Waking Other Lives

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Chapter 39: The Palace

Seth's POV

I forcefully kept my eyes open, I was simply too exhausted to keep awake, but I needed to be alert in case of a Drakon attack. Dante had fallen asleep an hour ago, his coarse singing had finally ended, and it was rather quiet in the car, except for the sound of the working engine. Sierra was still under the influence of the drug, but touching her, holding her head on my lap worked its magic, soothing my dragon. From time to time, Dante murmured in his sleep; the words were all endearments, such as baby, love, my angel, all of which irritated the hell out of Elvan. I would have laughed had I not been worried sick over Sierra. I just couldn’t wait to get to the Palace. That was another concern; I was bringing two humans, a mad Dante, and myself, or rather a weakened and altered version of myself, to a group of Palace residents, all of whom were Drakons. And, probably Elvan wouldn’t take it lightly to learn that Dante and I weren’t humans. How would that go, I didn’t know. Yes, as much as my eyes sought the Palace gates, I was also wary of what was to come.

As my eyes were drooping, I came to myself with Elvan’s cursing. “Shit, shit, shit!” she said, as the sound of the engine suddenly ended, the car coming to a full stop in the middle of the road. “We ran out of gas, shit,” she cursed again.

“Meaning what exactly, that we are stuck in here?” I asked, straightening my body to fight off the fatigue. Why was I surprised, after all, the human way of doing things always had a weakness, which is why we were now in some deep shit.

“What’s going on?” asked Dante, with sleep-induced confusion swirling in his eyes. He had woken up, his sleep apparently disturbed by the absence of the car motion. At least, he was himself again. It was extremely weird that his moments of sanity seemed to be happening more frequently, and each time for an elongated duration. If I didn’t know any better, I would swear he was improving. But, how was that possible? There was simply no cure for the Drakon madness.

“We don’t have gas, that’s what is happening, should you care about anything else but your sleep,” Elvan answered, curtly.

“Oh? You are in a bad mood, huh honey?” he replied, in a sweet drawl. “This sucks. Seth? What are you thinking of doing?” he asked, yawning.

“The woman who shot me and imprisoned you may be after us. We can not stay here; we’d expose ourselves to the risk of being caught, we have to hide while one of us brings help.”

It couldn’t be Dante, as he was still susceptible to his fits, it couldn’t be Elvan, as they’d kill her. That left only me, who could barely walk. This was bad.

Elvan looked around, at me, at Sierra and Dante. “I’ll go. I’m the only one fit to go. Where exactly is the help located at?” she asked.

“No, you can’t go alone. I’ll go with you,” said Dante, immediately.

“That could work if only I can be sure of you not hurting her. Dante, she may not be able to control you when your condition regresses, and for obvious reasons, she can’t go alone. I don’t know what to do.”

“I won’t hurt her Seth; I’m shocked you would think so. I have never hurt a woman in my life; I rather prefer to pleasure them to death,” he said, placing a sexy smile on his face. “Are you interested, sweetie?”

“No, I certainly am not,” Elvan said, stomping her foot in annoyance. “He’s driving me nuts, but I can control him, even when he starts to sing those horrible ballads, you know? I don’t know why he does that, but he is overall rather harmless,” she assured me. “Even if his whole presence is trying my nerves,” she added.

“I don’t know,” I said, but this seemed to be the only solution, though it was far from perfect. Dante could guarantee Elvan’s safety, but it all depended on him being sane when they made it to the Palace. If he was not himself, though, they could blame Elvan for everything. “Dante knows the way in, but in case he slips, I want you to ask for Noah. Tell him; you are under my protection, tell him... I depend on him to take care of you, the way he has taken care of Travis and Mina.”

“Oh my goodness, are you saying that Mina and Travis are okay, too? I was so sure they were dead,” she said, her spirits undeniably elated.

“Yes, Noah cured them.”

“Oh? Is he a doctor in that facility?” she asked. “He must be good if he could cure them both.”

“You can say that,” I said.

“But, how could he have cured Travis? There is no cure for a dragonfly bite, and Travis had surely been close to death. I don’t get it.”

“I know. All will be clear enough Elvan. Don’t fret over it right now; we have more urgent things to attend to.” I turned to my brother with concern. “Dante, you think you’ll be fine? She is under your care,” I said, tapping him lightly on the shoulder as if to display my confidence in him.

“She won’t need Noah; I promise you that. I’ll be there for her,” he said, with a stern expression.

“You can’t guarantee that bro,” I said, sadly.

“I will make sure of it,” he said as if he could control his madness. The whole world knew he couldn’t. Nobody could. “Let me help you with Sierra,” he said, as he carried her body to a rather secluded place beneath a large tree. Should they catch with us, this would not be good enough as a hiding place. But, hopefully, Dante could arrange transportation for us long before then. “We’ll be back,” he said, as he and Elvan set a fast and rhythmic running pace on the street.

I heard Dante say, “Babe, you look hot when you keep those legs pumping.”

I saw Elvan curse under her breath, and increase her speed, trying hard to outpace him.

