Lisa loved to fly. Her white wings beat strongly, taking her higher and higher until she touched the clouds. The tips of her wings brushed them, stirring them. A shadow passed over her and she looked up too see a larger black dragon speeding ahead. She smiled inside at the sight of her mate. They had flown to Scotland, the place of his ancestors to attend a dragon festival. Young males introduced their new mates and competed in competitions. The females were welcome to join in if they thought they had the strength. Alin warned her that if she did compete a lot of the older women might think it inappropriate. She shrugged it off. The story of her defeating a male dragon would have probably reached their ears by now. They dipped lower, breaking through the clouds.
Alin led her down to a large ring of stones, shifting as his feet touched the ground. She shifted in the air and he caught her easily. There were a few people there, mostly males carrying the heavy tables and stacking wood for the bonfire. The festival would last five days. There would be music, dancing, and a large feast. Lisa could learn how to craft many things like jewelry, rugs, and blankets of she wished. The females often loved the arts and crafts. He believed Lisa would as well because she loved learning new things. She had taken to being a dragon with grace. He believed she would most favor the story teller, an old dragon who believed every youngling should follow their hearts instead of tradition. He lowered her to the ground and kissed her as not only a display of affection, but also staking his claim in front of the males who he knew were watching.
She pulled back and grinned at him. “Down boy, these other have nothing on you.” She rubbed her nose against his.
“I’m sorry, I just get this animalistic urge. I don’t believe for a second you would leave me or they could take you. I just love you.” He said and wrapped his arms around her waist.
“I love you too, very much.”
“Alin is that you?” They turned at the young feminine voice. A woman with grey green eyes and red hair came running toward them.
“Perla, how are you?” He asked nervously.
“Good, who is this?”
“My mate, Lisa.” The woman looked shocked and Lisa wondered why.
“Oh, well I have to go help string up lights. I’ll see you around.” She took off back to the others, looking disappointed.
“What was that about?” Lisa asked.
“The elders wanted me to be mated with Perla when I had not found one when I came of age. She wanted me, but I did not want her. I promise, she means nothing.” He ran his fingers through his hair.
“Dearest love, I am not worried. I know you love me.”
“Why didn’t you want her?”
“She’s annoying. I just dislike almost everything about her. She’s nice but I just don’t like her atall.”
“I guess so since you would’ve rather been alone for years instead of being with her”
“I would’ve died alone before I was with her.” She hugged him. “What do we do now?”
“I want to introduce you to a few people.” She smiled feeling really happy. She could see how proud he was that she was his. He grabbed her hand and they walked until they came up to a couple. “Hi Alin, who is this beautiful lady?” The woman asked “My mate Lisa.” The man said “Oh wow, you finally picked a mate I’m so happy for you. Has Perla seen her? I bet she’s going to be really upset she’s been holding out for you.” The girl nudged him “John!” He laughed “Well it’s true besides I’m sure Lisa isn’t intimidated by her she’s way prettier.”
“I’m sorry Johns being rude I’m Emma”
“Nice to meet you.” Lisa smiled. “Alin sure walked you over here like he had the best thing in the world. I’m glad your making him so happy. He’s a sweet guy.”
“Yes he is, extremely sweet.”
“If I may ask without seeming rude, are you half human?” Emma smiled, but already looked apologetic.
“I’m mostly human.” She answered with a smile of her own.
“But you shifted.” John said.
“Alin was just as shocked and so was I.”
“It would seem you have a very strong will. Anyway, John and I have too get the food out and on the tables. None of these other males plan on doing it.”
“If you need help please ask me.” They said bye for now and Alin led her over to an older man with short white hair and twinkling brown eyes.
“Alin, my goodness the last time I saw you you were eighteen and were leaving. So glad to see you. Who is this enchantress?” The old man said.
“This is my mate Lisa.” Alin said proudly.
“My word, it must have been hell trying to get through to this one. He’s very stubborn you know. Brains of stone.” Lisa laughed. She liked this man. “Sorry for being so rude. My name is Emeric and I am the Storyteller. I hope to see you later at my story circle. The children love it and you certainly look like a lover of adventure.”
“I would be delighted too listen in.” Lisa said and hugged Emeric.
