Murder Mystery
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"Come on Sedes, a weekend away is just what you need." Belli said.
"No, Annabelle is coming over and I can't call it of again."
"Those other times were work-related."
"This time isn't!" Sedes yelled and closed the door in front of Belli.
Belli sighed and redid her ponytail. Her hair never seemed to do what she wanted. It curled up when the air was moist and today it wasn't any better. She tried to push some hairs down and convince them to stay there. Belli knew Sedes would come. They had been friends ever since they had been in first grade and she knew he would never say no to her. Not even Annabelle could change that.
"Do me a favour will you." Sedes said as he opened the door again.
"Anything." she said smiling.
"You call Annabelle and tell her I'm ill and can't possibly come."
"Gladly." Belli loved fooling Annabelle, she was such a naive little girl, pretty but a total airhead.

"Welcome!" the old-style butler who had answered the door said.
"Thanks, Sedes and Belli, we are on the list." Belli said and dropped her luggage in the huge hall.
"Yes, I'll alert master James." the butler said and left.
"How did you get invited?" Sedes asked.
"I used to date master James." Belli said and laughed, "he wasn't too bad, but boring."
Sedes quickly turned to the door when they heard the footsteps of the butler return. The door opened and the butler came in.
"Master James is waiting for you in the dining room." he said.
Belli shrugged and followed the butler to the dining room, leaving her dripping luggage in the hall. Sedes looked back, opened his mouth and closed it again. He ran after Belli and hoped he hadn't done anything inappropriate.
"Ahhh, Belli, good to see you again." the young man in the sofa said, "And who's your charming friend?"
"Sedes." Sedes said.
'Master James' put up his hands in a fashion that made Sedes doubt him being bored was the reason for his break-up with Belli. Sedes didn't like him for one bit.
"I'll introduce you to the other guests." James said.
He pointed to an elderly woman to his right. She had short grey hair styled in a 50's fashion. Wealth and honour oozed out of every pore and she didn't look to happy about him and Belli dripping on her carpet. "This is my mother, Lady Margaret and right next to her," he pointed at a small woman with that blue tint of hair you only find in elderly women, "is Lady Eliza, a close friend of the family."
James left the two women to talk and went to an elderly man in a dark blue suit. The man was obviously wealthy which made Sedes feel even more out of place. "This is Sir Angus, the husband of Lady Eliza." James quickly led them out of his way. He seemed to be very angry about something. Sir Angus turned to a younger man, maybe in his early forties and started complaining about the latest crashes on the stock market.
"Angus is talking to Jonathan. And behind them is Jackie, my fiancťe." James led them to a delicate woman, small, slender with a skin as white as pearl and hair as dark as the night. She reminded Sedes of Snow White.
"James! You didn't tell us you were getting married!" Belli exclaimed and quickly took the girl outside.
"Tell us a little about yourself." she said.
Jackie blushed and squeezed her hands together. "Oh, I'm not very interesting. I live in the city and I work in a lawfirm."
"Lawyer?" Sedes asked.
"No, Secreatry."
"How did you meet James?" Belli wanted to know.
"He came in for some legal advice and I helped him." she said.
"Knowing James
he didn't get further than your desk and took you out afterwards." Belli said and laughed as she saw Jackie blush again. The two women soon left to gossip and Sedes was left alone with James.
"Belli is a good one, keep her." James said.
"Excuse me?" Sedes uttered before he knew what James meant, "Oh we are just good friends."
"Too bad, I wouldn't let her slip away a second time." James said.
Sedes shrugged and wondered if he had been wrong about the man. "She's not really my type." he said and hoped that was enough of an explanation.
James left and joined up with the two other men discussing the stock market. Sedes sat down on the couch and watched the people. This seemed to turn into one boring weekend, he should have said no. He saw James and Jonathan leave, excited about some papers. Sir Angus remained and joined his wife and Lady Margaret for a drink.
About half an hour later James, Jonathan, Belli and Jackie returned. Sedes got up and quickly cornered Belli. "Who said this was just what I needed?" he asked her.
"Well, this isn't going to be like this the entire weekend, tomorrow it'll just be us, James and Jackie."
"What did you talk about with Jackie?"
"Nothing in particular, girl talk." Belli said and sat down next to him.
"So you had fun." he said, still a bit irritated from being dropped off into a group of people he didn't know.
"Smile a bit Sedes, I'll stay with you at dinner." Belli said.
They got up and followed the other to the dining room. The room they had been in earlier seemed completely altered. The couch had been slid to the wall, the lights were on giving the room a romantic air and the table was set. Everyone sat down and waited for the dinner to be served.
"A toast!" James said as they were still standing, he lifted up his glass and said "To my lovely bride."
Glasses were raised and people drank as Jackie blushed.
"Don't they look happy?" Belli asked Sedes.
At that moment James clasped his fingers around his throat and fell to the ground. He desperately tried to breath, but he couldn't. People ran in all directions, some trying to help James, some trying to get away as quickly as possible, some frozen where they stood.
Belli rushed to James, already being looked over by Jonathan and Angus. Jackie and Lady Margaret were frozen while Lady Eliza was nowhere to be seen. Nor was Sedes. Belli looked up
"Call an ambulance, quick!" it was probably too late, but either way they had to inform the emergency services. That was when she noticed Sedes was gone.
"Can you manage without me?" she asked Jonathan. He nodded and she left, looking for Sedes. He wasn't one to leave when things got ugly. And things had definitely gotten ugly. A faint echoing of shoes was all she heard in the distance. She followed the sound and soon came to the stairs. Upstairs she could hear talking and a soft light came from one of the doors. Belli climbed the stairs and opened the door. She wished she hadn't done that. Inside Lady Eliza was standing, a gun pointed at Sedes.
"What...?" Belli asked.
"She did it." Sedes said.
"But how?"
"I saw her around the table, touching the crystal glass. I thought she was admiring it, but I know better now. "
"Without you it would have all turned out great." Eliza said, her face full of anger, "but then, I can always blame it on you two, the ex girlfriend mad by jealousy and her current lover..." she smiled.
"Why?"
"Yes, that's what the police will ask too." she said.
Belli looked at Sedes, who silently said "I will explain". Eliza directed them toward the door. They went up more stairs and finally stopped on the fourth floor. Eliza made Sedes open a window.
"Now jump." she said.
"Jump?!" Belli yelled.
"Yes, jump, I found out about you two and followed you, luckily I had the gun Angus bought me for protection. I was trying to hold you under fire and make you go downstairs. But you were crazy and jumped out the window. Simple no?" she said.
Sedes looked out, it was a long way down, but they might just make it. The roof was angled and if they could just grab the edge and swing in a window...
He grabbed Belli and held her close. He pointed, and she understood, her eyes were big and they both knew their chance was slim. They jumped. Sedes let go and hugged the roof, trying to slow down.
The edge came and Belli grabbed it. She could feel her fingers getting cut.
"Sedes?" she whispered but there was no answer. She looked around, he wasn't here. Had he fallen? She didn't dare think about it.

