Chapter 8 - The Dragon Rider
I woke a few days later to find my self sandwich between two awesomely cute boys. I saw one sleeping dragon with a little elfin boy curled up between his forelegs and chest. I slowly extricate myself from between Zeek and Zac and hurried quietly out of the cave to find a place to pee which turned out to be at the Point where I peed over the cliff.
I sat down on the rock I normally sat on. I needed this time. From what I could remember from folk tales on Earth elves were great archers, but I had yet to see one bow or arrow. And elfin swords and armor were the best one could have. Then too I've yet to see a dwarf or hear if they exist.
I heard small footsteps approaching followed by dragon footsteps.
"Good morning, Zen," I said as I continued looking out to sea.
"Darn!," said the small ebullient elfin boy, "I was trying to sneak up on you!"
"Next time leave the noisy dragon at the cave," I laughed.
"Never! He's my dragon and I might marry him when I get older."
That brought a chuckle from Arvin.
Zen started walking towards the edge of the cliff when Arvin, "Now be careful. Now don't get to close to the edge my boy. Why don't you come back here with me?"
"Aren't you the mother hen," I laughed.
"Zen, please come back here with me," pleaded the dragon ignoring my comment.
"Okaaaay, my dragon," he said returning to the dragon, "Up!"
The dragon laid down rolled a bit to allow Zen to get on his back and the rolled back and stood up.
I stared at the dragon and I knew I would never be his rider. I knew the boy on his back was meant to be there. Some things you just know and this was something I knew. I could feel it and I could see the bond of love and friendship between the two. It was a bond that would never be broken. Strangely, I wasn't upset over not being the dragon rider -- I was happy.
"What?" asked Arvin.
"You were staring at us."
"Oh, I realized something that made me happy. We have a dragon rider. Now all we have to accomplish is a dragon who can fly. Then we'll work on getting you to breathe fire."
The ebullient elf was bouncing upon the dragon's back looking like he was about to explored any second.
"Yes! Yes! I am the dragon rider! I dreamed it last night! I dreamed it last night! I will help you train Arvin to fly me! I will! I will! YES! Wahoo!"
Arvin chuckled. He was a happy dragon. Not that he ever seemed unhappy, it's now he is happier. It's sort of like there was a piece missing and now it's not because Zen is that piece. I couldn't think of it being any other way.
"Well, come on let's race to the cave," I challenged. Of course I would let them win I heard Zen cheering on his dragon as they passed me.
When I arrived back at the cave, "No fair dragon! You had a cheering section on your back!" I laughed.
Zen was yelling, "We won! We won! We beat the dumb human!"
I looked at Zen for a moment, "Feed your brother," I said to Zeek, "I'll be at the training field." I turned and walked off.
I heard Arvin say to Zen, "You'll not ride me." I turned to see Zen sitting on his butt and the dragon walking to catch up with me.
"He has to learn that he may be first in my heart but you are still occupying a large part of it. You are my friend and I will let no one speak badly of you even if in jest."
"Thanks," I muttered. Even though Zen's remark was childish it did bother me. I knew it was stupid to feel hurt by his slight insult but I did. I decided to run like the wind. Maybe I could run out the hurt feeling. I took off as fast as I could to the training field.
As soon as I got there I start my own workout practicing many of different moves I had learnt over the years. After half an hour Arvin turned up.
"They are about fifteen minutes behind me. After you took off I heard him crying. So I went back and explained things to him. He is truly sorry. He will not ride me today or ever until he heals the wound he inflicted in your heart. He realized it as soon as he'd said what he said. The not riding me was his decision not mine. He's bringing food for you."
"I was thinking, Gladimhere, that maybe we could put on a show for him to see. It would also be good exercise for me."
"Okay. How about this -- you unfurl those wings and run around the field with them outstretched. I will start out on your back and jump from wing to wing. You have to hold your wings as level as possible. It will be harder than before but I think your muscles are stronger now."
"Sounds like fun," he grinned then added, "Not!"
"Okay, well, let me get used to wing walking." I sprung up to his back and then stood. "Wings!"
