A continuation of my book
Wood Haven, Eastern Woods
Two weeks. It had been two weeks since King Cedric had passed the crown to his son. yes, he'd ascended to the High Council, but still, being King over all of Avallon was a great honor. And Loreleigh had made sure she was far away when it happened. Loreleigh had arranged a trip to explore each region, learning what she could about her past. Her first stop was Wood Haven, the gateway town of the Eastern Region.
The Eastern Region was divided into separate places and Loreleigh had hired a guide to bring her to all of them. She was supposed to be meeting her soon but Loreleigh wanted to explore Wood Haven on her own first. She had tied her hair back so it wouldn't get in the way and she had a pack ready for adventure. Loreleigh had even gotten a journal to record her adventures.
Loreleigh sat on a bench beneath a tree to rest. She watched as people wearing all sorts of things passed her by. Some of the people glanced in her direction but none stopped to speak to her. She was getting ready to head to the inn she was staying at when she heard a bubbly voice behind her.
"Hello there! You must be Miss Loreleigh!" She turned to see a friendly young woman, probably about her age; smiling at her.
"Yes, do you work for Mrs. Ortega?" The girl just laughed, a sound like tiny bells jingling.
"Yes ma'am that's my mother. I'm Carmen Ortega," she gave another brilliant smile and held out a hand to Loreleigh. She shook hands with Carmen and both young women began walking.
"Have you gotten a room here yet?" Carmen asked as they stopped in front of the inn. Loreleigh nodded holding up a key.
"OK good. We need to sit and plan out how you want to begin. I simply love history and adventures." Carmen babbled on as the girls walked up the stairs.
"Well my first idea was to check the library for any information about two-toned dragons." When Loreleigh didn't get a reply she turned to see Carmen staring at her; wide-eyed and mouth wide open. Carmen shook her head.
"You can't be serious! Two-toned dragons are very rare and I heard they were only royal-blooded. It's rumored the last one was killed about fifteen years ago, a female." Loreleigh shivered, wondering how Carmen would react. She was still contemplating saying something when Carmen answered her question for her.
"Do you know a two-toned dragon Loreleigh?" Speaking as if the whole subject was taboo. Loreleigh shook her head, not wanting to lie but also not wanting to tell a complete stranger what she was.
"No I don't, I'm just curious since no one really talks about them." Carmen nodded, still subdued.
"Okay, you just have to be really careful when researching though. Why don't we head to the library now to start looking." Loreleigh nodded and locked her room door. As she did she shivered; glancing around she didn't see anyone else, but she felt like eyes were still watching her.
Julian watched the two girls closely. He'd found a way to hide his presence and it had been very beneficial. His uncle had received his letter promising war. It wasn't real, but it was enough to get them riled up. Enough to make sure that no one was paying attention to Loreleigh.
He paused when he saw the girls walk into the Wood Haven Library. Julian decided to visit a 'family' friend while the girls were busy. As he walked down the street he couldn't help but appreciate the architecture of the buildings. Once Julian had gotten to the right building he went inside, flipping the Open sign to Closed. It was time to make a bargain, and Julian was an expert of making them work solely in his favor.
"Loreleigh you need to come see this," Carmen called from a few rows down. Loreleigh got up, hoping it was something useful this time. She was tired of getting up every time Carmen thought she'd found something. The girls had been searching all day; file after file, book after book, and shelf after shelf; for any information about two-toned dragons. Loreleigh bent over the back of Carmen's chair to read the paragraph she was pointing at.
"At first there was only the original six Immortals, three males and three females. The world was divided into three separate kingdoms; the Light, the Dark, and the Twilight. The Light dragons were the palest shades of the rainbow whereas the Dark had as you guessed the darker colors..." Carmen gasped loudly earning a few glares from the people around them. Loreleigh shushed her and continued to read.
