Kyle was sleeping soundly when suddenly he woke; he heard the voice speaking to him: "Jamie is in grave danger you have to hurry."
Still groggy from sleep he thought it was his imagination, until the voice spoke again: "You must find Jamie he went after the orb."
Kyle lay there thinking he was dreaming as he reached across the bed but did not feel Jamie lying next to him. The bed was still warm to the touch so he drifted back off, thinking Jamie had just slipped out into the bathroom. The voice spoke again louder this time: "Kyle! Jamie is in danger you must wake up!"
This time Kyle sat up quickly and looked about the bedroom. He quickly saw that Jamie had left, that he was holding Jamie's teddy bear in his arm, and that there was a note tucked under the bow. He unfolded the paper, turned the light on, and began to read his eyes rapidly growing larger.
Not quite believing what he was reading he read it again, as the fog slowly lifted from his head and he woke a bit more. He read it a third time. The voice saying yet again: "Kyle, you need to go after Jamie. He has gone to get the orb. He is in grave danger. You must hurry Kyle!"; the last spoken with great urgency.
Now finally understanding everything, he flew off the bed screaming 'NO!' while hunting for his clothes and scrambling trying to get dressed. Finally managing to get everything on, he flung the room's door open screaming at the top of his lungs, 'Jamie!' while running out the door and heading for his own room.
Swift flung open Eric's door as Kyle disappeared into his room, still swearing and cursing as he looked for his boots; throwing things around in his room. His anger was not at Jamie, but at the fact he had slipped out to do something dangerous. He was more afraid his best friend and love would be hurt.
Jamie continued to run, out-distancing some of the teenage gang, but more appeared down the road in front of him. He drew back his bow again and fired another arrow planting it directly in front of the group coming at him; their screams spoke loudly on their fate as they disappeared from sight. Reaching behind him he grabbed his last blue arrow and was about to fire it when his bow was knocked out of his hand. He looked up and saw two more of the gang coming right at him.
One had a baton in his hand, and the other's hands were empty. Jamie figured that the second one had thrown his baton that that was what had knocked the bow from his hand. Quickly Jamie reached behind and drew his daggers from their sheath; twirling them in his hands and wielding them expertly. The two gang members slowed in their approach; now wary of the boy they once thought would be an easy target; who now came at them with a fury in his steel blue eyes that said he was a danger to be reckoned with.
Jamie charged them down, throwing caution to the wind, as they backed up. He jumped and twisted between them, landing blows on them; forcing them to drop their other weapons, as they both fell to the ground clutching their heads. Jamie continued to run. It seemed like they were all after him this time. Jamie now feared that he had made a terrible mistake in underestimating his opponents, but yet was determined to give a good accounting of himself. Jamie once again threw himself into the fray; swinging his daggers, and doing damage at every turn.
Turning the tide once again, Jamie recovered his bow, but the arrow lay shattered on the ground. He reached over his back, grabbed a red-fletched arrow, knocked it, and fired at the regrouping teens. The arrow hit the ground and burst into flames. The flames expanded, blocking the group's forward advance, as the heat from the fire increased and burnt without the need of any fuel.
Jamie took off running again and soon found more people pouring out from some of the other alleyways. Further down the road, reaching behind himself again, he grabbed another red-fletched arrow, knocked it on the bow, and fired. Jamie hoped to once again cut off the group coming at him, but he missed his mark striking one of the teens in the chest with the arrow, which promptly burst into flames. The screams were cut short by the sudden explosive force of the flames; within seconds the gang member was consumed by fire.
Back in the house at Druhull, Swift and Eric ran into the hallway. They heard loud noises coming from Kyle's room, accompanied by plenty of colourful language as Kyle frantically grabbed his gear. He threw his door open and reentered the hallway.
"What's going on?" Swift asked rapidly. He grabbed a hold of Kyle to stop him for a moment, and saw that Kyle was in a state of panic, in addition to the fact that he was now armed to the teeth. Kyle never wore his armour, but this time Swift could feel the mail beneath his jacket.
"Jamie's gone after the orb, he's in danger. I have to go NOW!" Kyle shouted, thrusting the now crumpled note into Swift's hand as he pulled away and ran for the stairs.
Swift stood there with Eric as they both read the note. "Oh no," said Eric in a whisper, as Swift then took off down the stairs followed almost immediately by Eric.
Swift began shouting waking the adults, "Jamie's gone after the orb! Kyle is following him; I'm going to try to stop Kyle. Eric, fill everyone in." He continued to shout while running down the steps, "Kyle wait! Come back! You can't go alone! Hang on a minute!"
The pounding on the stairs, the heavy footfalls of hard boots on the floor, as well as the shouting woke everyone up. Soon all the doors flew open on the second floor. As everyone started entering the hallway they all saw the back of Swift bounding down the stairs two at a time, and hitting the front door at a full run.
Eric stopped and stood there. He handed Jamie's note to Thondir who read it and said, "Everyone get dressed. We have got to stop Jamie. Lornen, contact the protectors in the city, see if they can run him down. He is heading for the old library. Faervel, get in touch with Nyssa. Gwinis, make preparations for injuries. Onas, do what you can, go please. The rest of us need to search for Jamie. I doubt he could have gotten too far on foot. Hurry everyone! Time is of the essence."
After encountering the arrows that burst into flames, the gang started to think before approaching Jamie. Even so it was to no avail; Jamie was bent on escape and he would do whatever it took to get away from them and back to the preserve. Jamie was sharp, and he already noted that those he was up against seemed a bit slow to react to sudden changes in his tactics. He did not know why, but he did know it was to his advantage and he pressed forward again.
