bill watched and waited trying to keep her fed and himself in cold dips in the lake ...finally she woke one morning and instead of rushing at him, flicking her tail up at him seductively...she just sat there sighed and stretched "mmmm" "g'morning m'lady"
she smiled and nodded then frowned "umm where are we william ?" " a cave i made to keep you safe while you came through your moon time my lady how are you now?"
she looked under the blankets and set them down " i tried to keep you clothed but ...a lady will do as she wants ..m'lady"
her face reddened "i need to bathe please" "of course my lady..i know of a hot water spring will that do?" "yes that will do"
he opened a gate to the place and they walked through she said nothing as she bathed he kept his back respectfully turned, though he'd seen all she had many times before
"how long has my moon had me ?" " ten days  m'lady the city is already rebuilding and zisa has with the healers nearly everyone recovered from their wounds...the king wished you to know he wishes you well " he heard something like sobs but dident look
after awhile she came over dry and dressed looking all the more radiantly beautiful ..his heart was enslaved instantly once again
"let us return to the village william " "yes m'lady" gating them there
he waited and ate as she took care of the real reasons she was there gerin and galer came along side him they had cleaned up and attended to there gear in the lady's absence bill looked and nodded still not all to happy with them "we appreciate the second chance you've given us william" "yes..reminded us of our duties to the lady ...and king " "good id hate to have to get mad at you like that again "
they shivered a little showing they hadn't forgotten
they moved on after his gear had been repaired with a new group of eight warriors some of the kings very best the captain trotted his horse up along side the lady and bowed his head politely "my lady...the king sends his regards and complements to you for the defeat of the.."
she turned and pushed her hood back to glare at the badger
" i had little to do with the defeat of king vagrins forces is william you should be speaking to ...." "and on that subject m'lady i have orders to insure your safety ..even at the dragons life "
"you have more to fear from vagrin's forces captain ...i am the kings lady and vagrin would love to see me dead "
"the dragon is by the kings orders to be watched ...he is not loyal to the king" "no he is not captain ..he swore his life to me..he obeys no one he does not wish to "

bill watched these new warriors closely two he immediately formed a disliking of ..the others he hadn't yet formed an opinion of
but the captain he had of the things he'd learned in life was to trust instinct when it reared it's head into the light
it was bellowing out warnings to high heaven when he looked at this badger...
he sat down after hunting and set a choice piece down for everyone else the captain 'accidentally' kicked dirt on it as he walked by bill snarled silently taking it to a lake to rinse it off he returned and found them cooking something one of the warriors had caught
he flicked the meat into the trees and slipped off into the shadows to take up watch
he watched from the shadows eyes burning with hate, zisa walked up and watched him glare for a moment "she sees the fury in your eyes william" he turned slowly to fix the skunk in his glow she smiled and sipped her drink "she sees nothing for these warriors friend ..calm the dragon"
"this time zisa it's not the dragon ..he's sitting behind my eyes watching letting me do the work...i do not like that badger...and do not trust him"
"she does not like his protect her from all threats..and you" he snorted " easy...easy "a sigh came and his body relaxed
"the king is simply protecting ..his property " "which i should have taken from him " " no then she would be your slave...not what she'd want at all and you would never do that to her.. no the king must give her freedom to her first " he nodded and started to think " now i see william in control of the dragon..not the reverse" he grinned evilly "so sure about that zisa ? careful where you try to separate us now ...the dragon might fool you "
she blinked and moved away

