LN Part 20: Purring by RedPhantom ()
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Ann fell asleep as Andy told them about the wedding traditions. She made a soft mewing sound as she slept.
“Is she purring?” Pt’this asked surprised.
“Purring? I don’t know if you’d call it that. She made the same sounds while she slept the other night too.”
Pt’this leaned close and listened. He couldn’t believe it. “She’s actually purring.” He could see Andy didn’t understand. “Dragons will sometimes purr like that when experiencing extreme pleasure.”
“She feels peace and contentment now,” Andy said.
“It’s just amazing for her,” Pt’this said. “Did she tell you about her nightmares?”
“No, Pt’this. I had no idea she had nightmares.” Andy’s voice couldn’t get any more sarcastic.
“I know she told you she has them. Did you know she’s had them all her life? Every night, every nap since the day she was born. No one could figure out why or how to stop them. When she was little, she would scream and scream and wake up the palace every night. Her brothers and her sisters begged the nurses to keep her up. Some of the court wanted Emeton and Tylan to send her away. The nurses couldn’t stand her. They kept quitting. That upset her siblings even more. They’d get attached to a nurse, and she’d leave. One of the nurses drugged her thinking it would stop the nightmares, but all it did was keep her from waking. Imagine a two-year-old caught in a wizard’s trance. They finally built a small house down near the water and Tylan would take her out there to sleep. Slowly, eventually, she stopped screaming, mostly. But the nightmares continued. By the time she was able to tell us about them, Remtani had started tormenting her, and that’s all she’d tell us about. She always said she didn’t remember the earlier ones.
“To see her sleeping now in such peace that she’s purring is amazing.”
“When we were on my world, her bedroom was right above mine. There were times I’d hear her crying out or sometimes simply just crying. I never realized the extent until the bond started forming. Then I felt her fears, her dread of going to sleep. I wish there were something I could do so that she wouldn’t have them even when I’m not around.”
“I’m happy you can help her as much as you have,” Pt’this told him.
“I do wonder what caused them,” Andy said.
“We’ll never know.” Pt’this shrugged.
“Looks like we lost another,” Andy said gesturing to Sapphire. Pt’this looked and smiled.
“I’m sorry. It’s getting late. I’m sure this isn’t how you planned to spend your first night being engaged, I mean pledged,” Andy said.
Pt’this shrugged. “It’s okay. I may have had other things in mind, but she’s so relaxed right now, more than she’s been since we got here. She needs to sleep. There’s always morning for other things.”
“For you perhaps,” Andy said.
Pt’this laughed. “Soon enough for you also,” he assured the young man. