Dragon Days, Chapter 4

Chapter 4

I was in the land of dragons and I felt more like I was in a land of snakes.   I’d just returned to my room after finding out the boy that I was crushing on…was plotting against me with the crowned Prince of the Dragonov Empire.  I am pacing back and forth.

“How long did you know?”

Ouroboros is looking out of the window.  It’s a dark sky.  The Paramour fortress had several gates.  From the window, it looks like you can see down its thick walls and wide moats.  The spirits of the dragon look past the colossal 400 feet tall walls as if they were nothing but small fences.

“You don’t question me. I’m the dragon.”


He gives me a look. He was so proud even now. He does that squint where his already slanted eyes get even more slanted and the sexy grey peeks through like the moon during an eclipse.

He crossed his arms, “I kept track of what was going on at the Capital even while I was in hiding.  I knew the Crowned Prince was having a treasonous affair with Maximillian Nair for years now.”


I stop moving.  I just stand there.  How could I be so stupid?  The way he held me and the way he kissed me all felt so real.  I couldn’t get my mind off of Maxim.  I couldn’t get his scent off of my clothing.

“I didn’t want to return to the capital.  If it was up to me I would have kept you far away from here.  This place isn’t a place for you.”

His voice has an intense cadence to it as though everything he says is law.  There’s a certainty to it. A rolling ease in his way of dictating his facts to me with no acknowledgment of how I felt.

”You don’t know me…” I grumble challenging him with a deep voice myself.

”Doesn’t matter. I’m the dragon. I choose what is appropriate for you or not. Unfortunately, they tracked me right to you.  I wasn’t surprised when I saw Pike’s squire here with the retrieval party.  Everyone in the Capital has a spy.  Maxim belongs to the Prince.”

Seemed like Maxim was a little bit more than a spy to the Prince.  They seemed intimate.

“I’m going to confront him.”

“Don’t be stupid.  I can’t protect you.  I’m locked away in the dragon pit,” Ouroboros explains, “If he knows you are onto him, who will stop him from strangling you before you leave the room?”

He has a point.

“He’d do that?”

”I’d do that if I were him——well, I’d probably burn you alive but same difference.”

He shrugs as though he’s telling me what’s for dinner. I’m scared to death.

”You aren’t understanding. I don’t want to be strangled, burned, mauled, drowned, poisoned, shot with an arrow, stabbed, shot with a crossbow, hung, shot with one of those fucking fireball cannon things that they knock down gates with—“

”I get it,” Dread states grabbing me up, “You don’t want to die.”

Sometimes I think he looks for reasons to touch me. Any reason. Right now I assume he’s trying to calm me down but he isn’t good at it. One hand is on my face and the other has made its way slowly down my ass.

It’s not comforting.  It’s perverted.

I push him away, “What do I do?”

“You’re asking my opinion?”


He gives me a look and smiles, “Play along.  Accept me.  Pretend to be in the dark with everything and then when we have the opportunity…we will strike first.”

Ouroboros has a real darkness to him.  He turns towards me, moving his handsome pale face and looking at me.  His skin is so white and pale but yet still so handsome.  His straight black hair seems a bit unruly tonight.  It circles and frames his face casting a huge shadow that makes him look even more sinister…yet somehow even sexier.

He’s close to me, first circling around behind me like a snake. Then kissing the back of my neck. Slowly he makes his way down…down. He licks up my spine and I shiver away.

That’s what he wanted.

This dragon had killed my family but right now he was the only one around who seemed to prefer I was still breathing.

I look at Ouroboros, “Will you keep me alive?”

If Prince Alexander and Maxim wanted me dead I needed help.  I needed protection.

“I’ll try my best.”

”You don’t sound too confident.”

”There are many things you don’t know.  Many reasons that people would want you dead.”

“Reasons like what?”

“There’s more to the story about your mother.  Once they find those articles many people should leave you alone.  Tell them the Elven articles are still in the Wilds…”

“What is the—-”

Before I can get out my question Ouroboros is gone, just as quick as he came.

He said the threats will end when the articles are found. But what articles were these and what did I have to do with them?


Natasha comes to my room to get me the next day.  She isn’t the type to do small talk.  In fact, she doesn’t say anything at all as she escorts me through the maze of a fortress to the fortified central tower inside one of the triangular garrisons which housed the Round Table.

This time it seems as I approach I see the young Princes out there.  Alexander Cicero, Misha and Sasha Rurik.  The Rurik brothers don’t have any escorts.  I’m assuming it’s because they were in the safety of the Fortress.

