Born In Light XII
The muscles in my legs screamed as I held my position. My knees wobbled, and I desperately tried to keep my focus on the man before me. I refused to give in, palms sweating, eyelids heavy, and hair matted around the edges with dirt and grime. Students watched on from the sidelines, having completed the activity already. The ones who didn’t have a Dragon yet continued talking amongst themselves; I could hear their whispers on the breeze as it cooled my fevered skin.
None of them had a Dragon like mine. None of them needed to force their mind to weave like an intricate design with the oldest, most egotistical, and powerful of that ancient race. Not only that, but Ethan was just not making it any easier.
Every time I attempted to push my influence and “claim” him as Delli had called it, he’d pushed right back. It wasn’t just a gentle push either; it was a slam. Like a brick wall coming down, I would be thrown across the arena.
No one told me this would get physical. I was not happy about it one bit. After the first time it had happened, I had leaped upwards and come roaring back at Ethan, ready to beat the ever-living shit out of my self-proclaimed soul mate. Delli had quickly intervened, placing herself bodily between me and my target. Her hands had grasped my shoulders and stopped my tirade.
“Ellie, he’s not doing it on purpose. This is just what happens when a Rider and their Dragon begin the bonding.” She kept her voice low but quick, intense. “The Dragon within them, while wanting to bond with their Rider, still does not take lightly to being invaded. It’s going to fight back.”
I glared at the man behind her. To be fair, he did look apologetic.
“Why did no one else get tossed like a fucking rag doll then!” I couldn’t keep my tone down, and my enraged voice echoed off the rows of seats.
Delli let go of me, assured I would not advance again. “You are attempting to bond with not only your soul mate but the strongest and oldest of the Dragon kind. You’ll experience his resistance much more than any of the others. Obviously,” she waved her hand at the trail I’d left when I’d skidded across the dirt, “your reaction is much more aggressive then we’d estimated.”
I gripped my arm, looking at fresh blood, now hitting the ground from a gash I had sustained. “Yeah, no shit.”
So, now I stand, my legs about to give out and medics off to the side as we neared the end of the exercise. Unfortunately, I had made no progress what so ever and everyone else had.
Ethan still stood strong, his arms crossed and head tilted. Not one word had passed his lips the entire time I attempted to assault his mind with my own. He’d moved not an inch, and I received no indication of his inner thoughts except through his eyes.
They were pained, the swimming emotions I saw in their depths as I continued to get thrown across the arena like I was nothing more than a tumbleweed, spurred me on. The more I watched his eyes, the more I realized that it was out of his control. After that, I stopped cussing at him every time I picked myself back up. I was reasonable, it wasn’t his fault, not entirely.
Sweat dripped down into my eyes, and I wiped it away angrily. I had promised myself I wouldn’t cry, but I was reaching my limit. I hurt everywhere, the gashes and bruises still healing, even with medical attention. My knees wobbled again as I took my stance and closed my eyes, darkness, and silence engulfing me as I reached out to Ethan with my mental tethers. I saw them whip towards his shadowed form in my mind’s eye and wrap quickly yet gently around him. I went cautiously, trying to get through his defenses slowly to not alarm the sleeping beast within.
The tethers slowly melted into his form, poking into his mind deeper and reaching for his complementary tether. I could see it now, floating in this expanse of space we had both created. Shimmering magic floated around us as our supernatural beings materialized. I looked at him now, fully formed, and my tethers reached closer.
Now is when it usually happened.
His form wavered, and I’m suddenly confronted with a massive Dragon, roaring in a fury before me. My tethers are incinerated, and my mind’s form begins to feel the push back as I slide backward. I looked up into his eyes, the eyes of Ethan, remorseful, and sad.
The next moment I’m back in the real world, hurtling through space and towards the barrier wall at the opposite end of the ground floor. This one was bad, I’d been hit harder than before and would probably end up in pieces. I closed my eyes and sighed, waiting for impact.
However, instead of hitting the concrete, I hit a warm body instead and was cradled closely to a muscular chest in arms that held me like I was glass. My eyes slowly moved upwards to gaze at my rescuer.
Ethan stood strong and watched me, his mouth turned down in a frown of worry and eyes full of unspoken fear. Before I could speak, his deep voice rumbled, “you’re done, that’s enough for the day.”
I tried to fight back and get down, but he wasn’t having it and only held tighter. I was so tired and weak by this point that I didn’t fight much harder. “I can go again…we’re still in class.”
“No. You’re done.” He started walking towards Delli and the other students. She said nothing as he continued past them and off through the tunnel that led out to the school grounds.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked softly.
“My home, I’ll have the medics look you over there. It’ll be more comfortable than the infirmary.” His tone brokered no arguments. I was too out of it to argue with him anyway and was about to close my eyes when I saw Michael come tearing across the school’s lawn.
“Ellie!” He came to a stop just feet away, Ethan emitting an audible growl from deep in his chest. I tried to scold him but couldn’t. “What happened to her?” Michael questioned.
“We attempted bonding.” Ethan was quiet as he answered.
“And it did that to her? I knew you were bad for her…I knew it!” Ethan growled again, and Michael stopped short from what he was going to say.
Ethan began to turn away but paused. “You may accompany us to my home. But know your place. I won’t hesitate to rip you to shreds.” He was letting him come? It slowly dawned on me as Michael fell in step behind us, silent as a mouse.
Ethan was doing it for me. He knew that Michael was my friend, and any comfort he could bring to me would be welcome. No matter how much the man holding me despised him.
My heart broke open a bit, letting in some of the warmth from Ethan’s body as I settled into him, drifting off to sleep.