Victor, the store owner, looks up. A smile plays on his lips when he sees me. He always liked my grandmother. They used to be friends before everything went to shit.
“Elora dear, how is your grandmother?” he asks. Victor appeared concerned at seeing me this late in the day, he knew I had to try and be home before dark. That’s when the night creatures like the vamps would come out to hunt down their victims. It was never safe to be on the street after dark, easy picking for the more malevolent creatures.
“Not good, Victor. The cough hasn’t gone away. She is getting worse,” I tell him, retrieving my grandmother’s wedding band from my pocket.
I drop it on the counter, shooting him a knowing look. He snatches it, placing it in his pocket, and nods his head before ducking out the back and bringing back a bottle of liquid. Victor knows what my grandmother is, yet he never mentions it, knowing it is a death sentence if anyone heard him speak of the Fae.
“Give her this three times a day; I haven’t got anything stronger. Herbs are becoming harder to find, especially in the winter.” I nod before grabbing the bottle and placing my hood back over my head.
“Elora stay safe out there,” he warns, following behind me, getting ready to barricade himself in before those that go bump in the night come out to play.
I stepped into the freezing air. My toes had gone numb already from the mud and snow sinking into my shoes. Bowing my head against prying eyes, I take off for home, running. When I reach the corner, I run into someone.
I mutter “Sorry” at them before I go to take off, only for them to grab my arm, ripping me in front of them. I can see the man’s black boots as my eyes remain fixed to the ground. His grip on my arm is tight but also warm as I feel his heat seep into my skin through the jacket.
“Take the hood off,” a man’s deep voice commands. I try to free myself of his grip, yet he is stronger, his fingers bruising, his grip never wavering. He yanks my hood off, revealing my black hair. I continue averting my eyes. Anyone could tell I wore contact lenses if they looked closely. My heart skips a beat when I hear his voice again.
“Look at me, girl,” the voice grumbles.
I shake my head, trying yet again to wriggle out of his grip. He grabs my face, forcing my eyes to look into his. I can see people watching the scene play out, fear clear on their faces. I soon figure out why when my eyes dart to his gold reptilian eyes, bearing into mine. This man is Dragon, I hear him growl lowly; it rumbles through his chest, his eyes flicker dangerously, eyes that weren’t human, his tan skin is warm even through my parka. I barely reached the middle of his chest. His hair was dark, almost black in color but longer on top, he looked like he hadn’t shaved for a couple of days, stubble lining his face, his features were sharp, high cheekbones and nice full lips, he looked like a woman’s wet dream. Yet his aura was intimidating, his grip on me unrelenting.
“What are you?” he demands.
One thing I hated about being Fae was our inability to lie. We could beat around the bush but couldn’t answer a direct question dishonestly. I press my lips into a tight line, fighting the urge to answer as I stare wide eyed at the man.
A fight between two homeless people breaks out up the street, distracting him for a second. I don’t waste any time before ripping my parka off and sliding my arms out, escaping his clutches. I run up an alleyway using the dumpster to jump the fence before sprinting behind the next building. I feel my muscles seizing in the cold and my breath leaves clouds in the air with each breath. I hear a mighty roar and know he is chasing after me. I keep running, refusing to look back.
When I see houses lined up along the street, I dart through their yards, jumping fence after fence and finally losing him. Though that’s not all I lost. In the jacket was my grandmother’s medicine. But I don’t have time to turn back. Desperate, I continue to run until I find our house, bursting through the door and slamming it shut behind me. My heart was pounding in my chest so hard I could hear its erratic rhythm. That was close, too close.
“Elora dear, is that you?” I hear my grandma say before she breaks out into a violent coughing fit. I make my way to her; she is still in the kitchen sitting at the table. She smiles softly before noticing my jacket is missing.
“What happened?” she asks breathlessly. Worry making her thin brows furrow.
“I ran into a Dragon,” I say, my voice shaking. “He chased me, but I think I lost him.”
