Authors: Jodie B Cooper
Tags: #dragons, #adventure, #short story, #love story, #destiny
Guardian’s Beloved Mate
Song of the Sídhí #4
By Jodie B. Cooper
Copyright 2012 by Jodie B. Cooper
License Notes: See last page
I Thank God
Without God’s grace, this book would not be possible.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
PHILIPPIANS 4:13 (KJV)
Guardian’s Beloved Mate: 11,000 words
Glossary: 1,800 words
Character & Valley List: 400 words
Vampire’s Forbidden Territory Snippet: 433 words
Note: Contains violence, minor sexual innuendo, and mild language.
There is also reference (no detail) to a rape twenty years earlier.
Thank you for choosing to read
Guardian’s Beloved Mate: Song of the Sídhí #4
This is a complete short story (paranormal romance), but it actually takes place ‘during’ the last chapter of
Vampire’s Forbidden Territory
After I wrote Leah’s story (
A Dragon’s Dream of Love
), several reviews/blogs posted comments that mentioned the lack closure for Leah’s mom. In other words, they wanted to know what happened to Lizzie.
For every person that asked about Lizzie -- Thank you!
I hope you enjoy her story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
- snippets for all books
Sídhí World News Blog:
- micro (or short) stories published as news clips.
The whip cracked, breaking the silence in the small cell. The ten-foot rock enclosure smelled of human excrement and blood, both old and new. The blood slickened tips hit Lizzie, slashing down the back of her legs, biting into her tender flesh.
The harsh strike of the whip jerked a hoarse cry of pain from her abused body.
She shuddered, knowing the torture session wouldn’t last much longer. Her jailors maintained a predicable schedule. They started on her shoulders, until her once golden skin was nothing more than a slab of ground meat. Moving downward, they’d take the same diligent care with her lower back, butt, and finally her legs. By the time they reached the tender skin on the back of her thighs, her shrill screams always turned guttural and rasping.
At that point, her screams were no longer entertaining.
Her weekly torture sessions rarely changed, not for nearly twenty years. In the beginning, they had abused her in other ways, but whipping was their current choice of torment, and had been for fifteen years. She would take a whipping any day of the week over the other unmentionable things they had done to her body.
Her soft gray eyes glinted with steely determination, swearing that one day she would be free. And when she gained her freedom, she would shift into her lethal dragon form and rain deadly dragonfire on every living creature that had touched her, whether by hand or whip. Lord PhñDick of the Dhark Empire and the traitorous guardian who delivered her to PhñDick would be the first casualties.
The whip hit her again. She felt herself go past pain as her body merged with unceasing agony.
She closed her mind to her surroundings, searching for an escape, a place away from the agony. She dredged up a memory, a memory so precious it had not dimmed in all the years of her captivity.
She was warm, safe from harm. Curled on her side, her beloved partner for over a thousand years wrapped his muscled frame around her smaller one. His arms tightened around her, cuddling her as if she was the most exquisite piece of treasure. Cinnamon scented breath brushed her cheek as he feathered kisses across her face.
“Lizzie, my love, you hold my heart. Not even if my synth crystal sings for another will I cease loving you. I am yours until my dying breath.” His words, said on her last day of freedom, kept her sane, gave her hope when despair threatened to overwhelm her.
The nightly dreams began shortly after her capture - dreams of him curled around her and protecting her - they gave her a reason to survive when all she wanted to do was shrivel up and die.
Guardian Alexander of the DeLeigh Dragon Clan drifted on a warm current. Hard won territory spread beneath him, bursting with the scents of growing things. Spring was finally giving way to summer, and the mountain range, passing below him, bloomed with the greens and blues of mixed Sídhí-Earth vegetation.
Another season come and gone, but he still hadn’t found his Lizzie. His heart cringed at the thought. His mind brimmed with memories of a laughing young woman, flying at his side. Whether Lizzie was in dragon form or human she had been the light of his life, his very reason for breathing. Her disappearance had left him shattered, empty of all emotion.
Angling his wings to the north, he glided toward his sprawling home. An occasional guard paced around the upper battlement. The weatherworn stone of the medieval castle absorbed the rays of the noon sun as efficiently as his midnight colored scales.
The small village, near the base of his castle, bustled with energy. In recent years, it had doubled in size, both increasing his net worth and tripling his headaches. He no longer found pleasure in the daily task of running such a profitable estate. Without Lizzie to share his achievements with, the chore of increasing his hoard of jewels and treasure no longer mattered, and for a dragon, that was nearly sacrilege.
His calm outer appearance did not mirror his internal frustration. He missed Lizzie; he ached for her. If it hadn’t been for his place within the close-knit guardians, he would’ve gone insane years before. He was one of the key guardians in an elite team created to find and destroy the Khr'Vurr. The hunt kept him occupied, some might say obsessed. They would be right. Instinctively he knew the Khr'Vurr was behind Lizzie’s kidnapping.
For thousands of years, the Sídhí races – dragon, vampire, elf, fairy and others – had fought each other, but never had the dragons fought an enemy from within, not until the Khr'Vurr appeared in the picture.
For several hundred years, the terrorist organization had slowly gained support, infiltrating every government agency, including the guardians.
At first, he thought the Khr'Vurr was a group of rowdy youngsters, causing trouble on a small scale, committing the occasional kidnapping and demanding ransom. He changed his mind when they graduated to torture and eventually progressed to publicly displaying mutilated bodies. Within the last thirty years, they grew to favor car bombs. Their latest move was an attack on a group of hikers, the teenage guests of the Dragon Council.
