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Starlight: Part 3 – Chapter 24

Becky and Sammy stared at me as I told them about the black armor Blake had been wearing in the visions.


We all sat in silence as we stared at the suit.


Sammy picked up the lid and put it back on the box. There were tears in her eyes.


“Change the suit’s color.” Becky broke the silence.


“That is your answer?”


“It’s the only thing that makes sense.”


“I’m with Becky. Change the suit’s color. Make it the opposite and maybe, just maybe that foretelling won’t come true.”


“Sammy, please, don’t worry about that.”


She jumped up. “Don’t worry about that? Elena, what is wrong with you? He is my brother, and you are one of my best friends.”


I got up as well. “Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that.” I wrapped my arms around her.


I didn’t tell them about Louie and the poisonous berries he would hopefully carry soon, but I did phone Mr. Dalton. His card was on the box, and I made up some stupid excuse Becky told me to get the suit’s color changed to a pure white.


“Give me about four weeks. I’m sure something can be done.”


“Thank you, Mr. Dalton.”


“Call me Ralph. Everyone else does.”


“Okay, have a great day, Ralph.”


The call was disconnected, and I was glad that it had been sorted out. It didn’t sound like such a stupid idea. Maybe that prophecy wouldn’t come true. Maybe both of us could survive this.


I was really pissed off with Blake and did not want to see him, though I wasn’t so angry that I wanted him to die, or me for that matter.


Sammy walked around with a dark cloud hanging over her head the entire day. She tried to phone her brother, but had no success. Her calls didn’t go through once.


He didn’t want to speak to anybody.


The days ticked by slowly, and before we knew it, it was summer break again. In a few weeks I’d be turning nineteen.


I sighed at that thought. Just two more years and I’ll graduate and run an entire world, hopefully at my father’s side if all goes well.


I was looking forward meeting him – really meeting him and not just some hallucination like I’d experienced during my Ascending.


I also thought about Etienne a lot, and really didn’t know how I was going to keep hiding the truth from Lucille and Becky.


But I had promised I wouldn’t say a thing to them, and I wasn’t going to break any more promises. No matter how pissed off I was with Blake.


This summer wasn’t going to be a break for me either. I had a tight schedule that had been emailed to me from the Council about the campaign.


I had to do so many interviews and was scared because once again, I had to do it all by myself.


Kevin had been emailing me once a week to find out when I was going to do an exclusive with him about my experience in Etan. I told him I’d schedule an interview with him on Just Kev on the last day of the campaign.


This entire campaign hung over me like a dark cloud. How did someone get people to give up their lives and fight? Getting people on board was one of Blake’s strengths.


I, on the other hand, had no clue. Sir Robert was so busy with the Dragon League, I wasn’t going to bother him for pointers, and the only person that I could think of who could help me out was Emanuel.


I had no choice but to do this, to be strong, keep my head up high and speak without telling everyone that my father was alive.


We needed Areeth, and I felt helpless without Blake’s advice. I knew more or less how my father had felt without Herbert, or Jako, who’d constantly given him his input.


I wasn’t going to spend time at the manor. I knew I should, but I still couldn’t sleep in my room. It was the place I’d thought I’d killed Blake, so for the first part of my summer, I would be staying with Lucille and Becky.


Gazing at my computer screen, I read through the schedule one last time before I printed it out.


Five radio interviews and six TV interviews. I was going to make an appearance three times in Elm, two times in Tith and two times in Areeth. The last day it was my exclusive on Just Kev. I dreaded that one.


Blake popped into my mind again. I still hadn’t deciphered his letter, and my only option was to ask Sammy, who I assumed must know her own brother’s handwriting.


I didn’t want anyone to know what he’d put in there, but I wanted to read it.


A part of me also felt stupid now that I hadn’t heard him out. He was unreachable, but then again Tabitha had been semi-naked inside his room, and there was absolutely no way he could justify that.


It was simple; I couldn’t give him what she did.


I did miss him terribly at times, but I was glad that it worked out the way it had, even though my trust and heart were both completely broken.


I would always end up being the one who got hurt in this relationship because Blake was just that kind of guy.


“You ready?” Becky asked me, and I nodded.


I logged out of my account and took the printout of my schedule.


