When Olivia woke, her mind was as bland as the cave was. Meggan and Kane were somewhere doing their thing, possibly a morning run in the forest whilst Rykal was still asleep beside her. She glanced at the dragon shifter, remembering her bold move to hug him. Her cheeks went a dark hue of pink and she quickly looked away. The blush darkened went he didn’t push her away, he hugged her back. It felt so nice, so weird and so different. The untold connection between the two didn’t make any sense to Olivia, mainly the sparks whenever she touched his skin.
Olivia looked at Rykal again curiously. Hesitantly, she reached out her hand, stretched her fingers, and she felt the warmth seeping from Rykal’s defined forearm as she touched it. A soft gasp left her lips as fuzzy sparks invaded her, crawling from her fingertips into her hand. Olivia pulled her hand away and looked at her palm, there was nothing there but it felt as if she’d just put her hand into hot water whilst feathers were tickling her palm; as odd as it sounded it felt comforting.
The sparks soon faded and Olivia closed her hand into a fist. Such a strange feeling. Olivia tried to wrap her mind around why she felt things with the dragon shifter, yet much of nothing came to mind. A groan left her lips and Olivia rested her head against the rocky wall behind her. She closed her eyes, letting seconds turn into minutes. As Olivia thought about the hug from the night before, she thought about the small conversation they had.
He saved her for reasons she didn’t understand, his traditions. The answer didn’t help her. She wondered why he saved her. She hoped it had nothing to do with the absurd facts about his kind in the books. Olivia opened her eyes. A frown caressed her forehead and she glanced back at the dragon shifter. What was she doing? She read the books and didn’t believe them, she thought they were lies. She thought it was absurd for the fantasy to exist because she had never seen a supernatural creature in her life, only the basic goat, cow, horse and chicken.
She made herself a fool as she probably was as she sat in the cave next to a dragon shifter, the dangerous supernatural of any known species. What was she doing? The books, the stories, the proof, it was all no doubt true. If Rykal existed then didn’t it mean his traditions were? It would be the only thing that made sense to her.
Everything was so easy before she discovered her village was a nest to Snake People. Looking at the dragon shifter, Olivia suddenly didn’t like being alone with him. As she stood from her spot, she stepped away in which the dragon shifter stirred and rested his head on his extended warm. His nose twitched then remained motionless. Olivia swallowed the large lump in her throat as her heart raced. She looked around for something to use as a weapon but quickly realized that she was as useless defending herself as she was backing small cakes.
A cold breeze gushed into the cave, hitting Olivia’s face like a cold bucket of water. She shooked her head furiously at the little snowflakes caught in her hair. What was she going to do? She didn’t want to die. She just wanted to be free from fear, free from slavery, and free from nightmares. It was all she ever wished for. Feeling alone, Olivia hugged herself and sat opposite of the dragon shifter.
Where is Meggan?
Meggan and Kane should’ve been back. Olivia frowned and looked outside. It was snowing hence the snowflakes in her hair. She wondered when it’d begin to snow. Rykal suddenly growled, jolting Olivia’s head toward him. Her eyes widened in bewilderment as the once blue glow had turned into a crimson red. Fear washed over Olivia like a bucket of cold water. A dark aura suddenly surrounded him and Olivia couldn’t help but breathe heavily, her heart racing in terror.
What is this? I. . . I-I’m so afraid. I’m terrified.
Tears freely fell from her eyes as Olivia staggered to her feet. Her body quivered with unimaginable fear spreading throughout her. She hadn’t felt anything so dark and so horrible in her life.
Rykal snarled and stirred relentlessly, the eerie red glow darkening by the second. Suddenly, his large wing extended above him and slammed against the wall. The grounded quaked, small rocks fell from the roof and loud growls echoed the cave. The brutal sound pierced Olivia’s ears as she slammed her hands over them, whimpering in pain. The sound only intensified as a rock smashed onto the back of her skull. Olivia let out a cry of pain and held her throbbing head, feeling a warm liquid against her cool fingers.
Rykal’s wing slammed against the cave wall again, causing the whole cave to quake violently. More rocks fell and Olivia lost her balance. Falling to her side with a harsh impact, she looked up and saw the roof being to move. Her eyes widened as a large boulder started sliding down. Olivia quickly scrambled to her and launched herself forward, landing painfully on the gravel ground and landed awkwardly on her hand. Olivia winced, throbbing pain pulsed through her wrist as a loud crash was heard. She looked over her shoulder, the boulder crashed in her old spot as another boulder followed after it.
Her heart pounded rapidly in her chest. She staggered to her feet, adrenalin surging through her veins as she quickly stumbled toward the entrance. She didn’t know what she was doing and knew there was a high chance that she could very much lose her balance and fall to her death, but she’d take the chances even though the odds were stacked against her.
Another growl, a darker, more possessive growl rumbled against the shaking walls. The girl swallowed down a chocking lump and made it to the entrance. She held onto the quivering walls. As Rykal banged his wing on the wall again, the full mountain shook with great might. The rocks she stood on vibrated and chipped and Olivia screamed breathlessly in fright as the floor gave way.
