|Guardian: Chapter Four
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|Author:||Sihaya [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:44 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Guardian: Chapter Four|
Chapter Four: Protector
“The Library of Congress? Really?”
“Biggest in the world when it comes to shelve space,” Titus said. “Might as well do it here. The legend does say you only see as many books in the Library as there are in the room from which you enter it.”
“So you're going to turn that key in some random door in there?”
“The Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room,” Titus grinned.
“Rose got us an in with the division librarian, we're good!”
“He's a bit too cocky about this for my liking,” Cleatus muttered to Noah, who swallowed his next sarcastic remark and instead whispered back: “I just hope it doesn't get all of us shot right on the Library's doorstep.”
Teddy and the Twins were waiting for them on the steps and they went inside exchanging bullet notes and condolences. Delia and Rose checked in and explained that they had an appointment with the special collections librarian. They were all checked for pens and pocketknives, which Cleatus found hilarious considering they were all carrying guns in undetectable materials.
“If you don't stop it, they're going to get suspicious,” Noah smiled.
“We've got a Dragonkiller to talk us out of whatever we need talking out of,” Cleatus said, thumping him on the shoulder. Noah was not prepared for how heart-wrenching that remark was.
With Titus, Ameer and Rose at the head the nine hunters made their way up and found the reading room empty, as they'd been promised. Teddy locked the door behind them. The only other entrance was to the librarian's office, and that was empty too. A nice cheque and Rose's assurance that nothing would be harmed or removed had seen to that.
“All right, this is it,” Rose said. “Seems so unreal.”
“I'm not sure I believe it, either,” Delia said.
“I guess we'll see if the legend is true, or if we need to start a new search,” Titus said. “Noah, key.”
Noah reached inside his shirt, where he wore the key on a chain around his neck. He'd been surprisingly reluctant to hand it over, but so far no one had pushed him about it. He lifted the chain over his neck and handed the key to Titus, who turned to the heavy oaken door, removed the actual key, and inserted the Dragon's key. He turned it. Nothing happened.
“I'd like my key back, if you don't mind,” a rumbling voice said behind them.
They all turned on the spot, weapons drawn and cocked. Edgar stood on the other side of the room, hair the colours of a clouded sky, eyes the colour of blood, hands like claws, mouth full of fangs. As much of a Dragon as he could look without actually taking his true shape.
“You were dead!” Noah stammered.
“How the hell is that possible? What the Edgar is going on?” Cleatus and Titus were yelling.
“I killed you!” Noah shouted.
“Venus is dead because of you!” Delia shrieked.
“Shut up!” Edgar roared. His voice echoed off the walls and made the bookshelves tremble. The humans took a few steps back. “I should kill you all like I killed so many hunters before you for what you lot are doing to my people, what you want to do with our Library!”
Teddy pulled Kouros behind him and drew Rufus back by his shirt collar. Cleatus stepped in front of Rose, who wrapped Delia in her arms. Ameer and Titus glanced at each other and came forward again. Noah fought the urge to run forward and kiss Edgar senseless.
“I killed you,” he whispered again, remembering the feel of Edgar's flesh under his hands while he chocked him, broke his neck, slit his throat. The biggest mistake of his entire life that he could never ever take back and he hadn't fully realised it until right now, now that Edgar and his crazy healing powers were right in front of his nose again.
“I bet we can find a way to kill you so that you stay dead,” Titus growled.
“We have a lot of resources,” Ameer added. “Especially if it turns out you killed any of our hunters.”
“Like Mordechai?” Edgar sneered. “He was despicably easy.”
“Oh God,” Rose gasped.
“I'm not letting him hurt you,” Cleatus swore.
“The only ones here who should be afraid, Cleatus, are you, and Noah, and the guys who pay you. I don't kill anyone who's not in it for the money. But you better not give me a reason to start. My key. Now,” Edgar said, reverting to the shape they all knew so well.
“Never,” Titus said, and Ameer put three bullets in Edgar's chest.
“Noooo!” Noah roared, tossed his gun and tackled Ameer to the ground. Titus turned on his heel to get a clear shot, and Edgar plucked at his ruined shirt and sighed.
“Humans,” he said, rolling his eyes, and stopped the flow of time.
He walked up to Titus, snatched the key from his hand and snapped his neck. “Sorry, Delia,” he muttered. “He's too dangerous to be kept alive.”
