A Draconian Love Story
Lady Adellandra Dratianos,
Author of the Dream Realm Chronicles
Juliet Grey has been lonely lately. Being the Mistress Caretaker of the Dratianos Estate, she takes care of the younger children when the Lord and Lady are off being themselves in the Inner Realms. She sees the love between each of her friends and wonders: will there ever be someone who truly loves her? With most of the children already grown and on their own, she ponders her life outside the Estate, and her future.
Lady Adellandra is the only one who sees and understands her depression. In an effort to help, she and Juliet cast a powerful love spell to the Ancients. A few nights later, Juliet begins to see a tall chocolate-brown haired man with golden eyes in her dreams. She keeps those dreams to herself, hoping to one day figure them out. Could her dream man be real?
Meanwhile, a long-lost relative of Lord Draconis wishes back into the family. It’s a hard decision once Drasious Demoura shows up in Mal’estar, pleading forgiveness from Draconis. To show his loyalty and faithfulness to the family, Lord Draconis gives Drasious a challenge: stay in the Outer-Realm on his own without causing any magical trouble.
Pretty soon after being chastised for his past by his Lord Stepbrother, he begins to have visions of a dark-haired woman with grey eyes. What will happen when a rebel Royal stepbrother finds his visionary woman in the young grey-eyed Caretaker?
The Young Juliet
Juliet Grey sat by the Dratianos’ pool, watching the younger children play. She happened to glance up and see Lady Adellandra’s daughter Kelly snuggling up to her new husband of Bradley Allen Waters from across the yard.
She sighed, surveying the yard. Next door, she could see Amethyst Archer playing with her baby daughter Grace, adopted daughter Angel and her loving husband Scott. Juliet knew Amethyst’s twin Aaron would be resting during the day with his mate of Airmed Starchaser, leaving their twins in her care.
She saw her charges playing with magic balls of light in the pool and shivered.
Even after all these years, I can’t get used to that. She thought to herself. Heck, most of the kids know how to work their Mystic magic with no problems, even keeping it secret from the outside world. I just wish I could relax around it.
“Guys, you know better!” She cried to them, shaking her head.
The younger twins of Sable and Alexander “Zander” Starchaser looked to her and apologized in unison. “Sorry, Juliet.”
She could hear their muffled giggles from her spot and smiled. Their older stepbrother Theodore had his feet dangling in the pool while his lover had his arms crossed over the edge, wanting him to join in.
Even Theo found his love, at last. She thought to herself with a grin. Lord knows he needed it, after finding he was fey.
She looked down to her sketchbook, and the blank page. The vision and inspiration popped into her mind so fast, she couldn’t draw it quickly enough. When she was sure it was finished and perfect, she looked at it closely.
It was the face of a man. He had dark hair and golden eyes with a mischievous smile pasted on his face. She didn’t know who it was, or where the inspiration came from. All she knew is he was perfect. She could literally stare at those golden eyes forever, her heart doing flips as her eyes met his.
Who was this man, and why did his face suddenly appear in her mind?
Without wanting to dwell on it, she closed the sketchbook and put it away, along with the pen she was using to draw him.
Besides, she thought. I have my duties. I don’t have time for pondering dream men.
Juliet looked up to see the pool was deserted. She panicked, worried where the children were. She jumped when a hand clasped her shoulder.
Spinning around, she sighed in relief when she found the familiar face of Aimee Archer smiling at her.
“Sorry. Did I startle you?” Aimee asked, her green eyes showing concern as she pulled her hand away.
“Just a little, yeah.” Juliet remarked softly. She stood. “I was wondering where the twins went.”
“They saw me and rushed over.” Aimee smiled. “You must have been in some trance not to hear or see them, Juliet. Are you okay?”
Juliet nodded, hiding a blush. She took her sketchbook from the table beside her. “I’m fine. Just thinking hard, I guess.”