More dragons arrived of many colors, sizes and shapes. Lisa was fascinated with them all. She kissed Alin on the cheek and he told her to go greet them. He had told her before that all dragons treated each other like family and that she would be welcomed with open arms. She raced off, greeting a woman holding an infant. They talked for awhile and the woman, Lily, asked Lisa if she wanted to hold her son when she noticed the look of adoration. “If you don’t mind.” She said happily. Lily handed her the baby who smiled up at her immediately. “Look at how beautiful you are.” She said and stroked his little cheek. She handed the baby back and thanked Lily. She felt that tugging in the region of her heart as she watched them together.
She met many other people who were all very nice to her. With every child that came through she got a little sadder. Her and Alin hadn’t discussed children yet. She really hoped he wanted them. She went to find Alin. He was helping set up some things. She figured it was best not to bother him when Perla came over “So how did you manage to win Alin over? I tried so hard for many years.” Lisa was nervous to answer and Perla could tell “Don’t look so nervous I’m not upset, jealous but not upset.”
“I’m not really sure how I won him over.”
“Well you’re lucky Lisa. I wasn’t the only one after him. Want to come and talk to some of the other girls?”
“Sure that sounds fun” Lisa wasn’t sure what Alin found so annoying about her.
Alin noticed Lisa go off with Perla. He wanted to say something, tell Perla to back off, but Lisa didn’t look threatened so he let it go. “Hey take your eyes off your woman and help me.” The young man named Peter said.
“You just wait until you get one. You’ll be just as distracted.” Alin replied as he helped lift the large stew pot.
“Doubt it, I’m a manly man.” Alin laughed and nearly dropped his side of the pot.
They got it set up to where it was dangling over where they would start a fire. He looked for Lisa and saw her conversing with a bunch of women. She looked like she was having fun and he could hear her laugh. He loved her laugh. It floated over the air and sent a thrill through him. He looked around and his eyes settled on someone he had not wanted to see there. Gareth was watching Lisa, his eyes burning with intense disgust and hate. He had a scar from their fight on his face running from his temple to his chin. He moved across the meadow and wrapped his arms around Lisa from behind, effectively blocking Gareth’s view.
“Are you alright, you’re shaking?” Lisa looked up at him.
“He’s here.” He said and kissed her cheek, sending some of the women into a giggling frenzy. Perla’s glare went unnoticed.
“Don’t worry about it. Don’t let him ruin the fun. Why don’t you come with me to listen to Emeric tonight.”
“I would truly love nothing more.” He kissed her on the cheek again and stayed with her while she continued her conversation. He could feel Gareth’s gaze between his shoulders.
He wanted to go over and make him stop but didn’t want to cause any distress at such a happy time. Gareth was not one to take humiliation well so Alin knew he may not have to start it for somthing to happen. Alin already heard two males laughing with eachother about Lisa beating Gareth. They met and talked with many dragons and Lisa got a lot of compliments. “I’m surprised you aren’t getting jealous when the men say I’m pretty and give me other compliments.”
“Why would I when I know how much you love me.” She smiled then asked “When will Emeric be telling stories?”
“After we eat”
A delicious smell was swirled through the throng of people by a slight breeze. It set Lisa’s stomach growling. Alin led her over to the large stew pot and grabbed a bowl for both of them. They sat at one of the tables and talked as they ate. A small band played celtic music. It was beautiful and upbeat. She had never met so many friendly people. Lily waved at her and made her way over. “Would you mind holding the baby while my husband and I dance?”
“Of course.” She sat her bowl down and reached for the tiny baby boy all wrapped up in his blanket and fast asleep.
Alin stopped chewing to watch her with the baby. She was glowing with her love for such an innocent creature, but he could see a flicker of sadness in her eyes. He felt guilt slice through him. She had never said anything about children. Had wondered if he had given her the impression that he didn’t want any. He would give her anything he could, she knew that. She noticed him looking and leaned close to him so he could get a better look at the baby. “Isn’t he gorgeous?” She asked and smiled.
“We could have a couple if you want.” He said and her eyes lit up.
“Do you want them?”
“I would love children and I can see you would too. You don’t have to hide it from me.”
“I’m sorry, you just never seemed very interested.”
He kissed her softly. “I’m interested in what you want. If you want children then so do I. Whatever your wish I will do my best to grant it.” Lily came back and she handed the baby over. “Come dance with me.” Alin pulled her to her feet and through the grass. The music turned slow, a lilting almost sad tune.
They danced slowly while looking into eachothers eyes. Out of all the things she could now see his eyes were her favorite thing to look at. Especially when he looked at her the way he was at that moment. He looked so happy. “I’m glad we came.”
