It had been mid-morning when they both let the exhaustion take over and without realization, they both had sleep the length of an entire day. They woke again just as dusk started to settle over the forest.  A low growl escaped Layna's lips as she moved in Adrastos' arms and she pulled herself closer to him. She could feel his body warm against her. Opening her eyes, she looked up at his face, waiting for him to wake.

As he woke, not wanting to move from the place for her for all eternity, he looked into her eyes. What he saw amazed him. The swirls of brilliant green had been replaced by deep pools of jade, rimmed with red. "...It would seem that you're definitely more than I could've imagined..." His eyes narrowed again slyly, and he slowly began to run his fingers across her arm that lay over his chest.

Layna paused for moment, wondering if now was the right time to tell him about their people and the powerful lineage they now shared. Propping herself up slightly, he watched as her face changed to something more serious.
“I am sorry..sorry that you’ve never known who you were. I had someone to teach me, although she is gone now. It was a lonely existence but I had at least one other who shared my secret.” Cradling his chin, Layna stared into his eyes, fighting back the tears she held at the thought of him never knowing love or friendship of any kind. She could read the pain in his eyes when they had met and saw the desperation he held to know who and what he was. Without words, she played the legend over in his mind.

Back when the world was new, the gods created a powerful race of beings to be it’s guardians from those who dwelled in the Darkness. They possessed the power of fire, flight and magick, of strength, loyalty and compassion.Called the “Fire”, they soon became know the human race as “Dragen”. Both races coexisted in harmony, as guardian and keeping, until greed and fear soon consumed the weak-minded humans. War over the struggle of power and magick would last between the two for lifetimes. As puppets of those in Darkness, the humans soon prevailed and only a few Dragen remained. They retreated to the skies with the exception of two. Those two, by blending in with the humans, hoped to one day unite the races as they had once been.

Moving from him, Layna stood, her expression changing from sadness to anger. Adrastos watched her in wonder as the red scaling that appeared over her arms and legs began to wind itself even further over her body. It seemed to be alive as it snaked it’s way across to her neck, breasts and stomach.
A faint red aura moved around her like ribbons on the breeze and appeared to take the form of a dragon as it danced, following the path of her markings. The sight of this held his focus steadfast. Never in his life has he witnessed something more beautiful.
Her words entered his mind as the intensity of her power changed along with her appearance.“He was gone before I could remember him. She said he wanted me, wanted us both but it was no longer safe for him. His power and strength were immense. Those stupid humans would have caught on and we would have been in danger. If he was so strong, why..why didn’t he take us with him or just destroy them all!”
Her pain tore at his heart and he moved to stand in front of her. Everything in his being wanted to take her in his arms and embrace her until the despair and anger drifted away. The flicker of rage in her eyes forced him to hesitate.
“So you thought you were the last, love..”

Reaching out, he slowly took her hand and raised it to place a kiss in her palm. She left out a small breath and the tension in the air seemed to dissipate slightly, but the sadness still hung like a thick fog around them.

“As I grew older, my mother weakened. Her eyes always seemed to hold an longing for something..someone. It grew as time passed and seemed to drain the very essence of her life force. It was as if she knew he was no longer of this world and could not stand to be without him. She left this world not many seasons after my 16th year.”

Almost roughly, he pulled her into his arms, not caring about the consequences. A storm of emotions welled inside him as he watched her break down, the strongest of those being anger, frustration and love. There was nothing he could do to bring her family back, to take the scars away that she would always carry on her heart. She may carry them forever but he would do everything in his power to soften the pain they could give her.

His whisper disappeared into the winds that began to whip around them wildly, bending the ancient trees like blades of grass. A sudden heat rose between them and Layna, breaking his embrace, took a step away from him.

Her eyes widened as she watched his skin change from the sun-kissed human hue he had to a smooth black, almost leathery appearance. Every muscle twitched and flexed under his new skin as it spread, covering him from head to toe. Her breath escaped her as she watched his changed. He had been handsome to her before but now it was so much more. He was breath-taking and powerful and exuded an magnitude she had never in her life felt before.

Hesitantly, she reached to touch his chest and then ran her fingers over his arms, moving to his back. She paused for a moment at two small ridges that formed at his shoulder blades. Layna’s eyes drank in every part of him as she turned to face him again. Without having ever seen this before, she knew in her mind what he had become. “This is Dragen, Adrastos..The Fire. This is your true self.”

He could feel the fire coursing through his veins, through to every part of him. He could see and sense things like never before. The wind and earth seemed to speak to him. Adrastos could also hear something else..the beat that seemed to connect to his own her. Putting his hand over her heart, he closed his eyes as the two beats met in perfect time.

As he moved closer to her, something dark and deadly hanging in the air caught his attention. Protectively, he pulled Layna to him. “We are not alone...”

The End

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