Chapter 22: More Challenges
I trumpeted a loud battle cry as I charged, spreading my wings, and bowing my head to gain speed. I clashed with the traitor which I recognized as Rocco’s brother, Liam, who was much smaller and weaker than me. I saw the look of despair as he recognized with whom he was paired. The sound of our huge bodies hitting one another reverberated in the sky, accompanied by his wail as my claws, sharp as broadswords, dug deep into his neck. The strike had unbalanced him, and he struggled to steady himself just before I raised my front legs to smash his right wing. He howled in pain, and lifted its wounded wing as high as it could, but was unable to flap it again. He tried to remain afloat by using his other wing, the broken one now folded sideways in a weird angle. I struck him a fatal blow as my fangs latched onto his neck, my claws simultaneously striking at his spinal cord. His screams shattered the sky, the only evidence of the ongoing battle in the darkness of the night, as his body skyrocketed down.
I released a short triumphant cry of victory, before I soared high up in the sky, flew down, and circled around, to find another target. The fury of the betrayal filled me with energy as I fought with my Drakons, side by side, not stopping until there were none left to fight. The need to destroy every traitor who’d had the nerve to challenge me, their future King, was driving me insane, I still wanted to fight, hurt, kill, smash, as my wings pushed in the sky, in the post-battle stillness of the night, fast and unstoppable.
As we were flying down, I spotted Fileas who stood hesitantly far back watching the battle scene, with at least a hundred of his Andra. Just like Cayman, Fileas had ignored my orders. I chuckled. At least, he was keeping his distance from the Drakons, or else it would have been a challenge to explain all of this. But now the battle rage was slowly leaving my body, I could also feel my kitten among them. The smile vanished from my face, what if she had been hurt by a traitor, or even one of my Drakons? I still didn’t know what to do about her, but I felt the decision would soon be forced upon me.
The battle on the ground had ceased, too. My eyes wandered on the lifeless bodies, most of whom belonged to the traitors. But, I roared in fury, as I noticed two of those as my own Drakons. Unfortunately, in a Drakon to Drakon ground fight, the clothes were the first thing to go, the opponents slashing at clothes, baring the other’s body, and exposing the foe’s tattoo, so that the fight could be carried on until one Drakon bled from his life source. That is why, I knew my men were both dead even as I knelt down to check their tattoo.
“Where is he?” I asked, my eyes blazing with hatred.
And, then I saw him. Rocco, restrained by two of my Drakons, his body battered, bloodied, but yet breathing. They’d kept him alive, just as I wanted. He spat in my face using his last vestige of courage as they brought him near me, but I could also see the fear which had tautened his face despite his desperate attempts to hide it. I wiped away his spit, smirking. I extended my hand, and the veil of feigned courage left him, as he screamed with what was to come, his eyes fixed on the movement of my stretched palm up until the moment it made contact with his abdomen. He collapsed.
“Leave him with me, I’ll take care of this. Stay close,” I ordered Cayman. “Dante is missing, and this piece of shit right now is our only ticket to finding him.”
“Seth, let’s kill the humans now, and be done with this nonsense,” Cayman said.
Cayman and I had grown up together, often running and mock-fighting together within the Palace walls. So, I never took his words as a challenge or disrespect, but as those of a worried friend. He often boasted that he was the only one who could poke the Uruloki master as much as he wanted and still get away with it.
“No, not as of yet, I’m close to finding out their plans. Right now, Drakon betrayal is more of a threat to us than the humans. Let’s focus our energy on that. Try to find out how deep this shit goes. Don’t trust anyone, we don’t know who is with or against us. Father has not spoken to me, as of yet. Send a few messengers to the Palace, report back to me on what’s happening.”
“As you wish.”
“Leave now, before the humans decide to come any closer,” I said sighing, the weariness of the battle and the burden of the challenges I was soon to face, finally settling in my bones.
“Are you sure?” he asked, once more.
I nodded. “I may have come across a cure for the madness, I dropped the sample somewhere here before that asshole revealed his plans. We need that taken to the Palace immediately. It’s a small transparent circular vial,” I said, as I sat on my knees, stretching my palms to look for it. Cayman and others followed suit, the scene of my fierce Drakons crawling on the ground was simply hilarious. I laughed, and Cayman laughed, and soon there was a ruckus of laughter, erasing the memory of the betrayal and the battle scene.
“Is this it?” Cayman asked, massaging his ass as he lifted a circular tube which he’d accidentally sat upon.
“Yes,” I said, relieved. It was a miracle the vial was still intact.
“What is it?” asked Cayman. “How do you know it’s a cure?”
“It’s some sort of a sedative. They gave it to me, and since then my dragon has been on a constant wakeful state. I’m not sure it will do us any good, but we have to try.”
“Okay,” said Cayman. Within minutes, they’d disappeared, leaving me to face the humans alone.