Jamie drew on everything he could; the skills he had learnt over the last few months and the magic he contained, the powers of being a Dragon's Son. He was a whirling dervish as he took out first one then another of the group's members; leaving bodies lying in his wake as he fought to escape with his life. Jamie was bleeding from small cuts on his face that he had received while jumping through the library's window. He quickly wiped away the blood that was seeping into his eyes, once again clearing his vision in time for the next couple of gang members to press their attack.
Using his energy, he drew on new strength that he had never felt before. Jamie slid the blade of one of his daggers into an adult gang member on his right, while with the other dagger hacked the sword blade in half of the one on his left who then retreated several steps. Pulling free his bloodied dagger it appeared to glow in his hand, burning the blood off and shining anew. Jamie pressed his attack towards the gang member whose sword he had just shattered. Although much larger than the young boy coming after him, the gang member backed off seeing Jamie's dagger blades glowing a brilliant blue colour. There was much more to this child than they had guessed.
Jamie was now fully aware that he had more power in him than he had ever thought before. Gone was the weak abused little child who had been forced to wet himself just to supply entertainment for others. Now standing on the street wielding two large daggers was a warrior. The daggers fit him perfectly, and their balance allowed him to be a master of his craft. The tide seemed to be turning in Jamie's favour, but then more people began coming from other directions.
Jamie was baffled. It seemed at every turn that there were more and more of them coming at him. Where were they all coming from he wondered, and what was behind it all. He had to keep on his toes. His only real advantage was that he was street smart and quick. His speed made up for some lack in his skills, although as he continued to fight those skills had improved ten-fold.
He suddenly remembered what Nilanth had told him. Shifting his mind he focused, long enough he hoped that the message got through. Jamie had simply concentrated on the thought 'Nilanth, I need you', and he hoped that it would work.
Just outside the house at Druhull, Swift had caught up with Kyle who was now standing in the front yard digging in his pack for the gauntlet. "Slow down, he can't have gotten too far," said Swift.
"I can't. Jamie is already in trouble. I know where he is," replied Kyle.
"How do you know?" asked Swift, puzzled by Kyle's response.
"Jamie's friend told me," Kyle quickly replied. "Somehow he opened a portal from right here. I think his friend is helping him and me, but I've got little time. I need that damned gauntlet." Kyle cursed while digging deep in his backpack. It contained an extra-dimensional space, allowing it to hold much more than it appeared it could; it also made the pack feel much lighter on the person who wore it. Swift watched as Kyle continued his cursing and rummaging. He was shocked, he had never seen Kyle so animated and agitated at the same time. Swift realized there was no stopping him in the state he was in.
"Wait Kyle, let me get my gear you'll need help," Swift pleaded. "Please wait." Kyle did not respond, but Swift turned nevertheless and ran for his room. He knew he had to hurry or his chance to help Kyle would be gone.
Jamie was soon outnumbered again. He began to slow due to exhaustion, but he realized if he gave up that he would stand no chance at all. Remembering the day on the archery range, he thought of everything around him, even of his attackers. He drew on every bit of energy he could, from everything and everyone around him, and he could feel the tingles of the renewed fire within him. He began to rely on it more and more to give him the strength needed to take on those who sought simply to kill him.
Suddenly from above there was a great flash of light and a giant white dragon appeared in the sky. It roared loudly and dove down onto the scene in from of him, raining down a firestorm of ice onto those below. Jamie glanced up quickly and felt relieved to see that Nilanth had arrived.
Jamie's sense of relief however was premature. Suddenly on Nilanth's left and right four Firedrakes and Wyverns had appeared. In spite of being outnumbered, Nilanth quickly took out two of the Firedrakes and continued to battle with the rest of the beings. Meanwhile down below on the ground, Jamie realized there was much more at stake here.
Once again his dagger blades were glowing a blue colour. This also seemed to slow the attackers down. They feared the blue fire on Jamie's blades, and it seemed that every swing taken at him he deflected automatically; even to the point that he could deflect with one blade and sever a limb or knock a weapon from the same hand with the other blade. Jamie felt almost that someone else was controlling his actions.
He was back to holding his own, but for how long only time would tell. He also noticed that as he drew energy his enemies appeared to slow as well. He kept it up as best he could, forcing them to become tired while he drew their energy from them. It could not go on indefinitely however, Jamie felt as if he were going to explode if he did not soon release the energy that he was storing.
Jamie found that he could focus some of the energy on his blades, and that the energy helped him in pressing his attacks, as well as aiding his defence. He found control in those few seconds that he had not had before over his mind. He was now focusing the energy he was drawing; using his will and without speaking a word it was increasing his strength and preventing him from falling. Even though he was exhausted, Jamie felt a surge of energy come back into his muscles. His blades, their flames renewed, now crackled like live wires; blue arcs came off the blades and danced in the air before him. Jamie's eyes had flames in them; it was the clearest and most focused moment he had ever felt in his life.
Kyle stood in front of the house at Druhull shaking. He was trying to calm himself and wait for Swift to return, but could not hold on any longer. Finally when he decided that he could not wait any longer, that it might be too late already and resolved to leave without Swift.
