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  • Kia was the first to feel it and she sent out thoughts of laughter. He saw Shia pick up on it and then he felt it himself. They grabbed the kids and ran to the mesa top. No sign yet, but they definitely felt Torr’s thoughts getting stronger. Many of the warriors climbed up to the top to get a glimpse of Torr. He had many friends waiting to greet him. The new Falian recruits were unsure as to what was happening, but didn’t want to be left out, so they also drifted a couple at a time to the top of the mesa.

    There he was, on the horizon and growing in size by the minute. He was just starting to send welcome home thoughts back to him when he saw Torr was not alone. Just slightly behind him and at his four o’clock was a female dragon. And then four more dragons followed at a respectful distance in a diamond pattern.

    Torr was sending thoughts to him explaining his entourage. Torr was afraid that the soldiers would get nervous with so many arriving at once. Torr commanded that the escort stay aloft until he and his bride had landed and made sure of their welcome. Torr landed in the center with his bride next to him. Kia was beside herself trying to get to her daddy. He was holding her and hurried to Torr so they could be reunited. While Torr was occupied nuzzling Kia, he had time to present himself to Torr’s mate. She was a little unsure of how to react until he thought good thoughts to her and placed an open hand on her wing. He thought “welcome” to her as Angel filled her head with warm thoughts and moved to his side. She was holding Shia and Shia joined in and put her arms around Torr’s bride’s neck.

    Torr watched this while playing with Kia, and sent thoughts of thanks to his friends. Soon all the warriors were standing by Torr and sharing stories with him. Much laughter could be heard in their heads as each told of their adventures. The new recruits had never seen a dragon before and nervously went below. Then Torr commanded the floor as he explained the presence of the escorts. They were all amazed that he was a prince, although only in his own land. When he told of his meeting with his father, the liege, they all looked at Kia and smiled. The princess Kia was one of their favorites. Torr tried to smooth over the reasons the bodyguards were sent to protect her by his father. “He has never met Falians or Humans and doesn’t want his granddaughter to go unprotected among this rag-tag group” he thought with a twinkle in his eye. They all had a good laugh at that and he told Torr to bring in the bodyguards.

    They landed like fighters on a carrier; one at a time, and took up stations flanking Torr and Kia. He moved forward to greet them and they turned toward him as one, and stared at him as a possible threat. He stopped and put his face up close to the closest guard. “I am the boss here and if you don’t accept that you will be sent home with your tails between your legs. We welcome you as equals and you will never threaten any of us again. Do I make myself clear?” he pushed his face even closer to the guard. The guard looked unsure and then blinked. He reached out and placed his open hand on his wing in friendship and thought kind thoughts to him. He then turned and lifted Kia into his arms from Torr and snuggled her close to him, “This is your princess. She is loved by all here. If anyone tried to harm her, including one of you four, they would not live out the day.” He carried her to each of the guards and she sent laughter and giggles to each of them in turn.

    The first guard, whom he had intentionally bullied, thought “Forgive us sir, but we are under orders from our liege to always guard her with our lives and, once again I’m sorry, not allow anyone to stop us. The king doesn’t think too highly of any non-dragon being, and quite frankly neither did any of us until now. The story his son told of being bested in battle by you was hard to believe. We were sent to both guard the princess with our lives and to verify the living conditions of the princess.”

    He laughed at the guard and bade him follow. At Torr’s side he lifted his wing and placed a hand on the long scar across his belly. “We don’t know who’s blade it was…” he nodded to his warriors and the sound of all the swords being drawn at once was eerie “but it only took one slice to bring him down.” all the blades returned to their scabbards. One of his warriors brought forth her opened kit, “and he would have died if I hadn’t sewn him back together. He and your princess have been under my protection since her birth. They are our family, and no one threatens our family” the last thought was cold and menacing on purpose.

    The guard lowered his head, quickly followed by the other three. “As you wish, sir. We will do our best to fit in to your group for as long as we are here. We will accept your authority for now.” He once again placed his hand on each of their wings in friendship and turned back to Torr. The group of warriors each moved forward to meet the guards as he carried Kia back to Torr’s arms.

    Torr looked at him over Kia’s shoulder, “Man, you are one bad assed dude” he thought quietly with a grin and a rolling of his eyes. He looked back at him with the same grin and thought, “Never mind that. Do you think they bought it?”

    They turned and observed the beginning of the uneasy alliance and the grins left their faces. They both echoed the guard’s last remark, “For now”…
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