Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life—if only she doesn’t get caught. . . .
“Where have you three been?!” said Drake’s mom. “I can’t believe you told your sister and then told her not to tell!”
“That little snitch,” Drake said.
“I know you’re also a dragon, but that doesn’t mean you can fly off whenever you want. I should…”
“We were looking for my mom. Please yell at drake or Topaz. It was my idea,” Aleea say.
“No it-OUCH!” Drake starts but get elbowed in the stomach.
“I WANT MY STEAK!!!!” screams Topaz, and everybody stops arguing.
“Steak?” Drake’s mom questions, puzzled.
“What! She gave me Bambi Eyes,” Drake shrugs. Topaz breathes smoke. “I’m getting it. Keep your claws on.” Drake drops a slab of sirloin steak on a plate and puts it on a plate. Topaz munches away on her steak when the telephone rings.
“Hello?” Aleea answers.
“Is this Drake’s number?”
“Then why are you answering Aleea?”
“How do you know my name?”
“You forgot me already!? This is Cryst!”
“Oh, sorry Cryst.”
“Why are you…”
“Come over here and we’ll tell you.”
Just down the road was a “Your Gone” moving truck. But looks can be deceiving.
“’You forgot me already!? This is Cryst!’”
“’Oh, sorry Cryst.’”
“’Why are you…’”
“’Come over here and we’ll tell you.’”
“The target has hung up. We’ll have her soon.”
“You keep your hands off of her you, you, you, OOF!” Aleea’s mom screeches. She got kicked in the stomach.
“We can do whatever we want,” said a man in a black who, to her understanding, reeked like cigar. “Get her.”
“NOOO!!” she cries.
“This is easy as pie, boys,” says one.
“How do you make pie?” says another.
Topaz perks up her ears and then smells the air and says “Bad people are coming.” She sniffs the air again. “They got guns!”
“What! Aleea, Mom, Topaz; go upstairs. I’ll deal with them.” Drake morphs and waits beside the door. CRASH!!! The door got knocked down. Drake swings his scaly fist at the first to walk into the living room. The armor clad men turn and took a step back. “Don’t any of you have manners,” Drake asks them while upper cutting one of them.
“Lock and load boys, let’s smoke this overgrown lizard.”
“It’s your funeral.”
Drake covers his head and after two grazes and ten seconds the shooting stops. “Thank God for ricochet.” SMACK!! The last thing he sees is a gun barrel before a flash of light and darkness.
Drake blinks in the light and saw Aleea shaking she was sobbing so hard with a sword on the floor with dried blood caked on it. “He was going to kill Drake,” Aleea cried. “What was I supposed to do?”
“It’s Okay Aleea. You were brave. Look, he’s up now, all thanks to you keeping him alive,” Topaz comforts.
“I was so scared.”
“You can’t have courage without fear,” Drake tells her. Aleea runs over and hugs him really hard. She then kisses him and starts to cry.
“I was so worried. I s-saw you fall so I grabbed s-some thing that would hurt, or, the scary part, k-kill him. He was going to kill you so I felt the same bloodlust like he was f-feeling. Then the fireplace poker I grabbed changed into a sword in a flash, literally. I-I stabbed him in the heart.”
“I’ve been in your situation. I was either them or us.”
Drake’s mother sat back and thinks, <They were made for each other.>
Drake’s mom falls backward in her chair.
<Oops>, Topaz says. <Sorry Jen.>
“I never told you my name,” Jen said.
“Mom, I know,” Drake said.
“Drake she’s talking to me,” said Topaz. “I was what Drake needed, too.”
“How did you find out my name?!”
“I … don’t know. I just … knew it. I heard someone saying ‘They were made for each other. This girl is just what he needed’ and I had to say me too.” Aleea and drake still didn’t break their hug like they didn’t hear anything.
“Oh well,” Jen said, “anyone hungry after that huge incident?”
“Yeah!” goes Topaz.
“Yep,” says Drake.
“I guess,” Aleea says shakily.
“How about salmon?” says Drake’s mom.
“What should I do with the sword?” she asked.
“Can you change it into something smaller?”
“I don’t know. How do I do that?”
“How should I know? Try thinking of something that you would normally carry around.”
“How about a twisty pen?”
FLASH! The sword turned into a pen.
“That solves that problem.”
“What are we supposed to do with the bodies?” Topaz asks casually.
Jen, Aleea, and Drake look at each other then the living room. With the door busted down, bullet holes everywhere, and the place an overall mess, it was the perfect breaking and entering cover up.
