Weeks went by, I learned more and more of the old language and the culture of the Patria. Each day brought in more food for them and the cooking seemed to improve. Less and less Patria fell ill due to proper cooking and hunting. Ava managed to heal many illnesses and save lives that would have been otherwise lost. Jaycee and Miles were engaged to be married on the next full moon. I have never seen her happier.

Beau seemed different. He seemed content enough but remained in a state of discomfort. He taught the women how to take care of dragon eggs and hatchlings, and in return got a tent to sleep in.

I asked Declan if he knew what was bothering Beau and he didn't have an answer for me. In return I learned that Zara had disappeared and Beau would have to wait.

Declan and I took Nox to try and find Zara. He took us straight to were I first found Declan. Nox took off straight away when we dismounted. Declan crept in to the den that he had lived in with Zara and motioned for me to follow. On my way in I stepped on egg shells but disregarded it. At the end of the tunnel Zara laid curled in a ball breathing slowly. When she heard us she roared loudly but calmed down at the sound of Declan's voice. There was fear and sadness in her eyes. I realized there was two white eggs and one black one, the white ones matched the shells I stepped in. A Comedentis must have stolen one to eat.

From the mouth of the tunnel Nox moaned and Zara returned the sound. She then got up and went to him. I picked up two eggs and told Declan to get the other.

"What are you doing? Zara will kill you!" He protested.

"If we don't get these out of here they will die. A Comedentis already got one."

At the entrance, Zara was eating some meat that Nox must have gotten. I climbed onto Nox and put the eggs in his side pouches and told Declan to pass me the third. I set it in my lap but Zara realized what was going on. She roared and attempted to take the eggs from me. I spoke softly to her in the old language. I told her it would be safer for her eggs in the village then pointed to the shells on the ground. She seemed to understand me and surrendered.

We all returned to the village, the eggs were as safe as they could be, and were place in a tent big enough for Zara to sleep with them. I left Declan and the dragons to go find and talk to Beau.

I asked some of the women if they had seen him and all answered the same, "no". I was beginning to feel like I had lost him when Deinde came to talk to me.

"Beau is wandering around outside the village. He looks sad."

"Will you help me find him? Obsecro?"

"Okay! I saw him over this way earlier." She then skipped off towards the place where she last saw Beau.

"Beau!" I heard her shout then take off running into the trees.

I followed her to see Beau sitting on a log near a small pond. Deinde was now on top of his shoulders giggling. I went and sat beside him on the log.

"You feeling alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine Liv." He then tossed a small stone into the pond causing the still surface to ripple.

"Deinde, thank you for your help. Would you mind giving us some privacy?"

"Okay." She climbed off Beau and skipped back to the forest.

"Now will you tell me?" He never answered. "Don't make me get Declan." He still would not respond. "Declan!" I shouted and stood up.

"No! I'll tell you. Just leave Declan out of this." He said and pulled me back down to the log. "There is this girl, he name is Pulchra. I met her when I was helping the women with some eggs. I fell in love instantly."

"What's the problem?"

"She loves Ryder." He paused. "I can't beat Ryder."

"Sure you can. What dose Ryder have that you don't?"


"Would that not benefit you?"

"No. She is willing to fight for him. She has asked me about you and him."

"What if you were to out muscle Ryder. It's not that hard."

"For you maybe. I am no stronger than a hatchling."

"You are plenty strong. You just need to believe in yourself. Don't put yourself down. Why don't you give her something?"

"Like what?"

"Something romantic. Something that will put you over Ryder. To Patria, it is important for men to put the woman they love above them. Give them gifts, and attention. Cook her a meal and eat alone together. Earn her father's respect. Oh! Give her a necklace, here it's a sign of love."

"Okay, but I can't cook."

"Callum will help you."

"Her father is the high priest. I can't earn his respect."

"Try, talk to him, learn from him. Ask him to teach you, and pay attention. I have earned respect from everyone here. You just have to put others before yourself."

"Okay, but I don't have a necklace."

"Get one, make one, find one. I don't care, just do what you can. Maybe take her for a ride on Shadow."

"I can do that."

"Good start with that. It's getting late, dinner will be ready soon." We both stood up and headed back to the village.

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