Scorching fire breathes through the dragon’s snarled mouth, a thundering roar blares over all the screams and snapping of burning wood. The ground quakes under his thunderous steps as dust and ash lift from the ground. A beastie roar rips past his throat, making his muscles tense with adrenalin. Swirls of smoke heave from his nostrils and exposes a row of sharp teeth when he pulls his mouth into a snarl. His eyes blaze with fury, searching through the chaos for the reason he came. He seeks something, someone.
The scales on his back, a smooth gold, then tingle, his sensitive ears pick up the softest breath of a maiden; it sends his heart racing in ecstatic. He is near. He takes a whiff of the air — pushing aside the scent of burning flesh and smoke — and catches the faintest scent of lavender. His heart clenches with excitement, and he takes a step forward. He hears a gasp and sees the maiden appearing from her hiding place.
Immediately upon seeing her, a dominant growl suppresses him, rumbling through his golden body. He takes another step towards her. The maiden looks up with widening eyes that are full of curiosity; she bravely takes a step forward. He is pleased with the maiden’s choice of actions and shifts from his dragon form. In the place of the dragon stands a handsome young man with deep golden hair, peachy coloured skin, and vibrant red eyes. The man memorizes her in the white dress that speaks out amongst the carnage surrounding them; the fabrics sweeping around her figure. He fetches a decent pair of whatever to cover himself with — a ripped pair of trousers — and walks to her.
In the turmoil of the burning land around them, the pure glow around her sings out to him, enticing him solely. A low rumble tickles his throat as he pauses in front of the maiden, liking the height difference between them. He smiles at her and gently brushes a strand of blonde off her cheek. He doesn’t want to hurt her or frighten her, he only hoped she understands why he had to destroy the village keeping her captive.
She looks up with wonder-struck eyes and she becomes transfixed on his blazingly red eyes. Her lips part to speak but is quelled by his finger. He leans his forehead on hers, his eyes closing as a rush of sparks fly through the touching of their skins. She finally feels whole and slowly wraps her arms around his defined abdomen, relishing the sparks meant for them.
“You found me,” she murmurs.
He took her chin with his finger and thumb, bringing her to look at him. He kissed her, sweet and soft, before holding her against his chest. “Always,”
For as long as she could remember, those stories and myths have been told even before Olivia was born. Her mother used to say that it was real; dragons dominating the sky and land with their fiery breath and power. Werewolves stalking through the forest and howling toward the moon. Vampires lurking in the shadows away from the rays of the sun with only blood to quench their thirst.
Sometimes she’d ponder about it. Questioning if they were more than just scribbled words and roughly drawn images on yellow stained pages. She’d wonder if they lived and breathed like every other living creature on earth.
Was every human with dark, caramel skin holding a beast inside of them? Were they waiting to shift under the light of the full moon and howl with desire and passion?
Would a human with snow pale skin be really only a creature of bloodthirst? Did they hide in the darkest of shadows where it concealed their fangs from the burning sunlight?
Was a human with the most angel given voice be in a mask to hide a tail and seashells? Would they turn into their true self when a droplet of water was to touch their skin?
A sigh left her lips and Olivia found herself mentally rolling her eyes at her thoughts, They are myths. They don’t exist,
Olivia kept telling herself it. Everyone else seemed to believe the mythical creatures were real, but she didn’t. It was absurd. Sure Olivia did believe at one point in her life, but she soon discovered that it was nothing more than a myth, make-believe, a lie. She wouldn’t bother trying to convince even one person from her village that fantasy wasn’t real. She had never seen a type of fantasy creature in her life, only when she was younger, but she probably imagining it.
A group of hunters known as the Fantasy Hunters made everyone except Olivia believe. They were the protectors of all five villages. They risked their lives to hunt down the supernatural and tell the tales when they arrived back — it was how the people began to write the stories about the creatures. Olivia’s village believed. All five villages believed their stories. Everyone but her. But she guessed that it wasn’t her fault her and the other four villages were gullible. All Olivia could do was observe in the back as the Fantasy Hunters told the village another one of their adventures about slaying a werewolf with wolfsbane or exposing a vampire to sunlight before staking a wooden spear through its heart and beheading it.
They say they had killed every fantasy creature there was, except for one. A dragon shifter. It was a rare creature. Her mother said they were driven into the clouds by the hunters. No one had seen one before. If they had, they didn’t live to tell the tale — not that Olivia would believe them.
Even though she knew nothing about dragons apart from their appearance and chaotic like power, Olivia highly doubted they existed or had such a thing called ‘mate’. She didn’t understand the concept of a dragon’s mate. The only clue she had was the book her mother wrote to her, Destined to the Dragon.
It was a strange title her mother settled on. Olivia didn’t understand why her mother picked out the title until she read it to Olivia on some nights when she couldn’t sleep. It grew on her and Olivia found herself engrossed with it every time her mother read it to her.
Still, though, it wasn’t much help to the whole concept. All it said at the end was that the dragon shifter finds his mate and it ends with both of them glad to be together. Even after Olivia read it so many times recently, it felt wrong, like there was something missing from it. But why would Olivia care? Fantasy wasn’t real. She didn’t need to ponder over the structure of a mythical book her mother made up purely to satisfy Olivia’s childish needs for adventure. Besides, she was preoccupied with doing things elsewhere to even think about the book.
It was nightfall. Usually, Olivia would be well snoring through the night, trying to catch up much-needed rest. But Olivia kept tossing and turning due to a relentless stir in her stomach. It kept her awake no matter what she tried. Walking around, doing small exercise techniques to burn off a large amount of energy she suddenly seemed to have, or just trying to get comfortable and try to drift off peacefully. Nothing worked.
After so many attempts of trying, Olivia gave up. She laid in bed, her mind blank and the desire to sleep had long since past. She gazed at the attic roof above her head, taking note of every cobweb there was and every spider that would stride past with its eight legs. She wondered how long she’d been staring at the ceiling for. Hours maybe? Then again it might’ve only been a few minutes that seemed to drag on.
Her skin prickled and burned from the rough canvas of her bed. She didn’t complain, she was lucky to even have a room or bed. It was easy to ignore the burning on her skin because there was something else keeping her awake and full of energy. As Olivia thought it, the stir twisted her stomach, giving her butterflies and a strange desire. Olivia groaned in annoyance and knew that when morning came she would be shattered. She dreaded what would happen when either Quinstella or Lady Ola noticed even the slightest mistake she made.
Olivia breathed out heavily and rolled onto her front, hoping that the pressure would ease the stir. It helped a bit, relieving Olivia as she crossed her arms under her chin like a pillow and gazed out the window. Looking at the soft candle lights illuminating down by the village, she had hoped it would be enough to make her sleepy. But she didn’t feel even a sliver of tiredness. Olivia sighed. Just as she turned her head away from outside, something flew past the window. Olivia snapped her head back just in time to see the candles flicker violently as if a large gust of wind had picked up.
Olivia thought what it might’ve been. She brushed it off, thinking it was a bird flying past and turned to her side. She breathed out, noticing that the stir in her stomach had vanished.
“Strange,” Olivia mumbled under her breath.
The energy once having her tossing and turning was seeping out of her grasp as Olivia yawned tiredly. She closed her heavy eyes and got as comfortable as anyone could on a rough bed; though relieved that she could finally sleep. A few minutes later, light snores filled the attic as a brown spider slowly slid from the ceiling, hanging on by a thread of made silk. It spread its slender legs, looking around with eight scattered eyes.
There was no given light to cast upon the figure before her. Olivia’s body didn’t respond to her and ignored any command she made to move. She couldn’t even tear her eyes away from the shadow that slowly stalked toward her. She had no control over her body and Olivia found herself stepping forward. She screamed in her head for her body to stop, but all commands were silenced. The stir in her stomach grew violent and hot again and Olivia was on the verge of losing her composure quickly.
Another step forward. Another step. Another.
She stopped moving, halting in front of the shadow who towered over her. Olivia squinted her eyes but saw nothing but a silhouette. She wanted to say something. Her lips already parted but a finger pressed to her lips, silencing her unspoken words.
She stared at the silhouette with wide eyes — it wasn’t fear. Olivia wasn’t sure what it was. She couldn’t look away and saw a soft light rising from behind. The soft light shined on the silhouette, revealing some of its features. From what she could make out it was male. Olivia could see his arm toned with curved muscle. His skin was tan — contrasting against the darkness around them. There were scales of dark grey etched upon his muscled skin, protecting him as a soft blue light glowed around each one.