Drake woke up to Aleea and Topaz coming in with a huge platter of food. “This is for three reasons,” Aleea told him. “One: You saved my life, though we still aren’t even. Two: You are helping me as if I am part of your family. Three: Just for the heck of it.” She smiles.
“Topaz are you-“ Drake starts.
“I already fed her.”
“Did you eat?”
“No, why?” she said, confused.
“I can’t eat it all!”
“No, it’s for you.”
Her stomach growls. “Fine.”
It was so good they ate it really fast.
“So how did you sleep?” Drake asked her.
“Fine. It is a little awkward waking up at your house, though.”
“Wait. You have never had a sleepover?!” he says, surprised.
“No. Why is it such a big deal?”
“With a little sister you have to deal with sleepovers, birthday parties, and girl scouts 24/7.”
“Wow! Now I see why you were so surprised. I guess this is a no choice sleepover.”
“It’s either sleepover or get taken away.”
“Yeah.” She sighs.
“Lets go downstairs,” says Topaz. “Seeing you guys eating made me again.”
“Then let’s get you food.”
When they got downstairs Zoey was the only one up. “It’s just about ten-thirty! What were you doing last night?! Mom usually is up at six!”
“We were moving some of my stuff so I could be more comfortable. Your mom thought of it. I’m surprised you didn’t hear me making Drake breakfast. That sounds … weird saying that. I owe him, but I won’t get into details.”
“So are you comfortable?” Topaz asked.
“Well, yes,” Aleea replies.
Zoey pours herself a glass of milk. “I can’t believe we are standing here like Aleea staying for the weekend,” Drake says. “We have to find her mom!” Zoey sprays the milk she had been drinking all over Aleea.
“What did you just say! We have to find her mom!”
“Bingo. Her mom got kidnapped. Don’t you remember?”
“I thought it was a dream!!”
“No, this no dream,” Aleea says. “Although I wish it was.”
“So where to?” Topaz asks.
“How about downtown?” Aleea says. “It seems most likely.”
“Your mom, your way,” says Drake.
They head downtown and go to the first stereotypical warehouse.
“Hello!!” yells Topaz.
“SHHH!” shhhs Aleea. “We don’t want them to know we’re here.”
“Who’s there? Are you cops!”
“No! We’re just kids.”
“Good. What brings you kids doing here?” a wiry old man with broken glasses asks.
“I was just about to ask you the same thing,” Drake says carefully, not trying to give anything away. “Why did you ask if we were cops?”
“They’ve been kickin’ me out of every place I’ve lived in. It’s been getting annoying. Tell me why you’re here or I’ll-“
“My mom got kidnapped by some thugs,” explained Aleea. “We have to find her.”
“Oh well that changes things. What can you do though you’re just kids.”
They look at one other and Topaz blurts, “You have no idea.”
The old man jumps up and falls to the ground. “That’s not possible! Dragons aren’t real. How can that thing talk?!”
“My lips are moving and words are coming out. What do expect, telepathy?”
“Look, do you know about her mom or can we leave,” Drake says impatiently.
“I don’t know anything, yet. What I’m saying is I can be your eyes and ears in the black market. By the way I’m Earl.”
“For free,” Earl said.
“We better get to your house, Drake,” said Aleea. “Bye Earl.”
“Bye little lady,” Earl says.
“Bye Earl,” says both Topaz and Drake.
“Hey…” Earl starts.
“Hay is for horses,” says Topaz.
“What are you names?”
“I’m Drake,” Drake says, “this is Topaz and she’s Aleea. Bye.”
They leave the warehouse and walk around downtown. “I’m hungry,” Topaz whines.
“You’re always hungry,” Drake says. “Do you want hamburger?”
“I don’t think so.” She looks at him big round, twinkling eyes. “Don’t give me that look. I said no…” he sighs, “I give up.”
“That’s nothing to cheer about.” Aleea looks at with raised eyebrows. “She gave me Bambi Eyes.”
“Whatever,” Aleea says. They walk around some more downtown and then head for Drake and Topaz’s house.
“I’m home!” yells Drake.
“Where were you?” Zoey questions. “Cryst said he saw you with “a hot redhead, chestnut-skin girl.” What’s her name?”
Drake turns bright pink and Topaz blurts, “Her name is Aleea!”
“You can talk even better!” says Zoey, surprised.
“Uh, yeah!” Topaz says, and then bursts out laughing.
“Well I’m glad.”
“Me too. I couldn’t get out what I wanted to say,” says Topaz, finally calming down.
“Topaz, you hungry?” Drake asked. Topaz nodded. “What do you want?”
She ponders for a couple seconds and says, “Hamburger.” So Drake grabs a slab of hamburger and puts it on a plate, which he puts of the table.