Aimee led her back into the house through the back screen door. “May I ask what about?”
“I’m not entirely sure yet.” Juliet remarked. She sat on the couch, fingering her sketchbook.
“Was it something you drew?” Aimee noticed her attention was more to the sketchbook than the conversation. “May I see it?”
Should she let Aimee see it? After all, it was her dream man, and Aimee herself had the Mystic’s gift of Empathy.
Maybe she can tell me what it means? Juliet pondered, handing her the sketchbook. “Page three. I just thought about him and drew his face. I’m not even sure who it is, yet.”
Aimee stared at the picture for a moment, silent in thought. “He has a kind of magical quality to him, doesn’t he?”
How was Aimee able to tell that just by looking at it? Juliet denied it, shaking her head. “I don’t know. It was in my mind and I had to draw it. I don’t know why.”
“Well, he looks kind of magical.” Aimee handed the book back to her. “Reminds me of Drake in a way, don’t you think?”
Juliet peered at the page again. “Now that I think about it, they have the same facial structure. The drawing’s eyes do bear an uncanny resemblance to him.” She shut the book again and looked up. “I don’t know. It’s just a drawing.”
“Like Hades, it is!” Aimee remarked. “You forget who and what you’re talking to. I’m a Mystic, too, remember? I See things differently than other Mortals do. When pictures just appear in our minds, urging us to do something about them, we know to pay attention.”
Juliet looked to her lap, biting her lip. She had forgotten that. Thanks to a blood-pact between the Three Musketeers years ago, she was, by blood-rite, an Ancient Mystic. Aimee had their ‘Gifts’ of Unicorn Magic; able to See, Feel, and Sense things others would not. She was a brilliant healer, even more so when Aaron helped her.
Seeing the look on Juliet’s face, Aimee sat and hugged her. “The truth will come in time, Juliet. You’ll see. Everything will fall into place and all questions will have answers when you’re ready to receive them.”
Juliet looked at her, confused.
Aimee just grinned. “All it takes is time.” She stood. “Speaking of time, I’ve got to head back home. I’m teaching Scott how to cook for a Dweller-kin. Wish me luck!”
Juliet grinned. “Luck!”
With that statement, she headed to each of the children’s rooms, checking up on them.
The Reading twins, who were visiting from college, were in their room, relaxing. She peeked through the doorway and saw Andrew deep into his studies, practicing chants under his breath while his brother Mark Antony was cleaning and sharpening his sword.
She went to the next room and saw Melody practicing her own type of magic, Mystic Music. She was using her singing voice to conjure a glowing ball of yellow energy to her hands. Juliet was still amazed at the girl’s amazing song-voice. For the first six years of her life, she couldn’t speak, as her namesake of Melody Crawford was still living. Now that Melody was eighteen, she was of age, and could learn anything her heart contented.
Melody Reading looked up and smiled. “Sulheya, Juliet! Want to see what I learned from my Sita Ravena?”
Juliet smiled, walking into the room and sitting on the bed across from her.
“Sure.” She supplied. “Ravena taught you more of your musical magic?”
“Only what she knew.” Melody replied. She made the yellow ball of energy dissipate. “Mutyr taught me more.”
“Mutyr is Draconian for mother, right?” Juliet asked.
“Kind of hard not to learn with everyone around here speaking both Draconian and Wolf-Speak,” Juliet smiled. “So, let’s see what you learned.”
Melody looked at her suspiciously. “Are you sure?”
“I have to get used to it sometime, don’t I? It might as well be on my terms.” Juliet announced with a grin and a shrug. “Well? Show me!”
“Okay!” Melody sat up excitedly and placed her palms up. “Put your palms on mine, close your eyes and relax.”
Juliet nodded, gulping. She placed her palms face-down on Melody’s and watched as the girl’s eyes closed. She could feel warmth coming from those hands, a kind of warmth that forced her eyes closed and the thought of love enter her mind.
