he sighed and ran picking up speed he opened his wings and glided upwards on the thermals his shield sliped over his shoulder he found that he had an inner eye lid that protected his eye it also was the sourse of some of his hunting skills at night it alowed him to focus in on movement like a guided missle he glanced over at a river that meandered through the now scrub brush and tiny thickets of brambles one side of the river was high cliffs that were near impossible to climb so all the trafic was run along side the river which as he flew it just got hotter finaly drenched in sweat he landed and waded out into the river dunking his head it was incredible how much water could feel like a god send at a moment like that
he walked out and relaxed against a scragley tree in a little shade the heat had him dry in minutes and as warned the magic here wasent readily avalible
he had to reach really far just to feel it and it was a meager trickle
the brush rustled and he felt her instantly he ate a dryed fruit from a magic bag tee'a had given him the spell for " hello avarelliss come to bother me again?" she apeared in a poof sitting on the ground three tails slowly shifting from one side to the other he just grined ...

"your a very bad boy william" "only cause you made me into one..." smiling as he flicked another fruit into his mouth " fruit ?" " no " " your loss"
eating another he was gazeing intently at her as he chewed " do you want something avarellis? or is this a sit and stair at the dragon eat visit"
"im trying to decide how best to punish you for your behavior... " " and risk tee'a making a fur coat out of yer hide hmmm" " she has no power over me!!"
" no but she is powerfull ..and was once your friend your enimy...' he sighed pulling the cord tight on the bag and slipping it into his hip bag ' she trusted you and you lied to her then tried to steal her time with me away ...why is the lady so much in your plans kitsuni? I know you wont answer me or if you do it'll be some half truth or full lie " he stood and towered over her and for a moment he smiled she was still drop dead gourgous
" i swore to protect her goddess and so i shall now you'll excuse me "

" she is...important to me " he looked into her eyes and for the first time saw the truth " why?" she stood and glared " ohh no william had best keep your word to her keep her safe... oh and " gesturing at him he felt the flute drop onto his neck " you'll need that " disappearing in her blue flames
he just smiled and walked on the heat now to much for flying he passed abandoned towns and villages the wells still good but the water low he slept inside the inn's stables smelling the mounts the lady and the badger it was getting late when the roads ended on a good sized town
it was walled and the gates had sagged to be unmoveable weeds growing around he wondered if he'd ever see anyone alive in this regin of the kingdom
but he smiled as he heard laughter of children walking round an old collapsing shack he saw a lady coyote just showing she was pregnant the bulge to her belly evidence, hanging out the wash as her three kids ran around playing
"hello there!" he waved they all went wide eyed and rushed for the house "wait! I’m not ...oh damnit" walking over he picked up her wash off the dirt shaking then draping it over the line he sighed and gently tapped on the door she and the kids started crying " I’m with the lady, i am william one of her guardians ..please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not a bad dragon " he sighed and went over to a ring of stones for cooking he got a fire started and went out into the woods he found a small buck and returned with it in the darkness he could hear her singing to the children trying to calm them

he hoped they were hungry soon enough the smell of the meat cooking drifted around the house the door finally creaked open and the smallest girl came out he smiled and patted his knee she ran over the mother shreaked and bolted out the door sliding to a stop he blinked
" i have enough for everyone missus she was very hungry don’t be mad at her " she eased over cautiously " did the lady not tell you her guardian would be following ?" " s-she did but said nothing about a dragon" " I’m sorry i meant you no harm i was just very happy to finally see a living person. been walking alone for a couple days now " she calmed as he gave the little one a small chunk of meat he'd been blowing on to cool it she devoured it he smiled "slow down and enjoy your food there’s plenty "

she soon had them all out eating with plates knives and forks she offered him one but he declined the kids were soon full and she put them to bed
walking out he held out a plateful to her which she took and sat down..." my apoligies william " " its alright most are afraid of me in the begining"
" she said you stayed behind to for there passage through the dragons valley " " yes and i gained quite a lot from my staying willingly " " so the dragoness will be having babies then?" " yes, she is queen of dragons " smiling as the ladies eyes went wide " oh my...then she will be hunting more then " " yes to feed them but her valley is well stocked she flies outside so to stretch her wings and for the pleasure of flying. where is your mate?" " hopefully coming up river from dropping the lady off " he nodded but heard something other than worry in her voice " you suspect something of him?" she blinked clearly caught off guard then she sighed " i am the guardian to the lady ..i chose who i wish to help and protect i am sworn to no king... does he hurt you?"
" no ..but he takes far to long to travel up river after going down i have found strange long hairs on him they are not mine ..they smell of laursta and fellar flowers ..." " he has family in other villages on the river?" " no" bill knew then " i can tell you with out a doubt lady if he has sense of smell can tell a single ladies moon from all other smells in a village if he has mated with another i will nod at you ..if it is worse i will nod and close my eyes "
"why do you do this?" " becouse if he is doing this to you he is hurting the others too ..i can not stand by and watch that"

he worked around the empty village tearing down old decaying buildings and repairing the walls and gates when she needed some wood he got it for her lifting heavy baskets of wash and such weeks went by he wondered about his home for the first time thinking about his dogs ..his fish
the kids started yelling and cheering he slipped into the river and waited for the river boat to come into the dock under sail a burly coyote tied her up and dropped the sails hugging the kids they ran for their mom the father walking towards the house she came out as bill moved with all the dragoness smooth sinious movements slipping up behind him bill leaned over inhaling softly he caught the scents of two in moon, one not but young she looked up as the male opened his arms to hug her bill nodded and closed his eyes...