“Is that the way you want it, honey, both of us sweaty and warmed up, when we get to our destination? I’m all for it, I will roll you in bed, and make slow love to you all night long, with our bodies slick with sweat,” he said, keeping up with her.

The last thing I saw was her slapping him, though she never stopped running.

This would be one hell of an annoying journey for Elvan, and I chuckled just thinking about it.

I lay down next to Sierra, and before I knew it, I’d fallen asleep holding her body within the protection of my arms, the dangers, and the risks of being alone in here, completely forgotten, the wanderer forcing my body to rest and heal.

I woke up to noises, the chatter of humans and roaring engines, delved my foggy brain, and brought me swiftly back to reality.

“Their vehicle is here, they must not be far away,” one said.

“You go ahead, Baran. You will catch them if they are on foot. Take the direction of the Palace. I’m sure that’s where they’ve been heading, now we know exactly what they both are. And, we’ll look around, in case they’ve been hiding somewhere around here.”

“Okay Masoud, though I doubt they would be able to make Sierra walk in her condition. I’m so worried about her; I can’t think straight.”

“It’ll be all right, we’ll find them, and we’ll take Sierra back to the medical facility. All will be fine; you’ll see,” said the other.

“How is he still alive, man? That’s not normal. No wonder, the Drakon population is not dwindling no matter how hard we fight in this war. How could he still be breathing, I don’t get it. And, to think Elvan chose to place her loyalties with a Drakon, putting Sierra into danger. I don’t understand it, what was she thinking?”

“Don’t know. Hayley was fuming mad, too. She was pretty sure she’d killed him, for good.”

“It’s pretty messed up. We’d better get going,” I heard Baran say.

Damn, they had caught up with us. They would see us, and I had to act quickly. With a strength I didn’t know I had, I lifted Sierra in my arms, and started walking as fast as I could. I would keep going until I made sure they were not following. I walked, each step hard, but steady. Sleep had done me some good, though I was far away from recovering, I no longer felt the overriding exhaustion which had previously crippled my body. I heard their voices from a close distance, which spurred me on. I concentrated on my steps; my only concern was not to stop.

After half an hour of this strenuous walking, my legs felt the tension, the weight, and the pressure of carrying Sierra’s weight. My thighs were beginning to strain, sweat was dripping down my forehead, and my arms were completely numbed to any sensation. I was not attuned to increasing pain, however, instead choosing to focus on Sierra and her welfare. I programmed my brain to do one and one thing only, to keep my legs going. As long as my pace was high enough, consistent, and uninterrupted, we would always be one step ahead of them. I continued walking for another half an hour till I was completely sure they had given up on us. Then I slowly lowered her body down, and collapsed on the ground, my body finally giving up on me, now that the danger was gone.

It was hours later that I woke up, feeling more freshened, but I realized that no one had come to our rescue. Sierra was awake, looking at me.

“Sierra, how are you? How do you feel?” I asked with panic. I felt her forehead which was hot to the touch, she had missed her human medicine, and I had not cured her, so this was the result. But, I was going to try healing her now, no matter the outcome. I would give it my best shot.

She didn’t answer me; she was confused, and not herself.

“Don’t worry baby, all will be all right,” I said, slowly unwrapping her bandages. I cringed when I saw what had happened to her; I couldn’t imagine the pain she’d been suffering, the torture she’d been going through, all inflicted on her by my kind. Without losing another second, I started licking her, starting from the bottom up, swirling my tongue in circles and moving upwards. I had to stop and take short breaks every time the healing stripped me of energy. And, then I would start again, and I didn’t stop until my saliva had covered each burned and infected spot at least three times. I was not sure, how much I was able to help her, but I was deprived of choice when blackness wrapped around me, with the healing finally taking a toll on my weak body.

When I opened my eyes again, it was completely dark, Sierra was sleeping, and we were not any closer to being rescued. Her breathing was long and rhythmic. In and out. I noticed it was rather peaceful. I was relieved to find her fever was almost gone. I would carry out the healing process every few hours until she was much better. What would have previously taken me one lick to heal now required multiple sessions, but I would gladly do it. For her. So, I started from scratch again.


Back to Elvan and Dante...

Elvan’s POV

“Cause I’m lonely and I’m tired, I’m missing you again, oh no, once again...“Dante sang, mournfully.

“Oh no, not again. Please stop singing. I beg of you,” I said. “I’m already dying here.”

Dante stopped singing, but he also stopped running, he had a confused look again, and he looked around, not understanding where he was. He sat down in the middle of the road.

“Damn, Dante please move. This is so not the time. C’mon big boy, up on your feet! I will not say anything about your singing; you can sing whatever you want, just move. I beg of you.”

He didn’t do anything. He didn’t recognize me. He just sat like that looking at space.

“Damn, Seth warned me, and I didn’t heed it. I can control him, my ass! What the hell was I thinking? Damn!” I repeated over and over again. I let him sit like that for a few minutes, catching my breath in the meantime. If only he were himself again soon enough, we’d be fine. But, a few minutes became ten, and ten became twenty. I’d lost my patience, and I slapped him on the face, this time to wake him up from his stupor. But, nothing happened. He didn’t even react. I tried to drag him holding him by his shirt, but he was too heavy to budge. I yelled, begged, prayed, all to no avail. I heard the engine of a car from afar, and I panicked.