As Melody began to sing under her breath, Juliet’s mind came up with a vision.
The golden-eyed young man in her sketchbook had come to life!
He was the same height as her, and his chocolate-brown hair was neatly combed around his ears. With a grin and a low bow, he took the hand of her visionary self and led her to the middle of a ballroom to dance.
“Pray tell me, kind sir.” She said softly. “What is the name of my gentleman caller?”
The man just smiled, a twinkle sparkling in his eye. His voice was kind, yet strong. “You will learn in time.”
At that, he kissed her hand and disappeared.
Her eyes opened from the vision to find Melody was staring at her. Her heart was pounding, unsure of what to make of the vision. Melody stared in amazement at the Caretaker’s reaction to her use of Mystic Magic.
“Are you okay, Juliet?” Melody asked.
Juliet stood, still in a daze. She nodded, turning and leaving the room in silence.
How did the girl know about her Dream Man? How did she make him come to life?
Not wanting to ponder the answers anymore, she headed to the kitchen to start dinner.
A Royal Rebel
Drasious Demoura stared down at the Marketplace from his tree-top hiding spot. It was bustling with people, selling and buying their wares. He used his magic to make himself invisible as he jumped down in the form of a large wolf.
Nothing excites me anymore. He thought to himself as he padded toward a castle ahead of him. How I wish to be a part of it, so I can cause some trouble!
He laughed, barking. If only I was welcome in Mal’estar. Draconis wouldn’t believe I was still alive after Father banished me.
He didn’t banish me, per se, he banished who I was: Trasious.
Drasious shook his head and shifted back to his Immortal Draconian-Lycan form in front of Mal’estar’s gates. He made himself visible and quietly whispered, “Boo” to the two Draconian Guards.
Though dumbfounded, they noticed him after a moment and crossed their spears together as a barrier.
Their combined confused looks made Drasious smile.
“Halt! Who goes there?”
“Lord Drasious Demoura of the Lycan Throne.” He supplied, hoping the little compulsion he used on their minds would help them believe the lie. “I’m here to see my brother, Lord Prince Draconis Dratianos.”
The Guard on his left laughed. “Where have you been, Lord Drasious Demoura of the Lycan Throne?” He mocked. “Lord Prince has been Lord Emperor and Guardian for a long time.”
“If you were truly his brother, would you not have already known that?” The Guard on his right asked.
Not wanting to kill them both for their mockery, Drasious kept calm. “Let’s just say, I have been away for a long time. Now either step aside, let me pass, or lead me to him. I have urgent business to discuss with him.”
Drasious frowned at the two Guards, putting on his semi-fiercest look. The Look did its job of forcing them to let down their guards and let him pass through the gates.
“As you wish, Lord,” the Guard on the left supplied as Drasious passed by them.
With his back to the two Guards, he relaxed and smiled.
That was almost too easy! He thought. He shifted to a Lycan-wolf form and padded as fast as his canine legs could carry him.
He weaved through the many trees and brush that surrounded Mal’estar’s Castle. Wanting to survey the area more, and wondering why there were so many trees and brush to weave through, he slowed down.
I can Feel I’m in Mal’estar, but why doesn’t it look the same? Have I been gone for so long, the entire Nations had been rebuilt anew?
He stopped to look around. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was on the Borderline of the Mystic Realms. Now I have to get to Draconis. He’ll tell me what in the Underworld is going on.
Regardless of the strange feelings he was experiencing about his old home, Drasious padded to the front of the Castle Gates. He stopped at the doors, sitting in place and pondering what to do next.
Should I just walk in as my Lycan form, or my Draconian? Should I even walk in there at all? After all, I was known for the element of surprise.
Drasious smiled and shifted to his Immortal form. He used his senses to find his older brother, following them to the back Garden.
Only, he also sensed his Lord Brother wasn’t alone.
