Laila opened her eyes and turned
her head. The fine white sand of the beach sticking in her hair and on her
body. She yawned, stretched herself and got up. Her well-formed tanned
figure sucked up the heat from the sun as she stepped out of the shadows of
Laila lifted her hands behind her head and lifted the long stream of black
hair from her back and swung it back. She took a short distance to make
speed and then jumped into the water. The waters in this bay were
virtually abandoned by fishermen and swimmers. Most activity took place
closer to her native Southern hold, three bays back.
Laila swam back up, turned on her back and enjoyed. She had a free day.
Those'd gotten unusual after the age of 20. Laila was 23 and knew all too well
how hard it was to get a bit of time to be by her self. But today was a
gather day. She had been relieved from her task of harvesting redfruit and
told to enjoy herself. Laila couldn't imagine anything else in the world
better than a private swim and a feast at night where she could dance and
sing along with a few of the harpers that had come for the occasion.
A sudden sound alerted her that her beach wasn't so private anymore.
"Sometimes I think Between isn't so bad a place..." she
whispered, at least there wouldn't be anyone disturbing her there.
She let her legs sink into the water and opened her eyes. Only a few
powerful strokes later she was close enough to see the small figure at the
edge of the beach.
"Who's there?" she asked.
Feruli looked up and saw a head sticking out of the sea. Although he was
19 he could still pass for a 16-year old with his small frame and thin built. His
hair was light brown, bleached from spending his days in the sun. He
wasn't just an ordinary man. No. He was a firelizard hunter. Or so he
pretended... he hadn't actually found a nest yet.
"Who are you?" he shouted back.
Laila reached the shore. "I asked you first." she said smiling.
Feruli couldn't help looking at the tall young woman coming out of the
water. He felt a bit dorky feeling overpowered by her but women tended to
have that effect on him.
"Feruli." he said.
"My name is Laila." Laila winked, "What are you doing
"Just hanging." Feruli said acting cool.
"I meant, why aren't you at the gather?"
Time for Feruli to be psychological: "Why aren't you?"
"I was swimming."
"I was hunting for firelizards."
"I thought all nests in this area were controlled by Seiryuu."
Feruli's eyes opened a bit wider when he heard about the Weyr. he hadn't
even known there was one. It must be a small or new one. That would
explain why he hadn't found even a shell.
"I'm looking for leftovers." he said.
"Speaking of leftovers... I'm hungry." Laila said, "Want a
"Sure." Feruli shrugged.
"Say... shouldn't you be apprenticed in stead of hunting
Feruli felt the blood rushing to his cheeks. This was what happened with
most people talking to him. They assumed he was a lot younger than he
actually was. Not their fault, not his... But that didn't mean he felt
less frustrated by it.
"I'm 19 and a forester journeyman."
"Sorry... you look rather young." Laila said, blushing.
"yeah..." Feruli added.
"This is stupid.. We're here blushing when I could show you around. I
take it you aren't from around here?"
"Guessed right. I come from up North."
"We still have a few hours before I have to get back for the gather
evening meal. You're welcome to join me if you want. I think you might
like a place to rest a bit before you go on."
Feruli smiled. He was starting to like this woman. "My Saving
Angel." he said.
Laila stuck out her tongue and led him through the bushes on a small path
that led to the hold. After 15 minutes they reached the intersection that
split the road leading to both the hold and the Weyr. The mountain was visible
in the distance, but it would take an hour to get there on foot.
The hold, not visible yet was only 30 minutes away.
Feruli stopped. "The Weyr... What is it's name? I haven't heard about
"Seiryuu." Laila shrugged.
"Have you ever been there?"
"Sure. Friendly people... but I have a lot to do around the hold. We
get invited to hatchings though."
A sound in the bushes made Feruli nearly jump.
"What was that? It was big." he said.
"I don't really now."
