“All he ever needed to do was ask… and I would be his.”
I heard a noise from downstairs and tried yelling out, only one person would be making that much noise in his own home. “Lycaon…”
Lycaon’s voice grates from downstairs. “Can’t win shit for losing.” I heard him growl, digging his claws into the table.
I tried rolling out of bed but the drakon held me in place. Don’t you dare move Medea! He growled at me. In a flash, Lycaon kicked my door open. I misread why he was angry, thinking he must have heard of my tangle with Kane. I looked up at him, not moving. “What? You knew what was coming.” I watched Lycaon shift into wolf form and roar so loud that windows shattered. The drakon roared back, keeping his flames in check. Speak, young wolf.
Lycaon’s eyes shifted to pure white, the room turned bitter cold. “Leave my home. Leave her be.”
The drakon spoke up, and I could feel the anger building in his voice. She is my soul partner Lycaon, she has been mine far longer than she was yours. I looked between the two of them, exasperated. “Lycaon, this is the Colchian Drakon, he has been with me since I was a child.”
I tried sitting up, the wound in my chest oozing through the bandages. “Shit, I’m gonna need to re-wrap this.”
It was then that I think Lycaon took stock in my injuries. “Medea, are you okay?”
I looked at Lycaon and tried to smile weakly. “I met Kane, finally…” I didn’t get to finish my sentence before Lycaon let out a deep growl, and I felt the drakon bristle near me. “And I confirmed my worst fears.” He shifted back to his normal form, and I looked at my friend with a sigh. “He has a demon backing him, confirmed… And,” my voice lowers to a whisper, “Edward is working with them both… He was the one who eventually stopped Kane from killing me, and then carried me home, as per what my scaly friend here has told me.”
Lycaon looked at me, although I could tell what he was thinking. “How did he stop Kane? None of us have been able to stop him.”
I sighed. I hated getting into the mess with Edward looming over my shoulder, now that I knew they were working with each other. “He asked Kane, well, more like he demanded it. Edward needs me alive, and until whatever his desire for me is fulfilled, Kane won’t be killing me. I promise you, it was nothing I did.” I was ready to die. I thought.
“Actually, it’s why I was angry when I walked in. He’s killed Medusa, Baba Yaga, Arachne, and Balthazar.” Lycaon said before realizing what I’d said. “Edward…asked him.” He narrowed his eyes at me.
“Yes, I… whoever is controlling Kane seems to be on more equal footing with Edward, Kane and Edward are not on the same playing field,” I replied cautiously.
Lycaon sighed, scratching his head. “I’ve confirmed a few theories of my own.”
“And?” I sat up further, pulling up the green silk sheets above my wound. “You know he’s using a sword, and these burns didn’t come from fire.” I held out my arms.
“It’s not a sword. It’s a malleable weapon that allows him to adapt to the opponent in front of him.” Lycaon explained.
Something clicked in me then. “I knew about Baba Yaga, I found out last night… When I inherited her mantle. And… that… is terrifying. What of the chains? They blocked my magic, weakening me to this…”
Lycaon spoke quietly. “I had a theory that Solomon was purposely not killing some Legends. He is rounding us up.”
I nodded my agreement. “Yes, he sees everyone here as a threat.” Except me. I kept my thought private. “That was what he tortured me about. My role here… I admitted I didn’t know, until I realized that I did, also why I am here when I don’t need to be.”
He whispered softly, and I almost missed it. “Chains… of Kratos.” He rubbed his face and sighed. “What purpose is yours then?” I could almost hear a challenge in his voice.
My eyes widened and I shook my head. “No… those have been lost to time.” The drakon pointed to my chest and I touched the golden scale. I breathed deeply. “My purpose here is to be the Mother, who has been here every day to welcome and train, to heal and entertain… The role I denied millennia ago, the role I had tried to fill with Morgana… And last night on the waning moon, I inherited Baba Yaga’s position of the Crone. Ancient Wisdom, at my hands. But this is not why I stay… That is for me.”
Lycaon clenched his jaw and I debated reaching out but decided against it, my body still weak, my heart not pounding as strongly as it could be.
“Then stay if you’re meant to go be this great leader.” Lycaon’s voice came out cold, and distant.
