Dragon Keepers Chapter 4
They decided to take Yanka's advice and walked back to Pelath's room in silence not really too sure on what exactly to say to each other. Olridian glanced over to look at Pelath and bit his lower lip, grinning nervously. He couldn't believe what had just happened so he pinched himself to make sure that it wasn't all a dream.
Pelath turned to look at him and a shy smile crossed his face making him look absolutely adorable. Olridian felt a hand brush across his and stumbled a bit. He felt Pelath start to pull away but Olridian grasped it firmly, not wanting to let him escape. So much misunderstanding had already taken place this morning and he didn't want to add to it in anyway.
At first Pelath was afraid that he had done something wrong and instinctively pulled his hand back, but when Olridian grasped it holding him firmly, yet with surprising gentleness, he felt his heart soar. They continued their silent mutual observation of each other back to the sleeping quarters.
Pelath opened the door to his room and dragged Olridian in after him. He swiftly shut the door and pushed him up against it looking deep into his eyes.
Olridian's eyes registered surprise and then desire. He leaned forward until their noses were almost touching and could feel Pelath's warm breath wash over him.
Pelath felt Olridian's arms wrap around him and pull their two bodies closer together. He lifted his hand and softly brushed Olridian's cheek with the tips of his fingers. Pelath leaned forward and hesitantly brushed his lips against Olridian's giving him tender little kisses.
Olridian moved his hands up Pelath's warm back tracing the patterns his rippled muscled made under his skin, all the way up his back to rest at the back of his neck. Pelath shivered with desire. He pulled Pelath in closer and slightly parted his lips. Pelath responded by opening his lips and slipping his tongue into his mouth.
Pelath shuddered at the sensations flooding him, making his every nerve ending feel alive with pleasure. He gently explored Olridian's mouth with his hungry tongue while he brushed his fingers gently up and down the firm hard pecks and rigid ab muscles that he could feel through the singlet.
Olridian shivered and returned the kiss just as passionately, their tongues doing battle, with their hearts as the spoils, and pulled him closer, his body shuddering at the sensations Pelath was making him feel. Then quite suddenly he broke off the kiss and stood there shaking in Pelath's warm embrace.
Pelath opened his eyes to see what had happened and saw that Olridian was crying. "What's wrong?" he asked, his voice filled with concern.
Olridian opened his eyes and gazed lovingly at Pelath. "Nothings wrong. I just... you know, after this morning... I just never thought that I would ever be here with you and I had given up all hope. I'm just so happy that I don't know how else to express it. I love you too Pelath, and its moments like these that will always remind me why." He glanced down at the bedside clock. It was five to eight. "Shit, you had better get changed hon, were expected to be at the hall in five minutes."
Pelath looked down at the clock and sighed regretfully. "Ok but we have to pick up where we left off later ok?" Olridian just nodded his head in agreement, not trusting himself to say anything more.
Pelath grabbed a white sleeveless button down linen shirt and threw it on, its crisp white colour contrasting nicely with his naturally bronze skin tone. He left it unbuttoned though showing off his sexy washboard, preferring the free flow of air around his body in the summer heat.
His back to Olridian, Pelath made his way over to a set of draws at the end of his bed and drew out a medium length shear linen kilt, known as a keratha, and proceeded to remove his shorts. He wasn't wearing any underwear. Olridian gulped audibly as he gazed at Pelath's perfect cheeks, they were tight and firm like the rest of his body.
He wrapped the keratha around his hips and looped the ends together on his right.
Pelath turned and stood there with his hands on his hips looking shyly at Olridian. Gods he was adorable when he did that. "How do I look?"
"Like a living, breathing, walking incarnation of sin. By Denasi you take my breath away"
Pelath blushed at the complement and looked up into Olridian's deep blue eyes. He felt the love and adoration that radiated out from them and was touched. "You took mine when we first met, standing in the rain. But it wasn't just my breath you took. You took my heart too."
Olridian didn't trust himself to speak; instead he grabbed Pelath's hand and placed a tender kiss on his palm. He opened the door and they both left to go down to the hall, arms locked around each others waist, drawing strength and love from each other.
Yanka tapped her foot impatiently. It was and there was no sign of her brother or Pelath anywhere. "What could be taking them so long?" she asked to no one in particular.
"Looking for us?" Yanka jumped and spun around to find both Pelath and Olridian standing right behind her, grinning stupidly.