Before they could really start worrying however, a blue head popped out of
the greenery. His considerable bulk sheltered from sight by the trees and
bushes. Feruli took a few steps back when he saw the size of the dragon.
He was gigantic for a blue.
"Camoth won't hurt you." Laila said smiling.
"Don't let Ar'wen hear you... he can be a real jerk." Laila
She had met the searchrider on a few occasions before and hadn't really
liked him. He was too slick for her. He always seemed to be planning
something though he could be quite loyal.
"You know this dragon on sight?"
"You said it yourself, there's only one blue this big... I think it's
compensating." she winked.
"Laila! Have I run into you again?" a voice came from the
"I don't have time Ar'wen," she said, "I'm showing a friend
"Ahh... wait a sec." Ar'wen went silent for a few seconds,
"Yes... I'm sorry. I will have to take you two."
"Why?" Feruli asked feeling rather small and insignificant.
"Camoth just told me this little man would be a likely candidate for
"oh... Come on! You just said Camoth to say it!" Laila shouted.
"Let's ask him, will we?"
Both Laila and Ar'wen looked Feruli's way. Feruli didn't quite feel
comfortable with all the attention... but a dragon. Why should he refuse
such an offer?
"Why shouldn't I go?" he asked Laila.
"Ack... I better hope that dragon of yours wasn't lying Ar'wen."
Camoth snorted. "He wouldn't." Ar'wen said.
"Take me along so I can make sure. I want a second opinion."
"As the lady requests." Ar'wen said smiling slyly.
Only minutes later Camoth had flown them to Seiryuu. Ar'wen helped his two
passengers of the blue and then led them to the beaches.
"What are you planning?"
"If your friend gets a firelizard in the next 5 minutes he's in the
hatching. You wanted a second opinion, right?"
"I wanted another searchrider."
Feruli felt rather obsolete as the two others were fighting. He was
however looking interested at the eggs. The small cream shells that lay buried
everywhere seemed to move slightly. If he had his own flits...
then maybe he could have their eggs to distribute. He didn't know why
Laila was so opposed to coming. Maybe he should ask her later.
Eggs crashed before him. One little flitter and then a second crawled out
of their eggs. They tugged his pants as if to look for food there, which
was rather funny. Carefully he picked up the first and started stroking
it. It squealed hungry, while the other one squealed jealous.
"Ack... no." Laila said.
"I told you he'd impress firelizards."
"Yeah right. I'll come after you if he doesn't get a dragon!"
"Maybe you would better make that a double threat." Ar'wen
smiled as a small marbled flit found it's way to Laila.
"You planned this..." she said angry.
"Now how can you suspect me of something so vile?" he smiled.
"Wipe that smile of your face before I punch it off."
"I think some green will love you for your feistiness." he
smiled, "Better start thinking about nice blueriders you know."
"You won't be on that list."
Ar'wen feigned sadness and disappointment: "You don't mean that."
"Oh I do."
"Ehm... Food?" Feruli interrupted.
The three of them left the firelizard office and went outside. Suddenly a
woman behind them. I'm sorry, I'll need their names for the records.
"Oh..." Laila said looking at her marbled blue, "I think
Tarahn would suit him nicely."
Feruli looked at his two regulars, a green and a brown. The green was
rather fussy, but the brown was calm and seemed to be sedated.
"I think the green will be Estrey and the brown Gawayn."
"Now can I go write you two
into the hatching?"
Laila gave in: "ok... but I want to enjoy the gather tonight, you're
little Camoth can better bring us back before it's time. And pick us up
"Everything for the lady."
Sunset was painting the world in oranges and reds when the singing at
Seiryuu started. The clutch was about to hatch! All of the candidates for
Vazilth's clutch filed in and formed two rows. Feruli and Laila were
standing up front next to some vampiric being neither of them knew how to
look at, so they just looked the other way.
