Alright. My other story is getting no reviews, *sniffs* so let's see if just a short teaser of what I like to write won't draw somebody in. Please, please, please review. I promise to answer any and all who do on the next update of my large story. Cross my heart, hope to die. I'll even stick a needle in my eye if I don't. But if no-one does, then I shall die of broken-hearted and dispirited forlorn-ness. Please!!!

The sky overhead was dark with the coming of night and the angry, ominous cloud cover. Winds, strong enough to make the strongest oak shudder, hurled in their paths along the uneven land below. Between the clouds sheet lightning danced; thunder clashed in its wake. All creatures had taken refuge from this looming storm. They did not wish to confront the raging fury that, very soon now, would be unleashed.

From the mouth of a large cave, a pair of silver eyes gazed at the flashing bolts that split the heavens, wide with not yet dissipated adrenaline. Mere minutes before, she and her friend had sought shelter here from the furious winds, and for a time they had thought that they would not make it before the full force of the storm broke loose. Now he moved about in the rear of the cave, starting a fire as she sat and watched the heavens.

Another bolt of lightning cracked. Counting down the seconds, she turned back to her friend and commented quietly, in a clear, youthful voice.

"That one wasn't even half a mile away."

//Then I guess we made it just in time, didn't we.//

The 'voice' of the second speaker was deep and powerful, but clear. Regarding the girl calmly, his jaws slightly parted as he exhaled, the dragon somehow managed to radiate faint amusement at the human youth and the world in general. Having successfully kindled a small blaze, he now rested against the wall of the cavern, his full thirty feet of length stretched out like a giant cat.

The girl looked at him, obviously wondering how on earth he could be so nonchalant after having barely escaped being caught in the storm. In her mind, it had been a close call, and not something to jest at. Had they been caught while in the air, there would have been some all too unpleasant consequences. She gave a brief shudder, both from the cold dampness of her clothes and the thought of what a lightning bolt and a fall from such a height would have done to them. Not even taking the fierce winds into account, it could very well have been fatal. Her thoughts were openly displayed on her face, and the dragon rumbled with laughter.

//Come, young one. Dry yourself out and eat something before you fall over from the chill.//

She glared. Of all the numerous appellations he had attached to her, that was one of her least favorite. Even if it was true. Especially since it was true; she, in all of her fourteen years, was but a tenth of his span in years. Of course, the fact that he'd also known her since she was an infant and assisted in raising her didn't help. Nor did the fact that he was her brother, even if not by blood, and thought it his duty to make certain that she took the world less seriously.

"That is not my name," she spat hot-tempered at him, "and it never shall be, Sanvlach." She was only rewarded with more mirth.

//Of course not, milady Tyxe,// answered the other. //Pray pardon my forgetfulness, sister.//

"You mock me," she grumbled.

//Indeed I do.// Sanvlach agreed with her readily. //Now come to the fire.//

She glared again, but nevertheless she stood and made her way to the small blaze, removing her coat and shoes as she went. Once there, one casual flick of the dragon's talon sent her pack soaring towards her. With a grunt she snagged it from midair and searched through the jumbled mess for some dry clothes. Finding some, she quickly changed as Sanvlach averted his head, spreading her wet things out near the fire.

A few minutes later, she was leaning back against her brother's side and munching on some dried venison. The flames dance hypnotically, twisting, bowing, leaping high one moment only to drop dramatically the next. Tyxe found herself growing sleepy and fought against the feeling; she did not want to go to sleep right now. Storms had secretly terrified her as a small child, and though she was now older, a particularly bad storm still had the power to keep her from sleep. She shook her head to banish the thoughts, carefully keeping any trace of them from her features. Unfortunately, she had forgotten Sanvlach's presence. He knew quite well that she disliked storms, and took compassion on her.

His unexpectedly gentle voice stirred her from her reverie.

//Go to sleep, little one.//

Unexpectedly petulant, she protested. "But I'm not tired."

The girl, leaning against the dragon's side, could feel the soft shakings of gentle amusement that met her words.

//Young one, you are about to fall over from exhaustion. We rode long and hard today, and you need to sleep.//

Her eyes, under his influence, were already beginning to drift shut. "But…"

He cut her off. //No buts. Rest, Tyxe. I will guard your dreams.// The words were strengthened by a subtle psychic command.

"Promise?" she asked sleepily.

//Promise.// Sanvlach's tone carried warmth and reassurance. //Now sleep, little sister. Sleep.//

Curling herself up, Tyxe laid her head against the dragon's front leg and promptly dropped into oblivion.

Sanvlach moved his tail up to sandwich her between it and his body, craning his long head and neck around to gaze at the human child he regarded as a younger sister. Tucked trustingly against him, she looked very fragile and child-like. Lowering his wing over her, he breathed on the fire and then looked out into the night. There was no sign of any living thing beyond the cave. Satisfied, he laid his head down facing her and slowly drifted into sleep.

Please, please, please, please review! *goes off to wait at inbox* Please!