This may be the last full chapter I have of this story. Sorry :x
Aren: Ah(like when you go to the doctor)-ren
Excited? Adelian asked me as we flew towards home. We were almost there, and I was jumping slightly in the saddle.
Yes! I exclaimed. I haven't seen Leona in two months. I miss him.
I know, my little Elia, Adelian chuckled. The elders had only let me leave earlier today, insisting I should be there when the new kids arrived. I didn't really do anything when they got there, just greeted them. It reminded me of when I had first gotten there. The humans all looked at Essah, Rian, Jamie, Wes, Jeremiah, and I with awe. I knew if Leona had been there he would have laughed and asked them if they talked, just as Essah had when he had arrived.
I wonder if Aileen is going to have the baby soon, I breathed.
We shall see when we get there, Adelian told me. I giggled with excitement. We were almost home.
I wonder if Leon's gonna have a baby brother or baby sister, I added.
Again, we will have to wait and see, he said. I just smiled and leaned down to hug his neck as best I could. He hummed deep in his chest, happy.
Then, we heard the familiar roar of Aynor. I screeched happily and threw my hands above my hair as I looked up to see Aynor's vast, green belly above us. Adelian let out a bugle of joy, and Aynor roared again, coming down to fly next to Adelian.
Aynor! I exclaimed happily as I leaned over carefully to touch his side.
Hello, my little one! Aynor replied happily. It is good to see you again! You have grown some.
Well, I didn't know that, I laughed back. I never noticed when I grew, especially now that I was older and it was more subtle.
Now you do, Aynor laughed before going into a shallow dive to land out front of the house. Adelian followed and I giggled happily. As soon as Adelian hit the ground, I undid the straps around my legs and slid off of his back.
"Eliana!" Ceris exclaimed from up on the porch.
"Ceris!" I screeched back as he ran down the stairs and toppled into me. I giggled as he pulled me into his arms, lifting me off my feet momentarily. I hadn't seen him since he had come to the training area with Aynor to see Jessica. "I missed you!"
"I missed you too, little sister!" he chuckled as he released me. I just giggled again as I looked up at him.
"I am going to have to talk to you about something serious later," I added.
"Why not now?" he asked in response.
"Because I need to talk to Leon about it first," I laughed. He looked at me and then smiled.
"Let me guess, this has something to do with the agreement you guys bonded me to when you were thirteen," he said. I smiled.
"You're smart," I added.
"Why has this come up?" he asked me. I snorted with laughter.
"The day Leon left to come back here Essah, Sean, Jessica, and I were talking about how Leona reacts to injuries and Essah brought up the night he almost broke my arm," I told him. Ceris snorted with laughter.
"Well, you shouldn't have brought it up that night! If you hadn't, and you guys just let it fade away, there would be no agreement and he would not have pushed you off the log," he added.
"Oh, shut up," I replied, shoving him lightly. He just chuckled and ruffled my hair.
"Well, get moving. I know you're anxious to see him," he said. I just smiled and nodded. "I'll see you later. You two be good. I'm not stupid, I was talking to him. I inferred what happened the night before he got hurt."
"Ha, ha. You're one to talk, Ceris. I talk to Jessica too," I replied. He just stuck his tongue out at me and I did the same in response. I giggled and then walked back over to Adelian. "I'll see you later. Don't let Arlen know I'm home yet. He will hunt me down if you do."
"You got it, Elia," Ceris chuckled before heading back up to the house while I headed towards the well worn path that lead towards the center of the town and others' houses. I turned, heading onto the path that would lead me to Leona's house. I took a deep breath, taking in the familiar smells of home. Adelian growled a laugh, walking close behind me. I looked back at him and smiled.
Then, we heard a familiar roar and Slyder threw himself at Adelian, rolling and pushing him to the ground. Adelian growled playfully as they began to bite at each other playfully. I burst out laughing as I watched them. They hadn't played like that since they were about six months old, and they were bigger now. It looked more ridiculous. Then, I turned and saw Leona standing at the bottom of the steps that led up to his house.
"Leon!" I screeched.
"Eli!" he yelled back before running towards me and pulling me into his arms. I giggled as I wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs lightly around his waist.
"I've missed you," I giggled.
"I missed you too," he replied before kissing me. I smiled widely beneath his lips and he smiled back. His arms tightened around my waist slightly and I giggled.
"How have you been?" I asked after we broke apart. He shrugged.
"Tired," he added as I let my legs drop from his waist. "Lots of stuff has been going on since I got home."
