Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.”
― Henry van Dyke, Music and Other Poems
Fear of Love is Fear of Life
The old doctor studied his graphs and data outputs with a frenzied impatience. In all the testing, he never saw readings like this. His acupressure and assessment of Lee’s life-force showed she was like a powerful battery nearly drained by the child. What little remained was still stronger than the average woman her age. He wondered if his equipment malfunctioned. Worse, he feared Lee could die if he made a mistake.
Leathery hands searched through a notebook for two names. The doctor would take his results to the two Russian physicists that worked for the society. Lee recruited them years ago and now her life may depend on them. He knew the Russian woman, Dominika, was very close to Lee. He hoped their relationship would be the catalyst he needed to push her to her limits to solve the problems his electronics discovered. The future of the Black Dragons rested in his and the Russian’s hands.
There was a slight tremble in the age-gnarled fingers that scratched at the old face and stroked white hair. The doctor could not tell the General what he suspected. He would buy time while his verification took place. Hair rested in rivulets on his head, a testimony to the worried hands that stroked his scalp. He walked to the study to give his report.
The four men talked in hushed tones. One would think they discussed an acquaintance’s mediocre golf score by the lack of emotion on their faces. The doctor explained his diagnosis.
“She requires more sleep, at least two more days. Then, bring her out of her sleep slowly for three days. She will need five more days to fully regain her senses and life force. I left a special diet, instructions, and medication with the nurses.”
“When can she begin caring for the child?” Hue knew Lee must start bonding with the baby right away.
“She cannot have any contact with the child or with you, Hue. Anything that drains her will delay her recovery until her energy is restored.” The doctor ensured the others could not look in his eyes while he spoke.
“Very well doctor. Thank you.” The General dismissed the doctor and after a respectful bow to honor the great family, the worried physician departed.
* * *
Lee rested in her bed and thought about Dominika after the nurses told her she was coming to visit soon. She recalled it was eighteen years ago when Dominika Aristov visited her at the diner where she worked. Dominika was Lee’s first great accomplishment for the Black Dragons.
They had felt an intense and instant friendship from their days in training together. They were both teens that found themselves alone in a harsh school while their minds and bodies acclimated to the changes the Dragon’s blood caused. She remembered how frightened they were.
Domi was the first to show Lee how hot and consuming the flames of desire were. Lee recalled Domi’s flushed cheeks when she introduced Ivan to her. Ivan mesmerized Dominika with his theory of energy in motion.
Lee’s mission was to bond Dominika and Ivan to each other. This relationship would make it easy for the Black Dragons to bring them together where their collective brilliance and single focus would further the Dragon society’s purpose to bring humankind closer to divinity.
Their friendship burned in Lee’s heart, setting her aflame. It was the conversation of intimacy she heard and felt for the first time. Lee paused in her reflection. Did the old Dragons know how tight their bond would form by this act of planned matrimony? Matchmaking was a task she knew nothing about, yet compelled by duty to obey?
Lee felt she and Domi shared different lives but somehow felt the same. Dominika lived crippled by her brilliance and broken heart. A strong sense of culture and duty strangled Lee. Both burned with a desire to feel intimacy, unwilling to pursue it until they met the right person.
The right person for Domi was Ivan. Ivan’s seduction brought Dominika out into the light to play and feel alive again. Lee watched the two lovebirds blossom as her heart ached for the time her love would come.
Dominika taught Lee how to burn with passion for more than the accomplishment of one’s duty. They were closer than sisters. The girls were inseparable friends. When Ivan and Hue came into their lives, It was the moment both girls changed forever. Lee felt it was the moment the tears from the sacred flower came in joy instead of sadness.
It was love that fueled Lee’s life-force, and it was love that would save her. The old doctor’s technology and ancient arts overlooked this. He couldn’t measure love. It remained a powerful, elusive force, like gravity that one felt but struggled to explain how it worked. Without true love; advanced technology, duty, honor, fealty, and rigid societal rules could only take them so far and then they would implode like a dying star.
Lee promised herself she would forge a stronger link with her new family. Her child and husband would grow powerful in the life-force of her love she had stored in her heart and sacred flower for all those years.
As Lee lay with her head on the pillow, her chin pointing to some distant place beyond the ceiling to the stars, her eyes fluttered, and the corners of her dry, cracked lips turned up into a smile. She hoped this dream of family bonds with Hue and her little dragon had a happy ending.
Lee drifted into a dream again and felt the warm pulsing sensations of the Dragon’s blood rise from the center of her body. The multi-colored lines that danced across the monitors looked like the crest of a wave crashing on the shore in surges of undulating energy. Lee’s inner Dragon struggled to keep itself and Lee alive.