“Please, Dante. I will even kiss you, I swear! You wanted your reward, remember? You’ll have it, if only you move now. Please, get up. Just this once,” I said, as tears of frustration and panic rolled down my cheeks.

I did the only thing left to me; I kissed him, it was the quickest kiss, rather a peck on the lips, the only one I could manage under these difficult circumstances. He blinked, and looked at me, his eyes slowly clearing up from the hold of the madness. Then he got up. “Why are you crying honey?” he asked, snapping out of the last remnants of insanity.

“Thank God,” I said trying to drag him off the road. “A car is coming! We need to hide.”

We barely made it as the car sped us by. We were crouched beneath a tree, breathing heavily, waiting patiently for the road to clear. A few minutes later, when I thought it was safe to start running again, he stopped me as I was about to get up.

“I believe they are gone,” I whispered, though thinking maybe he had reason to believe otherwise.

He rolled me onto my back and kissed me. Just like that. With no warning. With no preparation, whatsoever. His lips were hard, commanding, passionate. It was a hard, long kiss, his lips devouring mine, his tongue forcing its way into my mouth, determined not be gainsaid. I was lost, not understanding what was happening to me.

Then he stopped and sighed as if suddenly remembering the consequences of dallying in here.

“That’s the way you do it, babe. But, now we need to go, sweetheart, we’ll do more of this, much more of this when we get there, I assure you,” he said, his eyes full of promises.

I got up, utterly embarrassed of what I’d done. I didn’t say anything else; I refused to look at him, choosing to ignore my urges and my impulsive attraction to him. And, thankfully he didn’t go back to singing, or gibberish talk for a long time so that I didn’t have to repeat the kiss.

But, I was too hasty in relaxing because eventually, he did. And, unfortunately, at the very worst time. He sank back into madness a few minutes before we found ourselves surrounded by the Palace guards.

“Fuck,” I cursed. There were at least ten Drakons, wearing Palace colors, who had circled us. Dante was back to sitting on the ground, and I couldn’t even bring him back with a kiss as somebody grabbed me tightly, folding my arms at the back, keeping me immobile. Dante was oblivious to his surroundings, or to what was happening around him. It was obvious to me now that we would never make it to the medical facility.

“It’s Prince Dante,” one of the Drakons exclaimed. “Hello,” he said, standing in front of Dante, and waving his hand in his face. There was no reaction from him.

What the hell did he mean by addressing him as Prince, and how would a Drakon even know him by name? I was slowly getting to realize what this all meant, but it was so impossibly hard to believe, that I struggled with accepting it. But, that explained why we were heading towards the Palace, not because we were trying to find a medical facility around it, but because our target was the Palace itself. And, I could now understand what was wrong with Dante, he was suffering from the madness that was destroying the Drakon race.

And, that meant...oh my goodness, that meant Seth was also a Drakon, had always been one, and I’d been fool enough to follow him, support him and save him. Him staying alive, despite being the target of so many of Hayley’s shots, probably had something to do with him being a Drakon, too. This was news to me and would be to all humankind if they only knew. And worse yet, I had kissed Dante and enjoyed it. Hell, I had loved it! What did this all mean, I was having a difficult time in forming coherent thoughts.

“Noah. I need to see Noah,” I said, playing the Noah card. This was what Seth had in mind when he had asked me to give his name. He’d sent me to this Drakon trap, to save his and Sierra’s asses, and I had to save myself now, I had no one else to do it for me. Though Seth was the last person I would trust at this very moment, nevertheless I had to try and see whether his trusted Drakon would help keep me alive in here. I had to try it, as I had nothing else left.

“Fuck you human,” he said, dragging me forcibly.

“Where are you taking me, please I have a message for Noah,” I said, in vain.

“You are going to visit our special room, designed just for your kind,” he said laughing.

“Noah?” I asked once more, but I lost consciousness when he hit me, not ever knowing what happened to Dante. When I opened my eyes again, I was lying in complete darkness, and I didn’t need to be a genius to know that I was alone in a filthy dungeon. I yelled and demanded to see Noah, until my voice was coarse, and cracked. But, no one ever heard me.

***********************************************

“How is he Noah?” the King asked.

“We’ve restrained him. He has the madness, my King. He’s extremely aggressive, shouting, kicking and breaking everything in the room.”

“My precious young boy, my dear Dante. How did this happen?” he said, holding his head in his hands in despair. “Till when can we wait?” he asked, his voice shaking.

“We can’t wait for long my King. He is in the last stages of the sickness. He’s getting worse. We will have to put a stop to it, very soon.”

“How can a father bear this? Give him the sedative from the vial Seth has sent. We have replicated enough doses of it. Do it now!” he bellowed. “And I want that witch dead, do you hear me?”

“Yes, my King. She’s been in the dungeon for two straight days; she is weakened and starved. We’ll do it right away.”

“Good,” the King said, wearied.


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