Sometime before the first light of morning, I found myself laying on the kitchen floor. Clothing still next to me, but completely alone. Anubis and Nymph had left me to find myself, alone. Though this may have caused some confusion, in the past, I knew there was nothing sinister about this. It had, after all, been less then twenty four hours since they had been, how to say, set free. As I roused myself and came to sit up, it occurred to me they must be use to returning to a certain place at a certain hour. Of all the places to wake from, in the middle of the night, after mind numbing sex, the kitchen was not bad. I was worn to the very core, my body ached and yet, I found ample reason to smile. I knew if mother found me on the floor nude, she would not be so cheerful with her reactions, but then I could just say, I was looking for food; completely naked and bruised. No, I don’t think that would fly well, so I climbed to my feet, redressed myself and went about finding food. I opened the door to the cooler and found my vision blurred, past all ability to see. I blinked my eyes, trying to get them to refocus, but all I was able to see was a small patch of green light, much darker then the light in the fridge should have been. A few more moments and the green widened to encompass the cooler, the space around it and ever my right hand leaning on the door. My head began to spin, my body went numb and my first real thought, was fear I may be having a stroke. I fell to the floor, looked at both hands and made sure I could still feel them correctly and fully. Once done, I did the same with the rest of my body and reconsidered. My vision was still completely green, but no longer blurred. Not sure what to do next, I looked around the kitchen and focused on any small detail I could find.
Back in the furthest corner was a stack of old glass jars. Jars that had not been used for years. Simply sitting, collecting dust and taking up space. I can not remember the last time I had actually been back in that corner, but now, with this strange greenish vision I was able to see every jar, every collection of dust and every cobweb. I was now able to focus in and pick out a single spot or area and see it, as if I were looking through a magnifying glass. A rustle, from just beyond the window made me jump. I knew nothing had been fixed yet, and knew further no one should be here this early in the morning. I looked out the front window, but nothing was out front. I herd the sound again, only this time it seemed to be right in front of me. Looking down, I saw a ferret in the grass, up next to the house looking for food. As it moved through the grass and weds I herd every blade it passed by. I could almost feel the soft dirt below its feet, but the most unusual thing was when it found something it wanted to eat. I felt every sense in its body go tense. As if I were the one, now on the hunt. He crouched to the ground, focused his vision and sprung. Across the front yard, or what was left of it, nearly being taken pre itself by a passing hawk. Everything went bak to a blur after the hawk. I felt sick to my stomach. My head was pounding and even my skin was dry, as if moisture had not touched it in days.
Making gripping motions with my hands, it almost felt as it I should have been in Aspens form again, not as myself. As my fingers clenched together, I could feel my nails, but also Aspens talons as well. Within a few moments, the room, the kitchen felt far too closed in and felt as if it were only getting smaller. My vision chose that moment to fail altogether. I stumbled in the general direction of the back door, only to fall short and end up back on the floor. My clothing was strangling me, the room kept growing smaller and every sound blasted through my ears as if amplified past madness. I wanted, no needed Aspen, but could not connect with her. I cried out in pain. I could swear I could hear a filmier voice calling to me. I cried out in fear and the room went completely black.
“Alyse. Wake up darling, please, wake up. ALYSE!!!”
“Alyse, it’s Aspen, wake up dear. The world is calling. Wake up..”
The bright sun from dawn filled my eyes, as I opened to find myself surrounded by all the members of the house. Mother seemed past frantic, Anubis and Nymph were standing by my bed, looking as if they completely expected me to be dead. Even Jensen was beside mother, looking lost for words with nothing to add. As my eyesight returned to normal, I could see clearly out the open window and the blinding light was not from the rising sun, but from it setting. My shock was obviously clearly written across my brow. A day, how had I slept an entire day and no one had been able to wake me? I tried to speak, but nothing came out. fear set in before I could think another thought. My fear was overwhelming me, that was till I felt and herd Aspen’s voice deep within me. Mother was shaking her head, as if she understood what was helping me find calm. She turned and went to my dressing table, picking up a small personal mirror. I did not even know where it had come from, but the look on her face, when she returned with it made me realize something beside just my voice and a twenty four hour sleep had changed.
“Are you sure showing her that is a good idea?”
“And what, exactly would you have me do, if not show her. I know how lost you must feel Jensen, but trust me, it will help her to fully understand what is happening to her. Trust me, if not my words.”
