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Chapter 5-4

Page history last edited by Anonymoose 9 years, 12 months ago

It's only in times like this, in the middle of the night and without a light at hand, that you truly begin to appreciate what you had. I missed having the power to flip a switch and not having to worry about walking into something. But such was life in this place. A time about half a millennium behind what I am used to. I've been reduced to feel my way down the darkness of this pitch black hallway. I found myself sympathizing with a blind man cruelly robbed of his walking cane.


Rose's fiery tail and Susan's magics made me forget just how precious a little thing like light truly is. Without either of them I'd just bumble in the darkness. Much like what I am doing now. But if I did knock something over or trip, I was certain one of them would come running. I wasn't about to make putting my foot down earlier come to nothing. Why? Because I can feel it in my bones that it won't work again. Not twice in a row. Yet I couldn't contain my morbid curiosity, so I moved onward with unrestrained caution.


At least the floorboards never creaked. For the first time I found myself thanking the excessive care that went into building this place. My bare feet were also cushioned by the velvet red carpet. Summer was near but still a few weeks away, so the night time air was chilly. It was tepid even in my jeans and green t-shirt which was still soaked with my cold sweat. However, I hardly felt a thing. The tingle of the cold, the unpleasantness of the caked and drying sweat and the clear and present danger of being ambushed by any of the girls at any moment were nothing right now. I only desired to know what this sound was. It was hypnotizing.


It would have been better had I stayed in my room, but I felt restless, and this song was compelling me onward. A siren's call from somewhere in the villa. It was faint, but there was hardly another sound for it to compete with. There was no wind or rain battering the sides of the villa. No snoring or restless tossing and turning. I could swear that I was feeling the sweet sound instead of hearing it. Sometimes I heard the sing song of a beautiful voice, and then it would turn into a sweet melodic hum. There was something oddly nostalgic about it. Maybe my mind was still scattered after just waking up?... I should know what I was approaching, but there was a haze clouding my thoughts.


The melody reached its loudest before I knew it. I had reached my final destination. A bedroom door slightly ajar, the sweet sounds escaping from the other side. My compulsion forced my hand, and I gently pushed my way in before I thought to knock. It swung open without a sound, and laid before me was a bedroom like my own. A large curtained bed remained undisturbed; its occupant elsewhere. Directly in front of me was an open window which let the starlight and moon beam sweep across the floor. One solitary shadow existed within that beam of light as it stood facing the night. My eyes followed the long shadow, and there I saw the unmistakable form of Chris.


Her head was tilted back so that her eyes could look up at the night sky. It was a sky filled with countless alien stars. White cloth hung around her neck and shoulders and draped down her back. Moonlight shone through the fabric and created the illusion of a bluish halo about her. Her wings were folded pensively in front of her. The moonlight likewise shined ever so slightly through the leather of her wings, and I almost thought for a moment they were the pure white and feathery wings of an angel.


From her throat a saccharine vibration filled the room; the source of the mysterious sound. The usual husky, heroic and manly tone and pitch in her voice had softened to something almost completely unrecognizable. My initial impression of an angel rebounded. It was only then my half awake mind finally remembered that I had heard this voice before.


Aldergywen shines, near glimmer of gemstone

The pauper braves the jaws of Gaudric's Boar

Two mortals who had met elsewhere before

The fates themselves are brought low to atone


All the gods so moved that they do condone

Two loves never to be lost evermore

Dove and hawk, take wing and form the shore

From stars an eternal bond has grown


Her voice wavered and paused every so often. She was composing the song ad lib. One thing was for certain though; it was sung in the kind of voice that wins reality TV shows. She sang each line back to herself and then hummed its melody once again. Her throat cleared every so often, and she changed the inflection ever so slightly while she searched to perfect whatever it was that she was singing to herself. There was a peculiar power in her voice and her words. I hadn't the slightest clue what she was singing about, but it invoked a calm nostalgic feeling that left a warm afterglow in my chest.


I took another step forward and foolishly let the door hinges creak. The sound carried inside the room unopposed. Chris's spine went rigid, her whole body tensed up and she shivered comically. Her head turned around slowly as though the joints in her neck were rusty. She only had to meet my gaze with one eye before she quickly looked back out the window. I couldn't get a good look at the expression on her face as she let slip a short squeak. Her forearm talons reached for the scarf around her neck, and she clumsily pulled it back over her mouth and nose.


     I took another step forward and called out to her, “What's wrong?”


     Chris's muffled voice responded, but she spoke out the window, “Um, everything is fine. No problems here, Master.”


Her voice had returned to the gruff and faux masculine tone I am more familiar with.


     I took yet another step forward, “Chris?”


     “Uh, Just having a bit of trouble sleeping, but everything is... yeah. Just getting some fresh air. I'm fine, really. Thank you... H-how are you?”


Everything was obviously not fine. Chris has a habit of running her mouth whenever she's nervous. And when she does, most of what comes out of it is nonsense. I'm not exactly sure why she does it. My best guess is that she is trying to psyche herself out. She was trying to distract herself, and me, from something. But I wasn't about to be caught up in her verbal slight of hand. Not this time. I'm on a mission this time.


     So I didn't let up and repeated myself, “Chris.”


She looked left and right in a panic as I approached. With her long wing she reached over and clipped the side of a vase on a shelf next to her. It toppled over; the flowers inside ploped against the surface while the water in the vase splashed against the floor between us.


     “Careful, Master. Got a spill here. Just give me a few minutes to clean that up. Very slippery. Very dangerous.”


While she was fumbling and bumbling I got within arms reach behind her. I stepped without a care across the puddle. Chris's reaction to hearing my bare footsteps through the water was to throw herself into one final act of desperation. She got one talon up on the window sill and grabbed hold of the frame with her talons in preparation to launch herself outside.


     “I'd h-hate to bore you further, M-master! I'll just-”


     “Chris,” I said sternly.


She stopped in her tracks. Her head turned partially around, and through her mask I could see her jaw flap open to say something else, but I stopped her.




I loathed to do this, but I had no choice. I couldn't let this go on any longer.


