I turned on the light next to my bed.
There on the floor in front of me was a figure lying flat on its stomach.
The body was soaked in black ooze and then I saw the steam rolling off his body. I immediately put together the images of George from the other night in his room, and what I was seeing right in front of me.
Life sparked through me, and I found my way to the figure’s side as fast as I could, realizing it was Blake lying limply on my carpet.
My hand touched a pile of ooze that had coagulated on the carpet. It was cold, the burning kind of cold, and sticky.
I started to cough as the strong smell burned my nose and lungs.
I covered my nose with my sleeve, trying to catch my breath.
Steam was rolling off his body in waves. It was ten times worse than the night George had experienced it.
“Help!” my voice eventually yelled. I sounded deranged, like a crazy lunatic and coughed again at the strong smell of sulfur coming from him.
“Help!” I yelled again and touched Blake’s back. He was ice cold.
Blake gasped hard as if he’d only just now found his breath after a long time under water, and lifted up his torso from the ground, resting on his arms. He coughed like mad as he pulled in his legs and ducked his head down toward the carpet. He sounded so sick, like someone that had pneumonia, and then he threw up. Pools of black goo spattered onto the carpet as more came from his mouth.
“Blake, where the hell…?” I couldn’t finish my sentence as my voice broke.
Then he just grabbed me tightly and squeezed. I struggled to breath but I held him just as tight. The goo was all over me. I started to shake with him, shivering from the cold emanating off his body.
He still coughed, short coughs that sounded really bad as I held him.
My door finally opened.
“Son,” Sir Robert spoke as Blake trembled, his teeth chattering.
“The blanket,” I ordered and Sir Robert yanked it off my bed with one pull and wrapped it over Blake.
“Son, where the hell were you?”
“Blake,” Isabel’s voice filled the room.
I couldn’t stop thinking about George’s experience. How on earth had he seen where Blake was?
I could feel him shaking his head in the nape of my neck. The sulfur smelled so strongly that it made everyone start to cough.
Where the hell had he been?
He started to sob and let go of me. Then he got up and ran out of my room.
“Blake!” I yelled after him.
“Stay with Elena. I’ll go,” Sir Robert spoke quickly.
Her face looked like she’d just witnessed a horrible play.
My body felt drained, cold, and the sticky black goo, which I knew was sulfur, clung onto my hands and face. Isabel wrapped her arms around me. “Shhh,” she said through a shaky voice. “He’s back. He will be okay, Elena.”
Blake was down for another five days. I stayed with him almost all of the time. Isabel also kept a vigil by his bedside. Sir Robert and the rest came regularly too, checking up on his status and bringing things to eat. He would speak in his sleep, gibberish that didn’t make any sense, just like George had that night, but he never woke up. The only thing I knew was that he was in a dark, dark place. It must have been darker than what he was used to.
A knock on the door woke me from a slumber. My body felt stiff from sitting in the chair with only a blanket around me.
Emanual came in and looked at me and then at Blake’s sleeping body.
“Are you okay?” he asked and I nodded. Blake was here, safe.
He pulled a chair closer to mine and sat down.
“How is he doing?”
“I don’t know, Emanual. He keeps talking about the darkness, cold and lightning, the same stuff that George did that night.” I wiped away a tear. “It doesn’t make any sense, where was he?”
“Elena, he is one of the strongest dragons I know. He will be fine, he’s the…”
“Don’t say it. I don’t care if he is the Rubicon. You were not there that night he came back, Emanual. I’ve never seen him that scared before and he is one of the few dragons that almost never shows his fear.” I spoke softly but with a stern tone.
“I heard. Sir Robert told me that he was dripping with sulfur.”
“He wasn’t just dripping with it; it was in his entire body. He threw it up. Connie even replaced that spot on the carpet. Nothing could get it out. The smell. It’s still there.”
Emanual just stared at Blake’s figure on the bed. He was out completely, hadn’t said one word in almost a day, even in his sleep.
“He must have experienced some hell wherever he was.” Emanual finally opened his mouth.
“I don’t think he experienced hell, I think he was in hell.”
“You can’t say that.”
“It’s the only thing that explains the sulfur, Emanual.”
He shook his head. Of course he wouldn’t want that for Blake. I wouldn’t want that either. But there was no other way to explain how he’d ended up where he did when he disappeared.
“You should get some rest Elena. I’ll stay with him.”
“I struggle to sleep,” I whispered again.
“Try. That is an order.” I looked at him and he smiled softly. “I’ll wake you if he wakes up, promise.”
I nodded, got up, went over to Blake and kissed him on his cheek. Please, just wake up.
I know he couldn’t hear my thoughts anymore, but it was a private moment and one I wasn’t going to share with Emanual in the room.
“Good night,” I spoke softly.
“Sleep tight, Princess.”
I opened his door and the hall light streamed in. It blinded my sight for a few seconds and then I found my own room. I welcomed sleep but it wasn’t the release I needed. Nightmares seeped through and I know it was because of my dragon not keeping tabs on my dreams anymore.
I felt so lost without him. It just made it so real again, what it would be like if he wasn’t in this world anymore.
I would be changed forever, scarred for life. I wasn’t that strong, well, not anymore, and his words on the mountain entered my mind again.
“You don’t have to be strong, I’m strong.”