"The Twilight dragons were two-toned, a mix of the light and the dark. The Twilight dragons were the most even tempered. They held more powers than the average single colored dragon, causing fights to break out among the three kingdoms. The Immortals decided to create a council to help with only direct descendants able to become council member's; but they turned on the Immortals and split the three kingdoms into six, taking a piece for each of themselves."
Loreleigh stopped reading. Several pages were missing from the book, like someone was trying to hide the truth. But with this new information at least Loreleigh had someplace to start looking.
"Ladies, I'll have to ask you to leave, the library is closing." The librarian turned on her heel and walked away. Carmen was buzzing with excitement while Loreleigh was quiet, thinking about what she'd read. There had to be a reason for why she was the only two-toned dragon left, and she was determined to find out more. Loreleigh told Carmen good night and headed up the stairs of the inn. She laid in bed, mind racing with theories.
"Father, why are we even here?" Annabelle whined as she followed her father down the main street of Wood Haven.
"I must speak to an old friend before heading to the castle. And you would do well to learn patience. You are a princess, behave like one and not a bratty child!" King Leo said, frustrated with his daughter. She had been whining the whole journey from the Western Mountains to Wood Haven.
"Father! It's that girl that took the dress from me in Avallon!" King Leo looked around not seeing anyone matching the same description as the one his daughter had given. He did see a young woman window shopping people passing beside her as if she wasn't even there. She had long blond hair pulled back, revealing a pretty face. The young woman stood and turned, seeing the royal family approaching she bowed to the king.
"Can I help you sir?" The girl asked in a polite voice, nothing like the way Annabelle was always screeching.
"Yes, I believe you know my daughter Annabelle," he said, stepping aside to let his daughter come forward. The king was shocked when he saw Annabelle just walk up to the young woman and slap her hard across the face; leaving a very red hand print. The growl that came from the girl had King Leo taking a step back.
Loreleigh had been minding her own business, doing a little window shopping while she waited for Carmen to come meet her. She'd sensed the royal family but wasn't sure which set it was since there were six of them. When she stood and turned she saw it was the royal family of the Western Region. Vaguely, Loreleigh remembered that Annabelle was a princess of the same place. When Loreleigh saw Annabelle, the girl walked up to her and hit her. Loreleigh couldn't help herself, she growled an shifted right there in the middle of town. Her tail breaking a couple windows.
Staring down at Annabelle, growling low in her throat, Loreleigh could hear the whispers of the people around her. She turned her head to see people pointing at her, some in appreciation and some in fear. She could hear the rattle of metal and saw guards fast approaching. Giving one more growl in Annabelle's direction, Loreleigh took off glancing back only once; to see King Leo staring at her intently, like he knew the truth. Flying higher and higher, Loreleigh felt relief. The feel of the sun and wind against her scales helped ease the tension she'd been carrying. Now all she had to do was figure out who she really was, and where she fit in.
"King Caspian, what do you think of this?" Asked one of the advisors around the table. Once news of the 'wild' dragon that attacked Princess Annabelle had reached him, Caspian immediately flew to Wood Haven. Curious, he'd never flown so fast; just for the hope of seeing Loreleigh again.
"Sorry was what the question again?"
"That wretched heathen attacked me for no reason at all!" Annabelle screeched, causing all present to cringe. Once Annabelle got started, it was hard to get her to shut up. She was like a little dog barking at a squirrel.
"You slapped the girl," King Leo said, staring down Annabelle. He shook his head, still not believing what he had witnessed earlier. Caspian was getting frustrated listening to the bickering. He was losing valuable time searching for his mate.
"If you'll excuse me, I have more pressing matters that need my attention. And Princess, attempt not to provoke any more dragons." King Leo chuckled as his daughter blushed with anger and embarrassment. Caspian left the room and went outside, enjoying the feel of the warm sun against his skin. Requim City never got this warm; even in the middle of the summer during a drought.
