Sun glinted off the silver blue scales that wrapped around Zane’s dragon form. He was roughly the size of a small house, his long snout the length of my body, two of me stacked together would just be barely enough to be the length of his head. His two golden eyes were larger than my head, the pupils nothing but slits and as long as my forearm.
I stared at him, wondering what he was going to do. He huffed out a warm breath, blowing all my hair out of my face, making me squint. Next thing I knew, he had his front feet on either side of my body and his tail weaving around me. I wasn’t frightened by the feel of the cold scales against my skin, but I was rather curious to what he was doing. Very gently he laid down on the grass, his eyes never leaving me and he reached out with one of his claws to hook me in and bring me closer to him until I was just barely an inch away from his huge head. I reached out a hand and stroked the scales by where there was an ear hole. He leaned into my touch and made a purring sound.
“I promise I will be careful Zane, so please let me go see my grandfather.”
“What if I cannot protect you?” His voice was like an echo inside my head, it vibrated and wrapped around my soul.
“I’m learning to protect myself, aren’t I?”
“I still do not wish to see you go.”
“But if I do not go, he will not stop until he finds me.”
Zane let out a breath, it made the trees around us sway from the pressure. Using one of his other claws, Zane reached back behind him and made a swiping motion. Uncertain of what he was doing, I made a face. He made a small grumbling noise in his dragon throat and when his claw came out from behind his side, in his two dark nails was a silver-blue dragon scale. It glittered brighter than any other scale on his body. It seemed to have a heart beat of it’s own as he placed it before me.
“What is this?”
“It is my second requirement, it is called a heart scale. It will protect you when I cannot be by your side. “
I reached out, touching the bright scale with my finger tips, beneath my touch the scale throbbed before it mysteriously sank into my skin fusing with me.
“What?” I questioned, shocked by the event.
“It will act as dragon armor over your skin.” Zne explained before he reached out with a sharp claw and tapped my chest. Silver light flared and my body became encased in a glittering light. I did not even feel Zane’s claws. Astonished, I stared down at my skin. Then, I thought of something.
“How come you didn’t give this to me earlier?”
“Before you regained your memories it would have been pointless. A heart scale can only fuse once to another being in the dragon’s life time. Most dragons will never part with it, because it usually encases our heart with a second layer of protection.”
“Then why did you give it to me? Isn’t this too precious?”
“You are worth more than my life, Kei mou. If you die, I die. That was my pledge, and I will never let you be unprotected.”
“No matter what your decision is, Kei, do not forget that I am here, and my life is yours.”
I felt tears welling in my eyes, and my throat scratched as if I could no longer swallow. “Thank you.” I whispered, reaching out my hand and trailing it along Zane’s scales. He gave a purr and underneath the morning light, the trees swaying to the breeze and the birds calling to their family, the two of us fell asleep in each others embrace. Zane still in his dragon form, protecting me even when there was no danger.
Several days later, in the middle of the night, I stood by my bedroom door staring at Zane sleeping on the bed. I knew that if I didn’t leave without him knowing that he would try to find another excuse for me to stay. This was not something that I wanted to do, but I felt like it had to be done. I sighed gently and closed the doors quietly as I could. With my heart in my throat, I walked down the stairs almost tip toeing as I tried to be quiet.
Around me the palace was quiet, I couldn’t even hear the sounds of the kitchens like I normally could. This is made me try not to sigh again as I walked closer to the door. With my hand on the doorknob, I steeled myself to leave. I closed my eyes, visualizing Zane for the last time. I had to be positive that nothing would happen and that I would be able to come back.
At the sound of someone clearing his throat, I looked up to see the butler standing close, watching me. “May I be of assistance, young master?”
He had his stoic expression on, droopy gray eyebrows and even droopier jaw. “No. I’m fine. Thank you, though.” I looked back at my hand on the door, I hadn’t meant for Thanos to see me. I was leaving Zane after all. Damn, now he was going to tell on me. Hopefully Cabe didn’t see me as well, then I would definitely be in trouble.
If any one of them found out that I was leaving without telling them, there was no telling what they would do. I shook off the thought of my father finding out that I was leaving without telling him. It almost made me laugh, but I held it in and tried to give a stoic look.
I looked quietly at Thanos and opened the door before he could say anything else, almost running out of the palace before he could tell anyone I was leaving. I don’t know how long I ran trying to get away as far as possible, before I realized I had wings and I could fly. This made me laugh at myself because I was so terrified of what was to come that I didn’t even know what I was doing anymore.
Feeling the symbols light up my skin, I felt my wings escape from my back and I flew high up in the air. The only one that could catch me in the skies was Zane. So I tried to be as quick as possible hoping that the Angels who worked for my grandfather would find me quickly.
Knowing that it wouldn’t be long before they found me, I didn’t try to be as sneaky as I could. It turned out it only took them a little while before they surrounded me in the skies. All of their wings were different colors but none of them were blue like mine. I kind of made a questioning noise but looked at the guards anyway.
One of the guards looked at me with a question in his eyes, “Have you decided to come with us?”
Without even speaking I nodded and all the guards looked at each other before they surrounded me in a circle as they begin to lead the way to my grandfather.
I was surrounded by black skies and the only thing I could see were the explosions that looked like lightning. Time went faster and faster as each explosion came closer to where my grandfather’s guards and I were standing. Nothing seemed to be real but my life never flashed before my eyes. I seemed to have forgotten everything up to this shocking moment where the lightning seemed to continue. The explosions created ashes which began to cover my soul.
It seemed as if Zane was standing by me, but as a voice sounded out and the ground caved in. As it tore apart the expanse around me, all I could hear was the sound of a rumbling voice, encased in thunder telling me that it was okay, and that everything was as it should be. Even though I began to realize it was an illusion, I felt myself fall through that dark blackness thinking that maybe I should be afraid.
When the darkness disappeared, all I saw was a wonderful, transcending scene.
Trees of all sizes, with bark of pure white, surrounded the expanse of a green lawn. The leaves of the trees were turning the colors of fall, contrasting against the blue of the sky. In the sky, to the east, were two moons, one large and the other half its size, both an off cream grey, almost invisible to the eye unless you knew where to look.
Sitting on the ground as if nothing could bother him, was an older gentleman, his hair white, his beard long and his eyes bright. The guards around me bowed and began to back away without saying a word. Just from this I realized that this older man was my grandfather. Once the guards left, my grandfather stood up and just from that it felt as if his entire of being could block the sun and the moon and the stars. He felt as if there was nothing that could harm him, there was nothing that anyone could do to make him fall.
My heart thundered in my chest, I knew I was scared but I couldn’t show it. So I took a deep breath and almost as if I did not know what to do, I gave him a sarcastic bow and said, “Your majesty.”
I knew this probably wasn’t the right thing to say, but I was at a loss for words. At that moment, I knew that whatever my grandfather’s response was, would probably be the thing that determined my fate.
To my surprise, loud rumbling laughter echoed through the forest. I came back up from my bow to see the old man standing there holding his side’s as if he couldn’t breathe and laugh at the same time. He stood up, wiped tears from his eyes and smiled at me.
“My grandson,” there was feelings within those two words that shook me to my core. But his next words made my jaw drop in wonder, “You are just like your grandmother.”