"Like what?" I asked. He just smiled and grabbed my hand before pulling me up towards the house.
"I'm just going to put out there that if Laren and Aileen knew I was outside right now, I would be in so much trouble," he chuckled as we walked through the door.
"Eona!" a little boy screeched from the floor. Leona chuckled and I gasped.
"You should have told me Aileen had the baby!" I exclaimed. Leona just smiled and rolled his eyes as he leaned down to pick up his little brother from the floor.
"Eli, this is Aren. Aren, this is Eliana," Leona said. "Can you say hi, Aren?"
"Ewwo, Ewiana!" Aren exclaimed, waving at me excitedly. I giggled.
"Hello, Aren," I replied, reaching out to tickle his neck. He giggled, curling against Leona's chest.
"Hey, Aren. What did I tell you about that?" Leona asked, looking down at Aren seriously. Aren just stuck his tongue out at Leona and then reached for me. I made a slight face as I pulled Aren into my arms. Leona chuckled. "Oh, calm down. It's not that bad."
"I don't care, Leon," I replied as Aren began to play with my hair, giggling gleefully. I looked down at him and smiled. He looked almost exactly like Leona, though his brown eyes were mixed slightly with green. "He looks like you, so does he cause the trouble you did?"
"Oh, not nearly as much," Leona replied, chuckling slightly.
"When did Aileen have him?" I asked, shifting Aren in my arms. Leona took a deep breath.
"A week after I got home. I kind-of jogged it," he admitted. My eyebrows pulled together.
"How?" I asked in response. He took another deep breath.
"I got sick because the cut got infected," he told me. My eyes widened as I looked over at him. "See. I knew I shouldn't have told you. It wasn't that big of a deal."
"Shut up, Leon. Yeah, it is!" I exclaimed. He rolled his eyes.
"C'mon. Let's go outside," he told me. Then, he looked down at Aren. "You wanna go outside, Aren? Wanna see the dragons?"
"Dagon!" Aren exclaimed excitedly, jumping in my arms slightly. I giggled and then followed Leona out of the house. As we walked down the stairs, Aren stared in wonder and then pointed at Adelian. "Mew dagon."
"That's Eliana's dragon, Aren. His name is Adelian," Leona told him.
"Dewian," Aren repeated.
"Yeah, good job, little buddy," Leona chuckled as Aren began to struggle in my arms, trying to get down. I giggled and then placed him on his feet. He immediately walked over to Adelian.
"Dewian," he said again, pointing up at Adelian, who looked down at him and then huffed a warm breath over him. Aren burst into a fit of giggles and then ran back over to Leona and grabbed onto his leg. "Breaf go foo."
"Yeah, uh huh, Aren," Leona chuckled as he looked down at his little brother, who was giggling as he looked over at Slyder and Adelian.
"Swyduh!" Aren suddenly exclaimed before running over to Slyder and jumping onto his snout. Slyder smiled in his way and lifted his head up, raising Aren into the air as Aren giggled with pure delight. I smiled as I watched him.
"I would say Slyder is attached," I added.
"Just a little," Leona chuckled as he watched Slyder and his little brother carefully. "Slyder has been the object of Aren's fascination ever since Aren was a week old."
"Have Laren and Aileen let you take him up flying yet?" I asked. Leona shook his head.
"I'm not allowed to fly," he admitted in a low voice. My eyebrows rose. Then, he looked over at me. "Let me rephrase that…I'm not allowed to fly alone. I went flying with Ceris a few weeks ago on Slyder, but that has been the only time since we flew home."
"Why?" I asked him. He made a face, pursing his lips.
"Because it would too much of a strain or something, and they don't want the cut to come open. They told me the only way I could fly by myself is if I wore the brace and used that weird saddle, which I wouldn't do, even if they hadn't taken them back. That stuff was annoying," he told me. I took a deep breath and looked over at me.
"We'll go flying later, I promise," I told him. He looked back over at me and smiled. I smiled back before he pulled me to his side, wrapping his arms around my shoulders and kissing my forehead. "So, how has life been here the past two months?"
"Other than the new addition, pretty much the same. Mynor and Arianna saw me a few days after I got home and were trying to make me mad, but it didn't work. Slyder scared them half to death though. It was funny," he replied. I rolled my eyes.
"You think they would know better by now," I added. Leona shrugged. "Okay, serious moment time."
"What?" Leona asked, looking down at me with a confused expression on his face.