"Great Denasi, you scared the shit out of me!" She tried to look angry but she seeing the two of them together warmed her heart more than she thought possible. "What the hell took you so long and it's nice to see you finally learned how to dress yourself semi properly." She threw sarcastically at Pelath. He even had the decency to blush. She decided that she was going to like this guy. Too bad he played for the other team though, especially when he seemed determined to play with her brother.
She turned and looked over at Olridian and he was having difficulty trying not to laugh. "Yeah yeah, you got me back for this morning, but you still haven't answered me yet. What took you so long? The sleeping quarters are just over there. It shouldn't have taken you that... Oh, I see, you had one of those talks huh?" She grinned at them and they both began blushing furiously. "Oh you two are just too cute. I can't wait to tell mum and dad."
"Oh no you don't! I haven't even told them I'm gay yet let alone the fact that..."
"Oh do get over yourself. Mum and dad figured it out about two years ago; they were just waiting for you to tell them yourself."
"How did they find out? You didn't tell them did you?"
"Hello, were you listening? They... figured... it... out."
"Remember Tamora?" She turned to face Pelath. "She was the hottest girl in school, and every guy worth his salt in school wanted to play `bury the bone' with her. This one here..." she emphasised her comment with a negligent flick of her head in Olridian's direction "... was oblivious to the fact that Tamora was hard out cruising him. She tried everything short of strapping him to a desk and raping him to get into his pants. I did find out that she was planning on doing that but when I caught wind of the plot I needed to take steps..."
Olridian looked shocked. "Sorry? Come again?"
Yanka rolled her eyes at her brother. "Have you not been listening to anything I have been telling you? Honestly, sometimes I worry..." Her diatribe was interrupted by the sound of a large gong indicating the beginning of the choosing ritual. She whispered, "I'll catch up with you guys later ok?" and then moved to the front of the line with all the other women.
Olridian snaked him arms around Pelath and pulled him in for a hug and a quick peck on the cheek. "Good luck today" he whispered tenderly in Pelath's ear before beginning to nibble on his earlobe.
Pelath had to stifle the low tiger like growl that was threatening to overcome him. He turned around and faked a scowl, "Don't do that, your making me horny and its hard enough to concentrate as it is."
Olridian made a puppy dog face, shattering Pelath's ruse into tiny little pieces. Pelath laughed. How could he possibly even pretend to be angry with that face? He was adorable.
Pelath gave him a tender little kiss and whispered, "You too baby."
They gazed up at the enormous structure, awe struck. It had been the first time that they had been able to take a good look at the building, being restricted to certain areas and never really getting a chance to sneak a proper look at the complex.
The great hall was huge. It rose to the height of a seven story apartment building, the hall as long as two jumbo jets and as wide as a parade ground. There was no discernable outside decoration, making it look sever and utilitarian, but the shear size and scope of the construction was mind boggling.
There were three other buildings at the rear of the complex, all connected to the hall by a long corridor. All were as featureless on the exterior as the main hall it's self and from this distance it was hard to judge the size of them, though they were all a little smaller than the hall proper. There were side entrances on each of the buildings except the very end one, which had no visible entrance or egress.
The entire complex looked as if it had been carved from a single piece of deep blue lapis, its gold flecks sparkling in the sun light, and it probably was, since it dated back to the days when the old races still walked the lands, over fifty thousand years ago.
It was by far one of the oldest buildings on Tar'El still standing, rivalled only by the First Temple, at the very centre of the Temple complex, and the ruins of Ar'epinom, which sat at the heart of the Lakomi desert three hundred miles east of the Aletium city limits,
They heard the sound of the second gong and then the line started filing forward into the hall to await the ritual of choosing.
A haunting chant in Old Keloi washed over them as they entered the dimly lit interior of the enormous structure. Priests and priestesses dressed in midnight blue robes lined the walls, chanting in perfect time and harmony.
The great hall had no discernable interior decorations either. There were lamps placed on tall pillars of marble, backed by mirrors to reflect the light inwards, at strategic points all along the hall, lighting the interior comfortably.
The floor was tiled in marble and covered with a huge mosaic in the form of a dragon, made with specially cut pieces of lapis, jade, and aquamarine. Each piece fit together perfectly and looked more like a giant dragon trapped in stone than artistic rendering.