he meant to frighten her the lady now that her moon was gone was'nt interested in him any more that was clear but he had sworn his was an unforgiving master he sighed and tears came he felt the loneliness that had eaten at him for years leaving his insides cold and empty. self inflicted solitude  never to know the pain because he'd shut it out of his life...he heard avarellis settle down onto a limb above him
"and now little dragon do you understand why your song is so short? "
"yes...i chose it to be so"
" very good....and ..."
" i am a coward of the worst kind...imprisoned by my own actions to be alone forever..running away from the pain and was so bad i shut down even desire and love not even looking at a nude woman was enough to even get my body to react be safe from the pain i couldn't protect myself from the rejection the never to be wanted "
he looked up at the kitsuni and saw the tears in her own eyes " i was there with you william ..i watched as you tried to do as others and were violently and callously shoved away ..your affections ignored ..used as a tool to use you ...made to make you into a fool ..when finally the one called amy laughed at you even as you professed your love for her then proceeded to humiliate you infront of others even after all that still hold a memory for her"
"she had no one who truly loved one wants the love i offer goddess i am out of place "
" yes you are william ..yes you are and it is why i have stuck with you over your life try and understand why the creator did this to you "
he turned away from her "as punishment for not doing as i should have done when love is given between souls ..i held back now i am cursed to never be happy again "
" i doubt that is the case william...but one day we shall know wont we " she poofed and was gone

he led for the next few days avoiding the others unless to report about the road ahead when he came up on the ridge into the next valley
the others came to a stop at the huge dragon shaped statue the head pressed into it's chest wings held in close it held a slab of stone engraved with runes and hyroglyiphs to just scratches the lady turned to the side " zisa what does it say ..can you make it out ?"
she slipped off her mount and examined it closely "i do not understand these or these...but this is a signature of magic an official seal of a wizard" bill looked closely at it and could see the power and the magic in the scratches he felt one with a claw and had a rude surprise as it snapped him with power and a smell came to his nostrils
he looked at the words and understanding came  " it is a warning and guarantee my lady ...this is the valley of the dragon the road is marked and guaranteed safe passage wander from the road and you are hers to do with as she will it is signed by the wizard ,king of the day and dragon"
"you say it's a she?" " her sent was hidden till the magic bit me...the same magic will tell her im male but yes this valley is ruled by a dragoness"
the lady gave it a thought and gently healed her mount so it trotted past the statue "then we shall stay on the road and make this passage quickly "
bill sighed and held zisas as she climbed up into her saddle " you see the wall zisa ?" she nodded rode on past he walked over to the magic wall
and slipped through so it wouldn't mark him as it had the others another smell came his head swiveled and he caught sent of her he stopped at the stone edge of the road where the grass was immaculately trimmed a still steaming spot indicated where shed just marked and watched them
so not to break the invisible barrier he got a stick and rubbed it on the grass the smell was so incredible and so delectable
it was a struggle not to lick it like a popsicle he finally waged his tongue near it and tossed the stick away ..that alone left him light headed

he caught up and walked along watching his nose flaring tongue flicking trying to catch sent of the valleys owner zisa came over looking at him
" have avoided us for the past days ..why?"
"thinking...remembering...wishing' he sniffed again tongue waging repeatedly ' she's here but is watching keeping to the trees...waiting for us to foul up " "were going to have to camp soon " "advise the lady against it ...if a mount wanders off it'll be lost and this road is no place to set up camp..we must stay on the road or it will give the dragon freedom to do as she wishes "
"breaking the agreement ...yes i will advise her "
not that it mattered they found no place to rest on the road that night so kept on walking the mounts till the morning light brought a glow to the east he was leading and heard the trees rustle ahead not changing his pace he rounded a turn and found a huge buck sitting in the road and just off the turn a clearing with a fire already going a stew pot on a tri-pod and several skins all waiting he felt his hackles rise
" captain! look! " he turned to see three of the warriors racing forward spurring their mounts " no ! DON'T!" he watched them race past into the clearing he held out his wing to stop the rush of the others the captain glared at him " move dragon!" bill turned and glared at him "stupid fool im saving your life as they have tossed theirs away" reaching out with his other wing he brushed the sand away from the hidden stone edge
" captain!! the food is hot and the wine is wonderful!!" "lady come the fire is warm!" bill looked at them and sighed
"the trees m'lady " pointing to one which fell over without a sound a huge clawed hand reached out and snatched one of the mounts still wandering lose it shrieked and died "help them! william!"

