The Fire Within

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Dawn

“So I save your life and you thank me by calling me stupid?” I spit and I walk out of the bathroom. Liam follows me and I find my brothers standing in the hallway for us.

“I’m calling you stupid because you could’ve gotten seriously injured or even killed,” Liam says and I roll my eyes.

“I had it under control,” I say and Liam scoffs. “Besides, it took you long enough to get there. What happened? Did you stop by McDonald’s?”

Liam glares at me but says nothing. I walk away toward the kitchen. I hear Liam and my brothers follow, but I pay them no mind.

I look through the fridge aimlessly, not knowing what I am looking for, too angry to think about anything.

“You didn’t have it under control. By the looks of it, it seemed as if you were about to get raped,” he says and I roll my eyes. I stay silent, not wanting to argue anymore. All I want is some peace and quiet. It’s what I need if I want to keep the beast at bay. “Oh, nothing to say now, uh? I’m right and you know it.”

That’s it.

I whirl around to face Liam with pure rage etched on my face.

“You think I wouldn’t know how to fight some lowlife off me? You think, after years of harassment, I wouldn’t learn how to defend myself?” I yell and Liam stares at me with slightly widened eyes. “For years, I’ve had no one but myself to take care of me. For years, I’ve been abused by my peers. Because I was different from them. Just recently, things became worse because of my father being the governor. You think I wouldn’t start fighting back?”

Declan and Devan start protesting towards me, wanting me to calm down. But it’s far too late to calm down. As rage starts consuming my whole being, something inside me shifts dangerously.

“Get me to a clearing or something away from people,” I tell my brothers. Declan runs over to me and picks me up. Devan tries to stop Liam from following but when I release a scream of agony, the two men run to the car. I am put in the back with Devan. Declan sits in the front with Liam.

Declan gives Liam direction to the closest clearing and he drives there while asking what is happening. He asks if he should take me to the hospital and my brothers both shout “no!”

If I was taken to a hospital like this, I would be putting all those patients in danger.

“Hurry,” I rasp out. I feel my skin grow hot as the anger grows.

My brothers yell at Liam to drive faster and he follows their commands.

Soon, they’re pulling into a secluded field. I jump out of the car immediately. I run and run until I finally collapse onto the ground. I breathe heavily.

No... Don’t do it... I beg but my mental plea falls on deaf ears.

My nails start to elongate. My teeth sharpen. I start huffing out smoke through my mouth and nose.

My hair starts to disappear as my skin starts turning scaly. Golden scales start growing over my body which is growing in size.

My eyes start to burn. The contacts fall out and my purple eyes shine.

I hear the commands of my brothers, telling Liam to stay back. I feel his eyes on me as my clothes are torn to shreds from my growing body.

My bones start to snap. They correct themselves into their true form.

The form of a monster.

A long, dangerous tail starts growing, and I roar out in pain. My shoulder blades break and shift to accommodate shiny golden wings.

It’s been so long since I last shifted, it’s taking way longer and it’s even more painful. I would usually mist into my true form but since I haven't misted in a year or so, I have to shift.

Horns start growing down my back from the top of my neck. They end at the tip of my tail, where they are the sharpest.

I hear a surprised, fearful gasp as I am fully shifted. I look down at the three men below me.

I am a little less than half the size of a full-grown tree. Two of the men, my brothers, smile up at me while the other stares at me fearfully.

I shake, my wings expanding to their full span.

I look back down at Liam, and I step closer. He backs away in fear and I whine slightly before huffing.

I lay on my stomach and I rest my head on my claws. I watch Liam’s movements as he stares at the beast in front of him. Me.

Me, a golden beast with purple eyes and gold wings. A beast that could kill thousands with one swipe of her tale. A beast that could snap a tree in half with her wings. A beast that hasn’t learned how to control herself fully.

Liam watches as my brothers walk up to me casually and pat my nose. He watches as they have a contest of who can climb onto my back first.

He watches as I stare at him, not caring about my two brothers.

Liam steps closer to me cautiously.

One. Two steps. Three.

I don’t move. I keep myself very still, afraid of scaring him off. If he runs away, I don’t know what I would do. He knows my biggest secret now. I need to keep him in my sight at all times.

My brothers speak through the connection we have.

“Should we shift too?” Devan asks through the link.

“I think he can’t handle two more of us right now. Let him get used to me first. Then you two can shift.”

“Playing with your-”

“Don’t even, Declan. Not a word of it to him. Understand?” My brothers reluctantly agree and we all watch as Liam makes it to his destination. Right in front of my face.

He cautiously reaches a hand out towards my snout. I wait. And wait. He seems to have frozen mid-thought. As if rethinking his actions.

But I don’t let it stay that way. No. I move my head so his hand makes contact with my snout.

Liam tenses before he looks into my eyes. I stare right back at him. Then, he says what he’s been yearning to say ever since he saw my true form.

“You’re... a dragon?”

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