October 1st, 2012 | Published in Dragon Wars
“She’s serious,” Lucas said after a few moments. He was biting his lip and his eyes were haunted. We’re going to have to keep her busy once we’re finished. She’s suicidal and even if she doesn’t give in to that she’s likely to relapse back into fugue, he added mentally.
“I thought she would be,” Matthias said. Hannah had the distinct impression that he was responding to both statements. He knelt down by Marian and laid a hand on her forearm. “You say he’s expecting us?”
“Yes,” she said. “And he’s very strong.” She shuddered violently. “But he has to be stopped. Something terrible is going to happen if we don’t stop him.” She straightened and looked around. “Is Tara with you? We need her clarification skills.”
Matthias shook his head. “We left her at Waldhafen. Didn’t you sense her and Carl there?”
“No, I wasn’t really paying attention when I came around. I was too panicked.” She clenched her fists. “Mum and Dad would kick my ass for this mess. Even if I hadn’t…” She gave a choking sob. “I broke the family’s first rule.”
“You mean by ignoring the excessive amount of weird incidents?” he asked.
She nodded. “Somehow I thought it was all of you trying to distract me. Why did I think that?” She shook her head and looked over at Lyrrekka. “I am so sorry. Please believe me! If you still want to kill me I won’t stop you. And…” She turned to look at Hannah then buried her head in her hands. “Oh, God…”
Hannah swallowed. There was no mistaking the spike of guilt and anguish Marian gave off but she couldn’t let it go. She looked down as Kyle squeezed her hand.
“Worry about any payback later,” he said softly. “For now we really do need her help and it’s enough that she’s no longer a danger to us.”
“Revenge won’t bring mother back anyway,” she said quietly. “But…”
“I know,” he said. “Later.” He squeezed her hand. “Let’s deal with Emms and Adrian first.”
Hannah nodded unwillingly.
“Let’s get back to Waldhafen and have Tara clarify Marian’s vision while Hannah gets a fix on the key so we know where we’re going,” Matthias said as he and Lucas helped Marian back to her feet.
“And get Drew into a bed,” Sonia added. “He needs to sleep after his ordeal.”
Andrew sank onto the mossy bed with a sigh of relief. It might not be home but the living walls and ceiling of his room at Waldhafen felt almost as safe. Somehow he doubted Emms would have come after him here.
“No.” Sonia sat on the edge of his bed and stroked his hair. “He wouldn’t have dared. That’s why he pushed you while you were away from here. I never even knew that was possible or we might have been more cautious. But there’s no use worrying about it now. You’re safe and you need to recover.”
“I know.” He pulled the soft blanket over himself and closed his eyes, then opened them again and looked at her. “What’s going to happen to Kiataran?”
“The brown dragon you called to guard you?” she asked. “I’m not sure. Your father’s taken charge of him since he has the collars back under his control – though I suspect you could still interfere with that. I’m sure he won’t hurt him though.”
“I probably could,” Andrew conceded. “But not when my head feels like this. But his father helped me not panic when Emms tried to take the controls back from me. I think I might have lost them without his help.”
“That’s why you need to sleep,” she said. “And I’ll tell your father that. I doubt he wants to keep him anyway. When you wake up, I’ll introduce you to my dragon and bring you up to speed on what else has been happening and what we’ve found out about dragons. You’ll be surprised.”
“You mean the bit where some of them used to be human?” he asked as he settled down again. He grinned at her surprised squeak but didn’t re-open his eyes. “Nari told me about it. Hey, what happened with Princess Salia? Did the others manage to rescue her?”
“They did. She’s here as well. ” His mother sounded a touch exasperated. “You can meet her when you wake up and I’ll tell you everything. Now go to sleep before I make you.”
A/N: I’ve decided to run “The Storm Child”Â Campaign in early February to give people time to recover from Christmas, so start saving your pennies.