Sorry for this being late today, and for it being so long. I didn’t think it would be so long. But!! HERE IT IS! The long awaited prompt challenge. If you want to know what this is about, just read original post HERE. Without further delay…
Dragons were once believed to have become extinct. At least that was the thought until a young girl by the name of Lily, ran to the forest to escape death. The fourth world war was at its peak. It was the fourth world war and families were being ripped from their homes and killed. Lily was the only one of her family to escape. Lucky for her, her father was a survivalist and had taught her everything she needed to know to survive the wild.
Lily found a cave by following the sound of music and a light that lit up the dark night. Within the cave was glowing rock, or so Lily thought. Several years after, the war had finally come to an end and Lily was found by a young man, who brought her out of the woods and married her. His name was Lucas Urtz and his family owned a large farm. Lily soon married the man and helped the farm grow. The only thing she had left of her former life was the rock that had once sung to her and lit her way through a dark time.
After her first child was born, Lily noticed that the rock began to glow again and she could hear its soft music again. Soon after, the rock hatched, proving to be an egg. Lily was shocked and amazed. She had heard stories that described dragons, but like the rest of the world, she had believed those stories to be works of fiction. She hid the dragon for as long as she could and trained him, naming him Edward, after her father that she had lost to the war.
Edward grew for 20 years and had become an attraction that drew in attention from all over the world. The dragon would eat a cow a week and that was all he needed to sustain himself. People would trade cows for the chance to see the dragon. Edward did not mind the attention and he flourished in the lime light.
With Edward being the last dragon, he developed the ability to reproduce on his own, producing an egg at the age of 20. Lily began teaching her children how to care for a dragon, in case she was not around to see the new egg hatch. Edward had taken years to hatch, and there was no way to tell how long he had been hidden in a cave before Lily found him.
After three years, the egg hatched and Edward was no longer the last dragon. This new dragon, named Sally, after Lily’s little sister also lost in the war, grew much faster than Edward. While Sally grew, Edward produced another egg, which hatched after three years, just as Sally had. Sally reached maturity at the age of five, producing her own egg.
Lily’s children had all left home except for one son who stayed to take over the family farm. He helped Lily raise the new dragons, as they were reproducing at a much faster rate now. Part of the farm land had been built over, creating an area for the dragons. It was Lily’s son that first suggested they sell the dragons. It would make up for the part of the crops that they had lost, while the customers helped keep the dragons fed.
Thus, Urtz Dragons, was born.
Lily died at the age of 93, knowing how it felt to fly. Edward was 40 before learning to fly, and his offspring and their offspring followed suit, learning quicker than ever. The same day that Lily passed away, Edward died as well.
Luke, Lily’s son, continued his mother’s legacy. Raising, training, and caring for the dragons he loved as much as his mother had. He only sold the dragons after four. As the dragons started to adapt to the world, they grew faster with each generation. Eventually, the aging process of a dragon became stable. The egg would hatch after a year and would produce their first egg at two and another at four. Once their last egg had hatched, the dragon was then sold.
A dragon did not produce after the age of four, and to keep the world safe from poorly trained dragons, Luke decided that no one could by a dragon before the age of five.
Luke trained his son, his son trained his son, and so on. Hundreds of years later there is Ethan Urtz, the sole heir to the Urtz fortune. The family has now moved to their own planet, given to them by the Earth government to keep the over flow of dragons down.
Ethan had dreams of going to college and becoming a chef, but his plans were changed drastically when his father developed a sudden illness. His father, once young at heart and in health, was now bed ridden and needed his son to come home. Ethan left behind a girlfriend, whom he had wished to marry, and a dream that he would never accomplish.
“I’m home.” Ethan said into the silent foyer as he sat his bags down by the coat closet. He closed the red front door and sighed. He looked into the mirror that hung on the wall, brushed back his hair and walked into his father’s study. He paused at the sight of his father, slumped over his computer. “Dad.” Ethan gasped.
“Hi, Ethan.” The old man said, lifting his eyes to meet his sons gaze.
“Shouldn’t you be in bed?” Ethan asked. He moved across the room and stood behind his father, looking at the computer screen. He tried not to look at the old man that was once his father. His skin was grey and wrinkled. His father had lost weight because of the illness and he was more of a ghost than a man.
“I wanted to check the reports.” His father said, wheezing and coughing.
“How about I check it for you and bring you a printed copy.” Ethan rolled his father away from the desk and grabbed his hands. “Valarie.” Ethan shouted. An older woman in black pants and a white button up shirt rushed in.
“Yes Ethan.” She said with a slight bow. Valarie was the caretaker. She made sure all meals were served on time, the cabinets were stocked, and the home was clean. She didn’t do it all herself, but she ran a tight ship.
