Page 16 of Hadley

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He couldn’t sleep. Instead of lying there and waiting for the sun to come up, Hadley slipped out of bed and made his way to the dining room again. The work there was something that he could do and not have to think about the million and one things that were going on in his head about what Imp had to say to him. It was nearly dawn when she finally showed up.

“All right. Just hear me out. I’m not going to do any of the things that I’ve come across, but there are so many questions going on right now in my head that I’m afraid to look too deeply into them.” Colby came into the room with them and sat down next to him. She looked refreshed. He could only hope he didn’t look like he’d been up all night. “I’ve been reading over some of the books that Grannie said I could read. It’s sort of like a diary of the events of not just the lives of the woman I met long ago but also some things I didn’t know about. Like, for instance, the original Colby was created by the earth.”

“She was created to help with the future of the creatures that would be born someday. I’m not sure that they ever thought it would be dragons, but it does mention that there were great creatures that would roam the earth for a time that would need plenty of—why is this important now?” Both he and Imp stared at Colby when she explained what she knew. “What? Do you think that having books around that I’d not read them? I have a great deal of information about my family that I’m sure no one knows. Like the fact that Imp is able to destroy an entire family of dragons if she were to destroy one of the older dragons.”

“I read that too. I don’t understand what it means, however.” Colby asked Imp what she knew of her ability to destroy a dragon. “I’m beginning to think that I don’t know as much as I thought that I did. I created them so I know just what it will take to destroy them. It would have to be destroy, too, as they’re so large and heavy.”

“Right. However, if you destroy or kill, the same thing in the end, one of the older dragons, like the first generation, you will destroy their line as well. It’s not like you just kill them, but because they were created, by you, once you kill them, everything about them is also killed.” Imp looked at him before looking at Colby. “As their creator, Imp, if you were to kill off Cooper, then everything about Cooper would be gone. There would be no children raised by him. Carson wouldn’t be around because she’d be human again. Everything about his life would be as if it never happened.”

“What about the second generation? My brothers.” She said that if they’d been raised by Cooper, then they’d be nevermore. However, if Xavier were to be killed, then they’d never be either. “But we weren’t born of them.”

“No, you weren’t. However, you were raised by them. And made safe because of them and the other members of the family. If they weren’t around to keep you safe, hatch you guys, then there would more than likely be none of you guys either. Don’t get me wrong. You might well have lived. It’s hard to say. But the likelihood of it is slim.” Hadley asked about their grandfather and his dying. “Not the same thing. He gave his life for his children, his sons. He didn’t die because he was no longer needed as a creation but gave his magic and life to his sons to make it so that they could safely and, as a matter of course, be there for the next generations that came along.”

“So let me get this straight. Not that I would do this at all, but if I were to destroy Cooper, then there would be no children of him and Carson. Not only that, all the things that they did, taking care of their family, would also be destroyed. I’m assuming that memories of him would also be gone. They’d not have children to be born, and they wouldn’t have children of their own. There would be no foundation that he heads up, either. Is that about right?” Colby said that was exactly right. “Why? I mean, not that I don’t believe you in this, but why would that happen?”

“Why? I don’t know why. But Imp created dragons from magic. Once there is no more use for the magic, as, in an example of Cooper being destroyed, it would return to wherever it was born from.” Hadley wasn’t sure how to think about this. If that would be all it took to make it so that dragons were no longer around, he was terrified as to what sort of magic it had taken to create them. A great deal more than he’d ever thought. “The books do go on to tell about how the dragons were able to fly the sky and darken the earth with their shadows. The very fact that dragons weren’t creatures that were here on this earth could be the reason that they would be gone if destroyed. A mistake, I guess you could think of it. If they were a mistake, then it wouldn’t be anything for them to be taken out of the memories of all those that had anything to do with them. Including seeing them. I would never think of them as mistakes, ever. But as a safety aspect of it, if they were something that needed to be uncreated, then that would be best, I would think, that no one would ever think of them again. Understand?”