Suddenly Kyle sensed Jamie's friendly voice and his mind saw a picture coming into focus – he seeing Jamie in a fever pitched battle. The young boys was holding his own, but Kyle could also see that the circumstances could change, and fast. He finally pulled the gauntlet out of the backpack and re-slung it over his shoulder. Putting the gauntlet on his hand the blue glow began immediately. Then before he spoke the words, he had one more thought come to him. A quick image of a dragon flashed in his mind, 'Nidhogg!' His dragon could meet him there; he was glad it dawned on him in time. He was certain that he would need all the help he could get.
Speaking in the Elvish language and picturing the place he needed to be in his head, Kyle said, "Teacht chugam."
Holding the gauntlet in front of him, and no longer waiting for Swift he then said, "Oscailte an geata."
In front of him a portal appeared. Kyle quickly stepped through, coming out in the alleyway near the library. He heard shouting, as well as the ring of steel on steel, and hoped that he was in time. The sky was clouded over and he felt the first few drops of rain. In his mind he remembered back to that day in early spring, when the situation had almost been the same. Kyle looked up and saw Nilanth in a pitched battle for supremacy of the skies; he hoped that Nidhogg would arrive in time.
Jamie was slowing; he continued to draw energy from everything that surrounded him to sustain his effort. The problem however, was that there were no trees or grass around; things that gave off a high energy level that he could continually draw from. He parried and dodged another blow from a truncheon that glanced off his head. It left a large gash and blood began to flow. He could feel the wetness running down his cheek and soaking into his shirt. He thought about his friend, the voice that he heard and said forlornly, "I really could use some help!"
The voice responded, "Keep drawing energy. Go deep in the ground. Pull it from the earth. There is power below your feet."
Not exactly understanding the meaning behind the voice's words, Jamie focused his attention into the ground and suddenly sensed enormous amounts of power were flowing beneath him. Then it dawned on him – continuous power: power lines! He channeled the energy coming from the power lines through his body and directed it towards his daggers. Their blades began to hum and crackle, and sparks began flickering off of them. Arcs of what looked like lighting flashed from the blades.
Once again his attackers backed off, fearing this new power. The sound of the electric power flowing and arcing off from Jamie's daggers was eerie. The gang members moved off, away from this strange small boy, who seemed to be controlling everything around him.
Nilanth continued his battle up in the sky; only the two Wyverns remained. They were more maneuverable than the larger dragon. In spite of his being quick and agile, the Wyverns were much smaller and had more speed. Blasts of cold from Nilanth squelched their fire, but then they would blast more fire right back again.
Swift ran back outside just as Kyle disappeared through the portal. He had hurried as best he could, suiting up in his armour and collecting his equipment, trying to return before Kyle left, but did not make it. Cursing he ran back inside, calling out, "Kyle's gone! And I don't know how to get to him."
Thondir replied, "It will be up to Kyle and the protectors then. We can only hope that they make it in time."
Onas ran up saying, "I can sense Jamie. I know where he is." He then ran out the door, leapt off the porch, and changed into a dragon, all before his feet even hit the ground, and was gone; vanishing in front of them.
"We gotta be able to do something!" Eric pleaded anxiously.
"I am sorry Son. I do not know how Jamie opened a portal; I need to find that out. Kyle's gauntlet was our only chance; it can follow someone once a portal has been opened," Thondir explained. "It senses the destination of the one who opened it. Kyle hopefully, will come out close by. There is one thing you both can do, keep watch and find Taaggin and Dohgyn. Have them guard the main road and ask them to bring some others with them. There could be danger if the dark forces follow Jamie or Kyle back through into the preserve."
"Okay Father. Come on Eric, let's go get some guards. I can't just sit around doing nothing," Swift replied.
"Were do we look for them?" asked Eric.
"They hang out by the mill pond and have a sleeping shed there. It's why they could watch us when we were there, or at the gatehouse, or swimming in the pond," said Swift. "Grab your weapons and armour, we may need it."
The two boys ran upstairs and hurried to Eric's room. Eric had not even realized he had been running around the house with no clothing on until he got to his room. Eric grabbed his pants in a state of confusion, and then corrected himself and reached for his underwear and dressed himself fully. Swift stood by as Eric struggled to get himself ready.
Eric said, "I can't get this jerkin right; I'm too frustrated."
"Hang on, leave it off! I've got something better for you!" Swift shouted as he quickly ran out of the room.
Swift returned almost immediately and in his hands he held a new set of adamant armour. "Put on the under tunic, you'll want it. The straps on this may cut into you a bit until they break in, so add some extra padding to the tunic on your shoulders for now," he added quickly.
"That's mine?" Eric asked.
"Yeah buddy, I had it made for you; it was just finished. I was going to surprise you on the Summer Solstice, but you need it now. Remember this will stop bullets, but they may still knock you down," said Swift as he help Eric strap the armour into place.
"It don't fit right, it's crooked or something," said Eric said as he winced in pain.
"Face me. This may hurt a bit, but it'll set it in place," said Swift. "Brace yourself."
Eric turned, took a firm stance, and faced Swift. Suddenly Swift raised both arms and brought them down on Eric's shoulders. Eric staggered at the blow; his knees almost buckling as he felt the armour shift into its proper place. Cursing under his breath he finally said, "Man, that did hurt."
"Move around, swing your arms. Everything is new it needs to be broken in," advised Swift.
Swinging his arms, and twisting about, Eric felt it settling into place, "Wow, you're right! That worked."
"Okay are you ready? We need to move fast. We don't have a timeframe on anything," Swift replied, the urgency of the situation clear in his voice.