“I have always trusted you, I choose to do the same now.”
Jensen rarely spoke out in front of mother. For him to do so now only frightened me further. I tried to speak again, but this time it was Aspen who stopped me.
“Let your voice be love, you will understand more in a few moments. Let your mother show you something, if you still need more answers I will fill in the rest. Trust me dear, please.”
I knew there was some mystical power which kept hr from being able to lie to me, not that I needed that assurance. She was completely part of me, whatever it was, I would not be alone in it. Mother walked up to the bed, knelt down so I could see into her eyes, then spoke, as if I were made of glass.
“I am sure you are frightened, but trust Aspen, and please try to trust me. Everything happening to you now, is for the best. I need to show you your face, and allow your eyes to tell the rest. do you understand?”
I nodded my head and she rose the mirror to eye level. Expecting something terribly out of the ordinary I was a bit shocked, or maybe let down when what saw could have been done with colored contact lenses. Though, the deeper I looked, the more I saw; not only in my reality, but from the dream as well. What, just yesterday had been blue eyes had gone completely black, at least around the edges. the center washing out like a wave on dry sand was the most brilliant purple I had ever seen. Moving out farther still it changed to the same in blue. In the center, closest to the pupil was just the faintest hint of green, making my dream all the more real.
My first thought was something that Arthur had done to me days ago, but then her voice filled my mind, her song filled my soul, and her grace filled the rest. I could hear an explanation through emotions, but not through thoughts. I could almost grasp everything she was trying to tell me, but when I felt it in my mental hand, it slipped away. I closed my eyes to give her more focus, but the only thing this changed, was the amount of new color being splashed through my eyes. I almost felt her asking for freedom, asking for me to let go and surrender to her completely. In that moment, I gave in. My heart blended with hers. Our minds blended, then bodies, spirits and understandings. A million memories from a million lifetimes flooded through my mind. I felt such joy and pain, I thought my heart would burst from feeling far too much.
All this tim I kept my eyes closed. I didn’t know if I could deal with this and the real world as well. I stopped hearing mother, Jensen and what I was starting to think of as twins. Anubis and Nymphadora were so much alike, the energies within them both called out to the world. More then I can say to you now, just trust me. From here on out, in my life and family, I would see them as twins. Mother had stopped being worried, and poor Jensen was just completely out of his own understanding’s. Our blending did not stop there. The joy turned to deep sorrow, turning again to hatred and anger of the most devilish form. Something from my past was trying to come alive, And as if somehow the new blending of Aspen and myself had a direct link to the very universe, I felt a soul, who long ago took to slumber, and just this very moment was stirring again. Our minds and energies were exactly the force required to wake, Him. I felt as if I should know who he was. Why he had long ago fallen to an eternal sleep, but again, some part was slipping from my mental grasp, and I could not hold on. I felt a hand on my shoulder, shaking me to return to my own world, but then a single voice called to me. through heart, soul, mind, and space. Time no longer had her hold on him, and I knew he must now be found.
“Thank you Aspen and souling. I will forever be in your debt. please come to me. search the stars, Come to me…”
“We have to find him, so much depends on his rebirth. Please Alyse, I know you must be confused, but if he is awake, and we can hear him, then so can she! She must not be the first to respond to his call. My eternal existence, your world everything could depend on who finds him first. Please!”
“Aspen, who must we find? Who is it you now seek and need so badly? I will give all I can to help you, you should know that now. Just please tell me who we must now find? Just answer that one question.”
She said nothing for some time. I sat in something like a pool of never-ending memories. Swimming in her central being, trying to find an answer, but still she would not say. Again, I felt a hand from the outside shake me. Trying desperately to bring me back to them. I had to respond. Had to let them know we were both okay. My eyes were almost open when I felt the tears of a dragon wash over my face. I knew I too was crying and mother, Jensen and the twins could see and probably feel our combined pain. I had never known such loss. What could she now be in search for, my heart was breaking and my mind in turn with it. The moment I choose to open my eyes, I felt her answer to my one question, and I could no longer speak. Not to the outside. Not to her, not to anyone. Two words changed everything I had just become.