Sedes opened his eyes. He had missed the edge of the roof and had fallen. He had known he was heading for his dead. But something had caught him. Something big, brown and alive.
"Are you ok?" a woman asked.
"I guess, Who are you?" he asked.
"I'm Zandy and we're riding brown Bonlith." Zandy said.
This was too much for Sedes brain to comprehend. "Did I die?"
"No, we were just in time, we're going back for your friend. Bonlith has been trying to get me here all night, but he never told me we had to be here fast." she said, looking quite angry.
They turned another corner and Sedes saw Belli, hanging from the roof.
"Belli!" he yelled.
"Sedes!" she sounded relieved, "I thought you had fallen!"
"I had, but I was saved."
"By what?"
"Apparently Bonlith."
Belli screamed as she saw the big dragon approach her.
"Hush!" Zandy called. "Bonlith won't hurt you."

A cold colder than ice, like all your limbs had frozen followed shortly and finally they appeared above a strange landscape. A crater and more dragons, now in daylight, flew through the sky.
"Where are we?" Sedes asked.
"Blue Sky Weyr." Zandy answered.
They landed right in the middle of the huge crater and Zandy told them to follow her. They entered a large cave, in it was a green dragon guarding 8 eggs.
"There's a reason I got there in time. Bonlith told me to get you to impress one of the dragonets in these eggs. But I still have to ask you if you would. I figured you would be a whole lot eager once you saw them." she smiled.
Belli walked over to the eggs. "Can we really?"
"Yes."
"We can't go back, Belli. We'll be wanted for murder."
"We could tell them the real story... what was that in fact?"
"That Eliza was crazy and thought Jonathan was her son and that Jackie loved him. She had it all wrong. Jackie was marrying James for the money, James was marrying her for the show, Jonathan was one of James' 'buddies' and Angus probably had an affair with Jackie from the looks of it."
"You got all that from that half hour I let you alone?"
Sedes smiled.

