Happy Thanksgiving All
Dragon's Heart--CHAPTER 3
The good news was, despite running into some bad weather, flight forty-seven was right on schedule. Best of all, the passenger in seat 14A slept through most of it. He didn’t see anything else blocking out the sun. The bad news was he dreamt. He dreamt of a circle of emerald stones, dragons with hides of gold and a dragon so dark that no light reflected off it.
He woke up abruptly, when the voice of the pilot came on announcing they were in their final descent over Dulles Airport in Virginia. Dazed at first, then glad realizing the flight was almost over. He pulled his seat upright and put on his jacket, already losing the gist of his dream, until it was all but forgotten. He didn’t remember anything odd, happening during the flight. He just looked forward to spending time with his daughter.
He had divorced her mother two years ago then moved to London. He hadn’t seen his child since but he’d kept in touch with her. He had remarried recently and very much wanted to be a part of his daughter’s life. She would be ten tomorrow and he was her surprise.
Maya didn’t know how long she had been sitting on the cold unforgiving ground with the young man’s head in her lap, when the emergency and rescue people finally found them. It was at least long enough for her butt to go numb. She’d had to drag herself and the boy to the outer perimeter of the stones so her phone would work and for the rescue team to be able to find them.
She didn’t understand what compelled her to stay with the boy and watch over him. She could not abandon him.
“Here lass,” the first man said to reach her. “What happened? Are you alright?”
“Yes. I’m fine. But he’s hurt,” she said indicating the still unconscious boy.
The paramedic, at least Maya assumed he was the Irish’s equivalent of an American paramedic, checked the young man’s pulse then shone a light into his eyes. Thankfully, the only glow this time came from the pen light in the medic’s hand.
“Let’s get him on the stretcher,” the first man said. “Can you tell us what happened, Miss? Is this your hiking companion?”
Maya watched as the boy was strapped onto a stretcher and a second medic helped to lift him to begin the walk back to the helicopter.
“Ah…no. I don’t know who he is. I…I found him unconscious in the middle of the stones. He came to a little while ago and spoke a bit. He didn’t remember what happened or who he was.” Maya wasn’t about to tell them about his glowing eyes or the glowing stones. Other than sounding crazy, something else compelled her hold her tongue.
“Stones? What stones?” The first medic asked turning his head to look around.
Maya turned around to gesture the way they’d come. “They’re right…,” but the area now lay in heavy fog revealing no sign of the stones. “There are about ten of them, right over there.” Puzzled, she looked back and forth between the two of men. “Come on, you had to have seen them when you found us.” She raised her hand up to her waist. “The stones were about this high!”
“No,” the first man glanced at his partner, a look of confusion on his face. “You see anything?” His partner wearing a similar confused express on his face, shook his head in the negative. “We barely spotted the two of you,” he said. “Maybe the fog blocked our view. Anyway the important thing is that we found you thanks to the GSP signal from your phone.”
Maya couldn’t understand why they hadn’t seen the stones. Granted, the thick fog might obscure their vision but they should have at least seen the stone closest to them. It had only been a hand span away. Another unexplainable thing she decided not to pursue for now. She looked down at the teenager on the stretcher.
“Will he be alright?” she asked, worried.
“I didn’t see any evidence that he took a blow to the head,” the first medic said. “But don’t worry. We’ll get the lad to hospital in no time and the doctors there will take a look at him.”
“May I come with him to the hospital?”
“Of course you can.”
Talon glided out of the cloud to land in a circle of stones that looked very much like the stones of his home world. He had never been here before but he knew that he had made it through the portal. He was on Terra, Earth as it was now known. The land of the Forgotten Ones.
His golden dragon form shimmered even as he landed. If human eyes had been present to observe the change, they would have thought they were looking at an image coated in fluorescent silk, as a male in human form emerged from the center of the shimmer. But the only human essence existed in the center of the stones, in the form of a young man of seventeen earth summers.
Too late, Talon realized time moved differently for dragons. Then again maybe not, at home even at four hundred years, he was barely past hatchling, still young. As a human, he appeared to be a mere teenager. But those thoughts were of no consequence, he heard whispers. Ones he couldn’t ignore.
The Earth and the Stones called to him. They recognized him and welcomed him as the son of one of their own long gone from this world. They lulled him with their song of the ages. They had a lot to tell him.
The first thing he became aware of was that he was naked. In this land, his entire body needed to be covered in some form of cloth, and not the loin covering he was used to. The Stones guided him in what he needed to do.
Magick, to his surprise, was very strong on Earth, especially at the heart of the Stones. It ignited his blood and his veins flowed with power. He looked down and found himself clad in what the knowledge in his mind told him were blue jeans, a dark green t-shirt and covering for his feet, hiking boots; suitable clothing for the time.