“Why is no one watching my father?” Ethan asked, helping his father to his feet.
“I assure you, sir, we knew where your father was. I check on him every five minutes.” She stepped away for a minute and came back with a wheelchair. “We are never far from him.” She smiled at Ethan.
“Sorry.” Ethan said as he watched Valarie help his father into the wheelchair. “I was just concerned.”
“That is your right, sir.” She said, a smile still touching her lips. “It is good to have you home.” She said. Ethan had known Valarie his whole life. She had helped raise him, but only when his father was attending to urgent matters that Ethan was too young to attend.
“Ethan!” A soft voice called from outside the window. Ethan turned to see another woman, this one was the same age as him, Anna. They had grown up together and had a summer romance that ended when Ethan went off to college. Anna had stayed behind, taking her mother’s job caring for the newborn dragons and the eggs.
Ethan stood at the front door with his hands on his hips. Anna rushed through the door and hugged him around his neck. Ethan wrapped his arms around her waist, laughing at her enthusiasm. “Good to see you too.” He said, getting a mouth full of brown hair.
She pulled away and kissed his cheek. “I’m so sorry you had to come back. Or, for the reason you had to come back.”
“Thanks.” He said, his smile never fading. He had forgotten how much he loved Anna and how she could always make him smile.
“Are you technically in charge now?” She asked, dropping her hands to her side. Her smile faded into a thin line and worry creased her face.
“My father isn’t up for any problems right now. What has happened?” He asked her.
“One of the hatchlings have been stolen.”
“It’s the second one this month. Your father hasn’t been in the best of health to figure out what is going on.” Anna stepped back and dropped her head. “We have done everything we could to find out who is taking them.” She looked back at Ethan. “We have strengthened our security. No one comes in our out without our knowledge. No one even lands on the planet without us knowing. Only authorized personnel is allowed to land at port.”
“That explains why it took half an hour to land.” Ethan brushed his fingers through his hair and sighed.
“If I may make a suggestion.” Valarie said as she joined Anna and Ethan. “I think it is time for us to question everyone that works for you.”
“That is the only choice.” Ethan said.
“I know who it is.” Anna chimed in causing Ethan and Valarie to stare at her, waiting for her confession. Her face turned red and guilt seized her face.
“Anna, what have you done?” Ethan asked, grabbing her shoulders and making her face him.
“It’s Kent.” She quickly wiped away a tear and looked away.
“Why would Kent steal the hatchlings?” Valarie asked.
“Who is Kent?” Ethan shook Anna lightly to get her attention.
“My boyfriend, or rather, my ex.” She shook Ethan’s hands off her shoulders. “When I heard you were coming home I told him I couldn’t see him anymore.”
“And the boy just bought her a diamond ring. He was going to purpose to her.” Valarie sighed.
“Why did you dump him?” Ethan asked, confused.
“I still have feelings for you. I felt with you coming home, it would be weird. I would have started to ignore him, grow distant from him.”
“I just broke up with my girlfriend because I was coming home. She didn’t want to follow. I didn’t come back to date you, Anna.” Ethan rubbed his eyes. “I mean, I still love you, but it wasn’t the first thing on my mind when I headed for home.”
“I didn’t break up with Kent to date you.” Anna said. “I just knew I couldn’t be faithful to him once you were back. I didn’t expect us to get back together, and I wouldn’t have cheated on Kent, but my heart is still yours and to me, that’s the same as cheating.”
“Okay, okay.” Ethan closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. He felt the same way as Anna. Deep down, he knew the reason he was so quick to come home was because of Anna. Of course, his father had a lot to do with it, but he had never recovered from Anna. She was the love of his life. He would be the first to admit that he believed in soul mates. His entire family history included the men of the family, falling for one of the woman that works for them. They both knew how to care for dragons and they shared a love for the giant gentle creatures. He had let go of his college girlfriend because of Anna. He never would have dated the girl in the first place, but college had been lonely and she made it less so. He knew that he would always return to Anna.
Now wasn’t the time to think about that. He shook his head to clear his thoughts and looked at Anna. She knew him too well, the hint of a smile crossed her lips, she knew exactly what was racing through his mind.
“How do you know?” Valarie asked, interrupting all thoughts.
“What?” Ethan asked, trying to grab hold of whatever they had been discussing.
“Anna, how do you know it’s Kent?” She clarified.
“Because I gave him access. And he was really angry when I dumped him. He said something about making us all pay for it.”
“How long did you two date?” Ethan asked.
“Just a few months.”
“This doesn’t make sense.” Ethan’s forehead crinkled in thought. “I think he was already using you. Are you sure there are only two hatchlings missing?”
Valarie and Ethan stared at Anna, her face turning red again. “No.” She fought back tears. “I’m so sorry, Ethan.” She cried. “I made some stupid mistakes.”