I opened my eyes, looking right at the sun, feeling its warmth and power hit me. If her father was out there waiting to be found, then this family would find him first. I still did not know how the mysterious “she” could be. If Aspen was the daughter to this voice and being, who then could they both fear so deeply?
I found as I sat up, my voice was back. I could breath deep and full, like I had never know before this day. Mother stood with her back to me, looking out the front window. Jensen by her side, not yet noticing that I had, at least mentally, returned. the twins still stood by the right side of my bed, Nymph even holding my hand. A very loud knock at the front door made everyone in the room jump! I did not know we were expecting company today, but then Jensen turned to return to the first floor, when he saw me smiling at him.
“You’re awake! Dear child, you gave us all a good scare there for a moment. we were not sure you would return. I must go open the door, do please excuse me love.”
His voice and words turned mother from the window, looking pale enough to be dead, though her color started to fill back in the very moment she saw me smiling. My right hand was now being held by both Anubis and Nymph. Mother came round the other side of the bed and took my left for her own. I could hear Jensen speaking to the men who had come, I could only assume hey would be here to finish the house, but I was sure they would not overhear us. Looking first to Nymph and Anubis, I could only brighten my smile again. I squeezed their hands, making sure they knew how much their support meant to me. Anubis leaned over and kissed my forehead, followed by Nymph to kiss my lips. Nothing lustful, from either of them, only true compassion and feelings. Next to lean in was mother, though the color was not yet fully restored to her face. The look in her eyes made me squirm just a bit, but her words could have shattered diamonds.
“Did you hear him? Alyse, did you hear him call? Do you know what this means, did Aspen tell you, or is she still filling in the bits? He called, during your blending, he called. I always hoped you would be the one blessed with the eternal link, and that you would not have shut me out, or I you the same, when it happened. I think this may be the happiest day of my life! May the moon and the sky bless our journey ahead. I fear such horrors to come if we fail to find him first. Can you stand my love, this should be spoken of out doors. The dragons really don’t like houses. Can you stand?”
I felt her words, not just heard them. I allowed every word to pin me to an outcome I did not fully understand. They stuck through every part of my being, but the one word I had not ever expected to hear from mother, I could not get out of my mind. She had not said my dragon, or Aspen did not like houses, she had said “The dragon’s did not like houses.” How could my life change anymore this day then it had already? first a question, as it struck me odd, then to get outside.
“Why are the workmen here at this late hour to work on the house? The sun is almost down, I am confused.”
“They are not workmen, we had an uninvited guests last night. Jensen and I felt it was time to hire real guards, not only for the house, but for all of us. Arthur may not be due back for six months, but his reach seems to have no limits!”
The three of them help me to my feet. More questions were forming in my head, but I was more then ready to be outdoors. The moon was starting to rise, and I felt a jump from my dragon within. I felt the very idea of getting outside make her want to be dominant. An idea I was, at this point, completely for. Mother, was almost pulling me out of bed now. I knew there would be plenty of time for questions. I also knew if Jensen had been put in charge of finding top notch security, nothing in the world, minus another dragon, would be able to get near this house. I looked back to the time when we had met him outside the palace. Ending his career as a professional soldier for queen and country. He had pride, he had honor, but he had been missing one thing his entire life; family. Mother had seen fit to adopt him, if you will. If even you could adopt a grown man, she did. For the following years he was always the one she would call when she felt danger, and he would always come. Never once, did he tell her he did not have the time.
Once, as a young child, a storm had knocked out power to most of London, and mother felt something drastic was coming. She had received word from Jensen, and though he had been recalled to the palace during the power outage, he made time for my family as well. Since that night, so many years ago, he had been closer to mother then Christian ever could have been. Mother trusted him, not only with our lives, but as time went by, she grew to trust him with her heart as well. I may never have the courage to ask if it had ever gone further then that, but no matter. He was here now, and as we descended the steps, we saw what our safety meant to him.
There were nine total. Nine fully armored and armed men, who looked like they had just climbed out of a spy movie. Don’t get me wrong, not in suit and tie, like “Bond”, but full military gear; knives guns and all. They all looked more then willing to take a bullet, or kill on the spot to protect us all. Jensen came over taking mother by the arm and whispering something in her ear. Her reaction made it clear to the rest of us, the topic of the conversation. Something she had never, not once, done.