He snorted, expelling a gust of smoke through his nostrils, trying to rid himself of the bitter taste of being caught off guard. Every time he thought he had a grasp on the enemy they did something out of the ordinary, not that the latest attack had been too surprising.
He had been expecting an attack during the Peace Camp, perhaps a kidnapping and ransom. That would not have surprised him. Children of royalty and the politically elite, the oldest teenage children born to the most powerful of Sídhí in the known world filled the camp.
Kidnapping one of those teens would have made sense.
Setting a string of bombs that destroyed half-a-mountain, while attempting to kill an entire cabin full of teens, didn’t ring true. They were certainly capable of mass slaughter, but the deaths would not have furthered the Khr'Vurr.
He wasn’t naïve. He knew the attack on the teenagers was a backhanded response to the Peace Camp. Somehow, the Khr'Vurr had realized that ‘creating peace among the Sídhí races’ was not the true reason for the camp.
He hated using the teens as bait, but when Alex heard the Dragon Council had created the Peace Camp – in hopes of catching key members of the Khr'Vurr – he heartily approved. The camp had been the perfect cover story.
He thought it was perfect until he realized the terrorist group had been prepared for the Peace Camp. They had known about the trap before it was set, much less sprung. The question was how. Security had been so tight that even he hadn’t known the true reason behind the camp until after teenagers started arriving.
Not for the first time, he wondered how the so-called Freedom Fighters were gaining so much information; they always managed to get their hands on critical pieces of info that only a handful of guardians and the Dragon Council knew about.
He ground his teeth together in frustration. There had to be something he was missing.
If the other valleys, second dimensional pockets scattered across the face of the Earth, found out their kids were being used as bait to catch some of the worst Sídhí scum they’d attack Dragon Valley in full force.
He couldn’t blame them. The council coerced each valley into participating in the Peace Camp. The Dragon Council’s ‘invitation’ stated: Send your eldest teenage children to participate in the peace camp or we will shut down your valley’s portals.
Shutting down a valley’s portals, – their only way to reach Earth – was a very serious threat. As far as he knew, every Sídhí valley was dependent on Earth for one type of necessity or another.
Alex sighed. What was done was done; the past was set in stone and couldn’t be changed, but he was concerned. The council realized the Freedom Fighters were dangerous, but he didn’t think they comprehended to what extent. He had agreed with the council’s decision to trap key members of the Khr'Vurr as they approached teenage campers in hopes of recruiting their politically powerful parents, but with a murder on the first day of camp, the Peace Camp had gone downhill from there.
At least fighting the Khr'Vurr kept his mind occupied. Trying to keep the teenage campers alive also helped. So why was it he spent most of his time thinking about his lost mate? It had been twenty years, but it was still as raw as the first moment he realized his beloved Lizzie was missing.
His chest constantly ached in a way he never dreamed possible, not until the day she disappeared. He yearned for her laughter, for one more smile, a single touch of her hand.
His jet-sized body shuddered. Just last night, he had yet another hazy mate dream, a type of dream spurred by the synth crystal in his blood. A normal mate dream pulled two un-bonded mates together, giving them a chance to speak. The mate dreams, he had with Lizzie, brought hope and despair. She never moved; curled on her side and obviously chained, the brief glimpse of her brought him hope that she still lived and despair that he couldn’t help her.
Lizzie lay curled on her side. The silver chains limited her movement to bare inches. The heavy metal also restricted her Sídhí abilities. She was dragon, a DeLeigh dragon. A clan of dragons not bound by blood, but by the gift of seeing other people’s auras.
Had the chains been iron or even steel, she could have freed herself. The silver stopped nearly all of her Sídhí abilities, including faster healing. Still, she healed faster than a mere mundane human did. The whipping three days before would have killed her otherwise.
She felt herself fall into a light dose, drifting deeper into sleep. She thanked God for the respite. Her dreams of Alex kept her sane. The few nights he didn’t appear, she grieved.
She knew he would appear tonight, she could hear him approaching. His light footsteps whispered across the ground. He knelt behind her and curled his big body around hers.
Shivering, she sighed with pleasure. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and tell him so many things, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t move. She had tried, repeatedly, but her body remained frozen in the same position.
“Lizzie, Mia Cara.” Love burned through his voice as he softly spoke in the old tongue, words that translated into My Beloved. “I miss you so very much. I am empty without you, but I received the gift you sent me. Your beautiful daughter, Leah arrived at the Peace Camp. She is with me and safe.”
Alex stood by the tower window, a slight breeze ruffled the sheer curtains. His gaze softened, watching the daughter of his lost mate. The teen had shown up the first week of camp. Her delighted laughter danced through the air, so bright and pure he could nearly touch the sound.
The ice surrounding his heart, which had become an unbreakable cage after Lizzie disappeared, formed a hairline crack. He visibly shuddered. The tiny fissure wasn’t large, just enough to allow a glimmer of love to seep into him.
The emotion threaded through his defenses. Growing and building, love for the teen soon swamped him. How in the world could he love the daughter of his enemy – the man who had kidnapped his Lizzie – as if she were his own child? He had to be insane.
He shook his head in disbelief.
Deep down, he completely understood how he managed to love her, the daughter of his hated enemy. The reason was blazingly apparent. The girl’s face was a mirror image of his beloved Lizzie, the woman of his dreams, the mate who had disappeared without a trace.