“You weren’t kidding when you said everybody treats eachother like family here.” He laughed a little “Yeah, pretty much if you arent going to be friendly dont bother to come to this. This is supposed to be fun which is why i quit coming. I got so depressed and I didn’t want to bring everybody here down.”
“I’m surprised it took you so long to find a mate. Theres a lot of nice girls here. Dont get me wrong I’m glad you didn’t choose them but I figured there was less to choose from since you were still single.” He stopped and kissed her “They just weren’t what I wanted. I didn’t feel anything for any girl until I found you. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you. I only fall deeper in love with you as each day passes.” She blushed a little, he loved how he could still make her blush like that. It was adorable.
“Emeric will be starting his story soon if you’d like to go over there.”
“Lets go” She smiled and he lifted her off her feet to carry her over. They heard an aw come from a few women. Alin just loved Lisa so much he didn’t want another male to try anything. He would make sure the whole time he was there they knew she was his. Dragons may treat eachother like family but they still wouldn’t hesitate to challenge him if they really wanted his mate. It didn’t happen often due to everybodies mutual respect but there were plenty of dragons like Gareth.
“They ran and ran, sliding down the side of the volcano. The could hear it shaking and rumbling.” Emeric said, the children mesmerized by his movements and voice. “All of a sudden a loud boom filled the air and…” He lifted his head an blew a long stream of fire into the air. “It exploded ash and fire high. Our heroes barely managed to get away with their bags of gold. The journey home was long and exhausting. When they finally made it back the village greeted them joyously.” He ended and the children all clapped. Lisa jumped up and hugged him. He was amazing, hooking you instantly.
“Thank you for sharing.” She said and kissed him on the cheek.
“Thank you for listening. Alright children this old man needs rest, but I will have a new story for you tomorrow.” There were many disappointed sounds, but they let him go.
Lisa jumped happily into Alin’s arms and kissed him. “I am ready for bed.” She said.
“There’s a lake not far from here. We can rest in the grass and fall asleep under the stars.” He said and hooked his arm under her legs. He carried her away from the loud singing and talking. He was aware he was still being watched. He had a feeling Gareth would make his move tomorrow during the games. They reached the beautiful lake in no time and he lay her gently in the grass. She tugged him down and kissed him. “What was that for?” He asked.
“For staying in control. I know he was watching.” He lay down next to her and she rested her head on his chest.
He just looked up at the stars as he held Lisa. He really enjoyed shoing her off to everybody. He was proud she was with him. He couldn’t believe he was lucky enough to have her. He hoped Perla would stay nice to Lisa. Alin could tell she was still sore about him not wanting her. Lisa fell asleep but Alins mind was racing with everything that would happen tomorrow. He loved the games and hoped Gareth wouldn’t ruin them. He let a little more time pass then let himself slip into slumber.
Alin woke the next morning to a kiss from Lisa “Good morning handsome.” He pulled her back down to get a better kiss. “Good morning.” They got up and started walking back to the festival. When they arrived it wasn’t long before he felt the intense stare of Gareth again. Alin was a little less angry today. It was actually kind of sad he had nothing better to do then stare at Lisa. Not many people liked Gareth though so he probably just didn’t have anybody to talk to. Gareth most likely just came for the games and to show off.
“Alin,” it was young Peter, “come wrestle me.”
“Would you like to watch Lisa? There are many other things to do.” Alin said.
“I’ll watch, I used to listen to cage fights on TV.” Lisa smiled warmly.
“Why just listen?” Peter asked as they walked over to a large ring of people.
“I used to be blind.”
The young man looked surprised but said no more. One of the males moved so Lisa could sit up front and be able to see since she had never been to a festival like this. Alin kissed her cheek and moved into the circle with Peter. There was another man there with them, maybe about forty years old. “You know the rules boys. Fight fair and the winner gets to kiss the other ones girl.” He said and Lisa gasped.
One of the other men bent down and whispered, “Don’t worry it’s just a joke he plays on all the new mates.” He patted her on the shoulder. “Besides if it were true I guarantee Alin would never lose. You’re far too pretty and the only one to rope him in.” She smiled and watched as Alin grappled with Peter. He threw him on the ground and straddled his back, getting him in a choke hold and making the boy tap out. Everyone clapped and she jumped up and ran into his arms. She kissed him and then grabbed Peter and planted one right on his cheek, making him blush and all the men laugh. She felt eyes on her and saw Gareth staring angrily. She stared back. If he wanted to challenge Alin it would not be happening. It was her fight and she would shame in front of his peers. He turned and walked away. Alin was challenged by other males who he easily beat. He finally had to take a breather and sat next to her in the grass.
