Yaneth is about 18 months old and Stirath has risen to mate. So, Jarra has a perfectly good excuse to get the "heck out of Dodge". This is just a one-shot in my previous series, "Dragon's Apprentice". Doesn't fit in there right now, but I'm bored, and I don't own Pern, oh well.
It was the middle of the night when Stirath's strident screams were reverberated throughout the weyr and the surrounding beaches. Jarra was up out of bed and struggling into clothes and grabbing Yaneth's riding straps before what was happening registered in her brain. All three of the rest of the Queen's in the Weyr were old enough to need to leave, and as Yaneth grumbled as she was harnessed, she waved at the other two gold riders as they made the same preparations. Soon, she climbed aboard and Yaneth leaped for the sky. Massith and Euranth hovered near her and they appeared to wink between at the same time.
Yaneth broke out of between over a golden beach near Southern Weyr. They had found this beach when learning landmarks and locations of other Weyrs during weyrling training. Jarra had even been fire-lizard egg hunting here. Yaneth landed and Jarra climbed down and removed the straps before the young Queen hit the water, literally. It appeared that she performed a giant belly flop into the ocean. Klumsy and Wish joined her diving in and out of the surf as the Queen rolled over.
Jarra glanced around to ensure she was alone and then stripped off her clothes and joined her friends. Yanet settled after a few moments and Jarra climbed aboard and stretched out on her back and looking up at the stars. Jarra sighed, she'd hoped that S'peren would follow, but it was the middle of the night. For all she knew, Carith had joined the flight for Stirath.
He has to catch me first, Yaneth grumped. She liked Canith well enough, she just chose to keep her preferences to herself. Jarra laughed and swam back to shore. She had stowed some gear here just in case of such an event as this. She found the crevice that held the sack of stuff. A couple of blankets, some dried meat rolls and fruit, and a couple of bottles of water well hidden came out with a tug. She spread out one of the blankets on the beach and, after gathering her clothes lay down. The sound of the waves and her splashing friends lulled her to sleep.
When she awoke Yaneth was curled up beside her on the beach, Klumsy and wish had disposed of themselves around her. The sun's first rays were beginning to touch the horizon out over sea. And S'peren and Canith had indeed joined them. He lay on the blanket beside her, almost as bare as the day he was born. Jarra stifled a laugh, he wore a rather long towel between his legs. His eyes popped open at her laughter.
"What?" he asked, sounding outraged.
"Such modesty!" she said as she snatched the towel and took off running for the water. She heard him growl as he chased after her. He caught her, of course. She laughed as he lifted her off her feet from around her waist. She didn't resist as her turned her around. She looked up into his blue eyes, bare skin against bare skin. She sighed as he bent down and kissed her. He didn't need to bend far, they were nearly the same height. The wind joined the sun over the sea as it reached them and played with their hair. Jarra's arms wound around his neck. They finally broke as she whispered a question, "So, do we have a new Weyrleader?"
S'peren laughed, "No, it's still J'nat. Would you believe Canith slept through that whole mess this morning? He's waiting for another Queen."
Jarra nodded, her green eyes gleaming with gratitude. They went back to the blanket and played, nothing more. Anything more was a commitment that Jarra didn't want to make until Yaneth rose. There was one more thing in the sack that Jarra pulled out: a bikini. Its need became clear as two more dragons appeared overhead. Meganth and Gareth joined them after they both pulled on swim gear. M'ssith and Reis both joined them in the surf almost as soon as they hit the beach.
Reis and Jarra sat atop Yaneth as they watched the bronze and blue riders swimming, their well-muscled back sides clear in spite of the modest pants they wore.
"Did you think riding a dragon would be like this?" Reis asked.
"No, but I like the reality better," Jarra replied. The sun finished rising, spreading its warming rays over the sleeping land.