Soldiers

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Chapter 7

I was sitting in a field with a younger version of David. I was eight years old. It was the middle of summer, the sun shining bright in the afternoon sky and beautiful luscious green grass at its best.

“Hey Elena?” David looked at me questionably.

“Yes?”

“When we’re old enough that I can protect you, will you let me?”

“Of course. You’re my mate, David. When the time is right, I believe that God will bring us together. But for now I have to keep forgeting every memory with you because it’s too dangerous for me. You know that. When it’s time for me to be with you, we will be brought together.” My voice was so soft, but you could tell that there was much more wisdom than you would think would be shown in an eight year old. I stood up and hugged David around the waist, his arms wrapped around me shoulders and his head rested on my head.

“I will protect you, little angel,” he murmured quietly, tightening his hold on me ever-so-slightly, never wanting to let go.

I was brought back to the present by David looking at me worriedly. “Elena? Is everything alright?”

“Yeah. I think I just had one of my memories come back. Did we sit in a field once together when I was eight years old?” He seemed surprised by my question.

“Yes. I asked if you would allow me to protect when we were old enough and you said yes… then you hugged me and I hugged you back. I knew that you were destined to be mine from the very beginning…” His voice was soft as his hand slid down my arm. When he reached my own hand, he entwined his fingers with mine and I let him. His gold eyes looked into mine with such an intensity that I thought I would melt into a puddle of happiness. After all I’d been through, God had still managed to bless me beyond words. And I was going to be kept safe. As much as I wanted the moment to last forever, I knew I needed to have David take me to safety.

“We should get going,” I said quietly, releasing his hand.

“Alright,” he sighed. “First you need to retract your wings though.” I could feel heat rising to my cheeks from embarrassment. I didn’t know how to retract my wings.

“Umm… I don’t know how to retract my wings,” I mumbled, shuffling my feet as I looked at the ground.

“Hey.” David lifted my chin with his hand so that I was looking directly at him. “Don’t be embarrassed. It’ll take awhile for you to learn everything. You weren’t supposed to just suddenly be thrown into the supernatural world. You were supposed to be eased into it once things became less dangerous. The death of your parents wasn’t part of the plan. You were supposed to end up living with them in peace while being allowed to enjoy the outside world.”

“Why were they killed? They didn’t do anything…” I could hear my voice break as tears rimmed my eyes.

“You only know what you’ve read in the books and what little bit you know from in person. I can’t tell you everything because right now you’re not safe, but I can tell you a few things that shouldn’t make your aura any easier to find. Your full name is Elena Rosemarie Dragomir. You’re the last of the angelic children that we know of, and heir to the Dragomir throne. You’re sixteen years old, but your memory was always wiped out so that you would think and believe that you were younger than you really are. Although you are heir to the throne, technically you are not supposed to be able to take your rightful place until you are eighteen, but we will figure it out. You’ve been around angles, demons, vampires, and werewolves. You’ve been around hybrids. You have so many friends and you have Protectors who were raised to be able to look after you and make sure you are safe. Ziva is a purebred German Shepherd with bloodlines of her ancestors before her that make her a special type of her breed. She’ll be twice as big and twice as strong. She’ll be faithful to you until the day she dies. There are many people who have dedicated their lives in order to keep yours going. You are our hope of winning the war of the supernaturals between good and evil.” We were both silent for a few minutes as I tried to let everything process in my mind.

I was meant to be a leader. I had all these memories that I couldn’t remember but hoped to get back somehow. I was sixteen, not fourteen. I was an angel child.

“How did I not know any of this before?”

“You wouldn’t have known until you were eighteen if we would have been able to win this war before then. An angel’s wings don’t naturally release themselves until they turn eighteen unless their body goes under some type of stress or injury that is too serious for their human-like shell. Whatever that wound was that you got from the vampires, it was killing you. If you hadn’t released your wings in time then you would’ve died…” David’s voice trailed off as he looked at me, his gold eyes full of sadness. After a moment he looked away, clearing his throat before speaking again. “Anyways, that’s all I can tell you right now until you’re safely with my pack. In order to retract your wings, you just need to imagine them gliding back into your shoulders. They will then do it on their own accord. It might take a few tries, but you can get it. Close your eyes.” I did as I was told and closed my eyes, feeling aware of everything around me, but mostly my wings, which provided a warm aura around me. David’s hands held mine gently as I imagined my wings gliding back into my shoulder blades, to hide there until the next time I needed them. I gasped as I could feel my shoulders and wings moving against each other until I opened my eyes. Looking down, I saw that I was in the same type of outfit, only in black now. The tattoo of the wings was still on my wrist, and there was a new tattoo along my right arm; a white cross with different details all etched in white as well. It contrasted well with my tan skin.

Looking back up, David was looking at me in awe once again.

“What?” I asked.

