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Starlight: Part 3 – Chapter 31


BLAKE

 

The scum grunted as his nostrils flared at me. My arm under his chin kept him against the boulder.

 

If he could breathe fire, he would have. Then he started to laugh. If I didn’t know darkness, this laugh would have made me back away. He was as sadistic as they came.

 

“I know what you are trying to do. Mocking me with your laughter isn’t going to help, Paul. How did you do it? How did you manage to fool Emanuel the way you have?”

 

“Didn’t your mother tell you not to play with your food, Blake?”

 

“I never listen to my mother. Something we surely have in common. Now answer my question.”

 

He laughed. “You don’t scare me.” He had a huge grin.

 

I took out the iron dagger Emanuel had thrown at me when he landed, and sliced his torso. The movement was so fast, and I barely felt the blade tearing his flesh.

 

Paul grunted. His grin instantly disappeared.

 

“Don’t let me get creative. Now tell me.”

 

He breathed hard through his nostrils.

 

He stared at me with shallow, dark, angry eyes. “There is nothing about darkness I can’t teach you, Blake. Fine. I became one of Emanuel’s best soldiers. Proved myself in Etan, and saved his life,” his smirk appeared again, and he chuckled. “Reminds you of a recipe, doesn’t it?”

 

It was how he’d won all of us over, me in particular, when he came to the academy. “Yes, you are seriously good at brewing trust.”

 

He cocked his head. “I am one of the best.” He smiled. “What I don’t get is how the hell you are going to kill me with that mermaid’s tail at our feet? Surely not by using an iron dagger? You are more than that, Blake.”

 

I smiled. “You know me so well. Always had this curiosity for things you would never understand.” I looked at Xaline’s tail and smiled. “I knew Xaline well. I know what she was capable of, what her tail can do. She took my powers easily through Elena, but she struggled slightly in that department with me.”

 

Paul’s face froze. “You’re bluffing.”

 

“Nope, and I promised Elena that when I found you, I will make you pay for all the heartache you brought on her.”

 

“I didn’t kill Lucian. Nora did.” He was a weasel too.

 

“I’m not speaking about Lucian’s death. Nora will be dealt with, just not by my doing.”

 

“Don’t do this. You’ll have a wyvern war on your hands. I’m seen as a prince in the wyvern colonies.”

 

“Elena is a princess with the dragons, and Lucian was a prince, so I say tit for tat.”

 

“Don’t be stupid. You can’t win this without our alliances.”

 

I laughed. “You’re seriously going to play that card? In what life do you think I will ever trust a wyvern? Definitely not in this one. You made sure of that. Besides, I know what is going on in Etan. He rules the wyverns. You call him the wyvern king.”

 

Paul’s nostrils and jaw muscles pumped. “Goran will find a way to tame you.”

 

“I’m already tamed and claimed. I won’t break,” I yelled. “I can’t break to anyone’s will anymore.” I looked slightly away as I realized something. “You always knew, didn’t you?”

 

“About what?”

 

“Who Elena was?”

 

He laughed. “You know so much. You figure it out.”

 

I sliced him again on the other side of his torso.

 

“Fuck!” He spat out the word, cried out of the pain and grunted at the same time.

 

“I can do this all night. Don’t tempt me. Answer my damn question.”

 

“Yes, okay, yes. I knew.” His demeanor finally changed. “I knew. Just like you did. Yet you still let her believe that I was her dragon.”

 

“It was a different time for me. I didn’t want a rider. I’m not that Blake anymore. How did you know?”

 

A faint smiled tugged on the corner of his lips. I sliced him again, causing him bite down hard on his tongue to try to hide the pain.

 

“My father told me that iron blades are like…” I searched for the right word. “Kryptonite, for you wyverns. Tell me, how does it feel for something so small to have so much power over you?”

 

“Screw you.”

 

“Oh, really.” I lift up the blade again.

 

“Okay.” He lifted his hand, begging me to stop.

 

“How did you know?” I made my voice slightly stronger and pushed my arm harder into his throat.