she trembled " cersta what’s wrong...your trembling" " I’m j-just so glad your home .. the ladies guardian arrived and has been waiting for you" " he has well! where is he!?" she gestured behind him he turned and went near panic " greetings.." " ahh hhh  a d-dragon " " who has been waiting for quite awhile for you to return " he smiled a nearly evil grin " so you’ve been in that dragonesses valley it true about the treasure hord she has ?" moving from her arms pulling free without any concern for her feelings she nearly broke her eyes glassed with tears " she has quite a treasure ..more than a legion could carry away "
his eyes lit with gold fever he smiled and pulled bill away to talk in private bill finally asked him what of the ladies he had waiting
"ehh they all want, want, want ..only really good time with them is when they’re all red and willing then they want to give" bill took his purse and felt it's weight " then i buy them from you i enjoy ladies when ever i chose " he smiled "deal! dragon take the boat it's yours I’m off to find a treasure "
" i'll open a gate for you it will be a strain but i can do it’ll be on the road not far from her horde " " my thanks dragon let me get my mount " he was soon packed and ready she pleaded with him for a moment he turned to her " your his now and so are the three others I’ve enjoyed i told him i enjoyed what you gave willingly but grew tired of the want, want, want ...goodbye" bill opened the portal and he rushed through onto the road
" enjoy the ladies dragon... i will the gold" bill gently put his hand onto cerstas shoulder she saw the dragoness but lowered her head " enjoy what you have left of your life treasure hunter ...i too have wants and needs ..i wanted to make sure you hurt these ladies no more and your being there makes sure my queen does not go without" closing the portal as he heard the dragoness greet the coyote ..

he let her cry but when she came to talk she had a slaves submissiveness " your not a slave lady ..i set you free the moment he accepted my gold
i set you free from him " she nodded " I’ve noted that the hills around the area are filled with gold mines " " all worked out though william"
" don’t bet on it " he soon gathered a tumble weed like bush that was filled with highly flammable sap and stuffed a mine to the point where a huge old water wheel shaft couldn’t jam any more in. she’d watched this with interest he stopped and smiled only his loin cloth on he sighed "now then inside i saw this black rock and it's in the tailings ' holding one up ' ..vents have been made for air this should work " he torched the nearest part and it was soon burning deeper into the mine shaft the rock becoming red hot he smiled seeing the first of it trickling out she looked " what is that? " " gold melted by coal and sap burning deep inside the draft from the air vents high up is fanning the fire into an inferno inside " he watched as the gold flowed into bowls he’d made into the soaked sand as one filled it flowed onto the next " this i give to you lady and the others he has hurt ..together you can be very powerful and quite rich able to pick and chose your future mates as you! wish ...or none permanant at all ..wise investment ..into played out gold mines ..could get riches beyond all belife" her smile reflected her thoughts he bowed his head  and went to get the boat loaded with provisions

three days later two hundred of his blocks of gold, all the families belongings and provisions for the trip they set sail the current gentle but not quite enough to get the boat going " do you know the river lady?" "i should my father was a boats male" he nodded smiling pushing the oar to the left to get into the deeper water he stood at the stern as she had the kids pour buckets of water over the decks the oldest working the pump to remove excess water from the keel with all the gold it wasn’t needed it was nearly sunset when he heard a familiar wing beat looking to the stern tee'a settled into the river to float along his purse thunked to the deck " he didn’t need it anymore " bill smiled " " i didn’t kill him william ...he is cleaning my cave scrubbing the inside and removing the centuries of nesting material inside. i need it very clean " he reached out to kiss her but she eased back away " behave drake ..or i will play with the boat " " but why? when I’m here.." grinning sly she laughed and smiled as the lady came out unafraid " you will find lady ..william does not do anything without expecting something in exchange .. he has his price it may not be now he asks for payment he will one day "
" anything he might ask for his he has set me free and given me a life ..if he wanted me i would give that too " he blushed "that’s something the lady has ..and by my eyes does not care much about it ..take care drake, live life well " " i shall dragoness take care ..if you " she plopped a claw on his lips
 and with a sweep of her wings was air born and gone... she smiled and patted his arm walking back inside the boats cabin

three days later they finally broke out of the canyons he set into shore so they could camp he also needed to hunt striping of vertualy everything but his loin cloth he slipped into the brush and woods wandering  well into night he came on a clearing a huge circular clearing from the tracks it was a major game atractant he found three buck scrapes . "big buck too, might even give me a run fer my money...stripping the bark clean to about my chest height off these saplings"  he smiled realizing the huge dead tree in the center of the clearing was a perfect hide he sailed up and settled down on top
opening a gate took effort but he got his bow and quiver from the boat he folded his wings around himself so that only his eyes and nose were revealed
for awhile he thought he'd miss judged the age of the scrapes but the herd came into the clearing nothing but does ..then the moons came out 'dam there goes my cover'...his shadow loomed up but the does were clearly more interested in the scrapes then to bill's eyes came a glowing sliver buck near to dancing into the clearing!! 'my god look at him prancing around like he's a god ' he knocked his arrow 'sorry bud but dragons gotta eat ya know '

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11/5/2000 10:12:12 PM