I picked up the bag I’d packed for vacation, and Louie whom I’d been nurturing with everything I had to ensure he carried the berries I desperately needed, and followed her out of the library.


Sammy was still speaking to Dean in the lobby when we walked up. They were saying their goodbyes.


Once we reached Sammy, Dean walked with us to the nearest empty carriage.


She was going to travel with us to Tith, where Isabel would meet her at the port.


“Heard anything from Blake?” Becky asked as the carriage lifted off. She was looking at Sammy.


“Nope,” she said and kept on reading her magazine.


I sighed as the guilt crept up on me again. Why the heck hadn’t he fought more, made me see his side of things? He’d once again just given me what he thought I needed. This time, however, space away from him wasn’t what I needed. We needed to fight.


This was another nail in his guilty coffin. I mean what could you say to a girl who’d walked in on you and your girlfriend?


It didn’t mean anything.


His words from the Museum that night popped into my head. The way he’d spoken of his love, loving me, and wanting me to be happy. It hadn’t meant a thing to him.


Nope, this wasn’t my fault. It was his. He’d gotten caught. I wondered now if Phil hadn’t just been an excuse to be with her.


I didn’t trust anything anymore. Story of my life… The one creature I should trust completely was a constant seesaw ride of ups and downs.


Our bond was never going to be fixed, and Blake must have known it long before I had.


Becky bumped me slightly as we stopped, and we climbed out of the carriage.


Lucille waited for us in a cab because this time we were going to take the elevator to Tith.


Reporters bombarded the three of us shouting out questions about the campaign.


I was thankful they hadn’t gotten wind of our breakup, but they did ask a lot of questions about why Blake was spending so much time with the Dragon League.


They kept asking me when he was going to come back and I smiled at them and answered it as best as I could without giving anything away.


He could rot at the Dragon League for all I cared.


Lucille and some of the other students’ fathers came to our rescue and we got into the cab that was waiting for us.


I hated all this attention, and I knew now how Lucian had felt about being a royal. He’d hated it just as much as me.


Still, he would’ve made a great ruler.


“Oh my, is it always like this?” Lucille had a surprised and overwhelmed look on her face.


“It gets worse every year,” Becky said.


“How are you holding up, Elena?” Lucille turned in the front seat to look at me.


“I’m just peaches.”


She tapped my leg, and I was sure Becky had told her what had happened between Blake and me.


At the port it was ten times worse. More reporters waited for us, and this time there were no fathers to come to our rescue.


“What should we do?” Lucille sounded worried as she sat straight, scanning the crowds.


“It’s fine. I will meet you at the private elevators.” I opened the door and gave them one of my biggest smiles.


“Princess!” they all yelled, and questions from everyone flew in the air.


I couldn’t make out one of them. I heard the campaign in a few questions, Blake’s name in others. It was a mess.


The crowds were drowning me as I tried to get to the private elevator, and so many cameras went off at once that I was temporarily blinded and I had no idea where I was going.


Just then, I heard a whoosh of wings and everyone looked up. My heart stuttered slightly. I knew to whom that flap belonged.


I looked up and saw red scales. My heart felt as if it had fallen into my gut. Disappointment once again.


Emanuel shifted into his human form, pulled a robe over his body and pushed through the crowd of reporters who were still trying to get my attention.


His hand finally reached my arm, and his body sort of shielded me away from the reporters as he led me through the crowd toward the private elevators. Once inside the port, the staff kept the reporters out and we walked as fast as we could to the private section.


“Are you okay?”


“Yes, they’ve never acted like this before.”


“The freeing of Etan is like a new war. It’s all the tabloids have been talking about the past few months.”


“I don’t know if I can do this.” I was petrified as we reached the doors of the private section.


The doorman opened the doors after welcoming me.


I still managed to give him a friendly smile, and say thank you as I entered.


I found Lucille, Becky and Sammy waiting by the bar.


“Are you okay?” Lucille ran up to me.


“I’m fine, it was a bit overpowering, but I’m fine.” I smiled. My heart was still pounding.


“Can I steal Elena for a few minutes?” Emanuel asked Lucille.


“Sure. We will just wait by the bar.” Lucille rubbed my arm and gave me a warm smile.


