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Chapter Seven: Confusion

"I don't understand."

We paused at the sound of someone's reedy voice ringing down the flashing hallway. A young wizard looked flustered as he hurried down the hall, clasping a vial in one shaking hand while the other swung madly. Fevered eyes swept ahead of him, looking for the source of the alarm. Stockinged feet slipped on the smooth flooring, his hair was unbrushed, and a pair of glasses slipped down the bridge of his nose.

"Get yourself together Seamus!"

His partner, an older man, was hurrying to strap leather guards to his arm. I nearly laughed as I watched him, encased in the cold of shadow just out of sight. What good were leather guards against the inferno that was spit from the mouth of a dragon? Both of them looked to be nothing more than two wizards, a mentor and a student, but I saw the blood splattered on their legs and the long-pronged objects strapped to their backs.

Calla's words came ringing back. "Let me hold the prongs for the little golden one. She's always so snappy."

My jaw hardened into a tight line. Keeping us shrouded like this was taking its toll. I could feel the faint touch of exhaustion burdening my shoulders, a faint sheen of sweat coating my lower back and my forehead. My nails dug into my palms as I cast Dem a long look.

Hidden like this, his eyes seemed to glow a maddening blue like all other colour was sucked from him. I could say the same about Gabriel, whose eyes were a strange and unnatural violet blue this time.

A voice echoed from down the hall. "How did they find us, Graeme?"

"They're ruthless beasts," the mentor spat; he was bald, with only a smattering of hair under his nose. He sported a fine beer belly, and each step seemed laboured. "They came for the Thundun Rider they captured; little bitch was playing us all this time."

They paused.

Just then, Dem seemed to step from nowhere, detaching himself from the darkness. I saw him shake his head, as if expelling the coldness that had clung to him. "Excuse me..."

These Seal members actually seemed to possess brains, as there was immediate caution as they watched him. They took in the riding leather, the blue line around his collar, and the seeing stone fit into the chest of the suit. A Rider's suit as plain as day.

"Who are you?" the one named Seamus snarled viciously.

The older one had gone pale. Demetrious Shaw wasn't as recognisable as Gabriel Basset; he was the rejected son, the one who had 'chosen' to love men and disgrace his father. Well, that's what Shaw liked to push, but there were still some who could recognise the dark hair and vividly bright eyes.

"You are supposed to be dead," the older male said – Graeme.

"Clearly your eyes are working quite well." The comment came out like the flick of a whip, his tone dry and merciless.

"You fell from a mountain!" he snarled back. "A mountain where no other Riders except for the trainees escaped. We knew the Yesan was injured and that the trainee Ashbourne Riders stayed back. How can you be alive?"

Gabriel stepped out smoothly, his blond hair slicked back. Those violet eyes were so cold. There was a hint of his father's haughtiness in the line of his jaw, but there was a mocking grin playing at the corner of his mouth. The familiar way that Dem and Gabriel lined up together was heart-warming. Gabriel had wanted to come after the Seal members like we had, but a lot of the excursions we went on were too risky; he would have been recognised in an instant.

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by SMarie
Hated by the people she's sworn to protect, dragon rider Neely Lynch...
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