Whispers of a Name
The whole Castle is full of whispers by the time we’ve helped Emily settle the refugees and everyone is ready to retire. The younger ones ask questions the elders have no answers for. Dragons haven’t been around since The Blending, maybe even before then. There is one question I have for them; Why now?
Ella nudges me as we make our way back home in the dead of night. The tunnel between the two homes is known to the pack, but only a select few can open it.
“What do you think? You’ve been quiet since the wolf uttered that name. And the way he looked at you?”
I shrug. “If he knew that the dragon was looking for a Callaghan and suddenly, he was in our presence, he might have thought we knew more than we did,” I venture. I cast the entrance spell as we reach home, allowing us entry. Behind us, the stone door creeks as it moves to close behind us. I smile; nothing but a spell can open that tomb door.
“You just seem very… not surprised?” Ella offers and I laugh, nervously.
“I’m honestly shocked, is what I am. Not a lot can shut me up cousin, but a dragon? Yeah, that’ll make me go silent.”
She chuckles softly and I have no wish to retire just yet. I’m too keyed up and I’m in need of answers. I place my staff back in its corner before I turn to my cousin.
“I need to go and meditate, thank nature for her help. I’ll be back in about an hour. There’s no need to wait up.”
“Aunty Em said not to leave,” she reminds me in a worried tone. I grin.
“One, we’re both twenty-one, cousin. I’m going to go and sit near the river at the bottom of the garden. I’ll not have left the grounds,” I tell her. Ella nods at me, pleased perhaps with my answer, then she leaves me to it. I wrap myself up in a heavy cloak and walk down the garden path to the river. There, I turn left and follow the path to the boundary edge. Finding my usual stump, I sit and quickly calm myself, giving thanks to Nature for her help this night.
As I open my eyes, the very man I am sure we’ve all had a discussion about, stands facing me on the other side of the bank.
“Well, you’ve caused a stir,” I tell him. He cocks his head and speaks to me for the first time. His hair is swept to one side, his dark beard is short, trimmed, cared for. The shirt he’s wearing, if you can call it that, looks like it’s just being put on.
“I have? That is more your job, agápi mou” For the first time, I notice the accent. I hadn’t when I had heard him at Stonehenge the night I projected into their meeting. There were a good thirty people there; and I know now, they were all dragons.
Pure, Cold Anger
“I tend to leave that to you Dragons,” I tell him. With that comment, he laughs; a low rumble deep from within him emanates across the stream to me. It’s a warm feeling, one of amusement and surprise.
“So you know! How did you know?” He asks.
“Did you ask for help from a wolf pack this week?” I ask, nervously. He nods, but he looks confused. I sigh, he has no clue.
“They were hunted to our territory. I’m not sure how many made it to us alive, or what state their pack is in. What I do know is the beta of the hunting pack is dead, several of their men are in our dungeons and your kind haven’t been seen in nearly ten thousand years.” The warm laughter I felt from him moments ago is replaced by a wave of pure, cold anger. If I weren’t sitting, it would have floored me.
“They were hurt?” He growls. I nod.
“Some women and children made it to us. James Callaghan has his beta finding out what state things are in and there’s a call-out for Alpha Merrick.” Languages weren’t one of the skills sets I was deemed capable of; but even I can tell that this Dragon, whoever he is, is very pissed off. Now I want to know his name.
“I need to know who this Merrick is…” The man swears again, though I can guess this time that he’s calling Merrick a whole heap of colourful names. I pull out my phone and bring up the Kinsfolk database, and then I wonder.
That’s Not Your Name
“I’m not sure how I can show this to you,” I tell him and then suddenly, he’s beside me. He’s not standing next to me, he’s… floating?! His silent movement catches me off guard and it makes me jump.
“You’re full of surprises,” I state and he simply smiles at me. His dark eyes dance, even by the light from the phone screen, he’s pleased by my simple words. I turn to the phone and pull up the image of Alpha Merrick from the Kinsfolk database. My new, very large companion just growls.
“Katalavaíno” he states and I turn to look up at him and he’s floating back over the water. I feel rather alone now, which is rather strange. I forget myself and stand to follow, then I remember.
“What’s your name?” I call to him from my side of the stream.
“What is yours?” He retorts, his voice reaching out to me in that accent, making my knees weak. How can he affect me like this?
“Stacy,” I tell him, clearly lying. He laughs, that rumble from earlier repeats itself, seating itself into the very fibre of my being. I like that rumble from him.
“Aftó den eínai to ónomá sou,” he laughs and turns to walk away. It takes me a moment to realise what he might have said.
“Wait!” I call out. “I’ll tell you it, truthfully, if you will give me yours?”
He stops and turns to me. “I already know yours, Ava Nichole Elara Callaghan. Tomorrow, you will learn mine. Kali nýchta ómorfi.” And with that, he blows me a kiss, turns and vanishes into the night.
He literally, vanishes. Dragons can vanish?! Oh, hell…