The egg hatched, as the young girl held her breath, heart beating. It was exhilarating to watch this happen. She was the only woman in the small section of this fighting force, and they'd received this egg a few days ago.

A dragon unfurled like a golden flower from the egg, seeing her and blinking. It came closer to her and then saw a man step in front of her.

Of course it chose him; she reflected upon this a few days later, sharp thorns of resentment jabbing still. A smaller dragon called her over, an excited note in its voice.

"Are you not a captain?" asked the Bondevika, eyes bright with relief. She laughed a little at the statement.

"Not if you don't want me to be, sweetie." She reached over and petted the little dragon. His name was Linnhe, and his captain was an Englishman who had joined their Norwegian force five years ago. She checked for said captain, but didn't see him, before hugging the little dragon outright.

"Excuse me, what do you think you're doing to my dragon?" growled a voice. Whirling around she let go of Linnhe and took up a defensive stance. This man was always, always opposing her, and he hated her for the way his dragon showed her affection. She was only a cadet, of course, but longed for a dragon of her own like every officer did. She was on the crew of a large dragon, Craetaegus, and adored it, but was too close to the dragons for many people to like her. This Englishman spoke Norwegian with a strange, harsh accent that turned many people against him, but she had given him a few chances, being friendly, before he threw it back in her face, saying she was too close to his dragon and she had to stay away. He treated his dragon like a hound that must be called to heel.

How she hated Arthur Jones! Everything about his manner was arrogant, and she never felt she must bow and scrape to him as the others did, and made it clear she hated him once he had ordered her away from Linnhe. And what a fine dragon Linnhe was; her heart ached at the treatment he got from his captain, who he adored to the point of unthinking devotion.