     “-That's an order.”


     “Eep!” Was the only response, another small rodent like squeak, but this time in affirmation.


The wyvern stood at attention like a soldier. She turned around slowly, methodically and stared forward with her chin level to the floor. Since she's a full head taller than me, I had to crane my neck up just to look at her. Her desperation didn't end there though. Chris's chest puffed out, and the mask moved as she flapped her jaws once again. This time it was just incohesive blabbering. I raised my hand and waved her to stop.


     “And while we're at it, stop with the mask business. Please. I can hardly understand what you're saying.”


The wyvern froze mid speech. Her knees buckled ever so slightly. Now she looked more like a school girl than a soldier; the speed of the change left me baffled.


Despite her hesitation, a sense of duty stronger than her emotional turmoil seized her. Her talons reached up halfway then stopped. I tilted my head down and stared up at her through my eyebrows. It was the best impatient get on with it I could muster. She continued.


Her clumsy talons wrapped around the mask at her cheeks, and she slowly pulled it back down so that the scarf hung around her neck and shoulders. I immediately saw what the reason was. Chris's face is bright red from ear-fin to ear-fin. She can't even look straight ahead, let alone look down at me. What I thought were tears welled up in her golden eyes.


The longer I stared the redder she got. Her self-consciousness fueled a positive feedback loop, and it just got worse. After only a few seconds I had to spare both of us and looked away. My impatience had been deflated almost instantly, and I was left scrambling to regain my own composure. I think my own cheeks were starting to flush just from watching her.


     I softened my voice, “Chris-”


     “N-no!” She yelled, throwing up her wings to block me from approaching any closer. “I'm not well.”


I had my doubts.


     “I could be contagious!” She said, half joking, as she waved her wings around in front of her.


I ignored her protests and slipped my hand past her guard. I had to stretch in order to do so, but I placed my right palm against her forehead and my left on my own... There didn't appear to be anything wron- Ooooooh, there it is.


Chris's entire head had flushed red by the time I looked back up. My hand felt as though I had put it on a hot stove. I think there were even pillars of steam billowing out from her ears. She leaped back and almost flew out the window; only stopping when she threw her wings out and plastered herself against the entire wall. I looked down at my hands and flexed my fingers. There was a residual feeling of heat in the palm of my hand. When I looked back at Chris, she finally made eye contact with me. Her expression showed more terror than anything else.


There was no mistaking it. That was no fever.


     “Chris, you're not sick.”


     “But I am!” She protested.


     “No you- Alright.... Let's assume you are. Why didn't you just go talk with Susan?”


Shoshanah's magics had healed her wing to just as good as before. If Chris was feeling ill, there was no reason to not consult with her and-


     Chris shook her head, “No no no. Whenever I got close to asking... Something hurt.”


Okay. Odd. But I continued to grill her.


     “Then Rose. I haven't gotten sick once since she begun clinging to me non-stop ever since we met. If it's a bug or something, then I'm sure if you just let her-”


     Chris shook her head again, “No no no. Something hurts whenever I'm about to talk to either.”


Now she was being a plain old contrarian.


     “What do you mean, 'it hurts'?” I asked, getting a little impatient.


Chris's wings folded back, and she rested her forearm talons against her chest. She squished her massive bust aside slightly, and her talons clung to her heart.


     “Here.” She said, wistfully.


Her eyes slowly shut, and she stood there with a sad smile on her face. She looked perfectly serene and very much unlike she had been for the past couple of minutes.


     “Whenever I stray too far, my chest hurts. But when I come too close... Close to you... I feel unease, but warm... Too warm...”


She was muttering, and her voice trailed off at the end, but I heard her well enough. I gulped down hard and gathered my wits about me.


     “A-alright. I concede. That does sound like a sickness...”


Chris' eyes shot wide open as her head perked up. I immediately regretted what I just said.


     “Really?” Her voice broke a little as she cried out. “If you know what it is, please tell me.... Master!”


She forgot herself for a moment then pleaded while she rushed toward me. The over two meters tall girl nearly bowled me over. Her claws scratched grooves in the hardwood floor before she came to a stop just in front of me. Even then her weight was pressing up against me as her foretalons grasped me around my shoulders. The best they were able to that is. Her strength was irresistible. Then she begun to shake me back and forth while my head banged forward and back like a bobble head doll.


If she kept this up I might get whiplash.


     “Calm. Down. Chris,” I tried to say, but I had to be careful not to bite my tongue.


My chin might otherwise hit the airbags currently deployed just under of my line of sight.


Finally she came back to her senses when she finally noticed my distress. I had to wait a few seconds before continuing. My brain was still knocking around inside my skull, and there were spots in my vision.


     I wasn't prepared for that experience again, so I just said it candidly, “That sound an awful lot like... well... like love sickness.”


I couldn't say it with a straight face. My eyes averted hers on their own. My cheeks blushed red just from saying the painfully embarrassing truth. Chris was still looking down at me with half crazed and expecting eyes. Her face was frozen stock still with blank eyes and a creepy, ever so slight, smile. Without a word she unclenched her talons from my shoulders, turned around and then walked over to the bed.


When she approached the nearest post of the curtained bed, she slammed her forehead into the finely carved hardwood. A loud crack echoed in the room. She didn't stop there. She banged her head against the post a few more times, each one with a crack no quieter than the last.


     “Chris, stop it!... You're going to wake up the whole villa!”


I felt a bit bad for not having her stop on account that slamming her head like that had to hurt. But I'd watched arrows fired from close range deflect harmlessly off her exposed human skin for crying out loud!


When I told her to stop, she complied. But it was a bit too late for the bed. The wooden post had been splintered, shattered and completely obliterated. A pair of vicious scaled horns and a skull made of something tougher than steel made sure of that. One-quarter of the curtain sagged onto the bed itself since the number of posts suspending it had been reduced by one rather convincingly. Her strength appeared to leave her as she slumped to the floor. Chris's wings spread eagle across the floor beside her as she fell on her sprawled legs. Her thick and long muscular tail plopped motionless on the floor like a rolled up rag.


