Page 12 of Hadley

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“I heard that too. She’s very frightening about the shit she can find on a person, isn’t she?” Hadley laughed and said that she was good. “Good? Yes, I guess that’s a good way of putting it. But the things that she was able to figure out about them still blows me away. Though I’m not sure that it’s because she was able to find them or that they had done the deeds. I mean, even going so far as to have killed two people simply because they wanted to buy land that they wanted to sell. They didn’t even own the property, she told me.”

He thought about the man’s death and did wonder again who would have killed him. Any number of people could have done it, he supposed. But they had to be magical to have been able to pull it off the way that they had. Even being able to go undetected by anyone in the room would have been a feat that he didn’t think he could have done.

Dinner was loud and fun. He’d forgotten how entertaining it was to have them all around the table and shouting to be heard over one another. Hadley did wonder a second or two how his parents had managed it with them all six at home, going different directions when they spoke. But then he remembered having dinners with his uncles too. They were a great deal louder as well as violent at times when they had a point to make. It made him smile when he thought of how much louder his own children would be when they and their cousins came along.

After dinner, they sat out on the deck. It was getting cooler at night now, and he, as well as his family, enjoyed it. Finn had started a fire in their fire pit to help stave off the chill for those that weren’t as warm-blooded as they were. All he’d done was put his hand to some dried wood, and it flared right up for them.

“I was thinking about something the other day. Do you guys remember the time that we were helping Mom and Dad with a project at home? The one where the school board wanted some money for the football field?” Most of them nodded at Theo. However, Hadley didn’t remember it at all, being the youngest. “The principal, I don’t remember his name right off the bat, but he wanted the foundation to donate money so that the football field, as well as the bleachers, could be upgraded. If I remember correctly, they were in bad shape. However, it turned out that he wanted his sister’s firm to do the work, and her bids were well above anyone else’s.”

“I remember that.” Finn laughed as he told more of the story. “Mom wanted to have a look around as to what they were going to be doing with the money. She and Dad showed up with the plans that the school board wanted done. Once they were there, they could see that someone had left the plans that the principal’s sister—Harden and Son. The principal was Jacob Harden, and his sister was Linda. I don’t think there was ever a son involved. Anyway, the plans that the sister had were renovations on her and her brother’s homes. Also, for Jacob to have his office at the school upgraded as well. Why do you bring it up?”

“I saw the sister the other day. I didn’t know her name, thanks for that, but she didn’t do well in prison. She looks to have aged about fifty years more than the twenty that she got. Finding the other projects around town that they should have been doing and not was a windfall for us. Not to mention for the town. I heard that her brother died of a stroke in prison not long after being taken there.” Finn said that he’d heard that as well. “She was trying to drum up some projects like she’d done before. However, when she saw me, she ran out of the place faster than I’ve seen a woman run in a while. It was funny, really. She’d obviously not learned anything by being there and was going to take up where she’d left off.”

“It happens all the time. People think that once they served their time—to which they think shouldn’t have happened, they can’t be tried for it again. Not true. In fact, I think they get a higher sentence if they’re caught doing it again. At least that’s what I would hope would happen.” George said he thought that Imp was right in saying that. “Of course I am. I’m forever right. When are you going to remember that?”

They all laughed. It was an ongoing joke that the women were forever right in this family. And they seemed to be all the time. He knew that he was going to pay more attention to what his new wife said from now on. Hadley thought he might learn a thing or two from doing that.


Dawn didn’t want to disturb the family while they were in such good humor, but she knew that she wasn’t at a place where she could handle the situation that she was currently in. Appearing in the room with them all, she waved all of them to sit back down when they stood up at her presence.

“I’ve something that I need to discuss with the two of you, Colby and Hadley. One of my faeries have…well, they murdered—what he’s calling it—Levi Mitchel today, and he wants me to destroy him for his actions. I don’t know what to do.” She started pacing the room and told the rest of the story. “Melville was in the courtroom today. He has a fondness for the law, and he also has a bit of a crush on young Colby. When the man, a disreputable man if you were to ask me, started going on about raping and—you understand that I wasn’t there, so I’m only getting this second hand. But he was listening to Levi go on about raping young Colby, and his anger got the better of him.”

“Where is he now?” Dawn told Hadley that he had taken himself to the prison that she has. “And is he chained there? I mean, is he in trouble and needs to be there?”

“I have put a guard at his door to make sure that he does nothing terrible to himself. I wouldn’t put it past him to do so. He used to be a rider for a great dragon long ago. He’s been sorely depressed lately, feeling like his time should be up. However, when he approached me not an hour ago, my heart hurt for him.” Colby asked her what she thought they could do about it. “I’m not entirely sure. I do know that he killed the man without consent to do so. No permission was given to him to do such an act. However, I cannot find a reason that would mean his death for killing such a person. But, I told him that I would speak to you both to see what else his punishment would be in addition to his death.”