 

“Fox.”

 

“Fox, who killed her father? He worked with you?”

 

“He was one of Goran’s most loyal followers. Goran promised him Elm when he rules. When the Creepers consumed Etan, he still did what Goran asked him to do: find alliances past the wall, so when the right time comes, we will have an army. But he found more than just an alliance. He saw Elena a few months after they left.”

 

“How?” No Moonbolt could see the true royals’ future.

 

“He was nine hundred years old. I’m sure I don’t have to explain that to you.”

 

“He told Goran.”

 

“No, he told Cain, who withheld it from Goran. Said that he should bring him the girl. Cain hadn’t bargained on so many dragons protecting her.”

 

“And let me guess, Cain never mentioned this after Fox’s death.”

 

“No, he knew Goran would never trust him again, so he kept it to himself. Goran revealed her existence after you guys found that Dragonian in the forest.”

 

“You wyverns have no back bones. You are so weak. In what way did you ever think I would let you rule Paegeia? Or the world?”

 

“Oh, aren’t we courageous all of a sudden. The light doesn’t suit you.”

 

“Neither does the dark,” I sliced him again and he backed away slightly. He started to laugh again.

 

“If you want to kill me, do it,” he said. “It won’t matter. Goran already knows that you are coming.”

 

I froze. “Bullshit.”

 

“You don’t believe me? Fine, it’s your funeral. Or maybe it’ll be Elena’s.”

 

I hated what came out of his mouth and sliced him one more time. His shirt was already drenched in blood from all the cuts.

 

He laughed again. “You seriously lost plenty when Elena claimed you; even your sadistic mind. You no longer scare me, pup.”

 

I hated being called pup, but I needed to find out more about Goran.

 

“How does he know? Emanuel would’ve suspected something.”

 

He laughed again, mocking me and stirring up my blood.

 

“I’m not telling you shit.” He spat into my face.

 

I closed my eyes and opened them again.

 

I ripped off his shirt and I stuck my fingers into one of his cuts, tearing into it and ripping some of his muscle. He doubled over, heaving and breathing heavily from the pain, but no sound came from his mouth.

 

“You are wrong about that pup comment. Now tell me what I want to know. How did you get past Emanuel?”

 

I pulled my hand out from inside of him. He breathed heavily, not even a match for me to fight against.

 

“The first group. We went in with the first group. Taylor went to see Goran. I let everyone else believe that she was still there.” He begged me with his eyes. “Please, Blake.”

 

I could feel something brewing in my mind. Friends, he showed me my friendship with him, the secrets of mine he kept.

 

“Stop that, it’s not going to work this time.” I pushed his thoughts out of my head, and they disappeared.

 

“You are truly one of a kind, Blake.”

 

“I’ve learned the hard way to keep my thoughts to myself.”

 

“And now it’s biting you in the ass, or so I’ve heard. The way you threw your little tantrums when you couldn’t hear Elena’s anymore.” He still mocked me. What would I have to do to instill fear in this assholes head?

 

“Don’t push me. Making me angry is just going to stretch this out longer. My heart and head is always in the same place. To think, you won’t even be there when Nora screams out for you.”

 

His nostrils flared again.

 

“You killed Dickers.”

 

He didn’t speak.

 

“You want me to squeeze some of your organs next?” I yelled. “Tell me, did you kill Dickers?”

 

“Yes, okay. He was supposed to be in that meeting we were all at. The only problem was that I wasn’t there. I just made them believe I was. He found me in Helmut’s office searching for things.”

 

“And he realized what you were.”

 

“Yes, I had no choice but to kill him.”

 

“No, you love every single thing you do. You are sadistic little asshole.”

 

“Fuck you, I will find Elena and I swear, Blake. You will regret every –”

 

I snapped his neck. He didn’t deserve a quick death, but I was done with him. I couldn’t look at his face anymore. The weasel had threatened Elena. Over my dead body.

 

I had promised Elena and made a vow that I would avenge Lucian’s death. That was repaid.