"King Caspian, I saw her fly towards the woods," said an older woman. Caspian thanked the woman and began walking to the edge of town where he shifted. His royal blue scales were bright beneath the midday sun. He followed the faint pull of the mating bond; using it to find Loreleigh. He circled high above the trees; studying her as she laid in the grass; her blue and silver scales contrasting against the green of the grass.
Julian watched Loreleigh; she was curled up on the ground and had a pensive look on her face. Small tendrils of smoke curled up from her nostrils, showing that she was still clearly upset. He knew she was curious about her past, about who she really was. His informant had given him what he needed; now all he had to do was get her to trust him. He heard the thump of wings and cursed; of course Caspian would come; thinking he would be her hero. Julian grinned as the smoke got darker; he faded into the shadows wishing he didn't have to miss the show. But he had an appointment to keep and this was something he couldn't get out of.
Loreleigh raised her head as she saw the other dragon land. She rolled her eyes and laid her head back down; essentially ignoring her supposed mate. He shifted, standing nervously in front of her.
"It would be nice to talk to you, person to person." Loreleigh shifted crossing her arms across her chest and stared at Caspian. He gave a tentative grin.
"Why are you here?"
"Is that any way to address your King," Caspian said, eyeing Loreleigh, his mouth turned up into a grin. He faltered seeing her eyes narrow to slits.
"You didn't answer my question."
"I heard you attacked Annabelle Smithers."
"She slapped me. I simply shifted and growled at her." Caspian chuckled; it was always easy to frighten Annabelle. She was all bark ad no bite.
"You're not my hero, King Caspian," Loreleigh said with sarcasm dripping from every word she said.
"I didn't ask you to come here and I don't need your help, king or not." Loreleigh stormed off; leaving Caspian standing there with his mouth wide open. She headed for the library since she was no longer welcome near any of the shops on the main street. Carmen was waiting on the library steps.
"I figured you could use a friend." She said shrugging her shoulders. They walked in silence towards the same table they'd used the day before. All over the table; maps, papers, and books were open and scatters. Loreleigh looked to Carmen a single eyebrow raised in question.
"Don't look at me, I didn't do this," Carmen said turning to walk to the front desk; just as the librarian was walking up to them. The librarian looked angry and Loreleigh figured it was because she thought the girls had made this mess.
"Leave half-breed and no not step a single claw back into my library!" Loreleigh and Carmen were shocked into silence, people around them staring open mouthed at the girls. Some of the people even started backing up. Loreleigh blinked several times, fighting tears as she left the library as quickly as she could. Carmen caught up to her a few minutes later grabbing her arm. Loreleigh gave a warning growl, but Carmen held on.
"Loreleigh, what did she mean by half-breed?" Loreleigh shook her head knowing there wasn't an explanation she could give to Carmen.
"Because I'm different. I scare them because I'm a reminder of the old ways. It's best if you left me alone Carmen, I don't want them hurting you too." Loreleigh walked away refusing to look back. Once she made it back to the inn she saw a book laying on her bed. It wasn't one she recognized. As Loreleigh read the title she gasped; it was a complete history of the Immortals and the Kingdoms. Loreleigh jumped when she heard a hard knock on the door.
Caspian was pacing his study, fuming by how Loreleigh had stormed away from him. He had no idea how to fix this mess. He was planning to fly back to Requim City and consult his father. The people of Wood Haven wanted her gone but he just didn't have the heart to exile her; especially since he wasn't the ruler here.
"King Caspian," said a young voice from behind him. He jumped, startled by the sudden appearance of the little boy. It was James, the youngest son of King Daniel and Queen Kathyrine. He smiled and crouched down to talk to him.
"Yes James, how can I help you buddy?" Caspian never expected the kid's next words; but they made his blood run cold like ice was in his veins.
"Julian said to tell you that he will be coming for her." James scampered away to go play, leaving Caspian reeling. His cousin was playing a very dangerous game; and Caspian planned to be the one to win this time.