Anton’s Dream: Excerpt
Not long after finding out who he was, Antony Woods had a very interesting dream.
He awoke in his Dream World in a different form. His body was that of a midsize dragon; only, the wings were covered in dark grey fur, and so was his tail. He looked at his hands, which had turned to lengthy furred paws, complete with elongated claws. He felt for his ears that resembled those of a large wolf. Thick long horns extruded from his head in the shape of a “V”.
What was going on? Antony wondered.
A cloud of grey smoke filled the air in front of him. Fearful, he stepped back.
“So, how do you like it?” The cloud solidified to a form resembling himself in the Outer Realm. Locks of long reddish-blond hair went down his back in a thick plait, a tall and lanky body was muscular around the arms, silver-blue eyes twinkled when he smiled. It was him all right, down to the Dream Locket that hung around his neck.
“What – who are you?” Antony asked.
“Can’t you see? I’m you.” The solidified cloud answered when he smiled.
“You can’t be me.” Antony supplied. “I’m me. Now, who are you?”
The cloud-man cleared his throat and lost the smile. “I am the Immortal part of you, a form you have been taking in the Outer Realm all of your life.”
Antony looked at his hands, turning them over and observing the fur of his paws. “Than what form is this?”
“That is the form you were born to.” The Cloud-man told him. “You are a DragonWolf, born from a Fire Dragon father and a Mountain Wolfkin mother. Did your sister not tell you the truth of your identity?”
“Yes. She did, but it didn’t explain anything.” Antony said with a sigh. “I’m just as confused as ever. I’ve always been confused as I grew up.”
“Not like the other boys, or even your brothers, were you?” the cloud-man asked. “Why would you be like them, when you aren’t from that Realm?”
Antony shook his head, his mind sifting through memories and visions that only confirmed what the Immortal was saying. “If I’m not from the Outer Realm, where am I from?”
“You are from the Dragon Nations, from a little city southeast of the capital of Mal’estar.” The Immortal explained. “Your father is the right-hand man to the previous Emperor of the Nations itself. Your mother the blood-sister to the previous Emperor’s Lady.” The Immortal faced him and took a hand to his cheek. “Your true-name is Anton Dranna. You are a powerful Ancient Mystic Draconian Wizard.”
Before Antony – Anton – could ask any more questions of the Immortal, the man in front of him stepped forward and disappeared within him.
That is when he awoke in the Outer Realm with more questions than he had when he first went to bed.
Anton sat up and looked at his paws. They had returned to their Immortal hands, which was good. He stood and headed to the bathroom mirror. Switching the light on, he saw his form had returned to the Immortal-humanoid he had been all his life.
Armed with new information, he stared into the silver-blue eyes of his reflection.
Your mate needs to know the truth; no matter how absurd it sounds to your own ears.
Yeah, I know. Anton reflected. She’s the only daughter of the richest man in Hill View. I don’t want to lose her.
If she is your true mate, you will not.
“What are you staring at?” A female voice interrupted his thoughts. The mirror now reflected both of them; Anton and his mate, Kendra Reading. Kendra was smiling, her long brown hair tied up in a lazy morning ponytail and tired brown eyes stared into his silver-blues.
He took her hand and looked at it for a moment before bringing it up to his mouth for a tender peck. “I love you, Kenny.”
Kendra pulled closer to him and wrapped her arms around his waist as she placed her head on his chest. “I love you, too, Tony.”
Anton sighed. Why, he wondered, did he allow her to call him that silly nickname when he never allowed anyone else?
“What’s wrong, lovey?” Kendra was worried as her brown eyes searched his. “Are you okay?”
Of course I am not okay, He thought to himself sarcastically. I have a strange dream where I’m in a strange form talking to a strange man that looks like me and claim he is me!
“Antony, please.” Kendra supplied softly, tearing herself from his arms. “Why won’t you answer me?”
Antony stared down at their twined fingers.
