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The Deal with Dragons

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            Leah’s stomach dropped and her heart began to pound. She clung harder to Sam as she felt a sudden absence, something she’d never even noticed was there to begin with. She knew instantly what was missing. “Kevin,” she whispered in that one calm moment before the rush of her emotions swept through her. “Kevin!” she screamed, her head jerking up, Sam’s flight wobbling as he flinched at her voice, almost running into the first of the red mountains.

            Turn around!  She shouted into Sam’s head. We have to go back. Something’s happened to Kevin. We have to help him. Right now!

            I can’t. I’d never make it. We’re almost to the Anguis mountain and I’m not sure my wings’ll hold up until then. I can sense the magic ahead. You can get the others to help. I’m sorry, he whispered back, his exhaustion coming through even his mind voice.

            He ignored her screech and the fists she pounded into his back, his scales protecting him from her fury. Sam was relieved when he saw the lights in the mouth of the mountain, gratefully folding his wings and diving into the opening. The landing, something he hadn’t really practiced, was more of a crash than anything else. He ignored the hisses and growls of those around him, letting his exhaustion overpower him and passing out on the floor.

            Leah slid off Sam’s back, leaving the dragons to take care of him as she swivelled her head in both directions, looking for anyone familiar. Her backpack fell unheeded from her arms. She saw the dark grey dragon at the same time as he saw her. She raced towards him as he did the same, his tail snapping out to wrap around her wrist. Where is KAnguis?

            “Behind us. He made us go ahead. Said he’d catch up but something happened J. We need to go to him, now! Sam couldn’t go any farther. You need to take me,” she said, shifting her weight back and forth as her hands clenched and unclenched rapidly. Her eyes were wide and bright, flicking towards the slightest bit of movement that entered her field of vision.

            He didn’t argue, just turned his head and began hissing rapidly at the other dragons. Then he inclined his head towards Sam. Is that SArad?

            She nodded. “Can we go now?”

            J hesitated for a moment then hissed something else at his clan members. Get on. The others will follow.

            Leah practically threw herself onto his back, ignoring the protesting muscles as she again wrapped arms and legs around a dragon. As soon as she was settled, he took off for the edge at a run. His tail was already swinging by the time they were in the air, the wind blowing by faster and faster as he picked up speed.

            It wasn’t until they were over the border plain that he asked What happened?

            She trembled, but not from cold or exhaustion. They…they were following us. Kevin made Sam take me on ahead. Said I’d fall if it came to a fight in the air. Also said Sam’s the last of his line and has to survive. I tried to argue but he got Sam to leave. He promised he’d meet up with us later after he was done his magic and...Kevin can’t lie. He’s never been able to as long as I’ve known him so he must be really hurt to not be right behind us.

            JAnguis flew faster, his tail a blur behind them. KAnguis hasn’t ever lied. Not that I know of at least. He’s always been odd like that.

            Leah nodded, her legs clenching more tightly around him. Then we need to hurry. I’m sure that idiot needs help.

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