Alexi scanned the surroundings. Trees stretched upwards into the black, star-lit, sky. They were a deep green with blossomed cona fruit flowers. The green sea surrounded the island, but he could see the towers in the distance. A single silver bridge was all that connected the lands.
New Genesis was only separated from the Old World by the Wildlands, the boundary that once separated the land of the fairies and other creatures from the humans.
Alexi stared into the jungle. He’d never been there before, but he’d dreamed about it since he was a child. Being half human and half Morai had made Alexi an outcast. There weren’t many mixed race children, it was illegal and frowned upon for humans to mate with the creatures they’d enslaved. Master Blakeney somehow thought he was above the law, and so, Alexi was the manor’s little secret.
Alexi’s shoulders slumped. He held the reigns of his tetra and whistled for the others to follow.
“All right,” Alexi said to Pasha. The black tetra nodded, made a sound much like a horse’s neigh, and lifted into the cold, night, air.
Four other men did the same, riding their tetras through the sky. They hid their fear the best they could. There were tales of what creatures lived in the Wildlands. It was amazing that the humans even made it through years ago to the land they’d colonized as New Genesis. The history books would tell the tales of those brave, heroic, humans, leaving out how many were slaughtered in the process.
Alexi pulled his goggles over his eyes and gave Pasha a nudge. Pasha darted across the dark sky at a speed of a jet. He saw the purple dust that Winter had left behind and tracked it. It sparkled against the black sky, shimmering as the moon’s light shone upon it.
It laid out a path for him. Winter didn’t seem to get far from Blakeney Manor. He followed the path through the air, going higher and higher. Then, the path plummeted downward, into the thickest grove of trees…into the jungle.
Alexi paused. Something had happened to her. She’d fallen. He felt his body go cold. That could only mean one thing. Someone had shot her, or worse, that she was dead.
His face paled. The others had paused as well. They watched him. Alexi could barely control his expression. All he could think of were the times he and Winter would play as children, before they’d become teenagers and father had them separated.
Winter would sing to him. Her silver eyes would light up with her smile and the most beautiful notes would escape her pale pink lips.
He still remembered the sound of her sweet voice and the way her hair would dance to the melodies of the ancient Morai hymns. Alexi swallowed a sharp lump in his throat. He did not want to believe that she was dead. Something within his heart told Alexi that he would know if Winter had died. His eyes narrowed in determination as he watched the purple mist fade into the air. He was certain that he would feel it if Winter was gone.
Alexi cleared his throat. He didn’t want the men to trace any of his emotion or feelings for Winter. He spoke with an authoritative voice. “Looks like we’re going right into the jungle, boys.”
He glanced back. Governor Sworv’s men all looked down at the jungle with their pale faces glowing in the moonlight.
“But the sun rises in less than 4 hours,” Frintz said. His voice wavered. His long black hair whipped around his face, getting caught in his mouth. He coughed and pulled the strands back. “I don’t know about this.”
Alexi shook his head in mild annoyance. Time was wasting by the minute. Winter was getting further and further away.
Cowards, he thought to himself. Then he shrugged. He had to remember that they were only human. It wasn’t cowardice to fear the sun, but logic. The sun would kill them. An idea came to him.
“Did Sworv really think we’d find her in one day?” Alexi asked himself.
The other’s grumbled.
“And I thought you were supposed to be special,” Colton scoffed. He pulled his own goggles off and rested them on his thick blonde hair. His face was expressionless, but Alexi could detect the disdain in Governor Sworv’s younger brother’s voice.
Alexi narrowed his eyes as he turned to Colton. “Excuse me?”
Colton shrugged and rested his hands on the pommel. His blue eyes glared at Alexi. He looked at Alexi as if he were a disgusting bug on the floor of his palace. “I’m just saying, what’s so special about you? You’re an abomination…nothing more.”
Alexi felt his face heat.
Frintz looked from one to the other. “Let’s not be volatile, guys. Alexi can walk in the sun and the moon. We can’t, Colton.”
Colton cracked an amused grin. “Oh, is that it?” Even as he flexed his gloved fingers, his eyes never left Alexi’s.
Alexi ground his teeth. Colton was tempting him. He wanted Alexi to lose control. Alexi let out a long, slow, breath and smiled.
He clicked his tongue and darted after the remnants of Winter’s trail.
Alexi shouted over his shoulder, “follow me and I’ll show you what I can do!”