Onyx Dreams Ch. 09bykitazkitten©
Onyx Dreams Ch. 9: New Friends
Cyrus shivered as the chilling Romanian air flowed through the hole in Brenna's claws. For the eighth time in the last half hour he asked with chattering teeth, "Are we there yet Brenna? I think my testicles have become icesticles."
~You worry about your body too much. And yes, we are here~ she informed him as she circled once around a large house and landed in the field that was a mile away from the house. She gently opened her claws so he could get down and blew warm air on him to warm him up.
Cyrus gave her a sarcastic look. "Yeah, well, unlike dragons I don't have my own personal flame thrower!" He climbed down out of Brenna's claws and landed heavily on the hard soil, stamping his feet as Brenna blew hot air over him. Softly he almost purred. "Ahh, that's a good change for once. Some warmth rather than being frozen."
~Cyrus, please be nice to our teacher. If you are your usual self he will not let us stay~ Brenna pleaded.
Cyrus raised an eyebrow, pretending as if he didn't know what Brenda was talking about. "What? I've been nothing but nice to you." He grinned as well, adding to the image of niceness.
~You are always nice to me but to others you aren't so nice. Please, Cyrus, be kind~ she said again and then grew silent as an elderly gentleman came over the hill and looked down at them.
There was a whoosh of wings and then a giant sapphire colored dragon, which was twice as big as Brenna flew overhead, circled once and then landed on the hill next to the man.
Cyrus involuntarily stepped back a little as he saw the massive sapphire dragon swoop overhead. Before he realized what he was doing, he was half hidden behind Brenna. "He's much bigger close up."
~The males usually are~ Brenna said primly as she dropped her head into a bow as the older man and his dragon approached them.
~Bow, Cyrus~ she hissed.
Cyrus eyed them both and bowed, but never taking his eyes off the two males before them, wondering what an old man would be doing with a male dragon, usually their riders were female. ~So where's our teacher?~
~ Here. I am your teacher and so is Henry~ the sapphire dragon replied, his voice rumbling like an earthquake through Cyrus' mind. ~My rider was married to Henry but she died a year ago as did Henry's dragon partner. They tried to save a life and lost theirs.~
Cyrus froze and gave a nervous smile, wondering what could possibly have killed a dragon. Other than another dragon of course. "It's uhh...nice to meet you both. I've heard...well I would say lots, but in reality I only found out I was coming here when Brenna dragged me off yesterday."
It suddenly dawned on Cyrus that he was in fact now thousands of miles away from Kennice. It was going to take him all of ten minutes to get back now!
"Boy, you must put behind love, lust, revenge, anger, and other such emotions for they will only corrupt and damage your relationship with Brenna," Henry said firmly, his eyes and attention fully on Cyrus.
Cyrus paused a moment, processing how Henry knew what he was thinking. It slowly dawned on him. It was the same way Elizabeth knew. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't trespass in my mind without my knowledge. I have the utmost respect for you sir but I do not appreciate my private thoughts being violated."
"I have no need to violate your thoughts. Your thoughts are loud and hearable by any with passive talents."
Cyrus' face contorted a little with annoyance, which he quickly stomped down. "Alright, well looks like I'll never be able to forget that place now." Cyrus took a deep breath and slammed down several thick barriers around his mind, the way that Elizabeth had taught him. "Better?"
"Yes. You should not have to be reminded. You are old enough to know better. You are what, twenty-three? And you have been in Elizabeth and Anthony's care. I'm sure that was one of the first things they taught, mental barriers."
"Yeah well until now all the bad memories and that time in general was buried in a box marked 'Do not disturb until the end of time itself'. Unfortunately I've now had to dig up that box." Cyrus nodded with an increasingly annoyed look on his face. It was only fractionally pointed at Henry though, most of it directly coming from the memories that had been stowed under lock and key.
"You cannot blame it all on them, young rider. Once you accept your part of the blame as well as the girl's, you will be able to move forward. As long as you hold on to your anger, you will never heal," Henry advised. "Come, I'm sure you are tired. For now come partake of my small meal and conversation. Then you shall rest. Training will start tomorrow. Bogart will show Brenna where to rest."
Cyrus frowned but kept his thoughts of this 'teacher' to himself, out of respect for Brenna. However the situation was beginning to seem like his time at the monastery. Instead he simply said. "My anger is fine thank you." With that said he quietly followed Henry.
~You will learn, you will learn~ Bogart whispered in Cyrus' mind as Bogart and Brenna took to the air and flew south toward the sea caves.
Cyrus blinked and sighed. Would people never learn the meaning of "don't trespass in my mind?" Maybe a giant glowing neon sign might help.
The outside of the house was ordinary and plain looking. There were a few farm animals running about but there was an air about the place that made one tread softly and warily.
Following Henry towards the house Cyrus noted the feeling of unease and silently wondered what the danger was that gave such a feeling.