“I think you made Peter’s day.” Alin said as he caught his breath. “He’s actually talking to the females instead of avoiding them.”
“Nothing like a beautiful woman to give you confidence.” Lisa laughed and brushed his bangs off his forehead.
“We used to joke about how shy he was. Look at him talking to all the single females.”
They watched other men wrestling for awhile then got up and moved off to the arts and crafts stations. Lisa saw a man making beautiful jewelry and asked if he would mind teaching her. He pulled up a stool for her and she sat next to him. Alin rested in the grass next to the booth, enjoying the sun and Lisa’s excited chatter.
A male dragon was talking to Perla but she wasn’t paying him much attention. Alin looked even better than he had when he left for the last time. She couldn’t figure out why he didn’t want her. She was sexy and her parents were impressive people. She always thought he’d realize how good they would’ve been together and come back but no. She finally sees Alin again and he has a mate. She heard he had chosen a mate before the festival.
The word traveled fast since she had defeated Gareth. She didn’t truly believe it until she saw it though. Lisa was pretty but Perla felt like she was prettier than her. “Are you even paying attention to me Perla!”
“Yes, yes I’m sorry Han.”
“No you aren’t you’re still wrapped up in Alin even though he’s chosen a mate.” He scoffed and walked away. She rolled her eyes and went to go somwhere else before she saw Alin and Lisa get close again and make her throw up. It was hard to be nice to Lisa but she didn’t want to make her parents or Alin angry.
“Hey wake up sleepy.” Lisa’s voice startled him and he opened his eyes. He didn’t remember falling asleep. “I made something for you.” She held up an obsidian pendant with a silver dragon made of wire wrapped around the stone. It was on a dark piece of leather with a twist clasp. She put it around his neck, the stone resting against his chest.
“It’s beautiful. You did a good job.” He said as he stood.
“Owen says I learn fast.” She smiled at the other man as they walked away. “He also said if I want to learn more he can make a trip to the castle during the winter when business is slow to show me how to make earrings and bracelets. Is that okay?”
“Of course it is.” She kissed his cheek and he threw and arm over her shoulders. She tucked her hand in his back pocket. She loved this place and the people. They came from all over the world just to celebrate and catch up. She enjoyed the fact that now she had many brothers and sisters who would be there for her. He had told her that if the need should arise all she had to do was call any of these people and they would be there as soon as possible.
“I think Gareth may challenge you soon. I catch him staring at us every now and then.” She said as they stopped to grab sweet pita wraps that a few of the women were putting together. Instead of lamb and vegetables inside there was sour cream sweetened with powdered sugar. It was delicious.
“He’s angry because he was defeated by a woman. You emasculated him and now he’s throwing a fit. Let him stew. He knows he will be punished if he tries anything.” Alin took a bite of his wrap. Even though he sounded confident in the elder’s ability to control Gareth, he knew deep down that the larger man was a rule breaker. Gareth could not stand authority of any kind. He also thought about Perla. She had been giving off some very negative energy and it was also directed at Lisa. He hoped Perla and Gareth stayed away from each other, but he doubted that would happen. The mix of their anger could be volatile. He would try and keep Lisa as close as possible.
A little boy ran up to Lisa holding a purple flower. It was the son of one of the couples she met earlier. “I’ll give you a pretty flower to put in your hair if you give me a kiss on the cheek like you did Peter” She laughed then looked at Alin who nodded his approval. She gave him a quick kiss on his cheek. He smiled brightly then yelled over to some other little boys “Hah! I got a kiss from Lisa” Alin put it in her hair just above her ear.
“All the rest of your kisses are for me ok?” He said then kissed her lovingly on the lips. Gareth wanted badly to go over there and attack her. He was caught off guard last time. He had to show the other males he was indeed tougher than Lisa. Perla sat down beside Gareth in the grass. “I hate her just as much don’t worry. It’s sickening seeing those two.”
“I don’t think it’s possible for anybody else to hate her on the level I do Perla. There’s lots of mates better than Alin. Don’t waste your time feeling jealous of that bitch.”