for the first time he stood with out doing anything "wait for it my lady you will see the reason why i don't duty is to protect you "
the warriors reacted and grabbed weapons as a huge dragon walked out blood running from it's mouth it looked at them " some are easily fooled some are not you do well not to aid these fools " tossing one of them right at the captain but he hit the barrier and exploded into flame screaming running around she snatched him up blowing out the flame she promptly ate him "mmmm just right ' smashing another with her tail the last ran for his life into the woods ' you could not help them knew that dident you dragon" " i suspected as much ..the wall was far to strong to just be an alarm to warn you " she grinned blood still dripping " enjoy the meal i give to you..." gesturing to the buck sitting in the road
she flicked the crushed warrior into her mouth and disappeared into the trees
he sighed and let his wing fall "if any of us cross the roadside it is impossible to get back the magic as you see prevents it "
zisa was so surprised she let off a spray like a skunk everyone moved away from her but bill who offered assistance she was weak and near to collapsing. "william ..i cant use my magic" he gestured to make a light and found it incredibly difficult "some kind of dampener holding the magic at bay..that why you lost control?" she nodded weakly "never have i felt such power " he gestured a gentle calming spell over her with no shields it took immediate effect he helped her back onto her mount "william can you take her to bathe please" " impossible m'lady the dragon has a magic dampener over the valley's why zisa panicked she has no shields and can not use her magic at all I infact am having a difficult time of it also this dragoness has prepared her valley well m'lady" she thought for a moment watching zisa sighing holding onto the pommel of the saddle as if for dear life
" if needed can you get us away from here ?" he shook his head slowly saying nothing  he walked zisas mount past them holding the reins
"we should keep moving..." picking up the dead buck the captain snarled bill stopped and glared back at him tossing the carcass off into the trees
"i picked it up so we all could have some to eat but cince your so dam distrustful of go get it now and to hell wit ya"
"william ?!" he sighed looking at the lady turned and walked on with zisa in tow after quite awhile zisa spoke up " now she knows how much you two don't get i tried to tell her " " his ten foot of attitude being shoved in my face is getting on my nerves zisa im gona show him what a dragon can really do " " i believe he awaits that from the very first " " more the fool he is then...sticking his face into the very thing that would kill him ...stupid very stupid" "he has great courage though" "perhaps but wont do him any good dead "
" the lady is frightened william ..never has she seen the like of what we all saw... sometimes those who care have to be ..persistent in there attempts to help?" he looked back at the skunk and smiled walking on .

through most of the night they walked there mounts bill carrying the supplies so the pack horse could rest, for a moment he found himself wondering what some of equine ladies thought of horses and how much they looked alike, being evil he wondered if they saw more in the males
blinking back to reality he saw the group stop he moved forward to the lead the lady was knelt down infront of the warrior who had ran into the woods to escape the dragoness "he's badly wounded william..but alive" bill looked at him for magic and found a deadly trap spell
"don't touch him m'lady he has a trap spell over him" he slipped out an arrow from his quiver and reached towards the young hyena
"no---dont" bill eased back " she has put a trap on you " he nodded slowly " and a slow death...please m'lady leave me will kill all...but him " pointing at bill "s-she left me alive for h-him to enjoy" bill backed away in shock the captain glared "you--your working with that MONSTER!!" the warriors pulling there swords and knocking arrows he was still stunned a clang came from behind him turning as he saw galler expertly knock a sword away and put his to the warriors throught "defend your self drake! these honor less curs were about to take you from behind!!" bill had his sword out and deflected a blow meant for his neck from the captain....

bill snarled and flung him away "stupid fool! she thinks id prefer him ! because of tossing that buck away earlier!!"
" or is that what you wish us to think !!..nooo dragon this time you'll not cost me more of my troops !! "he came at bill with a war cry he looked at the lady who was clearly unable to stop this madness
bill had had it roaring he leaped up over the captain and smashed him to the dirt with his tail knocking the wind out of him
he moaned and went limp glaring at the remaining warriors silently
one by one they put there weapons away he turned to the lady who was actually holding on to zisa for support
he calmed " he is alive because im not like that dragon i am not from this dam place! i was NOT BORN A DRAGON!! dam you avarelis!!
i will not kill him for your glory or giggles!! but i will make sure you don't get what you want for putting me into this position! "

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11/5/2000 1:33:28 AM