Back in the city, Kyle ran out of the alley and saw Nidhogg approaching from the other side. The dragon looked up and saw Nilanth in battle and swerved off to help. Kyle heard the sound of swords clashing, looked around and saw the carnage of battle already lying in the streets. He then looked up and saw Jamie in the middle of the fray just as the young boy plunged his dagger through another attacker. As the scene unfolded before Kyle's eyes, he realized that Jamie was soon to be overwhelmed. He froze in place for a moment – and then it happened.
Kyle looked on as Jamie was parrying a sword stroke. While the young boy successfully deflected the blow, another sword passed under and pierced him straight through the chest. For a few seconds, Jamie still fought on as if he were unaware of what had happened, but then reality struck hard. Jamie stood there a moment, the daggers falling from his hands; he stood there looking down at the sword sticking through his body. He reached behind himself and felt the cold steel of the blade that had been thrust into him coming out of his back, even as he looked down and could see the hilt of the sword against the front of his chest.
The gang member stood there smirking and let go of the sword, leaving Jamie to totter as the life force began to drain out of him. Leering at Jamie he sneered, "Thought you could best us; guess you thought wrong."
Swift and Eric left the house jogging for the mill pond; the first place they would check for the Satyrs. It did not take long for them to arrive. Swift ran across the dam and leapt over the spillway, with Eric following right behind him. Finally Swift shouted, "Taaggin, Dohgyn! Are you around?"
They continued on, heading for the shelter that Swift knew was nearby. When they approached Taaggin and Dohgyn came out of the shelter asking, "What's all the shouting about?" Both satyrs stood before them, holding weapons in their hands.
"Jamie went after the orb! We think there may be trouble ahead," Swift said quickly. "Can you guys round up some others, and guard the entrances for us? Also keep an eye out for Jamie and Kyle?"
"Jamie went after the orb on his own? Oh dear," said Taaggin, concern plain on his face. "That is not good. The one who has it, has a lot of guardians in his organization."
"What do you know of this? Quickly, we need any information that you know," Swift pleaded.
"He is hooked up with the one you ran into not long ago," said Dohgyn spoke. "I will not say much here, but he has a large following in the city. Jamie is as good as dead if he runs into the leader's followers."
"Thanks, not cheery news, but it will help. Once you get set, you may come to the house; I think you'll need to speak with my Father. I grant you permission to cross the grounds and enter our home. I know it's not safe to speak too much of such matters here," Swift finished. He reached a hand out, and shook hands with both Satyrs, then added with a wink, "If you do a good job I'll see that you get electric to this shed here."
"That would be so much better than candles!" said Dohgyn.
"Yes much better. Thank you Swift, we shall get on this right now," said Taaggin. The two Satyrs then headed off in different directions and were out of sight in a matter of seconds.
"Wow, they can move!" said Eric.
"I gave them some good motivation. They've been wanting electric for a long time. I think they'll earn it today," replied Swift replied.
Jamie fell to his knees. He knew now that this was it. He felt his life ebbing from him, he was going to be dead soon, and he fell to the ground on his side. He felt the rain falling on him, and he thought back to the moment Kyle had saved him so long ago. This time there was no Kyle; no Swift, nor Eric, and no dragons to come to rescue him. He held the sword that was still sticking through him, and the world began to fade.
Kyle watched in what seemed like slow motion horror; one second Jamie was fighting, the next he was skewered by a sword and had dropping to the ground. It was too much for Kyle. His love was now lying on the streets and the rainstorm began in earnest, almost as tears had begun to cascade down from the sky.
Kyle suddenly screamed, "NO!"
It sounded like a peal of thunder, even lighting up the sky, and startled the gang members that had begun to gather around the fallen boy.
Drawing his sword and seeing red, Kyle charged at the group clustered around Jamie, yelling and screaming incoherently all the way. The gang stood ready to defend themselves against the attacking teen, but they were no match for Kyle's rage. His blade seemed to shine brightly. A brilliant white light ran down the blade in the grey dawn light as he approached. Nilanth roared as a cold blast came from his mouth freezing some of the gang in place.
Nidhogg had arrived as well. He grabbed and began ripping apart several of the gang. Kyle fought with a blind fury, cutting down anyone who stood in his way even as they tried to overpower him. Something had taken control of Kyle, he was much too strong for them even working together. Blades were broken, bodies pierced, limbs hacked off, bones shattered, all in a blind furry of rage that saw no bound. Kyle felt it distantly as well; he knew somehow it was not just him wielding the sword; something else was involved. Nidhogg finished off the last two wyverns and flew down to help Kyle, whilst Nilanth stood guard over Jamie's fallen body, making sure no one came near him.
Suddenly Kyle felt a sharp pain in his thigh. He looked down and saw a bolt from a crossbow sticking out of his thigh. He reached down, broke it off, then turned; more anger flashing in his eyes as he ran down the would-be assassin and left him lying on the street, the arm that had held the crossbow struck off. The bolt in Kyle's leg did not slow him down in his vengeance or determination. He was intent on making sure that no one would be left standing or would ever be able to do this again.
Drawing on the same energy that Jamie had, Kyle renewed his strength. His love lying in a pool of blood was all he could see as he continued to hack away at what remained of the gang. He continuing to sever limbs and cut them down. While some tried to run away, Nidhogg helpfully threw them back in Kyle's direction. The dragon exerted his fear and soon those left standing found they could not move; Kyle swept through, taking the last of them out.
Using his last ounce of strength Jamie reached in his pocket and clutched the orb. He held it in his hand, closing his fist around it to prevent it from being taken from him. As his vision darkened, he saw the form of Kyle. A tear ran down his cheek. He had hoped that no one else would be killed, but now he feared that his love, Kyle, was destined to join him as everything went black.
