A long overdue chapter update, but here it is. i stayed up late again, just for you people, so BE HAPPY! grrr if you don't be happy, then i'll pull your arms off. and beat you with them. so be happy! :D i mean it. ENJOY! R&R!

Ferrous sighed as he felt Emmaire's breathing move her chest against his side, the ice dragoness sleeping beside him with her head resting on his neck. The earth dragon turned his eyes down upon her peaceful form, immense pride and love welling up within him as he watched her sleep. She made a subtle shift into a more comfortable position and smiled in her slumber at whatever was prancing about in her dreams. The earth dragon could only guess what it was that was entertaining his love so.

Once more, Emmaire shifted slightly, this time coming back into the waking world. She groaned once before lifting her eyelids and staring up at her lover. Their eyes met and both smiled, thoughts drifting back to the night before. Ferrous spoke first, his voice soft and soothing. "How do you feel, my lovely dragoness?"

Emmaire uncurled herself in the curve of the earth dragon's frame and brought his paws around her body to sit just below her belly. Ferrous growled softly in approval and kissed her gently on the cheek. She giggled before leaning her head back so he could access her lips. The silvery dragon noticed this and complied with the subliminal message by placing his lips firmly against the ice dragoness's, both losing themselves in the contact. They pulled away, both in need of air but not wanting to end the touch. Emmaire drew in a deep breath and exhaled a soft hiss of cool vapor upon her love, making him shiver and wrap his wings around the snowy white scales of his love. She smiled and replaced her head on Ferrous's chest, sighing softly in remembrance of the night before. "Ferrous, my love, after that, how could I be anything other than glorious? That was the best night of my life."

The earth dragon massaged her scales lightly and kissed her again. "Don't worry, dear one, there is better to come. We can be together every night, for the rest of our lives….my mate."

That final phrase sent shivers of pleasure racing down her spine. Mates…Ancestors, thank you. She snuggled up closer against her lover's chest, letting the steady rhythm of his breathing and his warmth instill peace into her. For the first time in her life, here in this dragon's arms and in his love, she was home.

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Sunlight glistened on the brilliant silver scales of Ferrous as the warming rays streamed through the window. He stirred ever so slightly, just to shift his head away from the glaring light of the sun, but the faint movement woke his lover, who had fallen asleep in his arms. Emmaire groaned softly, twisting her neck to look into her dragon's emerald eyes. "Good morning, my mate." Peace radiated through her with the utterance of the word "mate." It was so binding, so meaningful, and the ice dragoness loved that she could now call her love, mate.

Ferrous smiled and pressed his lips to her forehead. "Good morning, Em. How did you sleep?"

Emmaire sighed and she placed her paws atop her dragon's. "Heavenly, love. You make a great blanket, you know." She giggled as he wrapped his wings around her, kissing her along her neck.

"I'm sure. And you make a great pillow." He smiled at her as she squirmed in his embrace, making herself more comfortable. As they lay there, their door opened and Star stood in the doorway, a grin appeared on her muzzle at the two dragons within.

"Come on, you two. We got to get going, Wolfe already left with Flame to meet a contact of Hunter's so we need to be going." Star closed the door again, leaving them with a few minutes to get ready.

Emmaire reluctantly left her dragon's embrace and dropped to the floor. Ferrous followed her example and left the warmth of their bed to stand on the floor. The earth dragon stretched his wing over the delicate form of his ice dragoness and they walked to the door, Ferrous pushing it open with his snout. Star and Ember stood waiting for them in the hallway. Both gave the two a knowing smile, star starting forward down the hall to a set of stairs. The four dragons descended the stairs and exited the inn onto the streets of the city.

Star led them on a winding path, navigating through the crowded streets with a practiced ease that fit her confident stride. After a few minutes, Ferrous was able to pick Wolfe's gleaming black scales from one particularly large crowd and he saw the dragon weaving through the mass of bodies to a side street; one that was nearly empty. Star guided them across the packed plaza and into the abandoned alley. Once there, she ran forward and kissed Wolfe on the cheek.

"What did you find out, Wolfie?" She queried.

Wolfe smiled and ran his nose along her muzzle. "It seems that Malefor's forces have withdrawn from the temple. They disappeared into the swamps and not a single ape has been seen or heard since. It's safe to go back to the temple again."

Flame stepped out from behind Wolfe and Ember rushed to his side. He sighed as she pressed against his side, pulling her closer with his wing as he spoke. "Hunter said that he would get tow of his friends to escort us back to the temple, and we were to meet them at the gate to the city in ten minutes. Let's go!"

