The Drakthos

By Kammy Gaffney




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Rhaegal was never sure of what the dreams would bring. Sometimes he was walking hand in hand with his long-lost mate, other times, he dreamt things he didn't understand. Sometimes he dreamt of his long ago youth. Sometimes he dreamt of horrors beyond imagining. At this moment, he was reliving Adavidarian's birth.

Alizarin was gagging, choking on her own blood, her sky-blue eyes wide with pain, her head pillowed on hair like flame. Yet even then, her thoughts were not of herself, but the life within her. Save him... save our son... she whispered, as Rhaegal held her, crouched on the cold hard stone floor, in the middle of the foyer of their manse. .... I am lost, Rhaegal, save our child, and get out of here... run, escape. Rhaegal could only stare at her, uncomprehending.

No... you can't... you can't leave me. Take me with you...

Our sons need you... stay, for now... you will join me, soon enough... And those lovely eyes closed for the last time, and her last breath slipped from her parted, bloody lips. Rhaegal closed his own eyes, and was startled by a loud, hideous cry. The sound rose louder, higher, rending his ears, and he couldn't breathe, the sound was terrible, and never-ending, and then when he thought he couldn't bear it a moment longer, the breath was spent from his lungs, and the cry faded away and died. Save our son.

Rhaegal stared at his mate's swollen belly, and he closed his hand over the pendant around his neck, and tore it away. It grew large in his hands, larger, longer, and deadly sharp. Rhaegal slashed through her garments to get to her body. Then, grimly, he clenched his jaw, and laid open her flesh as well. The scent of her blood filled his nostrils, as he peeled back her muscles, pushed aside her organs, delved deeper into the slippery dark organic mess that used to be his beloved.

* * * * *

Mark was less than a few dozen yards away from the pond, before he spotted a flash of silver. He glided down to land amongst the pines, grimacing as the twisted, clutching branches tore at his skin and clothing. Gods-damned flesh-eating pines. I hate this place. If it's not the trees, it's the sand getting everywhere.

"Hello, Markkastanen."

Mark gave the elf a curt nod. "Díamand."

"Come here, sit with me." The Sidhe was sitting under a roof of pine boughs, on a circle of clean white sand.

The boy glared at him suspiciously. "Why?"

"Because I asked you to. Do you trust no one?"

"Only myself."

"Not even your father?"

"He is too busy mourning Mother. He's going mad, I think. He dreams. He might get better if he could rest, and feed, and live someplace nice, like our old home."

"He might, after this is done."

"Yes." The boy didn't say anything after that.

"Do not waste any regrets on that monster. He would've turned on you when you are grown."

"How do you know?"

"One of our Elders saw it in a vision. He told us that the boy grows up and kills you, and your mate, and all that he loves, before he is broken."

A cynical smile twisted the young Drakthos' face. "Father doesn't believe in visions, and gods, and all of that nonsense. Neither do I."

"But your father dreams, doesn't he?"

"It is just the madness of losing Mother. He doesn't wish to dream. And he himself says they are not visions... just wishful thinking, his worst fears given substance, or his mind analyzing all the little bits of things he's seen and heard."

"Oh, to be so wise, at such a tender age! Tell me Markkastanen, how old are you? Six hundred? Seven? Several thousand? You wear the years well!"

"Don't mock me, Díamand. I am only fifteen. But that doesn't mean that I'm a fool that believes everything I hear."

"Fifteen... such a sweet age... so much passion for life is wasted on the young. They have not lived long enough to put it to good use." Díamand slowly reached out and brushed his fingertips along Mark's cheek. The boy blushed, suddenly, but his gaze held steady.

"Come in to my cozy little abode, Markkastanen. We can sit here and wait for your brother to arrive. He is coming, isn't he?"

"He'll be here."


Mark gave the elf one more suspicious glare, then finally, he pulled his wings tightly against his back, and crawled into the circle of white sand, under the evergreens... and suddenly, he wasn't in the pine woods anymore. He was in an impossibly huge and elegant room, so beautiful that it took his breath away. There was something in the architecture that reminded him of home, and yet, home might as well be the little abandoned ranch house, compared to this extravagance.

"Do you like it?" asked Díamand.

"Yes..." The boy's hand brushed the surface of a velvet flocked arm chair. "Where are we?"

"In my bedchamber," Díamand replied, quietly. "Between worlds."

"Bedchamber? Then you must live in a palace... for even in my father's manor... five of those rooms could fit in your bedchamber, and none so rich as this," Markkastanen said softly, his eyes wide with awe. "It's beautiful."

"I was thinking much the same thing about you, Markkastanen," the Sidhe said. Mark turned sharply, and met the elf's violet eyes. Díamand cupped the boy's face in his hands, and gently brushed his lips against the vampire's, for just a moment. Then he drew back, and looked to see his reaction, and was startled to see amusement written there. "What is so funny?" he demanded.

"I dreamed of you last night, when I saw you sitting across from me... I never imagined that dream would come true. Do you think it was a vision, Díamand?" the young vampire teased. He pressed himself roughly against to the tall, pale elf, and raised his face for another kiss. Díamand had to smile at the boy's eagerness. He slid his arms around Mark's waist, below his wings, and gave him a series of soft, playful kisses that brought him around to the vampire's ear. Mark's hands tightened against the elf's back, as Díamand gently nipped his earlobe.

"Perhaps... if that were the case, I would have to keep you with me, take you back to court with me... so I may study these Œvisions' of yours more thoroughly, and see if they hold any truth to them. Why don't you show me everything we did, in your Œvision'?" the elf murmured softly. He brought his face up, lightly kissed Mark's forehead, his eyelids, the tip of his nose, the flushed cheeks.

"Very well..." Mark slid one hand to the back of Díamand's head, and pulling him down a bit, pressed his lips against the Sidhe's, and gave him a long, deep kiss. Díamand moaned softly, when they parted.

"Mother of Wisdom! I took you for a virgin, boy! Was I mistaken?"

"You were not mistaken, Díamand... but only in body, not in spirit. I was hoping that you could take care of the body part right now. Does that suit you, elf?" Markkastanen's lips curled in a slow, sensual, almost mocking, smile.

As it turned out, that suited Díamand right down to the bottom of his silver-toed boots.


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The Drakthos © 2001 by KL Gaffney

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