“I don’t want him killed.” Dawn sat down hard, her relief so profound that her knees simply gave out from under her. When Hadley helped her up from the floor, he helped her to the chair before commenting more. “He didn’t have to confess to anything. Did he say why he did? I will be honest with you when I say that not one of us cared how Levi died but were thrilled that he was no longer a threat to Colby and Donny.”

“Melville seems to think that he’s done you a misjustice. He is a good faerie, my lord. I’ve never, in all the time that he’s been with me after the great dragons, I’ve had no trouble with him. So as you can imagine, this has come out of the blue for me.” Colby asked what he did for her. “As I said, he’s quite smart and has studied the law for decades by being in the courtrooms during trials, and he helps me and some of the other kingdom leaders with the best way to have things done. Purchasing land that needs to be redone. Waterways that need a bit of magic but are too much out in the open for me to send anyone there to work on them. Things like that. We’ve done so much for the world with him around.”

“Why would he think that his death will be something that anyone wants?” Hadley looked around the room and then back at her as he continued. “I mean, like we’ve been saying since it happened, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Not that I would wish the man dead, never that, but he was talking about raping my wife so that he could take over her family farm and sell it off.”

“He feels that he has dishonored you both by killing him. That there was no justice for you and your wife by him being judged by the courts. I believe he thinks that by killing the man, no matter how much he deserved it, that he took something away from the two of you by not allowing you to do it before he did.” Hadley asked if she could have Melville brought here. “I can, but other than ordering him to come, I don’t think that he’ll come willingly.”

“Please, do whatever it takes to have him here. Willingly or not, I would like to speak to him.” Nodding, Dawn called Melville to them. When he arrived, he laid himself on the floor and asked to be killed quickly, not that he deserved it. “You killed a human for me. I would like to honor you for you helping me out by asking you to be my faerie for the rest of our lives.”

Melville looked up from his position and then laid back down. Dawn could feel his confusion. She thought that the little man had thought that he’d be killed immediately. But to have been asked to be her faerie for all time was something that she’d not even expected from the beautiful woman.

“I don’t understand.” She asked him to come to her. “My lady, you’re honoring me when I have done something that is forbidden in all manner of creatures. You should align yourself with someone worthy of such a detail.”

“I believe that I have. It’s you. You’ve done this for me so that my mate wouldn’t be going to prison for a death that should have been done decades ago.” She put out her hand, and Dawn wasn’t sure that Melville was going to come to her. When he did, Dawn felt tears fill her eyes as Colby smiled at the little man. “When Hadley and I have children, I would like for you to be the one that chooses their faeries. A man of great honor and goodness could be the only one that makes it so that they have the very best.”

“My lady, are you sure?” Colby assured him that she had never been more sure of anything other than her love for Hadley. “If it is all right with my lady the queen, I shall do as you ask. You have given me more than I could have ever hoped for in my life. My mate and my children will be so happy that I’m not to die. I don’t know what would have happened to them should you have, not that I didn’t deserve it, but they would have been heartbroken for sure.”

“Bring them to the house too. Find yourself a place for you to share here with your family and call it your own. Any place in the household is yours to use.” He nodded. Dawn thought that he was still feeling like he was going to be killed. “There will be no more talk about how you should die or that you feel like you should be punished. I will forever be indebted to you and your family for what you’ve done for me and my family.”

Sending Melville to gather up his family, Dawn looked around the room and saw something that she’d never noticed before. There was greatness in this room. And it had very little to do with the fact that they were dragons. Their hearts were pure. Something that, in her line of work, she barely saw anymore.

“I should like to give you something. As a token of my appreciation for how things were handled for Melville.” It was Finn that said that there was no reason for her to feel beholden to them. They all would have done the same thing for Melville. “Be that as it may, I’m grateful that there was no more bloodshed than what was necessary.”

She only needed to touch Colby, and it would spread to all the others in the family. It was a gift that she’d never wanted to give to anyone, not even people that she trusted with her life. As they began to get the magic, she made her way home. They would understand what she’d given them as soon as she gave it to them.

She’d have visitors now. They would be free to come and go as they pleased. She had also given Hadley and Colby another gift, one that she was sure they’d not like at first. But then, she was queen. That thought made her burst out laughing. As if she had any control over what they did or wanted to do concerning her.

When Melville asked permission to speak to her, she bid him welcome. He asked her if it would be all right with her that he stayed with the couple. She had to smile. He was standing before her with his luggage and his wife and three children at his side.

“I believe they made it perfectly clear that you’ve done them a great service, Melville. I would only ask that you enjoy your life with them and enjoy their children. They will have dragons, as I’m sure you’re aware.” He said that he did know that. “Good. Then you and your family are free to go. I want you to come and visit me from time to time. I love your company and that of your wife. Please, Melville, I don’t know what I’d do without your friendship.”