One dragon going insane, six loved ones fighting for a future.
One dragon going insane, six loved ones fighting for a future.
When Litha finally saw her parents again, they brought with them information about the prophecy that had been mis-interpreted for nearly two decades, changing everything Litha, Phoenix and the princes thought they knew about their fate.
Rune and Bane are getting worse and worse, the venom from the fae blades shutting their bodies down as they’re waiting for an antidote to stop and hopefully reverse the damage.
Everyone’s emotions are running high, the trauma and stress from the last days pushing them to their limits. Will the antidote be on time? Will their love and friendship survive even more strain?
This is the fifth novella in the Lughnasadh Elite Academy serial, a reverse harem #WhyChoose story. This novella may include any of these elements: steamy scenes, ‘I need tissues NOW’ moments, cries of ‘why, oh, why’ and cliffhangers that make you bite your nails (and curse the author).
This story includes MF, MM and also FF scenes, but everyone is primarily focused on Litha and there are no sexy scenes between the guys and the other girl.
Read the first chapter below!
Chapter 1 – Litha
Of course, whatever we’d been told about the prophecy had never been the real story. Because when is it ever?
Without the highest priestess to back up what she’d seen, on account of her death, the members of the high coven interpreting it could only go by what they were told she’d seen, not what she could have explained herself. So when they’d heard about a crowned Wheel of the Year, they’d interpreted that as one of the princes born on a Sabbat becoming king, by my choice. Because they couldn’t imagine a witch becoming queen and bringing the races together. For all this time, everyone had worked under the assumption that there would be one king, chosen by me, instead of me being the one bringing everyone together, specifically by not choosing one prince over the other.
I guess that we now also know why the prophecy documents were stolen, at least a likely part of the reason. If more people were suspecting that the prophecy hadn’t been honestly interpreted or that there had been more to the prophecy than proclaimed, then I guess that would give them a reason to want to study the documents themselves.
I look around the small room, my mum and dad at my side, guardian/grandma next to Phoenix, the boys in front of us and Bane’s mum to the side, and my heart swells. So many things have happened in the last week, so many fun and loving and also scary things, but meeting so many lovely new people and having them in my life has been the best of all.
The room, which had looked decently sized when it was just Phoenix, me and the princes, is starting to feel small with so many people around and I feel like I need space, more space than we have here, space to breathe.
Rune closes his eyes and lets out a groan, his face going very pale for a moment. This gets everyone moving at once, I’m at his side in moments, holding his hand as I look at his leg. The blackness is still the same and the bandages are still clean, but he’s starting to look much worse, his skin starting to look almost dead-like.
“I’ll go check how far along they are with the antidote, how quickly we can get our hands on it.” Grandma Bas is about to leave the room, when Bane’s mum follows her.
“I’ll see about getting something better against the pain, maybe I can find something that we haven’t thought of yet.” Bane’s mum catches up with Grandma just as she opens the door. “There has to be something we can do.” They leave the room, closing the door behind them.
I glance at Phoenix, her eyes are dark as she eyes Rune’s leg. “Can you check?”
She nods and kneels down next to Rune, putting her hands on his arm. Her hands and arms start to glow as she sends her magic through him, until her face falls and she lets out a hiss.
“What?” Rune groans, lifting his head to look at her, his eyes glazed over, like he’s not really here.
“My magic can’t contain the venom much longer, it has…” She flinches, pulling her hands back. “It’s starting to spread again. Through your bones this time. It’s contaminating everything.”
Fuck. I stare at her, not wanting to think about the consequences of her words. Fuck. This isn’t good.
Rune takes my hand and holds it tightly. “We’ll figure this out.” He pulls me closer. “We’ll make this right.”
“How?” Kit falls to his knees at my side, leaning on me, holding me tightly against him, not daring to touch Rune directly.
“Somehow.” Rune closes his eyes, his face going pale again, his body jerking a moment before he opens his eyes, confusion flashing through them.
“You need to eat something.” Kit jumps up, turning to the adults in the room. “Where can we find something to eat? He needs to regain energy. He needs to recharge. He…” He moves his hands, but doesn’t walk off yet, his helplessness making my heart hurt for him.
“I saw some in one of the other rooms. I’ll help. It seems like some of the others need some fuel too.” I hear Dad move and when I look back, Bane isn’t looking very well either as he’s sitting at one of the tables, cradling his hand close, his face pale.
No, no! I look between Rune and Bane, wanting to be with both of them at the same time, but I can’t leave, not when Rune is holding me like this.
Mum moves. “Let’s get him to the other couch.” She helps Finn get Bane to the couch next to this one, making him lie down and rest a little.
“Why didn’t you say something?” Finn lets out a frustrated growl and sits on the arm of the couch closest to the couch Rune is on, staring at Bane.
“He needs more help.” Bane nods back towards Rune, and winces, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment.
“You both need help.” Finn shakes his head and gets up. “Don’t ignore your wounds just because you think Rune is worse off. It doesn’t help anyone, especially not him, or you.” Finn goes over to his bag and pulls out a notebook, flipping through it. “Phoenix?”
“Yeah?” She looks up from where she’s sitting next to me.