“Olivia. . .” a dangerous voice rasped in a tone of power and desire. It sent a course of shivers through Olivia’s spine.
A hand caressed her cheek, their fingers remaining. Olivia gasped at the sudden sparks fluttering through her cheek. But as quick as it came, smoke gathered around them, and he vanished.
Olivia shot up, waking with a gasp. Her heart was pounding with strange excitement and she found herself breathless as if she were holding her breath. Her stomach twisted violently with a hot stir and the girl wiped a bead of sweat forming on her forehead.
She didn’t have time to process her dream when a head poked through the hole in the floor, a somewhat door. “Wake up, runt. Lady Ola has a task for you.”
Olivia looked at Quinstella and realized it was morning. When Olivia tried to sit up, her head suddenly started to throb. She winced and slowly got up from her bed but was beyond tired, as she predicted. A groan escaped her lips and the girl rubbed the exhaustion from her eyes.
“Hurry up and quit being so pathetic. Lady Ola wants you to fetch her a batch of berries,” Quinstella hissed before she left.
Olivia looked to the space Quinstella once was and glared. “You try having something keep you up all night long and tell me how it feels, Quinstupid.”
Quinstella was probably the one person that Olivia hated with every fiber of her being, Quinstella and Lady Ola. No one else treated her as badly as them. It was like they were trying to compete against each other to see who could treat Olivia the worst.
It wasn’t always that way though. There was a time where Quinstella and Olivia were friends. Then one night, almost the whole village went wild, including Quinstella. The next day she was hurting bad, and then she got violent toward Olivia. Olivia didn’t know why. She was only caring for her hurting friend, but the days of caring for Quinstella were a long time ago. All Olivia felt toward Quinstella was hatred.
She would abuse Olivia when no one was looking. One time when Quinstella first started to abuse her she punched Olivia when she was doing the dishes. Olivia told Lady Ola about it and she got slapped across the mouth for it. She hated staying in Limrock. It was the worst hell she could imagine. Though she wouldn’t try to run. It was one of the worst crimes against the laws of Limrock. Only Olivia’s village was so strict about certain things like leaving the nest without permission. Besides, there was only one place where she felt like she could do whatever she wanted, her room. But the last place she wanted to be was at the orphanage. Olivia found herself laughing dryly that the one place she felt free was the one place she felt trapped. How ironic.
But the orphanage was her home whether she liked it or not. Even though Olivia hated Lady Ola, she was the one to take in Olivia before anyone else could. Lady Ola was Olivia’s guardian, a guardian to all the girls who had no other family left. There were a lot of girls and hardly any boys. When the last boy left because he was old enough, the orphanage became a girl orphanage. There were a lot of girls staying there, and funny enough, not one girl was friends with Olivia. She did have a talk with a girl named Dreya once, but then Quinstella made sure that no girl talked to Olivia. Then again, Olivia didn’t really have time for friends when Lady Ola had her working early to late hours; she was the first to start her chores and the last to finish. There was hardly any time for friends.
Lady Ola had gotten her to do so many errands that Quinstella had started to make Olivia do things for her as well. Olivia hated taking orders from Quinstella like brushing and braiding her black hair, going out to the markets to get her either jewelry or a dress, or to clean her room in the mornings before all her other chores.
Olivia would love to give Quinstella a piece of her mind, but she was terrified of what would happen when the spoilt brat would go and tell Lady Ola. Olivia was more scared of Lady Ola than she ever would be of Quinstella. Quinstella knew that and she took advantage of Olivia’s fear of her grandmother and used it against Olivia.
A sigh left Olivia’s lips, feeling pitiful on how bad her life was as she changed from an old shirt and pants to a tattered grey dress. Olivia stepped in front of the mirror and scrunched her face in disgust. She hated wearing such hideous things. Dirt and grim were the new colour and there were rips in places that she didn’t like showing. No girl would want to wear what Olivia was forced to wear every day.
Her head shook in disapproval and finally, Olivia looked away. She pulled her dark brown hair into a braid and smoothed back the hairs out of place, thinking that the week ahead would be the same. At least she thought it would.