 

I bent down next to his lifeless body. “Don’t make promises you will never keep, Paul.” I got up and went over to Xaline’s tail and picked it up, dropping it a good few meters from me. I’d meant what I said about her not being able to take my abilities, but it was only a blocking technique. My abilities did disappear for the short time she was near me.

 

I went back to him and tore off his head with both my hands. Blood spilled but it wasn’t much since he was already dead. I took the dagger and cut out the tattoo on his arm and gathered all his jewelry. A nice gift for Cain. They might think I was tamed but I was still as dangerous as ever.

 

My pink kiss appeared in the palm of my hand. “Try to escape that, asshole,” I said then threw the flame on his body and watched it burn.

 

Then I took his head and walked with it back to the tail, picked it up, and left. If anyone had to give Sibian the news that his beloved daughter was dead, even if she was two steps away from psycho, it would be me.


 

ELENA

 

It felt like forever, and Blake wasn’t back yet. King Helmut entered the farmhouse’s office. “Is it true, wyverns are here?”

 

“Calm down, it’s taken care of,” Sir Robert said and looked back down at his paperwork.

 

Calm down? I felt like screaming.

 

King Helmut saw me. “Are you okay?” he asked, and I nodded.

 

“Where is Blake?” he asked, looking at Sir Robert, who was busy with some sort of report.

 

“Busy taking care of a problem.” He didn’t even sound worried.

 

“Somebody has to go and help him!” I yelled, and Sir Robert looked up.

 

“He doesn’t need help, princess. Nobody wants to witness what he does to Paul.”

 

King Helmut froze. “Paul, as in Paul Sutton? He’s dead.”

 

I flinched, as tears were still in my eyes.

 

“Elena, Paul is dead right?” he asked.

 

“He will be after tonight,” Sir Robert answered.

 

“He was alive all this time, and you didn’t say anything?” King Helmut sounded angry as he glared at both of us.

 

“It wasn’t Paul that killed your son, it was the hippogriff. Just wait for Blake.”

 

“Where is Emanuel?”

 

“Busy. He will be back soon,” Sir Robert said.

 

King Helmut was furious that we’d lied to him and started pacing around. He didn’t even want to look at me. The times he did it was with a glare.

 

“I didn’t know he was still alive. I didn’t know what I saw in that cave,” I spoke to King Helmut.

 

He shook his head and stopped pacing. “Sir Robert is right, it wasn’t him that killed Lucian, but he could’ve led me to her, Elena. You knew how long I’ve searched for Nora.”

 

“It was Taylor.”

 

“What was Taylor?” King Helmut looked at Sir Robert.

 

“Nora transformed herself into Taylor.”

 

“How long?”

 

“I don’t know. I don’t think there was a soldier out there that used to be a Taylor.”

 

He closed his eyes, and he opened them they were hard. “You want to tell me that she has been under my nose this entire time?” he roared.

 

I flinched and looked at King Helmut.

 

“They were really good at hiding. They fooled all of us, not just Emanuel. Wait for Blake, Helmut.” Sir Robert still sounded calm.

 

Ten minutes later the door opened and Emanuel entered with Blake behind him. I got up on my feet and ran over to him.

 

I smacked into his body. “Shhh.” He kissed me on the head. “You are safe.” He blew out a gush of air then gently pushed me away and held me at arm’s length. “Why did you follow him, Elena?”

 

“I didn’t know. I thought I would be able to wield my abilities. He killed –”

 

“I know. Sibian already knows.”

 

I stared at him. Where the hell is Paul “Is he –”

 

“He is dead.”

 

I buried my face in his chest.

 

“We have another problem, Dad,” Blake spoke and I looked up at him.

 

“What problem?” All of us spoke at the same time.

 

“Paul told me that Goran knows we are coming.”

 

“No,” King Helmut spoke. “He would’ve been here if he knew. It’s just a tactic.”

 

He sounded so sure of himself.

