Roark and Zoraul take turns sniffing each female while Amadahy sits back and watches closely. All the while, I’m behind the rocks, thinking about when they’ll notice me. If they were truly Silver they would feel my presence. However, once they are done, the mirage of their images shift into the air until nothing remains.
It appears as if we are alone, but I am not walking out of my hiding spot just for them to stick their snouts between my legs. So I wait while Amadahy bitches to the girls about how random and strange that was for Roark and Zoraul to be looking for a mate when a war was coming.
“...and where is Luv?” Amadahy asks, looking over towards me, I quickly duck my head and wait for her to continue.
Perhaps she’ll feel my presence, or Ethne will.
But neither of them do and once that’s over, I decide to slink away towards the back, jumping off the plateau and scaling down to the nearest ledge. Perhaps my range of power for blocking out minds could go as far as blocking my aura to Silver Breeds too.
I leave the girls to enter the mountain in my Dragon form which fits through the cave corridors. I make my way down to the library. I was hoping that I could find a book on Dragon Lord Slayers.
Since that is what I was, I wanted to know the implications and what that would grant me in terms of unknown power.
So, I make my way past slaves falling to their knees as I stalk by and head all the way down to Deep Cavern. Before I enter, I mist into my human form by a slave carrying freshly laundered clothes. I frighten the older slave lady by popping up naked right before her. However, I don’t have to ask. She hands me a dress made of wool.
“Thank you,” I take it from her and she bows her head and scurries past while I slip the warm knit over me. It covers my neck, my arms, but doesn’t go past my knees. It’s comfy enough and will do for now.
I stalk forward and enter Deep Cavern to see younger soldiers all talking about or relaxing in groups around fires, eating meat.
By the library, I see a large chair and green hair protruding from the top of whoever was occupying it.
Ha, as if I wouldn’t know that green hair any day!
Grinning, I skip forward, about to intercept.
My father must have come down here to read further...
“Hael!” I spin around the chair and come to a quick halt as Lex suddenly slams his book shut and puts an obvious arm across the cover, “...Lex?” I stand back and take a seat opposite him, slowly curling into the leather to watch him narrow his eyes, “You’re a splitting image of dad now, you know that right?” I raise a brow and he rolls his eyes.
“You don’t think I hear that all the time?” Lex asks me, “So, where’s your brand?”
“What brand?” I ask, raising a brow back at him.
“The brand your mates have to give you,” Lex rubs it in, smirking, “You should wear it with pride, get it on your nose, like a face tattoo - ” his joke spikes my anger and I clench my fists before I throw something at him.
“Shut it and tell me what you’re reading?” I ask, “Before I dig into your mind and find out. Oh, and how’s Jules? And how many warriors have seen the brand on your ass?”
Lex is not amused as he simultaneously slips the book backwards between his leg and the couch while he leans back, comfortably. The angry, contorted scowl he passes my way is so similar to Hael’s it’s a little uncanny. I just narrow my eyes and twirl my hair through my finger.
“I’m waiting,” I drawl, “Tell me.”
“Jules is going to study botany,” Lex answers, “Here, actually.”
“So you’re reading about it to impress her, to get a head start?” I ask.
“No, actually,” Lex rolls his eyes and growls as he gives up, taking the book from between his leg and the couch, he chucks it at me and I catch it mid air, “...seduction.”
“Ew,” I look at the book in disgust and he just sits up and leans his elbows on his knees, exasperated.
“Why is it ‘ew’, Luvenia?” Lex asks me, raising a brow, “I can seduce any female, but none of my tricks work on her. She’s smart. A lot smarter than she looks.”
“Tell her that and I bet she’ll bend right over for you,” I mock him and he grits his teeth, clearly not in the mood to play banter.
“So, you’re clearly making it hard for your mates, aren’t you, sis?” he asks, “May I ask... why? Perhaps you and Jules are more similar than you think.”
“If I told you,” I whisper, “I wouldn’t get to see you suffer the chase to catch a half-blood.”
“...bitch,” Lex snarls quietly, just glaring at me while I glare back.
“I don’t want to talk about mates,” I stick up my chin, “I want to talk about Ginette and Talon. How did they d-”
Apparently... I’ve hit a nerve.
I don’t get to finish as Lex jumps to his feet, slicing his hand through the air.
“Don’t talk to me about them,” Lex growls, his voice nearly breaking, “Don’t ever mention their names around me or utter even a single phrase hinting to their...” he can’t finish it and I feel a wall of extreme pain block up his head. He can’t seem to get more words out and his eyes start to tear up.
Now, I’m worried.
He looks completely traumatised.
“Lex,” I jump to my feet to go after him but he puts a hand on my shoulder, holds me back and shakes his head.
“If you want to know...” Lex whispers, “Look in my head but don’t ask me about it. I can’t speak of it.”
My twin turns from me then, walking away with a slight limp. I focus in on the pain as I infiltrate his mind.
Jules. She managed to injure him last night when he chased her down.
When I look deeper into the real problem... the far more intensely raw pain is clear to see as the memories are so vivid, they flash across his mind like a movie. It is so real, I’m completely drawn in, like a dream. I have never seen this type of pain before, I can’t help but delve into it to try and understand.
My eyes fog over and I stand, my breathing slows as I enter the memory that is burned into my twin’s brain.