Now I felt as though I had done something terrible. It was just the best conjecture I had!... I cradled my face in my hand and tried to think what I had to do next.


     “Well... That's what that song you were singing earlier was about... Wasn't it?”


Chris's eyes slowly turned my way. I could have gone without seeing them. The creepy factor had gone up by a few margins. There was almost a tangible aura of negativity forming a halo around her head, and a black miasma radiated off her whole body. The angelic impression she had given me before had been all but obliterated.


     “You heard that?” She asked; her voice sounded devoid of all life.


I scrambled to pick up my fumble. That was obviously the wrong thing to have said.


     “N-no- well- yes- I won't lie- but only about two stanzas.”


Tears welled up in her eyes and caused me to stop.


     “That's as far as I've gotten,” She said, her voice flimsy.


Panic mode.


     “It's good... So far. I mean you really sell it. N-not that it needs to be sold. It's good on its own merits. Just that your singing is great too. Really!”


I waved my arms around helplessly. Just like a certain idiot was earlier... Maybe as a distraction?


     “I just think the meaning is just lost on me. Ha ha ha,” I disparaged myself and laughed awkwardly


Anything to deflect something.


Chris's eyes finally peel themselves away and look back down at the floor. I was not sure if that was a victory for me, but I deflated none the less, and my shoulders slumped. I heard Chris take a deep breath and then push herself off the floor. She let loose a little grunt of effort and straightened her back while throwing her elbows backward at her hips.


I only caught a glimpse of her face for a moment, but it looked as though she had recovered from her depression just as easily as she sunk into it. She strode toward the window and looked out into the night. Her neck craned upward to where she had been watching the night sky before. I was left to wonder what she was up to.


I stopped her from escaping through the window before, but now I felt I had to let her do whatever she was about to do. Chris leaned out the window so she could look straight up into the night sky. She then pulled her head back in and clicked her tongue in disappointment.


I realized a little too late when she began to squeeze out the window and climb up the side of the villa. I lunged forward pointlessly, too far away to stop her to begin with. She only vanished for a moment though. A few second later, dangling enticingly in front of the window was her tail.


     “Come on, master.” She said with gusto.


Against my better judgment, I approached the window and reluctantly grabbed hold of the tail. I was suddenly ripped free from the house and nearly crushed my knees against the windowsill as I flew outside. Like a fish caught on a hook and trolled toward the fisherman, I was whisked into the air only to be brought upward. I found myself next to Chris who clung to the roof of the villa like a gargoyle. The furthest she could stretch her tail was just high enough for me to let go and grab hold of the roof's gutter.


I flailed. Panicked. But I successfully pulled myself onto the roof. My heart was racing, my arms hurt and my breath was hoarse. Looming over me, balanced on her wings and knees, was Chris who looked down at me with a thousand watt smile.


     “What the hell is wrong with you?” I asked incredulously.


My tone didn't appear to affect Chris's normal chipper attitude, “I'm showing you something.”


With a smile like that, I had to let her go.


     “And that would be?”


     “Look up!”


Chris pulled back out of my vision, and replacing her smiling face were stars stretching as far as my eyes could see. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the heavens spanned from one horizon to the other. I couldn't recall the last time I honestly looked up at the stars on a clearer night than tonight. All the light of the stars and the brilliant white moon funneled into this caldera, and what I saw shocked me to the core.


A great giant cloud of stars rose up from the horizon, and a billion pinpoints of light sparkled around it. It wasn't the Milky Way. I wasn't looking toward its center from one of its arms. There were no spiraling arms at all actually. It shone like a giant hazy yellow gem. A super cluster of stars, more numerous than I could count if I put a whole week into it. Surrounding the luminescent sphere were progressively less dense clouds and rings that orbited around it. It was as if we floated on a lone rock high and far above it all. Purple nebulous clouds of young stars glistened in the distance along with an array of blues, reds, oranges and whites. I was left speechless. It had been so long since I had last bothered to look at the stars. Actually, I don't think I ever once bothered to truly look at them since I awoke in that northern forest one day.


Chris sat herself down beside me, tucking her legs into her chest and wrapping her wings around her knees. Her tail swished and scraped gently across the roof's shingles as she looked up into the inky dark sky. I picked myself up off the ground and sat up right beside her. Then I tried to find where in the sky she was looking.


     Chris extended one wing and talon into the sky, “Those stars right there.”


     “Which ones?” I asked.


     “Right of that big blue one.”


     “That blue one?”


     “No, the other blue one.”


Star gazing can sometimes be a frustrating affair, but eventually we were both looking at the same thing. It appeared to be a collection of stars all close to the same luminosity that stood out against the backdrop of countless weaker ones. Chris continued, waving her talon in the small area of the night sky.


     “Those stars right there. The one that looks like a man.”


     “...If you say so?” I said dubiously.


     “Come on, Laven,” She said playfully. “There are his legs and his arms with a spear. That's the Pauper. Then over on his left is someone else. A big gown worn by a woman. The Princess. Next to her is a four point diamond. Oh oh oh, and next to the pauper is a giant boar charging at him.”


Chris was nearly bouncing up and down pointing out constellations in the alien night sky. To see something so far removed from home was enough to sink my heart. But the bombastic and childishly energetic Chris was enough to dispel that feeling, and I hung on her every word. It blew my mind to think she looked completely shell shocked only a few minutes ago. How does she do that?... Or maybe I should ask 'why'?


     “So, that's what the song is talking about?” I asked.


     “Yup,” Chris said with a bright smile. “The Pauper and the Princess used to be lovers, but the pauper died on his way home from an adventure to secure themselves a home after they were to be wed. She then ended her life in despair.”


That's not the kind of story you're usually that positive about. But she continued, and it would soon all make sense.


     “Then they were reborn. She was born as a princess of a rich and powerful kingdom. But the man was reborn as the pauper. They grew up separated; but as the story goes, they both felt as though someone was missing their whole lives.”


