An overcast sky greeted Teme as she gazed out from a borrowed Ryslen ledge. “It sure is a different view than from the verandah at Pelar...” she remarked idly. Arms wrapped around her middle and a voice purred in her ear.
“But nowhere can be my home without you.”
Teme smiled and turned to face her live, Kyoram. His gaze met hers and one wordless cry shattered the moment, followed by the second child’s squall.
“Twins, Kyam. Did you have to give me twins?” Teme jokingly protested.
The white-haired man grinned and kissed her brow. “You had as much part in their making as I.” He rationalized, and was first to move towards the cradle with Teme but a step behind.
“They just woke up mama.” Zhure said, standing on tiptoe with one arm stretched towards the nearest twin, a bottle in his pudgy hand.
“Thank you Zhure.” Kyoram said to Teme’s child as he picked up his son.
A second bottle stood waiting and after handing it ot Kyoram, Teme ‘helped’ Zhure reach his half-sister by taking her out of the cradle and carrying her to the small sofa in their modest quarters.
Jiyan was still asleep, but was clearly obvious she’d rise today - and soon - as males gathered near the feeding grounds to await her. Two bronzes - one the rich earthy color Ryslen boasted, the other the brassy orange of the extinct Tiamat Weyr sized each other up as the Light bronze with the unmistakable markings of a Flurry dragon stretched his wings, eager for the chase. All three seemed to avoid looking at the fourth - a large fellow - bright yellow and deepest sable swirled over his hide, sickening many onlookers. The fifth chaser came out of the lake, water sheeting off a hide like midnight sky and cobalt glass -- Trydan.
The children were fed and dressed before Teme caught the frenzied state of Jiyan’s waking mind. A tap at the door almost startled her, but she was expecting it.
“Come in!” Zhure’s voice called, and Aziza poked her head in. “I’m here!” she laughed. The twins burbled, waving chubby fists.
“Thanks Ziz. You’re a doll” Teme said as she slipped out the door.
“No problem.” The rider said. It was simpler to leave the kids with a sitter at a time like this than try to get them to somewhere before Jiyan rose -- and get back! Theme and Kyoram were happily sequestered before Jiyan stirred. The dragoness’ hide shone like liquid rainbows contained within spun glass and shimmering crystal. Her coloring was highly unusual - even for the Lao Daemian hatchery that had spawned her. Fifty feet of fertile female uncoiled and made a lunge for the feeding grounds. The riders of the chasing males - save for Kyam - watched from their own ledges with surrogates on hand.
It wasn’t until Jiyan took down her first squealing buck that Arram realized just whose bond this beautiful beast was. “Erynduth! You can’t!” he cried. Her rider is the StormBringer’s love! “Erynduth! No!” he wailed, and as the other bronzes and the Byzantium Yellow took their own pre-flight meal, the flurry dragon hesitated but lunged.
“She’s as good as mated!” Arram screamed at the bronze who then missed his quarry and began to snarl mentally at his ‘adopted’ rider.
Jiyan threw herself into the sky, and four males were after her - Trydan, Iryntesalth and Lorean’, and Siroc, whose parting words were like a physical blow to the Flurry bronze. Just because her rider is taken doesn’t mean HE will take her, coward.
Jiyan was none too pleased to have lost one suitor already, but she swept her huge wings through the air, taking her further from Ryslen’s red stone walls. The two bronzes were neck and neck, and practically snarling at each other. Siroc led the pack, but Trydan was lowly gaining on the bizarrely colored male.
Blue? You’re kidding, right? No chromatic could ever... Siroc craned his neck to look back at Trydan and missed Jiyan’s turn. His eagerness to beat the “oversized blue” lost him the prize. Defeated, the Moire dragon circled back towards Ryslen as the two bronzes and Trydan continued to chase the prismatic queen. Jiyan led them into the lowhanging clouds, where only her wildly bright hide could lead them through the haze.
Lorean’ surged ahead, but his large wings swept the clouds around him, concealing the prize. He pressed on, and when his wingtip brushed somehting solid, he withdrew, knowing better than to foul his wings. As a gust of wind cleared the clouds away, he saw his mistake shining in the brilliant colors of her hide as she flew from him.
Three down, two remaining. Jiyan crowed triumph as she burst from the cloudcover. Her joy was echoed in the wingbeats of the only male to seek her in the sun soaked sky above the clouds - Trydan. They twined together and were as one, leaving Iryntesalth to find his way out of the clouds and back home alone.