The song coaxed him to sleep, to rest, there was much to learn and it would take some time. He was young. His eyes began to close and his muscles relaxed. He lay down on his back in the center of the Stones. He would be perfectly safe. No harm could come to him in the circle of power. There was so much he needed to know. So much still to do. The knowledge the Stones and Mother Earth had to impart to him numbed his mind. He slept…deeply.
Then knew no more.
Maya didn’t know what to tell the night nurse. She had been shocked when she checked the time and saw it was nine at night. It had taken the rescue squad a lot longer to find them than it should have. During the short ride in the helicopter to the hospital, both medics and the pilot kept insisting they didn’t see the stones and had never heard of anything like she described in the area. They had spoken to the guide to get her location, but he never mentioned anything about a circle of standing stones, he gave them a rough description of where he had taken her hiking and the GPS signal in her phone did the rest.
The medics had already left and Maya returned her attention to the admittance nurse. “As I’ve said before, I don’t know who he is. I found him in the center of these standing stones, somewhere on Sperrin Mountain. But, I’ll take full responsibility for him until we can find out who he is.”
The nurse raised her eyebrows, again and replied, “And as I’ve said before. I’ve lived in these parts all my life and I’ve never heard of such stones. Look, the doctor will be out in a minute. I’ll just write him up as an unidentified male. When he wakes up we’ll get the rest of the information. Go ahead and have a seat over there.” She pointed to a row of seats against a wall. “I’ll send the doctor round to you as soon as he’s done.”
“Thank you.” Maya removed her backpack and sat down. She found herself alone and tired in the waiting area. She still didn’t understand what had happened but she felt inexplicably drawn to the boy. He wasn’t her responsibility, yet she had found him and she had promised him she wouldn’t leave him. She also had a lot of questions that she needed answers to; answers she hoped he could provide.
She pulled her cell phone out and changed her flight reservations. This was costing her a small fortune. She’d stay in Ireland for the remainder of her trip. She hoped she didn’t have to make any further changes. Surely by then, the boy would have awakened and regained his memory, and would be able to put her mind to rest about what had happened up on that mountain. What she had seen was real. There had been a dragon etched into the stone and it glowed, as did the boy’s eyes. How did you explain that?
Maya let her head fall back until it touched the wall and closed her eyes. She wasn’t sure how long she slept, but the odd angle of her head caused her neck to ache jerking her awake. Rubbing her neck, she glanced at the nurses’ station, in time to see the night nurse pointing a balding man in her direction. She got up and walked towards him.
“Ms. Trent?” he asked as he held his hand out to shake hers. His white starched doctor’s coat brightened up the dreary hallway. “I’m Doctor Donovan. I understand that you came in with the unconscious young man.”
“Yes doctor. Can you tell me how he’s doing?”
“Unfortunately he’s still unconscious. We’ve run a few tests and I’m still waiting on the results of his blood work, but so far I can’t determine if there’s been any head trauma or anything else to indicate why he’s unconscious. If there’s no change by morning, we’ll run further tests.”
“He came to at least twice when he was with me but he didn’t remember what happened to him or who he is. So maybe he’ll wake up again.”
“Maybe. Comas sometimes can be strange things.” He paused to check his chart. “I see that he’s listed as an unidentified male, so I’m assuming that you’re not a relative?”
“No, I’m sorry. I was out hiking and found him in the middle of a circle of stones, which I know that no one around here seems to have ever heard of. Both times that I questioned him he seemed confused and kept saying his head was hurting.”
“Well, I can tell by your accent that you’re an American. When he spoke did he sound like he might be a local?”
“No, actually he sounded like an American.”
“Well, if he hasn’t awakened by morning I’ll call the local constable and see if there’s been any missing persons report on anyone fitting his description. He’ll also see to it his description is sent to all the agencies that handle missing persons.”
“Great,” Maya replied feeling somewhat relieved. This boy obviously belonged somewhere. “Someone should be looking for him or if he’s got a passport, his information would be in some database. Hopefully, you can find out who he is.”
“I hope so too,” the doctor said.
“May I see him now? I’d like to stay with him for a little while.”
“Well, it’s a mite irregular, but under the circumstances I’ll allow you a few minutes with him.”
“Thank you doctor.”
“If there’s any change we have your hotel number here in the paper work and will give you a call.”