“You know the state of my accounts. you have for years. If you trust this bunch to keep us safe, then I trust your judgement for all of us. You have seen the change in Alyse this past day, now see the change in the woman you have come to love, and you know damn good and well, loves you back!”
With that she walked out a front door, which must have been replaced today, while I slept. Out onto the front lawn. She had never been one to be this blunt, but I could only guess the voice of Aspen’s father had struck a very deep cord, making her push for tomorrow. She stood in the middle of the burnt out circle, and rose her voice, so only the wind could silence her!
“Hear me Zorgonus! Hear your blood calling for you through the universe. I have waited more then a thousand lifetimes for you to reawaken. Hear me now. You may not know this body, but know the name of your mate, soon to find you again. Anzurtashia calls to your soul. I am coming!”
From the moment her voice hit the wind was the same moment the wind went from a light breeze to a building storm. Building from the woman I knew as mother to a dragon Aspen also knew as mother. Anzurtashia was a brilliant collection of orange’s, yellow’s, red’s and speckled with, almost neon, green. The individual green scales stuck out and made the rest of her all the more blinding to behold. Lightening cracked across the sky, almost daring any to move on this house tonight. I felt the change within me before Aspen took over completely. I was more then happy for the change this time. I knew she needed to be with her mother in true form, as I had needed to find my mother only days ago. Not one word from my lips, but every one of the stone-like soldiers knelt to the ground as not only one, but two dragons erupted from human form and took to the sky.
The world around me went from human eyes to dragon. My body surged forward and up, from one breath to the next from my personal body exploded Aspen. Every color of purple the universe had ever tried to dream of. We looked back at ourself as our wing carried us higher and higher into the stormy night’s sky. I saw my blended form sliding through the wind like a giant serpent swimming in water. Our mother had almost gone out of sight completely, when she ripped through a cloud, almost knocking us from the sky. Aspen felt a challenge, took that challenge and met mother to us both on wind with wings.
Having her eye sight gave me the ability to see the people we had left on the ground clear as day. The twins looked on as if they were caught in a dream. Jensen wore a smile, I will never forget, and the former soldiers, were still kneeling on the ground looking on in true wonder. This night, like Anzurtashia and Aspen now, dancing in the sky and clouds, would dance in my memory for all eternity. As if the storm had been invited by the changing of two dragons, it came at us from all directions. Claps of thunder, loud enough to wake the kings of old, and army’s long since dead. Lightening bright enough to replace a star being born in the heavens above. The two accompanied the other as if being directed by a conductor lost to legend. I could feel the wind both below and above my wings. I could smell the fresh air passing in and out of our nostrils. When blast of lightening came a bit closer then I wanted to deal with, both mother and daughter returned to the ground, house and family, just as the rains were set free.
The moment our eight legs should have touched the ground, they were back to only four. Clothing completely gone, now replaced by sheets of rain and blasts of light. Mother walked up beside me, looking happier then I had ever seen her, and why not. I had just found out she was not only mother to me, but mother to the dragon changing my life more and more with each passing day. As we walked into the house, past the men, Jensen and the twins the new doors were closed behind us. Nymph and Anubis ran up the steps returning with clothing and towels for us both. Once dry and redressed, mother actually spoke to the men Jensen had hired to protect us. Never in my life had I seen her speak to hired help, but something more was in her voice this night. Something warning the world she would never be put back to sleep again.
“Those of you who have responded to Jensen’s call for assistance and answered, I can only now thank you. But I hope you also know, no other humans have seen dragons in more then one hundred Millennia. We have kept to the shadow, in the hopes that one day the father to us all may be found and awakened from a terrible sleep. In two days time, I plane on leaving this house. I plan on making voyage to find Zorgonus. He is father to the young woman beside you, and mate to me. I ask you all to join us in this quest. I ask for your help, that I would trust you with this information. I ask for your faith, in a past you know nothing about. I ask for your possible leadership for the many I hope we find on our way. and I ask for your help. Though you now see Annabella Stewart Filthaven speaking to you, know her voice carries my words, but my true name is Anzurtashia. I have waited for the coming day’s for far too long to think I can carry it alone. Please, stand guard the next two days. take your time in answering, but know this; the person who we are now against will stop at nothing to keep us from Zorgonus. She will kill us all, and burn the world around us, if she sees fit. This will not be a safe voyage, but it may be a voyage that will change this world forever. Will you stand with us?