“I’m not a great leader, you are the leader, we discussed this already Lycaon… You will be leading them into battle, I will be the one tending them when they return… Have you not seen it? That we are opposite sides of the same damned coin.” My voice raised, and I started coughing. “You and I are bound in this Lycaon… we have been since the start.”
“I see it Medea!” He yelled back at me.
“Good, now be the leader I know you to be! Talk to your troops, tell them they have nothing to fear, although by now most if not all of them will have met Solomon Kane. I will be here to heal their wounds, address their concerns… be their mother. But you need to be their father, you lovable idiot.”
He scoffed and looked at me hard. I stared back. “Nothing to fear.”
“Or tell them the truth. Tell them that we’re all going to die at the hands of this monster… and I will still be here to calm their fears.” I retorted.
“I told you my plan isn’t to die. Or have anyone die!” Lycaon shouted back. We were screaming at each other like school children.
“THEN TELL THEM!” I shouted back, which hurt more than I needed right now. “You can only do so much running around in the forest all day and night… eventually you will need to actually SEE the people you have brought into this. Make no mistake, Kane has a plan. He was ready for me while I was drakonic last night. I haven’t flown free since Edward…”
“Tell them that we still don’t know how to stop him? Let alone kill him? Tell them that I spend my time away every day, putting myself through hell to get one step closer to finishing this? Tell them to put behind millennia of animosity so we can try to not die?!” Lycaon countered.
I felt defeated at that moment, and I looked at him. “Then tell them nothing… be invisible and they will never unite without a reason. Kane trying to pick them off one by one, that will never do the trick. The only reason Morgan is even thinking about asking Merlin for help is because of me… You brought us here, be the king I know you to be, or go back to being the vagabond traveller I met all those years ago… And I will just go back to dancing… Let us fade then, Lycaon, into myth and Kane will win, whether we live or die.”
Lycaon sounded just as defeated. “Fine. Then I shall stick to the cabin.”
I slowly swung myself out of bed and pulled a sheet along with me, the drakon leaning forward to steady me. “When I think back, Lycaon, in all those years we’ve known each other… I just wish sometimes that I had done things differently.”
Lycaon looked at me with surprise in his eyes. “What things?”
“I wish I had been honest with you from the start, who I was… What I’d done…” I whispered. “How I felt… You would never have asked me to be here.”
“Of course I would. You came here and stayed after you saw it was me, right?” He responded quickly.
I sighed, I guess it was time. “Because I love you, you dumb wolf, I always have…” I turned back to the window and looked out through the forest.
Lycaon barrelled on. “I fed a man to Zeus, or tried.” His eyes widened, and he realized what I had said. “Love me?”
I turned and looked back at him, tired amber eyes brimming with tears. “I fell for you the moment our eyes met. I just couldn’t admit that to myself, let alone anyone else. Back when we weren’t Lycaon, the King of the Werewolves and Medea the Sorceress/Murderess of Colchis.” Lycaon was breathing heavily. “This is why I stay if you must know… This is why I am so intent on protecting you.”
Lycaon surprised me with his next words, soft as feathers. “I… have felt the same for a long time. I’ve never settled down with anyone.”
I shake my head sadly. “Pretty words for the broken girl. I tried once, and look where that got me. But with you…” I paused and thought quickly. “You only needed to ask, and I was there. No questions…”
“I ask you now. Stay.” I felt his heart in his words, and I nodded.
“I will stay… for you… and for Morgana, my beautiful girl. Because if anything should happen to either of you…” I left the sentence in the air.
“It won’t.” He promised.
The golden scale on my chest began to shine and I smiled. “I guess that means I can take it off, old friend?” Yes, but be careful Medea, don’t rip the stitches.
Morgan knocked lightly on the lintel of my door. “Is everything alright?”
“Come in Morgan, I’m standing for the moment.” I slowly began to peel off the scale.
Lycaon looked at me one last time, and the remaining pieces of my heart went with him. “I’m going to go downstairs now. I’ll be… around.” He nodded at Morgan and then left.
The memory of that night was burned in my skull, I couldn’t get it off repeat. So much had been left unsaid in the last 2,000 years, and now… I didn’t know if I could move forward once this ordeal would be done…if Lycaon doesn’t make it.