Chris's talons moved and contorted into strange positions as she spoke and waved her wings about in the sky above us. I think she was just doing it for emphasis, but it seemed intentional and had a predictable pattern to it. I thought of shadow puppets.


     “One day, the wizard, Gaudric The Wicked, grew furious with the king and cast a spell that summoned a mighty boar. That boar thrashed and destroyed the countryside for years. The king's knights and soldiers couldn't stop it, so the king called for heroes from across the land and beyond. But the king didn't have any money left—the boar had destroyed so much—so he offered all he had left... His only daughter: The Princess. He offered her hand in marriage to any man who could slay the beast.”


I thought I knew where this was going. Chris's face was absolutely radiant as she continued the story; her eyes fixated on the constellations directly above us.


     “Many heroes answered the call. Many noble men. But many died, were wounded or fled. However, one man would go into the broken woods and return. The pauper was just a peasant who worked the fields for his lord. One day he was sent into the city for an errand where he just so happened to catch the quickest glimpse of the princess. He fell in love at first sight. Then he remembered the challenge. Like a man possessed he hunted the boar. When he found it, they had a great duel. The pauper dodged the charging boar many times till it became so enraged that it reared up on its hind legs. It prepared for the greatest charge that it had ever done. But the pauper was prepared and had been waiting for just that moment. He rushed forward and put his spear through the boar's exposed heart. But it did not die. It vanished. So the hero kept searching and happened upon what the boar was guarding. The wizard's lair. He confronted the wizard, and when the wizard tried to summon his pet, the pauper ran him through in the wizard's moment of confusion. In Gaudric's lair, the pauper found a gem. The four point diamond. It was what fueled the wizard's terrible spell.”


     “I take it this is heading toward the happily ever after?” I asked.


Chris's smile dimmed a bit as she turned to look at me, “Not really, sadly... The pauper returned the gem to the king. But the king would not believe him. Even when the gem proved true, he accused the pauper of stealing it from the true hero that must have slain Gaudric and his boar. But before the King's men could take the pauper away, the princess saw him, fell immediately in love and threw herself on the hero. She shielded him and pleaded to her father for mercy and to listen to his story with an open heart. But the King was not prepared to let his daughter marry a mere farmer, and her actions only enraged him further. That is when the gods took notice. They noticed at last the stone which had been stolen from them. They noticed the princess and the pauper would never be, yet also noticed the two souls had been together before. They were so moved by their love that transcended even their powers over life and death that they were moved to tears. So while the king, his courtiers and all his men watched, the gods took the two in their arms. They turned into light then rose into the heavens. That night, these constellations took shape.”


Chris pointed toward a string of stars in a near perfect line which connected the two constellations.


     “So now they are together. Forever. They'll never be apart again.”


The two of us did not say a thing for some time. I sat there next to her and let her story sink in. We watched as the Princess and the Pauper glittered in the heavens above and moved together in unison as all the stars traveled from horizon to horizon. It was a bitter sweet tale, but I felt more uplifted than not. Creating stories from the stars seemed to be a universal pastime. It was not so different from home after all... Except... Given how this world operates, the story might actually be true...


     “It was a lullaby,” Chris said at last after the long silence. “I would make them all the time... For Vio.”


Vio. Princess Violetta of Domdracveria. That's right. Those two were long time friends. Very close friends. You could not be faulted for saying they were like sisters.


     “Vio always loved them. I'd tell them to her every night before we slept.”


Chris was a few years older than her, so I suppose that would make her the elder sister.


     “Did you make that story just now then?” I asked.


Chris didn't respond right away. I looked down from the stars to see a complicated expression on her face. It left me a little worried. She had just been so energetic, seemingly rebounded, but now she looked depressed yet again. Maybe it was just because she sensed apprehension in my question, but she perked up slightly and continued all the same.


     “No-” She said, her masculine tone completely absent from her voice.


That threw me for a loop.


     “-no... Someone told me that story a long time ago. I was just trying to remember how she sang it.”


I didn't say anything nor pry. I decided to wait and see if she would continue talking on her own. She would do just that. There was something that Chris had to get off her chest. That was why she dragged me up here. I could feel it. A distance still existed between the two of us. I had a feeling she'd surrender that ground soon.


     “I lied to you before... I'm Sorry... Truth is, I never actually knew my parents... My real parents... My mother was one of the old maids at the castle...” Chris laughed a little and put on an awkward forced smile. “I even heard one of the young maids wet nursed me... She didn't like it... Having to suckle a little monster, but she was forced to.” It pained her to say that, but she put her fake smile back on and wouldn't be stopped. “The old one was much kinder. She was an old spinster who had never married. She had looked after many kids, but never had one to call her own. That kind old lady raised me like her own long lost daughter she never had.”


Chris expression was distant and forlorn now. Memories of this old woman deflated the half-baked smile she had spent far too much energy making. Her eyes were no longer on the stars above but on the horizon far away. A shaky voice only drove home what that meant.


     “This isn't sounding like the pleasant memory like you'd have me believe,” I said.


     “Eh he he,” She laughed weakly, giving me a little smile that died quickly before returning her gaze toward the horizon, now with a slight frown. “You might not believe the next part. Until I was about five summers old... I actually believed I was human... Isn't that funny?”


She tried to pass it off as a joke but failed miserably. Her smile was gone, and the cheery voice she tried to put in its place came off as empty. She held her wings before her and stared at the three talons crowning each forearm.


     “How could anyone look into a mirror and think that true?... When you look like I do. But I did.... Until I met Deron.”


Prince Deron of Domdracveria. Violetta's older brother. The brother who waged a civil war that tried to depose her. He was born without a family signet ring, and his sister was. Hard to believe a baby could be born with an emerald encrusted ring on their finger that grew with the child... But while uncommon, these kinds of things are not so far fetched here. But Deron's troubles didn't end there. He was desperate to prove he was the rightful king. He thought through feats of daring he'd win back his by birthright that was so unceremoniously handed off to his baby sister at the moment of her birth. Even though he was very young, he said he would tame a wyvern... Bend it to his will...