Suddenly the air above Kyle exploded as a large red dragon appeared. Glass fell from the windows in buildings on both sides of the street and rained down on everyone; even Kyle had to pause and shield himself from the deluge of glass shards. He realized it was Onas; the tide had now turned irrevocably against the gang.
The air erupted in fire and smoke, as Onas flew at the fleeing gang members. Crossbow bolts sizzled through the air, but bounced of his scaly hide. Even bolts made of adamant were unable to penetrate Onas' armour. There were no weak spots; no soft places. His magic was also an aid, as the bolts seemed to shatter in the air before making it to their target.
Back at Druhull, the adults waited. There was not much that they could do and tension filled the air. Aunt Faervel went to get Nyssa and that would take a while, Gwinis was in the kitchen preparing the necessities for mending cuts and broken bones, and Brúndaer and Lornen were in contact with the protectors in the city finding out any details they could.
The phone rang. Lornen answered, but soon he was hanging up and then he called everyone together in the study.
"The protectors are close now," Lornen told the group. "They heard a couple of dragons roaring and have seen flames in the sky, but they are not sure if they will be there in time. The presence of the dragons means that Kyle is there, and clearly Nilanth and Nidhogg are participating."
"I thought I felt Kyle calling someone before he left. That would explain it," said Thondir.
"How are the boys here doing?" asked Brúndaer.
"They have done a great job. All the entrances, even the secret ones, are covered. They are on their way back now," replied Thondir.
A knock at the door broke the conversation. Thondir drew a long sword, Brúndaer drew two smaller swords, while Lornen grabbed a javelin from off the wall behind him. They entered the hallway from the study and seeing Taaggin standing in the window of the door they all visibly relaxed.
Thondir opened the door and said, " Hello Taaggin, I take it Swift sent you?"
"Yes he did. We have covered all possible entrances to Druhull, and we have set watch on Groxocho. He is deeply involved in this; it is also why Swift sent me here," replied Taaggin.
"Come in then, it sounds like we have much to talk about," said Thondir, inviting the satyr into the house.
Taaggin began, "We have found out that Groxocho is deeply involved in this. Young Jamie is in serious danger if he has gone alone."
"He is not alone now, from what we have heard Nilanth is there too," said Thondir. "And we now know that Kyle is there along with his dragon. Onas should arrive in a matter of moments as well."
"That is some relief to hear, but The Bookman is dangerous," continued Taaggin. "We have been asking around, and have learned that he is the leader of a large group that worships Groxocho. Jamie and Kyle's lives are in serious danger. We do not know how deep it goes, but Groxocho is aware, and he is present there even now. We have found this out from some of the Centaurs. They have felt his presence passing over the preserve. The Centaurs have sensed his presence near Jamie, since they can feel Jamie due to his deep powers. They can also feel Jamie drawing on every bit of energy he can find. We can only hope that it holds out."
"This news does not bode well if that is the case. Can the Centaurs provide anything on Jamie's location?" asked Brúndaer.
"No. They know nothing of cities; they would only be able to say where he is with respect to the mountains or the river. Nothing with any buildings or landmarks as we would think of them; they do feel a centre of power however in what you call the downtown region of the city. They say that something has awoken, and is radiating raw unchecked power. It is possible that Jamie has the object you seek," finished Taaggin.
"Then let us hope that Kyle, Onas, and the dragons have arrived in time," said Thondir.
Only one of the gang now remained; standing, frozen, locked in the dragon's fear. Kyle stood there, looking at the fanatic teen with ice-cold eyes. It was the one who had run Jamie through. Now he stood there terrified; his life hanging by a thread, as Kyle approached. The teenager tried to speak, but could say nothing. All he could do was stand there motionless and petrified, while the dragon glared at him. He could see the fire that burnt in Kyle's eyes, and knew that he was about to lose his life. Kyle stood in front of him; he was calm, but the anger and rage were still there.
Kyle then broke the silence that had descended all around them, "You killed my love, and now I will avenge his death." Kyle then leapt at the teen shouting, "Defend yourself!"
The blanket of fear that had paralyzed him suddenly evaporated and the teenaged ruffian held his sword up. It was not remotely a fair match however. Kyle's second stroke broke the blade of his opponent, and at the same time the crunch of bone could be heard as the teen's arm shattered.
Kyle kicked at a sword lying nearby with his foot. He sent it flying towards the teenager who caught it in his opposite hand. "I'm going to take you apart limb by limb," said Kyle from between clenched teeth.
Kyle then shifted his sword as well, allowing a fair advantage of the other teen. The teen swung again, aiming low, hoping to take Kyle off guard, and then checked his swing to shift it high. Kyle knew the manoeuvre all to well, and ducked low while thrusting forward, piercing the young man through his shoulder and then pulled back. The young man quickly shifted and tried another stroke, but faltered. That was his final move. Kyle's aim was true, and his sword found its mark, running straight through the young man's heart.
Stepping forward, thrusting his blade all the way through the teen, Kyle shouted at him, "You thought wrong, you didn't win! MAY YOU ROT IN HELL!" Then placing his foot on his opponent's chest, Kyle kicked him off his blade, and watched as he hit the ground.
After the last one fell, Kyle ran to Jamie's side. He saw the stricken boy lying there, a small sword sticking out of him, a pool of blood forming around his body.
Kyle wailed up at the sky, "No! Please don't let him die!"