“So the failsafe is that should they proved to be too much—well, too much of everything, then destroying them would end their existence for all mankind, and no one would be the wiser. I guess I can see that.” Imp stared at the floor before continuing. “Who is it that came up with this failsafe? It wasn’t me. I know that I’d never once thought of them being anything but something that I wanted to see flying through the sky.”

“My ancestors down through the ages keep notes, as you know. But they also wrote out things that they understood too. Like the way that dragons were more beneficial to the earth than she thought anyone could have imagined.” Getting up and then returning with one of the many books that had been brought to the house over their last few days, Colby handed it over to Imp. “This is the first book that my ancestor wrote in. It’s extremely delicate. And for as old as it is, the writing is very clear. It took me a while to figure out that it’s written in fae. As the books continue to be written in, the language changes with them. At some point, it’s in dragon. Also, brownie and faerie. I haven’t any idea who might have taught her to read and write in those, but I’m ever so happy that she did.”

Hadley was as well. Just thumbing through the book that he had was an amazing step back in the past. He’d been around for a long time, but these passages were well beyond even when his father was born. He was going to gather them all up and read them in order. It might prove to be something that he’d enjoy when the farm was ready to be put to sleep for the winter months.


Hadley thought about the memories that he had about his family over the next several days. Growing up with his uncles and aunts nearby was something that he was sure a great many families didn’t have. Even having his brothers and their wives around had made life fun. If not a little more interesting than the normal family. Laughing to himself, he thought of all the times that he’d been in trouble with one or more of the family but hadn’t been punished as harshly as he thought perhaps he should have.

His brother Finn had been born a leader. He did have his ups and downs on occasion, but not nearly as much as he thought he would have, being the one in charge of their move here to help out with the area. He was firm but fair. Finn was a red dragon, hotter than anything ever created or naturally made. Hadley thought that of all his brothers, he was in awe of Finn the most. He and his mate, Rachel, were instrumental in helping out the fire department when the need arose.

Theo was his second oldest brother. As a diamond dragon the same as he was, the two of them were able to cut through anything with their breath. Blending in, too, was very helpful as their dragon was able to simply sit out in the open and not be seen by prey or friend unless they wished it so. His mate, Pem, she was a great person, and the two of them were so much in love that he envied their love. At least before he’d met his own mate, Colby. Now he was just as happy as his brothers were.

Milo and George had been adopted by their parents as humans. Milo and Jamie, his mate, worked with their parents in their jobs as death watchers. When it became necessary to rid both worlds of evilness, Milo and Jamie would destroy the dead.

By helping out with the death watcher, the blade, a beautifully appointed sword used to slice through the dead, offered them a gift. As it turned out, both Jamie and Milo were given one each, and one asked for their brothers to be able to have a single child of their own. Before that, since they weren’t dragons, their mates couldn’t birth a dragon child. As well as the boon of having a child, they were also given the magic to become dragons. Something that he’d not realized the two of them wanted. Hadley had never been happier for his family than he was seeing his brothers shift into a dragon for the first time.

George was their go-to attorney. He knew the law better than anyone and had gotten them out of a few scrapes throughout the years. Imp, his mate, had created the first dragons, which just happened to be their grandparents. He’d learned a great deal about their life, them having died long before he’d been born. As it was now, they had the memories of the faerie garden to go to when they wanted to see them in their glory. Imp was scary, but she was the kindest person that he’d ever come across. Besides his mom, anyway.

Looking around, he wondered where his family was. Not that he was afraid of them finding him thinking about them—okay, he thought, he was afraid of them. But he loved them dearly too.

Dover was a pearl dragon. His ability to blend in surpassed even his other brothers as diamonds. Once when they’d been young, they’d gotten too close to humans that were out for blood, and Dover had shielded them with his dragon. He never understood why humans were so set on killing things that weren’t any danger to them. Not to mention, dragons are so much larger than humans that Hadley oftentimes wondered what the hell they’d been thinking.