"Remember the agreement we made at the Spring Festival when we were thirteen?" I asked him. He snorted with laughter, despite the fact the tips of his ears turned pink.
"Yes," he added.
"Essah is going to be hounding us at the festival this year, trying to find out what happened," I told him.
"No. We are not telling them," he said quickly. "No one gets to know other than us…and Ceris, because he just walked in."
"Not like it is that big of a deal anymore," I said as I looked up at him. He shook his head.
"Do you really want Essah bugging us and asking why we didn't get together four years before we actually did?" he asked me in response.
"There is a simple answer to that question though," I replied.
"Mynor," Leona hissed. I just nodded in agreement, lips pursed. "But still, I don't know…"
"C'mon. It's easier to just tell them rather than them following us around asking about it," I said. He looked down at me seriously. "It really isn't that big of a deal anymore, Leon."
"I know, Eli. I just don't know…" he breathed as he looked over at Slyder and Aren as Aren played with Slyder's ears carefully.
"Whatever, we still have a whole month before they get here," I added. Leona just nodded in agreement. "And then we are not completely obligated to go to training anymore."
"That will be so nice," Leona chuckled. "I can't wait to go back though. I miss everyone."
"Not like you won't see them next month," I laughed. He just smiled to the side of his mouth.
"It's a different atmosphere when we are there," he added. I giggled.
"I know," I added. "C'mon. I should go home and see if Arlen and Kausta are there."
"Alright," Leona said. Then, he looked over at Slyder. "C'mon, Slyder. We're gonna go to Eliana's."
Slyder and Adelian picked themselves up from the ground and stretched. Aren giggled as Slyder did, hanging on tightly to Slyder's neck. Leona smiled and rolled his eyes.
"Hey, Aren. Wanna go see Ceris?" Leona asked. Aren's jaw dropped as he gasped.
"Ewith!" he exclaimed happily, throwing one hand into the air. I burst out laughing.
"I take it he likes Ceris," I added. Leona just nodded and smiled.
"Ceris is like his best friend," Leona added. "It is so funny, because Ceris will sit on the floor with him and they will just goof off for hours."
"Sounds like Ceris," I laughed. "I wonder what Jessica will think of that."
"Hey, she chose to get together with him," Leona snorted.
"I know," I agreed as Leona twined his fingers through mine.
Eliana, don't forget to take the bags off of my saddle when we get back, Adelian told me suddenly. I looked back at him seriously.
I know, I replied, sticking my tongue out at him as we walked. Adelian growled a laugh, which caused Aren to giggle uncontrollably. I snorted with laughter.
"He is easily entertained," I observed. Leona burst out laughing.
"You have no idea, Eli," he added in response. I just smiled and leaned against his side lightly. Then, as we approached my house, Adelian sped up and stopped at the bottom of the stairs and looked over at me impatiently. I giggled and ran up to him to untie my bags from his saddle, and then pull the saddle off of his back. He stretched and then shook slightly once I was done. I giggled and kissed his snout.
I love you, Adelian, I told him.
And I love you, Eliana, he replied, humming deep in his through before going and lying down with Slyder.
"Eona!" Aren exclaimed, sliding off of Slyder's back carefully and then running up to his older brother. Leona chuckled and caught Aren as Aren jumped into his arms.
"C'mon, buddy. Let's go see Ceris," he added before we started up the stairs. "The only thing he can't climb up himself yet: stairs."
"Aw, he's only about two months old," I giggled. Leona just smiled and rolled his eye as Aren giggled in his arms, singing Ceris's name happily.
"Ewith!" Aren screeched happily as he saw him.
"Aren! My little buddy!" Ceris exclaimed, pulling Aren into his arms and then holding him above his head. Aren giggled uncontrollably as he tried to grab at Ceris's face. I giggled as I watched them. Then, Kausta walked into the room.
"Oh! Eliana!" she exclaimed before pulling me into a hug.
"Hey, Kausta," I laughed as I hugged her back.
"How come you are here so early?" she asked as she held me at arm's length. I giggled.
"Why do you think?" I asked in response. She smiled and then looked over at Leona, who was laughing at Ceris as he made faces at Aren, who was giggling loudly. I just nodded. "Lysander convinced the others that I could come and that they don't need my help with the new kids."
"Oh man. Are they completely stuck up?" Leona asked me. I looked over at him, rolled my eyes, and nodded. "I told you they would be! It's going to be awful."
"How many are there?" Kausta asked me.
"Twenty," I breathed. Kausta's eyes widened and I just nodded. "I got to deliver two to some human town. They all looked at me like I was a freak or something."
