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  • They could see that Torr was restless. He spent as much time in the sky as he did on the ground. And when he was on the ground his eyes were constantly scanning the skies. Finally he told them it was his mating season and since he no longer had a mate, he felt the drive to return to his birth place and find one.

    He explained that the group of dragons that attacked them was a small band that he had reluctantly joined because his intended mate was with them. They had been ostracized by the elders and banished from ever returning. He didn’t know what kind of reception he would face when he returned, but felt the need to make amends and take on a new mate.

    Torr asked them to take care of Kia until he returned and when he offered to go with him, was reluctantly turned down. Torr would like the support of his friend, but felt it could put them both in extreme danger, and his mission of reconciliation out of reach. No, he would have to go alone and hope he could return with a new mate.

    Angel held Shia and he held Kia in his arms as Torr said his goodbyes. He and Kia had a moment of rubbing noses and when Torr turned to go Shia sent him warm loving thoughts and he turned and smiled at her. He and Torr shared private thoughts and with a nod Torr leapt into the air and was gone. Shia reached for Kia and held her the way she had seen her dad hold Torr. The four of them watched the sky as Torr disappeared in the night.

    They moved Kia’s bed into their rooms and put it so she and Shia could reach each other as they slept. It was strange to watch his daughter sleeping with her hand touching Kia’s head. Angel thought to him, “Once Kia matures, we will never have to worry about Shia’s safety again. As soon as she is able, I better start training her as a warrior. If she is anything like you, she will be riding on Kia’s back into every adventure that comes along. So she better be able to fight at Kia’s side.”

    “I can still see through Torr’s eyes as he flies toward the rising suns. I am sending him as much warmth and support as I can. The images are fading as he gets further away. Can you see them still?” he thought to her.

    “No, my relationship with Torr isn’t as close as yours. I lost contact when he cleared the canyon country. Where is he now?” she asked in his head.

    He told her the last clear image he had was of a great body of water Torr was crossing. He worried about his friend and felt he was lost without him. Angel sensed his disquiet and with a light kiss left him alone with his thoughts. He climbed to the mesa top and sat watching the skies and sending thoughts to Torr. He didn’t know if they were being received, but needed to feel useful in some way.

    It was because he was up there that he was the first to see the storm racing towards them. Lightning was flashing and lighting up the horizon as he notified the sentries and they began securing the entrances to the caves. He made sure all the shuttles were safely tied down at higher elevations and they moved anyone who was in a lower cave up to the higher ones until this storm passed. It would be their first test of a storm since the first day’s fiasco.

    As the lightning lit up the sky, they could see the water shoot up the walls of the canyon to a level even higher than before. It was loud and frightening and both Kia and Shia clung to them in fear. He did his best to quiet their fears by singing softly in their ears. Angel listened to his songs of his own land and the musical tones from another world. As the storm exploded around them he held them close with funny ballads like “Rocky Raccoon” and melancholy ones like “Rocky Mountain High”. It is funny what the mind stores to calm babies during the worst of times. He gradually stopped singing when he realized the storm had abated and the little ones were sleeping.

    They put them in their beds and he started to go out to check any damage when he heard “Your music is so soulful and strangely comforting. It brought home to me how different your homeland is from here and made me sad that you will never see it again. Forgive me if I sometimes forget your loneliness.” He saw the tears in her eyes and returned to her arms “Nonsense. I was always an adventurer and as long as I hold memories of my youth, I am happy to be on this adventure with you. What you heard tonight was the only way I knew to comfort both you and the children. And if truth be known, singing eases my worries too.”

    It was longer than he intended before he actually got to check the damage from the storm. When Angel was fast asleep, he dressed and slipped out to check on his people’s safety. All the preparations they had taken proved to be enough. The water from the storm surge had gone back down to normal and it never reached any of the living spaces in the caves. The door to the mesa top kept the waters from entering from above and all were dry.

    When he reached the top of the mesa, it was a different story. Luckily the sentries had gone below during the storm or they would have been swept away. The three batteries of heavy artillery were still there, but they stood alone. All the buttresses had been blown down and it looked as if they had never existed. They would have to rebuild them from scratch. Maybe like the three little pigs, they had better find some big stones to keep the wolf from huffing and puffing them down. He laughed as he thought how strange Angel would have thought that statement. She was right. They did come from such different worlds and by some strangeness, the fairy tales in his world were reality in hers.

    Once more he scanned the pre dawn sky for a glimpse of his friend. He knew it was too soon, but he couldn’t help but watch for his return. The sentry pointed out lights back to the west. It looked like some kind of caravan was moving across the desert in their general direction. It looked to be moving very slowly and at that speed was at least a day away from the canyon country. They would need to move the shuttles into one of the bigger caves and use the camouflage netting over the entrances and cover the batteries. Until they knew who or what was moving their way, they had better prepare for the worst.

    Damn, he sure would have liked to have Torr at his side if there was any trouble. It would be nice to take a night ride on his back to investigate the interlopers…
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