Inside was a different story. The colors were pastel and inviting. The furniture was old but well used and the smell of fresh baking bread filled the air.
As Cyrus stepped into the old looking building he took a deep breath and for the first time since he'd arrived, he felt a smile come onto his face. "Nice place you have here.
"Thank you. Libby always said a welcoming home was a safe one," Henry said with a fond smile as he remembered his deceased wife.
"Yeah well I used to think that too, up to about...ohhh, four, maybe five years ago? Then my views were drastically changed." Cyrus continued to skim his eyes around the home, taking in every detail.
"And what changed your mind about the safety of home?" Henry probed gently as he led the way into the kitchen and took out two loaves of bread.
Cyrus hesitated about telling his story but shrugged after some thought. "You already know after your first little 'exploration' into my head. Then again, the monastery never really was a home to me, more like a truck stop on the road of my life."
"Is that how you look at your events? As if everything was just a stop?" Henry asked as he began slicing the bread. "Grab the salad out of the fridge."
Cyrus shrugged as he walked towards the fridge and continued talking. "When you should already be dead then yeah, thinking of everything as just a stop comes quite naturally. If 'Father' hadn't found me then most certainly wouldn't be here today."
"How is it that you should be dead?"
Cyrus smirked and let down his barriers dragging up the memory his 'father' had sent to him.
* * *
The sky was dark, thunder rumbled across the black clouds as a heavy rain began to fall. The large droplets splattered on the icy cold cobbles of a sleazy back alley, small rivers running along the spaces between each stone.
In the quiet a woman's sobbing could be heard, each sob punctuated with a grunt of effort. The scene moved further down the street, the woman coming into view.
It was clear from the first moment she was in trouble. She was in labor and bleeding heavily already, the thick life containing substance turning the rainwater a transparent scarlet.
After a few moments of intense pushing, a high-pitched scream pierced the dark night. The light from the street lamps glinted off the newborn child, it's cries reverberating off the walls of the alley. But they fell on deaf ears.
Cyrus had been brought into the world, alone. His mother now lay limp in the gutter, her body having almost given up under the intense strain, could not handle the severe blood loss.
Cyrus lay screaming as loud as his newly formed mind could, trying to feel for the instinctive motherly form that should have been there holding him. But there was nothing.
As Cyrus' cries fell quiet, one thought entered his mind. He was going to die here, in this cold wet place with no answer to his cries for his mother.
After what seemed like eternity, footsteps were heard on the cobbles, their pace fast and hard. The footsteps skidded to a halt as they saw the scene before them. Softly the man spoke. "I am too late." As he turned to leave, he stopped dead in his tracks as Cyrus let out one last feeble cry. Quickly the man turned, his eyes bright with hope as he picked up the small child, wrapping him in the thick warm blankets he had brought. Closing his eyes he uttered a small prayer of thanks.
Looking over at the woman who had passed, the man gently closed her eyes and whispered softly. "Forgive me Isabel." With that said, he turned and left, heading for the nearest hospital.
* * *
Slowly the memory faded and Cyrus brought down the heavy, barriers around his mind once more.
Henry considered the memory he had seen. "Just because your life didn't start out the way you planned, does not mean that you should see your life through such a tainted view. Life is full of ups and downs. It is what you do with it that truly matters."
Cyrus leaned against a counter top and thought for a moment. "I've been there and tried that, I also failed quite miserably at it. I believe I've caused enough accidental damage to be in debt for the rest of my life. If you'd been in my shoes the last 23 years, you'd understand why I feel so jaded about life."
"I know more than you think. We follow all potential riders as well as the dragons that will partner with them. Brenna is one of Bogart and Lyssa's hatchlings."
Cyrus raised an eyebrow at Henry in question to his statement. "So...you've been spying on me? If you have then why haven't I ever seen any of you?"
"Because we do it telepathically and through dreams. You are less resistant to suggestions then," Henry explained as he laid a plate of pork on the table next to the cut bread.
Cyrus frowned at Henry as he listened to his words. "So...you've been brainwashing me through my nightmares?"
"No," Henry retorted. "Riders are hard to find. It takes a certain mindset and circumstance to draw you in. Dragons search for centuries to find the one rider who complements them."
Cyrus nodded a bit as he remembered Brenna telling him how long she had searched for him. "Yeah...Brenna spoke of it for almost three days nonstop. But what sort of suggestions?"
"Dragons aren't evil or, heed your dreams, follow your heart. Those are the most basic messages."
A chuckle was heard from Cyrus as he thought on this. "I think the last one doesn't really apply to me since following my heart would entail me slicing Rhys into so many pieces they wouldn't be able to tell what went where."
"Ah yes, Rhys. We will discuss him after we have eaten. Go ahead and grab that bottle of red wine and let's eat."
Cyrus shrugged and picked up the bottle of red wine, following Henry to the dining table. "What about him? Is there some sort of loophole that'll let Brenna snack on him?"
