Darcy fought the persistent urging to wake up. Imogin and Paige cooed loudly in her ear, and darted around the sleeping woman’s head, their scales a riot of color.
“Wake up! Darcy, wake up!” shouted Imogin in her best furiously growling voice.
Darcy rolled over, almost trapping Tara’s queen. The little red scampered quickly away hissing angrily and sat on Darcy’s pillow doing her best to look indignant. Imogin leapt to her forehead, reached forward and pulled at her nostrils. Paige took the hint and darted in and with her two diminutive paws, hooked onto one of Darcy’s ears.
Darcy sat up abruptly, shrieking in pain. Imogin blinked out and Paige, still clutching the tender ear, caught by surprise at Darcy’s sudden movement, was flung across the room to blink out seconds before slamming into the stone chimney.
Imogin reappeared, hovering in midair. “The eggs are hatching. You must be there.”
Darcy squealed in excitement and ran to where she kept them by the fire. She looked around in confusion, the eggs were missing.
“The eggs are gone!” Darcy cried out in distress.
“They’re outside, Mistress,” Paige said.
Darcy scrambled for the door and stopped in surprise. The two eggs were ringed with four little bonfires, sitting upon a simple nest. There must have been forty little dragons ranged around the nest. Darcy could see the fairy dragons from Sam and Remi, as well Tara. The rest must be feral and naturals. The diminutive dragons from the three Dracons were spaced out in a circle surrounding the eggs. The others were spread out in a wider circle beyond. The little horde hovered just above the ground, their miniature wings beating frantically, to keep them in one place. They swayed in unison and their voices cooed in a regular, gentle rhythm.
Imogin hovered about Darcy’s shoulder, and whispered in her ear, “Move to the eggs, when they hatch, you must feed them their first meal. Then they will be bonded to you.”
“What food?” Darcy hissed urgently.
Two of Imogin’s kin hovered nearby, a small white mouse held in the talons of each dragon. The mice were squeaking nonstop and their little legs squirmed furiously.
Darcy reverently knelt before the nest. Paige and Imogin landed at her feet. They began to gently pick at the eggs as the dragon inside began to break free. The cooing and hissing from the assembled dragons increased in volume as the little dragons in the egg violently hammered, shredded and clawed their way to freedom. Darcy’s heart pounded louder and louder then, for one moment stopped for seconds at a time. She sat back on her knees and watched the age old primeval fight for life. Suddenly, a white dragon fell sideways from the egg, the shell catching its legs, forcing it to fall squawking. All the dragons, their scales shimmering with a riot of colors hissed louder, and some even lost control of their breath weapons. Little gouts of flame mixed with bolts of lightening, and
the occasional cloud of a colored vapor floated with the wind. The white mewed pitifully.
Darcy quickly grabbed a mouse by the tail, and with a twinge of remorse, laid it before the white dragon. The mouse scampered off in its bid for freedom. The white lunged forward, and fell over a shell shard. The hard landing knocked a jet of cold mist from the tiny maw, and the rodent stopped in mid-stride and fell to the ground, frozen. The dragon struggled to its feet, and wobbling, lunged to where its meal waited. Darcy’s attention was jerked back to the second. Another miniature dragon fell from the shattered shell; Darcy stopped amazed as a gold creature plopped into the nest. Darcy quickly retrieved the second mouse. She dropped it in front again. Before the mouse even had a chance to recover and dart off, the little dragon lunged, and in one gulp, the frightened rodent vanished.
“You must name them now,” Imogin whispered quickly.
Darcy had been thinking a lot about the names.
Imogin landed on Darcy’s shoulder. “The white is a male, the green is a female.”
Darcy picked up the gold, and cuddled her close. “I will call you Jade.” Then she gently picked up the white. “I will call you Ivory.”
In seconds, all the fairy dragons and fire lizards were gone. The only one left was Imogin. In another moment the little green was gone as well. Darcy looked around in surprise. She gently gathered her two new friends and went inside.
