They other two days went by observing the roads and rivers and trying guessing which city they reached. They avoided the edges of them, Accark’s face visibly darkening on the possibility of being attacked again, so they chose to land right on the edge of markets and leave as soon as they got their food sorted. Accark produced a small gem from small pocket of his trousers and sold it without blink of an eye, which surprised Gale, for he had never seen others part their valuables as easily as he did. Then again, there was one far more valuable always only steps away.
He caught himself thinking to maybe give one of his bags for Accark to carry, but ended up shivering on the thought the might just take the bag and take off. He hadn’t made any attempts to steal it yet, now openly using Gale’s body warmth through the colder nights. The egg basket’s straps always entwined around his hand, but they’d kept the egg between them, using their own wings for warmth.
“There might be one more thing I could do?” Accark had said the third night when the fire was already diminishing into coals and Gale had forced the dragon against his side on the small pile of leaves and dry grass Accark had gathered earlier on his command. If possible, he wanted to avoid the hindering process of warming Accark up again in the morning.
“What?” He asked, absentmindedly rubbing the edges of his bitten hand. He’d changed the bandages for new ones from the apothecary they’d visited in the last town, but it wasn’t helping. He needed to go in hibernation and he feared what he’d find, or rather what would not be there, if he woke up again.
He felt Accarks fingers nudge the edge of his bandages. He raised it towards him, letting him pet it if he so wanted. Heavens, he wanted to rub it so hard!
Accark began removing the clean fabric. He carefully rolled it back into a roll to save it for later. He removed the soaked through patches and tossed them into fire. He’d have to replace them anyway. The puncture wounds looked swollen and were oozing darkly. When all the fabric was out of his way, the dragon grabbed his arm like a piece of meat and before he could stop him, he felt something long and wet run over the wounds.
“Sodding hell!” He shouted and pulled at his own hand as hard as he could, but Accark seemed to have other ideas as he clamped his own down harder. Gale grabbed his nostrils and pushed them up, revealing the big mouth of a very slime seeping pink tongue and dark insides all the way to the uvula. Accark gagged, letting out very annoyed and angry growl, frowning at Gale mishandling his nose, but wouldn’t stop pressing forward.
“Back off!” Gale demanded and pressed him harder.
In the end he did, but kept his pinching hard paws around his arm.
“What are you doing?”
“Healing your wound!” Accark’s tongue licked around the edges of his snout where the slobber had dripped over. “Well, I can’t really heal it, but I can clean it and ease the itching.”
“Clean water is enough to clean it!” Gale shouted and tried to pull it back.
“Oh, poo-hoo!” Accark growled and hit him with his shoulder, yanking the hand further by his chest.
Accark pulled it between his jaws, clamping down enough that should Gale want to take his hand back, he’d lose it altogether. His tongue patted against the wounds, around the hand and Gale could do nothing but watch as the dragon gulped down all the dirt from the wounds, his eyes closed, and continues massaging the wounds gently. As disgusting as it felt to his mind at first, he soon realized the pain had indeed lessened and the wounds felt colder. His entire hand started to cool. Between the gulps he could feel his cold breath breezing over it, the wet intensifying the feeling tenfold.
“There.” He said after a while, releasing his hand from his mouth. There was thin layer of frost formed over the bite marks and the wounds had been licked down to soft gray and pink. He took the bandages from his side and wrapped them gently around his wounds taking care to blow on it a bit before closing it completely so the ice layer would not melt as fast in the warm air from the fire.
Gale kept staring at him the whole time, completely silent with surprise. This was far handier trick than freezing their drinking water solid.
“Thank you.” He managed after Accark put Gale’s hand back in Gale’s lap. The pain had gone down to minimum and he had no urge to scratch them for the first time in two days.
It was also first time when he didn’t feel the overwhelming fear that Accark would take the egg from him. The straps of the bags were conscientiously wrapped around his hand, but he relaxed notably and allowed himself to slumber off. In the morning he found one very warm body curled almost perfectly in one big ball around the egg and this into his lap. Like a large puppy, snoring softly as he tried to take in all the warmth accumulated beneath their wings. Gale opened his eyes and realized he’d woken too early. The dawn hadn’t broken yet and it was still too dark.
He dozed off, reluctant to leave the warmth too, when there was another crack by their feet. So something had woken him after all. Not wanting to disturb the dragon just yet, he turned his head slightly and gazed at the direction of the sound, hoping it would be couple of birds searching leftovers. Well, they were searching, but they were no birds. Two medium sized wolves were searching through the bag he’d set near their feet as they slept. They were doing it quietly, checking on their sleeping forms often, during which he closed his eyes enough to avoid the flair of the silver, before returning to their activity. One had a gun pointed at them at all times while the other dug under Accark’s suit, pulling it out from the top of his belongings since he’d stacked them in there.
He uncurled from the dragon, quietly unwrapping the straps and using his wing to hide his movements as he searched for his gun on the belt. Accark let out a whine and curled closer, his tale swirling tighter around his right ankle and preventing him from moving away. He cursed in his head. He fained sleep through his whining, calming himself and shouting at Accark to settle down. He heard them grunting at each other and heard his bag being dragged away. He knew he had to act or they’d be too far for the shooting range.
He unbuckled his gun and relaxed, feeling the safety with his thumb. Click, it was off. In one smooth move his wing wrapped away and he pushed himself up on his sick elbow, ignoring the pain, pointed the barrel at the gunsman’s head and shot before angling the gun slightly to his right and repeating the action on the other wolf before it had time to turn around. Both bodies fell in loud thud. The tail around his ankle tightened and Accark jolted in awake, kneeing him in the stomach while his mouth let out one blood curdling scream of horror.