“We have discussed. You come to the Alcoves.”
The voice woke Emine up abruptly. She didn’t have to question what they were talking about. The voice was that of a dragon speaking the language the rest of them understood. Not Ramar, that much she could tell. Another dragon. Over the last couple of months, Emine had seen a lot of dragons. She could only keep a few of them straight in her head yet. Between them and the humans around, there were a lot of people to get used to.
They had to be talking about her. Sanni’s voice was angry. “No, no. You can’t do this to me. You don’t do things like this. What are you talking about?”
“The both of you are moving to the Alcoves now.” The dragon’s voice held no question.
“I don’t understand.”
“We like how she makes you act, Sanni. But other than that, you don’t need to understand.”
How she made Sanni act? Emine had no idea what they were talking about. However, it sounded as though that was all to the conversation. She watched the plants outside sway as the dragon took back off into the sky.
Getting out of bed, she had barely started to get dressed when she heard Sanni knock at the door. “Emine?”
She had tried to see this place as home, but it seemed things were going to change already.
“What is your name, small human?”
Sanni appeared as fazed as the horses were by a dragon. Emine tried to act the same. “Emine.”
Ramar stared at her. Emine had the idea she shouldn’t look into her eyes. At the same time, she didn’t want to look like she was cowering. What the middle ground was between those two positions, she had no idea. She looked back, deciding to fix her gaze on a particular point on the bridge of Ramar’s nose. From there, she could see the dragon’s eyes without looking at them.
It still made her feel a bit dizzy. She heard a sound that she had no idea how to interpret. Something distinctly draconian, not a hiss or a growl. Like a sigh with clicks.
“What’s so funny?” Sanni asked.
“Nothing.” Ramar’s head pulled back. “You’ve picked well, Sanni. Good for you.”
Emine didn’t know what that meant, but Sanni’s face flushed slightly despite saying nothing. Ramar didn’t await a response either. She took off into the sky, meeting another dragon somewhere halfway up the closest slope.
There really were dragons everywhere. Emine stared for a while before looking back at Sanni. “Am I okay?”
Sanni started out of her thoughts and looked down at her. “Yes. Yes you are. Ramar is a little pushy, but she already likes you. That’s good. Let’s go home, Emine.”
Home. The word meant nothing to Emine now. But it was time to redefine.
By the time they arrived at the Heights Emine had gotten used to seeing dragons in the sky. This was good, considering the bright red dragon was there to greet them before they could even pass by the entrance into the valley.
“You’ve brought new blood, I can smell it. Show me.”
The words were creepy, but the tone was far too smooth. It actually made it a bit more creepy, that Emine didn’t feel as bothered out by the words because of the tone. She hid behind Sanni, who appeared to be waiting on whatever it is the man behind the reins said.
The horses didn’t appear to have any problems with a dragon right next to them. Emine squeezed her bag to her chest.
“Why don’t you ask her yourself?” Sanni called forward.
Emine could feel her heart in her throat as the long neck snaked over. The face of a dragon wasn’t what Emine had imagined. The feathers became smaller and smaller, to the scales that surrounded the eyes and mouth. On this dragon, the smaller feathers were gold. Her eyes were not serpentine, as Emine had thought they might be. They appeared to have several pupils that were not black, but white against a ruby backdrop, moving independently of each other.
A hand appeared in front of her face, breaking her concentration for a moment. “Please, Ramar. Don’t make me warn her not to look into your eyes. They’re so beautiful and I’d hate for her to have this first time spoiled.”
“Flatterer,” the dragon called Ramar said.