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DescriptionThe only thing that could make Ever a worse place to be trapped in has finally happened. The dragons of Ever are loose…and they're hungry.
We've made it this far and I won't give up on finding the one person who could make being here a little better. We're so close to finding the hidden city and my dad. I know we are. I just don't know if we're going to make it. My friends and I are struggling. Okay, we're getting our butts kicked. We don't have a choice but to continue. It's not like we can call a time out.
Then the unthinkable happens...my boys get hurt. Now I have to summon the power and the courage to save them. I just hope it will be enough and we can find my father. Will we have a happily ever after?
Reader Rating: (2 Ratings)
I do. I'm not stupid.
I sprint like my life depends on it. Which it does. Wind blasts at my back. It whips my fiery curls in front of my face, almost blinding me. Blood is running down my forehead and cheeks. My bare arms are worse.
Somehow the magic of Ever has been broken. I have no idea how, or who is responsible. I don't even know what has been broken. The ground shook and rumbled like crazy, and then the sky flipped through colors like a movie fast-forwarded.
What I do know is the dragons are free. Usually they are trapped in the Heart of Ever and released occasionally as a form of beast control. They call it a Dragon Rising.
Now they are pouring out of the giant hole in the center of Ever. Their roars of freedom are deafening. Ever has no wind, but the great wings of the dragons have created their own. It blasted us with its ferocity. Making matters worse, my friends and I are currently in a crystal landscape. When the earth shook a lot of the giant crystal formations broke and shattered. We're now being pelted with shard ridden winds that are cutting us up.
It's not fun. Ever is never fun, but it just got a whole lot more deadly.
I'm finding it hard to breath. The wind is too strong. I'm terrified. All I want to do is scream and scream and scream.
Screaming doesn't do any good. I hold it in and keep running as fast as I can. I dodge giant spikes of rainbow hued crystal and jump over fallen ones. The ground is crystal too and I struggle to keep my footing on the smooth surface.
Shade passes me on my left. He jerks his head for me follow and I do, swinging to his right. I know Jadus is behind me, watching my back.
We came up out of the underground tunnels and caves into the crystals just a little while ago. Our plan was to find another entrance and go back down. Underground poisonous rivers we couldn't cross forced us up. We didn't want to. The beasts of Ever had for some reason started attacking the few dragons that had been out during the Rising. Maybe the dragons broke the magic? I don't know. There are bodies of beasts and dragons everywhere. I'm glad we were hidden underground for the fighting.
There is a towering formation far ahead and to my left. We had been heading for it when Ever went crazy. Hopefully there is another entrance underground there.
We run and run. The wind keeps whipping us. At least it's at our backs. I glance back once to make sure Jadus is still behind me.
He is. I wish I hadn't looked though. Huge dragons are still coming out of Ever's Heart. There are so many! Hundreds. How many dragons were there? I probably don't want to know.
I push myself harder to keep up with Shade. It feels like we run forever. My muscles are burning. My lungs hurt. My heart is pounding away, but that's not really anything new.
Shade passes the tall crystals and ducks around a smaller formation. I slide to a stop and spin to drop down beside him.
My breath is coming in panicked gasps. I look over at him, trying to keep the terror off my face.
He grins at me.
I blink at him and brush curls sticky with blood off my face. Crazy shadow boy. He probably thinks this is fun.
Dressed all in black leather, he's Bad Boy head to toe. He isn't human, but stuff like that doesn't bother me anymore. Not in Ever. There is a shadow that lives within him. With Ever having no sun, there are no shadows. Shade needs me and doesn't try to hide it. When I call my fire, it can come out. I haven't quite figured out how a shadow can fight yet, but it can. It's a pretty good guard, too.
Shade laughs but I can hardly hear him over the sound of the dragons. His all black eyes are bright. Idiot probably wants to fight.
Jadus bumps into me and I move closer to Shade so he can hide behind the crystal, too. It's a relief to get out of the wind and away from the flying shards.
My heart is calming down a little, and my breathing returning to normal. I really wish Ever didn't suck so much.
Jadus makes a noise and I turn to look at him. He's not human either. Where Shade is around my age, he's older, maybe in his early twenties. He can see the past, which can come in handy now and then. I've grown quite fond of his feathered brows. I love the feathers hanging down from the back of his ears, too. When he's angry they flare out. They do other times too, like when he kisses me.
Just thinking about that makes me blush. I've been in love with him for a while now. I think...well, if he doesn't love me he at least feels something. He's gotten more and more protective of me and is jealous of Shade. Twice now he's kissed me on the lips. As in curl your toes and get lost the moment type of kisses.
He reaches over and brushes a curl off my face. His fingers move over my cheek and it's hard to resist closing my eyes and trying to forget everything else.
He drops his hand and nods, his gaze flicking over to Shade.
"Shade, you okay?"
My shadow boy was peering around the crystal. He turns back, and gives a sharp nod.
"So anyone know what the heck just happened?"
"Something bad," Shade mutters.
No kidding. I give him a dark look. "I got that much."
"We can talk later," Jadus says. He looks at Shade. "Did you see a cave?"
Shade nods and grimaces, wiping blood off his forehead.
Too bad Ever doesn't have Band-Aids. We could all use a bunch right about now. "What next?"
The boys have a little stare down. I wonder what silly war they are fighting now.
Shade stands and Jadus does too. I jump to my feet between them.
"I'll check it out," Shade says.
Jadus shakes his head. "I should. I can see if it's safe." Jadus seeing the past is useful for finding out if anything has gone into a cave and is waiting there to eat us.
Shade draws one of his blades and cocks his head to one side. "And what will you do if it isn't?"
Jadus glares at him. He can fight, but with his hands, not weapons. Hands don't do a lot against many of Ever's monsters.
I puff out a breath in annoyance. "Why don't we all go?"
Both of them turn their glares on me. I straighten up and glare back. Seriously, I wish they'd stop treating me like some little kid. Sure, I don't mind them protecting me. It's awesome to have someone at my back, but it's not like I'm some helpless girl. I can control fire, and lately I've gotten pretty darn good at it.
Before anyone can say anything we all look up at once. Dragons are flying over us. We press back against the crystal. It's not much of a hiding place. Crap.
I look at Shade. He's staring at me. His black eyes seem darker than usual. I wish I knew what was going on with him. I know he's dangerous. I know he did bad things in his old world which got him banished here. Sometimes he scares me.
He's quick. Reaching out, his hand snakes around my head and then he's pulling me forward. His lips press against mine. Hard. Rough.
I don't kiss him back. I don't have time to do anything but freeze in shock.
Then he's gone, sprinting toward the cave.
Good thing he's fast. I turn to look at Jadus with wide eyes.
If looks could kill, Shade would be a dead man.
SanctuaryBy: Jen Wylie