He looked down at Jamie's lifeless form; lying there in the rain that was now pouring down, as if the earth were weeping over the fallen boy as well. Kyle re-sheathed his sword and carefully scooped Jamie into his arms, feeling hardly any weight at all. Nidhogg landed next to them, looking on he let out a loud roar of sadness. Nilanth joined him in his cry of despair, and the ground shook from the power of their lamentation.
Onas landed, the air briefly shimmered, and once again he appeared in Elvish form. Looking up at the dragons, he said, "You'd better go. This will be hard enough to explain without someone seeing you." Onas then continued directing his remarks to Kyle, "We had better get out of here as well. I can hear sirens in the distance already."
The two dragons disappeared and were gone. Kyle carefully reached into his pack and retrieved the gauntlet while continuing to hold the limp and lifeless body of Jamie. He held the gauntlet up and said, "Oscailte an geata." He then quickly stepped through the portal, carrying the lifeless body of Jamie. Onas flashed back into dragon form, and in a blink of the eye was gone.
Kyle reappeared in front of the house at Druhull, and screamed out, "HELP ME! PLEASE!"
Tears ran down his face. He could say nothing, but just stood there, covered in blood, his clothing torn to shreds, holding a lifeless Jamie in his arms. In moments everyone came pouring out of the house.
"He's dead," Kyle sobbed. "They've killed him." He was still holding Jamie, but his legs no longer working he fell to the ground. Kyle landed on his knees. He cradled the lifeless form of his love in his arms, laid his head against Jamie's cheek, and sobbed uncontrollably.
Gwinis reached for Jamie and placed a hand on his forehead. Looking up towards the sky she suddenly ordered, "Quickly get him inside!"
Kyle staggered to his feet trying to carry Jamie indoors. Lornen quickly grabbed Jamie from Kyle's arms just as Kyle collapsed to the ground again. Brúndaer grabbed for Kyle just as Swift and Eric ran up the driveway. Seeing the blood-soaked form of Kyle laying on the ground, but not seeing Jamie, Swift quickly asked, "Where is Little One?"
"Gwinis and Lornen just carried him upstairs. Help me get Kyle inside. We need to check him over as well. I do not think much, if any, of this is his blood, but there is some. The biggest thing I feel is that he is completely drained of energy, but he is alive," said Brúndaer.
The boys each grabbed a leg, while Brúndaer held Kyle under the arms, cradling his head against his chest. They then quickly carried the collapsed boy into the house.
Thondir appeared, a cordless phone in his hand, and said, "The protector's have found where everything took place. They are doing their thing. There is a lot more, but for now we need to see to the boys."
Carefully removing Kyle's jacket, shirt, and chain-mail, they found some minor cuts, but nothing serious. Thondir knelt down and placed a hand on Kyle's forehead. He looked up, closed his eyes, concentrated, and said, "Seachad dha lùth." Slowly, Kyle began to stir.
"He should be awake in a few moments," said Thondir. "What about Little One?"
"I don't know, he was in a bad way," replied Brúndaer, a deep sadness in his voice.
"No way!" exclaimed a panic-stricken Eric, who then dashed out of the room and rushed up the stairs while the others called for him to come back.
Eric arrived at Jamie's room and found the door wide open. He stood there looking on as Lornen and Gwinis stood over a blood-soaked Jamie. They had removed most of his clothes, but one thing above all stood out from the scene. Eric gasped in shock when he realized that a small sword was sticking up out of Jamie's chest. He paled, then threw up, and finally fell to the floor weeping.
More footsteps came up the stairs. Aunt Faervel was followed by Nyssa, and they both quickly entered the room. Lornen stepped out, helping Eric up, and then closing the door. He helped Eric to his room across the hallway, and helped him to clean up. They sat for a few moments on his bed, then Lornen asked, "Do you want to wait here? Or should we go and check on Kyle?"
"There's nothing I can do up here. Let's go downstairs," Eric replied numbly, tears flowing freely down his cheeks.
They found everyone sitting in the parlour: Kyle laying on the sofa, a damp towel on his forehead; Swift washing the blood off of him as best he could, while they checked the severity of the injuries they had found. Kyle was speaking while he lay there.
"No …" he kept repeating. Then it would switch to, "No, not Jamie …" The words were mournful, and uttered in anguish.
A loud sound came from outside the house and Swift drew his sword. Followed by Eric, his sword also in hand, they walked for the door and opened it. There in front of them stood Nilanth, Nidhogg, and Onas. The tears running down their faces showed that they knew that they were too late. Onas extended a hand, in it was Jamie's bow along with two daggers; neither of them stained with blood, but countless nicks to show that they had been used hard. The two dragons were bleeding from multiple wounds that they had received during the battle. Nidhogg had an adamant tipped crossbow bolt sticking out of his front claw: another testament to how bad the battle had been.
Swift walked over, took Jamie's gear from Onas, and then handed it to Eric. Then Swift moved over to Nidhogg and carefully removed the bolt from his claw. Swift placed his hands over the bleeding wound, and intoned, "Le mo ghràs leigheas seo dochann." Light shone out from under his hands and moments later the wound had sealed itself.
"I am sorry. I have failed in my duty. Little One has perished," Nilanth stated simply.
"No you have not. He is not gone yet, there is a slim hope," replied Swift, knowing all to well however that what Nilanth had just said was probably true.
Swift reached out and took Jamie's gear back from Eric saying, "There is more you can do. Gather your fellow dragons and secure the preserve. Do it for Jamie's sake. And if one of you could stand guard over the house, please …" Swift choked the last part out, he could no longer find the words to speak.