Laila told herself that standing here didn't make that she would impress
for certain, but she couldn't help feeling excited. Next to her, Feruli
looked as hopeful as her. Laila only hoped that he would impress... or she
would show a certain rider what she thought of him. She knew Feruli was
adult and showed every bit of being his age, but he still looked a lot
Eggs started hatching and soon a patient blue who had waited for his
brothers and sisters to bond first, walked up to Feruli.
"Feed me, rider-mine." the
dragon said and Feruli's grin seemed to be permanently locked on his face,
his cheeks painfully launched toward his ears.
"Tell me your name first." he asked.
"Matagith, and you're F'uli know. Can we go
"Of course!" F'uli called out as he dropped to his knees and
hugged his new bond. He and Matagith left the sands shortly after, F'uli
hardly noticing Laila looking at him with a relieved face. Maybe she
wouldn't have to kill anyone after all.
The pace of the hatching slowed a bit, giving room for Laila to breath and
look in wonder at the strangely colourd offspring that was hatching from
some of the eggs when she felt something in her hand.
"Feed me?" the green who had
been nuzzling asked her.
With a mental thanks to Ar'wen for insisting she should stay, she stroked
the green's head lovingly. Just enjoying the moment for what it was.
"Did you have any doubts?" she asked the green, she had to be
"Not really, Let's go." the
green said, "Oh and I'm Kowaith." she
added as they left the sands.
Laila's Green Kowaith
Feruli and Laila were attending their lessons. As usual Feruli was often
picked on because he was smaller. Maybe because of that his dragon
Matagith seemed to grow larger by the day, he could measure up to most
browns. Kowaith as well grew fast but she kept pace with the other
greens that were training. They weren't flying yet but every day now the
ok to try a big fall might come. Most of the dragons could lift from the
ground, just lacking the leg-strength of the older dragons that would
launch them into the air.
"Tomorrow's the day." Feruli suddenly hissed and bumped her.
"The day we fly. You better pay attention. Or I know a certain bluerider
who wouldn't mind giving you some private lessons for spoiling his fun
every chance you get."
"He has it coming every time." Laila grinned.
Smiling, Feruli got his attention back on the lesson. Vaguely he could
feel Matagith's presence at the back of his mind. A sleepy conscience
that was intruiged by the lesson despite being tired...
"Tomorrow we'll show them." Feruli promised before the dragon drifted
Kowaith lashed her tail at the stone of the Weyr she'd only recently
received. She and Laila were now officially recognised as an adult pair
of dragonriders. There was more freedom but the others expected them to
take up more responsability as well. Leaving everything for a day at the
bay was not as easyit had been a year ago. And yet Kowaith wanted to go
there right now. the day seemed to be too hot, even for this Southern
"If you're hot, you can always fly around a bit
and let the wind cool you down." Matagith suggested.
The blue dragon was half a Weyr away but still kept in close
contact.with the two of them. It had been necessary for him to move into
one of the bigger weyrs because of his size. The way he was going a few
people even gossiped that he'd be able to chase a queen if he was
This thought irritated Kowaith.
"I wouldn't chase just anyone."
Matagith promised her.
"You're a man. Laila says those aren't to be
"But you know me, you always have. I wouldn't
He had a point.
Matagith felt the rising heat through the conncetion they shared. He too
was starting to feel somewhat bothered and the visions of the bay they'd
so often played in when they were younger were like tantalizing visions.
Just as he was about to fly from his weyr and head to that same place a
green fleeting shadow passed over the weyr.
In an instant he knew what had happened. Kowaith was rising. Their
riders who'd been otherwise engaged with various weyr duties noticed the
alarm of the two dragons. Panicked thoughts came rushing through the
bond and Matagith could only send "I'm going to
chase her!" before he'd launched himself from the Weyr.
With a bigger wingspan he quickly caught sight of Kowaith. She was
fending off several other suitors but Matagith did not feel the need to
attack just yet. He knew where she was headed and that was where he'd
catch her... and they'd finally be one.
Feruli & Laila impressed at
Flitters also from Seiryuu