I can’t say how I faired in my dreams, I can only tell you My dragon side was good to her word. I woke with a sense of understanding I may never personally explain. I woke with the sun in my face, a cool country breeze in my hair and a body ready to take on a whole new world. As I sat up in my bed, I noticed no one had bothered to clean me last night. I knew I should have been covered with bruises from head to toe, but not a single mark was left this morning. Right before my feet touched the cold floor, I felt a stirring within my mind, but this time, unlike in the past, I was able to connect with it.
“I trust you feel better this morning Alyse? I will never again be separated from you. What the slaves released last night, can never be put back to sleep. I am always here for your personal council. Enjoy your day daughter of mine.”
As the voice fell silent, I swore I saw an enormous pair of bright purple eyes looking at me, through myself. I put my feet down, but as I was expecting the cold to bother my skin, I felt only cool relief. I stood with ease and walked to the window, which had been left open to the morning air. I knew this was not something mother would have done. She never trusted open windows, even out here in the countryside. I knew no one could get through, I was on the attic floor of the main house, and it was, at least twelve meters to the ground below. As I looked out the window, and realized mother had not left it ajar, I knew there was only one other possibility; my personal dragon. I felt her pure purple eyes looking at me through my very soul, and even though I could not figure why she had been set free, I knew she would forever change my life. I knew my body was in need of food, as I knew no one in the house was going to accept why I was not covered in bruises, or even able to walk. I found my way to the steps, down one flight, then another. As I walked through the main part of the house, I felt eyes looking to my back. It was not the eyes that caught me off guard, but the disbelief in those eyes. Mother met me, just outside of the dining room and the look in her eyes could not be explained in words. I could only look to her, smile and hope she may one day find a way to understand. Either her voice, or her lack of words only brought a deeper smile to my face.
“Dare I ask how in the world you are out of bed? How you are walking and, am I mistaken when I see you smile? What happened to you last night, after I put you to bed? You should be in pain. You should be upset if not angry with me, but your not. Alyse, what are you not telling me?”
“Mother, I can only share with you my feelings. I don’t know how to explain how I am up and around. I can’t explain how any of your questions are answered, but I do have a question of my own, if I may?”
She looked to me with the truest sense of wonder in her eyes. But, she did not get up and walk away, as she normally did. She put her silver aside, look me in the eyes and sat quietly waiting for me to speak. I only had a small understanding of my families past. I knew we had, once long ago come from a family of vikings, and with that knowledge, the old stories and legends surrounding that ancient world. I remembered one story mother told me as a child. A story that the world was born in flames. Flames, teeth and scales. Our ancestors were great serpents, who’s breath of fire set to world ablaze. I sat there looking to mother, reaching within trying desperately to understand the fabric between an ancient story and life in the twenty first century. All the while I sat looking at my plate, trying to find any way possible to put my feelings into thoughts. It was when Anubis and Nymphadora walked into the room, my thoughts finally panned out into the possibility of a single question for my mother. My smile only brightened as they both looked from me to mother and back to me again. Before I could speak up, Anubis opened his mouth, surprising not only me, but mother before. I could only guess that this was not part of his programing.
“Alyse, if you don’t mind me asking, how are you standing, walking and how are you not covered head to toe in scratches and bruises? I may be out of line, but you should be on your back in pain. What am I missing here?”
Mother was so perplexed she could not even speak, but Nymph took her turn and only set mother off all the more.
“Alyse, I remember every day, every moment of becoming what stands before you now. I can honestly say I would not have believed you to be able to stand or eat after the loss of control from Anubis and myself last night. Mrs. Filthaven, I deeply hope you will over look mine and Anubis’s speaking out of turn, but if you would not mine us hearing what your daughter has to ask, it would mean the world to us booth.”
I may never truly know what went into the breaking of those two people, turning them into the employees or slaves of my mother, but I know I will never forget the look on the face of my mom. I knew I had my question, and when mother did not dismiss either of them, I felt my time had come.
“Mother, I know your stories as a child of where we came from. I remember one such story about the world being born into flames and scales, being born of dragons. Mother, what am I in those stories? Do I have a dragon living and breathing fire within me? Could she have deep purple eyes and hold the key to making me whole?”
Till that moment, in my entire life, I had never seen my mother shed a single tear. The look on her face, on the faces of Nymph and Anubis filled my heart with more power then I would have ever thought possible, but no more then her answer to my question. Through the tears, and the amazement of a single question, the bond between mother and myself grew stronger then ever before. Right as she was about to give me an answer, the front door slammed open, the voice and anger of a wet and tired Christian filled the house. Anubis and Nymph both fled the room, going out the back kitchen door and vanishing from sight. I had no idea how he had gotten from central London to the country, but when he walked into the room, still wearing the same clothing from yesterday, only covered in rain and mud, did the full extent of his evening come into view. Being just as surprised as mothers silent response to my question, I felt fear grip me from the anger, hatred and malice in his voice as he spoke.
