Waking Other Lives

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Chapter 51: The Bait

I watched in shock as Seth’s dragon clawed Dante’s face, fresh blood pouring from his already battered face. He cried in pain, I felt its torture loud and clear. I had to do something. The other two were about to make a move when I screamed as high as my lungs would let me. They all looked at me for a second, surprised that my roar was different than theirs, they tilted their head as if confused about what it all meant. That little pause gave Dante a break, but then they went at it again.

“Seth, stop it,” I shouted, but he didn’t even look at me. He had no recognition of his name. I had to take more drastic measures to save Dante, and I hoped it would work, and be worth it. I walked to the entrance, easily averting the four dragons immersed in the fight to the death. The heart started beating rapidly in warning when I stood at the mouth of the cave where the precipice gaped beneath. But, I didn’t need to be warned, I knew what I was doing, the risks I was taking. I knew what I was about to do was probably stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. It was deja vu, I was facing the death of someone I cared about, and I had to do my best to save him, even if what I sought the most was this mission to end, and this world to explode just like Rawonia. But, could anyone guarantee that what happened here would have no consequences in the real world? That’s why I would try to save Dante, and Seth and Elvan would be thankful later on.

I felt dizzy looking down below, and I staggered on my feet. The jagged rocks would tear me to pieces if I so much as lost my balance, and I would end up in the ocean cresting below. I saw the broad red sun setting into the horizon in its smoldering like colors, its different hues of red and yellows were fading into the night, pouring through the slanted cliff which loomed large before me. I hesitated, drew back my foot. It was another painful outcry from Dante which eventually made me decide, and I gathered the courage to do what I needed to do. I turned around, my hands holding onto the cave mouth, and I started climbing down, easing myself down step by step. And, I shouted, screamed to draw attention to myself. If what I believed was right, they would be coming after me, at the very least Seth would be. I was gambling, but I had no other tricks left up my sleeve.

I lost my footing, and my cry was packed with genuine fear as I rolled down, hitting my hip on a jagged rock, the coarse sand, and stones chafing, grating against my skin with me trying to hold on to something solid. But, I soon found out, as my voice was hoarse from screaming, that it was all futile. Before I could halt my fall, I was up in the air, held firmly by the claws of my mate, my real mate. I could not claim any role playing here, the scream from falling down the hill had all been real, and thankfully Seth had responded to my plea. As I was once more dangling and flying in the air, I heard the warning roars of the two dragons who’d already left Dante and was now following suit. Seth’s dragon bellowed to ward off the others, its voice full, dominant, and commanding, but it never stopped flapping its wings, heading to a destination it only knew about. Flying with Seth’s dragon was no less painful than flying with Dante’s, and I closed my eyes, the pain at my hip, and from my raw chafed skin making me more dizzy and nauseous than ever. Seth’s dragon soared in the sky, and then dived straight down, and I thought I would lose the little meat I had managed to eat in the cave. When my two feet were on the ground, I was shaking all over.

I turned sharply when I heard the cheering roars from behind my back, and my mouth remained hanging with the scene that greeted me. There were so many dragons behind me that I gasped, and edged closer to Seth. Seth’s tail coiled around me in possession. Would Seth have to fight them? But, his roar against the others was rather friendly, his posture relaxed, his face calm. It was obvious by the way others bowed their heads to Seth’s dragon, that it was in charge here, just like in Rawonia. But, that did not stop the two dragons who finally caught up with us to descend to where we stood, and challenge Seth with a battle cry.

Now, I knew, for sure, what was happening. Their arrival, and fearless challenge had clarified things for me. They were my fake mates, the mates of those whose light I had stolen. I knew not how these two among all the others had found me, probably because they had been closer to Dante’s location. And either, the mate pull was larger than the alpha pull, and hence the resistance against Seth’s dragon, or they were rogues, not under its command. In either way, they were after me. They had formed a temporary alliance when they wanted to snatch me from Dante’s dragon, but in the end, they were playing a game where there could be only one winner. Now that Seth’s dragon had me, they were both trying to eliminate it, before they fought with one another over the final reward, me.

The dragons under Seth’s command growled in rage, and circled around us, displaying aggressiveness against the offenders. Seth left me cocooned in their midst, but moved on forward. As always, he would fight his own battles. He was a natural born leader, no matter the universe. But, my heart was pounding madly in my chest. Frankly, I was scared, he was one against two, and I didn’t want to have him hurt. Unlike Dante, Seth had a horde of dragons willing to fight for him, but it was his pride which got in the way. I muttered impatiently, trying to catch a peep. But, I could barely see the fight scene in between bursts of dragon fire, the dragons closing in around me tight like a blanket. All I heard were growls, roars of rage, the biting sounds, and the sounds of torn flesh which were accompanied by grunts, moans and, whimpers.

