the pillow next to me.

 

“You are getting a guard,” he simply said.

 

“What?”

 

“He doesn’t like me sleeping in your room, and –”

 

George’s face fell. “You’re shitting me, right?”

 

“Nope, so I guess your sneaking days are over, Georgie boy.”

 

Becky laughed the hardest as we all saw the disappointment on George’s face.

 

“Okay, that is just –”

 

“Bullshit. That’s what I said too, and he made it clear to me that my arrangement was only temporary. His exact words were that he was the principal and no dent was going to break the rules.”

 

“He said that?”

 

“Yeah. He’s seriously pissing me off because he has no idea what danger he is putting you in.”

 

“Who is the guard?”

 

“It’s Raymond.”

 

“Raymond.” I smiled but it disappeared fast.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Paul,” I said with a sigh. “He could be in any form, Blake.”

 

“I’ve known Raymond a long time, Elena. I can promise you that it’s not Paul. Emanuel trusts him with his life. So do I.”

 

“Still, Dicky was killed at the palace.”

 

“I know.”

 

“It could be one of them.”

 

“I know.”

 

“And we all know what Paul can do.”

 

“I know. Emanuel checked all of them out. Dicky must have found something, and that was what got him killed.”

 

“You think he knew who Paul’s new figure was?”

 

“Yeah, no doubt. He just didn’t know how good Paul was.”

 

He still looked angry.

 

“Then why do you still look pissed off?”

 

Becky laughed.

 

“Because now he has no excuse for sleeping in our room,” Sammy said. “Good riddance anyway.”

 

I still smiled as I thought about that one. I was glad it was Raymond they’d signed on as my guard, as he followed me everywhere I went. He even helped me research after I told him what it was I looked for.

 

Another good thing that happened was that a few dragons from the other side had come back. I was really surprised to know that some of them had been born on that side, had never set foot in Paegeia, and that they were actually Chromatic.

 

Guess my father was right that dragon was dragon, no matter what breed. It was the way they were brought up, the influence that surrounded them that made the difference.

 

King Helmut and King Caleb were going to house them until the war, and we were going to meet them soon when we started our campaign.

 

I was getting better at fighting dirty too.

 

The head-butting lessons weren’t so great, and my head ached for a few minutes until Blake healed it.

 

He, on the other hand, had to heal from the inside, which wasn’t as fast a process as he thought it would be, but I could say with confidence it was something I’d mastered real fast.

 

The second week was slightly harder.

 

He refused to give up on me wielding my abilities, and it got so tough on him he started resenting me for it – something I never thought would happen.

 

We used to train every night until half past nine; now we would start at seven and finish at eight.

 

He never said he blamed me, but I could tell he did by his short temper that kept on making its appearance.

 

He really made me feel as if I was the one to blame, that I didn’t want my abilities badly enough, but he never said so.

 

I sighed as I put the last book back on the shelf.

 

Our detention was finally over, and Thea, the librarian, had a small gift for me when I walked over to the desk.

 

“What is this?” I asked as Raymond was busy taking out a book, one that he wanted to read later on during his watch.

 

She held a curled-up plant. It was in a cute flower pot and looked really sweet.

 

“I call him Louie, and Louie needs plenty of sunlight, and water once every few days, not too much though. Just a small thank you for helping me these past two weeks.”

 

“Thea, a plant?”

 

“It’s not just any plant, Elena. It’s a hibicurus. Something really special this side.”

 

“Wait,” Raymond said. “I know this plant. Where did you get it?”

 

Thea smiled. “I have my sources,” she said.

 

“Okay, what is so special about Louie?”

 

“Watch and see.”

 

She put the pot down on the counter and picked up a feather. She stroked it softly and the plant opened like a human stretching. It was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen.

 

“This isn’t it. What is special about Louie is he carries small fruit, an extremely rare berry-like fruit, called Luke berries, which are deadly poisonous, so don’t eat them, please.”

 

“Poisonous, as in how?”

 

“Oh they used Luke berries for all sorts of things.” Raymond couldn’t stop looking at him. “Your father actually used to dip some of his archers’ arrow tips into the sap. You go into a deep sleep and then you die.”

 

“How long does it take to go into this deep sleep?”

 

“They say on the spot?” A huge grin formed on his face. “It can take anything down.”

 

“You think…”

 

“Oh, Elena I don’t think. I know.”

 

I grabbed Thea around her neck, as she’d just presented me with the missing ingredient that was going to help killing this bastard.

 

She obviously had no idea what the two of us were talking about, and Raymond put the book back on the shelf.

 

Blake was going to be over the moon.

 

“Thank you, Thea,” I said with tears in my eyes. “You have no idea what this means to me.”