“If it isn’t the black piss stain,” Alexander Cicero states.

I hate him with a passion.  Before it was just dislike and irritation.  Now: definite hate. Before he’d come off mean and I wanted so bad to just feel like it wasn’t personal.  He’d be upset with almost anyone the Black Dread had chosen.  But now I knew it wasn’t just that.  He’d sent Maxim to Nair.  He sent him to Nair specifically for me.

I take a deep breath.

“Cat got your tongue?” his brother Sasha asks.

Misha and Sasha laugh together but Misha doesn’t say anything. I don’t think they were twins but they did seem very close in age.  Sasha had a thin nose long neck and his red hair was the color of blood. Misha had a more blonde tint in his hair and a beefy almost stocky build. The two boys seem to be feeding off the negativity laughing dead in my face.

“Can’t you see I’m having a conversation with him?” Alexander barks at them, “I don’t need you two fucking idiots butting in.”

They get quiet.  It’s at that moment I realize that the brothers were terrified of Alexander.  Maybe they heard the story of what his father had done to his own brothers.  Alexander Cicero clearly took the name of Emperor Cicero.  Maybe his brothers were afraid he took some of his father’s ‘other’ traits as well. They  didn’t want to end up dead. Either way, they get real quiet and I swear I see a slight grimace on Misha’s face while Sasha just stares bluntly at the ground.

“Excuse me, Prince Alex,” Natasha states, “I must be getting Nikolai to the Roundtable.”

“He’ll leave when I say he leaves,” Prince Alexander says looking at Natasha with this almost grated look, “I don’t think I was speaking to you either.”

“I apologize Prince.”

“Don’t be sorry, be smart, woman. You are going to be knighted soon, I hear.”

“They say she is one of the best dragon riders in the world,” Sasha states.

Sasha says it with a smile.  I watch how he looks at Natasha.  I don’t blame him.  Natasha is very attractive.  I could also believe she was very skilled too based on how disciplined she was and how harsh Raisa was.

Sasha clearly seeming impressed by Natasha gets under Alexander’s skin.

“Just a reminder, little girl,” Prince Alexander states, “You aren’t called Mistress Natasha yet.  A snap of my finger and I can make sure you are a squire for another 15 years.”

I wonder if he had that kind of power.  I look over at the Natasha and realize she is staying unmoved as always. Not even a single strand in her long black bang moved out of place. She has this military face on.  This girl was beyond disciplined.   From here I can see him almost spitting on her while he speaks.  His face contorts to make sure every word has that extra sting.

“I apologize Prince.  I just can’t be late.”

“Those old fools will wait.  When I am Emperor I’ll make the rules,” Prince Alexander responds, “So even if you’re knighted, I’ll make sure House Beaver-Housen never sends any female Dragonriders to the Round Table again.  I’ll make sure no bitches are allowed on the Round Table.  I refuse to be protected by a weak cunt.  You’ll bleed all through the white uniform when you’re on your period.”

“Well you’re not Emperor yet so—-” I interrupt.

I can’t take it anymore.

Natasha throws me an eye.  She’s warning me to shut up but she is so disciplined that she can’t even bring herself to mutter it.  It was pointless kissing this boys ass.  He was already plotting to kill me anyway from what I can tell.

“What you just say?”

“I said you aren’t Emperor yet,” I respond, “You can’t talk to her like that.  The truth is she is about to be a knight; Mistress Natasha.  You aren’t even a squire because you haven’t fucked a dragon yet.  Tell us why you’re really mad.”

That’s when the Prince balls up his fist and hits me straight in the face.  I am not expecting it until it happens.  I fall to the ground from the punch and feel him kick me in my stomach.  He gives a nod and both his brothers do the same thing taking cheap shots at me while I’m down.  They kick me a few times in the face.

To top it off, Prince Cicero spits on me.

The spit lands right above my upper lip and I cringe as I wipe it off.  I’m so angry that I’m shaking in the next few minutes.

“Come on, hit me…” Prince Alexander states, “My father will have you skinned alive.  C`mon, tar baby.  HIT ME!”

I ball my fist up.  I go for it ready to smash his fucking face in when I feel someone grabs me from the back.  The person pulls me away and holds me making sure that I don’t hit Prince Cicero. They restrain me in a hold so technical that I know it is military combat training.

“You can’t,” a deep voice says.

I expect Natasha but I turn back and notice that it’s Maxim.

This seems to amuse not only the Prince but his brothers too.  Laughter breaks out into the hallway.