Better tell her and hope for the best. He gently urged himself.
He took her back to the bed and sat.
“There’s so much to tell.” Antony whispered, looking up. Her brown eyes were gentle and caring, as always. “Where should I begin?”
“How about at the beginning?” Kendra suggested.
He continued to stare at her lovingly, worried that what he told her would push her away. He knew Kendra was his Earthly Protector, but was she also his mate, to have and hold for all time? Sure, she understood he was an Ancient Mystic (though she didn’t know he was a Draconian blooded by Enchantra as an Ancient Mystic). She also knew his power as a Wizard was great – even greater than his older brothers Kevin and Christopher Woods.
“Do you know about Ariana’s newfound name, form and ranks?” He asked, hoping mentioning his sister would help him explain.
“Vaguely.” Kendra said with a frown. “Derrick told me a little about it. She drastically changed during the War in the Mystic Realms. It scared him, especially when she seemed to pull away from him, ignoring everything from him to the children, and even her duties as a mother. Her mind seemed to be on other things.”
“Did he also tell you why she’d changed?” Antony pressed.
“She found the Draconian Countess spell had broken, and remembered who she was: the Empress of the Dragon Nations and her mate was the Emperor. Derrick was so depressed until the Countess took him on as her Champion.” Kendra supplied. She eyed him. “What does Ariana have to do with you?”
“Ever notice how Ariana, Aluna and I were the only Woods’ with reddish-blond hair?” Antony asked her. He didn’t wait for an answer. “That’s because we’re adopted; only it’s a little more complicated than that.”
“You’re an Ancient Mystic, right?”
Antony sighed. “So it’s a lot more complicated than that. Yes, I’m an Ancient Mystic, adopted by Susan and David Woods when I was an infant.”
“Do you know who your parents are?”
Antony nodded and held his breath. “That’s the complicated part.” He said. “Ready for this?”
She slowly nodded, never wavering from his glance.
“I am the son of a Dragon and a Wolf-kin, and my true-form is a DragonWolf.”
She looked away from him.
“I know it’s hard to believe, Kenny. I’m still trying to figure it out.” Antony responded, taking her hands again in his own and pulling her close. “I’m still the same man you fell in love with in the eighth grade. I just happen to be from another Realm.”
Kendra shook her head and pulled away, turning her back on him. “It all sounds so strange, Antony.”
She turned around.
“My true-name is Anton Dranna.” He explained. Nervous, he smiled. “I’m a dragon.”
Kendra continued to shake her head. “No.”
Anton was taken aback by the word. “No? What do you mean, no?”
“I mean, no, I won’t do this.” Kendra said. “I need time to think things through, and so do you, to figure out who you are. You never know; we might not be made for each other.”
“Of course we are, Kenny!” Anton took her arms. “I love you very much. Nothing is going to change that. I promise.” He kissed her hard on the lips. “Do you remember when we first kissed?” He asked when they parted; making sure did not look away. “Did you hear the word Earthly Protector in your mind?”
She slowly nodded. “They were just words, right?”
Antony shook his head. “They were more than just words. To the Ancient Mystics, it means you are my Earthly Protector – my Soul mate – and we are definitely meant to be together.”
“Doesn’t mean it’s true,” Kendra told him softly. “Derrick heard it in his mind as well. She was his Dream Girl for a time, just as he was her Imaginary Romeo.” She broke away. “Now they’re apart. I don’t think I can bear losing you like that, Antony. I don’t care what you believe you are. It’s you I love, and I don’t want to go through that disappointment with you.”
“Kenny, my love,” Antony said. “You won’t lose me; ever.”
Kendra looked into his eyes. “Promise?”
“A Dragon’s word is his bond.” Antony took her hands and kissed her. “I need you as words cannot express. Will you come with me to the Inner Realms so we can announce our mating to the Monarchs and all of the Dragon Nations?”
Kendra nodded. “Yes, Anton. Wherever you lead, I will follow.”