Ginette and Talon huddle behind Lex as he sits behind two boulders, high above the enemy. They are perched on a cliff to see a line of Silver Breeds marching past in Dragon Form. I’ll distract, Ginette whispers, excited, Talon, you go for the goods, Lex, you cover our asses. They won’t expect two lone fledgling females to attack. Lex looks back at them, irritated as he thumps his tail and growls low in disapproval, Our orders were to keep watch. No contact with the Shadows- Lex can’t finish reminding them of the order as Ginette rolls her eyes and she hops around the boulder, jumping right off the cliff to dramatically slide down the rocks to the Silver Breeds below. Lex is frozen in shock at Ginette’s audacity, but quickly realises her red scales gave her a fierce heart. She was brave and trying to impress. Talon, with her brown scales and light eyes, prances to the other end of the cliff and jumps off to the back of the line, encouraged by Ginette’s bold move. Lex looks down to see Ginette’s progress... and his shocked eyes watch as she attempts to jump off the cliff into flight just above the Silver Breeds. She doesn’t get far. She jumped into flight too low. A huge silver neck and jaw snaps up and catches the edge of her tail, hauling her back into the ground ruthlessly, like cracking a whip. She’s already screaming as the end of her tail is completely chomped off. More than seven Silver breeds close in on Ginette... and they rip off her wings first. Talon hears from the back of the line and instead of burning the cabin of explosives they were hauling and flying off to safety, she is also surrounded within seconds when she pauses in fright, unable to move at the sight of Ginette being butchered. However, Talon does not fight. She turns and lies on her back, exposing her belly instantly, surrendering while she shudders uncontrollably as Ginette continues to scream. Lex watches on as the Silver Breeds laugh at Talon, but they’re happy she knows her place. So they allow her to live and put a collar on her instead.
Except the very end part of the dream isn’t real, Lex stopped looking as soon as Ginette had her wings torn off. After that he misted from the area. Lex had done nothing at all, because it was the first week of their arrival. It was his fourth time ever transforming and he had no confidence in his ability to fight all those Shadows without being skilled. So, he had to watch the two under his protection, die.
I let out a shaky breath as the images all fade and I come back to reality. I open my eyes and I see Lex slip his way out of Deep Cavern, completely shaken by the memory. He had severe trauma - only seen when triggered. Other than that, no one would know his true pain.
“The Art of Seduction,” I nearly jump ten miles as I spin 180 and see Sylvan reclined on my couch, flicking through the pages and Thaddeus reclining on Lex’s chair, “...I’m curious, Luv, where’s the page you read on slapping your mates... is it... a round about way to grab out attention?” Sylvan raises a brow, “Because I call that negative attention and do you know how negative attention get’s... recycled?”
“Stop using big words, you sound like an idiot,” I drawl down at him, crossing my arms over my chest as I see Sylvan’s eyes light up in shock. He was the graceful prince, he was admired for charisma, speech and perfect manner. For the appropriate audience. It was fun poking fun at his apparently perfect qualities.
“You have our attention already, Luv,” I turn as this time Thaddeus speaks, smirking as he glances at his brother, “No need to insult as well. We’re open and ready for your apology. Just speak the words and we’ll put this behind us.”
“I’m sorry,” I try to sound dramatically upset, “Sorry that you’re so pathetic you can’t handle the hand of a princess.”
Sylvan continues to share a look with Thad until I realise they’re using their refined technique of speaking to one another while blocking me out.
“...perfect,” Sylvan drawls while smirking at his brother and he quickly reclines into the seat to open back up his book like their secret conversation didn’t just go down right in front of me. While Sylvan reads and Thaddeus’ eyes scan the library, I can’t help but lick my lips as I take the opportunity to perv. Properly.
Sylvan was undeniably one of the most toned yet tall Dragons I had ever seen, with bulging veins and perfectly defined abs and skin that was glossed over with a bronzy hue... like the Golden Canyon, his true home. Thaddeus was slightly taller and bulkier, though Sylvan was more sharp with his tongue, Thaddeus was just bold and said things as they were without a care in the world if it made you feel... uncomfortable... or uneasy. They were both, in their own right, not just born to be Dragon Lords, but warriors who go down as Legends from the wars they win.
What female Dragon, half-blood, mortal or mage, didn’t go to bed at night, dreaming of such a Dragon taking her to bed after a battle, covered in sweat and evidence of their great fury. I myself, had imagined such things. About my mates. About them.
But, my god, they were infuriating when I wasn’t in the mood. If I wanted them to fuck me senseless and without remorse and they happened to catch me horny... well, hey... bring it on.
Twenty-Four-Seven domineering assholes was a little hard to handle.
They continue to ignore me and I wonder if their plan is just that again, pretending I’m not important.
“Let us retire to that guest room,” I speak up, hoping to surprise them.
I really do.
Because Sylvan literally drops the book he is reading out of his hands and it awkwardly hits the floor while Thaddeus turns around so fast his arm hits the back of the chair a bit too hard and chips off the wood of the frame behind the leather.
Thaddeus pretends to look unfazed as Sylvan just glances at Thad with confusion.
I turn while they process, rolling my eyes and smiling while they can’t see.
“I’m going to bed,” I call out, “Come join me.”
I prod their minds and feel the shock, intense frustration but mostly just further intense shock.
They both scramble to their feet and come after me while I purposefully sway my ass back at them.
I had full curves so I may as well use it against them.
I feel them slow to continue walking behind me, taking in their fill.
I felt the tide was already changing... to my favour.