going to get all of me.

I lifted my chin. 'You cannot make me go into the energy world.'

'Do you think I can only force my way into your body?' His eyes were a wash of silver. I felt his power buffet me like a physical blow. 'Every time you called my dragon's power, you opened your pathways to him,' he whispered against my ear. And to me.'

Sweet vanilla-orange filled my mouth. I felt power pressing into me, searching. Blue power that bent and distorted the alley into roiling colours and shifted Ido's face from flesh and bone to planes of pulsing energy, then back again. He looked up, his fingers ramming my head back; the Rat Dragon was above us, the cloudy blue scales of his underbelly like a summer sky. The beast curled his massive head around to watch us, the pearl at his throat shimmering with power. His huge spirit eyes reached further into me and found a silvered pathway still darkened with the grey welcome of the Sun drug.

Ido was in my mind. Now you are truly mine.

'No,' I gasped.

A shrill voice sliced into the blue storm that was rolling over my senses. 'She's the Mirror Dragon. Do you hear me? Her name is your name! She's the mirror.'

Lady Dela. I struggled to focus on her words, My name? How could that be? Then, like a mined kaleidoscope, the last few weeks shifted into a new pattern of bitter understanding, At the moment of union, the Mirror Dragon had not tried to rip my true name from me, she had tried to give me her name. Oui name. All along at my master's house, in the bathing room, on the roadside I had denied her, blocked her, stifled her with drugs. And all along, the tiny gold kernel of my power had been locked within me, waiting.

'Eona,' I whispered and the truth of the name was like a claw of light ripping through the misunderstanding, shredding the fear and the fading veil of drugs. It reached into the overwhelming blue, forcing a thin sliver of hope.

Ido's fingers dug into my flesh. What are you doing''

'Eona,' I screamed, the name shaking his hold on my mind. I felt his comprehension and his sharp grab of anticipation.

Tou have called her.

A shrieking rise of power rushed into my pathways, rocking me against the wall. Ido's body slammed into mine. He was not going to let go. Not now. The Rat Dragon howled, his heavy blue force driven back by the onslaught of sinuous gold. Raw, rejoicing energy flooded my seven centres of power; opening, pushing, seeking. And behind it all, a presence exulting in the joy of release and reunion. I looked up and finally my mind-sight was clear: I could see the Mirror Dragon. My dragon.

She was rearing on the roof behind me, obscuring the smaller blue dragon, the gold pulsing pearl at her chin bright against the crimson scales on her chest. Her forelegs slammed down onto the roof and two sets of long ruby claws grabbed the edge and sliced into the stone.

Fragments of rock showered down, sending up clouds of dust at either end of the alley Her fragile wings spread for balance as she ducked her head, the moonlight rippling across her arched neck in fiery reflections. Her warm breath was a summer breeze, spicing my mouth with cinnamon; the taste of power. And joy.

I can see her. I felt Ido's awe shift into stark desire. Delicately, she lowered her huge muzzle and offered me the pearl nestled under her chin. The luminescent gold orb was the size of a barrel and thrummed with the song of a thousand years, of old wisdom and new life, of balance and chaos.

I reached up and pressed my palms against the hard velvety surface. Gold flames rose and jumped across my skin in flicks of stinging promise.

Ido's hands closed around my wrists. Bring her to me.

The scream of his dragon shivered in his mind, sending an echo of pain through me. I laughed and felt an answering exultation through the flaming pearl. The blue power was a mere shadow under the glorious incandescence of our connection. The red dragon's fathomless eyes met mine and her question — deeper than words — rode the rush of my Hua.

Would I give her Eon?

I groped for understanding. What did she mean by Eon? The answer rose through me: she was asking for the masculine power within me. She wanted the male energy I had fostered from my core. The only identity I had come to trust.

My mind floundered. Didn't she want Eona? My female energy? Wasn't that the point of it all? Why did she want Eon? I hesitated as I had in the arena, a chasm of doubt ripping through the gold euphoria. I had fought so hard to bring my male energy forwards and subdue the female within me. If I let Eon go now, what would replace him? I had made Eona too small.

Too weak. What if the dragon took Eon and there was nothing left?

I dragged my gaze from the shimmering flames of possibility to Ido's silver eyes. His hands were locked so tightly around my wrists that I could feel my sinews grinding under his hold.

He was waiting for my power. Waiting to take everything. What if he was too strong for the Mirror Dragon? He had overpowered me every time we had met in the energy world. Won every time wc

had clashed through the might of the blue dragon. Would it be different through the red dragon?

It had to be different. She was my dragon, my power.

I thrust my hands against the gold pearl. Let me be enough, 1 prayed. Let us be enough.

'I am Eona,' I roared. 'I am the Mirror Dragoneye.'

And then it happened: a tearing release of old needs, stunted power, and narrow pathways built from fear and skewed belief! The gold nugget of power within me exploded into radiant strength.

The red dragon shrieked, a piercing celebration that resonated in every part of my mind and body But within the joy was the soft, keening presence of other voices. A bereft chorus that wove its way into our union. Was it the other dragons? The faint song of mourning was suddenly cut short.

My mind-sight split. I was the Mirror Dragon, my huge head whipping around to face the fury of the blue dragon on my back. His huge jaws closed around the arch of my neck. His opal claws sliced down my flanks, opening up bright, searing wounds of golden light.

But I was also in the alley, fighting Ido as he slammed my hands back into the wall and locked my wrists against the cold stone with his forearm. He forced his leg between mine, his other hand tearing silk and linen. Above, the Mirror Dragon rolled, and I was a desperate twist of red and orange muscle that sent a rumbling shock of power through the air. Paving and dirt flew up as my effort ploughed a seam of devastation along the alley I heard Lady Dela scream and watched from above as the guards ran for cover, leaving the tiny figure of Ryko crouched under the rain of stones.

Give her to me. Ido's hunger was like a fist punching through my mind.

'No,' I screamed.

The red dragon shrieked my defiance, meeting the blue dragon in a thunderous clash of heavy chests and raking claws that boomed across the sky. The world burst into pure energy as the dragon and I fused into one shimmering being. In front of us, the flesh and blood of Ido melted into a streaming network of Hua. The silvery pathways were dulled by a coating of Sun drug, but his life force pumped frantically through the swirling catchments of his points of power. His hold on us faltered, the blue dragon rearing back in confusion.

We watched Ido's fear flick and jump in the flow through his transparent body, collecting in the bright red point at the base of his spine. Above it, on the central meridian that held the seven points, the orange sacral and the yellow delta flared with his power — his charisma and the burn of his desire. Then we saw the dull green point nestled in his chest. The heart-point: the centre of compassion and unity. Grey and shrivelled, the flow through it choked into a thin, stuttering thread. A sickness. Easy to heal. We channelled our power into it, watching the greyness drain from the green point and slowly build into a huge rise of dark emotion. It crashed over us: a thick roiling mass of thwarted desire, wounded innocence, harsh rejection.

So much hopelessness and anger. The blue dragon howled. Our hand touched Ido's chest and the connection of Hua shivered between us. Gold and silver power blending, building into a burst of compassion that snapped his green point wide open, releasing the mass of leaden pain.

Ido screamed and staggered back, ripping my other hand off the pearl. The brutal rending from my dragon twisted me out of the energy world and back into the alley.

She was gone.

Вы читаете Eon: Dragoneye Reborn
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