After walking for over a week and running out of questions that Oisin would answer Alys was anxious to find the other dragons that she had heard so little about. She was starting to think they didn't exist. One day, while walking in silence she said "Are we any closer to finding them than we were yesterday…or the day before?"
Selendrile sighed but it was Oisin that responded, "Yes, we're close. I can smell them."
"Smell them?" Alys asked with a puzzled expression on her face.
He turned to smirk at her, "Dragon senses remember?"
"Oh. Right." She discretely wrinkled her nose and sniffed the air, smelling only the fresh air and the trees and grass.
Then there was silence once more. She couldn't remember the last time Selendrile had actually spoken. It may have been two mornings ago to ask her if she wanted to rest. Well, not ask but to tell her to rest.
They were now in a heavily wooded area, so crowded with trees Selendrile and Oisin couldn't walk comfortably in their dragon forms.
Suddenly, Selendrile and Oisin stopped walking. Alys stopped midstep and almost lost her balance turning to look to Selendrile to see why he had stopped. His face told her nothing but when she looked to Oisin his growing grin made her feel relief.
"What is it?" she asked, starting to smile despite herself.
To her surprise, it was Selendrile that answered, "Ninon."
Alys spun her head around trying to see where the dragoness was, but to no avail. She looked back at Selendrile and Oisin, who had started to walk again. Selendrile made the briefest of eye contact with her with a quick, uncharacteristic smile. Alys' heart fluttered and she just stared after him but the smile did its job in letting her know that she shouldn't worry and there was no danger.
This also made her think. Is he smiling because of Ninon? Do they have a history together? She swallowed the uneasy feeling and started to walk slowly in their wake, her eyes darting everywhere to get a glimpse of the yet-to-be-seen dragon.
What do I know about her? Is she beautiful? Of course she is they all are… stupid dragons. It isn't enough that they are powerful and can change to whatever form suits them they have to be beautiful and graceful as well.
Alys realized she was pouting. She sighed and looked up from the ground to see Selendrile studying her, eyebrows raised. She met his gaze for only a few seconds and when he stopped walking so did she. His face looked grave as he started to say "Alys…" and then there was Oisin running back towards them. Alys looked up as he stopped in front of her and Selendrile.
"I know where she is." He said, looking between Alys and Selendrile. Alys glanced at Selendrile but he was intent on moving forward. She shrugged and continued with them for some time.
Oisin took the lead until they reached the bottom of a mountain. Oisin and Selendrile changed out of their clothes as Alys turned her back to them. When she heard the sounds of scales and talons she lifted her arms to be picked up.
The grasp around her middle was firm and the feeling of weightlessness still left her slightly nauseous but the view was beautiful. She could see the tops of the trees for miles and miles. It was all over in only a few moments when she was unceremoniously dumped onto the ground of a ledge about half way up the mountainside.
She quickly looked around to see a cave to her right. With only a half-thought to poor Penna, who looked as if she was going to be sick, she watched as both Selendrile and Oisin landed and strode into the cave entrance. Meanwhile, she sat on the ground staring after them as they disappeared into the darkness. One day, you just wait. She thought whilst giving Selendrile's fading form a witch-worthy look.
Sighing, she stood back up and cautiously walked towards the cave. She turned when she realized that Penna wasn't following her. When she turned and scanned the landscape there was no sign of her. "Penna! Pennaaa!"
It wasn't Penna but Oisin that came to her. "She'll be fine. I think two dragons is her limit." He said with a wink and held out his hand for Alys to take.
With a last glance around she smiled and took Oisin's hand to be led into the dark cave. He led her into the cave until she saw a small fire in the middle of an inner, smaller cave. As soon as she saw Selendrile standing with another girl she dropped Oisin's hand.
Selendrile made no notice that he had even seen that they were holding hands. Oisin just smirked and said "I found her. Alys this is Ninon."
Ninon was a very petite girl that looked about Alys' age. She had hair so dark it had a purple sheen when the light from the fire hit it just right and big, piercing sapphire eyes. Her dark hair and eyes contrasted beautifully with her porcelain skin.
She gave Alys a timid smile, for a dragon-girl anyway.
"Hi" Alys said very boldly. Ninon just smiled wider and bobbed her head in way of greeting. She seemed to be reading the emotions in the room and looked from Alys to Selendrile and back to Alys then to Oisin. At any gathering of human beings this might have seemed awkward and even rude but it was a comfortable silence that the dragons had with each other.
Suddenly Ninon smiled hugely, turned and reached her hand out to the darkness behind her. When she turned back to them the man that was attached to her hand was massively intimidating. But the look on Ninon's face and the love in her eyes was so breathtaking that Alys just stood there staring, almost forgetting not to let her jaw drop in awe of what they had between them. She didn't have to be dragon to tell that they had the most intense form of love there was. Alys had some odd feeling in her stomach as she watched them and turned in time to see Selendrile's eyes slip away from her face.
Oisin interrupted the complete silence. "And this is Varick, unquestionably Ninon's mate."
Varick smiled brightly and said "Pleased to meet you Alys."
"Pleased to meet you as well." Alys replied cheerily. She was filled with a total sense of well-being. Now that she saw what love really is she was filled with a warm feeling. Although Ninon and Varick were obviously completely in love they were very different in appearance. Varick was big and muscular and very loud and rambunctious when speaking to Selendrile and Oisin about their journey. Yet there was a calm about him and something else that Alys couldn't quite figure out. He seemed a little… off, as a dragon anyway.
It's the eyes.
Although just as beautiful as the other three dragon's eyes his were beautiful in a different way. The color was a very normal gray but enhanced so that no ordinary eyes could possibly match his.
Before she realized what she was doing she said. "How odd your eyes are." She gasped and stuttered "I'm sorry I didn't mean…" but she was cut off by all four dragons laughing. She stared at all of them in scared wonder. Also noticing that was the first time she had heard Ninon make a sound.
When the dragons finally calmed enough to speak Varick said "It's okay Alys." He turned to Ninon and smiled. "My eyes are odd because I used to be human."