“The god damn country! The god damn country, are you fucking kidding me? I stood on your porch all night waiting for my wife to return. I waited till I shook the foundation of your damn fool home from my chill. And here you sit, drinking Earl Grey, nipping on biscuits and smiling at that whore! I swear, I have it in me to outright kill you both. Stab you in the neck and watch you bleed to death. Oh, I m sure I would come to regret it, in time, but right now, only to watch you both bleed out, would make it all worth while. And you, you filthy little slut, I will have my fill of you before days end, I will feel you cum from my cock fucking your swollen cunt. You will beg and scream for the pay I will take out of your body. You may be her daughter, but this day you are my whore! Do you fucking her me bitch? Well do you!”
Mother and I only sat there as he completed his rant. Where mother had tears in her eyes from my question at his beginning, I now had them covering my face. I was truly scared he meant to kill her, rape me and stand over us both enjoying the show. I could not breath, move or fathom how to react to his outrage. But much to my surprise and grace, mother could and did. She stood, turned and looked at, I was sure to be soon dead husband and knocked him against the wall, then falling to the floor. The look alone on his face told all I needed to ever know. Mother, without thinking, or even ceasing to smile, walked across the room, opened to cutlery drawer and pulled out a carving knife, only my long dead father had ever used. She walked back to Christian, put the knife to his throat and started to cut. A hard trickle of blood fell from his neck, covering his shirt and brought tears of pain and fear to his eyes. I knew in that moment, she could have killed him. Could have and would have if not for Jensen walking into the room, no concern for discipline and took the knife from her. Looked her right in the eyes, and graciously put the weapon on the counter. He then stood over Christian, now front covered in blood and a look of death on his eyes. Mother may not get in a single word today, but Jensen would make sure she need not too.
“Christian, you truly are about the absolute dumbest man on the face of the earth. Look who’s home you are in, you damn fool. You are not the one with title and money. You are not the one who pays the bills, hell you are not even the one who has right to anything but your flesh and blood. Blood, I might mention is now freely flowing down your stupid front. I have it in my mid to return the knife to her hand, and help her burry you out back just so I never again have to witness your complete and utter stupidity. Now stand the hell up, take a seat and shall we all try to possibly act like civilized adults, if only for few moments.”
Mother, by the time he was finished speaking, was shaking herself. I don’t think she had even thought about what she almost did. I rose from my seat, and helped her into her own. All the while she kept looking from Jensen to Christian, and that look of pure evil never left her eyes. Jensen help my step father off the floor and into a seat of his own. Not offering to help stop the bleeding, but not allowing harm to befall him further yet. He nearly fell back to the floor, when his hand touched the sheer amount of blood now covering his front. It was in that very moment, I saw small respect and fear in that man’s eyes, for the first time in nine years. No one said a single word. No one moved and no one took notice of the blood still flowing from his body. All the while I knew I had felt something stirring within me. From the very moment he had made mention to hurt me personally, I knew my dragon within would never had allowed it to happen. The question I had asked mother rang in my ears, and her lack of answer churned in my soul.
No one moved, nor spoke, that was till mother rose back to her feet, looked at Jensen and made sure he would not intervene again. She walked over, picked up the knife and walked back to her husband. Putting the tip of the blade to his nick line, just below her first cut, she looked at me, then to him and spoke.
“Of all the things you have done to me, my daughter and this bloodline since I was fool enough to marry you, this is by far the worst. Here I was about to have lovely day with Alyse and in you barge, roaring about your misfortune and a little rain. I have it in my mind to run you through! I have it in mind to do more then that, so before you go giving me more reason to kill you here and now, you had better listen good. If you ever threaten myself, my daughter or my home again, not even the rats will find enough of you to make a meal. Jensen will be mopping you up off the floor with a tea towel. No one will find you. No one will question me, and no one will fucking care, do you her me your silly pathetic little man? Answer me before you die bloody on Harry’s carving knife!”
He shook from head to toe. He did not seem to be with it enough to cry, but the look in his eyes made clear what he knew would happen if he did not answer. Even Jensen looked to mother with a profound sense of wonder and respect in his eyes. Across the room, now peering in the front kitchen window were two slavs, who till now had never seen their owner in full rage and on the verge of killing. Nymph was smiling, but even Anubis seemed to feel the overruling anger and flood of power in the room. They both ducked away from the window, just in time before mother turned to see what and who I was looking at. None of this, mind you, was going to allow Christian to get out of answering mothers question. I would not have blamed him, if he could not muster a full word, less alone a sentence of answer, but his voice came out true an clear, though still full of fear of his life. The contempt in his voice, as he spoke, gave a clear indication of his lack of overall respect to my mother, this family or the direction of her anger at the moment.
