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  • Two weeks into Shia’s recovery they noticed that Barr and Kia were more restless than usual. Rahl cornered Barr on it and Barr confessed that it was his first time, but he felt the need to find a mate. It had been pulling at him for some time, getting stronger and stronger. Kia actually blushed, but admitted she also was feeling the instinct to find a mate.

    After a dragon reaches a certain age, the instinct to mate overpowers all reason. Thereafter, most dragons mated for life and raised families. Just as Torr had returned to find his mate Aral, their children would have to find their own mates.

    Rahl reasoned that there were still four weeks of recovery for Shia leg, so he and Shia would stay there until they returned. Barr and Kia were not happy leaving their cousins behind but Rahl assured them he could protect Shia and Astrid alone. There were only two dragons that escaped the battle, and they were probably long gone to the north. If not, he could handle them alone.

    It would take Barr and Kia three or four days to reach their father’s kingdom without Rahl or Shia to teleport them. They assured Rahl that they would be okay, even without the cloaking ability. Rahl started to ask that, if it was possible and they were willing, to bring their mates with them. He was thinking of a female dragon for Astrid to ride on, but then thought better of it. He preferred to keep Astrid with him on Barr. Astrid doesn’t have the ability to cloak or teleport and that could prove dangerous to Barr’s mate. He finally decided to leave it to Barr and Kia’s discretion whether to bring their new mates along, and silently waved goodbye as they left in the early morning light.

    Rahl and Astrid spent every waking hour together, as well as the nights. They went slow at first, each one not wanting to disappoint the other. It didn’t take long for them to discover what all lovers discover: they were made for each other. All parts fit wonderfully and satisfying. They lay in bed afterwards gently touching, exploring. Later they would fall asleep in each other’s arms.

    Had Rahl not been so involved with Astrid, he might have noticed sooner that Shia was being entertained by the good doctor. He was there much more than was necessary for her treatments. As soon as she was on crutches, she was with him on his rounds. Shia had learned medical skills from her mother during her warrior training. She was helping the doctor treat the sick and recovering wounded.

    They were spending so much time together that it was almost inevitable that they would fall in love. The doctor had been shaken by her beauty when he first laid eyes on her. But, Shia didn’t think she was any great catch for a doctor. After all, she would probably walk with a limp when she was fully healed. She felt a little like damaged goods. It took him a long time to win her over and convince her that he loved her. And this is how Pytl joined our family.

    Pytl was Astrid’s older cousin and the only family she had left. Rahl was thinking how they could get this group to join with them in the dragon kingdom. That way they could keep them safe and under their protection. He called all the adults and children together and thought, “You are but a few since the dragons attacked. Shia and I would like to protect you from any danger, but it is hard this far from our kingdom. If you were willing, we would like to bring you to our dragon kingdom. It is a large area with a lot of room for settlements. You would be protected by our people. We have become a family that includes many different species. I promise that you will be welcome there. Astrid and I will be returning there, as will Shia and Pytl.”

    There was very little discussion before they made the decision to go with them. Then came the preparation stage. They began gathering all the necessary items they would need to rebuild a settlement in the dragon kingdom. This took almost a week and after looking at the resulting amount to be transported, Rahl and Shia decided he would have to teleport back and bring several shuttles and a group of the new warrior/dragon teams to help transport the people. It was true that the dragons could carry up to six warriors at a time, so four teams could carry the entire village. And the new teams had the same cloaking and teleporting powers that he and Shia did.

    Shia was almost completely healed and being a warrior was perfectly capable of taking care of herself and anyone else. Rahl promised to hurry and after a hug from Astrid, cloaked and teleported home.

    He arrived at midday and by nightfall was ready to lead the group in their massive teleportation. Three of the teams had to leave their partner at home while they teleported the other three shuttles. And four of the new warrior/dragon teams winked out in unison with the shuttles and the place looked empty with just the wind blowing.

    They arrived just outside the town and winked back into being. Rahl had worked miracles in getting them all safely back so quickly. Shia was surprised by the suddenness of their arrival, “My God! Imagine moving an army that quickly into a battle zone. The sheer shock of the arrival of that size of an army would turn the tide and start a rout.” Once again her brother had shown what could be done by a good general. The people came out to meet their new friends and they all settled in. It could wait for morning to load all the equipment. The children were excited about getting to ride on a dragon, and as usual showed no fear.
    Sleep was long in coming for them but finally it quieted down. The morning would bring a new adventure in a new land for them…
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