"It shall be as you ask," said Nilanth. Nidhogg flew off in a flash to seek help and he was gone. Nilanth shifted and became invisible, but they knew he remained there, standing in front of the house, watching and listening.
Onas followed Swift and Eric into the house and asked, "Where have they taken Jamie? I may be able to be of some help."
"He's on the third floor, just past Kyle's room. You can't miss it, there're posters on Kyle's door; Jamie's is one door down," replied Swift, a strain plain in his voice.
Onas took to the steps two at a time, hoping he would be able to help in some way. Swift walked into the parlour; he sat down looking at Jamie's blades and the nicks along their edges. It appeared to Swift that Jamie had fought gallantly; the nicks in the adamant blades bore testimony to the fact. Only another blade of equal quality could damage such blades as Jamie's.
Everyone on the main floor wandered about aimlessly. Waiting was the hard part, the sun was already high in the sky, and noontime had come and gone. Even the thought of food, normally a priority with boys, was not present in anyone's minds; the tragic events of the morning still in the forefront of all.
Gwinis left Jamie's room, while Nyssa, Onas, and Aunt Faervel stayed behind. She headed downstairs and found everyone else still sitting or pacing about in the parlour. Kyle was still in a daze, but had been cleaned up for the most part from all the blood that had been on him. Other than some minor cuts he appeared fine, but he was still only semi-conscious, still mumbling incoherently from time to time.
Thondir seeing the expression on his wife's face looked down at the ground for a moment before looking back up and asking, "How is he?"
Everyone turned to look at that moment as a tear ran down her cheek, "It does not look good. Let us hope that Faervel, Nyssa, and Onas can work their magic."
"No," came a forlorn voice from behind them. It was Kyle, "He'll be fine. It wasn't that bad. I got there in time."
"I'm sorry son," said Lornen. "He has lost a lot of blood, and worse he was wounded very badly."
Using every last bit of energy that he had in his body, Kyle stood up. A fire burned in his eyes, a defiance that nothing would ever take his Jamie from him. He stumbled out of the room and up the steps. Swift started after him calling out, "Kyle you have something in your leg! Stop!"
"No Son, let him go. He needs to be with Jamie now," said Thondir while taking hold of Swift's hand. Swift sat down on his father's lap, wrapped his arms around him tears flowing down his cheeks as he broke down, and began to sob.
Eric sat there numb. The sight of the sword sticking through Jamie's body had put him into shock. Gwinis noticed that he did not look right and approached him. "Eric?" she asked. He did not respond. Once again, a little louder this time, she asked, "Eric?" Still no response.
"Lornen, we need to get him to bed quickly. He is in shock," said Gwinis rapidly.
Lornen grabbed Eric up in his arms and carried him upstairs to his bedroom with Gwinis following close behind. Swift's sobbing subsided, and he looked at his father.
"I'm going to lose them all, aren't I?" he said plaintively.
"No Son, it is going to be rough, but think about this: dreadful though it be to say it, they have all been through worse," replied Thondir, while rubbing a hand on Swift's back.
"But Jamie …" Swift sobbed again.
"Jamie is another story Son. I do not know if he can pull through; it looks really bad for him," said Thondir, knowing not to sugarcoat such things when it came to Swift.
"Then I will be losing another brother," Swift choked out. This time he could no longer contain himself and the tears flowed and the sobs began in earnest. He was in an emotional overload and nothing could stem the flow at that point.
Kyle walked up to Jamie's door and found it locked. Kyle was in no mood to be stopped and he shouldered the door. The knob and lock gave way falling to the ground, the wood splintered, and the door swung open. Kyle walked in and saw Jamie lying on the bed half naked, still covered in blood, but the sword had been removed. Nyssa and Aunt Faervel stood on either side of the boy applying bandages, and doing their best to try and stem the flow of blood. Onas seemed in a trance; he was mumbling under his breath in a strange language and you could feel the energy in the air and surrounding the bed that Jamie was lying in. They all looked towards Kyle, but said nothing. Kyle came around the other side of the bed and pulled the large chair that he and Jamie would sit in towards the bed. He sat down and did not speak or move.
Nyssa spoke in a strange language and there was a glow of light surrounding the hand that she held over Jamie's chest; the bleeding stopped. She sat down on the edge of the bed, visibly exhausted and said, "That is all I can do for now. We need Brand to show up, and soon."
"Faervel, I need you. Now!" said Lornen, as he walked into Eric's room carrying the limp form of the boy in his arms.
"Oh my! As if things couldn't get any worse," Aunt Faervel said, as she headed towards Eric's room.
"Who is Brand?" Kyle asked in a monotone voice, his eyes lifeless. He was numb to the world; his only thoughts were on the still form of Jamie lying in the bed next to him.
"Brand is a Unicorn. If he can arrive in time we may still have some hope. It is a very small chance, but it is better than nothing. Jamie would have died if you had not been there Kyle; for now he is just hanging on," said Nyssa.
Kyle looked right through her, his eyes unfocused, and said, "He'll live. He has to. He just found love …"
Swift's tears dried up as he sat there, he was too numb to feel anything by this point. It was as if time had finally stood still; his world was now balanced on the point of a sword, one wrong move and everything would fall. He unwrapped himself from his father's arms, and stood up.
"Can we go see them?" Swift asked.
"I think that would be a good idea," said Thondir.