“You always protect me, Maxim,” Prince Alexander says with a smile, “When I am Emperor, I wouldn’t expect anything less for someone training to be my personal bodyguard.”

With that Prince Alexander and his brothers walk away.  I can hear him mention something about ‘putting the tar baby in his place’ which seems to really entertain his brothers.   Maxim is still holding me and this time he’s facing me.

I’m shocked that he is training to be Alexander’s personal bodyguard, but then again why would I be shocked?  Especially after what I’d seen yesterday.

“Get off of me,” I state.

I push him away.

“Did I do anything wrong?” he asks.

Before I get a chance to respond, Natasha butts in, “You didn’t do anything wrong, squire.  You saved Nikolai from a headache none of us wants to deal with.”

“I was defending your honor.”

“I don’t need you to defend my honor,” Natasha states, “I need you to follow the rules. There are so many things going on in the Dragonov Empire.  The last thing you need to be worried about is entertaining a bratty spoiled prince!”

It’s the most passionate I’ve seen Natasha.   I wonder if she would have insulted the prince by calling him bratty and spoiled if she knew how close Maxim was to the prince.  I look over at Maxim wondering if he was going to go back and snitch.  There’s no telling with him.  I don’t feel comfortable around him at all.

“I want you to be safe,” Maxim states.

If it was before I had seen him with Prince Alexander I would have believed him but not anymore.  Prince Alexander wanted my dragon and he wanted me gone.   He would do anything to make that happen.

I give him a glare.  It’s the worst glare possible before I turn away, “I’m fine—don’t worry about me.”

I can feel him watching me from behind seeming upset as I walk away.  I could care less.  He’s probably faking at this point and I was tired of being played.


I get in the room still steaming from the idea of just even seeing Maxim.  I don’t know why I let him get under my skin.  I don’t know why everytime I look at him I get these butterflies in my stomach…even now that I knew what kind of person he was.  Why the fuck did I like him so bad?  Why the fuck didn’t I give him the punch that was meant for the Prince that he was trying to protect.”

“Your answer…”

I’m so shaken up by seeing Maxim that I don’t realize I’m in the room with the knights of the Round Table.  The Roundtable consisted of the paramount and most important knights in each of the 12 families…well 11 families because House Glabber was an empty seat.  No one had sat there since before my time.

“My answer is yes,” I state, “My dragon and I have come to an agreement.”

“Very well,” the Emperor states getting up off the table and giving a slight nod as though he concluded some annoying business and had other things to handle,  “We’ll assign you someone to train under.”

“I’ll take him on,” a man states.

I’d seen him before in the first meeting.  The white-haired man. He’s a handsome man, young striking.  He’s the kind of person you would think of when you think of a knight.  He had to be young…still in his 20s and he was relatively very intriguing looking with long white hair that fell all the way down his chair.

Another voice argues at that moment.  “This is the Black Dread dragon.  Paramour Silva.   It needs a more experienced touch.  I’ll take him as a squire,” a voice states.

I’m shocked when Raisa stands at the table.  Of all people I didn’t expect her to say that.

“You?” The white-haired paramour Silva asks, seeming confused.

Raisa nods, “Tonight is Natasha’s ceremony to become a mistress.  I’ll have the opportunity to take on a new squire.”

“I can take him on,” another knight jumps up and states.

Just at that moment, I realize what is happening. There is some sort of bidding war for me.  I’m confused by it.  Why was it that everyone wanted to train me?  I was shocked to think I would have one person willing to train me, let alone half a dozen.

The Emperor seems annoyed, “Enough.  The boy will choose who he’ll train under tonight at Natasha’s knighting.  You are all dismissed until then.”

He seems irritated by the whole pomp and circumstance.  As he gets up though I make my way over.

“Your Highness?”

“Was there something else Glabber?”

I remember what Ouroboros told me to share with them, “I have knowledge about Elven articles.  The knowledge that the Elven articles are in the Wilds.”

The room gets loud with whispers.  I notice Paramour Pike all of a sudden standing as though someone called his name.  Sweat is trickling down the forehead.  It’s quite odd to watch.  It’s as though all of a sudden he’d been transported into a hot sauna.

A part of me wonders if I should have pulled the Emperor aside to tell him this.  I notice the strange whispers in the room that get louder and louder.  A hornet’s nest of bees swarming at unique disturbance was happening right now.  The buzzing is getting louder and louder.  And I’m wondering if I had just marked myself to get stung.

