Chapter Five

.x.

The day had been slow and long and every time I'd seen Diro, I was that much closer to losing my control. What he'd done to Frayn was still a vivid image painted in my mind and I had front row seats to watch it on replay. But it was over now, and I was free for at least fifteen hours until I had to see him again.

Laying on the bed in a pair of night pants and one of Suri's comfortable shirts, my onecklace was again on the nightstand and I was waiting ever so patiently for my mate- the term was debatable, since I was absolutely positive Suri didn't know what it meant to be in a relationship with a dragon, but my inner dragon refused to call him anything other than that- to come back. He'd had to go out and do something for Bimera and had told me to wait, so wait I did.

Smiling though, I thought back onto what happened earlier that morning- everyone had been so shocked, aside from Gio, Wynd, Bosin, and Bimera, of course, to learn that Suri and I were indeed together now. It was… thrilling… knowing that's what it was- that Suri and I were a couple, an item, so humans called it. He loves me, and I wouldn't ever doubt that again- perhaps just as much as I loved him, and there was definitely no denying that.

It made my heart flutter, to know that I could finally call him mine and I wasn't going to deny now the little purr that built up in the back of my throat at the thought.

"You're purring." Suri smirked when I jerked up, eyes wide at being caught doing such a- natural, of course, but still- embarrassing thing. "You sure you're a dragon and not a cat?" The flush of embarrassment was soon morphed into anger as I glared at him, settling back onto the bed and turning away from him with a huff, the purr stuck in my throat still. "Aw, come now Kylon, don't be that way." I heard the door closed and huffed again, curling in on myself when I felt the bed dip on the other side. "I don't mean to upset you."

"Rol (Jerk)…" I muttered, barely biting back a smile when I heard him chuckle.

"And what lovely word would that be?" he questioned, resting a hand on shoulder and I couldn't help the smile then when I turned onto my back, looking at him with a bit of amusement.

"It means 'jerk'…" I told him and he smirked, his blue-violet eyes twinkling with laughter.

"Is that so? I don't think that quite fits, you know?" Frowning now, I watched as he tilted his head in mock-thought, his eyes never leaving mine. "How do you say… my love? My heart, even?" Blinking in surprise at that, I felt my cheeks heat up and I swallowed hard, but nodded as I answered him honestly, knowing the words by heart.

"Ve'n means 'my'… a-and love is 'nich'. Heart… Amia means 'heart'." I said and he smiled, shifting his weight so he was settled easily on the bed, his legs crossed and he looked happy, relaxed, and it helped me relax just a little, despite the conversation.

"Show me. I want to hear you say those words." he said and I nodded my head, stuttering out a tiny 'okay' before licking my lips, my mouth suddenly dry.

"V-Ve'n nich (M-my love)… ve'n a-amia (my h-heart)…"

"Such beautiful words… I love hearing them from you, they sound like honey and silk." he laughed- a loving sound- when I felt my cheeks flush with heat in embarrassment from the words, spoken as if they were words spoken in casual conversation. "Tell me, Kylon… if I were to ask you to teach me to speak your language… what would your answer be?"

My eyes widened and I swore I couldn't breath, speechless, "Y-you… you w-want to… want to l-learn Don...Dondasu…?" I could feel tears gather in my eyes when he nodded in answer and I finally took in a shaky breath. "C-Con… I-I… y-yes, con means… 'yes'." I stuttered out and he grinned, bright and easy, and laughed again before pulling me up and into a tight hug, pressing a kiss to my forehead.

"Ve'n… ve'n nich…" it filled me with warmth when he spoke the words, though they were slightly off with the pronunciation, but I loved that he wanted to try- to try to learn my language, the one my mother had taught me as a hatchling. "Kylon… tell me, how…" he paused and let out a shaky breath, catching my attention, before continuing, "how do I say… 'I love you'?"

Trembling with happiness, I clutched tightly at him and could barely keep the smile from my lips as I whispered the words to him, "Be ichi…" I said, the tears falling now as I listened to those words being whispered back to me.

"Be ichi…" he smiled when I nodded and continued, "Be ichi, Kylon… ve'n nich. Ve'n amia. Ve'n… ve'n…" he paused then with a laugh and buried his face against my shoulder, "my everything."