“I just… I missed you. I hated every moment of the past sixteen years, seeing you here and there but then knowing that those memories would be gone again by the end of the day, replaced by the standard ones of you sitting in your house reading or cooking or doing yoga. But I kept going, knowing that one day I’d be able to be with you again. Your parents approved of me and stuck up for me from day one even though I’m not an angel like you. I knew that one day I’d be able to finally be by your side for the rest of your life. That was what made me get back up every morning and train and lead. Now that I have you, I’m afraid I’ll lose you… And I know this is a lot for you to take in because you’ve just been thrust into this world and don’t have any of your memories, but you need to know this now so that it’s not a shock to you later. Come here.” He pulled me into a hug once again, his arms wrapped around my waist. I was in another memory.

I was twelve years old. I sat at a large table with my parents and many other people who looked familiar but that I couldn’t remember. David, who was fifteen at the time, stood at my right side silently, wearing a black t-shirt, a black leather jacket, and blue jeans with black combat boots. Even then he was extremely muscular. I was vividly aware of him standing next to me, an aura of dominance and protectiveness radiating from him towards everyone at the table. I sat wearing a royal blue dress that had a v-line and satin sleeves, reaching down to my knees. My long hair was half up and curled, some small blue flowers adorning the braids.

Everyone was eating in peace, conversations here and there across the entire table of about 100 different people. All of a sudden, there was a big crash and some screams from outside the room that could be heard as if it was inside the room itself.

“Elena,” my father called to me from the end of the table, my mother sitting beside him. My mother wore the same color dress as me, but hers was sleeveless and had a rounded neckline. My father wore a jet black suit with a royal blue shirt and a black tie, his black hair slicked back.

“Yes father,” I spoke softly, but with confidence even though everyone else was ready to freak out. David was already standing in front of me protectively, a growl rumbling from his chest.

“Go with David. He’ll take you to safety. David, you know what to do, and make sure that she doesn’t get hurt.” There was a threatening tone in my father’s voice, but we all knew that David would risk his own life before letting me get hurt. The doors were kicked in and all the royals in the room dispersed, screams coming from many of the women in the room. The Guard went into defensive stances and went to stand in front of us all as everyone tried to cram together in groups. My parents went to stand beside the three guards who were front and center as David grabbed my hand and brought me to the back of the room. Since the front entrance was blocked off, we had nowhere to go. A group of about twenty men stood in the entrance dressed in all black. They all had a tattoo on their right arms, a black cross with black wings detailed in the background. It looked like the one on my right arm, except mine was white. Three of the men moved forward to stand in the front, but one of them stood out to me. He looked only to be around David’s age, even though he was very muscular compared to most fifteen year olds. He had dark brown eyes and dark brown hair that matched, which he had slicked back. His face was well-structured, but his expression was cold and detached. The man in the middle looked at my parents, taking no notice of me.

“We want the child.” He stood tall, probably a little over six feet, his black hair and red eyes contrasting each other, radiating an aura of coldness and hate. He was one of the scariest looking creatures I’d ever seen.

“You will never be allowed to have our child,” my father stated simply.

“If you don’t hand her over then we will kill every last person in this room,” the vampire hissed. David moved to stand completely in front of me, his muscles rippling beneath his jacket.

“You’ll have to pry her from our cold, dead hands,” one of the royals yelled. “But good luck, because we outnumber you greatly, and you’re messing with something that you shouldn’t be messing with.” The vampire moved so quickly that we could barely see it until he stood holding the royal who had spoken. He was only a boy, around my age. His blonde hair was neatly combed and his ocean blue eyes were now full of fear.

“Do you think you’re so strong now, young one?” the vampire seethed. Not being able to help myself, I cried out in horror.

“Don’t hurt him!” I yelled. “You can have me, but don’t hurt him…” The vampire turned to look at me, and David’s entire body tensed, ready to attack. Letting the boy go, the vampire was suddenly in front of me, and the challenge was accepted, all chaos breaking loose. All the men began to fight the guard and the royals did their best to stay out of the way. David let out a menacing growl and jumped into the air, landing on the vampire and both of them falling to the ground in a heap. His clothes ripped abruptly and for the first time, I’d seen his wolf. He was all black, with white angel wings etched onto his shoulder like a tattoo. It would be noticeable even from a mile away. He wasn’t at full size, but he was still agile and strong. The vampire went to go bite David’s neck, but David was too fast for him, swatting his face and then taking a chunk of his side out with a large bite. The vampire in turn howled in pain and grabbed at the missing side, dark red blood gushing out. David wasn’t read to stop though.