“Where’d you hear that term, boy?” he asks.

He squints at me hard.  He watches my lips and I swear I see him rest his wrist on the hilt of the sword clenching his waistline.  Then he stares at my lips as though he’s done this a million times in a way to get someone afraid enough to talk what they knew.  It worked on me.  If the Emperor wasn’t good with that sword someone else who followed his orders definitely had to be.  I wasn’t willing to lose my neck over something my dragon told me to say.

“As a token of gratitude to the empire and my new role in it,” I start off, “My dragon wanted to share some knowledge that he knows.  The articles are somewhere in the ruins of the Wilds.”

“I’ll retrieve them,” Pike states, “I’ll leave on my cat-eyed dragon immediately.”

Immediately?  What was the rush?   I watch how he gets out of the room.  I watch how a couple people seem so uncomfortable when he leaves.   The Emperor himself watches him leave.  I feel like I walked into something without having any idea what was going on.

“Did I say something wrong?”

The Emperor shakes his head, “No, of course not.  We appreciate the token.  When you next speak to your dragon, let him know that it is a sign of trust that he shared this with us.”

“I’m confused,” I state, “What are the Elven Articles?’

The Emperor shakes his head, “Don’t worry about those sorts of things. This is a new time for you.  You are going to be training as a dragon rider.  You should be worried about one thing and one thing only.  Which one of these people do you want to train you?”


He cuts me off again, “That is all.”

He walks away and the others clear the room as well. All except the man with white hair who touched me on my hand and says “I look forward to seeing you at Natasha’s party.”

Paramour Silva leaves something in my hand.

A name.

It’s a picture. It’s almost scribbled down. Strange. What was he trying to tell me? It was just a picture. A picture of two boys playing.


“House Petrov.  House Sobor…”

I shift my tie so I can breathe a little bit.  It’s the night of Natasha’s knighting.  I’d spent all day preparing. It’s strange to see all of the stuffed up knights out of their armor as we enter a hall in the Emperor’s Palace known only as the Rotunda.  The round hall is domed with an oculus at the very top.  Overhead I look up and see the dragons dancing up in skies as though they are celebrating in their own way.  They are all celebrating I guess.  They are all celebrating Natasha.

“House Glabber.”

I had no idea I represented an entire family.  I’m at the top of the stairs and I start walking down this grand staircase where the party downstairs is taking place.  The men wear long-tailed coats and the women wear full silk gowns.  Drinks are being served.  It’s a very posh looking affair and I guess the house attendant doesn’t get tired of calling out the names of all the different dragon rider families for those who are in attendance.

“You look stupid in that,” a voice whispers in my ear, “I can’t wait to rip it off you tonight.”

It’s the Dread Dragon.  His spirit is here and lingers close to me.  When I make my way down the steps and stand awkwardly

I smile as a few people pass me by.  Shit is so weird.

”I’m not having sex with you again.”

He stands right in front of me lifting my chin so I look up into his slanted grey eyes, “That wasn’t a request. We are lovers now.”

Everyone seems to be having a conversation.  Everyone seems to know each other.  Everyone but me.  I’m standing there feeling a bit…torn.  I was the one person who was late for the party that had no idea how to communicate in this world.

“Stop talking to me before people start thinking I’m crazy,” I respond.

I do it as naturally as possible.’

“This room is full of dragon riders.  They are used to it,” The Dread grunts crossing his arms, “Aren’t you going to socialize?”


“Anyone look interesting?”

I look up.  Natasha is with Raisa at the top of the staircase.  There are people walking up to them congratulating House Beaver Housen for the success that they have with a new Mistress with their last name.  It’s literally an entire line of people.   I definitely didn’t want to join that line.

The Imperial family is here as well managing to whip up just as big of a crowd as Natasha herself and it was her party.  The princes are all gathered around with their father.  I look at how irritated Prince Alexander looks but that isn’t saying much.  He always looked irritated.

I look further down the Rotunda.  There I see the Paramour who was at the Round Table with the White Hair.  I have no idea who he is but he has to be very important.

“Who’s he—-” I ask the Dread.

“With the White hair?”


“Peter Silva…the silver knight,” the Dread states, “One of the most famous knights.  Never lost a dragon duel. We should go with him to train you.”

Weird my dragon really didn’t care for people besides this Paramour Silva.

“What about the guy next to him?”

It was just a test. The guy next to him was a clean cut handsome man. Almost just as handsome as Silva. They must have been friends. Attractive people tended to cling to one another as though if they didn’t their beauty would rub off.

