Waking Other Lives

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Chapter 43: Change in Plans

She went ahead to the living room, and sat down, as though this was a room she frequently visited. But then, of course, she had been Seth’s fiancé, and she might well have done so, a thought which didn’t sit well with me.

“Where is Seth?” I asked since they’d been together the last time I’ve seen them.

“He is trying to clean the mess you’ve created, having meeting after meeting with each aristocratic family, trying to keep their allegiance, making promises he can’t keep. It’s unlikely you will see him at all this night.”

“Then what are you doing in here in the middle of the night?” I asked. “Couldn’t it wait?”

“No, it couldn’t. We have no time to lose,” she retorted. She took a deep breath. “I thought there might be things you are not aware of, and I am here to educate you.”

“Educate me?” I asked, stupefied.

“Yes, if you continue to lead Seth on this path of destruction, you will bring his ruin, his end, not to mention you will be remembered as the one who brought catastrophe on the Drakons,” she said, with a solemn face expression, like a teacher mentoring a pupil. “Do you love him?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“Great,” she said. “Then, you should do what’s best for him and not for you, do you understand? You have to let him be the master Uruloki he is meant to be, and rule the Drakons to greatness.”

“Which requires what exactly? Killing humans?” I asked, sarcastically. I was trembling with rage, bolts of loathing imploded in my heart against this woman.

“The Drakons will all rebel against him, stupid girl, do you think they will ever accept an Uruloki King mated to a human? They will eventually kill him, all because you are not strong enough to do the right thing here, is that what you want? Huh? To see him mutilated by his kin? In the end, they will do worse things to you, and your loved ones. If you let me help you, all can go back to before; I will do my best to convince the nobles to forgive the humans for their transgressions. My family is well respected, and they will listen to us. Then we can all live in peace, just like before.”

I have to admit the little voice of doubt did enter my mind for a few minutes, and she saw it, too. It was apparent in the way she relaxed, the feeling of victory running through her, her lips stretching into a barely visible smile.

“Let me tell you what I’m going to do,” I said, standing in front of her. “I will not be that girl who gets the bait from the mean jealous ex-fiancé to disappear, you see I’ve watched enough movies and read many books where this is always the typical end scene. Do you know what happens when the innocent, loving girl makes the sacrifice to save her lover? A major catastrophe. A major one, indeed. In the end, however, love always conquers it all. So, the viewers and readers are annoyed for nothing, and I will not be party to that. I may be part of the problem here; I admit that. But, there’s no reason why I can’t also be part of the solution. Capisce?”

“What are you saying?” Nicole asked, her eyes narrowing in anger.

“What I’m saying, Nicole is that I’m sorry you are heartbroken, I’m sorry I’m the reason for that. But, I know in my heart that I’m meant to be with Seth, and I will not give him up. I’ve already given up the chance to return to my world, the opportunity to see my family, my grandma, just to be with him, here. I’ve done my share of the sacrifice. I will not do any more than that. I will not be that girl.”

“I hoped it would not come to this. You forced my hand,” Nicole said. “This is on you, I’ve tried, I’ve done my best. My conscience is clean.”

Whoa, what was happening here? Forced her hand? What the hell did that mean?

I sighed in relief when she got up to leave; she looked at me one more time, and then she opened the door, which is when all hell broke loose. Three Drakons who’d been waiting outside barged in, closing the door behind them. They closed in on me as Nicole watched from a distance, her expression was remote, emotionless, as if she had nothing to do with what was about to happen.

“What’s going on? What are you doing?” I asked, hoping that I was wrong in my deductions. But, it was obvious Nicole had come prepared in case I refused to do her bidding, these three Drakons were here to kill me. Seth was not around, and I didn’t have a gun. I could probably take down one of them, but certainly not all of them. And, if they were half as strong as Seth, then this would be over very fast.

They didn’t even answer as they continued advancing on me. Shoot! This was not supposed to happen, not after everything I had to go through. What if I screamed, would anybody hear me? Would they help me in time, would they even help a human girl against their kin? Shit...

“C’mon be quick,” yelled Nicole. “Let’s be done with it, and get out of here.”

I took backward steps to gain a few precious seconds. But, then the strangest thing happened, I opened and raised my palms against the Drakons, an indescribable force guiding my movements just like when I was facing Rocco. The light was calling to me, and I started pulling it all in towards the center of my palms. The room erupted with streaks of light, strong bright light surging from the first Drakon’s right thigh, the second one’s chest, the third one’s neck and Nicole’s abdomen. They were screaming, holding their heads as if hit by a migraine attack. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to; it was the light which was dictating where it wanted to travel, and it wanted to go towards me, I was only helping with its transmission. It took only a few seconds, but it felt like hours as I watched their faces write in agony, as I felt my body be hit with volts of power, that power circulating within me, filling me with an incredible energy. They all fell on the ground when it was over; their faces were confused, their eyes searching for answers.

“What did you do?” Nicole burst out, trying to get on her knees. “What the hell happened to us?”

“My dragon is gone”, the first Drakon suddenly cried out. “She killed my dragon; my tattoo is gone.”

It didn’t take long for others to come to the same conclusion. “I will kill you with my hands, I will kill you bitch,” Nicole said, tears coming down her face.

