Hidden Truths, Hidden Hearts

The first in the Hidden Truths trilogy.
Maria always knew she was different. From when she was a child she could do things she couldn't explain and had a power she couldn't understand. Then she meets Zac who changes her life forever. Together they embark on a journey that presents dangers, reveals long forgotten truths and brings them together in ways they could never imagine.

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13. Dragon Dreams

Dragons did not exist. Her whole life Maria had been taught this. Yet she had already spoken to four Chinese dragons and another kind was standing in front of her looking at her curiously.
"Hold your hand out." said Zac.
She gingerly reached out with her hand palm facing up. Hirador blinked then lowered his head to sniff her hand. He gently blew through her nostrils blowing a small blast of warm air into her face.
"He likes you." said Zac grinning.
Maria gently stroked his nose. His scales felt smooth and warm to the touch.
"We have to find our dragons." said Zac, "This is mine. I want to help you find yours."
"How do I do that?" asked Maria, ignoring the doubtful thoughts racing through her head.
Zac pointed to a broken eggshell at the back of the cave. It glimmered the same blye colour as Hirador's scales.

"Hirador hatched from this egg when he sensed me." Zac explained, "Your dragon will only hatch from its egg when it senses you. I have raised Hirador since he was a chick. He's still very young. Sixteen in human years, my age."
"But I have no idea where to find a dragon egg."
"You don't have to." said Zac, "It will find you."
Maria raised an eyebrow, "Great explanation. I still don't understand."
Zac patted Hirador smiling, "You will."

 

Jennifer tried to phone Maria that evening. Three times to be exact. She rejected each one then put her phone on silent. She couldn't think about her right now. Eventually she decided to send her a text,

I don't know what I did to upset you but whatever you want to say tell me in school tomorrow.

She turned her phone off and violently shoved it into a drawer. Hearing the noise, Alex came in.

"You're supposed to knock when the door's closed." said. Maria still fuming.
Alex didn't flinch, "I just wanted to see you're ok. Did something happen?"
Maria looked away from him and sat down on the bed, "Nothing."
She didn't want to keep pushing him away, but she didn't want him to get involved over a small matter.
"Did something happen with that boy you met?" Alex sat down beside her still keeping his distance. He knew his younger sister well enough to know when she was angry or frustrated getting too close could easily result in bruises.
"No, it's not him. Nothing happened."  her anger was ebbing but tears began to start. 
"You can tell me anything. Even when we were kids you always would. No else had to know." 
She knew he was concerned and this made her walls crumble.
"I'll be fine. Just having an off day."
"Alright, are you coming down for dinner?" he could clearly tell everything was not ok but didn't want to push the matter.
Maria shook her head, "I'm going to get an early night."
Alex sighed and stood up again, "If you're sure."
He left the room quietly closing the door behind him. Not bothering to change her clothes, she whipped off the bed sheets and buried herself under the covers. She wanted to sleep this off and hope it would all be fine tomorrow. The nightmare from before still lingered at the back of her mind but this time she ignored it. Closing her eyes, she quickly drifted off to sleep.

 

She was standing in the forest again. An all too familiar snarling, hissing sound rattled through the trees.

Time to run.

It was happening again. She knew it was behind her. It would never stop. Never give up.

As she approached the clearing ending in the cliff she heard a deafening roar from the the sky. As she broke out the trees and turned round a large shape dived down landing between her and Kilkaro. Another dragon. Every the same as Zac's dragon only this one was a deep red colour. It roared again and spat a jet of flame at the wolf demon. Maria stood panting as it turned and fled howling like a wounded dog.

The dragon turned on her.

"Thank you." said Maria catching her breath.

The dragon did not reply. When she looked again it had vanished. In its place was a large red stone. It was oval shaped and felt warm to the touch, as if there was some form of heat inside. She picked it up and examined it carefully.

Find your dragon.

The egg seemed to glow and she saw an image in its shell. It was the garden out the back of the house. A seemingly random place. But her dragon could be there, waiting for her.

 

She woke to the sun rising the next morning. Day was just beginning to break. The sound of birdsong chattered outside her window. She checked her alarm clock. 6:30am. She didn't have to get up for another couple of hours. Despite her muscles' reluctance to move she managed to drag herself out of bed. The house was silent. No one else was awake yet. Once again, she would have to be very quiet.
Slowly creeping down the stairs she unlocked the kitchen door where the key sat in the lock. The back door seemed to beckon as the sun's rays filtered through it. Quiet and stealthy, she eased it open and crept out into the back garden. The security light came on but as the sun climbed it soon went out again. She looked around. The garden seemed plain and normal. But there was something here, waiting for her to come and find it. As the sun climbed steadily higher she spotted a tiny glow where the light reflected off something. It seemed to be buried beneath the soil near the compost heap. As she got closer it seemed to glow brighter, as if it sensed her presence and was beckoning her to come closer. She crouched down and pushed aside soil, dead plants and other things covering the object. A bright red oval shaped stone glowed back at her. She gingerly picked it up. Heat from within warmed her icy hands.
"I've found you." she whispered.
The egg almost seemed to flicker in response.
Wrapping it in her dressing gown she carried it back into the house. Upstairs, she could hear hear Alex beginning to stir. She snuck into her room and carefully shut the door.
Despite being buried under mounds of dirt the egg seemed perfectly clean. She had a special box under her bed where she kept things that were special. Sliding it out she gently placed the egg inside before sliding it back.
"I'll see you after school." she whispered, "You're my secret."

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