"Same here. I just gave them the two eggs, made a face at them and made a noise, and then jumped onto Slyder and flew away," Leona snorted. I smiled and rolled my eyes.
"You would," I added. He just smiled, and then spread his arms out to balance himself as Aren tackled his leg, wrapping his little arms around Leona's leg and sitting down on Leona's foot. Leona looked down at Aren, who smiled innocently up at his older brother. Leona snorted with laughter and then pulled Aren off of his leg. Aren giggled and climbed onto his shoulders and sat down. Leona attempted to look up at Aren, holding onto his legs. Then, Aren giggled and began to pull lightly on the tips of Leona's ears.
Leona pursed his lips, holding back laughter. I giggled as I watched. I could tell Aren had figured out that pulling on Leona's ears tickled Leona, and he used it against Leona all the time. Aren giggled and continued to pull on Leona's ears as Leona tried not to laugh. Ceris watched them as he laughed behind his hands and Kausta smiled and rolled her eyes before walking out of the room, wiping her hands on a rag to dry them off. Leona was now bent over double as he tried not to laugh, while Aren lay on his head, still pulling lightly on his ears.
Then, Leona's arms wrapped around his stomach and his breath caught. My heart started to pound as soon as he did.
"Okay, someone get him off, please," Leona choked out. Ceris immediately walked over and grabbed Aren off of Leona's head. Aren's eyebrows pulled together as he looked over at his older brother.
"Eona?" Aren asked from Ceris's arms as I walked over to Leona to help him stand back up. He took a deep breath as soon as he was upright and then moved his arms away from his stomach.
"What happened?" Ceris asked. Leona didn't answer; he just turned away from us and lifted his shirt up some. I tried to walk around to his front, but he moved again, obviously not wanting me to see.
When I finally got around to his front, he was facing Ceris and Aren too. Ceris's eyes widened while my eyes began to fill with tears. Aren's eyebrows pulled together as he saw his older brother's chest.
"Eona. Wah appen?" Aren asked, pointing towards Leona, whose face was now red.
"Uh…a dragon scratched me, buddy," Leona replied.
"Dagon…ike Swyduh?" Aren asked, confused.
"Yeah, like Slyder, but not nice. This dragon isn't nice," Leona said, attempting to let his shirt fall back down, but I caught it and shoved it back up, still in shock.
"Leona…" I cried. He sighed and pressed his forehead to mine.
"It's fine, Eliana," he breathed.
"No it's not," I whined. "This is not fine, Leona."
I didn't think a cut could ever look this bad, but here it was, right in front of my eyes. There was a scab, but it was so dark it almost looked black. That was probably from it getting infected. The scab was broken in small places with a bit of blood coming out. It surprised me that this wasn't healed yet, two months after it happened. I guessed that the cut was just that serious.
"I can't believe you, Leon. You never change," I breathed. He looked down at me, confused. I sighed. "Everything that is serious, you downplay. You always have."
"Maybe you just explode it," he told me.
"And maybe you both do that all the time, when the situation isn't right," Ceris said from behind us. "It's just that Leona likes to put on a brave face while Eliana likes to talk things out until they might as well be dead. This, for example. Leona, you are definitely downplaying this and putting a brave face on. Thing is, you really don't need to. Everyone is here for you. Have been since you came home."
Leona just looked away from both of us as I let his shirt fall back into its original position. I sighed and wrapped my arms lightly around his chest, kissing his neck lightly. I felt his arms wrap around my shoulders and I buried my face in his shoulder. He took a deep breath and then kissed the top of my head as we fell into silence for almost ten minutes.
"Aren!" I exclaimed as he ran up to me and jumped into my arms.
"Ewiana!" he screeched back, throwing his arms around my neck. I giggled while Leona rolled his eyes and smiled as he walked up to us.
"You're his new favorite," Leona added. I giggled as Aren began to play with my hair.
"That's okay. He will probably go back to Ceris after we leave," I added. Then, Aren looked up at me, confused.
"Oo weaving?" he asked me. I looked down at him.
"Not for a while, buddy. But Leona and I are going to have to leave to go back to training," I told him.
"Wuh dat?" Aren asked us as we sat down in a field and I placed Aren in my crossed legs.
"It's where we go to learn how to become better at doing what we need to with our dragons, buddy," Leona told him. Aren looked over at his older brother with his eyebrows pulled together.
"Why oo hur efore Ewiana?" Aren asked suddenly, as if putting the pieces together.