I cried. Cried because I had no idea what state Blake was going to wake up in. If he was going to fear everything, how the hell was I going to pull him out of this, like he’d pulled me out of my darkness? He was the strongest dragon that I knew.
If he was broken…don’t think like that Elena. Emanual is right. He was the Rubicon and he would find a way to get through this. I would help him where I could, like he’d helped me. Even if it meant giving him his space, like he’d given me mine. I’d give anything for him to get through this.
It vibrated through my entire body. Then another rumble came, followed by a dull cracking sound.
My eyes focused in and I could see the blur of a long line of lightning breaking into a thousand directions. Then it disappeared again. It was so dark.
My sight, disorientated at first, started to focus in.
Nothing, just darkness again, and then the flashes of the lightning lit everything up once more. The deafening sound of a rumble of thunder came a few seconds later. It was so bright.
It finally woke me from my slumber.
I flew straight for the lightning. I knew it made no sense but I just wanted to get out of the suffocating darkness.
I closed my eyes and ground hard on my teeth, as I knew this was going to fucking hurt, and flew straight into the lightning.
It was so bright I had to close my eyes and when the brightness faded, I found myself in a different type of darkness. One where I could hear thoughts again, but they weren’t Elena’s. This time it was everyone else’s, and from what it sounded like, it was everyone that owned a tainted soul.
Their murderous, cunning, and evil thoughts about hurting, plotting, and executing the worst acts anyone could think of assaulted me. It was all seeping through me like a tidal wave.
Murder, rape, and abuse of the worst kind. Animals getting slaughtered slowly, kids crying as they were beaten, woman screaming for help and the agonizing cries of men being tortured. My mind felt as if it wanted to explode. War, many war thoughts. Personal wars waging inside of them. I knew that type of war as I’d lived with it for so long.
A scream left my mouth and a strong force pulled me out of this misery, back to the darkness I knew.
Another strike of lightning hit and I flew as fast as I could into another swath of light.
“Please wake up.” I heard a voice, an angelic voice and then it was quiet. Like I didn’t exist anymore. I didn’t breathe. I struggled and it was as if I was suffocating again, like my lungs had just stopped working. Strong lungs that refused to take another breath. Then everything was gone.
Fire sprang up in front of me, engulfing me from within. It was green, burning my flesh, and turning my insides to messy black goo; it tasted like sulfur.
I jolted up in bed, coughed again. The smell was gone, but nausea stuck in my gut. I was never going to get rid of this feeling.
I felt a strong hand on my shoulder before I heard his voice as he pushed a bucket in my hands.
I threw up. Black shit, gooey black shit.
“You are going to be fine,” Emanual spoke. “Dammit Blake. Where the hell were you?”
I coughed a couple more times. It sounded better than it had that night.
I realized I was safe. I reached for Elena; her warmth had woken me up.
“Where is Elena?” I croaked.
“She is safe.” He sighed. “We were so worried about you. What happened?”
I lay back into my pillow and closed my eyes. I took a few deep breaths trying to get the images of that lightning out of my head. I’d flown so many times into it, it hurt like hell every single time, and yet I didn’t even know if it was real or not.
The flame was the worst. It was green, it belonged to the Saadedine.
“I don’t know where the hell I was.” I opened my eyes and looked at Emanual. His entire body stiffened. I knew that look. Something was wrong. My eyes, they stung like hell.
“How bad is it?”
“It doesn’t matter, you are safe.”
I sighed and closed them as I rested against the bed’s headboard. “All I can tell you is: never ever break an oath.”
A knock came from my door. I woke up immediately from the sound. Not that I’d been actually sleeping.
I found Isabel in front of my door. She smiled. “He’s awake.”
“He woke up!” I knew it! The minute I left, he would wake up and then it would seem like I didn’t care at all, which was so the opposite.
I grabbed my robe and pulled my arms through, stepping into my slippers. It was still early, like six, maybe seven o’clock.
“Elena,” she said as I closed my door. “There is something you need to know.”
“It can wait.”
“No, it can’t.” She had a concerned look on her face.
“What is it, it’s bad, isn’t it?” I asked and this horrible feeling crept in the gut of my stomach as I realized what it was. It was payback time for the time I didn’t want to do anything with him. “He doesn’t want to see me, does he?”
She shook her head.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I knew it. Wherever he was had changed him for the worst. “I told him not to go, but he was so stubborn.”
“Shhh.” She wrapped her arms around me. “He will snap out of it. I don’t think it’s really the reason he doesn’t want to see you though. He doesn’t want to see me either for that matter, or Sammy. None of the women in his life.”
“He doesn’t want to see any of us?”
“He yelled at me when I entered his room. Told me to get out. I hate seeing the old Blake.”
“Let me guess, he cussed a lot?”
It was the old Blake. Wherever he was, that place had suppressed the new Blake, the one that had made me fall in love with him hard, and now he was gone, leaving us with the old Blake, the one nobody could help.
I went back to my room. He hadn’t pushed when I’d wanted to be left alone, wanted nothing to do with him, and that was exactly what I would do, give him space until he was ready to see me.
I needed to speak to Emanual. He would know more; he could tell me what state Blake was in when he woke up. He’d broken his promise; he’d told me that he would wake me up. Not Isabel. I should’ve never left his side, never. And now, it was biting me in the ass.
Let me know if you like this chapter. I welcome discussions.