He lunged forward and sliced the vampires chest open. More blood spilled everywhere and the vampire fell to the ground, dead from the slash to the chest and the loss of blood. I didn’t have time to think before a hand grabbed me from the back of the neck and lifted me into the air. David turned around and let out a “yip” as another of the blacked out soldiers stabbed him with a dagger. One of the guards had just killed one of the men, turning around to see what was happening behind him. I cried out in pain as the hand holding me began to squeeze my neck. A loud roar erupted from David’s wolf and my father came running my way. They both attacked the person who had been holding him and two of the guards came to stand at my sides, attacking the last two guards who dived for me. In another moment it was over. The royals all quickly left the room and my parents came over to me.

“Elena, are you okay?” my father asked. I looked at him in a daze, but I was only concerned about one thing. Getting to my feet, I ran over to David, who was laying on his side a few yards away. Blood matted his left side and he was whimpering in pain, his eyes closed.

“David?” Tears sprung to my eyes and I gently placed my hand on his face. He opened his eyes and lifted his head just enough to lick my cheek before laying it back down. Panicking, I turned to my parents and the guards.

“Help him!” I yelled. “Fix this! If you let him die then I’ll never forgive any of you.”

“Elena,” my mother spoke quietly, “that is a wound that none of us will be able to heal. It would be better to put him out of his misery than to have him lay on a hospital bed fighting for life.” By now the tears were rolling down my face.

“No! Either you get him to the hospital wing or I will! He’s not going to die!” David let out a low “woof” and I looked over to him. He struggled to stand up, and my parents just continued to watch.

“Guards,” my father spoke once again, “go check the castle for any other Black Soldiers. Rose, let’s leave Elena to say goodbye to David in peace.” His voice was solemn as the two of them left the room with the guards. I looked back down to David, seeing the pain evident in his gold eyes.

“David…” I whispered sadly. He “woofed” in acknowledgement. “Will you fight for me?” He nodded his head against the floor.

“I’m going to carry you, alright?” He nodded his head once again. Blood was still seeping from the wound. Tearing the bottom of my dress, I wrapped it around his wound and tied it so that there would be constant pressure while carrying him. Luckily since he wasn’t bulky yet, he wasn’t overly heavy, even for me being stuck in my human body. Lifting him into my arms, I heard his whimpers of pain. I’d have to run to the hospital wing. Quickly running out the doors, I ran down the hall and made a few more turns before finally getting to the door I was looking for. I kicked it a few times and one of the doctors came out. Seeing me holding David, he quickly nodded his head in acknowledgement and took him from me. Opening the door back up he rushed into the receptionist area, running past the desk and opening the door to an empty room. I followed behind him, not being stopped since I was of the highest of the royal families. The doctor, Jason, set David down on the examination table and went to the sink to quickly wash his hands. I stood by David’s head, gently petting him.

“Can you help him Jason?” He looked at me as he put on gloves.

“I’ll sure as hell try. I know how important he is to you, and I know he’s a fighter. He should already be dead. If I can get the bleeding to stop and clean out the wound, then that will at least keep it from making him bleed out. Once the bleeding is stopped I’ll stitch the wound up.”

“Can I stay here with him.”

“Of course, Princess Elena.” With that, he got to work. Cutting off my makeshift bandaging, he grabbed a towel from a pile in one of the cabinets and put it to David’s wound. After a few moments he took the towel off and no more blood was coming out at the moment. The wound was deep, and the blood was blood was black instead of red. Grabbing a few bottles with different liquids, Jason began to douse a white cloth and then placed it to the wound. David’s wolf howled in pain. I placed my head on his and the sound died down a constant whimpering as Jason cleaned everything up.

“It’s going to be okay, I promise. You’re going to get better. You’re going to be alright. Jason will have you better in no time. You are so strong. You kept me from getting killed. Because of you I’m still alive and in one piece. You did it, my sweet wolf.” I gently stroked David’s fur and he stared at me with his gold eyes as I continued to soothe him quietly. After a few minutes, I heard Jason roaming around getting more supplies and I looked up. There was a huge pile of bloody towels and cloths, but I noticed that some at the top were red. The wound was disinfected and cleaned. Jason came over with a pair of shorts and looked at David.

“I know it’s going to be painful in this state, but I need you to shift back. I won’t be able to stitch the wound up correctly if I can’t see what I’m doing.” I turned my back to David for a few moments and heard some bones snap and crack. When I heard his yell of pain, I knew he was back in human form. Turning back around, he was sitting there in the black cargo shorts. His body was glistening in sweat and I could see the wound more clearly. It was about eight inches long, blazing red, and was about two inches wide.

“Alright, now lay down,” Jason instructed. David did as he was told and Jason gave him a shot. It was something for the pain. After waiting for a few more seconds, Jason took his needle with a spool of thread and began to stitch up the wound. I looked down at David, whose head was laying right next to where I stood. His eyes displayed his pain that he wouldn’t let show any other way, but they also held a will to live and a longing feeling. I gave him my hand and he held it gently. His hair was disheveled and wet from sweating. I took a few moments to look over his body. He had to have been a solid 145 pounds, his abs and chest well built and his arms full of lean muscle. He squeezed my hand slightly as Jason reached the edge of the wound, finally tightening the stitches and knotting the end of the string. Once it was cut off, Jason grabbed some rubbing alcohol. Dousing cloth in it, he cleaned the wound one last time and then was finally done. Walking over to the trash can he tossed his gloves and went to wash his hands again.