Quickly, the girl jumped up onto the ledge, using her arms to grab onto anything that looked stable enough, and slammed her body against the wall. Her mind was racing nearly as fast as her beating heart. She looked down over her shoulder, her legs dangled in thin air while she watched the rocks falling in a grey abyss.
Suddenly there was a shout that entered Olivia’s ears. The mountain shook violently before the ground beneath her started to slide under her arms. Dreading the death awaiting her, Olivia held onto the wall as tightly as she could, using all her mental strength not to worry about the small sharp pain and warm liquid she felt at her palms and head. Clangs and clatters echoed the cave from the treasures salvaged from Trihkul village.
Rykal shot up and shouted in what seemed to be anger and fear. As soon as he scrambled to his feet and turned around, their eyes locked, and the ground slid from underneath her arms. A breathless scream escaped Olivia as she frantically tried to find a ledge strong enough to hold her weight. She dropped before landing on a quivering rock. Briefly, her eyes were snatched away from Rykal’s as his widened in complete shock.
As the mountain quaked more, there were deep groans, turbulent cracking noises, and harsh crashes filling the air. A familiar yet cold feeling of dread washed over Olivia as she felt the rock begin to slide. She was going to plummet to her death, she was sure of it.
Her breathing went shallow as she struggled to keep her balance on the small ledge. A gust of wind slammed into her back. The remains of the tree slipped off the collapsing ground and Olivia watched it descend down into the white abyss accompanied with rocks of many sizes.
Abruptly, she was yanked off the rock she clung to and she screamed in terror. Sparks flew through her hands as they landed on a pair of hot arms. Her back slammed into a hard chest and she was suddenly floating in the air, bobbing up and down slightly. She watched as the mountain trembled with great might. It was amazing yet devastating as the entire mountain collapsed in on itself, falling with ear throbbing crashes. Large gusts of dust and fog blew fiercely in all directions. Rykal wasted no time and turned around and flew away.
Olivia cried in fright as her lower body dangled freely in the air as if she were to slip through Rykal’s grip like a goat swiftly freeing itself from the rope around its neck. Rykal’s arms separated to try and hold Olivia against him, having one arm underneath her chest and the other over her stomach. It didn’t help when Olivia couldn’t breathe probably and began heaving, desperate for air intake.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait, Exiron!” he abruptly shouted.
Suddenly, Rykal flew up. Olivia’s stomach sank and twisted in knots; she felt light-headed as Rykal flew higher and higher. Olivia was barely able to get her bearings before Rykal stopped abruptly. His breathing was harsh and heavy, much like the high winds and his chest heaved against her back. Olivia gulped with uncertainty as the large dust cloud came at them. Then the dragon shifter let go of her.
Olivia didn’t process what was happening until a scream tore through her throat as she began falling. The blood rushed into her head as she flipped upside down, gasping and shouting at the same time. She could barely see as the dusty white cloud came at her.
Loud shouts and cracks filled the air, though Olivia barely heard it against the air howling and whistling in her ears. As she flipped again, she faced the ground, the pointed bare trees were closing in on her. She swallowed the harsh lump in her throat as tears gathered in her eyes; the same and only thought invaded her head, she was going to die.
The wind flipped her body over and her back faced the forest. The sun blinded her and made her squinted her eyes. She hadn’t noticed it rise behind the grey clouds. Maybe it was better if she didn’t see her death awaiting. Even though the sun was in the sky, she didn’t feel the warmth, she felt the iciness prickle her like needles. It wasn’t comforting in the slightest.
Then a large shadow blocked the sun for a second. Olivia blinked as the shadow returned, it was a dragon. Olivia’s eyes widened as the dragon got closer and closer faster than she could blink. She squealed as claws reached out and surrounded her body, snatching her from the air. Her hair flew in all directions as she squeezed her eyes shut. She couldn’t handle how ragdoll like her body was being treated as she gagged on the sudden hard claw pushing against her aching stomach.
"Are you harmed, Dragella?" the dragon spoke in a booming yet calm voice.
The wind was less harsh on her ears. Her hair fell over her shoulders as Olivia peeked through the crack of her eyelid, glancing up into the mysterious blue looking down on her. She gulped and found it harder to form a sentence in her mind that was whiter than a sheep’s wool. Forcibly, she nodded her head as a cold breeze brushed against her cheek. She flinched, and the dragon began to fly away from the ruined mountain, keeping a secure grip on Olivia.
The girl turned back, watching the dust cloud settle — revealing a large fresh pile of rocks — and Olivia gasped shakily. She saw the blue glow from the corner of her eye but couldn’t help but think about the horrible red she saw. What was it? Whatever it was, it made her feel dreadful fear, the kind of terror that was so horrific it was unimaginable, unexplanatory, unforgettable.
When Rykal had a red glow, just a few growls and bangs of his wing destroyed an entire mountain in a matter of minutes; the sheer power was overwhelming. Olivia couldn’t understand just how powerful Rykal got all of a sudden. Was he always that powerful, that dangerous? The thought sent an unpleasant shiver down her back as Olivia turned her head forward — more determined than ever to escape the dragon shifter.