“Well Gareth you know we could work together. If we figured out a way to get rid of her you’d get your pride back and I could still possible win Alin over.” Gareth smiled. “That sounds like a good plan. Lets get out of here and figure out what we should do.” He helped her up kissing her knuckles.
“What if we have a bunch of little boys like that?” She asked and bumped him with her hip. “You might never get another kiss.”
“If that’s the price I have to pay for your happiness then so be it.” He smiled down at her.
“Maybe we’ll have bunch of girls.”
He snorted. “I certainly hope not. The idea of having to bring a bunch of teenage girls here and watch boys flirt with them would not settle well with me.”¬†Lisa laughed, the sound turning heads. He hated that just a few males looking at her could make him feel jealous. He was an adult, not some hormonal teenage boy. “Can we go down to the lake please?”
“All these hunky men getting too you?” His head snapped toward her and she winked at him.
“Not funny, love. Yes, I need a few minutes alone with you. I’m not trying to be possessive, but it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.”
“A nice quiet walk would be nice.” She took his hand and they walked away. It was peaceful by the lake and beautiful. The sun warmed the grass and flowers, making the air smell fresh and sweet. She slipped off her shoes and dipped her toes in the water. “Lets go swimming.” She said.
“If you want.” They pulled off everything but their underwear. He worried about some guy coming around and seeing her in her bra and panties.
“It’s just like wearing a bikini and of they make rude comment I’ll hold their head under the water.” She waded out into the water and pushed off when she made it to the deepest part. He followed, his eyes scanning the hill above the lake.
“Oh stop and have fun.” She splashed him and he turned his attention to her. He swam at her quickly and she squealed as she tried to get away. He grabbed her ankle and pulled her back. She wrapped her legs around him and dunked his head under the water. He grabbed her ponytail and tugged her under too. They came up gasping and laughing. “Not nice.” She splashed him.
“You tried to drown me first.” He grinned.
“Out of love.” They heard someone calling them and they looked toward the bank. It was Perla. They swam closer to the bank and she smiled at them. “What’s up?” Lisa asked.
“I was wondering if Alin wouldn’t mind helping me with something.” Perla said.
“Sure, Come on Lisa.”
“It’ll only take a minute.” Perla said a little aggitated he wanted to bring her. Lisa said “It’s fine I’ll wait here.”
“Ok well then you should probably get dressed so you don’t get cold.” He said as his eyes begged her not to stay in nothing but her underware. “Ok” She got out and started putting her clothes on as they walked away. She thought it was sweet how jealous he was getting and how hard he was trying to control it. She sat in the grass watching Alin until she couldn’t see him any longer. She wasn’t alone long before Gareth walked up “You’re mighty trusting to let him go off with Perla by himself”
“Alin loves me. I don’t need to worry. Why are you even talking to me?”
“It’s unlady like to have such an attitude Lisa. I would’ve taught you better manners if you would’ve been my mate.” She got angry at his chauvinistic comment. “You’re such a jerk Gareth.” He growled startling her a bit. She turned hoping Alin was coming back. “She’s going to be keeping him busy until I’m done taking care of you. This time you don’t have the advantage of surprise.” He said as he started to shift.
Perla led him into the woods. He figured it had something to do with firewood. He wondered why she had not asked someone else. He felt a bit uneasy and stopped in his tracks. “What did you need me for?” He asked and put his hands on his hips.
“I’m sorry Alin, I just needed some time alone with you.” She said and walked up to him all wide eyed.
“Perla, I’m going back to Lisa.” He tried to leave and she grabbed his arm. She tried kissing him and he grabbed her shoulders and pushed her back. “Stop Perla.”
“Come on Alin, I can be what you need. I’m better than her just give me a chance. She mostly human anyway.” She begged and tried pulling his dad toward hers.
“I said no.” He shoved her back, glaring at her. “I don’t love you understand.”
“Why? Why do you love her and not me? I’ve always been here, waiting for you to open your eyes.”
“She makes me feel whole. If anyone is undeserving it is me. She loves me unconditionally flaws and all. I don’t know why she loves me or why I love her only that we do. This little scene is disgusting and only shows how obsessed and childish you are.”
“When she’s gone you’ll love me.” She screamed. “Gareth will make sure of that.” His eyes widened in fear and he raced out of the woods, leaving Perla alone.
Lisa started to shift, but Gareth lifted her by her throat. She struggled as he squeezed, cutting off her air. She kicked him in the face and he roared throwing her so she landed hard on the ground. “You should have come with me when you had the chance.” He growled and gripped her by her hair.
