Raesa Thera Ella Radley (aka Red) stood on Duskannyranwalatath's (aka Dusky's) ledge outside of their spacious chambers at Ryslen. Though the large dragoness was black as night (save the yellow tips of her wings) she was clearly of Ryslen stock - someone had refered to her as a Night Night Gold, but Dusky hadn't been to fond of the title - of course, what proddy queen would be?
Though they'd been at Ryslen for about ten days, neither J'lenn nor his blue Scith had stopped by long enough to say hello - it seemed they were avoiding this vixen and her dragon completely.
Word had gone out that the black Dusky was to rise, and eleven males came to court her - all eleven now staring at the ledge where Red stood, waiting for the black dragoness to take to the sky. Red knew it would be soon, but she wasn't really to pleased about it. But there was nothing she could do.
L'tan and H'aze came from the Kshau Protectorate with their bronzes Bornilith and Akalmith, as did Pa'sha with his brown Surketh. With them came Robbyn and his Metallic Ontiroth, and Black Faloritoth brought his rider Sab're. Some thought Faloritoth should not chase, as he was Dusky's grandsire. Others scoffed. "Inbreeding" didn't affect dragons in the least!
From Cathair Fionabhainn came Trenathew and Black Hatath, from Alskyr came Caer Llwyd's Caerlord Madoc with Silver-Bronze Felenri and from the Moire Protectorate on Lao Daemia came K'teric on Tiamat Bronze Iryntesalth.
Three Ryslen-born dragons, all hailing from Moire save one, were also ready for the black to rise. Aerlyas Ironeyes' Night Red Delcitath, Aramnir's Bronze-White Erynduth (son of Releith and Senorith), and Al'jan's Brown Fivrith - the only actual Ryslen resident.
Red could feel Dusky stirring in the depths of her mind. When the black dragoness awoke, she would go screaming out of their room and out towards the pens that held live beasts. The adreneline that would course through the animal's veins in response to their need to flee from Dusky would help the great black by boosting her adreneline levels - not that she'd need it, not with her impressive ancestry. Turning from the ledge, Red reentered her room, tossed the silken robe on the bed and quickly donned a long white button down shirt that went nearly to her furry knees. Before those ten men and lone woman found her room, Red needed to find something...
* * *
Duskannyranwalatath awoke suddenly, not with the fuzziness of sleep lingering, but clearly and sharply alert, with every fiber of her being screaming for the same thing: blood.
The black dragoness leapt from the ledge effortlessly, and caused the beasts in the pen to stampede towards the lake. Pouncing a large bullock, the black dragoness began to feast on the hot crimson, ignoring the flesh as was ingrained deeply in her - gone was the need for her rider's reminder. Dusky waas in total control of herself. Her expedient meal finished, Duskannyranwalatath lunged for the heavens, and the male dragons followed after her like hounds after the fox - as their riders truly were then!
Up, up into the sky they went, so far that the dark and metallic hides of the dragons were mere specks to the casual observer, though up close, the pattern was far different. The four bronzes led the pack, followed closely by the two blacks, the Night Red, the silver-bronze, and the metallic. The two browns lagged behind, and as Dusky shot into the dense morning clouds, Fibrith and Surketh circled back to Ryslen.
Through the chill mist Duskannyranwalatath led them all, darting up into clear sky after a moment, and only seven of the males followed. Bronze Iryntesalth had gotten disoriented, and Black Hatath had mistakenly followed him. What a surprise that would have been, if Hatath had caught what he followed in the clouds.
* * *
J'lenn was in the bathing pool, not doing much though some accused him of counting his gray hairs, when a strange stirring crept over him. The aging Searchrider was out of the water like a shot, grabbing after a towel. "SCITH! Don't you DARE!" he roared, storming through the doorway into his bedchamber. But it was too late - the blue had already taken off. "Your mother was a watchwher, you sharding egg-forsaken, char and ash ..." the cursing continued at an intense volume as J'lenn dried off and slipped into a pair of trous. Barefoot and shirtless, he stormed through the hallways.
* * *
In the sky, Duskannyranwalatath led her suitors on, then suddenly doubling back on her path, losing two of the larger bronzes Erynduth and Bornilith, as they did not anticipate her turn and could not manuver in time not to be left behind. As she passed, Silver-bronze Felenri grasped at her, but missed, instead fouling bronze Akalmith, who'd also reached for the queen-sized black.
That should have left three - Metallic Ontiroth, Black Faloritoth, and the agile young Night Red Delcitath - but when Dusky looked back intending to crow her triumph, there were four.
And one of them was blue.
Black Faloritoth roared in annoyance that a blue would even try, and Delcitath echoed it. In their distraction, Ontiroth surged after Dusky, but she ducked away, circling back behind the pack, and leaving the large Metallic hugging a cloud.
Turning on wingtip, the party-crashing blue followed after the great black dragoness, and without trying much harder, twined necks with her. Faloritoth and Delcitath returned to Ryslen, outwitted by a 'mere' blue, as Dusky and her mate spiralled through the sky. Though he was not more than half her size, he had what she needed.
* * *
The sound of J'lenn's furious cursing cleared Red's head, and she ran through the corridor, her paws making little sound on the stone floors. It wasn't long before she found J'lenn leaning heavily against the wall, still cursing his dragon, though he was temporarily blinded by the blue's passion. Red pushed open the door to the lounge that conveniently was both there and empty, and pushed J'lenn inside with her short-fingered hand. He couldn't resist - he hadn't the power.
J'lenn's head cleared within a moment, giving him reason, though Scith's fire pulsed through his veins like the bubbles in a shaken bottle of Coke pressing furvently towards release. "Red! I..."
"I love you, J'lenn." the fox said, taking a step towards the Searchrider.
J'lenn stared at her for a moment. "You... love me?"
Red nodded and took another step closer. Didn't this man realize how difficult it was for her to wait in a situation like this?!
J'lenn turned to the door. Red's breath caught in her throat until she heard the sound of the lock being set. Slowly, he turned back to her. "I love you too, Raesa Thera Ella Radley." J'lenn said, and the rest, as they say, is history.