 

“Really,” she smiled. “Elena,” she hugged me too. “Please just be careful of the fruit. Ask Blake to burn it, okay?”

 

I nodded.

 

“When does it bear fruit?”

 

“About six to eight weeks.”

 

I smiled again. “It’s perfect. Thanks.”

 

I grabbed Louie and ran to the cafeteria as Raymond went to go to speak to Master Longwei.

 

I paused when I found Tabitha sitting with Blake again, laughing this time.

 

I wasn’t the jealous type, I didn’t think, but with all the stuff that had happened lately, I couldn’t help but feel nervous.

 

It was exactly what I’d warned him about, and he’d laughed it off.

 

I sighed and went up to my room to put Louie on the windowsill where he would get plenty of sunlight.

 

I stoked him softly and he opened up. It was really the most amazing thing anybody had ever given me.

 

I’d tell Blake about him later.

 

I went back to the cafeteria to grab something to eat and was relieved when my friends occupied Tabitha’s place.

 

I went outside and sat next to Becky as Sammy and Dean took the seats next to Blake.

 

“Our two weeks are finally over,” Blake sang and I smiled.

 

“It is,” I said and wanted to tell him so badly about Louie but decided to leave it for later as George and Dean still didn’t know about the omen hanging over us.

 

“So, you guys ready for this fundraiser?” Becky asked as I dug in.

 

I raised my lip. I’d forgotten all about our big night at the museum to raise money for those we had saved from Etan.

 

“Please tell me that you at least sorted out your dress.”

 

“I’ll buy one. No big deal.”

 

“You seriously are not using your princess perks.”

 

“I can’t wait to meet all the new dragons,” Sammy said. “At least you are excited about that right?”

 

“That I am.”

 

“Excellent. How many?” She looked at her brother.

 

“Emanuel told me there are about fifteen of them now.”

 

“Fifteen, that’s it?” I was concerned. We are going to need more if we are going to beat Goran and all his wyverns.”

 

“More will come. Just be patient.”

 

“Oh, I know.”

 

I finished, and at seven Blake and I left for the Parthenon Dome.

 

“Why are you so quiet?”

 

“I’m just tired, and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to tonight.”

 

“You don’t want to spend more time with me?”

 

“No, I don’t want to spend time with you losing your temper.”

 

“I’m not mad at you.”

 

“It feels like you are.”

 

“I’m sorry.” He pulled me back. “It’s just hard that we haven’t mastered this.”

 

“Not everything can be mastered in two days.”

 

“I know. I’m not good when it comes to waiting.”

 

“I know.”

 

“Sorry if I made you feel like it’s your fault. I know I’m a jerk at times.”

 

“Tiny bit.” I showed him with my fingers, and he smiled.

 

“You are too kind. I don’t deserve that.”

 

I smiled.

 

He opened the Parthenon Dome for me, and I entered first.

 

“Do we really have to do this tonight?”

 

“Yes. We have to do this tonight.” He had a smile in his tone. “Just think how awesome it will be if we can do it and no harm comes to any of us.”

 

“Any of us meaning you?” I asked.

 

He chuckled. “Busted.”

 

“Okay, now clear your mind.”

 

I knew the drill and did it. One thing I had to admit: The more we actually did this, the easier the steps became, but the results always ended up the same.

 

Blake fell on his knees the minute I actually felt it, but there was nothing on my palm. He grunted and I stopped the second I saw the pain reflecting off his face.

 

“Why did you stop?” he spoke through heaves.

 

“For the millionth time, I’m not going…”

 

“Elena, you have no choice. Again, and push through this time. Don’t stop,” he said through clenched teeth.

 

I took a huge breath.

 

It carried on like that for the next hour and then, when his watch beeped, I knew it was time to say goodnight.

 

“I’m not going to apologize for pushing you. We need to get this right.”

 

I nodded.

 

“See you tomorrow,” he said, kissing me quickly on my head as we parted ways.

 

I couldn’t help but feel like something was off, and Tabitha jumped into my mind again.

 

I sat on the second set of stairs that reached to the upper level.

 

They had been laughing today. He wasn’t fighting with her anymore.

 

She was reeling him in, and he was too stupid to notice that.

 

Stop it, Elena. Blake is smarter than that. Maybe it’s another tactic he is trying on her. To make her see that he isn’t under a spell.

 

I heard the main door creaking, and I got up quietly.

 

“We need to hurry,” Blake said and then it was quiet.

 

I ran down the steps as the main door closed behind him and opened the door, but whomever he’d spoken to was long gone.

 

What is he up to and why hasn’t he mentioned any of this?

 

This was the reason he left every night at eight. An entire week! This has been going on for an entire week! I didn’t like this.

