Chapter 15

Amaranth had instinctively ducked behind the bed when the window had shattered, which was annoying since he really wouldn't have minded if the glass had cut him to pieces. Darn survival instincts…

The shockwave from the explosion hurled him against the wall. Amaranth barely noticed the pain, even though stars flashed before his eyes. His eyes went to the bedside table with Media's picture. It had been smashed by the bed, which had been thrown to the side as a result of the shockwave.

He could hear the sounds of battle downstairs. By the sounds of things, Circle Daybreak wasn't doing very well. Maybe he should go down there and help them; he could easily be killed in battle.

Amaranth had just made the decision to fight when light footsteps were heard outside his door- or, what remained of his door.

He crouched down in the shadow of the overturned bed and waited with baited breath for the intruder.

He could tell immediately that the intruder was a witch. Whoever it was held a ball of witchfire before them as a way of partially lighting the room. Unfortunately, the glow from the fire hid the witch's face from view. Amaranth frowned, slightly annoyed. He would've liked to see the face of the person he was going to kill.

He shifted into a hunting crouch and prepared to spring. The witch walked towards his hiding place, unaware of his presence. They both froze when the intruder stepped on the remains of Media's picture.

The witch looked down at the small photo and studied it for a moment with a surprised air. Amaranth felt a snarl rise in his throat. What did the witch care about a picture? It was his property, not theirs. Amaranth prepared to lunge for the intruder's throat when another intruder came out of the darkness and grabbed the witch.

I whirled around to face my attacker, the witchfire in my hand glowing fiercely. Its glow faltered when I saw the face of my attacker.

The dragon from South America sneered at me, taking delight in my fear. His opaque eyes glinted with barely concealed hatred beneath his charred dark hair. The red burn marks crisscrossing his face were the only signs that he had been in an explosion recently.

"Hello, little witch," he purred. "Miss me?"
"Not really, no," I said, trying to keep my voice steady. "How did you-?"

"Survive?" The dragon guessed. He smirked. "It takes more than a small potion to destroy a dragon, little girl."

Some insane part of my mind noted that, since I was an inch taller than the dragon, he shouldn't really be calling me little.

I shifted to a fighting position, the glow of the witchfire showing me the mocking expression on the dragon's face.

"I guess I'll have to be more creative when I kill you this time," I growled.

"Oh? And why would you want to kill me, little witch?"

The question was so incredibly stupid that I paused.

"After all," the dragon continued, completely ignoring my confusion. "You are named for Media, the only witch to stand with us in the fall of the First Age. Why not follow your namesake and join us? I assure you, the job has its benefits. And, besides, what do you really have to live for here? Nothing. So why not leave these pathetic fools and come with us? I'm sure the others would love to have a talented young witch like you in our army."

I was seriously considering the possibilities of this dragon receiving brain damage from that explosion in South America when a voice interrupted us.

"Media!" The new voice yelled. "Don't listen to him!"

The dragon and I both turned to face the newcomer, although I already knew who it was.

Amaranth stepped into the pool of light cast by the dimming witchfire, his face pale with fear and anger.

"Don't join them," he pleaded. "They're evil, Media."

"And you're an idiotic Daybreaker," the dragon retorted wearily. "Come, little witch, you know you don't want to be a part of this Circle Daybreak."

I turned to look at the dragon, my eyebrows raised.

"Did you even lose any horns in that explosion?" I asked casually.

The dragon frowned and ran a hand through his hair, pushing some strands away from his forehead.

A single horn stood proudly beside the ruined stump of its fellow. I fought the urge to gag. Okay, dragon horns are definitely not on my list of favorite things to look at.

I looked at the horn as long as I could without throwing up and looked back at the dragon's face. Its eyes glittered excitedly, no doubt expecting me to turn against my friends and loved ones just as my namesake had all those years ago.

"Well, you certainly are a powerful dragon, aren't you?" I mused thoughtfully, the witchfire faltering again in my hand. "You'd be a hard one to kill in a fight."

The dragon smirked, pleased with the direction in which this conversation was going. Amaranth stared at me, horrified.

"It wouldn't be wise to challenge me," the dragon agreed.

"Well," I said slowly. "In that case…."

The witchfire burst to life in my hands and shot straight at the dragon, destroying the exposed horn on his forehead. The dragon started and stared at me, his eyes widening in shock. He fell to the side and landed, spread-eagled, on the ground in front of me.

"I guess it's a good thing I'm not challenging," I finished coolly. "Now stay dead this time."

Amaranth sighed in relief and put his arms around me. I smiled and pressed my face into his chest.

"Don't ever scare me like that again," he growled softly. "I thought you were dead."

I snorted.

"It takes more than an explosion and an insane dragon to do me in," I said proudly.

Amaranth laughed.

"Clearly," he chuckled. His arms tightened around me and drew me close. "When did you become such a fierce little warrior?"

"It's kind of weird what being on the run does to a person, isn't it?" I joked. Then I frowned. "Come on," I sighed. "The fight's not over yet."

Disclaimer: I do not own Night World *sigh*

Me: Thanks to all of the people who reviewed! And if you snow like did, enjoy it!