She spit in his face. “Got to Hell.” She screamed.
“You used to be blind.” He ran his claws along the side of her face. “What if I poked your eyes out and sent you back into darkness? Maybe the shock would kill you and if not your scarred face would surely drive Alin away. Would you die of a broken heart? I would watch that.” She felt tears stinging her eyes and a boiling rage built up. She shifted, swatting at his face so she cut him open. He grabbed his cheek and swiped at her with his tail, sending her rolling into the water. He was suddenly on her back and holding her head under.
Lisa fought with everything she had in her but she coudln’t get Gareth off. Alin saw Gareth holding her under and filled with rage. He shifted as he hastened his pace. He slammed into Gareth knocking him off of Lisa. She lifted her head gasping for air. She was sure she was going to die. Gareth flew high into the sky with Alin close behind. He wanted to kill Gareth but needed to control himself. The elders needed to handle him. Alin blew fire up at Gareth and he screeched in pain
The flames hit his wing. Gareth lunged at Alin cutting a portion of his neck open. The tussled in the air until they both came crashing down into the ground. The dragons at the festival heard it and came running out. Lisa watched eagerly hoping Alin was on top and not hurt. A huge dragon flew in making the dust cloud blow away. “stop this at once!” the big dragon snapped.
They broke apart from eachother. Alin had been on top and Gareth seemed badly wounded from the fall. Alin spoke up “Elder Jareth he had Perla lead me away so he could attack Lisa again. He was holding her head under the water by the time I got back.” Jareth looked at Gareth angry “I thought you were going to be better than your father. You should’ve been banished along with him but your mother begged us to let you remain as part of the family. You bring great shame upon her and shouldn’t be able to hold your own head up. You go and don’t you dare come back Gareth.”
“Elder please.” The bigger dragon roared, shaking the ground. Gareth shifted to his human for and limped quickly away.
“Find Perla.” Jareth commanded and shifted to his human form. He was the same man who had been in the wrestling ring. Lisa and Alin shifted back and he pulled her into his arms. He was bleeding. Lily was there and handed her a rag that she pressed against his neck.
“Are you alright?” He asked.
“Fine, just a little shaky.” She held her hand up for him to see and he grabbed it and kissed her finger tips.
Peter and another man came back with the sobbing Perla. Alin looked at her in disgust. She fell to the ground at Jareth’s feet, her eyes on the ground. “What do you have to say for yourself?” He asked.
“Please don’t send me away, please. I’m sorry.” She begged.
“You must be punished. A messenger will be sent to your parents to tell them that you have shamed them and you will be sent to Ramona to work in her convent. You are stripped of your status and will never be allowed to sit in the Circle. Your little brother will be given the position upon your parents death.” He turned to Alin and Lisa, his eyes softening. “Are you two alright?”
“Yes sir.” Alin said.
“Let one of the women stitch you up then come and see me. I have something to give you so this never happens again.”
“Yes sir, thank you.”
A woman came up to Alin “Please come with me you two.” They followed, all the while Alin holding tight to Lisas hand. He had been so scared when Perla said Gareth was going to make sure Lisa would be gone. He was angry at himself for being so stupid. Why did he leave with Perla. He should have¬†known Perla had somthing horrible planned. She had always been a very childish person. So much adrenaline was still pumping he could barely feel his wound.
The woman sat him down and cleaned his neck. She then began to stitch it up. Alins eyes never left Lisa. She looked back at him and said “I’m really ok Alin. I’m sorry I let him pin me into the water.”
“What happend was in no way your fault Lisa.”
“Please don’t speak yet Alin I’m almost done.” The woman finished up and said “You’re good to go now. Are you sure your fine Lisa?”
“Yes mam. Thank you for your concern.” Alin lifted Lisa into a hug. He clung to her relieved she hadn’t been seriously hurt by Gareth. “Lets get to the elder ok?” He craddled her in his arms and started walking twords the small home Jareth stayed in during the festival.
The elder answered the door and stepped aside to let them in. He led them into a very cozy den where Alin sat with her on the couch. She felt a bit awkward being in his lap with the leader of their race sitting across from them, but Alin wouldn’t let her go. He was really rattled.
“I’m glad you are both alright. Gareth is an idiotic boy and Perla needs to do much more maturing. I am sorry this happened here, especially since this is your first festival Lisa. I hope you know that this is not a regular occurrence.” Jareth said.