Swift reached down on the floor, picked up Jamie's bow and daggers, and they headed upstairs. Brúndaer looked on saying, "I'm going to make some phone calls. I think we need some help here from others. I also want to find out who initiated this, and deal with them as well." The last spoken with deep anger in his voice.
They all left the parlour, Swift and Thondir heading upstairs, and Brúndaer heading for the study and the phone. Swift and Thondir arrived at Jamie's door. Kyle still had blood on his face and hands; he sat there staring, oblivious to everything save for the small form of his love lying on the bed. The others gathered around the bed.
"How is he?" Thondir asked Nyssa.
"It is grave. The sword pierced his lung; we have done what we can. The rest of his wounds are minor by comparison, it is the chest wound that may … I have done everything in my power that I can. I have called out to Brand; I hope he arrives in time," said Nyssa with a profound sadness in her voice.
"He'll make it! He's tougher than he looks," said Kyle through tight lips.
"We will hope so Son," replied Thondir, knowing the chances were slim at best.
As night approached they all gathered in the parlour once again. The only ones missing were Kyle and Nyssa, they remained by Jamie's side in his room. The house was quiet; the only sound that could be heard were the quiet sobs of Eric and Swift as they sat clinging to each other.
A sudden knock on the front door brought them all out of their thoughts. Thondir stood and walked to the door. He opened it to find Brand standing there. "Thank the stars!" exclaimed Thondir.
"I do not know if I would thank them just yet. Where is the young man?" Brand asked quickly.
"Follow me," said Thondir, walking briskly to the stairs with Brand following right behind him.
"There may be a chance now," said Brúndaer to himself, while standing in the hallway.
They all followed Thondir to Jamie's room. Thondir and Brand entered the room; Kyle stood immediately, drawing his sword at the stranger who entered with Thondir.
"Easy son. This is Brand, he is here to help," said Thondir gently.
Kyle relaxed his stance slightly, and said, "I'm sorry. I'm still on edge." Suddenly Kyle's face paled and he collapsed on the floor by the chair. Nyssa rushed over and looked at him carefully.
"It's his leg! There is something there. We missed it," Swift said, deep concern showing on his face once again.
"I need your help, Thondir! Place Kyle in the bed. We need to get his pants off," she said, her tone leaving no question but that she was in command, and full control of the situation.
Laying Kyle on the bed and cutting away his pants, they found a broken off crossbow bolt sticking out of Kyle's thigh. "He won't feel this," said Thondir, as he grabbed the bolt and pulled it straight out from the wound it had made.
The tip was a normal point; this was fortunate, it had not torn the muscles badly, and it had missed the vital arteries and veins in Kyle's leg. Once again she laid her hand over the gaping wound, the glow reappeared, and the blood that had been seeping out ceased flowing. Bandages were quickly applied, and then they checked Kyle further. A gash was found near Kyle's waist that had been sealed shut by the waistband of his underwear. She pulled his briefs down and saw that it was a fairly deep cut; it would need to be sewn shut. Luckily the blade that had caused it had hit his hipbone, otherwise the damage would have been far worse; nonetheless there would be a large scar that would remain afterwards.
Kyle woke a few minutes later. "What happened?" he said as he sat up, then suddenly realized his clothing was missing. He could also feel that the side of his body felt tight, and looking down he saw that he had been stitched up. He swung his legs off the bed, slowly moved back to the chair he had been in, and sat down once again leaving room for the others to continue working on Jamie.
"We found a large cut on your side, and also a crossbow bolt in your thigh. You are going to be fine. You are lucky that your underwear sealed the wound and acted as a bandage. You are going to be weak, but we'll get you some food. You should be good in a few days," replied Nyssa.
Brand stood over the limp unconscious body of Jamie. The only reason anyone knew that he was alive, was the slow up and down movement of his chest, as he breathed what little air he could get into his lungs.
Brand reached up into the air and suddenly a single spiraled pearl-coloured horn about twenty-eight inches long appeared in his hand. He touched it to Jamie. The young boy stirred; the movement was enough that his hand released its grip, and a small object rolled off the bed. It fell to the floor and began rolling towards Kyle's feet. Kyle started to reach down to pick it up, when suddenly Thondir said loudly, "Do not touch that! It will kill you! Leave it lay!"
Kyle stopped midway with his hand out, then realized it was the Orb. He moved away from it and settled back down in the chair. Once again taking up taking vigil over his fallen love.
~~Fin… jusqu'à la prochaine~~
I also have to add one more very important person to my acknowledgements, without him this would not have been possible: the real-life Jason of 'Can You Spare a Quarter'; he is portrayed as Kyle in these books. He has helped me with a lot of details, as well as reminding me of some of the things we did in the past. So while I have said this book is a work of fiction, there are also a lot of facts in here. While dragons may be my childhood and adulthood fantasies, I do believe that whimsical beings exist. They may no longer be seen by people, but in the eyes of a child they are very much alive.
This book is a work of fiction, yet some parts draw from very real life experiences. The parts talking about abuse actually happened. I used the characters of Kyle, Jamie, and Eric and based their torments on my personal life. Their struggles are based on my past and what I suffered; so do not take it lightly. Abuse is all to real; kids suffer from it every day. They say the only way to stop abuse is to stop it before it happens, but yet all too often it falls through the cracks in the sidewalk. That is just a fact of real life.
In the real world people do not always make it. They die; they don't all stand up and walk off happily into the sunset. Children are abused as well as animals. Children die as well; only in comic books and stories is there a 'happily ever after'. And maybe not in these books; there may not be the happily ever after that people hope for. That has yet to be determined.
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