I found the address that Ricky sent me too. It was just a residential house, it didn’t look fancy or have expensive taste, but sometimes Dragons didn’t actually have money. They don’t hoard things like gold and silver or gems of rare kinds. This one apparently hoards artwork, but you’d never know it from the house.
Dragons were like other theifs. They tend to keep what they steal. It makes them easy enough to track down once you know who they are. Protocol says they should die. There is nothing that can keep a dragon in chains in the mundane world, and all the prison cells in the AU building are few and far between. The rune stones that once kept evil at bay in their cells have either gone missing or were broken over the centuries. So the Venatori had to change tactics – ending threats instead of rehabilitation.
We loved our rune stones. Every door in the Venatori parts of the building that were not for public consumption had rune stones on them. Each on attuned to a person, and each person with control over the entrance. In the dorms rooms were open, no locks applied to anyone. Anyone could walk in on anyone in any one room.
Adult doors though they were locked and only allowed entrance by those that the keeper of the stone allowed. It was a magic of sorts. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand how the doors worked either with the rune magic. It wasn’t something we could recreate. They just were. It was magic long since forgotten.
But once again my train of thought leads me walk right past the house but that’s alright I went down the alley around the corner and jumped the chain link fence in the back. No one could see me but the back door had a better chance of being unlocked than the front door. Less breaking and entering this way.
And my gamble had paid off as the door creeked open and I stepped inside the house. It smelled slightly of burnt wood and had an almost sweet smell to it.
I heard a voice in the other room shout out. “I knew you’d come for me eventually Feras. Show yourself.”
I let the veil drop and I knew I kinda just popped into view for the Dragon. He was around the corner but he stepped out into the doorway. “You’re just a kid.”
I smiled at him. “I am new but not a kid anymore.”
“The beard doesn’t make you any older.” He said.
I narrowed my eyes at him and reached up and ran my fingers over the three days growth I kept. I didn’t want a full grown beard but I didn’t want to look a child either with the baby smooth face. It wasn’t helpful doing what I do. I’d shaved once for Mich, she said she wanted to see me without the scruff. So I did, I looked strange, it felt strange. And I was mistaken as her kid brother one too many times until it grew back out so that I liked it. So I knew he was just doing it to throw me off guard. And maybe distract me a little.
There was a glow in his chest and he opened his mouth wide. Fire, hot, liquid motel fire spewed out of his human mouth, his human throat and started spraying me. I jumped back threw up a wall of air and wrapped myself in a vacuum, surrounded with earth and water. I could have killed myself as I tried to quench the fire that was traveling up my leg and over my jeans, melting into my skin. It was hot. So hot. The pain was there but it felt otherworldly, like it wasn’t mean. I know I heard myself scream.
My mind was so focused on the fire that I’d forgotten about my dragon who thought he was still spewing fire at me the wall of air blocking but it was getting hot. He was laughing which sounded more like a grunt as his mouth spewed out the fire still.
I wove patterns in my pain, in the haze of the remaining light left in me and I sent it at the dragon. That little bit of energy sapped me of all my remaining strength as I collapsed into darkness.