With their party reunited, they took to the air, soaring over the crowds gathered in the streets. They quickly moved across the open sky and dove down to land in front of a large, rod iron gate. Two figures materialized out of the shadows, both wearing long hooded cloaks. One was around Hunter's height, while the other towered over them all at around seven feet tall. As the dragons approached them, the tall one seemed to shrink, his height diminishing until he stood even with the other. The first one threw back his hood to reveal that he was, as Hunter was, a cheetah. The second removed his hood to show that he was a creature that Ferrous had not seen before. His face was that of a wolf, but there was something different about him.

Wolfe however, smiled wide at this strange creature. "Alder! It's been a while, my friend. So Hunter convinced you to take this job?"

The wolf creature gave Wolfe a lopsided grin. "Wolfe! Hunter told me I was gonna be taking a few dragons back to the temple, he never mentioned you!" He turned to star and opened his arms wide. "And there she is! The always lovely Star. How are you little one?"

Star giggled. "I'm not little anymore Alder. But thank you, I'm doing great."

Alder noticed the other dragons and turned his odd grin to them. "And who might these young ones be?"

Wolfe also turned to them. "Well the two fire dragons are Flame and Ember, they're a year younger than us, and the other two are Ferrous and Emmaire. They're two years younger than us. Flame, Ember, Ferrous, Emmaire, meet my good friend, Alder Gres."

The strange being bowed to them. "It's a pleasure to meet you all. My associate here is Sem Frei. We should get moving, though. Daylight won't last forever you know!" He chuckled and elbowed Sem. "Come on" The two cloaked creatures turned and led them out of the city and into the wilderness. The walked for hours and soon the sun was brushing against the horizon. Alder held up a hand and the group halted in the dip of a small valley.

"Let's stop here for the night, I know a friendly otter in these parts and I'm gonna pay him a quick visit to see if he'll join us. Sem, I'm trusting you to keep a lookout until I return."

The cheetah responded with a curt nod and he vanished up the hill beside him. Alder left in the opposite direction and the dragons found themselves alone. Wolfe dropped to his belly and Star lay against his chest. Flame pulled Ember closer and they lay down together as well. Ferrous curled around Emmaire and he growled softly at the feel of her against him.

The earth dragon felt his eyes grow heavy and he laid his head over his dragoness's neck, falling into a light sleep.

An ear splitting roar awakened him from his slumber and his eyes shot open. Sem came dashing down the hill, yelling, "Get up! All of you! You need to leave, now. Go!" The six dragons jumped to their paws as a large creature thundered over the peak of the hill Sem had just ran down. Ferrous's eyes widened in shock. It was the creature that had hurt Emmaire at the temple.

Ferrous made sure that Emmaire had gotten up and he nudged her forward, all of them rushing away from the creature. When they reached the top of the hill, Wolfe turned back and saw that Sem did not follow. The cheetah waved at him, urging the dragon to leave. "Go! I'll keep him busy!"

As they flew across the rolling plains, the dying scream of a creature echoes from behind them and they soon came across Alder and another creature. Alder ran up to them.

"What happened?" Alder knelt down in front of Wolfe and grabbed the dragon by the shoulders. "What was that scream?"

Wolfe glanced back to where they had come from. "Alder, we were ambushed by him. Sem stayed behind to hold him off. I'm sorry."

Alder's expression became one of sorrow, and he stood again, a tear dropping from his muzzle. The other creature, an otter, walked to his side and clasped his shoulder knowingly. "He gave it willingly, my friend. He died with honor."

Alder nodded, patting the otter on the back. "I know Scrade, I will always remember him. Come, we must hurry. We need to leave before he finds us-" His words were cut off by another thunderous roar. Scrade stepped in front of them, placing himself between the vicious assailant and the dragons. He turned towards them and flashed them a smile as lines of runes running down his arms and back began to glow a deep forest green. "I got this, don't worry about me. I've dealt with him before, and he was the one with scars. Go Alder, you know he can't touch me."

Alder nodded and threw off his cloak, revealing silky black fur and midnight black feathered wings that flared out behind him. He spread them and pushed himself into the air, motioning for the dragons to follow him. They escaped over the hills, away from the temple and into the forest.

Sorry, no poem this time. two new characters introduced, a lupogriff and an otter. Who are these creatures, What are those strange runes on Scrade? Why am i asking you all these things? I'M DAMN TIRED, SO GOODNIGHT!

Laters!