     “Their father's advisers suddenly introduced themselves to me one day. They were now the regency council. Vio and Deron had lost their mother when Vio was born, and the king had died during a tournament shortly after... A fatal wound, a piece of lance shattered in a joust and got into the joint of his gorget. Many think because his heart and head wasn't in the fight... They told me I was going to meet the prince. I was excited... and honored. When I went to met Deron, I thought I would finally have my first friend. He was about as old as me. They filled my head with ideas that I'd be like a sister to him too. I was so excited... But when we met... right away.... he started treating me like... a thing. I didn't understand. He waved his stick around and hit me. He commanded that I let him on my back. I said no. 'That wasn't a very fun game', I said. I didn't want to play that. Then he got angry. He said that was what I was for. So I yelled back at him. Then he started hitting me. I got angry and pushed him away.”


Chris flexed and rubbed the talons on her forearms together. She stared at them as she remembered a feeling and a memory.


     “I cut him. Cut him bad. He screamed. He screamed really loud. They took him away. I never saw him again till the castle. But you were there. You know how that story goes...”


Chris's voice started to choke a bit as she went on.


     “But after meeting him... No one ever punished me. No one praised me either, but I knew I had done a bad thing. I wished they had punished me. It made me think I was different. I didn't want to think I was different. It took everything I had just to believe I wasn't different whenever I looked into a mirror. My mother would keep repeating over and over again that I wasn't. Whenever I asked she did it over and over again, so I believed her.... But when they finally figured out why I acted like I did... They took her away from me too. I didn't have anyone left but my thoughts... Until I met little Vio. They said I would look after her from then on. So I played with her. Protected her. Sang lullabies to her at night. Slept in bed with her. When things troubled her I went out and dealt with them. All the while... She never cared what I was. I was just 'Chris'. It didn't matter who and what I was. Where I came from. I was happy. So happy. For a long long time...”


Her eyes glistened and shook.


     “Did I ever tell you? I never even flew before I was ten summers old. That's unheard of... for a wyvern...”


Her voice sank low, but she had too much momentum to stop and began to speak faster and faster.


     “I only did it when Vio begged me to. She could still hardly find the words, but she wanted to see me fly... And you know... It came so naturally. I did it the first time I tried. I couldn't pretend I was mother's daughter anymore. But it made Vio so happy. She didn't treat me any different. Whenever she cried, I said I would be her knight. Her hero. I would puff out my chest and say I would beat the darkness back. I'd take flight, save the day, then she'd smile again...”


She was nearly tripping over her words now.


     “So I kept doing it... I thought that would all go on forever. Until Deron started moving to take the throne. He wouldn't stop till Vio was dead. I didn't want to believe it, but I still fought everything he threw at her. Deron was like a brother to me too. He was Vio's brother, so he was my brother too. That's what I wanted to believe. But that's all done now. Vio is safe now. She- She's all grown up now... She's even bigger than me now. I was taller than everyone. I was taller than all the other wyverns too. But Vio... Vio sent me away. She didn't need me anymore.”


Chris's face was wet now, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. She tried to be undeterred and talk as she was starting to have trouble talking.


     “But I still had you. I pledged myself to you. You had done so much for me in so little time. You never gave up on me. You put up with me. You were even brave enough to fight for me... To do the ritual with me... But what... what if... what if you ever don't need me anymore?”


Chris rubbed one wing across her face to try getting rid of the tears. But without a hand to do so, it was difficult. There was snot running down her nose now. It was unsightly, but I didn't look away. Wiping her tears away with the arm that had been broken before, she is disgusted by the thought and switches to the other.


     “What will I have left then? I couldn't be a person. I was always a monster. I... I couldn't be a sister... I never had a family. Not a real one. I couldn't even be a fake sister.... Not forever... What if I couldn't be your dragoon anymore? WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE?”


That was the last of it. Chris had no other words to speak. Everything bottled up inside that heart of hers had been ejected into the still night air. Chris had spent these last two weeks tormenting herself and trying her best to hide it. Hide it behind that mask and hide it by running away while being unable to run far enough. She was afraid her life amounted to nothing more than a continuous clash of her beliefs, her desires, and reality. Chris had so far lost every battle. She assumed an injury or sickness would rob her of what she had right now. What she had now was based upon not just her identity, but what she is. If she lost that as well...


It was a lot to take in. But calmly, reassuringly, I reached out and placed my left hand on top of the talons on her wing which she had cast aside on the roof between us. I wrapped my hand around the sharp talons, with points wicked enough to rend steel with ease. I did it without hesitating. I did it almost immediately after she was finished. It didn't matter they were instruments of death. Not right now. I clenched them tightly. As if they were just fingers on another hand.


It took a bit for Chris to notice. Her bawling stopped, and she looked at my hand on top of hers with raw reddened eyes. She sniffed back a few times before it finally hit her. Her jaw hung low, and her eyes opened wide. I decided that I too, would speak from the heart. And I wouldn't stop. No matter how cheesy the lines were that came gushing out.


     “You'd still be a girl. You always have been... A bit of a tomboy, but a girl all the same... And I haven't made it a business of mine to leave any friend behind. Not if I can help it. There's no injury you can get that will make me give up on you. There's no sickness you can get that will stump me... Even the one you got right now. Because right now I'm relying on you. I'm prepared to take on whatever comes along with that. You stick your neck out for me like you did back at the bridge, and I'll fight another giant living suit of armor for you. I won't ever forget what you've done for me. I don't expect to forget whatever it is you will do for me in the future.”


Chris's face was frozen still in shock. But slowly, gradually, a smile returned to her face. Tears still streamed down her face, but I had a feeling that wasn't a problem now. And I wasn't done yet though.


     “And believe me. Violetta has not given up on you. I could tell from the look in her eyes when you met again at the castle. I could still see it in those dragon eyes of hers when she sat on that throne before we left. She sent you- because you wanted to go. Right? I figured you would have figured that out while you were catching up when I was out cold.”


     Chris bushed aside a new tear and answered, “She wanted to know about what we did before returning to the castle... She spent most of asking to go on about what you did.”