Pelath and Olridian both felt the enormous building of potential but because the potential wasn't aspected magic neither felt the normally overpowering urge to support and join the link. Neither felt inclined to join the link voluntarily either, both still haunted by memories of what had happened this morning.
Olridian wrapped his arms tighter around Pelath, needing to make sure that this was not all just some crazy, flipped out dream. He felt a tiny shudder run through Pelath. Concerned, he twisted his head to look into Pelath's eyes. He saw confusion on his face.
"What's wrong honey?" Olridian asked.
"There's something about this song. I don't know what it is but it feels like it's missing someone or something. It's something simple but very, very important." Pelath replied.
Olridian relaxed a little and ruminated upon what Pelath had just revealed. His mind unconsciously swung back to remember Pelath's performance this morning. He started to berate himself for his lack of concentration but something about the performance kept niggling at him so he decided to pursue it. The revelation that hit him made his head spin. His eyes went wide and he hissed is surprise, his body tensing involuntarily.
Pelath noticed that something had happened. He turned to look at Olridian and saw shock and awe written on his face.
"Ok, my turn now. What's wrong honey?" He asked questioningly.
"You remember your performance this morning?" Olridian replied.
"How could I forget?" a look of chagrin crossing his features.
"This is just like that. We're missing the bigger picture. This isn't all there is to the ritual, it's only a part of it. It's like when you were summoning your potential this morning. That was just the beginning and I think we are witnessing the same thing here." Olridian replied, his voice filled with awe.
It was Pelath's turn to be shocked. He was right, but what type of ritual required this much potential?
Olridian watched Pelath's reactions as he tried to digest everything and saw the dawning of understanding as he considered the possible ramifications. Olridian smiled with delight that Pelath had understood so quickly but was given a questioning look in reply.
"What?" he asked mildly.
"You were at the front of the line when they were handing out all the good stuff weren't you?" came the reply.
"Pardon?" he asked, now even more confused.
"Let me see. You're an amazingly sensitive and loving person, just being around you makes me feel whole, you're a mage, you're hot as hell and you have a brain. Is there anything else you're hiding from me?"
"Yep" he said, grinning mischievously.
"I'm lucky too"
"Yep. I'm lucky `coz I got you." He whispered softly before stealing a quick kiss.
Pelath was about to say something but the gong sounded again and the great doors at the rear of the hall opened.
In walked a group of adepts, about twenty in all, all dressed in royal blue robes with the hoods in place over their heads, hiding their individual features. They took their prearranged places around the hall, adding their voices to the chant and summoning their own potential.
Of the forty people who were original summoned and present, twenty felt the call of potential in their blood, moving away from the rest of the group, each drawn to one of the adepts, the rest rooted to the spot. The first phase of the choosing had begun.
Olridian and Pelath both understood what was going on but it didn't make them feel any better about it.
Grudgingly Olridian let go of Pelath, his heart protesting the action and his body keenly feeling the absence. As much as he wanted to remain there holding Pelath, the call was too strong and there was no stopping it.
Pelath was undergoing similar reactions, but was drawn towards the adepts before he could do anything. His mind engaged auto-pilot mode and he woodenly trudged towards his particular adept.
Olridian and Pelath were both surprised to see Yanka make her way towards an unclaimed adept, but it would seem that neither were as surprised as she was, the shock on her face clearly evident to all who were watching. In fact only they seemed to have any understanding of what was happening to them.
Once they all reached their particular adept, they stood silently at their side wondering what was going to happen next.
Greetings. Pelath heard the thought resonate through the bond.
We don't have time for a formal introduction just yet but I would like to make it known that this link has been secured so you won't be overwhelmed by my memories and the power we will be channelling.
Pelath just nodded in reply and sent a quick thank you along the link, breathing a sigh of relief. He glanced over at Olridian and saw that he was probably receiving similar instructions judging by the way he started to relax. He glanced around the group and saw varying reactions, from simple acceptance to out right mystified.
Olridian was feeling a bit lost without Pelath. He glanced over to see him smiling at him. Pelath mouthed the words `I love you' at him making him feel so much better. He replied `I love you too' in the same manner and then tried to keep his mind focused on the ritual at hand.
Pelath heard a silent chuckle reverberate through the link.
What's so funny? He replied.
Not funny, just cute.
You and him of course. That's my husband he's standing next to and if everything goes as I think it will, we'll be spending quite a bit of time together the fours of us will.