"C-can I kiss you…?" I asked him, shy about this, but so in love with him that I couldn't help but ask. But I wanted the proof that I could do this, that he meant what he was saying. I wanted the proof that he was mine and I was his in return- I needed it.

He groaned and pulled back, nodding his head sharply, "Gods, yes." he said before tilting his head down and stealing a kiss and this time chaste wasn't going to cover it, that much was very clear to me. "Come on now, let's get ready for bed."

I paused then and panicked for a moment, swallowing hard, "P-promise me you'll be here when I wake up…?" I pleaded, not wanting to relive the heartbreak I felt this morning when I'd woken up without him and I was relieved when he smiled sweetly and nodded, stealing another sweet little kiss before answering.

"I promise, my sweet little dragon. I'll be here, in your arms, come morning."

Pleased with that, I let him lay us down, feeling as he curled his arms around me and I snuggled into his chest, content for once. "Thank you…"

"Be ichi, little dragon…" Suri whispered and I couldn't have care less in that moment when I purred in answer, nuzzling against him.

"Be ichi, no (I love you, too)… Suri."

.x.

The screams of humans and the feral roars of dragons was what woke me up the next morning and I jolted up, eyes wide and muscles tense. It took me several minutes to realize it was all in my head- to realize that it was all in my past and nothing but a nightmare anymore- and several more to realize Suri was right next to me, speaking frantic words because I was hyperventilating, panicking from the phantom scream and the smell of smoke and blood still vivid to me.

"Ky- 'mon… 's okay- 'afe… 're safe… I'm here…" Suri's voice registered in my mind and I immediately latched onto it for comfort, grounding myself as I closed my eyes tightly and forced myself to calm down. "Will you tell me what your nightmare was about?" he asked, voice nothing but a whisper and I let out a shaky breath before shaking my head.

"It… it doesn't matter…" I told him, finally meeting his eyes for a brief second before looking away and I made to get out of the bed and get ready for the new day. "It's all in the past now anyway…" I added and he sighed, following after me and before I could pull on a clean shirt, he wrapped his arms around me and kissed my shoulder.

"I'm here, you know, if you ever need me…" it was a plea as well as an offer of comfort- it told me that he needed this as much as I did- and I smiled, turning in his arms and leaning up for a small kiss. It said that I understood and it was a 'thank you' and an 'I love you' wrapped up in one simple gesture. Pulling away, I turned back to continue getting dressed and he chuckled when I did, "I'll go get us some breakfast and we can eat at the watering hole, how does that sound?" he asked and I grinned back at him, my heart fluttering happily at the thought.

"That sounds perfect, Suri," I said and he grinned back in answer before turning away and he walked towards the cabin door. We only realized too late our plans for the day would be destroyed when Suri opened the door and the sharp breath he took in told me exactly who was at it.

"Diro." Suri spoke, his voice hard, and Diro snorted, a sign that I knew he had rolled his eyes at how Suri had greeted him.

"I've got an assignment for Kylon. Have the colt dressed and out at the farm gates in twenty minutes." That was all he said and I frowned when Suri stood in silence for a few moments, eyes hard and dark as he watched Diro leave- if the old man's fading footsteps were anything to go by. Turning fully towards him, I barely spared a moment to grab my necklace, though I didn't put it on just yet, I walked over to him and gently touched his arm, feeling more than seeing him relax with it.

"It's… it's okay. I can… I mean… I-I'm okay…" I whispered, trying to convince myself as much as him.

"You're not…" he bit out, turning to me with a hard, calculated look and I grimaced, turning to look down at the cold, stone ground beneath our feet. "Do you think I haven't noticed how hard you've tried avoiding him? How everytime you ever caught a glimpse of him, you've growled… growled, Kylon. I swear, the second he says something wrong you're going to do more damage to him than he's done to you." He sighed and ran a hand over his face. "It won't be a close call like when the first time you fought… over Remo's hatchlings. Kylon-"

"No." I frowned, cutting him off. "I get it, okay? I do. But… I-I can do this… if… if maybe…" I paused and took in a shaky breath before letting it out and he lifted my chin with two fingers, looking just a tiny bit concerned when his eyes met mine.

"If what?"

"If… you'll… come with me. If you'll maybe be by my side the whole time, I can do it. I won't lose my temper… I-I promise. J-just… I-I want you to be there…" I trailed off then and he let out a breathy chuckle before pulling me into another hug.