“Paramour Petrov. His dragon is the Wild Wind. She is the quickest dragon in the world. But don’t even think about picking him to train you.”

“Why not?”

“He’s dangerous; greedy and ambitious.  And I don’t like the way he stares at you.”

“Then why Silva?”

“Because I like him.”

I look over at Silva. He’d handed me the pic of the two boys playing.  He smiles when he sees me talking. I wonder if he knows I’m talking to my dragon. The paramour has a very knowing look.

”I can pick my own master.”

”You don’t know shit about these people.”

”We wouldn’t have this problem if you’d tell me the things I need to know to protect myself.  Such as the Elven Articles.”

I’d spent the entire night preparing for this party and even longer trying to get the Black Dread to tell me what he knew about the Elven articles.

“They sent Pike to retrieve the articles.  Pike is a man of the empire. Good and honorable. Everyone knows that. He’ll bring them back. I’m sure they are in good hands.  That’s not something you need to worry about…”

Annoying.   It was the same answer he gave each time.

“I’m not worried about Pike, Dread. I want to know why it was important he leaves to retrieve them…”

I turn and realize that he’s gone.  It’s very much like him.  He disappeared when things got hot.  I turn so quick that I bump into someone.  It isn’t until I almost spill some wine the person is carrying that I realize who the person is.



“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” Maxim states, “Heard you mention Paramour Pike.”

“Yeah, he left abruptly.”

“He’ll be back. Can’t stay away from duty too long. My master is a man of the empire.”

I roll my eyes and mutter, “So I keep hearing.”

Everyone had so much trust in Paramour Pike leaving to get the articles but I just wanted him to return so I can see what all the fuss isn’t about. If Pike was so big of a Knight why was he sent to get these articles and not some random errand boy? I’m sure they had hundreds. It had to be important to send “a man of the empire” on a fucking errand run.

“What?” He asks.

He flashes me his smile.  That smile that makes my heart melt.  I look at him give me that smile and he sets his flute of wine on a table that isn’t too far from us.  I am looking everywhere but where he is until he walks right back.

“You look nice,” I state.

Nice?  He looks nice?  I could imagine Dread cursing at me for complimenting him.  This guy literally was plotting to kill me and I was sitting here noticing how handsome he looked that night.  He normally wore white and gold, the color of the empire, but tonight he wore purple. His purple suit seemed to enhance his bronze skin.  It was tailored to perfection over his muscular frame. He was the most handsome knight in the room and there were quite a few.

I’m so nervous that I’m happy when we interrupted by the emperor’s staff in the formal gray uniform bringing wine.

“Wine sir?” He asks.

I take the last one but Maxim takes it away.

“You don’t need that. You don’t want to spill it on your outfit. You look nice too.”

He has a point. I was so nervous I was shaking.

“My dragon disagreed.”

“Well my dragon says you look amazing,” he smiles.

I felt like an idiot but I was only speaking the truth.  Maxim probably looked nicer than anyone in this room.  He gave even the handsome Paramour Peter a run for his money or even the silver knight.  He was a squire but he had this resolve about him.  He had this way of standing that makes you just feel like he’s going to be someone.

My face burns, “Thanks.”

“May I have this dance?” he asks me out of nowhere.

It’s random when he does it.

“I don’t know how to dance,” I respond.

“Well luckily it’s a slow dance.”

He doesn’t take no for an answer as he grabs me and pulls me out onto the dance floor.  I notice that a few people turn to stare over at us when he does.  There are no other male couples on the dance floor.  It makes me feel weird, especially when he puts his hands on the small of my back as we glide slowly across the floor in collaborative ballroom dancing.

“I don’t think it’s normal that two men dance together in the Capital…” I whisper to him, “Judging from the faces we’re getting.”

In Nair sexuality was a lot freer.  It seemed like here in the North it got cold this time of year.  Cold killed diseases but it also killed sex it seems like.  Everyone up here just seemed so goddam uptight.  Everything seemed like it was being so scripted.  Almost like things just as it is, weren’t right.

“It’s also not normal for a male dragon to mate with a man.  But seems like you have a knack for breaking the rules.  So I’m following your lead.”

“I’m not breaking rules on purpose.”

He smiles, “I don’t mind.  Out here on the dance floor, it’s a lot more private.  I wanted to talk to you about earlier.  You seemed upset with me.”

I turn away.

“It’s nothing.”

“Keep dancing.  People are watching.”