“Just make sure you clean the wound twice a day and come down here every morning so that I can check to make sure it isn’t getting worse or getting infected.”

“Thank you, Jason,” I said with a breath of relief.

“Of course, Princess. You know that even out of all the doctors and nurses, I’ve got you,” he said with a wink. That caused a low warning growl from David, but we both just laughed it off. I looked at David’s shoulder and saw the tattoo, but it was black now just like mine. I didn’t think about it too much though as David pulled me into a hug.

“I told you I’d fight for you Little Angel. I will always be there for you.”

“Promise.”

“I promise.”

I gasped as I was brought back to reality. David had let go of me and I stood there for a moment catching my breath.

“Was that real?” I asked.

“I’m not sure what memory you saw, but it was real. It was from the past, but definitely real.”

“We were in a huge room with a table in a castle. Then these men… my parents called them the Black Soldiers. They broke into the room and started attacking. One stabbed you with this huge dagger and my parents you wouldn’t make it. I carried you to the hospital wing and some doctor helped. Then you hugged me and promised you’d always be there for me.” Looking up, a small smile played across David’s lips as he raised his hand to cup my cheek.

“That was your family’s castle. The other edge of my pack’s territory isn’t too far from it. The Black Soldiers. They’re dangerous, usually the best trained vampires or demons on the bad side. My scar ended up healing for the most part. Here I am, standing before you. I’ve always been one of the main people to make sure you’re safe. I was almost always on patrol to watch over you.”

“Really?”

“Of course. I managed to figure out how to take care of my pack and still look over you. It was difficult, but I had promised. I couldn’t leave you on your own, I was always there.” I smiled sadly. If only I hadn’t had to lose all of my memories every day. Who knew what types of experiences I’d had in the past sixteen years that I couldn’t remember? “It will take a long time, but you will get all of your memories back. Many of them will come back while you sleep and some of them will pop here and there when something happens to trigger it at a specific moment. I’ll be here to help you along the way. For now though we need to get moving. You’ll be safer with my pack. We’ll keep you there for a few months and we’ll get things taken care of at your family’s castle. I have a few of my pack members on their way to get your parents’ bodies so that they can have a proper burial. It’ll take us about two days to get to the packhouse.”

“Will your pack like me?” I was nervous at this point. I knew basically nothing about the world and was going to suddenly be intruding on their territory.

“They will love you. You’re part of the only royal family that was ever okay with werewolves. Normally werewolves would be on the bad side with demons and vampires. My pack is one of the three on the good side, mine being the largest in the world. You’re the last heir of the only family that protects our kind, and they’ve known you since you were little. It will be alright. Now let’s get going.” I picked up Ziva and followed him out of the hospital building, walking past a bunch of cabins before reaching a large barn. David opened the door smoothly and walked in with me right behind him. It was one of the most beautiful things I’d seen, going based on what I could remember anyways. The ceilings were very high, making the building seem much more spacious.

The inside of the barn was a solid, bright red and the stalls all held a horse. I walked up to a jet black horse with a white patch on his chest. Gently placing my hand out, he nuzzled my palm and neighed quietly.

“Would you be alright with riding a horse?” David asked quietly.

“I don’t know how to.”

“Yes you do. It might take a moment or two to remember but once you’re on Jackson, I might not even be able to get you off. You love horseback riding.” He smiled gently as he opened the stall. Going over to a wall of hooks, he grabbed a black saddle and black reins. Quickly coming back over, he put the saddle on and then the reins. Once he was done he took a step back. Jackson stood looking at me proudly. His head stood high and he stood tall and elegant. Handing Ziva over to David, I took ahold of the saddle and swung my leg over. Once I was sitting securely in the middle, I reached out for Ziva and he handed her to me. I gently placed her in my lap and picked up Jackson’s reins.

“Alright. I’m going to shift and lead the way. Jackson will follow on his own.”

“Okay.”

David’s clothes tore and I watched as he turned. It was over quickly, and he stood before me shaking out his fur. He stood before me at about five feet tall, his fur a glossy black and his wing marking sticking out against the black. Looking down at my wrist I noticed that it looked the same as my tattoo. Letting out a small “woof,” David took off and Jackson followed. After a few moments, we were at a speed faster than any human could ever run, but it gave me a sense of great freedom. It was as if there were no worries in the world that mattered. That’s how it felt from the time we left at sunset until we got to the packhouse at sunrise.

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