Dragon - Chapter Ten

Dragon - Chapter Ten

A Chapter by Michelle_H

Elena woke to the feel of silken fur against her cheek. She opened her eyes slowly, straining against the brightness of her surroundings. Her arms were splayed beside her, her stomach pressed into the cocoon of furs and pillows spread on all sides. As she became more aware, she lifted her head hesitantly to look around the room. The blurred image of weapons and a central fire passed her vision and she blinked rapidly to bring the room into focus.


Relax, Miss Elena. You're safe here.” It was a female voice; soft, gentle, and lightly accented. She laid her cheek back onto the furs and closed her eyes, still drained from the day before. Or had it been days?


Please, call me Elena.” She paused. “How do you know my name?” Her voice was rough from lack of use. She cleared it and exhaled. The warmth of the furs and tangible heat of the room was putting her to sleep once more.


The woman laughed softly. “The whole of the Stygian Army knows who you are. Master has hidden your presence from few.” Master? She rummaged through her memories searching for a being that could be referred to with such reverence. Master, master, master... Her eyes shot open and she inhaled sharply as everything came hurdling towards her. Morna, Kallan, the dragon, prison, Kane...


She pushed up from the blankets and immediately regreted the action. Pain shot through the base of her spine and upwards to her neck, her shoulders. She fell back onto the blankets on a groan. “Elena, you must lie still. Your back has not yet healed.”


How long was I asleep?”


Only the night. You were weakened by your wounds, but I am tending to them now.”


They are going to kill me. What does it matter if I am injured?” she inquired as she felt a cool liquid being poured over the open wounds. She sighed and closed her eyes as the solution eased the pain and soothed the gaping lacerations of her back. Her eyes snapped open as she turned her head to look down at herself. She was naked save the blockade of furs and pillows. The vulnerability of her nakedness gnawed at her, but she pushed the fear aside in order to focus elsewhere. Only the woman remained in the room with her and she had enough blankets to cover herself if need be.


Don't be so certain. Master has shown me mercy many times in the years I have served here.” Master? She could only be referring to Kallan or Kane. Unless there were more Stygian leaders.


Who is your master?” She said as she craned her neck to see the woman in the chamber with her. Only a glimpse of tangled red hair flashed before the discomfort of movement caused her to resume her previous position.


Master Kane. You are in his personal chamber.” She said as Elena felt smooth, heavy fabric being placed onto her back. Elena remained silent, mulling over the information the woman had given her. She was in Kane's chamber. He had brought her here? Her brows furrowed as she thought over the implications of his actions. Had he meant to save her? No, there had to be another reason. What had he said in the prison chamber? The darkened images of the night before replayed in her mind, her dream, Nora. She had awoken to voices... But what had he said?


The deep tenore echoed through her memory as clearly as the night before. He needed her.


Of course, why else would he keep her safe? The weight that had lifted from her removal from the prison was quickly replaced as her situation became no less dire in the Stygian's chamber. She opened her eyes to find the red-haired woman on bended knees, cleaning the stone floors with a wet rag. A gray frock pooled around her. Curly red hair fell in front of her and she pushed the unruly strands behind one ear with the back of a weathered hand. She was older, wrinkles gently veiling the lightly tanned skin of her arms. As her hair was pushed aside, her face came into view. Her nose was long and slightly upturned, dark brown lashes fanned large eyes while a thin mouth pursed in concentration. Elena frowned.


What is your name?”


The woman stopped and looked up as she placed her hands upon her knees. “I am Sorell.” The woman did not smile, but there was a gentleness in the soft brown eyes as she returned the stare.


She looked at the woman kneeled in front of the chamber entrance. Her red hair and brown skin reminded her of the kitchen workers. “Are you Cerisean?”


The woman's thick eyebrows rose upward. “Yes I am. How did you...?”


Elena looked away from the servant. “A Cerisean helped me to escape.” She did not finish the thought; could not bear to think of what she had brought upon the Cerisean that had helped her.


She could feel Sorell's stare and turned to meet her gaze before the woman frowned lightly and went back to her work. Elena sighed and closed her eyes, resting her head on the cushioned bed. Her body was still weak from the injuries as well as the absence of spirits. She would not be able to regain her strength if she was kept away from them. The pressing need to find organic life was her last thought before darkness embraced her and she drifted to sleep once more.


ooOOOoo


Sorell, you're needed in our quarters,” Elena's eyes snapped open at the urgent voice. She lifted her head from the covers and blinked to bring the two women into focus. There was a brown-haired woman in the entrance to the chamber. She looked to be no older than Morna, but due to the Cerisean gift of aging, she couldn't be certain. The woman glanced in her direction briefly before returning her attention to Sorell.