“I was wondering what your plans are for the evening.” Smiling at Colby when she joined him in the office, he asked her if she had anything in mind. “Nothing, really. I’m sick of working on the projects for this place, for one thing, and I’m not thrilled about how things are going in town right now. Did you know that there isn’t a grocery store within fifty miles? I hadn’t any idea that the one in town had closed up when the Mitchels were arrested. Did you?”

“No. I mean, I don’t spend a lot of time in the town. I should, I know, but I’ve been trying to get things going here.” She sat down next to him. “What brought you into town? I mean, you had plans to spend the day with your mom, didn’t you?”

“I did. But she got caught up in something around the farm, and I decided to have a little walk around. There is a lot going on around town right now. People are gearing up for the holidays as well as getting their things situated since the Levis are gone. I had no idea that they’d been bullying everyone. I mean, I don’t know why that was a surprise to me, but I was taken aback at how much people are relieved that they’re gone. What are you doing?”

“Thinking. I’ve been thinking about my family and how I don’t know what I’d do without the memories I have of them. Mostly it was my brothers, but then there are my uncles and dad too.” He thought of his uncle Cooper. “Uncle Cooper is the oldest of all of them by days, I guess. But when he was made king of dragons, he didn’t allow it to go to his head. He’s a good man. The best uncle that a person could ask for.” Colby asked him about his other uncles.

“They’re all great. I really don’t know what we would have done without them there for us. Especially their wives.” Colby said that she’d been talking to them and was extremely impressed by their knowledge of the law as well as their connections. “Yes. Over the years, it’s been a good thing to have contacts in high places. The presidents that my family has been friends with have been in good positions for us as well as for themselves. Even Uncle Hudson, with Aunt Winnie being his mate, had been instrumental in making sure that all the dragons were safe. She is somewhat scary in her ways of keeping us safe, but I’d not have her any other way. Then there are my parents. As you know, they’re the death watchers. I didn’t have any idea that it was a job until they had it. However, over the years, I’ve seen a great need for it. Did I ever tell you about Jamie’s nephews? They were causing so much trouble after they were killed by the police that they had to be wiped out. Their mother, too, I guess.”

“You’ve had a really fucked up family if you ask me.” They both laughed. “But seriously, they’re a wonderful group of people. Once we get all this going with the Colby Farm, what Grannie decided to call it, they said that they’d come back here and help out and to cheer us on. I have a feeling that they’re going to be happy with the results, don’t you?”

“My parents certainly are. They’ve been down at the barns every day since we started on this. My brothers are working on projects for the foundation that is going to help a great many people while I work here. It’s nothing that I find a hardship, not helping them out, but I’m happy to have this to do. More than I can explain to you.” Colby told him that she could tell that he was having fun. “I have to admit that this is much easier than I thought it would be. Dad said it was much nicer than when he was a kid, and they were trying their best to forage for food. Not having any idea how to cook or even to get the foods that they needed. Mom hasn’t been around as long as Dad has, but he tells us all that we were born at the perfect time in making sure that we could feed and cloth ourselves. Now it seems that we’re going full circle again.”

“Yes, but in a good, controlled way.” He nodded. It was more regulated the way that they were doing it. Even if, after a few weeks, some of the people who had decided to have their own garden here, they would still be taken care of. However, they decided right away that once you gave up on a plot for more than ten days, then you would forfeit any foodstuffs that came out of it, along with not being able to have a garden for the next two years. “Your mom and I were going over some of the things that people can plant in this area that would produce a big yield. She also suggested that we make sure to tell the people that if they had extra products, they could sell them back to Colby Farm for a credit on the next season. Cindi has a great idea, too, about those things. She said that we’d use them to show people how they can preserve their things for winter. While it’s too late this year, my grannie has put away a lot of things that we’ll use too.”

Yesterday Grannie had made him a peach cobbler from her canned peaches. Now with the faeries around, they could have fresh fruit year-round, but there was something so much more delicious about the peaches that she’d poured out of the jar that made them taste all the better. Grannie told him it was because she had put them up with love, knowing that her family would be enjoying them. He had no reason to disbelieve her.