I keep dancing.  Sure enough, people are watching.  The Princes have gathered not too far from me.  They’ve gone to talk to Natasha and wish her well in her new career. Not all of them though.  I look over and notice Prince Alexander.  He is talking to his father.  They are whispering about something.

“Why is it that everyone in this fucking place always whispering?” I ask.

“So many secrets. Do you have any? Like who you are choosing to squire for?”

I sigh, “My dragon wants Silva?”


“Yeah.  He’s the most famous knight supposedly.”

I look across the room. The guy had silver hair for god sakes. He also had this mystique about him. Of course, he’d be the most popular knight.


I almost stop dancing.


“I know Silva is working with your dragon. I know he’s the spy for your dragon.  I’m not your enemy.”

”You know what?”

“Keep dancing. I’m risking it all to tell you this. Don’t trust Silva. He’s manipulating your dragon.”

“So I’m not really in danger?”

“You’re in danger.”


I’d heard that I was in danger before but this was coming from Maxim of all places.  The music is getting slower and he leans forward.  I love how his hands are hard yet somehow soft at the same time.  He leans in until his cheek is almost brushing against mine.

“You’re in danger,” he explains, “An assassin has been hired to kill you tonight.”

My heart is racing.

“How do you know?”

“I hired them.”

I stop dancing and just looking at him.

“You understand how this sounds.”

“Keep dancing—-” he instructs me, “That drink I took from you was poisoned.”


”He may try again. Make sure that you don’t fall asleep.  No matter how much you drink tonight.  No matter how tired you are.  Don’t fall asleep. At the slightest sound start screaming.  There should be guards walking around to hear.  For safe measure I’ve hidden a dagger under your pillow.”

This couldn’t be happening.

“Why are you doing this?” I ask, “The prince?”

He’s not surprised that I know. He takes a deep breath and his eyes shoot over to Paramour Silva who is still dancing.

“It’s bigger than him.  Silva is feeding your dragon half-truths so that he can be your master.  Don’t trust him.”

“I heard it first hand what you were saying. Get off of me Maxim.”

“Please don’t make a scene.”

Too late.  I push Maxim off me! I don’t trust him at this point. If Silva was really working with my dragon then I needed to be trusting the Dread not a guy who was working with my enemy.

Maxim seems desperate. I can see it all in his eyes. He literally tackles me at that point to the ground as hard as he can.

He pins me down. If the guy hadn’t admitted to trying to assassinate me not too long ago I would have been turned on. People are watching though. People are confused.

“Listen to me this isn’t about Silva and his power moves. He’s just concerned about gaining more reputation by training the last Wild.”

”Get off me.”

I try to push him off but he literally has pinned himself in between my legs!  Right in the middle of the dance floor!

“This has to do with your mother and the Elven articles,” he explains to me, “You need to choose Pike to train you. He knows everything about the articles. He can help you. I need you to say you want Pike to train you.”

All this was so I chose who he wanted and not Silva.

“He’s already training you.”

“I guess we’ll be spending more time together then,” he states, “Would that be so bad?”

Maxim looks at my lips… so hard I swear he will kiss me right there. He confused me.  He was trying to kill me but then warning me that he was trying to kill me and preparing me for the attack?

Just at that moment, we are interrupted.  Maxim is literally pulled off me by a few knights. That’s when I notice Silva is there helping me up with a well-guided hand and a smile.

”Everything OK here?” Silva asks looking over at Maxim who is surprisingly being restrained.

Funny it was him who arrives. His smile is so white that it seems almost fake.  I don’t trust Maxim completely but there’s something almost opportunistic about this man.

”He wasn’t hurting me.  He just tripped and fell.”

Why was I protecting Maxim?

”Quite a comfortable fall,” Paramour Silva states, “No matter. I was hoping to have a word with you alone, Nikolai. About who you will choose to squire for.”

Out of nowhere, Maxim gets desperate. He screams out, “Choose Paramour Pike!”

“That Pike?” I ask.

We turn at the same time.  Just at that moment, someone walks into the ballroom.  Walk isn’t the right word.  The person staggers into the ballroom and I realize before they get to the middle of the floor and the music stops that it is Pike.  It’s hard to tell because his face is all burnt up and blood is trailing him on the floor.

“It was a whole thunder of dragons,” he whispers, “The darkness is back..”

That’s when I see Ouroboros reappear.  The black Dread is standing over Pike’s body as people are running over in shock.

“Remember I kept saying the articles aren’t something you need to be worried about?” the Dread asks.


“I was wrong.  It’s time to worry.”