An old shiver travels up my spine. A familiar chill that caused my whole body to shake and robbed me of my ability to breathe for a moment... A gnawing phantom pain too? I shook my head, deciding to ignore it and press on.


     “Anyways!...” my voice croaked. I gulped down to get my composure back again, “But you did... Didn't you?”


Chris looked down at the roof, but I reached out with my other hand and pushed her chin back up. I needed to look her in the eyes and see if she was telling the truth. She blushed when I did so, but I swallowed my half of the embarrassment.


     “Yeah...” She finally said, her eyes quivering a bit, but never looking away.


I pulled my hand back away from her chin and smiled.


     “Remember that. And remember what I also said. You do whatever it is you want. Don't let me tell you to go away. You just be stubborn like Rose is. You feel like you have some duty to do? Join the club; Susan isn't going anywhere either... It'd actually be better if you stayed out in the open too. Sometimes Minte gives me the chills, even if she doesn't mean to...”


I was running out of words to say, and my reassuring speech quickly became a rambling train of words. When I finally caught up with myself, I shut up and just let the moment be itself. I let my eyes wander back up to the stars and let myself get lost in them. But I couldn't distract myself forever. Eventually my eyes came back down, and I snuck a quick glance at Chris. She looked star-struck too, but she hadn't torn her eyes away from me at all. My heart skipped a beat at her face filling with... longing?


     “Ah ha ha, “ I laughed weakly. “Well, we don't have much night left. I better get back and try to get some more-”


When I tried to shuffle away, I snapped back down to the roof like a fully stretched rubber band. There was a moment I was left dumbfounded, and I was slow to process what was going on. I looked over toward Chris and then looked down to see my hand was pinned to the roof. I was far too slow in moving it, and Chris's other wing had sandwiched it. I had a snowball's chance in hell of freeing it from between both her forearm talons.


Chris's tail—which had spent most of its time up here plopped motionless against the roof—swayed back and forth behind her now. It seemed it, along with she, had been fully reanimated. She scooted her bottom closer toward me, bit by bit. She slowly and enticingly closed what little distance there was between us. She moved closer until her wings and my hand were both squeezed and sat upon by us both. When I looked up, Chris's face had bent down so that it was level with my own. There was a gravity well in her eyes that I could not escape, and my heart beat faster and faster as our bodies pressed closer together. When Chris's face leaned in closer and closer, my mouth instinctively moistened. I knew damn well where this was going, but I could no longer muster any strength to resist it. A current carried me along, and my own face was pulled toward Chris's as she too continued to lean closer and closer.


We stopped briefly for one quick moment. Our noses had touched and then locked in place, side by side. We were staring into one another. I wasn't fazed in the slightest by her gold reptilian eyes as our eyelashes were close enough to snarl together with every blink. Each of our breaths tickled the other's face. The smell of the mountain air could no longer contest with the smell of Chris that filled my head. A distant sting of sulfur, yet dominated by tickling sensation of hot spice. Neither of us could wait like that for long. Whatever it was, it also filled Chris's head up and caused her eyes to glaze over. We both raised our chins at the same time, and the shock of our lips touching gently together shot through me like a static shock.


The playful peck and rubbing together of our lips soon gave way as our mouths opened in union, and our tongues met and slid past one another. We got carried away, and both of us sought each other out, and our tongues began to to wrap around the other. My own tongue immediately felt like it had caught on fire. A tingle overwhelmed every crevice and soon my entire mouth, even my palette, stung gently. The sensation of fire spread just as quickly as Chris's hot pepper smelling saliva poured into my mouth. Every breath scorched its way down my throat. The feeling caught me off guard; sweat began to pour out from my every pore. I recall only once when Chris and I had been alone like this. Together like this. But we were starved, dehydrated, low on oxygen and trapped behind a collapsed mountain. Now I was no longer numb. My mind was free of worry and for the first time I truly felt and tasted Chris. It was like tonguing a fresh oily habanero, yet I couldn't pull myself away. Sweat drenched me completely as Chris's and my bodies slid and grinded against one another.


We greedily pressed out faces together, each plunging to seize something for ourselves, only increasing the passion and pleasure for us both as we did. When we at last ran out of breath, only then did we separate. Our tongues hung briefly out of our mouths where a thin trail of crystal clear spit formed a delicate string that kept us both connected. It hung low and finally broke, and our eyes opened and fixated on each other.


     A wry smile spread across Chris's face, “Ho ho ho... What's the matter? Can't handle the heat?” She said in her deep voice, playfully in character.


I reached around with my free hand, gliding it quickly over one of her horns, rummaging it through her pastel pink hair to cradle the back of her head. Without a word I pulled her toward me again. Her eyes opened in surprise as I kissed her again; this time aggressively pushing her tongue back with my own. She let out a short stifled yelp in her throat, but her body relaxed again, and she let me do as I wanted.


Chris lifted her submission of my other hand, but only because she was suddenly unsatisfied with how close we were now. She crawled on top of me and sat herself down. She held herself up by her knees; her talons further down and next to my own feet dug into the shingles of the roof like hooks. Her body lowered until her soft and muscular ass pinned me down by the thighs. A soft marshmallow feeling of pure soft muscle cushioned the space between Chris's hips and myself. She had superhuman strength in those legs of hers, and her glutes were not far behind. The curvaceousness of her rump was pure muscle, yet had the hallmark feminine and fertile form.


My hands were now free to do what they wanted, and they reached out for Chris's bare stomach. I traced my fingers along the fair white skin around her navel. My thumbs massaged their way up her abdomen toward her chest; my fingers tickling their way up her thin svelte waist. She couldn't bear the sensation and leaned into me, letting her voluptuous chest smother my head like a pair of pillows. But my hands eventually reached them and crawled over them. My hands sunk into the soft pillowy flesh. I pulled my head free and rubbed my cheek up against the side of one soft mound. I kept going until I ran out of breast and came to one of her exposed pits. Our bodies were hot and wet with sweat, but that didn't stop me at all. I reached out with one arm and grabbed her by the bicep. I pushed her wing high and traced my tongue over the salty and sweet white skin.