When he found Draconis, he was deep in conversation with a young Dragonwolf woman. Drasious stood in place, making himself invisible as he leaned against a tree.
It didn’t take long before either of them sensed he was there.
“Love, what’s wrong?” The Dragonwolf woman asked.
Draconis, Lord Emperor of the Dragon Nations and Lord Guardian of the Realms stood and frowned in his direction.
“Show yourself, scoundrel, or be put to death by my own hand.” He growled softly.
I’ll show him scoundrel!
“My, Bratton, I didn’t know you cared.” Drasious appeared in front of his brother, facing Draconis’ glare.
“What in the worlds?” The Dragonwolf woman stood, unsheathing her sword and pointing it at him. “Who are you? How did you get through the Gates unnoticed?”
Drasious put his hands up in surrender. “Ask him – he knows me, don’t you, Bratton?”
“I’m not your Bratton, Trasious.” Draconis growled; fists to his side and ready to attack at a moment’s notice.
“How easily you jump to conclusions, Draconis.” Drasious grinned. “I’m no longer that chaotic Lycan mage.”
Draconis looked skeptical. The Dragonwolf woman watched them converse, wondering what was going on.
“I no longer believe your lies.”
Drasious shrugged, looking to the Dragonwolf woman. “You have the Wolf’s gift of Empathy. Tell me; am I lying?”
The Dragonwolf woman studied him, staring into his eyes. “How did you know? Who are you, anyway?”
“That maiden of yours sure is curious!” Drasious laughed. He turned back to her silver eyes. “My name is Drasious Demoura. I’m brother to Draconis and heir to the Lycan Throne.”
She continued to stare at him. “You’re no brother I know of.”
“We are stepbrothers, Adellandra.” Draconis admitted. “He was conceived shortly after Dratyr Turned into Thorn. His mother was the Lycan Queen.”
“You’re saying Dratyrna went ballistic as Thorn once Mutyrna Locarra passed?” Adellandra asked, sheathing her sword and believing her mate’s words. “Does she know?”
“Mutyr?” Draconis asked. “Yes, she does. Father shared it with her upon her return.”
“The Mystic Locarra lives?” Drasious asked, amazed. “I have been gone a long time, have I not?”
“Enough Drasious,” Draconis supplied. “Dratyr was still in his right mind when he banished you from here. Why did you return?”
“I have seen the error of my ways and wish forgiveness.” Drasious said.
“In other words, you got bored with being Chaotic, seeing it wasn’t getting you any attention, and decided you wanted to make peace with the family.” Draconis admonished. He shook his head. “I’m afraid that’s not possible yet.”
“As in, we have other things on our minds more important than you.” Adellandra said. “Both of us are Lord and Lady Guardians of the Realms as well as Emperor and Empress of Mal’estar. Not to mention our other duties in the Outer Realm.”
That sparked Drasious’ interest. “Outer Realm?” He asked. “You travel to the Mortal Realm?” He shook his head and stuck his tongue out in disgust. “Whatever for? Mortals are no longer fun; they’re boring and predicable. What would you want or need with the Mortallan Realm?”
“We happen to be Guardians of that Realm as well.” Draconis supplied. “Thanks to Ishanar’s Rebirth, we now have to watch open portals to other Realms.”
“Not to mention, we have a fairly large family there.” Adellandra nodded after her mate. She looked long and hard at Drasious. “Have you been there lately? It’s still quite lovely, even magical if you know how and where to look.”
“Magic.” Drasious scoffed. “That Realm doesn’t believe in any kind of magic; Draconian or otherwise.”
“Regardless, it still has magic all its own.” Adellandra argued.
“Enough, Cherie,” Draconis put his hand up to stop her. He looked to Drasious. “Don’t get her started, Drasious. She’s ruthless and relentless when it comes to the Mortal Realm.”
“It comes from being Lady Guardian all these years.” Adellandra supplied. “It’s my duty to protect my Dreamers.”
“They’re not only your Dreamers, dearest.” Draconis took her in his arms and kissed her. “The Enchantress and the Protector are taking care of them too; and so are the other All-Realm Crusaders.”
“Finit!” Adellandra cried. “I give!” She kissed Draconis again and turned to leave. “Nice meeting you, I think, but I have duties to attend. It’s not easy being The Goddess of Many Names, you know. I hope to speak with you more another day.”
“On that, you can rely upon, my Lady.” Drasious grinned. As soon as she left, he supplied. “Wherever did you find her? She’s quite the catch.”
“She is my mate, Drasious, so don’t even think about romancing her away from me.” Draconis said.
Drasious placed a hand to his heart, feigning innocence. “Moi? Romance such a lovely lady from your embrace? Whatever do you take me for?”
“A royal cad.”
“I would never do such a thing and you know it.” Drasious supplied, ignoring the comment.
“You can drop the gentleman act, Dras, and tell me what you’re really doing here.”
“Fine,” He sat on the bench the couple had abandoned. “I want my birthright.”
“You may have the Birthright of being Lycan King, but you haven’t earned it.” Draconis announced. “Not once have I seen you, or heard of you in a battle, war, or even a fight. You were always so cowardly and rebellious. The last I knew, you turned into your own chaotic form, named yourself Trasious and threatened my life. Father did the right thing in banishing you. All you caused was discord and all you wanted was attention.”
“I assure you, I have changed.” Drasious supplied. “Extensively. I’ve fought in battles, in my own way. I’ve been to other Realms, even the Mortal Realm until I bored of it. Draconis, Bratton, please say you’ll forgive me and give me another chance. I really want to be a good Lycan King, for Trasious is no longer part of me. I swear on my life.”
“As of this moment, neither your word nor your life means anything to me.” Draconis admonished. “You haven’t shown me you’ve changed. Did you think I would believe your words as soon as that venomous mouth spewed them? That I would take you back into the family and blindly place you upon the Lycan Throne? If so, I suggest you think again. I may have balance, thanks to Adellandra, but that doesn’t mean I’m gullible or stupid.”
“I never said you were.” Drasious sighed. “What can I do to show you I’ve changed? To show you I’m ready to be King again?”
Draconis glared at his younger stepbrother for a long time before smiling. “I propose a challenge.”
Drasious knew from experience his ‘challenge’ meant something he was going to hate for all eternity. “Give it to me straight.”
“I challenge you to one month of being on your own.”
Drasious laughed. “That’s nothing. I’ve been on my own for hundreds of years. I can handle a month.”
Draconis’ smile stayed. “I wasn’t finished.”
Drasious gulped, and nodded for him to continue.
“I challenge you to one month of being on your own, in the Outer Realm, with absolutely no magic.” Draconis challenged. “If you can do that, and be around the very mortals you despise, than I will think about having Dratyr, Sir Airemus and Dranus retrain you in the arts of a patriarchy.”
“You’re saying I have to be around those silly mortals?” Drasious asked, skeptic. Draconis grinned, nodding. “For an entire month?”
“With no magic?” Drasious asked.
“That means no shifting or funny business.”
Draconis was serious!
Drasious stared at him, determined to earn his brother’s trust back. If he had to be in the Mortal Realm for an entire month without his magic in order to show Draconis he was no longer the Trasious he once was and hated, so be it.
Drasious held his hand out to Draconis and said. “You’re on. I accept your challenge, brother.”
Draconis took it firmly. “We’ll be there to keep an eye on you, so we’ll know if you use any magic or cause any trouble.”
“You have my word; and my word is my bond.” Drasious supplied seriously.
“I’ll believe it when I see it.” Draconis scoffed. “Now, get out of here before I have the guards remove you.”
With a mock-bow, Drasious shifted to his Lycan-wolf form and padded away to the nearest portal to the Outer Realm.
A Very Curious Dream