"No! And you'd better get those thoughts out of your head right now! Dragons aren't here to help us with our personal vendettas. They are here to keep the balance of good and evil in check."
Cyrus sighed a little as Henry lectured him. "Yes I know they aren't but...it's not for me, it's for Kennice. He treats her like she's nothing, like she's the scum of the planet."
"Kennice must lead her own life just as you must live yours. You have to trust Brenna, adhere to the draconic teachings and you will find fulfillment in your life," Henry admonished before starting in on his plate of food.
Cyrus' narrowed his eyes a little and spoke with a slight edge to his voice. "I DO let her lead her own life and I'm TRYING to live my own but everyone is telling me not to do the things I want to do. As for fulfillment...there's only one way I can get that and it's not on the horizon any time soon."
"Murdering someone is not the answer. You think it will fill you and make you feel better but it will not. Believe me, I know," Henry said sadly.
Cyrus raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't meaning murdering Rhys as fulfilling me, I was talking about Kennice..." Cyrus let out a little sigh of desire. "She'd be so much better if she was with someone else."
"And you believe that person is you?"
Cyrus shrugged a little at Henry's question. "I think so, although lately...she's been keeping things from me, like something is stopping her from telling me."
"I cannot help you there. To be a dragon rider requires commitment to the teachings and to your dragon."
Cyrus nodded and fingered the tabletop. "Yeah. I've been focusing on what Brenna's been teaching me, as you no doubt already know."
"Brenna has told Bogart much for she has a close bond with her father. But she is devoted to you and you must be devoted to her. This Kennice is not a rider and thus jealousy may brew if you remain bonded to Brenna." Henry pushed his now empty plate away.
Cyrus raised an eyebrow and smirked at Henry at the thought of Brenna getting jealous. "Brenna? Jealous? Yeah right, she's only got eyes for this Hayden guy she keeps going on about. Should hear her when she mentions his name, it's all dreamy and stuff. If you meant Kennice getting jealous...well she ain't gotten jealous yet about Brenna."
"That's because she is not confronted with the reality, nor is Kennice focused on you. She has her own set of problems to worry about. As for Hayden, it's alright that Brenna talk about him. He is her mate."
Cyrus leaned back in the chair and looked at Henry, cocking his head to the side, pondering something. "Why on earth would Brenna become jealous of Kennice if Hayden is her mate?"
"Because you are her rider. Dragons and their mates is something different all together. They mate with each other, sometimes produce offspring and will defend each other. But they don't feel love the same way we do for the simple fact that they live longer than we do. Occasionally if a rider of a dragon dies, that dragon leaves and goes back to their plane of existence. Some, like Bogart, choose to stay. There have been rare instance where some riderless dragons rebond to a new rider but those are few and far between."
Cyrus nodded a slight fraction as he listened to Henry's words and thought about the future for a brief moment. "Yeah but if they desire a rider so much in the first place, why return to their plane of existence? It doesn't make much sense for a dragon to have one rider then leave here if it's so coveted to have a rider."
"It is not a coveted position at all, my dear boy. Think of it as a rite of passage and the next step on their evolution. They come to learn such things as emotions and history from humans and we learn about realms we didn't know existed."
Cyrus' frown deepened as he processed this new information. "So if dragon's are supposed to be keepers of knowledge...why don't they just tell each other what they know and use their telepathic abilities to learn new things? As for emotions...well we both know how troublesome they can be."
"The knowledge is passed back to their realm as they make trips to their lands. This they do at the summer and fall equinoxes with the aid of the druids. And imagine having no emotions at all. True justice served would be blind but would it always be right? Or compassion? If they had no emotions the dragons would wipe us out based on our horrendous misuse of our realm. Do you understand what I'm getting at?" Henry questioned as he began clearing the table and running water to do the dishes.
Cyrus nodded after a few minutes of processing. "Yes I do but...I still can't see WHY dragons would be interested in our realm at all, especially at this period in time when belief in them is known only as legend. Especially with technology today. Few dragons would be able to withstand the impact of weapons such as missiles.
"True but it is because of the disbelief that they are protected. They are undetectable by our technology."
Cyrus nodded in understanding. "Ahh, right ok. But that still doesn't tell me why dragons would be interested in our realm?"
"You will have to ask Brenna some time and if you're really nice to her, she might just fly you there," Henry said and winked before washing the last dish.
Cyrus blinked at the prospect of flying to the place that apparently interested dragons. "That would be...unique I guess."
Henry only chuckled. "Come boy, I'll show you to your room."
Cyrus stood up carefully and slid his chair back in before following Henry. "Thanks, how long am I going to be here exactly?"
"As long as it takes," Henry replied cryptically as he showed Cyrus the upstairs bedroom that was to be his.
Cyrus raised an eyebrow and groaned inwardly. ~I have a horrible feeling this is going to be like the monastery.~