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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Broken Path, Starless Tail - 27. Chapter 27

Their flesh met, and the venom joined them together under the magic. It wasn’t just a neurotoxin poison that forced the victim to surrender control of their mind and body to the owner of seprecries. That had been what attacked Valrinda, and he’d been fighting it with all his might. He’d managed to stay down under the city instead of going back to the surface to find Beckett and kill him.

Then find the star.

But that was where his strength had failed him. He couldn’t fight forever, and he would eventually succumb to the suggestions being overlaid on his mind. Whispering, shouting, twitching along his nerves and clouding all he knew, thought, and did.

Until Valrinda and Beckett had touched, and those scrapes on his chest met the wounds on Valrinda’s neck. Blood met blood, already tied by fate, and together they turned their attention to the master of the seprecries who thought they could own Parallax’s star for their own. Their greed would bring about their downfall.

First, the poison in Valrinda’s veins.

Beckett rested his head against Valrinda’s smooth scales. They were unnaturally cold. “Let me help you,” he whispered.

“Please,” Valrinda begged. Not that he had to. With his permission freely given, Beckett unleashed something he hadn’t known lived inside him.

A fire that blazed within his being rose up and spread outward, pouring into Valrinda. It rekindled his flame, and they snuffed out the poison in a few heartbeats. Valrinda’s eyes cleared, and his wings drooped. He folded them along his back. The rigid lock of his muscles eased, and he sank to the stone floor of the tunnel, curling around Beckett. “Thank you,” he said.

“You protect me, so I protect you,” Beckett said simply.

“How did you find me?” Valrinda asked.

“The wisps. There was one… somewhere.” He didn’t bother trying to look for it. He needed to stay with Valrinda. “You knew about this before, didn’t you?”

“That you had magic inside you? Yes.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? People kept calling me human.” His forehead wrinkled. “But I can’t just be a human. People don’t feel like this.” The flames were banked inside him at that moment, like hot coals that were ready to be fanned into a flaming inferno at his behest.

He wasn’t quite sure how to do it though. He hadn’t done it on purpose when he healed Valrinda, but it had also felt as natural as breathing.

“You are a fire mage. It is why we are so compatible, and also why you rejected the ice dragon. We have always been meant to meet and do this. It was fate because it’s been foretold.”

“Who foretold it?” Beckett looked up at him, still stroking his scales around the pink, healing wounds. His own wounds on his chest hand finally closed, the flesh pink but no longer raw and painful.

Valrinda snorted. “Parallax, of course.”

That damn cat. It all came back to him. What was his real purpose in sending Beckett here? “If he foretold me meeting you, and if he knew I had this magic… then why didn’t he just stop his star from being taken in the first place?” Beckett was exasperated, but it was a good question.

“Maybe he couldn’t.”

“Or he didn’t want to,” Beckett muttered. Damn cat was just as big a pain in the ass as regular cats. More, even.

Well, he had his dragon back, and now he had magic. “We should go.”

“Where?” Valrinda asked.

“After the star.” Thanks for the seprecries, they knew where it was. The shadowy figure that had sent it to attack Valrinda was still obscured from them, but it had given two very distinct commands.

One, kill Beckett before he could find the star and take it back through the portal.

Two, get the star from the squat building behind the castle on the hill. It was very “Don’t look behind the big fancy castle at this midden heap of a building.” Fancy stuff hiding the real gem.

“We can go up two streets over.” Valrinda craned his neck over Beckett’s head. “That way.”

“First, the star. Then we get the mage that sent the seprecries after you.” Beckett stroked Valrinda’s scales by his wound one last time. “No one hurts you.” The coals inside him burned a little hotter as he made that promise.

 

Beckett and Valrinda emerged from the tunnels into the late afternoon sun. How long had they spent healing their wounds? He didn’t think they’d been down there that long.

“We need to hurry.”

Despite the mix of beings in the city, the two of them couldn’t move around without getting stared at. Apparently dragons weren’t that common, or at least ones Valrinda’s size. Maybe the little red guy was more normal. He had seen one or two flying things moving away from them that could have been dragons.

“How are we going to get in?” Beckett asked.

“I’m a big-ass dragon. We’ll get in.”

Copyright © 2023 Cia; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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