Darcy actually managed to nod back off to sleep. Jeremiah had left earlier with his father and missed the hatching. Darcy woke startled at the sound of footsteps on the wooden porch. She looked quickly around and spotted the two fairy dragons asleep in a small bed Darcy had previously made up in an old wicker basket. She slung her legs over the side of the bunk as the door opened, about half way it uttered a single squeak. Remi peered in. she was highlighted against the sun streaming through the door.
“Were you asleep?”
Darcy smiled in faint embarrassment. “I fell asleep after the hatching.”
“I can imagine. It was a wonderful experience for you.”
Darcy leapt from the bunk and gathered Remi into her arms in no time at all. Remi was used to her sudden displays of affection and it didn’t surprise her, well not too much anyway. Remi looked into the basket.
“What an unusual color. It’s rare to have a white.”
“How are the colors usually picked?” Darcy asked as she bent to stroke the serpentine necks. Even asleep their scales shimmered.
“It has a lot to do with the colors of the male and the female. The broods most of the time have from three to five younglings. The predominant colors are gold, bronze, silver, red, black and blue.”
Darcy turned to ask Remi another question, but stopped short, seeing the puzzled look Remi gave her.
“Remi, what is it?”
The other woman shook her head. “We can start your flying lessons any day now.”
“Remi, when I experienced the mating flight before, I was aware of a raging burning lust that consumed both dracons. If I’m not a real dracon, how can I have that burning feeling? That lust is the emphasis for the power needed to energize the flight. Jeremiah might not even respond to me.”
“I thought about that, as well. I am not quite sure about this monthly thing human women go through. But, from what I can find out, it seems that for two or three days your body produces a scent that men are attracted to. If we time the flight so it corresponds to this three days, it might be enough that with the dragon physiology, nature will be able to take its course. To be honest, this has never been done, so I am not sure what will happen. For now though, we need you to learn a thing or two.”
* * *
Remi paused as she entered the clearing. She had been here a few times now, some of them without Darcy. She was right, the splendor of the mountains and the gentle lapping of the waves at the lake, made all of her problems seem unimportant. Without a conscious thought she shrugged out of her gown, and gracefully dived into the clear inviting water. She didn’t seem to feel the cold anymore, or was used to it now so it didn’t make much impression. Remi sighed; things seemed to be getting to her in the last week or two. She smiled happily as a flight of birds flew sedately over her. Remi swam lazily for close to an hour, and noticed her skin starting to wrinkle. As she paused to wipe the water from her face, Remi found herself near the shallow rocks. She had been thinking about what Darcy said the first time, ‘she pretended it was Jer.’ Feeling like a little girl and totally wanton, she glided for the shore.
She carefully made sure no one was around and then rolling onto her back, scooped up some scrubbing sand. She closed her eyes, laying her head back on a smooth rock and let the sand take her to where she had never been. It didn’t take long, but soon she was aware there was a presence close by. Remi swiftly shut her eyes and waited. The waves lapped at her naked skin as the stranger moved into the water. Remi gasped as hands moved along her legs, and up her thighs. Her eye did not, would not open. She experienced wonder as the stranger tenderly kissed her lips. Remi struggled for breath as she felt the stranger’s hands on her breasts. Remi moaned and gasped out loud as the man’s mouth found her breasts and gently explored them until he found the hardness he was looking for. The stranger gently licked, then nibbled the swollen nipples until Remi screamed out in ecstatic pleasure.
Suddenly she heard an audible snap; quickly she sat up, the water swishing violently around. Remi calmed as she could see a doe drinking. She sat back as relief washed over her. Darcy was right. The fantasy was almost real. Remi looked at her stomach as it rumbled and she felt a pang for venison. She sighed, no wonder the fantasy seemed so real, and why she craved deer meat; it must be getting close for her to fly. Her system would be totally messed up for a month or so, until she felt the burning. She sighed again in disappointment. With her rising time imminent, and all the emotions she had been experiencing since meeting Darcy, it was no wonder she felt so giddy. But then she thought of the unknown man. He seemed so familiar, and she wondered if he was part of the giddy weakness she felt in her stomach, it was as if she knew him. Suddenly she grimaced, and questioned why she couldn’t open her eyes to see the man. Remi suddenly knew it was because she didn’t want it to be Sam.
* * *