 

“If he knows…”

 

“He doesn’t, son. Helmut is right,” Sir Robert spoke.

 

Blake nodded and threw a key at King Helmut. He caught it and just stared at it.

 

“The hippogriff is in the basement.”

 

King Helmut stared at the key he held for a few seconds more before he looked at Blake. His face had no expression and then it became hard. His gaze fell on Emanuel, who nodded once. King Helmut stormed out of the room with Emanuel behind him.

 

I did not want to know the horror he was going to bestow on Nora for killing Lucian.

 

He’d been looking forward to this day for a long time.

 

“I’m taking Elena back to the Academy,” Blake said. “She’s not safe here.”

 

I just stared at Blake. Stupid Paul.

 

“Blake,” his father said.

 

“Dad, she almost died. She’s not staying.” He spoke over his shoulder and we left.

 

Outside I started to breathe faster as I strode after Blake. If Goran was here…

 

“Blake.” I stopped and he did too and turned to face me. “Nora said it’s the easiest thing this side to take someone else’s form. What if Goran…”

 

“Shhhh,” he said softly and put his finger gently on my lips. “Goran isn’t the pretend type. He wouldn’t hide as someone else, trying to trick us. My father is right. He isn’t here. All of us would’ve known if he was. He doesn’t fear anyone.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

He nodded and smile. “Now let’s get you to the Academy.”

 

“I’m fine. I don’t need to go to the Academy.”

 

“You almost died tonight.”

 

“I know, and believe me, not knowing if I was going to see you again was ten times worse. I’m safer here.”

 

He grunted, didn’t agree with me, and dragged his fingers through his hair.

 

Our eyes met and he pulled me close to him. He felt so warm, and I did feel safe with him.

 

“I really hate my birthday.”

 

Blake chuckled. “Technically, it isn’t your birthday anymore. It stopped an hour ago.”

 

I looked at my watch; it was ten past one.

 

He lifted up my chin, and I looked into his face. “Then the manor?”

 

I wanted to say, The manor isn’t my choice either. He just smiled as if he could read my mind again. Why didn’t he get that I just wanted to stay here, where I was safe with him? We’d both almost died.

 

“So what is the plan?” George asked and my face fell. I could still feel Blake’s eyes on me.

 

“We are going to stay over at the manor tonight. You are more than welcome to come with if you want.”

 

“Well, we have that interview tomorrow with Just Kev,” Becky said, “I want to stay close to Elena.” She had all the right to want to stay close; none of them wanted to relive the four months when I had been missing. We all stayed quiet.

 

“What?” Blake asked Becky, as if she wasn’t finished with her sentence.

 

“Why do I get the feeling you are not coming with?”

 

He chuckled. “I have to stay here, but I will make sure that she is safe. My parents’ house is the safest, after the Academy.” He looked down at me again, and I smiled. It was filled with disappointment. This was so not how I wanted this reunion to end.

 

He grabbed my wrist gently and turned around so that his back faced me. He bent his knees slightly and held my hand around his neck as if he was going to give me a piggyback ride. Then he jumped high and transformed. I found the horn on his back while his talons were in my hand.

 

Excitement followed and laughter escaped my lips. This was so frawsome.

 

George and Becky were behind us. Far behind us.

 

“Just fly slower; they can’t keep up!” I yelled at him and he decreased his speed, waiting for them to catch up.

 

The manor was an hour away from the Dragon League campsite. Sir Robert’s dragons went in via the other farms that weren’t being farmed anymore. There were plenty of hiding places where the scouts had set up camp.

 

The ones in Alkadeen were mostly of King Helmut’s squad. They had a good plan.

 

We all went through my room’s landing and Blake changed inside my room. I threw one of my towels at him and he wrapped it around his lower waist and walked to his room.

 

“Mom!” he yelled.

 

“Down here!” Isabel called back and Becky, Dean and I went downstairs as Blake and George disappeared into his room and Sammy went into hers to change.

 

“Elena.” Isabel smiled and grabbed both my hands gently in hers. “Robert told me what happened. Is Paul –”

 

We all nodded.