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Sedes still had to adapt to the whole dragon question. Belli on the other hand had made her peace with the concept and was looking forward to the hatching. This was how, when the day of the hatching finally came one dusky morning, their two voice answered in disagreement.
"Yes!" sounded Belliís excited whoop.
"NoÖ" Sedesí soft remark. He wasnít ready yet.
But cold feet werenít in place on this joyful occasion. As the other candidates were streaming in the hatching cavern, Belli saw the riders of the parents enter as well.
"They werenít warned in advance either." She said, poking Sedes.
Inside the eggs were rocking. Belli and Sedes quickly took their place in the circle around the eggs. They had been thought what to do when the eggs hatched, but somehow that knowledge was way back in the back of their heads.
Then the first egg hatched. A green! Belli followed the small beauty with her eyes to her chosen. Not her.
Two more eggs cracked open and another two greens appeared. Belli was looking at one of them when it jumped and headed toward her. For a second the bond was weak. She could see herself standing through the eyes of anotherÖ it felt like dieing. But then she was her again and the other presence took on a set form in her mind. The dragon installed herself happily in Belliís mind and let her know she was hungry and quite happy to have found her so soon.
"Oh Tenith!" she called, stroking the small green form at her feet, "Of course I was here, where else would I be?"
Belli gazed up at Sedes and waved as she left the hatching ground.
Sedes however hardly noticed Belliís depart. He was looking at the other green. Something weird was happening to him. He was still a bit afraid, but he was hungry. Very hungry. This wasnít supposed to happen until after he had impressed, but there was no dragon on the sands. Only the green that sat there, waiting. An egg right next to her cracked and a brown came out. The brown turned to his sister and crashed into her. Playful or malevolent, Sedes didnít know, but this could not be.
"Neith!" he called.
Where the name came from he didnít know, only that he needed to yell that. The green looked at him and walked, almost sliding toward him. No jumps, no frolicking like Belliís Tenith, but a graceful march.
"Thank you Chosen." She simply said.
"For what?" he asked.
"For accepting my gift. I needed to be sure before I laid my life in your hands."
"I will never betray you!" Sedes vowed.
"Good. Now I want to meet some meat." She grinned, so she wasnít entirely serious.
Sedes hugged her and left the hatching ground to find Belli.

            

            SEDES' GREEN NEITH                    BELLI's GREEN TENITH

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"Sedes!" Belli screamed through the weyrling barracks.
"What?" Sedes replied rather irritated.
"If you don't want to hear it, I'll manage it on my own..." Belli said though she really needed Sedes' help with this. Not much later Sedes stepped in and smiled sadistically as he saw his friend stretching to reach one of the higher spots on Tenith's side.
"Have you tried scrubbing from her back?" he asked.
"Of course I tried! Do you think I'm stupid or something?!"
"Of course not." Sedes quickly said to avoid worse, "I just wanted to make sure."
"Stop grinning and help me." Belli said, "I didn't ask to be short."
"I might as well... Neith will want to be scrubbed too."
"I saw you washing her only yesterday."
"Washing, not oiling, I forgot."
Sedes looked at the already considerable bulk of Tenith and sighed. He would feel this in his arms tomorrow... right when a new training course started. Belli sure knew how to take advantage of him...
"The other riders didn't want to help her." Neith said in his head from the outside.
"Of course they didn't, have you ever seen Belli stretch?"
"I can stretch pretty too." Tenith said stretching her legs making it even harder for Sedes to oil her.
"Yes you can, maybe you can do it later when you and Belli go sunbathing."
Tenith dreamily snorted and closed her eyes, probably dreaming about the sun she would be basking in shortly.
"Can we go too?" Neith asked, prodded by visions of her sister.
"We might as well... I'll need rest after this chore."

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"Ohoho...... in the Summertime..." Belli was singing.
"Summer is nearly over, Belli." Sedes said.
"I know, but I'd like to enjoy it for a few more days, so please... Get out of my sun." she replied.
"I've heard of a place where it's summer all year round." Sedes teased.
"What? Where?" Belli asked looking over the edges of her sunglasses.
"I'm not telling." Sedes smiled.
Belli looked angry, then smiled -a dangerous smile. She pulled the rug out from under Sedes' feet and watched him fall with more than a bit satisfaction.
"Hey!" Sedes yelled.
Belli laughed out loud and climbed on top of him. "See, I, feeble little woman have conquered tall strong man. It is only right that I hear more of this wonderful place."
Sedes turned, surprising her with his strength. He easily turned the situation around and held her down with ease.
"Ahh, but woman has yet to deserve the information."
"Neith! Tenith! Get it out of him before it gets cold!" Belli yelled, giggling as she saw two dark shadow appear above her. Dust and sand rained down on both Sedes and Belli until finally Sedes caved in.
"No more!" he said, acting beat and terrified, "I shall tell you about the place called Lantessama, where the sun always shines and the beaches are warm and comfortable beyond dreams."
"More." Belli demanded.
"Well, they are friendly too,... and they need fighters for their wings or laeders as they are called there."
"Do they have thread like us?" Tenith asked.
"No, they fight other dragons, " Sedes dropped his voice, "EVIL dragons."
"Eeeeh!" Neith shouted and crept closer to hear more of these weird practices.
"Anyway, they asked for people to join them... I thought we might be interested."
"Where do we sign up?" Belli asked.
"Right over there." Sedes pointed... after all he enjoyed summer too.

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Lantessama Isle
Sedes and Belli impressed at Blue Sky Weyr