My imagination was running wild, and I was failing in trying to decipher which sounds, painful or boastful, belonged to Seth. I tried to get rid of the dragon guards, but they wouldn’t let me get out of the protective circle, their gigantic bodies fencing me in. Then I saw all three dragons rise up in the air, taking the fight to the sky. I angled my head upwards, but they rose above the clouds, disappearing from sight. Their breaths of fire, the only evidence of the surging battle, lit the dark sky like fireworks shooting up in the distance.

What was happening? I had no idea. I could not bear anything happening to Seth, but most importantly there would be no mission without Seth. But, Rawonia’s heart was silent, which gave me hope. If there was something to worry about, it would surely let me know, like in all the other times it it had pushed its beat against my palm, irrespective of how much it hurt. Still though, fear listened to no logic, and deeply ingrained fears got the better of me. And, suffered I did, with my palms sweating, my chest aching, and my head throbbing with stress, with the expectation of what might come to play. After what seemed like endless minutes, the dragon guards finally loosened the circle around me, allowing me to leave. Seth’s dragon stood before me, its chest, and face colored with splashes of blood, and the two challenging dragons lay on the ground, very much dead. Thank God, he was alive, I ran to him, and his tail wrapped around me, lifting me and throwing me at his back. I hugged his neck, my poor sweet Seth, what I wouldn’t do to get back his human self, right now, and kiss him senseless.

I rubbed my temples, trying to ease the tension, wipe awaythe familiar exasperation rearing inside me as the mission loomed ahead, and I had no idea what to do after this point. Now that Seth and I were united, how would I get to the piece of Rawonia’s heart in this universe? Seth’s dragon and I were not speaking the same language, I was as ignorant as a newborn baby when it came to the meaning of his roars, and he was as ignorant when it came to my speech.

Seth’s dragon took off in the air, and I noticed its guards follow us in air, carrying the rear end of the dragon army. The dragons with their scales in shades of reds, yellows, oranges, blues and greens, were smashing. It was like seeing a mosaic of colors on a palette. Yet, they were far from being a decor, their strong and large bodies gliding in the sky, the loud flapping of their wings filling the air. I saw the high cliffs rise above the ocean, which reminded me of Dante. I wondered how he was. I had done my best for him, the way I had done it for Elvan. But, in both cases, I was far from being content with the extent of my help. I hoped that one day, both would find their way to each other.

Seth flew over the ocean, the light from the stars and the moon sparkling brightly on the water. Seth set me down gently on a rock, and then dived in the water, cleaning the blood from its body, splashing the water all around, and then shaking the excess water off itself. The dragon in front of me was a magnificent beast in every way, power oozing from its every pore. I was mesmerized as I watched its every move, and action. It then rose up from the water, and grabbed me from the rock I was sitting on, and carried me to a cave up above the cliff, just like Dante had done. The dragon guards also flew in different directions entering other caves in the vicinity in groups of three or four. Apparently, this was a dragon community and they all lived here, nesting in caves close to one another.

I was simply content, peaceful, whole when I was alone with Seth’s dragon. It did not lick me, not like Dante had done. It just looked at me, its gaze intense, serious, yet caring, just like the boy I knew and loved. Its body was still wet from the cleanup episode in the ocean, which I knew it had done for my credit. I kissed its neck, and slipped down from its back. We ended up sleeping together, wrapped up in each others’ warmth, the pending darkness of the following day no longer freaking me out. I had Seth, and I felt all would be well.

We gazed at each other, the moonlight casting shadows at the entrance of the cave. There was almost a look of awareness in his eyes, his gaze probing mine as if to discover its secrets beneath. He was a dragon. I was a human. He was huge, I was small. I remembered our past, he didn’t. Yet, none of that mattered. The touch, the feel, the scent of each other was familiar, so incredibly dear to us both. Seth’s dragon never took his eyes off me, it craned his neck and leaned towards me, I felt its snout in my neck, caressing my skin up and down as it inhaled my scent. I patted its cheek lightly, and I felt the small vibrations travel through its body upon my touch, I heard the faint pulses of pleasure in its purr. For the first time since I left Rawonia, I was content.

I yawned deeply, feeling the exhaustion of the day catch up with me. But, I was okay with sleeping. I was with Seth, even if he was in his dragon form, and he had accepted me as his mate. So, in my mind, the mission was almost complete. There was no reason why I shouldn’t be sleeping with his dragon form just to wake up with his human one the next morning. My closeness tonight would be awakening his humanity. I was almost sure of it.

And, so I closed my eyes, looking forward to the morning.

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