 

“Becky.” She kissed Becky on both cheeks then gave Dean a hug. “The manor has been so quiet lately. I can’t wait for Constance and Annie to visit.”

 

“She can have my room,” I said.

 

Isabel smiled. “That is so kind of you, but we do have guest rooms. Come sit. You must be so tired.” She looked at all of us and we sat down on the couches.

 

Not long after, Sammy, George and Blake entered. She looked horrified when she saw Blake, got up and went over to him. “Are you okay?”

 

“Mom, I’m fine.” He sounded annoyed.

 

“It’s different now, Blake. Killing…”

 

I stared at them as I knew about Blake killing people. Had he told Isabel as well?

 

“I know. I’m okay.”

 

She nodded with a slightly worried smile then stroked the side of his face. “You want something to eat, drink? I can put on the kettle.”

 

“I’m not staying,” Blake said and I slumped.

 

“You think that is wise?” Isabel asked.

 

“Mom, I have to get back. Elena is safe here. Besides I have to be with Dad tomorrow.”

 

All of them looked at Blake through furrowed brows.

 

“Why? He’s not going in, is he?”

 

“No, Mom. He’s not going in.” He pulled Isabel in for a hug. “Just watch Elena’s interview tomorrow.” He spoke softly but all of us heard it.

 

“What is happening tomorrow at Just Kev, Elena?” Becky asked.

 

“Wait and see, Becky,” Blake snapped and she backed off.

 

“What are you not telling me, Blake? What is this about?”

 

“Mom, just watch tomorrow.” He kissed her on her head and came over to me.

 

He crouched in front of my seat and I wrapped my arms around his neck. I really didn’t want him to go.

 

“I’m sorry you had a crappy birthday, but at least you are safe.”

 

I nodded and forced a smile. “See you later today.”

 

He smiled and I smiled back. He got up and walked out of the lounge.

 

“George!” Blake yelled and George got up as well.

 

Blake must’ve wielded a shield, since I couldn’t hear a word they said, and after a while I heard the door close and George was the only one who came back.

 

He looked worried. I didn’t know if Blake had told him about my father. Whatever it was, he didn’t say.

 

I didn’t like this at all.

 


We each had a cup of Isabel’s much-loved cocoa before we went to bed. “We’re just in the guest room if you need anything, Elena.” George said.

 

“I’ll be fine, George.” I smiled and said goodnight to Becky. Thank heavens she’d left the Just Kev interview alone.

 

I took a shower and crawled into bed. I hadn’t slept in it for a long time.

 

I kept looking at the spot where Blake had fallen to the floor that night. That had been the last time I’d been in this room.

 

They must’ve changed the carpet. There was no bloodstain, and that night there’d been a lot of it.

 

The hours ticked by, and I had no idea how I was going to tell everyone that my father was alive on national TV. What would Sir Robert do?

 

My Cammy rang, and I saw Blake’s name.

 

I wielded my shield and picked it up.

 

His hologram appeared, and I couldn’t tell where the hell he was.

 

“Can you just open your bedroom door? I do not want my mom to find me outside her room.”

 

My heart fluttered, as I know he was standing right outside my room. I dropped the Cammy and got out of bed. He did want to be with me, and had just thrown everyone off, thinking that he wasn’t going to come. Sneaky bastard.

 

I opened the door and his shield vibrated off him.

 

I sucked in my lips and stepped out of his way.

 

He took a leap to miss the creaking floorboards that his father had put in front of my door and I closed the door after he was inside.

 

He pulled me into his shield and our lips touched. The kiss was soft and I had to stand on my toes in order to reach him.

 

His hands were blazing warm, cupping my face softly.

 

He walked backward and fell with me on top of my bed.

 

I laughed as I found myself on him and couldn’t believe how strong his shield was as it sparkled around us.

 

“Sneaky bastard,” I said, and he smiled.

 

“You really thought I would not be here tonight?”

 

I nodded with a smile.