My grandmother frowns in mild panic and starts coughing again. I race to her side, looking on helplessly as the coughing fit racks her slight frame.
“I lost the medicine grandma; it was in the jacket. I will have to try again tomorrow,” I tell her, tears welling in my eyes.
“It is okay dear, what matters is you are safe now,” she murmurs, though I can sense the fear of me nearly being caught worrying her. Her hands tremble slightly on the table as her nails tap with worry.
The night goes quickly. We were asleep when we heard the voices of people out in the street screaming. I jolt upright, paralysed with fear. Walking over to the window, I pull the curtain back slightly making sure to not stand where I can be seen. I peer out, seeing men with torches, some in human form, others not. They were ripping people into the street, going from door to door. I see a man in armour go to the house next door to us before I hear the shrill sound of a woman screaming as she is dragged into the street, her family looking on helplessly as she is dragged by her hair.
My blood runs cold hearing her begging and pleading with them as they drag her from her house. The entire street is in chaos. I run over to the couch where my grandmother is sleeping, only she too is now wide awake and looking alert having heard the cries of everyone on the street.
“Grandma, get up, we need to leave. They are going door to door,” I whisper, slipping my holey boots on my feet and quickly doing the laces. I pull my hair into a ponytail, so it doesn’t get in my face. Slipping my contacts in, I hear more screams coming from outside and people fighting. “Come on, grandma get up,” I tell her, pulling on her arm. She shakes her head before pulling a small knife from the coffee table drawer into her lap. She looks up at me with a sad look on her face. “Run, Elora. I won’t allow them to know. I will only slow you down. You need to leave without me,” she whispers. I looked at her, panicked. What is she talking about? “No grandma, come on. We need to leave now,” I tell her, trying to get her to her feet. She shakes me off and shakes her head. “I promised to keep you safe. I can’t if you don’t go now.” “What are you talking about, grandma? Promised who?” “Remember the stories, Elora. You need to remember the stories. Now run.” “No, I am not leaving wi
Another voice echoes through the night. “Enough,” bellows the dragon lord who stood watching over the crowd of women, but he yelled the word too late. I flinch when I hear the swish of the whip before its crack, bracing myself for the impact. Only it doesn’t come. I hear the whip cutting through flesh, yet it isn’t mine. I take a chance and look up when I hear a collective gasp from the crowd. Lifting my eyes slightly, I find the dragon lord standing beside me and can see his muscular arm outstretched beside me. The whip is wrapped tightly around his arm. He wraps his hand around the whip, yanking the man holding it towards him. The man stumbles, falling at his feet, his terrified eyes peering up at us. “I’m sorry, my lord. I didn’t hear you,” he sputters out. I hear a predator’s growl rumbling deep within the dragon lord's chest before I see his foot come down on the vampire's head. Blood sprays out as his head is crushed into the ground. I fight the urge to throw up, seeing his b
“I said strip,” he repeats, raising an eyebrow at me, daring me to disobey. I struggle to remove my shirt, trying to cover my bare chest by turning away from him. The girl beside me starts to remove her clothes as well. “Not you, child. I don’t want to see you naked; you’re only here to make sure she obeys orders,” he says, making me relieved as she pulls her dress strap back up. I remove my pants, leaving me only in my panties. Using my hands, I cover my breasts before turning around to face them. The Lycan man steps forward, he licks his lips approvingly making me flinch. “Remove them,” he says looking down at my panties. “Please,” I beg, not wanting to remove them. “Remove them or I kill the child,” he says tauntingly. I look at the little girl who darted behind me at his words. I feel my cheeks burn with embarrassment. This was so degrading and humiliating. I pull my panties down before placing one hand over my breasts and the other trying to cover my lady parts. Both men
