The gun fell on their misfit of a nest as he grabbed for the dragon’s shoulders.
“It’s alright now!” He shouted, knowing he wouldn’t hear him otherwise. The bang was too loud and too close and even he was having hard time focusing his hearing. Accark’s constant screaming wasn’t helping.
Accark peaked up between his fingers and sought his eyes for confirmation, which he gave, quickly patting him over, both to assure himself that the dragon was indeed alright and to calm him down.
“Come on!” He ordered after a second. “We have to go!” He tried to get up, but the tail was still tangling around his ankle. He pulled on the tail, but it wouldn’t move. “Accark, we have to move! Now!”
It took the dragon time to understand, but moment later he nodded and the tail entwined. Gail let out a sigh and got up, ignoring the chill morning. Damn, if it was so chilly, then Accark might still be petrified, he thought, quickly checking the surroundings for any immediate threat who might’ve heard the shots. There didn’t seem to be anyone and he pushed up, leaving Accark to gather his wits, and ran to the bag the wolf had been pulling with him.
“Aw, shit!” He wanted to cry. The idiot had left the bag open when they’d retreated and now it was nicely soaked with the blood of the said wolf. He could see both his and Accark’s clothes darkening from the blood trying in air and he considered tossing the whole thing away. But no, there were still things there he could use, so he hastily closed, then grabbed the bag and started back towards the dragon, who was still pulling himself up from their nest.
He tossed the bag by the heap and began massaging Accark’s legs, his eyes already searching for his shoes. Accark groaned, not happy for the manhandling of his feet.
“I’m up! I’m up!” He shouted, trying to push him away, but Gale continued, ignoring him. “Gale?” He tried to get his attention, waving his hands in front of him. “Gale!” He shouted, lashing him with his tail when he still didn’t respond.
“Are you ready to fly?” He asked, raising up, his eyes scanning their surroundings one more time and completely ignoring the dragon staring at him with wide eyes.
“Y-yes!” Accark decided this wasn’t a good time to ask what had gotten the gargoyle so spooked, but the sickening feeling was starting to sink in his bones too. The smell of blood was bound to bring others here, if they weren’t already anywhere nearby.
“Then let’s go!”
Accark watched him hastily fix the bags on him and take off, constantly checking if the dragon was following his lead. He was, but he grumbled to himself that he was starting to get tired of his impossible need to make him constantly run on his pace. In his mind, Gale acknowledged the outcry, but ignored it still, hoping them to be long gone before the thieves came to search for their missing friends. He didn’t know how far they were from Azmar, it could be around the corner or behind the next hill, but at this point he was lost and it made him restless and Accark had no better idea of their whereabouts.
He broke the wind and let the dragon gain the distance between them to fall next to him as their routine had been most of the time. He heard his belly roar loud and expected Accark to complain, but he kept his mouth shut and tried to look away each time his stomach sang. He didn’t like seeing him like this. It grind against his brain that Accark would try to hide this from him. He shouldn’t have to. They seriously needed to have the talk of who the dragon could trust and who he shouldn’t, but really…
But really, had he shown him much trust in return? Dragons this, dragons that, but had he truly trusted him?
They had to be close if Accark didn’t demand a lunch break. His wings had gone from beautifully groomed swan to ragged crow since he chose to sleep instead of spending hours grooming them, looking especially scattered against the rest of his white fur. He was desperate for a good swim and brushing, but he no longer wanted to be on the road and kept wondering what the castle Accark had mentioned would be like.
Accark clapped and he realized he’d been caught staring when he waved. “Look!” He pointed at the hill top. Moments later he could see a large city on the horizon behind the tip.
Azmar. It was far bigger than any of the cities he’d seen in south. It was wide, spreading across several hills with natural rivers flowing straight through, the city parts stitched together with numerous bridges. There were high towers for flying creatures, hundreds of smaller buildings for others and huge trees which undoubtedly belonged to the elves. Behind the city, on the north-west were the actual mountains, reaching high into the sky, surrounded by thick clouds. That’s where Accark headed and he followed. Despite seeing the city from far, it still took them over two hours before they reached on the edge of it, and another one to get to Accark’s small castle on the edge of the city, on one of the first taller hills in front of the mountains. It took them two, because he spotted a market near one of the big rivers going through and guessed Accark wouldn’t mind a little delay to get them both something to eat. They could deal with rest later and go over the supplies in case… Gale groaned, he was making plans again when all he really needed was couple of days in one place, a warm fire in closed space instead under the great sky and rest in anything other than stones.
As he’d guessed, the market had fish and Gale felt good for bringing Accark here.
“Wait!” He paused the dragon, after they’d landed on the edge of the market. This was the homecity of half the dragon population on Hatangy and there was no way he could go around here with the egg in a pouch tangling on his arm. He’d be spotted immediately, so, reluctantly, he saw only two options for it – he either hid the egg pouch somewhere or… He sighed and winched, holding out his bag. “Put him in your pouch.” He said quietly.
Accark’s ears perked and he grew several inches, staring straight at him with obvious shock.
“No, you didn’t hear it wrong. You can carry him while we’re on the market.” He explained. “I can’t hide him here, and there are too many dragons with their agents and keen eyes. So! Do it already.”
Accark’s hands trembled while he reached for the egg and gently coached it out of its bag. Then he glanced back at Gale, searching if he really meant it and then he pushed his chin up, settled the egg on the edge of his pouch and, helping with his middle finger, easily stretched the opening enough for it to pop in and disappear from site.
Gale gulped dryly, holding his tongue when he saw the huge bulge beneath his Adam’s apple. It stretched it so much he’d grown a second head by the looks of it, but Accark seemed unnerved by its size nor by its weight nestled on his chest. Instead, he hugged it, his eyes watering from happiness and he beamed as he rested his chin on top of the opening.
Gods, this had been a mistake, Gale moaned to himself, chilled to the bone by the mere size of the bulge. Accark turned around, his tail high and proud and he walked straight on, as if the sun had no other target aside his pink fluffy fur. Was he purring? Oh gods, he was purring!