Born In Light XIII
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My head pounded like a jackhammer, the blood rushing in rhythm through my ears. Everything hurt, as I desperately tried to move my arm. Pain screamed through my nerves, and I sucked in a sharp breath. Feet sounded the second I made a sound, however, and I knew who it was.
I heard a thump next to me as Ethan dropped to his knees, and I could barely make out Michael behind him. My vision was blurry, and I blinked a few times to clear it. I couldn’t make out the emotions on Ethan’s face; he was impassive and gave nothing away.
Michael was a wreck, that was easy to see. His eyes were puffy like he’d been crying, his hands clenched and unclenched in anxious movement. I let out a breath again and tried to sit up. Once more, the pain shot through me, and Ethan quickly put his arms around me to help.
“Thank you.” I looked at him through my lashes, for some reason feeling like I couldn’t face him. I’d failed with the bonding. I couldn’t push past his defenses, did he think me weak now?
More importantly, why did I suddenly care?
He shook his head and frowned. “I did this to you.”
That shocked me enough to look at him, forgetting my momentary shame. “What?”
He sat back on his heels and looked at the floor, hands clasped tightly together, “this…you being in so much pain. It’s my fault. I should have stopped it the first time you went flying. But I was too selfish too. Now you’re laying here broken, because of me.”
I couldn’t find any words; I’d never seen Ethan like this. He’s usually so sure of himself, so arrogant and proud. This new side of him, I didn’t know how to handle it.
“Ethan…why do you say you are selfish? It was part of the lessons. Delli could have stopped me as well, but she didn’t.” I reached out gently and put a hand on his clasped ones. He refused to look up at me like I hadn’t wanted to look at him.
“I’m selfish because I desperately wanted you to bond. I didn’t want to think that my Dragon was too much for you to handle. Ellie…” His gaze found mine, and I sat as still as stone. “Michael…what if he’s right?”
My eyes shot open, and even Michael took a step back, looking at the older Dragon before us. Ethan looked back down at the floor and stood. “Ethan, what are you talking about?” I waited for an answer.
A few tense moments later, he finally spoke. “I’m one of the oldest Dragons alive, Ellie…I may not look like it, but I’m hundreds of years old. If I had bonded when I was still young, then it wouldn’t have been a problem. I was still stronger than normal, but I wouldn’t have aged along with it. Now, however, what if it’s just too late?” He shook his head. “I’ll go get you some water.” His voice was low, defeated.
I could only sit and watch as he disappeared into the kitchen. Michael came then and sat beside me. He reached out and patted my leg gently.
“You alright?” His eyes were full of concern, his voice soft.
“I’ll be alright. I thought the medics were going to come? I still feel like I got hit by a truck.” My hand reached up to my pounding head, and I sighed.
“They did come. But there’s only so much they can do. You were really badly damaged, Ellie.” He took my hand in his. Ethan came back at that moment, holding a glass of water and what looked like Aspirin. He glanced down at Michael’s hand and mine and frowned.
Michael didn’t move an inch and stubbornly remained as he was as Ethan approached and held out the water for me to take. “Here, this should help.”
“Thank you.” I took the glass and downed the pain killer. I looked back at both of the men before me. “Michael, thank you for being here for me. But I think Ethan and I need to speak alone. I’ll come to see you when I’m doing better alright?” Ethan’s eyes widened in surprise. To be honest, I had surprised myself as well.
Michael just sat for a moment before my request sank in, and he cleared his throat as he got up slowly. “Ok, if that’s what you want, Ellie.”
I nodded my head slowly and watched him.
He closed his eyes and turned to Ethan. “Make sure she gets her rest.” Ethan only grunted in response as he kept his eyes on me. Michael faced scrunched in frustration, “fine then.” With that, he stomped out of the door and let it slam behind him.
I was alone with my Dragon now. Somehow, I knew this would be just as intense as our bonding practice, only in a much more mental fashion.