“What is it Anna?” Ethan asked.
“I have been letting Kent count the hatchlings.”
“You stupid girl.” Valarie sneered.
“Valarie, go do your chores, or whatever you need to do.” Ethan growled, glaring at the maid. “This no longer concerns you.” Valarie stalked off without another word. “Anna.” Ethan looked back at the brown hair, green eyed girl he had fallen in love with so long ago. He couldn’t be mad at her, she had made a simple mistake.
“I’m so sorry.” She sniffed. “I thought I could trust him.”
“You made a mistake. You let someone else do your job.” He raked a hand through his hair. “You will be put on probation for this. And your pay will be docked.”
“I understand.” Anna said, wiping away another tear.
“For now, you need to call Kent. Get him here any way you can.”
“Okay.” Anna said, she turned and walked out, lightly shutting the door behind her.
Ethan took a deep breath and went up stairs to his father’s room. He stood at the door, preparing himself for the smell of death and the image of his sick father lying helpless in bed. Before he opened the door he heard whispers.
“Do you think he can handle it?” A soft voice asked. Ethan recognized Valarie’s voice.
“Of course he can.” His father answered.
“He is going to be mad when he finds out the truth.”
“He will, but he will get over it. Once it is over and done, he will know why I did it.”
Ethan stood listening to the two talking. His father did not sound sick. His voice was strong and smooth, as it always had been. Nothing like the sick weak voice he had heard in his father’s study, or even on the phone. Ethan barged into the room, not caring what he would find.
Ethan’s father sat up in the bed, a healthy glow to his skin. “What is this?” Ethan asked. The wrinkles that once disfigured his father’s face were no longer visible, just the few wrinkles any man his father’s age would have.
“Ethan.” His father gasped.
“I guess this plan is up.” Valarie sighed and left the room.
“I’m sorry, Ethan.” His father said, standing from the bed.
“So,” Ethan said as he stared at his father. “You’re not really sick?”
“No.” His father said simply. “I am not sick, never was. I am healthier now than I have been in my entire life.”
“I guess that’s a relief.” Ethan said. He sat down at the foot of his father’s bed. “Do we really have a problem with Hatchlings missing?” Ethan asked
“I just found out about that.” His father admitted. “It seems Anna has been waiting for your return to disclose this information.”
“You have been faking sick with everyone?”
“Yes. It was the only way.”
“Only way for what?” Ethan’s voice rose. He tried to keep himself calm. He was relieved that his father was healthy, but he felt betrayed that his father had lied.
“To bring you back, so you could see how much you miss this place.” He said, sitting beside Ethan. “I wanted you home.”
“And I wanted a life outside of here.”
“How did that go for you?”
“What does it matter?” Ethan stood from the bed and paced the floor. “I’m here now. I can’t go back. I dumped my girlfriend to come home.”
“How did you like it, Ethan?”
“I hated it.” Ethan sighed. “I wanted to come home the moment I landed back on earth.” He braced himself against the wall and slid down to sit. “I just didn’t want to tell you what a mistake I had made.”
“I knew it.” His father said. “I could tell from our chats. I could see it in your eyes and hear it in your voice.” He rubbed his jaw. “It got better when the girl entered the picture, but only slightly. I could see your longing for home. Raising dragons is in our blood. I tried to go away too. But I love what we do here.”
“You didn’t have to lie to me.” Ethan said. “You could have just told me that you knew.” He laughed. “You could have sent Anna to earth to remind me how much I missed her. I would have come back with her.”
“I never thought of that.” His father said with a smile. “I didn’t realize that she was so important to you.”
There was a knock on the door, interrupting their conversation. “Come in.” Ethan said, standing from the floor and straightening his clothes. Anna peeked around the door and gasped at the sight of Ethan’s father. “I will explain later. What do you need?”
“Kent is here.” She said, her voice soft and quiet.
“Does he suspect that we know?” Ethan asked.
“No, he thinks he is here to get back with me.”
“That won’t happen.” Ethan said, crossing the room to Anna. “I never should have left you.” He cupped her face and brushed his lips across hers. He sighed as her soft lips touched his and her scent filled his nose. She wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss. Ethan felt her lips raise into a smile and a giggle escape her throat as he pulled away.
“You don’t have time for this.” Ethan’s father said as he cleared his throat. Ethan laughed as he watched Anna’s cheeks turn pink. His own heart fluttered in rejoice, remembering the love he once shared with her. It wouldn’t be the same this time, they had more experience now, they knew what love was. Their love for one another was stronger now, separation makes the heart grow fonder.
“Meet with Kent.” Ethan said. “Take him into the hatchling building. Express your concern about the missing hatchlings.”