Really? How come?
You two will probably be attached to us as new novices so we can help develop your natural potential.
That sounds pretty cool. Um you won't hurt us will you?
A dry chuckle. Not too much I promise. Now concentrate, you don't want to miss what's going to happen next.
Pelath was just about to ask what that was but the gong sounded again all of a sudden the priests and priestesses all stopped chanting simultaneously, the air quivering in their absence, but the potential that they had summoned remained and began to change.
He felt his adept grab his hand and a blue nimbus surrounded them both. He felt a great wave of energy wash over him and realized that his adept was drawing the now changed potential into himself and the link. Pelath remembered that the link was shielded so that he would not feel the overwhelming power they were gathering to themselves but the sense of building pressure as the potential flowed into their link was palpable. He was enormously grateful. He looks around and notices that all the adepts had done the same thing.
The gong sounds again, the chanting ends. The adepts raise their other hand and start tracing esoteric sigils in the air, each one lighting up as it is completed. All done in absolute silence.
Olridian noticed that each of the adepts were making a half circle filled with sigils. He looked to the right, around his adept, and noticed that the adept standing to their right was making an exact duplicate in reverse. What could be happening here? That question was soon answered as they completed the circles and took six steps back.
The circles flashed and grew to almost twenty times its original size. The adepts opened their hands, palms forward, and willed the collective potential they had gathered into the circles. It poured forth from them all, like water out of a fire hose and into their targets, until they were spent. The circles began to glow brighter and brighter and then suddenly ceased and remained shimmering in the air. They had created a Dragon Gate, and as the gates moved backwards a dragon began to emerge from each one.
Each dragon measured approximately twenty two feet in length, eight feet in height from the shoulder to the ground, dropping to four feet when they lay down. Their wing span measured about twenty four feet in length collectively, with bat like webbing. Quill like ridges protruded from their back and neck, the only clear place being a padded area at the base of their neck.
That must be where the rider sits, Pelath thought idly to himself.
Five of the dragons had small ivory tusk that jutted out from their cheeks indicating them to be males. Females were identified by a single silver scale at the very top of their heads. Their scales were of the same consistency as snake skin and scaled to suit their size, allowing them to move freely but still offering them an enormous amount of protection.
The dragon species of Tar'El were known as blues and all of their scales were a deep azure colour. All of them except one. She had a streak of forest green scales that ran from the corners of her eyes along both sides of her body and down to the tip of her tail. She was a queen, the only female capable of producing more dragons, though the others would still be able to birth the sexless dragonets and dragonarls.
She turned and looked at Pelath and studied him for a moment, then gave him a funny look
Curiosity, amusement, acceptance. One would know your name. Her thoughts resonating through the vaults of his mind.
Pelath jumped surprised by the unexpected nature of the contact. He was about to speak but she interrupted him.
Amusement. You don't need to mouth-speak, thought-speak, I will hear.
My name is Pelath, he replied.
Acknowledgment, acceptance, forthcoming. One is know as Torathiastanoi but you may call me Tor yes?
Accepted with reservation, curiosity. One would like to know if you were planning on standing over there all day or if you intended to greet one properly.
Olridian watched as Pelath moved towards the green stripped queen and stroked the side of her face. His heart leapt into his throat. What if she hurt him? Those razor sharp fangs looked awfully dangerous.
He heard a dry chuckle rumbling through the vaults of his mind and felt his gaze being drawn to his right. He noticed that one of the dragons was looking at him peculiarly. He noticed the small ivory tusks protruding from it's cheeks indicating that it was a male.
Amusement, fondness. Don't worry about him, he has been chosen. Curiosity. One would like to know though the name of his chosen keeper.
Are you talking to me? Olridian replied, a little confused.
Confused reservation, amusement. No, one just cast forth the thought randomly hoping for a reply from the gods. Sarcastic. Of course I'm talking to you.
Sorry, my bad, he replied sheepishly. My name is Olridian, by what name shall I address you?
Delight, considering. One is know as Latilonikarasha, you may address me as lord and master. Attempt at humour. Kidding, you may call me Lati. Approach so we may greet each other properly.
The other dragons selected their keepers in the same manner including Yanka who was the last to be chosen. After she finished greeting her new companion the final gong sounded, signalling the end of the choosing.
End of Chapter 4