 

“Elena, I told you my father is watching me like a hawk. I had to go back to ease his mind.”

 

“So I take it that his mind has been eased.”

 

“He was sleeping like a baby when I left.”

 

“You not scared that he is going to check up on you?”

 

“Nope.” He smiled and kissed me again.

 

His hands were gentle and stroked the side of my torso softly. It gave me a million goose bumps. They disappeared underneath my pajama shirt but I didn’t even flinch, not a single bit.

 

He wasn’t Billy. He was far from being anything like Billy, and tonight there was no Billy. It was only him and me. I felt safe.

 

He stopped again and I could feel him taking a huge breath.

 

“So why the urgency in wanting to see me?”

 

I stared at him and smiled. “Let’s just say that I’m no longer going to mistreat you.”

 


We kissed for a long time. Blake’s shirt was missing and his body was blazing hot, temperature wise and physically.

 

He was like my own personal furnace.

 

My one foot trailed up his leg and he stopped kissing me. I opened my eyes and found him staring at me.

 

“What?” I asked.

 

“Elena, we need to stop.” He spoke softly, placing a few strands of hair back behind my ear.

 

“Why?” I said, and he didn’t answer, he just looked at me. I wanted to kiss him again but he pulled away.

 

“I don’t want you to not speak to me tomorrow because you weren’t ready for this.”

 

I just looked at him. This was Blake, for crying out loud! I sighed. “You might beg me to shut up.”

 

He chuckled. “So not going to happen.” He brushed my cheek softly and kissed me once on the lips. “I’m just scared.”

 

“Scared?” I asked. “Blake Leaf, the mighty Rubicon, scared?” I teased and he smiled.

 

“You know what I mean.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “There is going to be plenty of time to do this. It’s not the right time, not yet. Just trust me, okay.”

 

He rested on his one arm and looked at the foot of my bed. He wasn’t even looking at me.

 

I hated this. Tabitha had no problem getting him riled up. Me, I seriously sucked at this. “Look I know I’m not Tabitha –”

 

“Elena,” he scolded at me. “It’s not that.”

 

“Then what is it? I actually remember the two of you at the old place.”

 

He closed his eyes at that memory and looked disgusted. “I’m not that Blake anymore.”

 

He made me furious when he said that, really he did, but if he didn’t want to, I wasn’t going to beg him.

 

“Fine.” I said and closed my eyes. This was so stupid. I should’ve never asked him to come tonight.

 

He kissed the top of my nose, and I opened my eyes. I just stared at him, not really wanting to. I felt so embarrassed now.

 

“Don’t look at me like that.”

 

“Like what?” I said.

 

“Like I just disappointed you again. I hate that look.”

 

“Sorry, I don’t mean it.”

 

“Elena, I just want what is best for you. Believe me when you are ready, it will be special. I promise.” He cupped my face and kissed me softly on the lips.

 

How could I be angry with him? I felt like an idiot, but I wasn’t going to push if he wasn’t ready. I knew I was. I just had to be patient now.

 

I closed my eyes and moved closer to him. Just being this near should be enough. It would be enough for now.

 

I had forgotten about that night I went to his room to tell him about the plant.

 

It wasn’t a surprised that he knew the berries well.

 

“Tia actually gave it to you.”

 

“Yes, and then Raymond told me about the berries, it was a huge discussion. She named him Louie, so know we just have to wait for Louie’s berries.”

 

“You think it’s the missing ingredient?”

 

“It has to be. It’s powerful enough, or so Raymond said.”

 

“Okay.” He sighed. “That was the plant you had that night in your arms, wasn’t it?”

 

“The same one.”

 

An awkward silence hung in the air. The berries just had to be the missing plant’s ingredients. It just had to be.

 

We changed the subject and spoke about the past month, about his training with the Dragon League. I couldn’t stop listening to him. It sounded like something that belonged in a King Arthur story, but with dragons. I kept wondering what his father was going to do tomorrow, and when the clock read five, we finally called it a night and went to sleep.


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