“The fire you have within you is impossible to kill. The first breath you take when you’re free of all this, it will come roaring back. That’s what is so impossibly beautiful about you.” ― Rebecca Yarros, Full Measures
Flight of Fantasy
Water cascaded through her hair, over her face and shoulders, encasing Domi in a cocoon of warmth as her thoughts drifted in a dream of false hope. Her hands and arms drifted along the landscape of her body with a sponge washing the memory of the herbal fluid and Jade’s healing massage down the drain.
Her birthday came and went in the invariability of her life. Domi still felt imprisoned by fear and loneliness. The large green-tiled room, her exercise, and study became her world as her heart yearned to feel love and to live free. Her shuttered mind would not allow it.
“Here, let me help you. We must get going.” Jade spoke in her usual cheerful tone.
“Where must we go?” Domi’s voice trailed along.
“You’re leaving to your new home today.” Jade talked as she stroked Domi’s back with the sponge.
“You know you can never go back to Russia, my dear.”
“Why?” Domi exclaimed after the shock of hearing she was leaving.
“You are special, Domi. You are going somewhere safe where you will go to school and learn the fine art of becoming a woman with your unique talents. Your music, math, and science studies can continue.”
“How can I be special? I have no family or friends.”
“What am I, sweetheart?” Jade held Domi’s back against her. Jade’s lips touched her ear. She whispered causing Domi’s skin to tingle from the sensations that flooded her body and mind.
“Do you feel that? Only someone like you and I can feel with such intensity. It is not only your burning desire that grows. Your mind is expanding faster than you can imagine; connecting you to vast stores of knowledge, commanding your body and intellect in ways not possible for other girls. Where you are going everyone feels emotions like we do.” Jade explained.
The feel of Jade’s warm body mixed with water running in sheets across her skin sent pulses crashing through her. Domi struggled to ignore what was happening to her. She always felt ashamed of the intense pleasure and need she felt with Jade.
“You will have someone teach you how to master what you feel. Her name is Jasmine. She is your mentor. Jasmine is a chambermaid to the outside world. Like Jasmine, you’ll learn to hide in plain sight.”
“Domi.” Jade faced Domi and placed her arms around her waist.
Jade felt like electric current to Domi. She could only nod to acknowledge Jade.
“You must do as Jasmine says. Don’t question her or her motives. She is your teacher. She will never harm you, but she is going to challenge you to your limits. Don’t judge her by the way she teaches you. Judge her by the quality of your life in her hands.”
Dominika returned Jade’s embrace. She held on to her as if she was the last person she would ever know or see. Her mind sought to withdraw deeper, and her heart pounded in her chest.
“Come, sweetheart. It’s time to get ready. Never forget what I told you. Your destiny is with the Dragon Sisters, girls like yourself. Your Dragon family will love you, accept you, protect you and in return, you will do the same. You’ll see, dear. Trust me. Trust Jasmine. She’ll teach you to love the beast inside you.”
Jade walked Domi over to a bench and helped her get dressed for the long trip. Her manner was that of a servant dressing her mistress. She doted on Domi. The mesmerized girl buried deep in a shadow of desire and pain welcomed the intimacy of Jade’s touch.
Her rescuer awakened the Dragon. Domi stepped into the panties that rose in a languid pace up her legs accompanied by fingertips touching skin, skimming along, now straightening the band. A pat on her bottom signaled the finish. Now, on with the bra. Domi felt tuned to Jade’s movements. The tug as the hooks closed on her back. Her breasts straightened for her with care. The loose cotton top tightened on her arms as they broke free with her head now tugged down, again straightened. Next the pants.
There was such pleasure in this dance of server and served. The older Jade was wise and smooth to the filly’s erratic uncertainty. Domi’s vulnerability and the pleasure Jade gave her were the filly’s mournful sub-rosa.
Jade knew the secret of Domi’s heart. She understood the dark urges. She felt it too. It was the Dragon’s instinct to bond with its kind, to feel love and companionship without thinking of reward or punishment. It was the instinct of all beasts. It’s how the animal survived.
The next few hours passed in a blur. The routine ended, and Domi was free to wander around the grounds of the walled-in garden until it was time to leave. It felt odd that she regretted leaving. She feared Jade’s absence in her life. Jade was the only person Domi felt connected to even though students and staff filled the estate.
The house seemed to buzz with activity. Domi met the two Estonian girls that helped Jade care for her in the hall. They were all smiles and congratulating her, telling her what an honor it was to go to the Dragon Sentinel’s school. Domi felt none of the excitement, only the dread of change. The threatened loss of familiarity and companionship stole her peace of mind.
“Come, Domi. We’ll help you pack.” The girls went with Domi to the dorm room and collected the things she would need for the trip, which filled only one suitcase and a carry-on bag filled with the necessities of a blossoming young lady.
“Don’t look so worried, dear. The Korean School has everything you need. You just show up, and they take care of everything,” said the elder girl.
“That handsome guy, Eo-Jin is your escort. I’m jealous of you Domi. I wish he were taking me to Korea. I’m sure we would show up a month late and be in hot water with the headmaster, but it would be worth any punishment. He is so dreamy and nice.” The girls laughed with each other as Domi panicked.
“I can’t go with some strange man!” Domi’s eyes darted around. She looked like she was looking for a place to run.
“You can go with Eo-Jin. He is a gentleman, and no one will dare bother you while he is at your side. You’ll see. Just relax.” They hugged Domi and tried to reassure her once they saw how deep her fear was.
* * *
Jade met Domi on the portico with the two girls and some of her teachers. Jade was dressed in her traditional Hanbok to mark the significance of the moment. Jade performed the dance of White Cranes to flutes as the others sang in a soft melody. Domi watched dumbfounded. She hadn’t had this much attention since she was a little girl on her birthday celebration with her parents.
A sedan pulled up ending the party. Jade walked to the car with Domi. Jade’s upbeat attitude lifted Domi’s spirits. The driver walked around the car to Jade and Domi. He bowed to Jade then kissed her forehead as he hugged her.
“Older Sister, it is so good to see you again. My heart aches in your absence. You must come to the school and visit.”
The Estonian girls held each other and looked on with envy as the tall Korean turned and bowed to Domi.
“I am your driver and escort. My name is Lee, Eo-Jin. Please, Miss Aristov, won’t you have a seat and we’ll be on our way soon.
Domi didn’t budge. Jade held Domi’s hand and eased her into the car and shut the door. Domi stared back at her with eyes full of tears. Her fear and sorrow were palpable.
The orphaned daughter of Dr. Viktor Aristov, the father of the Dragon Sisters, sobbed as the car pulled away. She tried to burn Jade’s face in her memory like a photograph. The only person Domi knew on the planet that cared about her faded from view. Mirrored in Jade’s eyes was an eternal sadness; the kind that joy and love cannot vanquish. The set of Jade’s eyes was rooted in the past of experience and salted with knowledge of the future.
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