"Okay," he said, nodding his head, "I'll come with you. Every step of the way, I'll be right by your side. I promise you that." Satisfied with that, I smiled and pulled back from the hug before lifting my hands up and presenting him the necklace and he smiled warmly, turning me around gently with a silent command. I closed my eyes and felt the light weight of the feathers, the beads, the stones, and the grass against my neck and let out a slow, relaxed breath. "Now… let's go see what Diro could possibly want from my beautiful little dragon, shall we?"

Twenty minutes wasn't so long when you thought about it in terms of how long the days are on Hiro, but it was long enough for me to get antsy.

We were at the gate before even Diro arrived and my temper was starting to flare with my nerves, something Suri tried his best to calm, and though it helped, it didn't stop the little growl that came from me when we finally saw Diro. He still looked indifferent- just as he always does- and it irked me. But Suri's hand in my own stopped me from actually doing anything I'd regret- whether or not I wasn't convinced if I would regret it later at all.

"What is the assignment you need me for?" I questioned, my voice stiff but I tried to be as civilized as I could.

"I need you to deliver a package to Demix." I froze, unable to help my reaction to hearing that name. "It contains a unique medicine Aris- the owner of the Demix Dragon Farms- she needs for one of her dragons."

I couldn't reply, I just couldn't, because Demix was a name I hadn't heard in years and the last time I heard of Demix- the last time I saw the city- it had been the worst year of my life. But it turned out, I didn't need to- Diro handed me a small leather satchel that probably carried the aforementioned medicine that Aris- I think that was her name- needed. When I took the bag, it was an automatic response and I clutched it tightly in my hands as I watched Diro leave, apparently done with briefing me on my assignment.

"Demix is a city north of the Baku River," Suri sighed, finally turning away from Diro, but I hardly noticed, "and it will take a little less than a day to get there and return back home. I'm sure- what…? Kylon…? Kylon, what's wrong?" I flinched away when he reached out to grab my shoulder and then grimaced when I realized what I'd done.

"Nothing, I'm fine." I said, on automatic once more, but quickly shook my head to try, in vain, to get rid of the vivid images inside my head- ones from my nightmare, as well. "I know where Demix is… it's one of the only well known cities in the Sulara Desert." My voice was bitter now, but while I knew Suri would notice, I didn't care.

"You know," he started, reaching out and grabbing my chin with one hand, and he forced me to meet his eyes with my own, "you are a truly terrible liar." Closing my eyes, I tried to pretend that I didn't hear the hurt and disappointment in his tone, because for once, I didn't want to tell him the truth. Because if he really knew what happened in my past… I was just glad the scars had faded, over time, leaving only the painful memory of it all behind.

"No… you're just the only person that can read me like an open book…" I argued and turned my head away, tugging it- gently- from his hand. "Come on, we should get going-"

"Kylon… I can't go with you." Suri said, frowning again and I snapped my head back towards him, eyes wide and fearful.

"W-what?"

"Diro's already given me a handful of tasks I need to take care, as well as the list of your duties for today. I'm sorry, I-" he sounded honestly sorry for what he was saying, but the panic was like ice gripping my heart. "Kylon… look at me." his voice was stern, but gentle, and I shook my head sharply, before he continued. "You'll be okay out there, I promise you that. Because as long as you wear this necklace, I'll be with you by your side, step by step." He fingered the feathers of my necklace and I swallowed hard, looking back at him, willing the tears not to fall.

"What if… what if something happens…?" I asked him, my voice breaking and he moved his hand to my cheek, brushing his thumb over my skin in a loving, protective gesture.

"Nothing will. You'll make it to Denix, save that poor dragon from illness, and come home a hero."

"But-"

"-but nothing." he grinned then and ducked his head so his eyes were level with mine. "I'll make you a deal though- if you're not back home within thirty hours, I'll personally come and get you, no matter where you are. Damn my duties- you're more important to me than they are, anyway." Letting out a breathless laugh, my memories were momentarily hidden in the dark as I nodded, accepting that deal and sealing it with a kiss- a desperate thing, but it helped me relax just a little in the face of the terrifying journey ahead of me.

"I'm holding you to that, Suri Killian…"