“Okay.” Anna said. She gripped Ethan’s hand, smiling at him. He could feel the warmth in his chest, spreading. A warmth he had been missing for two years. He knew where home was and he was going to take care of it any way possible.
Minutes later, Ethan stood in the office of the hatchling building, waiting for Anna and Kent to enter. Ethan’s father was waiting at port for the law enforcement to arrive.
The door opened and Anna pulled Kent in behind her, shutting the door.
“I’m so glad you called me.” Kent said. Ethan scoffed at Kent’s blond hair and blue eyes. He could tell by the way Kent walked that he thought he was a gift to the world.
“I’m sorry. I was just worried.” Anna said sweetly. “I was stressed because of the missing hatchlings and I didn’t want Ethan to blame you for it.” She smiled and grabbed Kent’s hand. “He would have said I was distracted by you. He would have fired me.”
“He still could. Why call me back now?”
“Because I don’t care.” She said. “But I am worried about the missing hatchlings. I just don’t know who would steal them.”
“Anna.” Kent said. “I want you to come away with me. Don’t worry about this mess here. The Urtz family has been in the business long enough. Let’s take some hatchlings and start our own business.”
“We can’t do that.” Anna gasped.
“The dragons are loyal to the Urtz family for a reason. It was this family that nourished the dragons back to existence. They won’t grow for anyone else.”
“That’s stupid and makes no sense.” Kent scoffed.
“It’s true.” Anna said. “I heard that once someone stole a few dragons and tried to raise them. Once the dragon reached the age where they would produce eggs, they would eat the thief and return to the Urtz’s farm.”
“Really?” Kent asked, his posture stiff and straight.
“It was you.” Anna accused. Her eyes wide.
“I…” Kent stammered. “I just wanted to make a life for us. I wanted you to love me like you still love Ethan.” Kent looked around the building. “I thought that if I was rich you would love me too.”
“You think I love Ethan because he is rich?” Anna asked. “I love him because of his love for his family and the dragons. I love him because he works hard for everything and he never once boasted about his money. I love him because he is a true and genuine person.”
“I’m that too.” Kent said. “I’m better than him.” He shouted.
“No, you’re not.” Anna said calmly.
“I am.” Kent shouted again, grabbing Anna by the shoulders and shaking her vigorously.
“Let me go.” Anna shouted, pulling away from him. Kent charged at her. She dodged in time to trip him, sending him to the floor. He slammed his face into the wooden ground and stood up with a bloody nose.
“You will pay for that.” Kent said, charging her again. Ethan ran from the office and tackled Kent to the ground.
“No, you will pay.” Ethan said, forcing Kent’s hands behind his back. “Where are the hatchlings?”
“I’m not giving them back.”
“We already know where they are.” Ethan’s father said from the door of the building. As he stepped through the door police walked around him, headed for Kent. Ethan let him go and Kent ran to the other side of the building and out the back door. The officers followed close behind. Ethan’s father followed them.
“Are you okay?” Ethan asked, hugging Anna. She was shaking, causing Ethan to hug her closer. His anger grew.
“I’m fine.” Anna sighed. She buried her face in his chest and took a deep breath, calming herself.
A roar pulled their attention to the back door and they both ran to see what was going on. They walked out the back door of the hatchling building, just in time to see Kent thrown into the air by an unfamiliar dragon. Upon the dragons back rode a young woman with blond, almost white, hair. She smiled at Ethan, her blue eyes meeting his. She nodded and turned her attention to Kent falling to the ground. The dragon reached his head up and caught Kent in his mouth, swallowing the man whole. Ethan’s father fell to his knees, staring at the dragon and his rider.
“Lily and Edward.” His father whispered.
“What?” Ethan asked, as he knelt down beside his father.
“That was Lily and Edward. The founders of the Urtz dragons. The originals.”
“They are long dead.” Ethan said, staring up at the woman again. Her eyes, he noticed. He knew they had looked familiar. They were the eyes that stared back at him as he walked through the hall way of the Urtz family. They were the eyes of the first person to believe in dragons again. “That’s impossible.” Ethan said quietly.
“There is a story,” his father began. “anyone that wrongs a dragon or the Urtz family, they will meet the face of Edward and his rider.” Ethan stared at his father. “My father once told me that he saw them when he was young. I thought they were just stories.”
Ethan watched as the dragon bowed to them and the woman, Lily, bowed to them as well, before turning and flying away. Ethan watched as they disappeared behind the clouds and he heard the dragon roar in victory.
Years later, Ethan would tell his children of the great Utrz protector, Lily and her dragon Edward. They would laugh at him and tell him that his stories are crazy, even if their mother, Anna, backed up the story. His children would tell their children and the story would carry on as the family continued to care for the dragons. Every so often Lily and Edward would appear to take care of the threat to the family and the story would be renewed.