“If you think a little blood is going to stop me from taking my revenge on all of you, then you are quite mistaken. I do not care how you and your precious daughter have come full circle in less then a day, but I do know this. A contract has been signed, and signed in blood. Cured with the seal of your family, but though my own hand. Kill me if you like, but know this, you and your precious daughter will not be together for very long. One day soon, that contract will come into play and he will take her. Oh yes, you know who I speak of. You know once a contract is signed with him, not the great dragons of old can undo it. So have you damn day! Enjoy each other, because in the end, I will be the one on top. I will watch her scream as she is broken, and there will be nothing you can do. I hate you both, and I take my leave of you and this family. but heed my words Alyse, your time will come, and when it does you will feel my rod slamming into your worthless cunt, and I shall have my revenge!”
It was my turn to feel fear, as he got to his feet, removed his bloody shirt and tossed it at mother, who had not spoken a single word since he had mentioned his contract. All the love in her eyes for me, was now gone. Replaced with fear, heartache and pain. I had no idea what Christian had spoken of. Who would have me and how anyone could stop mother from protecting me, but I felt his anger, his hatred and his pride at knowing something I feared not even think about this day. After he dropped his shirt, he walked out of the room, back to the front door and out of the house, to a waiting car I could only assume he got into. I heard the door slam, and the engine come to life, but then he was gone.
My first thought was for mother, who now had tears rolling down her face. She looked at me with regret and pain. She tried a few times to speak, but could not find voice or words to fill the silence. Jensen seemed to know exactly what Christian had spoken of, but not even he, in his collected thoughts could muster a response. I placed my hand on mothers and did my best to understand. She looked up, into my eyes, and only shook her head. As she rose from the table, turning away from me, she could only say three words before leaving the room.
“I’m sorry Alyse.”
Without a look back she left the room, and almost fell to the floor, if not for Jensen and a quick response to her inner turmoil. I was left sitting at the table with a blood covered shirt, no mother, no Jensen and no Christian. What could have brought about that response from my mother. What was I missing and could he actually have something so powerful to hold over her head, and mine? I sat for what seemed like a day, before I rose from my own chair, now sure neither of them were going to return and walked out the back door, like the slaves before me. The sun was shining fully now, and the meadows were filled with spring flowers, green grass and the smells only the English country could create. I had no idea where I was going to go, but I knew the house held too many secrets and too much pain. I knew no one would follow me, but in time, I could only hope I would find the ability to return on my own.
Across the back lawn, over the Shiner fence and into the hills beyond our own property. I walked till my body hurt. I walked till my feet would no longer carry me. I walked till I fell into the grass, trying to fully grasp what had just happened. I felt the first tears falling from my eyes long before I knew why I was crying. My tears turned to pain and fear, long before they stopped. My voice fell to nothing, my eyes dried up and I curled into a ball trying to shut out the world from my mind now completely cradled in darkness. If it had not been for her voice, I may never have had the courage to righten myself. But the voice deep within knew all the right words. Held all the answers to to unanswered questions and calmed me from deep within.
“I told you daughter of mine, I will never be parted from you again. No one and nothing in this world will ever truly hurt you again. Only pain, sorrow and acceptance can awaken us from the depths of your souls. You have called for me for many years, but last night, your cries brought me forth. Do not fear the ramblings of that crazy little man. I will protect you. I will protect us both and he will one day be the one to rue the day he crossed my daughter off the list of free and able women. Now, get to your feet please. the day is winding down, and you have quite a long way to go to find your path home. But know this, if darkness falls before you retrace your steps, I promise you will come to see me in all my true form. I will erupt form your soul, and flash the world with purple flames to light your way. Now off with you, dear one to me.”
And then she was again gone. Her voice helped me stand. Her words give me courage, where just before I had none. And her promise led me home. The sun was just setting over the back hills when I came round to the back door, the same I had left many hours before. Looking through the glass, I saw no lights, no persons and no movement. Walking round to the front of the house, I noticed the car was gone, but the front door held a single folded piece of paper. Mother had never trusted me to be left at this house alone, but as I opened the paper and read her words aloud, I realized something in Christians threat must have rang true. I knew mother was no longer herself, and now I did truly fear the possible outcome of his threats.
“Alyse, please forgive my departure without speaking to you first, but there are now matters that have to be attended too, and I dare not wait any longer then I need. The door around the back to the pantry seller is unlocked. You know the way up into the kitchen from there. Please, from the bottom of my heart, know I will do everything I can to keep you safe, from all who may wish to bring harm to you. He will not get you, not now that I know you have been released from your inner soul cage. If she is speaking to you, know she has more power then I. Heed her words, find strength and know you do not stand alone, not any more. If it is possible to cancel the contract Christian spoke of this morning, I will find a way. If not, I will bring the world to flames if anyone tries to harm you. As for the purple eyes, they are the eyes of the serpent Aspen. She was once the queen guardian of our family, long before we came to these shores. She has hidden away for many thousands of years, but it would seem now, you have found a way to waken her from her slumber. If she is with you, know this; there is nothing she can not and will not do to protect and guide you through the rest of your day’s. We will return in a few days, and speak more about Aspen then. Good night my daughter. First daughter to Aspen.