Determined not to be a pawn in my mother"s game any longer, I finally decided to take my destiny into my own hands.
But I had made a promise to myself many years ago when I used to dream about running away. If I was getting my freedom, he was getting his too"
Imprisoned. Enslaved. That was my life for longer than I cared even to admit, beaten and humiliated for what I was. Draca. Dragon fae. The supposed last of my kind. Except I wasn"t. But that was a secret I"d take to my grave.
I"d learned long ago to accept my fate, that freedom was not something I would ever know again.
But then one day after one of the worst snowstorms in my memory, the daughter of the man who had shackled me in iron chains to begin with burst into my barn with a key and a mission. Free me. And herself.
Things, though, often don"t go to plan. And we found ourselves stuck in the middle of something no one ever could have predicted. A war between the Light and Dark fae.
Our futures uncertain, we decided there was only one place to go.
Back to the land of my kind. To see if any were left. And if they would have us.Books in Series:Into the Green Series by Jessica GadzialaBooks by Author:Jessica Gadziala Books
It was time to go.
It literally could not have been a worse time to finally grow a spine and make the decision.
I moved across the floor of my bedroom to look out onto the grounds out front. Everything was white, not white like the ugly, sterile starkness that my mother decorated our home in. Outside it was expansive, new, fluffy, blanketing the whole world in freshness. Snow always looked like new beginnings to me. Even as an adult, I would stay up late and watch the flurries turn into a blizzard. Just as I had the whole night before, not falling asleep until the pre-dawn hours when there was already a good twelve inches deep covering everything as far as the eye could see.
Over a foot of snow and I was going to be trudging around in it for days with no shelter, limited food resources, and little working knowledge about the geography.
But the fact of the matter was, I had little choice.
If I didn’t run and run that evening, my fate was sealed.
That fate, well, let’s just say it was infinitely worse than possibly dying of exposure to the elements in The Green.
So it was time to go.
I had been planning my escape since I was fourteen years old. Luckily, as unhappy as I might have been my entire life in the confines of a house that was more of a prison, I had always been prudent enough to know that I was too young, too naive, too uneducated, and too small to be able to survive on my own, even if I left in the ripeness of summer when food would be plentiful and shelter all but unnecessary.
That had always been my plan.
When I was older.
When I had studied more.
When I felt ‘ready.’
But I was never ready.
And at twenty-two, I had accepted that maybe I would never actually feel ready.
It just so happened that situations outside of my control were pushing me into doing something I was terrified to do, in conditions that would make it infinitely more difficult, with no real, concrete plan because I literally only had one day to try to come up with one.
My belly twisted, a pang uncomfortably familiar. I had spent most of my life with my stomach in knots. I guess that was a side-effect of having a living, breathing, evil entity as a mother who played me like a toy, pulling my strings because she liked to watch me dance.
My father, until I was seventeen, had been no better. In fact, throughout the vast majority of my life, those two were perfectly matched. There was not one redeeming quality to either of them – no lightness, no kindness, no good. There was certainly no love for me.
I truly wasn’t even sure if I even fully grasped the concept.
But that, I decided as I exhaled hard and pulled out the bag of dried fruit, squeezing as much air out of the bag as possible so it would fit better, was something I could think about when I was free.
No, not hopefully.
I had to get free.
I had one chance.
And I was not going to screw it up.
My bed was splayed with my supplies. I had two cross-body bags I had bought in the human realm, conveniently made of cotton so I could bring them back with me. One was packed with what food I could find to spare – several large bags of dried fruit, another two of mixed nuts, and a few pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables for the first several meals when they would still be good to eat. The other bag had the other things I thought I might need: honey and some dried herbs for possible ailments, extra socks to switch off to, some gemstones and talismans, and human money. My clothes were there as well- the warmest things I owned. I had boots that went up to my knees and lined in wool, another find from the human realm as all of my clothes were. We had no wool in The Green, but being that it was, for all intents and purposes, a natural product, I had no issue bringing it back in with me. The pants were wool lined, as was my jacket, with leather on the outside. Then I had three layers of thick cotton sweatshirts and pants to slip into as well.
I didn’t know much about the concepts of frostbite, but I figured it was something unpleasant that I would do my best to avoid. How well I would do that with my few supplies, I wasn’t sure.
I guess all I could hope for was to move fast and not have any more snow.
It was almost time too.
You would think my best bet would be to wait until my mother was asleep. But the fact of the matter was, she slept lightly enough to hear me moving around in my room and come in to scream at me to get into bed and stop keeping her away from her beauty rest.