Arvin unfurled his wings. They were so awesome to me. I walked out to the middle of the left wing then turned and walked to the middle of the right wing. He held them steady as a rock.
"Excellent! Okay, I want you flick me up and I will somersault over to the opposite wing. You need to be prepared for my landing let your wing give a little. Okay?"
"On your command," he said.
His wing lower and then flicked upward as I sprang into a somersault landing perfectly on the other wing. We did this several times.
"They are within sight," said Arvin.
"Start running!" I ordered.
It took me a short time to get used to the motion but soon I established the rhythm. I walked from one wing to the other while Arvin loped around the field.
"How are you doing?" I asked as we continue.
"Ready for a flick?" he chuckled.
"Go for it," I said as I prepared to somersault knowing that I'd have to judge the distance right so that when I came down there be a wing there as he was running at a fair clip.
He flicked. I sprang. I landed. I was ebullient! "AGAIN!"
We did the routine two more times. "Okay, I want to try something. I'm going to run to the end of your wing do a flick and I will somersault off. You continue running. I will run across the field when you see me coming lower your wing so that it is almost on the ground. I'll have enough momentum to spring high in a somersault and land midway on your wing. Just don't change your gait."
"Okay," he said.
The problem was I misjudged the forward momentum and my dismount ended with me doing a face plant.
"FUCK!" I yelled. Damn that hurt and now my nose was bleeding. I saw the boys running toward the field and heard Arvin running over to me with his wings partly furled.
"WINGS!" I shouted, "Circle again."
His wings unfurled and he started running the circle.
"LOWER YOUR LEFT WING," I SHOUTED.
He did and I started my run. I sprung somersaulted and landed three-quarters up on his wing and barely managed to keep my balance.
My nose was still bleeding and my face stung with pain.
"I'm going to try the dismount again."
I did the somersault dismount and landed and rolled. This time I didn't do any further damage.
The boys started to come over towards me. Arvin had stopped, furled his wings and was approaching me. I held up my hand signaling to stop which they did. My nose was broken and I'd have to reset it or go around with a crooked nose. The pain of doing that seemed worse than breaking it. I know I screamed `fuck'. I turned and headed to the hot springs. Hot wasn't necessary a good thing but I need to wash my face. Hitting the warm water I nearly screamed again because the warm water cause all the scratches on my face and chest to sting like made but luckily it soon pass and I began to relax a bit. My companions all looked worried.
Zen had tears rolling down his cheeks and his bottom lip began to quiver as he looked at me.
"I-I-I'm sorry," he cried.
I climbed out of the water and sat on the flat rocks at the waters edge, "Come here," said softly.
He came over and I pulled him down into my lap. "Hey, it was me who broke my nose. Not you, not Zeek, not Zac and not Arvin. Just me. Trying to show off and not thinking and not paying attention to what I was doing. So, I did it again and that time I did it better."
"Not nose," he said, "Sorry I broke your heart."
"You didn't break my heart maybe just cracked it a little, but it will heal. Do you know how?"
"Herbs? My mom uses herbs to heal Zeek's cuts and bruises. He gets a lot of them."
"Yes and I could sure use them on my cuts and bruises, but to heal my heart you have to smile, give me a little kiss on my forehead," I said as I tilted my head forwards toward him.
He gave me the sweetest kiss.
"My heart is healed now. Thank you. Now, go sit on the back of your dragon and make him run around the field with his wings out and your brothers lying on the wings."
He went with Arvin and Zac.
"I'll be there in a few minutes," said Zeek to them and then turned to me, "Lay back."
I had noticed he just arrived when I sent Zen off to ride Arvin.
"I have some healing plants. They will take away some of the pain and heal your cuts and bruises. Chew on this one -- it will relax you." I started chewing and in a matter of seconds I was feeling a little sleepy. "Spit it out into my hand." I did. He smeared a little on my chest and put the rest on my nose and face. He leaned down and his lips touched mine.
"If this is what I have to do for a kiss, bring it on," I whispered. He smiled and I fell asleep.