Sorell nodded and stood up, but walked to the bed. Elena could feel the Cerisean lift the heavy bandage before replacing it. “It's healing alright. I'll return as soon as I can, Elena,” she said and hurried after the other woman.


At the absence of the Cerisean, Elena looked around the room. A small dagger caught her attention on far wall, glinting with the dancing light of the fire. She pushed herself up slowly from the warmth of the furs, her back spasming with the effort. In moments she had pushed herself onto all fours, inching her way to the edge of the bed.


“You never learn, do you?” Her head spanned to the left and she gasped. Kane stood in the doorway, arms crossed over a bare chest as he leaned against the arched entrance. She stood frozen, unable to move quickly enough to grab the dagger, unable to drop swiftly enough to resume a position of innocence. Kane's presence became a stark reminder of her unclothed body and she had to keep herself from hastily grabbing a pillow to cover herself. What did it matter if the dragon saw her?

But despite her feigned nonchalance, the appearance of her captor - or was it savior? - had her heart thrumming rapidly. Even with the absence of words, danger rolled off the tawny-skinned warrior as fluidly as the searing heat of his body. She watched him stare at her for a long moment before pushing away from the wall and stride towards her. She willed her body to move, to grab the dagger that stood only feet away. But with the appearance of Kane, her will had dissipated and with it, the ability to stave off pain. She cringed inwardly as her back protested the position.


“Weren't you told to lie still?” His voice came from behind her now, but she resisted the urge to turn her head and respond. Her full attention was focused on maneuvering into a lying position before the pain forced her into unconsciousness, again. She could feel the heat of him pulsing along the backs of her legs and lower back as she dropped to her elbows and pushed her knees back. Slowly she began to straighten and lower herself back onto the furs.


Sweat beaded at her temples as her chest rose in fell in rapid succession from the effort by the time she found herself on her stomach once more. Though the position left her vulnerable, it made little difference as her ability to defend herself at the moment was essentially nonexistent. Not without a weapon at least.


Her eyes closed for a moment as she steadied her breathing. Kane remained behind her, she could still feel the heat of him. The sound of rustling came from the right of her and she turned her head to the sound as the silken weight of fur was placed over her body. She hugged the corners to her.


“Thank you,” she said as her sense of gratitude overcame her desire to defy the Stygian. She mentally shook herself. Her manners had no place for a prisoner in a Stygian fortress. Giving up the facade of compliance, she demanded, “But why was I unclothed in the first place?”


“Your gown was already torn and your wounds needed tending,” he said as the sound of heavy footfalls were absorbed in the stone chamber. He came to the foot of the bed and kneeled down, bringing himself to her level. Black eyes locked with hers, a light crease between his brows. “This never would have happened if you had-”


“This never would have happened if you hadn't taken me,” she said, suddenly furious at herself, at Kane. She had tried to keep herself together, but with the death of Morna and her current defenselessness, there was an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. She had nothing to lose that she hadn't already lost.


The Stygian's brows furrowed further as he narrowed his eyes. His hands were gripping the foot of the bed and he pushed himself up before responding. “You expect mercy from those that are at war with you. It is not me who is delusional, Elena.” He leaned against the wall where her dagger hung. His shoulders nearly brushing the edge of a broadsword as he folded his arms.


If you're saying I'm delusional for expecting a dragon to have some semblance of a heart, then I guess you're right. I don't know what I expected from your kind,” she said and turned her head away from him. It was the equivalent of walking away from the conversation if she had been able. As it was, she could only turn away from him.


What is right and what is wrong is merely perception.” She remained facing away from him, though his words rang starkly through the chamber. “My brothers would not have kept you alive, but here you are.” Footsteps drew near and a blazing heat encompassed her. “Their perception of you would have you killed. My perception of you has kept you alive.” She felt a hand at the back of her neck, lifting her hair from her shoulders. “You chastise me for being merciless when you have yet to conceive the meaning of mercy.” His last words were merely a whisper in the stillness of the stone chamber.


The scorching heat of his body retreated with the sound of footsteps. “Your wounds will heal soon as long as you do not attempt to escape... again.” The last word left him on a sigh as the sound of leather on stone retreated from the chamber.


She turned her head to find herself alone once more.





© 2012 Michelle_H


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I can't wait to read more!

Posted 9 Years Ago


Very interesting! I can't wait to read the rest of the story. Good job

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on April 11, 2012
Last Updated on April 11, 2012
Tags: love, fantasy, romance, dragon, elf, novel


Author

Michelle_H
Michelle_H

Fort Campbell, KY



About
I'm 21, from the Bay Area, California and I love to write :) I'm currently a student as well as an Independent Scentsy Consultant. more..

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