“There you go, Topaz,” says Drake. Topaz shoved her plate toward Drake’s seat so she could sit by him. Drake had some pizza and went to his room after an hour of TV. He falls asleep very quickly.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
“Huh?” goes Drake.
Tap, tap, tap.
He opens his door. No one.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
He looks behind him.
Aleea was right outside his window with tears in her eyes. Drake shuts the door and sprints to the window. As soon as he opens the window, Aleea bursts in, crying. “They took her, Drake!” she sobs. “They took my mom!”
“Who took your mom?” Drake asks, not believing what he just heard.
“I don’t know, that’s the problem! They started asking for ‘it’. Drake I’m scared.”
“I’m sorry, but we can’t do any thing. We’re just kids. Let me go wake up my mom.” Topaz woke up then.
“What’s going on Aleea? Why are you crying?” she asked.
“I’ll fill you in later, Topaz. Crap, we can’t tell Mom. She will over react and every thing will be a big mess. I forgot I’m not just a kid. I’m also a dragon.”
Drake, Aleea, and Topaz ran outside. Drake morphed, Aleea and Topaz got on, and Drake took off. Drake flew to Aleea’s house. Aleea ran in and grabbed a picture of her mom. They then were on their way to the police station, but before they got there, Drake thought of something important.
“Wait a sec. What do you think would happen when we tell them that your mom has been kidnapped, besides try and find her?”
“I don’t know,” answers Aleea.
“Take you away! We have to stick together if we want to solve this. There is no choice but to tell my mom because you can’t stay at my house unless Mom knows why. It’s like you said, I’m not the kind of person that lies. If she says we have to call the cops, I’m ready to show her the other side of Drake Peterson.”
“I guess you’re right,” says Aleea.
“Mom, Mom wake up. Aleea, the girl I saved is here. Her mom got kidnapped,” Drake told her.
Drake’s mom bolted strait up and reached for the phone.
“Mom, we can’t do that. The cops will take her away. Aleea and I have to stay together in order to get her mom back.”
“What can you do? I’m sorry honey but you are just a kid,” she says.
“That’s where you’re wrong, Mom.” Drake starts to morph and his mom’s eyes get wider and wider. “I lied to you about how I saved Aleea. I was like this when that guy shot at me. I’m one hundred percent bulletproof, except for my head. A bullet ricocheted off me and hit the guy in the head.” His mom’s mouth opened then closed as Drake morphed back. “Now do you see why Aleea and I have to stick together?” Drake asked. “Can she stay here?” He closed his eyes and crossed his fingers.
His mom closes her eyes and thinks for a minute. “Fine.”
“YES!!” Drake, Aleea, and Topaz shout at the top of their lungs.
“What is going on in here?” said a sleepy voice behind them. Zoey looks at Aleea and says, “You must be Aleea. I can tell Drake likes you.” Both Aleea and Drake blush.
“Aleea’s mom just got kidnapped. Be nice to both of them,” Drake’s mom laughs weakly. “Aleea, you can have the guest bedroom. Would you like to grab your stuff?”
“Sure! Drake how much weight can you fly?” Aleea asked him.
“I don’t know two hundred twenty pounds”
“’Kay let’s go get some of my stuff. Ms. Peterson, can you give me a ride so I can help?”
They started after Zoey went back to bed. Aleea and Drake’s mom got in the car and Drake and Topaz took off into the air. Topaz started having trouble keeping up with Drake. “Why do we have to fly so far?” Topaz whined. “Can’t I just ride on your back, Drake?”
“You have to build up your flight muscles. Quit your whining. See, we’re here.”
Drake rolled his eyes. They all went inside and moved most of Aleea’s belongings into the car with Drake carrying a big box that wouldn’t fit. When they got back Drake carried most of the stuff to the guest room. As soon as Aleea was unpacked, they all went to bed. They were glad that the coming morning was Saturday morning.
Down on his luck and kicked in the pants one too many times, sixteen-year-old Pagan Kidrouk arrives on the doorstep of the Templar Knights in medieval Jerusalem, looking for work as a squire. He’s expecting only some protection from the seedier aspects of life on the street and a few square meals. Instead, Pagan finds himself hard at work for Lord Roland de Bram – an exciting life of polishing Lord Roland’s armor, laundering his garments, and even training to fight by his side.
But as the Infidel Saladin leads his army to Jerusalem, it becomes more and more difficult for Pagan and Lord Roland to discern what action to take or whom to trust. Neither Saladin’s army nor the Christian Crusaders offer easy answers. Is a bloody battle for control of the Holy City inevitable?
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