The wyvern squirmed again as she fought back snorts of laughter which died prematurely in her throat. I kept going until there was nothing left to taste, and Chris playfully pushed me away. She was completely red in the face while she did so. But my tongue was still burning hot from earlier, and I felt compelled to extinguish it with something. My hands crept back to her breasts where I slipped my hands under the fabric of her top. I got my fingers under the fabric of her top, through the underboob, and then pulled the top back up so that it hung around her neck along with her now sweat drenched white scarf. I expected those puppies to come tumbling out, but there was more than enough muscles in those shoulders and chest to keep them perky and relatively in place.


I sunk my hands into them and ground the nipple of her left breast in the palm of my hand causing Chris to pant and heave her chest. My fingers sunk deep into soft fatty flesh now hanging loose and drooping ever so slightly in the night air. They were massive. They had to be E-cup at least, and they never seemed to bother her at all, even when flying. I couldn't even hold them in my hands, I hadn't realized they were actually this large until I finally felt them in my hands.


My heart beat faster and faster, and I was quickly overcome with a new surge of pleasure. I leaned forward and caught her right flushed red and erect nipple between my teeth, and my mouth around her small pink areola that melted into the flawless white skin. She let out a loud moan and shifted her weight on top of me as she squirmed due to sensation. I playfully nibbled and prodded it with my tongue as I massaged both of her breasts with my hands.


     “Mas- Laven...” She cooed while wrapping her wings around my head and cradling me into her bosom. “You're like a little baby.”


While she teased me, I greedily feasted. Meanwhile a painful pressure had been building in my pants. Chris's hips had been rubbing back and forth over my thighs and into my groin for a few minutes now, and it had nowhere to go. I'm sure Chris could feel it too, like a speed bump she crossed over again and again. Finally, Chris pulled her wings back from around my head and with a flushed red face pushed me away by the shoulders. I was disappointed, but I didn't resist as Chris's talons worked their way down to my hips. Her face contorted as she tried in vain to work the zipper, so I quickly pulled it down for her. Lest she tear my jeans apart in the process. I freed my twitching member and exposed it at last to the chilly night air.


Chris didn't touch it, but her eyes look at the pulsating monster from my pants longingly with an erotic daze on her face. Then she slowly shifted her weight down off my thighs and planted herself between my legs further down the roof. I was not sure what she was up to until she gathered her massive breasts between her wings and squished them together. My penis was standing at full attention but suddenly vanished between the cleavage of her breasts. The shock of warm to cold then warmth again causes me to grunt aloud which puts a smile on Chris's face when she looks back up at me with a playfully erotic smile.


     With an enticing smile crossed between her justice persona and the overflowing desire of a woman, she spoke to me, “He he- I can feel it twitch... I can feel your heartbeat.”


She wanted to touch it; she wanted to feel it but lacked the hands to do so. That's why she squished and confined it to her breasts so that she could feel the warmth of its blood and flesh seep into her, right into her own chest. She stayed like that for a moment; with my shaft pressing up against her heart trapped between the cleavage of her massive rack. But when I got used to the heat pouring out of her, she sprang into action. A slick lubricant of her sweat and my pre mixed, and she lifted her breasts up and then let them drop back down. I felt the motion and tightness of her breasts rub along my shaft and glans in an endless undulating wave. My hands threw themselves backward to hold onto the roof shingles behind me as I panted for more fresh air as my body heated up.


     “Take that. And this,” Chris said playfully with each stroke. “Special technique: Justice~”


Chris tore her eyes away from me and looked down. She let my cock crown her cleavage then wrapped her lips around it. Her soft girlish lips sucked and tugged on my glands as her tongue prodded and slipped around the very tip. All the while she pressed her wings and talons against her breasts to squeeze and rub my staff. As Chris's saliva was added to the lubricant of sweat and pre, I felt the gentle tingling sensation spread down my dick and into my hips. The sensation was too much, and she quickly understood. She doubled her efforts and soon enough I was brought to the brink.


     “Chris.. I'm gonna-!”


When the pulse began at base of my shaft, even Chris could not contain it with her breasts. A surge of white cum shot out like a geyser into Chris's mouth. Her eyes shot wide in surprise, but she suppressed the urge to cough and refused to pull back. Her lips sucked greedily until the last and final of many contractions in my hips ceased. I didn't even notice that my hips had risen off the roof on their own, until I came crashing back down. The wyvern pulled her head back, and her full red lips separated from my penis. My penis had likewise turned an even deeper shade of red. But I was also crowned with a glaze of white as a thin trail of my spunk escaped from her lips. Most of it, however, was still in her mouth. Then she titled her head back and, with one gulp, let it slide slowly down her throat.


I looked at her, speechless. There was still a thin trail of white making its way down between her cleavage while she slowly opened her eyes and looked at me in a complete utter daze of ecstasy. When she looked down and saw I was still rock hard, her cocky smile came back despite her hazy erotic eyes that contradicted each other. Yes. You could say I've spent the last two weeks or so backing up, but I think I could take five-


-There would be no break. Chris lifted herself up, turned around and sat down on my hips. She closed her legs tight, keeping them between my own legs. Her thighs caught my shivering red and blood engorged member between them. A slow gasp was sucked through my parched throat. The soft, firm, slippery and tight muscles squeezed down on me like a vice. I wasn't wrong to have exaggerated on those legs after all.


Chris shook and rocked her hips back and forth, pushing down on my dick, then letting it spring back over and over again while she tightly squeezed in on its sides. I was still raw, so I could hardly take it as my whole body twitched. Chris's legs kept mine apart as they lay steadfast between my own, and I couldn't hope to get the girl who was a head taller than I am off of me. But I was being driven out of my mind, so I was capable of equally crazy actions.


