The sun was bright on the grounds of Ryslen. High up on her ledge, the night image of Merrie lounged, one paw and the last third of her tail curled over the lip as she peered out at the world. It was such a lovely day...hot under the sun but gentle breezes were sweeping down the sides of the crater, bringing some clouds for a bit of overhead shade and cooling off the residents inside. Great wings folded neatly on her back, her whole formed shifted as she drew in a deep and slow breath of the sweet smelling air, only to exhale it just as carefully to savor every last wisp.
Such a beautiful day... the she-dragon hummed to herself.
For a flight? came the reply. Glancing up, the green's eyes swirled in happy oranges and yellows at the sight of her rider, T'bias, leaning coolly against the stone archway leading out from his part of their nidulus. His gray eyes were much wiser now than when she'd first broken from her shell and bounded across the hatching sands towards the mute young man, but there was still that eagerness and glow that marked his joy of bonding the Night Green beast and following in his father's footsteps.
Exactly, Merrameth almost snickered, glancing down to where her suitors waited. They were all watching her intensely, and even from her spot she could see the eagerly twitching muscles as they prepared to take flight after her.
So where will you take them? T'bias asked, moving to stand near her great green head and soothingly stroke her eye ridge. She'd been glowing for days now; waiting, stretching out the males' nerves for as long as she could bear it. Linneth had flown just the other day, and T'bias had been sure Merrie was ready to take off as soon as the stormy blue and her mate had landed...but still, she held out. For one more day, the males would wait.
I'm not quite sure. I've learned so much, both during the frenzy and watching the females here fly. I will have to try out some new tricks, and with that, Merrie carefully stood. Front legs then rear, forcing T'bias to step away as she stretched her grand wings out in the sun. Indeed, they were like sheets of dark emeralds displayed in the rays of light, and with the added glow of her lust she seemed to be totally chiseled from black gems.
Down below, the males sensed as well as saw the female stand. Eager to fly, Haeth nearly shot off as they witnessed her unfurl her wings. The other dragons quietly chuckled, many shaking their heads.
You may have caught eight females, Haeth, but you've learned no patience, Chranith said wisely.
I hate waiting! Why hasn't she flown yet, she's been ready for days!
She's teasing us, Cherubith replied in almost a growl as the five males watched her move to the rim of her ledge, almost smiling at them.
But today she will fly, Chranith responded, looking knowingly up at his friend's nidulus.
Try and get one of the two with a female rider, T'bias playfully encouraged as Merrameth once again looked across her chosen males.
Only if he is worthy of my time, the dragoness responded...and with a push of her mighty back legs, she was in the sky and taking a gentle glide down to the beasts' feeding pen. Smiling, T'bias turned on his heels to head down to a lower ledge and watch Merrie's first solo flight.
He was the last to appear, the suitors' riders having all assembled by the time Merrie had finished her first (and only) beast and was quickly taking to the air. Her bugle sounded, crisp and clear as the rays of the sun itself, calling the males to the chase, and they answered in throaty bellows. Haeth took flight first, Cherubith and Adherath close behind with Chranith and the other Brown Zalrith bringing up the rear.
"It'll be a good flight, T'bias," Seraphim said, returning the firm handshake offered by the Green's rider.
"You sure you're not...you know?" asked Haeth's rider Ch'vi as T'bias stepped onto the ledge. T'bias only smiled, nodding his head and giving a pat to the nervous Brown rider's shoulder.
You shouldn't believe the rumors you hear about men riding Greens, Zaton said as he swooped in from above and took his place on T'bias shoulder. The young man smirked, turning his gray gaze to the two women riders sharing the look out and offering a playful wink. The tall, dark skinned guard and the rider from Cy Dragonstake both chuckled amongst themselves.
"Either way...I think I'll only stay a little while," replied D'zel from where he leaned against the barrier.
If that's how you feel, T'bias replied through Zaton, looking skyward. But you're going to miss one hell of a flight...
Far from powering through the sky, Merrie took her sweet time in the air. Instead, she used her energy to maneuver around the males in circles. Though large for a Green, her size only improved her speed and, quite surprisingly, her agility. She'd zip parallel to the ground, then suddenly turn her nose downward and pull a semi circle back under the males. Flaring her wings, she'd go straight up and clip Zalrith's tail as he tried to bank and catch her, nearly colliding with the other males who had already turned.
Please, gentlemen! If you're not going to at least try to keep up, don't waste my time! Merrameth laughed as she watched Cherubith snap at Haeth as they detangled themselves. I'm sure there are other males who'd be willing to be my mate!
We'll see about that! Cherubith barked as he finally pulled away from Haeth and shot skyward after her. His pride challenged by both dragon and rider, he wasn't about to let this one get away!
For a moment he was sure he'd caught her! She had been right there in his grasp! But she wasn't there anymore...her glowing black tail whipped into his face as she pulled back. A growl of shock and defeat, he snuffed smoke and started his spiral back to Ryslen.
Perhaps some other day! Merrie cooed as she turned to face the four who were left. She trilled, like a hatchling, and then to the amazement of everyone powered straight at the males! They scattered madly, but Chranith, caught off guard, peeled back too far and lost too much wind from under his wings, faltering down from the sky. By the time he righted himself, Merrie had started the chase again and he was too far behind.
Sorry Friend, she called privately, but Chranith only roared encouragement.
Keep it up, Merrie! You'll have your pick of them yet!
Does your energy never end? Zalrith called in frustration as he and the other dragons continued to hunt Merrameth. She was taking another direction, this time straight up! Up into the clouds, the three dark males struggling to push past one or the other after her before they lost her in the cloud bank. But Merrie wasn't exactly a light colored dragon, and while she became a ghost in the mist it was easy to see her shadow ducking among the clouds.
Adherath, suddenly feeling very turned around in the fluffy whiteness, paused to try and get his barrings. He may lose the flight...but he didn't want to lose his way, either! As he thought for sure he'd seen the shapes of dragons zipping past him, there was a tug from his tail and suddenly he found himself caught!
Hello there, handsome.
You sneaky little...
Down on the ground, T'bias approached Menari and gave a low sweeping bow. She didn't tower over him as madly as most men, but still the guard was an impressive sight to behold. Removing the hood she wore over her silvery locks, the lady smiled knowingly and took the hand T'bias offered her as he escorted her back to his nidulus. The two knew well the urges of their dragons...and luckily dear Merrie had been kind enough to let Adherath catch her.
Or so they thought. And a person could assume Merrie would be satisfied by a single male alone. But that was what T'bias and Menari missed during their moments of dragon spurred passion. Adherath slid from the sky, looking rather pleased with himself, and it wasn't long after that when Ch'vi's knees suddenly buckled out from under him. A hand gripping white knuckled to the rail, he nearly slammed his chin into the guard as Merrie and Haeth -- deeply tangled together -- dropped from the clouds.
Indeed, it had been a beautiful day. A beautiful day for not one, but two males to catch (or was it be caught?) by T'bias's Great Green Queen. And with the handsome Adherath and the wacky Haeth as their fathers, who knew what pretty, large freaks would be hatching from this clutch?