“Can you help me? I want to write down the prophecy. The real one. Your memory is the best and the least compromised right now.” He sits down at one of the tables, the notebook in front of him. He opens the notebook, hovering his pen over a page before he writes down a few things.
“Sure.” She eyes me, leaning closer for a moment, before kissing me on my shoulder. “I’ll be right back.” Her voice is soft and then she stands up, going over to Finn.
I focus back on Rune, his grip on my hand relaxing and then tensing, like he’s falling asleep and waking up, over and over, like he can’t stay conscious anymore. It’s bad, really bad. But we can only wait. Right now, we can only wait…
It feels like the longest wait I’ve ever had to sit through in my life.
* * *
I can’t move, stuck in my place. The tears in my eyes are making it hard to see, and my breathing is rough from crying, my chest painful.
In the last couple of minutes, Rune has taken a turn for the worst. He’s still breathing and his heart is beating, but he’s no longer responding to anything around him. Bane’s mum got us two of those heartbeat things, one for Rune and one for Bane. Their beeping is steady, but I can almost feel the tension in the room as everyone is listening to the machines, waiting for them to stop their rhythms, waiting for them to change their tune. Waiting for them to get even worse.
We’re all sitting against Rune’s couch, crowded on the floor next to our dragon. I’m sitting near Rune’s shoulder, my hand still in his, but now I’m holding onto him instead of the other way around. Bane is at my back, leaning against me heavily, his breathing laboured, but he’s still here, even if he looks horrible. Kit is sitting between my legs, his back against my front, his head on my heart and his tears have soaked through my shirt. Finn is sitting opposite me, preventing Kit from sliding down too much, his head on the couch, leaning against Rune’s leg as Finn’s legs push against mine. Finally, Phoenix comes over with a stack of towels, handing each one of us one before sitting down at my side, leaning against my shoulder.
“These were all I could find.” Her voice is soft and she carefully dabs at my face, trying to dry the tears.
“Better to be well-prepared,” Bane growls and then lets out a hiss. I feel how he pulls his arm against him closer.
We’re waiting, just waiting.
There isn’t anything else we can do for Rune but wait, and my heart is breaking more every second. It hasn’t even been a day since Rune confessed his love for me, and I could already lose him, I could be losing him before we even really started… I don’t want that. I can’t lose him, I can’t lose any of them.
Sobs wrack through me and everyone pushes against me more, almost like they’re trying to keep me together, like they’re trying to keep me from falling apart.
The door opens and multiple pairs of footsteps come inside.
“How is he?” That’s Bane’s mum.
I shake my head, not sure I can even speak anymore, I can’t even look up. Everything is too painful. I keep my eyes closed, pushing closer to Kit, burying my face in his hair.
“We… We may have found it.” Her voice is tentative, but she does sound somewhat hopeful.
What? I open my eyes, trying to look her way, my heart beating so fast in my chest that it feels like it’s trying to escape. Now?
Bane’s mum kneels next to me, her eyes soft. “They’re here, with the antidote.” She nods to the side and I finally notice the blurry shapes of people in lab coats standing at the other end of the couch.
I nod. Not really sure what she’s expecting of me.
“It can be… The reaction to the antidote can be violent.” She reaches out, softly touching my shoulder. “We’re going to sedate him, and then we’re giving him the antidote. You can stay, but…”
“We’re staying.” The words slide out of me. “We’re staying.” I have to be there for Rune, I have to be near him, no matter what.
“Okay.” She nods, standing up. “But you may want to get out of the way of the couch for a moment.”
I slowly nod too, and Phoenix is the first one standing. She helps Kit up, and then me. Kit stays close to me, his arms tightly around me, like I imagine he wants to do with Rune, but can’t. Finn helps Bane on the other couch, settling him in as comfortable as he can, waiting for his own dose of the antidote.
“What about the others?” Finn eyes Bane’s mum.
“They’re getting antidotes right now too.” She takes a deep breath and sits down on the couch next to her son. Then she nods to the people in lab coats. “Go ahead.”
They start moving, putting a cap over Rune’s nose and mouth as one of them puts a needle in his arm. As soon as they’ve attached him to a breathing machine, his breathing slow but steady, another one takes a syringe with an amber coloured fluid in it. The antidote.
In my arms, Kit whimpers and Finn wraps his arms around the both of us, squishing Kit between us. Kit hides his face against me for a moment, before he stares at Rune, not able to look away.
The man in the lab coat gives Rune the antidote and the reaction is immediate. Rune begins to violently jerk his limbs and Kit pulls against my arms, needing to get to Rune, but with Finn, I’m able to keep him in place as the people in the lab coats hold Rune down. The heartbeat machine goes into overdrive as his heart flips out, much faster than it’s supposed to be going.
It feels like hours, but is probably closer to minutes before Rune stops trashing, his body suddenly quiet and still.
“Rune…” Kit cries out, grabbing my arms tightly, his voice weak.
Then, as everyone holds their breath, Rune’s heart returns to the steady ‘beep-beep-beep’ from earlier and the breathing machine is making a steady ‘swish-swish’ sound.
He’s alive. We don’t know if the antidote has done anything, fixed anything, but he’s alive. He’s still with us.
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