I took a deep breath, hoping the uncertainty of what was happening, the fear of facing the Drakons, and the dense trees had stopped the humans, providing me enough protection from the scrutiny of their curious eyes. Thankfully, they were still standing frozen in exactly the same spot I’d seen them when flying from above.
“We have to attack, damn it. What if something happened to him?” I heard my kitten say.
I flinched hearing the evidence of Sierra’s sacrificial attitude.
“We don’t know where he is, we may idiotically make ourselves a target for the Drakons, be killed, and then what would happen to him?” asked Fileas.
Yeah, exactly my dear kitten. You’d be killed! Fileas had scored big right now, he had proven himself to be wise by stopping my Sierra. I walked right amidst them.
“No need to save me, I’m okay as I told you I’d be. And, I have no idea why you’ve defied my orders?” I said, questioningly.
Fileas was silent, but he didn’t avert his eyes, which was to his credit. He owned up to his actions.
“We have a hostage. There is a wounded Drakon who is still alive. They left him like that, and took off. Carry him inside, I’ll interrogate him tomorrow. I do assume, you have a place where we can restrain him?” I asked. The question was nothing but rhetoric. Rocco would not wake up unless I commanded him. My touch had put him in a perpetual sleep.
“Yes,” Fileas answered.
“He’s black haired, and he’s got a red dragon tattoo on his abdomen,” I said, describing him.
“Got it,” Fileas said, as he took a few of the Andra to carry Rocco to the hatch.
Others dispersed, now that the threat was gone. Sierra was the only one who was left behind.
“I thought I asked you to stay inside,” I said.
“I’m not taking orders from you Seth,” she said defiantly.
“It was not an order, but a request,” I said softly.
“I was worried about you,” she explained.
“I know,” I said, sighing. The heat of the battle and fighting had elevated my animal instincts. My libido was in overdrive as I took a step towards her. I was not sure how I could control myself, the need to make her mine was making my body shake with need and desire. “Where were we last?” I murmured as my lips attacked her like a madman, forcing my way in, and I thrust my tongue into her mouth while pressing her firmly to my chest. My hands frantically wandered at her back, seeking the touch of her skin, molding her curves gently to my satisfaction. Her small moans, and whimpers sounded like music to my ears.
“Wait,” she pushed me, trying to regain her breathing. “What about your fiancé?”
I closed my eyes in pain. A decision was indeed being forced upon me, and I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I opened them back again. “Nicole...” I said. “She’ll understand.”
“Uhm, she’ll understand what?” she asked suspiciously as if unsure of what I was really saying.
“That I have found my mate,” I said.
She smiled. Did she even know what a mate meant? I doubted it as she was not even a Drakon. But, she seemed to have liked the word as she rose on her toes to initiate the kiss again, and that was my undoing as my lips found hers in a frenzy of lust. I pulled her body to mine in raw need, my hand holding her by the nape of her neck. Our lips meshed, our tongues licking, suckling, kissing.
“Uhm,” coughed Fileas.
“What now?” I raged. This was the second time he was interrupting my bliss, and my patience was wearing thin.
“A herd of dragonflies are spotted. You should know,” he said.
“We should go inside,” Sierra said, embarrassed.
Screw the dragonflies, screw the humans, screw the Drakon traitors, screw it all! I wanted my mate, and fate was intervening, yet again, to remind me that I couldn’t have her. It was extremely rare for Drakons to find their mates, I was blessed to come across mine, yet how could I make her mine? It defied any logic. And then again, how could I resist her? I held her hand, and walked inside the unit, following Fileas. Perhaps, it was better that we were interrupted. I needed to think on what to do, and I couldn’t do it while my passions were soaring high.
The humans who had stayed inside the unit had cooked the bear meat, and it was the smell of freshly cooked food which greeted us as we stepped in. The Drakon fight had indeed interrupted a good meal. But, I was tired, and I wanted to forget that Dante, who may or may not be getting the madness, was held hostage somewhere, that Drakons were now fighting Drakons, and that I had a human mate. I ate little, and then followed Fileas who showed us where we would sleep for the night. The room was huge, with lots of mattresses spread on the floor. I put the two mattresses together, and stretched my body on one, as I wrapped my arms around Sierra, kissing her softly on her forehead.
She was fidgeting, and constantly sighing. “What is it?” I asked.
“What if the rats...?” she said, not saying anything else. She didn’t have to, my ferocious kitten was scared of rats. I chuckled.
“It’s not funny,” she complained. “They hurt, you know?”
“Baby, no rat will disturb you tonight when you are within the protection of my arms. They will not even come close, I can guarantee you that,” I said. And, they wouldn’t. No rat would disturb a dragon in its sleep.
“Okay,” she said. I loved how trusting she was. She sighed once more, and just like that, she closed her eyes.
“Ssh, don’t make a noise, he’s sleeping right there,” a man said, as he clutched the knife in his hand. “We have one shot to kill him, and the girl. We can’t botch this. Two of us will take him down, while you kill the girl,” he said.
They advanced carefully, their footsteps not making a sound in the stillness of the night.