 

I walked back to the room and found Raymond watching TV with George and Becky.

 

My face said it all, and Becky just stared at me.

 

I shook my head and gave her an awkward smile. I was dying to ask George if he knew about Blake’s nightly strolls and what was so important it was cutting our practicing short, but I didn’t.

 

Around nine Raymond and George left.

 

I had to admit, now that George couldn’t sneak in, it made their departure so much more difficult to watch.

 

Whatever it was that made it so difficulty for George to leave Becky at night, well, it was something Blake still had to develop.

 

I lay in bed that night, thinking about many things. I’d ask him tomorrow straight, or try and see what it was he had to say.

 

Maybe it was nothing. He had said they had to be fast, so maybe he was helping a friend in need, for all I knew, and then I would sound like a jealous girlfriend. But if it was that innocent, why wasn’t he telling me about it?

 

Sammy finally entered around ten.

 

She tiptoed to our bathroom and closed the door. Where the hell she and Dean had been, well, I just hoped and prayed Master Longwei wouldn’t catch them.

 

I still hadn’t even told Blake about Louie.

 

I would tell him tomorrow.

 


The next morning I found Blake with George and Dean at a table.

 

“Please, Dean,” Blake begged.

 

“I told you I won’t.”

 

He nodded.

 

Won’t what?

 

Becky and I reached them and I realized, something truly wasn’t at all right.

 

Now Sammy was in a bad mood, and wasn’t even speaking to us, and now hearing Dean say that after Blake begged him, I started to wonder again if it was something that had to do with last night.

 

Do Sammy and Dean know something?

 

“Morning sunshine,” Blake said, and I smiled.

 

Becky glared at him.

 

“What, I can’t greet Elena now?”

 

“No, what are you hiding?”

 

He started to chuckle. “I’m not hiding anything.”

 

“You’ve been acting strange lately.”

 

Dean got up.

 

“Where are you going?” I asked him.

 

“I’m done eating and I’m going to find my girlfriend if you must know, Miss Want-To-Know-It-All.”

 

I laughed. Urgh, it was seriously becoming so frustrating. They were like a pack of wolves, covering for each other.

 

“Sure.” Becky looked at Dean as he left and then at George, who was gulping down his breakfast.

 

He stopped and looked at her. “Why you looking at me like that?”

 

“What is going on here?”

 

“I have no idea, but I’m with you on that one, Becks, something is going on.”

 

Blake laughed again. “Nothing is going on. See, this is why we don’t share anything with you.”

 

“You hiding something from me?” I asked Blake, and he smiled again.

 

“No, I’m not, but George is a bit weak when it comes to Becky.”

 

“So not being able to keep a secret from Becky makes him weak?”

 

“That’s not what I said. You crawl out on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”

 

“No, but something is up.”

 

“Nothing is up.”

 

“Fine, then where the hell were you last night?” I asked a little too loudly and angrily. Not what I’d been aiming for at all.

 

He just looked at me. “You don’t trust me now?”

 

“I don’t know. If it’s so important to cut our training short, then I think I have the right to question it just a little.”

 

I got up and left.

 

“Where are you going?”

 

“I’m not hungry,” I said and stormed out.

 

I found the stairs and waited there until the first bell rang.

 

I could hear students talking as they made their way from the cafeteria.

 

“You had to tell her?” Blake asked.

 

“Tell her what?” I heard Samantha.

 

“Sammy, just tell me the truth. How does she know?”

 

“I didn’t tell her. To be honest, I don’t want to tell her that. Why are you helping her?”

 

“It’s her brother, okay? He used to be my friend too. I asked you last night really nicely not to say anything.”

 

“I didn’t. You are playing with fire. You should tell her yourself.”

 

“I don’t want to make her worry for nothing.”

 

“Oh, is that what you are calling it now?”

 

“Dammit, Samantha, why don’t you just say what you think this is about? Elena is my dent. I would never do that to her.”

 

“And you are one of a kind too.”

 

“What is that supposed to mean?”

 

“Nothing works the same way with you.”

 

He sighed a little. “You really think I would do that? Huh?” He yelled at her softly.

 

What the hell has he done?

 

“No, I don’t. She knows something is wrong. You should tell her the truth, ’cause if she finds out the way Dean and I did last night, this trust you’ve built, you are going to lose it all.”

 

He blew out a gush of air.

 

“And I’m saying that because I love you. Not because I want to see you burn.”

 

She walked away and a few seconds later he left as well.

 

I went up to my room when the second bell rang. I didn’t give a shit about class.

 

She’d mentioned a “she”. Helping her?

 

Please don’t let it be Tabitha. Please!


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