Now I was facing a lynching mob, all with a good cause. The balance of power had shifted when they had lost their dragon power, but I was not underestimating them as I was well aware that grievances created committed fighters, and they were certainly aggrieved.

The irony of it all was that they had turned into humans. Now, who was part of the problem Nicole? I almost wanted to laugh, but I knew better, so I held myself with an iron will.

“Look, you’ve forced my hand, too. I’m sorry, but you gave me no choice,” I said.

It was then that the door opened, and Seth entered in, his eyes frantic, his movements panicky. He saw me, and there was obvious relief in his voice as he asked, “Are you okay Sierra?”

I nodded.

“What happened here?” he asked. “Nicole, what are you doing here with your guards?”

“She killed my dragon; she killed it. This girl is a menace to all Drakons, she needs to die,” she said, spitting out the words. “Oh my goodness, how will I bear this, give it back to me bitch, it’s mine,” she said, suddenly jumping at me, her fingers coiling around my neck, and squeezing. Wow, despite losing her dragon, she was still incredibly strong. It was Seth who lifted her off me.

“All of you out,” he said, and the Drakons left the room. “You and I need to talk,” he said to Nicole. “Wait for me outside.”

Talk, what was there to talk about? I didn’t like that at all.

“Sierra,” he said, hugging me. “Kitten, I’m sorry I wasn’t here for you, I’m sorry I brought this on you,” he said, raining small kisses on my face. “I don’t know what I would have done if they had harmed you,” he said, burying his face into my neck. “I can’t believe you were able to neutralize the threat like that. I’m thankful yet again for this power you seem to possess.”

“To a certain extent, I understand you know. She was hurting, and she wanted to hurt me,” I said, trying to be understanding not for her sake, but for Seth’s sake who was also hurting now. “I don’t know how I’d feel if I lost you right now.”

“She was planning to kill you; I don’t know how to deal with that, right now Sierra. She’s always been the gentlest of hearts; I feel responsible for pushing her to this.”

The gentlest of hearts, my ass. If Seth had seen her, her face twisted in anger, her expression set in meanness, if he’d only heard her words to kill me as if I was a bug under her shoe, he’d know better. She was a good actress; that’s who she was.

“It’s not your fault, Seth. Nobody is responsible for her choices and actions, but herself. Do you know why she was here today? She wanted to convince me to leave you. Her guards were there to ensure that the deed would be done.”

He flinched. “I have to get this out of the way. I mean the talk,” he said, not elaborating on it any further.

“What will happen to them?”

“The guards will die. Nicole? I have no idea what to do with her. Killing her would bring all the nobles against me” he said. “But, most importantly, I’m not sure I can do it,” he said, slowly raising his head as though it was heavy. His eyes met mine; there was grief reflected within their depths.

“Uhm, perhaps imprisoning them all is the solution instead?” I suggested. That way, he wouldn’t be killing anyone.

He laughed. “Imprisoning them? We do not forgive treason, and trying to kill the master Uruloki’s mate is the ultimate crime, kitten. This can’t be forgiven. But, then how do I deal with Nicole?”

“Well, you can’t kill the guards for taking the order to kill me, and then let Nicole, the one who gave the order, go free. How is that justice? And, now that Nicole is human, perhaps the war with humans can stop.”

“I know, which is why it’s all confusing. I’m not sure how the Council will see it, Sierra. They will want revenge for what happened to her; I’m more cautious of the Drakons rather than the humans right now.”

“Perhaps, if you end the war with humans, they can be your allies against the rebellious Drakon faction.”

“That’s an idea. I just don’t know how to convince the Council of the Drakons and the humans of the utility of this alliance. I need a good enough reason.”

“It will come in time, Seth. We’ll find it, “I said, looking into his eyes. “We are in this together now.”

“I love you,” he said, as his lips found mine. Unfortunately, it was a short kiss, we both had urgent issues to deal with.

“Seth, I need to talk to you about something,” I said, hoping to mention the heart of Rawonia.

“Can it wait? Nicole...” he said.

“Of course, you go and have that talk; we’ll do it later,” I said, smiling.

When it was morning, and Seth hadn’t returned, I felt I could no longer wait. The answers all remained with the heart of Rawonia, and I needed them right now. I felt the precious minutes ticking away; I knew I had to unravel the mysteries of my mission, I felt it in my heart that the answers I sought would help us move forward in this universe. I went to find Elvan, who knew and believed in the mission. She was having breakfast at Kristen’s room with all the others, and she got up when she saw me as if she could sense the urgency in me.

“Sierra? What’s up?” she asked.

“I need help,” I said. “To get to the heart of Rawonia. But, we will need Dante’s help.”

“Hmm,” is all she said, but she’d started moving.

We headed for Dante’s room; his soft singing could be heard outside the room. His whole face lit up when he saw Elvan. “Sweetie, what a great surprise!” he said. “I missed you.”

“Can you take us to the heart of Rawonia?” Elvan asked directly.

“Why?” he asked, surprised.

“Will you trust me enough not to ask any questions?” Elvan said.

“Yes,” he said, his eyes were twinkling, his features relaxed, and his grin wide and sexy. “I’ll do that.”

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