I followed him to one of the sofas.


“Elena, you can’t do this alone. You know you can always ask Blake to come back.”


“I can’t,” I said and closed my eyes. “I can’t pretend that everything is fine between us. They will know, and who will follow us then? This whole campaign will be wasted.” I sighed. “I just have to learn how to do this. I have no choice.” I pulled my hands through my hair and gave him a lopsided smile. “I mean, I’ve got to learn sometime, right?”


He nodded.


“Can you please do me a favor?”


“Sure, anything.” He had that ‘I would do anything for you smirk’ on his face.


“I just need a few pointers on what to say. I’ve never done anything like this. Can you help me with that?”


He smiled. “Give me a few days, okay?”


I smiled. “Thanks. You are the best.”


We said goodbye, and he stayed with us until my elevator door closed.


The ride to Tith was super fast, and more reporters were waiting for us outside, but some of the staff helped Lucille get to her car.


Isabel was waiting too and greeted me with open arms. I could tell by the look on her face that she also knew what had happened. I hated that. Still, she didn’t mention Blake’s name or tell me that he would never betray me like that.


Once Lucille parked in front of the revolving doors of the port in Tith, the staff blocked off the reporters so we could get safely into the car.


We all let out a huge breath as she drove off.


“Elena, please tell me you will at least have someone with you when you go to all these places.”


“I’ll be with her, Mom.”


“Babe, I love you to bits, and you are one hell of a Dragonian, but you are not alleviating my fears here.”


Both of us laughed.


“I’ll phone Raymond and find out if he can chaperone me some more.”


“Good idea, sweetheart.”


That night, Rosa made us a lovely homecoming meal for which Isabel and Sammy joined us. Since Sir Robert started with the Dragon League, Isabel was all alone at home.


We said goodnight, and I went up to my room to phone Raymond.


“Princess, what can I do for you?” he said with a huge smile.


“I need your assistance, please. You think you can be my bodyguard for the next couple of weeks?”


He smiled. “Where is Blake?”


“Dragon League.”


He kept quiet for a few short minutes. “Send me your schedule and I’ll make sure that all the arrangements are made.”


“Thank you. I just need a bodyguard. I have an entire campaign that is going to assist me.”


He smiled. “Got you.”


The connection cut, and I went to my computer to email Raymond my schedule.


Becky and Sammy entered with a few knocks on the door, and they both plunged onto my bed.


We started speaking about the campaign, and I was happy both of them were going to be there with me, every step of the way.


When we fell silent the letter jumped into my mind.


“Sammy, can I ask you something?” I went over to my suitcase and took out Blake’s letter and handed it to her.


“What is this?”


“Just tell me what it says, please.”


She opened it and started reading. Her eyebrows knitted. “What are you doing with a letter from Tabitha?”


“Tabitha?” I grabbed the letter out of her hands.


“Yes, that’s her handwriting.”


“It’s not your brothers?”


She started to laugh. “Heck no, my brother actually has beautiful handwriting.”


I huffed as I looked down at the page where I saw the heart and Blake’s name. I shook my head. “She tried to make me believe it was from him.”


Sammy grabbed the letter back. “She what?”


“I’m such an idiot.” I shook my head. Why would Blake write me a letter? Another disappointment.


“You really thought it was from him?”


“Yes, I did, because it was the same handwriting that used to tell me where to meet him last year.”


“Yeah, my brother made her do all sorts of things for him back then.”


I gave her a broken smile. Disappointment was clearly evident on my face.


“I’m so sorry Elena. I wasn’t thinking.”


“It’s not your fault. I’ll find out why she did this.”


“All I know is my brother really doesn’t want anything to do with her anymore.”


“It doesn’t matter. The damage is already done, and I really don’t think that we are going to get through this one.”


“Don’t say that.”


“I mean it. I don’t want to talk about this, okay? Thanks for clearing it up.”


She nodded.


Isabel yelled Sammy’s name from downstairs, and she got up.


“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Sammy said, and Becky walked out with her.


I went to take a shower and crawled immediately into bed.


I wished that sleep would just come, but it didn’t. I was really bummed out that Blake hadn’t written the letter. None of the words had come from him.


Did he seriously not care at all?


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