Amelia sighed as she looked at Xirielth, shaking her head. The green had gone from a pleasant grassy green to an eye-blistering neon in a few short days and Amelia wasn't entirely sure how to deal with her sassy bond any more. Sure, she'd listened to the "first flight" speech and understood the mechanics of it all, but just what was it going to be like? And with so many half-human or non-humans riding the chasing dragons, well, what would all of that be like, too? At least there weren't any women ... that would have probably been a little too weird.
Of course, weird was receiving flowers for Xirielth from one of the male dragons. She wasn't too sure how to handle that, either. They rested in a vase on a table, though Xirielth didn't care to look at them. Amelia thought they were beautiful, though, and thoughtful, too. Perhaps his rider would be the same way.
Unable to clear her head, Amelia trotted out of the guest room and went outside in the daylight for a breath of fresh air. Along the way, she caught sight of the chasing males, each of them preening in their own way for Xirielth's attentions. Somehow or other, those males managed to escape getting lashed by the green's razor-edged tail; a fate and a scar which a few other male dragons didn't escape. Xirielth sneered at the males, flicking her tail threateningly at them before lifting into the air briefly to glide to the feeding grounds.
Sensing what was going to happen, Amelia frowned and turned to run back to the guest room, unable to speak or even tell Xirielth what she needed to do. Terrified, she slammed the door and turned to see the chasers' bonds in various places in the guest room. She somehow found a spot on the bed -- a spot which was quickly cleared for her, in fact, by the two that were seated there -- and there she lowered her head and promptly started to hyperventilate.
"You shouldn't do that.", one voice advised, though she couldn't place the owner.
"Tell her to blood and make sure she listens. You know to do that, right?", another voice instructed gently.
"I'll ... I'll try.", she whimpered and firmly began to state, Blood only, Xirielth, blood only! Do you hear me?!
A mildly smug Xirielth responded haughtily, I'll do what I want.
In the feeding grounds, however, Xirielth did listen, blooding two small beasts and giving her wings a good, solid pump as if to test them. She swung her head to glare menacingly at the males, particularly the three blues, and lashed her tail fiercely. None of them are good enough for me!, she told Amelia, a note of disdain evident in her voice. Still, that urge to rise bid her skyward and she went, swinging easily into the heavens with a few carefully timed strokes of her wings.
The males arose after her, with powerful Dualori taking the lead early on. He had the strength and endurance to last a long flight, but how would he fare with a shorter, more agile one? Following next came Lorccanth and Vabastusath, with Kiroth and Nanvooth taking up the rear. A fine array of males for any female, although Xirielth seemed to think otherwise.
The rainbow-marked black Dualori swept up close behind Xirielth, in a move to make an early catch and was greeted with her whipping tail. He fell back a few lengths, somehow avoiding any severe injury at her lashing. Now it's time for the real show!, Xirielth announced, her mind-voice bright with the prospect of a challenge.
She dipped and wove, twisted and spun, writhing just out of reach; when Lorccanth tried to snare her with one of his own daring maneuvers, she wrenched herself out of his grasp and sent him scrambling to stay aloft. Lady, you don't know what you're missing., he remarked bemusedly as he drifted out of sight. With one chaser out of commission, Xirielth turned her attentions to the other males and taunted them with her shrill cries of challenge.
Nanvooth was tiring and soon wouldn't be able to keep up if he didn't catch her, so he vaulted even higher and attempted a dive, his talons splayed to capture the glittering green below; the faint whistle of wind in the blue's wings snagged the green's attention and she twisted on a wingtip and out of the way. Sighing, Nanvooth went searching for his mate Indefra; Xirielth wasn't really his type, anyhow.
Another one down! I don't think any of you can catch me!, she remarked snidely, snapping her tail at Vabastusath, who had somehow snuck up on her. He fell back with a snarl, dropping slightly and blocking Dualori from a second catch attempt. The rainbow-marked black snapped at Vabastusath and buffeted the blue with his wings, sending him toward the ground. That's alright, I was tired anyhow., the blue snorted as he drifted off to go find another female who would appreciate him.
Which left, of all things, the somewhat glitzy Kiroth and the rainbow-marked black Dualori. And of the two, Kiroth was tiring rapidly. Dualori glared at the small yellow and promptly dropped in the sky, gliding lower than the already exhausted Xirielth. Not one to admit defeat, the green continued to glide on thermals, flapping her wings only when necessary. With Dualori below, he would be certain to catch if she began to descend.
Kiroth, however, wasn't about to let that happen. The enterprising yellow mustered up enough speed and agility to make what would be his first -- and last -- catch attempt by barrelling into Xirielth's side. And, miracle of miracles ... it worked! His tail and neck entangled with her own, sending them into a barrel-roll in the skies; far below, Dualori remarked, Show-off. You didn't leave her flowers, either. before gliding disconsolately to the ground.
Too stunned for words, Kiroth could only gape at the green he'd caught and she, too struck by his unusual type of daring could only say, You got lucky, that's all.
And below, while the other riders filed out in varying states of disappointment, Riki could only blink at Amelia and she at him before finding that they really weren't all that different, after all.