He hung the chain around his own neck and turn to find Noah launching himself at him, falling to his knees and clinging to him for dear life.
“You're alive,” he cried, “I can't believe you're alive. Thank all the gods, you're alive.”
Edgar knelt down to meet him eye to eye and cradled Noah's face between his hands. “Why aren't you affected?” he demanded. “That just doesn't happen!”
“I don't care,” Noah said, and kissed him desperately. “I love you, I love you, I'm so sorry, Edgar, Edgar, I missed you so much...”
They fell to the floor, kissing voraciously.
“You still love me,” Edgar whispered reverently between kisses. “You love me, and you're not affected by my magic.”
Noah started sucking his throat, undoing his shirt, grinding their hips together and Edgar moaned, and gasped, and tried to think.
“It's you. Edgar, it's you! Over 300 years, you Kouros,” he groaned.
“I'm what?” Noah asked, trying to worm his way into Edgar's trousers.
“The key is always protected by two people. A Dragon Guardian, and its Protector, a human mean to... oh, don't stop!.. be with them for as long as the Dragon lives and to protect him. They gain powers of their own through the years, and they're drawn to the Dragon and the Dragon to them. Like we were. Edgar, Noah, you're mine. You're mine for another 652 years and I can't do it without you anymore...”
“You won't have to. It's a miracle that I still have you and you are not getting away from me ever again. Edgar, I can't take this,” Noah moaned, and slipped his fingers inside of Edgar.
“Right here?” the Guardian gasped. “With everyone around?”
“It's not like they can see us anyway, right? And I can't wait, Edgar. Five minutes ago the love of my life was still dead and I'd killed him.”
His Protector took him right there on the floor of the Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room and Edgar thought that was definitely something they could repeat in a lot of libraries around the world – though probably starting with the Library they were actually guarding.
“What about the others?” Noah asked when they were lying side by side, catching their breath.
“Ameer needs to die. We may have to go after Rocko. I guess we can let Cleatus live for now. If we threaten Rose and Delia, put a note or a bullet around their neck, we can get him to back off for life. The Twins were only ever in it for the thrill, and Teddy loves Kouros too much to risk anything now. And I don't really want to kill them,” Edgar confessed.
“This is going to be weird for me for a while,” Noah said, getting up to poke Cleatus' cheeks.
“Abel always said he got used to it pretty quickly once he realised all the advantages,” Edgar said. “Don't look now.”
Noah looked at his fellow hunters resolutely but still flinched when Edgar returned the three bullets Ameer had put into his chest – with interest.
“Okay, let's get this over with.” Edgar walked up and took Rose and Delia's hand and placed a bullet in each lifted palm. “If he doesn't get this hint, he's hopeless. No need to do anything to the Twins, Teddy'll get the message anyway.”
“Are you going to stick that key back where I found it?” Noah asked, suddenly grossed out.
“Yes,” Edgar replied. “Perfect hiding place.”
“Hey!” Noah suddenly yelled. “You were alone with Venus when she died! Did you tell her? You must have! You had a real soft spot for that girl.”
“I did,” Edgar smiled. “She died in my arms, in the Library.”
“That's a relief,” Noah confessed. “It killed me that she never knew.”
“I'm the good guy here,” Edgar said, raising an eyebrow. “Don't you forget it.”
“Never again,” Noah swore, drawing Edgar in for one more kiss. “Ready to blow this joint?”
“Wait...” Noah gasped. “You're a Dragon! Can you do the whole... fire-breathing thing? You could really blow this joint! How about not?!”
Edgar roared with laughter and hugged Noah to him. “I could. Don't worry. It's a library! I'm not going to do anything to a library, honestly! But yes, let's get out of here. There are so many things I want to tell you, and show you, and 600 years are not going to be enough.”
“I know the feeling,” Noah said with a soft smile. “Though I'm not sure I can fathom 600 years.”
“I can help with that. Close your eyes, lover,” Edgar smiled. Noah did, and he willed and entrance to the Library.
“Look to your right,” the Guardian whispered in his Protector's ear.
Noah looked, and his eyes grew wide with wonder.
“Go on, it's yours now, too,” Edgar said.
Noah actually ran inside.
“300 years, Ayubu. He was worth the wait,” Edgar muttered with a smile, and went in after him, closed the door, and restored the flow of time.
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