“We’re alright and we don’t blame anyone but Gareth and Perla. I’m sorry if my actions caused you any trouble.” Lisa replied and Alin gave her a small squeeze.
“Like I said by the lake Gareth has already dishonored his family and the rest of us. No dragon should conduct himself the way he does. We are all family, we all stick together, and protect each other. His banishment was inevitable. Now, to why I called you here.” He stood and began to pace. “You may not know this, but I have no children of my own. My mate Aurelia, who is human, cannot have children. It is sad, but I love her none the less. Anyway, the best way I can see to keep you and Alin from being challenged is to adopt you as my own.”
“Elder Jareth, are you serious?” Alin was surprised.
“Very serious. You would take my place after I die as Grand Elder. I have already spoken to the others and they feel with Lisa at your side that you would do well. You would no longer be challenged for your mate by any male.”
“Sir, I am not worthy of such a thing.”
“Nonsense, you have proven yourself most honorable. Stop selling yourself short. Does he do this often?” Jareth smiled at Lisa.
“Yes, he does no matter how much I tell him he deserves a good life.” Lisa replied and kissed Alin’s forehead.
“Maybe a good slap to the back of the head. So what do you say?”
“If you both have so much faith in me then yes, I agree.”
That’s good to hear. You’ve shown great strength, wisdom and maturity over the years. We elders kept a close eye on you even when you wanted to be alone and didn’t come see anyone. You found yourself a good mate and I’m glad she’s made you want to be one with us again.” Alin was honored “Thank you so much sir”
“I would love for you two to stay for the rest of the festival but I will understand if you want to go home. You’re holding on to that girl like she’ll be gone if you let go for a second. You might want to losen up a bit to make sure she can breath properly.” Jareth teased. Lisa laughed giving Alin some comfort. He loosened his grip on her but still couldn’t bring himself to let her go. “What do you want to do Alin? I don’t mind staying.”
“I want to be with you safe at home Lisa. I’ll stay if it’ll make you sad to leave though.”
“I wont be sad. Just please relax. You look so pale and tense.” Jareth let out a light laugh “well my dear it’s only to be expected. When he was showing you off to everybody when you first arrived I could see the love he has for you. It’s a true love that is rare. It is one of the many reason you two would be good to lead the other dragons. You are a solid couple with unwavering love for one another.”
They thanked Jareth again and Alin carried her back outside. He became more tense, his grip tightening on her. “Lets go home.” She said softly.
“Are you sure?” He would go through three more days of this if he had too. He would do anything for her.
“Yes, I’m sure. I want to be alone with you. We can get to making babies.” A smile tugged at his lips, making him look happy.
“Can I carry you home?”
“Of course, it’s what you need.”
They said goodbye too everyone and then Alin shifted shape and took to the sky. He was very quiet, obviously worried and distracted. She let him think because she didn’t know what to say. The sun began to set and she snuggled close. She wrapped her hand around the pendant she had made and fell asleep. Alin looked down at her, his wonderful, beautiful mate. He had never expected to fall so deeply in love with someone. She had wound herself so tightly around his heart that nothing could get her out. He flew all night and into the morning. The castle loomed in the distance and he landed softly on the balcony. He carried her to bed and lay her gently down. He kissed her forehead and went to take a shower. He wanted to was both Gareth’s and Perla’s scents off of him before he woke her.
Alin washed himself as quickly as possible. He didn’t want Lisa out of his sight. He needed his eyes on her to make sure she was safe. When he was clean he ran back to their room so he could be with Lisa. She was still sleeping so he silently crawled into bed. He sat beside Lisa just staring down at her. When she woke up she laughed “Alin everything will be ok. We’re home.” He pulled her up to wrap her in a hug. “I’m so sorry I left you alone. For Perla of all people. I’m supposed to protect you. You’re the love of my life and I left you alone knowing Gareth was around. What kind of a mate am I.” He felt so guilty. “Alin, you didn’t think he’d be so stupid. I don’t blame you and neither does the elder. He thinks so highly of you he’s adopting you as his own.”
“Can I make breakfast for you?”
“As long as you promise we’ll start working on babies right after.” He smiled and held her tighter “I promise. I’ll have you pregnant before the week is up.” he said then licked her neck. “No no no breakfast first. We’ll need lots of energy.”
“It’s amazing how you can make me smile no matter how upset I am” She layed back down and he scooped her up carrying her to the kitchen. He made them breakfast and they ate happily.