The lake was pristine, like a mirror reflecting the moon perfectly. Looking at it reminded her of when she was a child, happy and care-free. That was when her father was still alive. Now she was depending on an emotionless dragon-boy to keep her alive. But what else could be done? Selendrile wasn't that bad anyway. Living with him for these past months had brought them somewhat closer and she was getting used to his quiet, secretive ways.
At that moment she looked up and there he was, soaring above the lake. She could just make out his golden scales reflecting the light of the moon. He circled like a bird of prey and landed a few feet away from her. She stood and went to him.
"Well, did they give up?" she asked the purple-eyed dragon.
He just looked at her and drank from the lake, ignoring her as he usually did.
When he had drunk his fill and the shore line seemed to have gone down, he changed into his human form. Alys looked away from his nakedness, blushing and sighed because she should be used to it by now. She waited until she heard him rustle around in the sack that contained some peasants' clothing and a few minutes later looked up to see him fully dressed and staring at her. She blushed again and tried her best to stare back but knew it was useless.
"We don't have to worry about them anymore" was all he said.
"Okay, so where do we go now?"
He didn't answer. He just walked towards the woods without looking to see if she had followed him. Of course she scrambled up and jogged over to catch up with him. But before she did he said "I have to leave you Alys." That stopped her dead in her tracks. "What? What do you mean you have to leave me?" He stopped, a few paces ahead and turned to look at her. "It's not safe for us to travel together anymore."
"What? I mean why isn't it safe? Did something happen that you haven't told me?" This could be very likely since you never tell me anything. She thought to herself.
"Your human mind couldn't possibly understand. But it's not safe because of the other dragons." He replied.
She was stunned, but not for long. "What other dragons? You're just going to leave me here in the middle of nowhere? That's not exactly safe either!" She all but screamed back at him. She felt like crying but knew she couldn't, not in front of him. He'd seen her cry too many times already and she was sure that after what she had been through she would be able to control her emotions better, especially after living with an emotionless dragon for months.
"I'm not going to leave you here Alys. I'm going to take you somewhere where you'll be safe." He said with the tiniest flicker of some emotion she could not place, if she had even seen it at all.
Then he looked at her with a smirk and said "You'll see when we get there." At that he started walking into the forest again and Alys was left jogging to keep up with his long strides.
"This is safe?" She said in a sarcastic, disbelieving tone. They were in a small village next to the ocean. It was warm here and she liked that but didn't see how it was safer here than anywhere else.
"This place should be safe enough as long as you don't draw attention to yourself." Selendrile replied, not looking at her.
"Tell me why you have to leave me here? What's so frightening about the other dragons?"
He looked at her then, a half-startled, half-angry expression on his face. "I'm not frightened of the others. It's just easier if you were away from me."
"How is it easier? And what do they want from you anyway?"
"They believe that I have wronged them and now want revenge. You know all about revenge and to what lengths someone will go for it." He said smiling at first, then his face turning serious.
"Yes, I do." She said gravely then went on with her torrent of questions. "Can't I help you somehow, like you helped me? I don't want to stay here, what would I do? I don't belong here with normal people." She said, almost pleading.
He looked at her thoughtfully, measuring if she could be of some help to him without getting in the way. Finally he said, "I think there may be something you can do. For now though, we will check into the inn and you can eat."
"Yes and rest my fragile human body." She said sarcastically, yet feeling as if she had won some small argument. They walked into the town next to the ocean and checked into the 'Traveler's Tavern'. A tall, skinny man greeted them when they entered. He had a sallow face and receding hair that looked like brown fluff on the top of his head. He was in an irritable mood and immediately took their money and handed them off to a young girl around Alys's age, most likely his daughter. She took one look at Selendrile and blushed deeply. She managed to say, "My names' Anna. I'll show you to your room."
"Nice night isn't it?" She said with a slight accent. She could barely walk up the stairs because she kept turning her head back to look at Selendrile. He gave her a marvelous smile and said "Beautiful" which sent her into a fit of giggles. Alys rolled her eyes and made a face that Selendrile noticed. He gave her a pretentious smile. At this the girl giggled even more and when she thought Selendrile wasn't paying attention she gave Alys such a livid stare that Alys thought she had been possessed by the devil himself.
"Well here you are. There's some left over stew for dinner if you haven't eaten yet." Anna said, looking directly at Selendrile when she spoke.
"Thank you, my wife is starving from our journey." He said startling Anna and Alys both.
"Oh, you two are married?" Anna asked in a disbelieving tone. As if someone as handsome as Selendrile could be interested in someone as plain and awkward as Alys believed herself to be.
Before Alys could recover from the first shock Selendrile said with a huge grin, "newlyweds." And shut the door on Anna's baffled expression.
Alys finally finding her voice said "Newlyweds? Why the change in story? The brother-sister disguise worked in all the other towns we've been in."
"It was getting a little boring and the look on your face will be enough to keep me amused for a long time." He said with a grin.
"Humph." Was her only response while she crossed her arms and turned away from him to look at their room. It was small, but clean. A lone window was at the far end of the room that overlooked the beautiful moon-lit ocean. "Wow. What a lovely view. I've never seen the ocean before." She said in awe.
"I know. That's one of the reasons we came here. It is one of several places that are safe for now and I assumed you lived in that little village your whole life. Everyone should see the ocean at least once." He said in a very un-Selendrile like tone. But by the time she turned to look at him he was back to his usual stony disposition.
"Thank you." She said in wonderment. He didn't reply, only opened the door and started down the stairs, not waiting to see if she would follow.