She glanced around for an opening, finding one—several meters away. With the corner of her eye, she glanced at the nine-foot monster moving in slow motion toward her. Heart racing, limbs shaking, Eva jumped to her feet. The cave spun around and she had to take a deep breath to steady her footing. Staring at the approaching beast, she inched her way to the wall, moving backward as fast as her wobbly legs allowed, almost losing her balance. She stretched her arms behind her and touched diamonds with her palms. She pulled her hands away from the cold, burning surface, bringing them forward, she watched as instant blisters formed. With trembling lips, she glanced back at the shiny diamonds.

The monster stopped approaching, holding its hands out, palms up.

A colony of ants invaded her brain, the same sensation as when her foot fell asleep. In panic, she raised her burning palms and pressed her blistered fingertips against the sides of her temples to dispel the prickles. Shockwaves of pain made her drop them to her sides. She glared at the creature even though the feeling lasted only a few seconds. It shook its head. Silent tremors pulsed through the cave.

“Eva, I’m not going to hurt you. The thought crawled inside her head, while the monster bobbed its head.

Eva frowned. Impossible.

From his deep vibrations, she assumed it was a male. Paralyzed, she did not know whether to be amazed or scared. She looked up into the gentle brown eyes gazing at her.

The creature waited.

She looked down at her leg, remembering her wound. No sign of the big gash that had drained her of so much blood. No pain. She turned to the monster that continued to watch her.

“You fixed my leg.” She cocked in disbelief of her own words.

Bobbing its head up and down, the monster moved toward her again.

Eva gasped then glanced around. Nowhere to escape.

The lizard stopped, raising his hands, palms up, once again. “I’m not going to hurt you, but I do need to examine your hands, the burn will continue to eat away at your flesh,” he spoke aloud.

The soothing voice was hypnotic, yet Eva did not trust the giant.

“If I wanted to hurt you, I would have done so when I found you.” He lowered his arms to his sides.

She flapped her arms, the cool air helped a bit but the fires of hell consumed her with pain. She peered at what she thought might be the cave’s mouth, too far away to make a run for it. From the tenuous light coming from the opening, she gathered evening would approach soon…or maybe it was dawn, she really couldn’t tell. The sweat beading her forehead trickled down the sides of her face.

“Please let me check the damage on your paws.”

The wounds worsened. Blisters were oozing. Tears obscured her vision. The monster had somehow moved closer. Eva’s shallow gasps accelerated yet she couldn’t fill her lungs with enough oxygen. The pretty brilliant diamonds glared while the cave spun around in slow motion. Stabbing knife like throbs punctured the blisters, which continued to ooz, shaking her body.

The tingling sensation in her head came back, this time it lasted longer.

“Eva, you need to fill your lungs with air and let it out slowly through your mouth,” the dragon told her.

A few deep breaths later, her heart rate slowed and she calmed. The dragon stood only a few feet away. Her jugular pounded, more tears rolled down her cheeks, while she waited for the worst to happen. Oh, God. It’s going to rip me to shreds and gobble me up.

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