Dropping my gaze to the floor. My long black hair falling to my sides creating a veil. I see his boots come into my line of vision. He then kneels in front of me and grips my chin, bringing my gaze to meet his own. “Why aren’t you sleeping on the bed?” he asks curiously. I look at Lilith, who is still asleep, and I don’t know when we fell asleep, but we were both warm in front of the fire and the rug was comfier than any makeshift bed I had slept on. “We fell asleep,” I tell him. I watch as he cocked his head to the side examining my face carefully before he lets go of my chin. I see Dragus walk in behind him carrying a tray with what smells like chicken soup. He sets the tray on the desk. “Get on the bed,” Dragus says, making me glance at him. I feel sick suddenly, my blood running cold at his words. He seems to notice what he said before putting his hands up in mock surrender. “Not in that way, take the girl with you,” he says, looking down at Lilith laying on the floor. I pl
The next morning, I was awakened by someone opening the door. A woman stands in the doorway. She looks to be around my age, but her skin is chafed like she spent a lot of time outdoors in the cold. Her blue eyes look at mine with curiosity before turning away. “I’m Abigail, follow me please,” she says, looking at me before noticing Lilith who is also awake and alert to the newcomer. We quickly sit up and walk to the door. Peering out the door I notice Abigail was waiting at the end of the hall. She waves us to follow, which we do obligingly. She walks us to a large kitchen area where people are busy preparing food and cleaning dishes. One thing I noticed was all their slaves are human or at least appear to be. The room is huge and modern looking, different from the rest of the castle’s traditional look. It has stainless steel appliances and black marble bench tops, a huge island bench sat in the middle with three women standing around it chopping different fruit and vegetables. T
I take the basket back to the cleaning closet and walk fast to the kitchen, only to notice Lilith is no longer there. Walking over to the woman with red hair and freckles I ask her. “The little girl that was with me. Where did she go?” “The guards came and took her; her mother has been looking for her,” she tells me. I nod, feeling a little sad, but relieved knowing she is safer out there than in here with these monsters. I exit the kitchen and head to the small room where I slept last night. Walking in, I see a small, dark object sitting atop the bed. It is the book I was looking at earlier in the library. Matitus’s deep voice behind me makes me jump. “If you want to read that you should also read this,” he says, holding another book out toward me as he steps in the room. I take the book from him and look at it. It’s a book on Dragons and mates. I look up at him. “Read them. I know Fae have their own stories of the past, but what if they aren’t correct? What if your ancestors lie
I walk closer but don’t take his hand. Instead, I follow, crossing my arms over my chest. Matitus sighs before walking off. Together, we walk to a part of the castle I hadn’t seen before. A huge wooden table sits in the middle of the room, Matitus sat down while Dragus pulled a chair out telling me to sit. I hesitate before finally walking over and sitting down. Dragus took a seat beside me and turned his chair so he was half facing me. A few minutes later, Abigail emerges and places three plates in front of us. I stared at the plate wishing I could be anywhere else. I would have preferred to sit in the room alone and eat instead of finding myself stuck between two intimidating men. Dragus touches my knee beneath the table. I just stare at the plate, feeling uncomfortable. Dragus runs his hand up my leg, making me jump before I move his hand off me only for him to place it back on my thigh. Ignoring his hand, I look over at Matitus. “Eat” he orders, but I suddenly don’t feel like ea
I wait for Abigail to drop the clothes off before having a shower. Using the wooden chair, I brace it under the door handle. I definitely don’t want a repeat of yesterday with them invading my personal space. Showering quickly, I dress in the sweater dress Abigail gave me. It was black and warm, but I didn’t like that it showed off so much of my legs. Opening the door, I find Matitus waiting in the corridor. “Block the door again, I will make you shower with me understood?” he says, not even trying to hide his anger. But why would he? He was one of the feared Dragon Kings and used to getting his way. Not wanting to anger him further, I nod before looking away. Matitus grips my chin, forcing me to look up into his snake-like eyes. “I said understood?” I nod my head feverishly. “Words Elora.” “Yes, understood,” I whisper, fighting the urge to roll my eyes at him and his tone of voice. I felt like I was being scolded by a teacher, not that I went to school. My grandmother schooled