When we left Tidus and Jonah last week, Jonah had missed the boat. He couldn’t find it in himself to leave Tidus behind, so chose not to go. Now, he’s having serious doubts about whether he did the right thing. And, they have company. Let’s see who it is.
Tidus looked up and let out a cry.
A man dressed in black leather boots, a long black brocade vest adorned with shining gold trim, a red and black silk cape slung across his shoulders and golden sword stood over them.
Weilderwolves stood like docile pets, on either side of the man. Gone were the blood red fangs and they looked up at him with adoring eyes.
“Father!” Tidus ran to him. “I thought you’d forgotten me.”
Drake embraced his son, then turned his gaze on Jonah.
“You did a righteous thing here today, Jonah. You cared more for Tidus than you did your freedom.”
Jonah swallowed hard unable to find his tongue.
Tidus knelt at his father’s feet and kissed his boots.
Jonah wondered. Was he expected to do the same? He certainly didn’t want to be skinned alive. He joined Tidus.
“Up, the both of you,” Drake ordered.
In an instant, a woman appeared beside Drake. With her long flowing blonde hair, purple, gold and green regality, she resembled a mythical goddess.
Tidus flew into her arms. “Mother!” Tears streaked down his face and he choked on his words. “I thought you died.”
Jade crooned, “Oh, my son. It was necessary for you to believe you were all alone so that you and Jonah could complete your lessons.” She stroked the boy’s hair. “I didn’t want to leave you but I knew you were ready for the task. You did well, Tidus, son of Drake and Jade.”
Jonah stared with an open mouth. If his life depended on him finding words to say, he’d surely die this minute.
His gaze returned to Drake. An electrifying aura floated around the warlock; something that resembled pictures he’d seen in books of the Aurora Borealis. Jonah sensed the strength of Drake’s magic. It ignited a flame inside him. Oh, how he wanted this gift. But, he was a mere mortal. Mere mortals could never possess magic this strong.
His eyes locked with Drake’s. Light shot out of them into Jonah’s and he blinked hard and struggled to stay on his feet.
Tidus touched Drake’s arm. “Father, Jonah is trapped here. The boat just left.”
“I know, son. It was the final test.”
Jonah found his voice. “Test for what, sir?”
“Come. Sit.” Red velvet chairs appeared out of nowhere.
Jonah stumbled forward and found a seat. His head swam with confused thoughts. Was it possible that he was asleep and dreaming? Had the stress of missing the boat cost him what was left of his sanity?
But, he sat and listened.
The Warlock, Drake, spoke with a deep rumble, “You see, Jonah, I knew your mother many years ago. She was a student, learning our ways when the leaders discovered what we were doing and killed her.” He cleared his throat. “But, she was more than just a student. She was my lover.”
Jonah scooted to the edge of his chair. “You knew my mother?”
Drake nodded. “I have watched and waited to see if you would have the same gift. You’ve kept it well hidden but, nevertheless the spark is there.”
Jonah waited for him to continue, his gaze darting from Drake to Jade and Tidus. This had to be a dream. Nothing about it could be real. And yet the plush red velvet chair beneath him felt real.
“The gift?” Jonah asked.
“Like I said, your mother, Elizabeth, was my student,” Drake said. “She was learning how to use the magic, and her powers were growing daily. It broke my heart into a million pieces when they killed her.” His voice hardened. “I wasn’t there to protect her, but let me assure you, young Jonah, that the man responsible for her death paid dearly.”
“Wait,” Jonah interrupted. “Let’s go back. You said my mother was your lover. Does that mean…?” His words trailed off, and he glanced at Jade too embarrassed to continue.
Drake nodded. “Yes, Jonah. You are my son.” Drake reached for Jade’s hand. “It was before I found Jade. I loved Elizabeth and you were born out of that love.”
Again, his head swam. The son of a powerful Warlock? How could that be? And yet it all made sense except for one part.
He faced Drake. “If you are my father, why did you let them put me in the orphanage after they killed my mother?”
Drake sighed. “It was a hard choice, but at that time, we were fighting to survive. The leaders were determined to extinguish all of us and our kind. Many times, I counseled with the elders. I begged them to let me go for you. But, they refused. After all, you were half mortal.”
Jonah ran a hand through his dark hair. “And what happens now? Am I destined to exist in this godforsaken place forever?”
“No. But if you want to learn and grow your magic, you have work to do.”