Doctor Donovan escorted her to the boy’s room and left her. He appeared to be sleeping peacefully. Someone had pulled his hair back and tied it with a rubber band so it lay as a long thick ponytail across the right side of his chest. There were what looked like electrodes, attached to his forehead and an IV in his arm. A flicker of light drew Maya’s gaze up above the bed to intricate looking machines that appeared to monitor his heart and brain activities. Maya prayed the green lights meant everything was fine.
The doctor had said she could only stay for a few minutes but he was gone and hopefully no one would bother her for awhile. Since her Nana died in a hospital, she hated the places but she didn’t want to leave the young man alone. She pulled the single chair in the room closer to the bed and sat down, staring at the boy on the bed for a long time. Aside from the slight rise and fall of his chest, he didn’t move.
“Who are you?” she whispered though she didn’t really expect an answer. She stretched her hands beyond her shoulders and put her head down on the side of the bed, immediately falling into an exhausted sleep.
Talon came to. One minute he wasn’t, the next instant he was awake and aware. Very aware. He knew where he was. What and who he was. He also knew that his mother was dead.
The loss of the emotional psychic link to his mother was the final pain that drove him to total unconsciousness. All brethren are linked in some fashion. The love he shared with his parents provided an almost physical link for him to both of them, and they were likewise linked to him. Now one link was simply snuffed out, like a candle in the wind. That could only happen with her death. The knowledge of his mother’s death on top of what the Stones taught him had been too much for his brain and emotions to process.
For awhile, he hadn’t been able to remember who he was, there was just too much infomation being stored into his consciousness and at an alarming rate. Part of his mind went blank while he tried to process it all. It might still take years before he was able to fully access the knowledge the Stones imparted. Some of it he might never be able to use. Because they were of magicks only a Dark Lord could wield.
He turned his head slightly and looked at the woman whose head rested near his hand. Maya, her name was Maya.
She was beautiful.
His newfound knowledge told him her skin was the color of leaves when they turned an autumn brown. And her hair was a riot of long curls, which rested across her shoulders and captured the many russet and golden colors of fall. While her eyes, if he remembered correctly were the color of bronze. He gently touched the hand that lay near his—marveling for a moment at how much paler his appeared next to hers. He did not really need to touch her to know. His need had called her to him. Valour was right. Blood called to blood. She was brethren. One of the Forgotten Ones.
If she could change form she would be a gold or bronze dragon or maybe a very unique combination of both. Dragons came in a variety of colors and the color of a dragon determined the strength of its magicks. If she could harness the powers of both, that would make her one of the strongest female dragons for as long as there had been dragons. The earth magicks had indeed changed the blood as the Stones warned him. More than that, she was a Damn, a Dragon Queen. But she was not his. She was meant for a Dark Dragon Lord. She was his father’s truemate.
Talon knew his mate was on Terra or Earth but her life essence was weak. No, that wasn’t quite right. Not weak just not matured yet. She was still very young, a mere hatchling. By human standards he was young too. He would have to wait for her essence to grow stronger and bide his time to find her. The Stones would not help him with this. It was his destiny to find her or not. But he would. When the time was right she would call to him and he would be here to answer.
Meanwhile, he needed to try to understand this lost world his truemate belonged to, before he could ask her to be a part of his own. The Stones and Mother Earth had explained much to him, but he still needed to experience things firsthand for himself. His father would be here soon. He would need Maya’s help.
His father would try to send him back. He would not go back. Could not. There was loose magick in the world. It had the scent of a dragon on it. A dragon where there should be no dragons, but wrong in some way he didn’t understand. Instinct warned the wrongness was powerful and dangerous.
The Earth magick wasn’t weak, as he’d been told. There was immense power here for those who could tap into it. His father would know what to do, but he would want Talon on Akgon until the danger past, and the girl child was of an age to be taken. Talon needed to be here in case of any threat to her. At least if he were here, he would know and be able to do something. On Akgon, he could do nothing to protect her. However, he must not be here when his father arrived. His sire and Dark Lord must not find him. If he could not find him, he could not send him home.
Maya felt a slight pressure on her hand and opened her eyes, to find herself staring into emerald fire. She wasn’t sure if she was really awake. The last few days felt like a dream. It all started with her dreams of a dragon, then finding the young man in the center of stones. Stones, that no one seemed to know anything about. Stones that glowed, black dragons with green eyes.
Ha ha ha. Don’t be afraid.
Maya raised her head and looked behind her but there was no one there. She turned to look at the young man on the bed. He was awake. His eyes were open and glowing and he stared right at her.
Don’t be afraid, Maya. I won’t hurt you. I could never hurt you. Thank you for helping me. I remember now.
Maya blinked. She could hear him just fine. The only problem was his mouth wasn’t moving. Hers did. “What the hell!”
She jumped up overturning her chair as she backed away from him.