"Because I got hurt and had to come home to heal," Leona replied. Aren crawled out of my lap and then pushed Leona's shirt up to look at the cut across Leona's chest. Then, he pointed.
"Why oo ome hur efore?" he asked. Leona just nodded in response. "Wha appen? Why dagon ut oo, Eona?"
Leona sighed and leaned back on his palms as I played lightly with Aren's blonde hair.
"Well, you see, Aren. Not everyone likes each other. There are other people out there that aren't like us," Leona started. Aren just looked up at Leona, a confused expression on his face. Leona smiled slightly. "There are other people called humans."
"Wha dey?" Aren asked.
"They're a different kind-of person, Aren. You'll see next month. I can bet you will be able to pick them out of the crowd. Just listen for a screech and then someone hugging Ceris, alright?" I asked him. Aren looked up at me and nodded once before looking back over at Leona, waiting for Leona to continue.
"Well, one of the humans who is around my and Eliana's age doesn't like us very much. He holds a grudge against us, because he blames us for him getting kicked out of training two months after it started. Then, two months ago he showed up while Eliana and I were cleaning up a field and started fighting with us. After a bit, the guy hit me off of Slyder and then his dragon clawed me," Leona said, keeping it simple and less serious than it actually had been. There was no reason for us to scare his two month old baby brother.
"Ow won goo ave Swyduh?" Aren asked suddenly after inspecting Leona's face for a few minutes.
"A bit over a year now, buddy," Leona replied.
"He ome fum egg wike uder dagons?" Aren asked. Leona nodded.
"Eliana and I both got Adelian and Slyder on the same day. We got them as eggs, but then they hatched for us. They chose us. The elf or human doesn't choose the dragon, the dragon chooses the person it wants to bond with," Leona added. Aren's eyebrows just knit together and I giggled slightly as I played with his hair.
"You'll understand more when you are older, buddy," I added.
"Dewian and Swyduh wittle wike uder dagons en dey ome out egg?" Aren asked me. I smiled.
"Adelian was so small, I could hold him in one hand," I replied, holding out one hand. Aren's jaw dropped as he looked from my hand and then over to Adelian and back. Leona and I both snorted with laughter.
"Dewian ig mow," Aren added, spreading out his arms.
"Yeah, Adelian is big now. But he is not fully grown yet," I told him. Aren's jaw dropped.
"Ee et igger?" he asked. I nodded.
"Want to see a fully grown dragon, buddy?" I asked. "I know one who will come if I ask him to."
"Eth!" Aren exclaimed excitedly. I giggled and then reached out with my mind to find Aynor.
Yes, little one? Aynor asked.
I have an impatient baby here wanting to see a fully grown dragon, I giggled in response, laughing aloud also as Leona started making faces at Aren, who giggled with delight.
I would take it you and Leona were talking to Aren about dragons, Aynor said.
Yes. He found it surprising when I told him Adelian isn't fully grown yet, because I told him that when Adelian hatched I could fit him in one hand, I laughed. Aynor chuckled mentally as he took off into the air.
That seems like so long ago, yet it was only a year ago, he added.
I know. It has been quite the year, I replied.
Yes, my little Elia, it has, Aynor agreed as he flew over the trees and then landed next to Adelian, who began to hum happily. Aren looked over at him with a shocked expression, his jaw dropped.
"Ig dagon," he breathed. Leona and I laughed.
"That's Arlen's dragon, Aren," I told him. Aren just looked back at me, jaw still dropped, and then got up to walk over to Aynor. Leona and I both watched him, smiling slightly. Aynor looked down at Aren with one green eye as Aren looked up at him in awe.
"Ig dagon," he repeated.
"Yeah, big dragon," Leona laughed as we got up and followed him. Then, Aren looked back at me.
"Ow owd?" he asked me, pointing at Aynor. I took a deep breath, thinking.
"About thirty-two," I told Aren.
"Owd," he added before looking back up at Aynor, who huffed an angry breath. I giggled.
Don't worry, you're not old to me, I added.
Well, thank you, Aynor replied. I just smiled and leaned forward to kiss his snout. Leona looked over at me and smiled, rolling his eyes. I made a face at him and he chuckled.
"I love you," he whispered as he pulled me into his arms. I smiled and looked up at him.
"I love you too," I whispered back before he leaned down to kiss me lightly. Then, we both turned and smiled as Aren began to climb up onto Aynor, giggling happily. I giggled also, leaning lightly against Leona's chest as we watched his little brother enjoy himself.