I must have slept because I woke with a start. Not from a nightmare, something outside my ring of fire was throwing something at the wall of air. All the boys were asleep. Matt was curled around Faelen and protecting the wolf from whatever dreams he was having.
I stood up and steped between the boys and to the edge of the barrier and tried to see past the flame. A small voice hissed at me, “Put it out and let me in.”
I didn’t do as he asked. I recognized the lion’s voice but my boys were safe right where they were, so I opened a barrier just lare enough for me to step through and I was between the fire and the air. It was hot, almost too hot and almost brought back the pains of the fire breathing dragon that had tried to melt me.
I stepped through the ring of fire without it phasing me. The control of fire was my base instinct and when my night vision cleared past the fire I saw Darwynn huddled in a bush licking his wounds. Literally.
I cocked my head to the side and he looked up at me. “Best way to heal even in human form.”
I nodded sleepily. I wrapped him in a blanket of elements much like Matt had done with Faelen. He shivered, “What the fuck was that?”
“Just let your body do what it does. Were you followed?”
Darwynn shuddered a little as his wounds healed even quicker than usual. “What the fuck is that?”
“Just your body healing. It always feels like that just slower.” I said flatly as I knelt down in front of him. “Were y ou followed?”
He shook his head. “No why don’t you let me in? I could use a nap.”
“I have one your boys in there. Your sacraficial lamb.”
Darwynn frowned. “You weren’t supposed to save him. They took matters into their own hands.”
“Who is they, Darwynn? And you aren’t getting close to those boys until you tell me why you sacrafice children so you can kill more children.”
Darwynn sighed and sat down in the brush. He was naked and it was just now that I saw that. He wasn’t concerned with it. Most therians I’d met liked to be naked. Even Sage felt comfortable walking around his house in nothing but his birthday suit. But with a three-year-old in the house he’d started putting on boxers for modesty sake. Not that Drake cared, dragons were shifters too and liked the feel of the air on their naked skin.
“At first, it was an accident. Your boys killed our boys. The coallition fought back. Slaughtered the boys and their teachers.”
“The next year, the coallition wanted a game of sport so they killed another of your boys, to make them come after us.”
“Every year after that they chose a person to get caught by you and killed for sport. The violence f your youth is just as bad as ours. And it became tradition.”
I asked, “It’s called Darwynn’s Law.”
Darwynn shook his head. “No, it’s not. Darwynn’s Law preculeds it from happening more than once a year. I can’t stop it Nox. I’ve tried. But I can limit it. Only a handful need to die. It’s the least of your worries. We are a band who stays here, and we only kill you. They keep sending groups to this camp for sport. Figuring one group will evnetually kill us all. Or so I assume. Otherwise why sacrafice your kids to us.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. But I intend to find out when I get home.”
“They won’t let you leave alive.”
I laughed. “Watch me.”
“Nox, they out number you 30 to one.”
I grinned, “How many of them can kill me while they burn? I’m not like other Venatori, Darwynn. I’m not afraid of my power. I will protect these boys.”
I added. “If you continue to help me then I will let you inside to sleep, but if you touch Faelen even to pick his nose, I’ll fry you where you stand.”
Darwynn nodded, “I’m on your side on this.”
I made an opening and Darwynn walked inside. I moved my bag to the edge of our camp and let him sleep. I paced back and forth. I was getting nervous. Where was Dylan and Michaela. I had a funny feeling they had gone after the therian camp together and had done something stupid.