Chapter Forty Six

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The sanctuary was quiet one afternoon with the exception of Charlie and Anora's giggling that was coming from a hammock placed between two trees. It was slowly being rocked back and forth by Roscoe's tail as he laid a little ways away with his eyes closed. Iggy had joined them that afternoon in the field, as he was currently curled up on Charlie's legs.

Anora sighed as she reached her hand out and scratched the top of the cat's head.

"My little old man...you're getting old." she said.

"No, he's not getting old. He just likes his sleep." Charlie reassured her. The truth was the cat was fairly old, he had been with Anora since she was a little girl. Her feline best friend would be pushing on nearly twenty years but it was noted that Iggy was more than likely part or half kneazle.

"You should see him when he sneaks out at night to hunt. He's spry for an older fellow." Charlie smiled.

Anora looked to Iggy. "You've been sneaking out at night, mister?" Then she turned to Charlie. "And you've known about this?"

Charlie stammered out his words noting her upset expression.

"I'm sorry I-"

She began laughing as Charlie's confusion turned to annoyance as she found humor in the situation.

"I was only teasing Charlie, I know Iggy hunts at night. It's the only time he's active."

Iggy let out a meow as if he were insulted by her statement.

"Well, it's true!" Anora argued with the cat.

Iggy arose from Charlie's legs and climbed out of the hammock leaving the two alone.

"Now you've done it," Charlie said with a shake of his head, "you went and hurt his feelings!"

"I did not! He's just super sensitive."

"He's self-conscious about his activity level, Anora."

"Oh so you two are ganging up on me now, is that how it is?" she went to get out of the hammock but Charlie drew her back into his chest wrapping his arms around her.

"Nope, you're not leaving that easily."

"Roscoe, help!"

Charlie laughed at first at her attempt to call for help, but when they heard the booming steps of Roscoe approaching, the two fell silent.

Suddenly, the dragon's head appeared over top of the hammock staring down Charlie.

"Um...Anora, call him off."

"Oh stop it, Roscoe wouldn't hurt you he-"

She stopped as the dragon blew a jet stream of smoke in Charlie's direction.

"Anora!" Charlie said as he began to gag.

"Roscoe! Knock it off!" Anora said fanning the smoke out of her face. Roscoe pulled his head back  and watched the two, seemingly returning back to the affectionately playful dragon he normally was.

Charlie glanced over at Anora. "You were seriously sicking a dragon on me?!"

"What? No! I didn't know he was going to act like that. It's Roscoe, he knows who you are. I didn't think he would react that way!"

The two peered over the side of the hammock to see Roscoe resting right next to them, with his eyes watching them.

"Okay, I'm not going to lie but Roscoe...he's pretty intimidating right now." Charlie said.

"What? No he's not. It's Roscoe. He's a teddy bear, aren't you Roscoe?"

"A teddy bear that breathes fire!"

"Hey, you could be pretty intimidating yourself." Anora told Charlie.

"How?"

"Well, your hair is basically on fire-"

"Anora-"

"It is, look at it. It's getting longer than Bill's almost." She laid back in the hammock and ran her fingers through his hair. "Your mother would have a heart attack."

"I'm sure in her next care package she'll send a pair of scissors that will attempt to cut my hair." Charlie smirked settling down beside her closing his eyes as she continued to play with his hair.



Norberta gave a flap of her wings and raked her claws against the ground as Charlie sat before her in the clearing.

Anora bit her thumbnail as she watched from a distance with Roscoe by her side.

"Get ready to go over there Roscoe, I swear if she snaps at him again..." 

Roscoe bared his teeth. "I meant Norberta by the way," she said, " no more going after Charlie. You act like he's some dangerous stranger. For goodness sake, we've both been working with you since you were a babe..."

Another stomp in the distance distracted the woman and dragon from their discussion to see Norberta nearing Charlie. Anora held her breath as she watched Charlie hold both hands out to her. His palms were facing the sky as he kept them low. Slowly, Norberta placed her head in his hands and remained still.

Charlie looked over in their direction with the biggest grin on his face as if he had woken up on Christmas morning and found thousands of presents beneath the tree.

She gave him a thumbs up and a smile in return.

He walked along side of the dragon, running his hands down her neck and then her side. Norberta seemed to be content allowing him to continue touching her as she completely lowered herself to the ground. When he reached her lower back, he turned back to Anora.

"I think we're getting somewhere with her!" But before Anora could respond, Norberta whipped her tail hard knocking Charlie off his feet.

"Yeah you're definitely getting somewhere, I'm just not sure where!" Anora called to him. She went to walk over  but as soon as she began to approach, Norberta bared all teeth in her direction.

"Great, here we go again." Anora mumbled to herself.

The young female coiled her tail around Charlie who was still on the ground attempting to sit up, while Roscoe placed himself before Anora growling at Norberta.

"So this is interesting." Charlie said.



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