Every muscle in my abdomen went into overdrive, and I launched my back off the roof and pressed myself against Chris's surprisingly small and girly back. I wrapped my hands around her thin waist and then began to caress from hips to breasts. It was sudden and took her completely off guard. She couldn't hold back the moans. Her own body was burning hot with desire like I was, but she had yet to relieve herself of any tension building up inside her. One of my hands grabbed hold of her bottom undergarment and savagely tore it free from her loins. Previously shed scale armor and talon ornaments included. I plunged my fingers into her now unguarded crevice between her thighs and found a hot twitching fold. With my index and middle finger I pulled them aside playfully as my thumb found a little nob above them. Chris's back arced, and her head was thrown back while I savagely pushed, prodded and tweaked it relentlessly.


Her pussy was so wet and so hot. When I stopped teasing the outside I easily plunged my index and middle finger together into the depths of what lay beyond. Chris's moaning voice got hot and heavy. She couldn't even muster a single taunt anymore. My face crawled over her back, kissing the soft white skin until I once again found her other untouched armpit. This time she raised her wing high into the air herself as I greedily sought to extinguish the fire on my tongue with her sweet sweat. I traced my tongue over the soft muscly flesh and kissed it over and over again. My other hand scooped one of her breasts, and I tumbled it up and down. The three points of attack were too much for the girl. Her breathing got heavier and heavier. Her tail—which was now draped over my shoulder—began to wag back and forth and sometimes slap me hard on the back, but that didn't stop me. I kept licking, fondling and plunging until at last the girl's whole body shook. She covered her mouth with one wing and let out one long muffled yet high pitched moan.


Chris's body rose up into the air, setting me free from her pin, but she just as suddenly came back down. She struggled for breath, but I wasn't done yet. With my hand near her womanhood, I reached down for my member and guided it by feeling around with the tip. Eventually, I found my way back to her entrance. I slipped it down over her engorged clitoris and tickled the head over her labia until I found my goal. I pulled my hips back and upwards until I couldn't do so anymore. From tip to the base of my shaft I felt a burning hot sensation envelop me. I wasn't prepared for it, and neither was Chris; who let out another moan she couldn't cover in time with her wing.


I didn't need to say a word, and neither did she. We committed ourselves to our roles, and while I reached up for both of her breasts and fondled them, Chris rocked her hips back and forth in rhythm with me. We started slow, but we couldn't keep that up for long. We got greedier and greedier together. Chris's wings reached back over her shoulders, and her talons wrapped around my head. Her back arched and gave me more freedom for my piston movements back and forth. All so I could take myself all the way to the base of my dick with every stroke. Both of us were still raw, but we ignored that and went faster and faster until the sound of our skin slapping against one another joined out moans. The creak of the shingles was quickly drowned out, and the still mountain air on that villa's roof was filled by the sound nothing but of us having sex.


My member had yet to recover, so I worked in vain for some time. But Chris was rapidly approaching another climax so shortly after the last. We grinded against one another; she rode reverse cowgirl on top of me before I sat up to hug her from behind. When at last I felt the stirring in my loins return, I reached down with one hand and found her burning clit. With the palm of my hand, I pressed down on it and rubbed it slowly at first, but then savagely as we started to get carried away again. Chris's body couldn't contain itself; I could feel her rapidly approaching another climax because of the folds tugging, pulling and squeezing me from inside her.


I thought I had spent my load before, but I could feel something heavy building up in my balls. When my scrotum began to tuck back up in preparation for the next eruption of Old Faithful, I felt something even bigger than before. I lost all control and reason, and I wanted it to happen right away. I couldn't take the build up and tension anymore, so I started really go at it. Chris was also getting impatient. Her hips rose into the air and dropped back down in harmony with my savage thrusts upward. Her sweet sing-song moans matched my ugly barbaric grunts. I wrapped one arm around her waist while I continued to rub her womanhood with the other. I felt I had to hold her down lest she fly away. She squeezed down on my skull with her backward stretched wings; her tail patted and smacked me hard on the back, all while she squeezed me even tighter down below.


At last I could feel the surge starting from my hips. There wasn't anything I could do to stop it now. Even the near strangling pressure of Chris's insides working up and down on my shaft couldn't stop it. I stopped my wild thrashing and put three last deliberate thrusts into it. On the final thrust, I let loose a cascade of cum into Chris's drenched pink pussy. It felt like I was peeing instead. A fire hose that sent giant globules of semen pulsating up my penis and splatting the inner walls of Chris and staining her all white. I had to struggle for breath as it went on and on without end. I had to rock my hips back and forth a few more times in desperation to get it all out. I wasn't sure my mind could handle the constant explosions of pleasure ringing around inside my head and burning in my hips for much longer. When the last few spurts were still getting the last of it out, even Chris' vagina couldn't even take any more. A white hot liquid seeped out from the impossibly thin spaces between her folds that clung to me so tight. It all bled onto thighs and began to pool on the roof beneath us. She still clung tightly on me and contracted again and again to milk me of every drop I had, not stopping even after a minute when I was clearly long since empty.


Spent at last, I collapsed on the roof. Chris fell backwards on top of me, and we lay there on the roof with the stars above us, twinkling indifferently and nonjudgmental above us. The wyvern rolled off my chest and nestled up beside me which allowed me to breath freely, and I coveted the mountain air to get the wind back in me.


A warm afterglow came over me while my eyes wandered lazily toward the constellation Chris had spoken at length on before. The Princess and the Pauper had traveled further across the sky since I last laid eyes on it, but the string that bound them held strong. Then a rogue thought came into my head. It pushed aside the haze that had taken over it until now.


Dove and hawk, take wing and form the shore/From stars an eternal bond has grown.


The last two lines of Chris' lullaby... But I don't remember hearing anything about that first line in her story.


     I turned my head toward the wyvern clinging to my side, “Chris?”


Her head buried into my chest as she continued to cling and cuddle.


     “-Yes, Master?” She finally replied.


     “Who are the dove and hawk supposed to be?”


Chris didn't answer. She remained still with her face buried into the side of my chest so I couldn't even tell what- Plumes of steam billowed out from her ears once again.


     “Yeah...” I say to myself... “Stupid question...”


I turned my head back toward the stars which would soon give way to the dawn and clear blue skies.

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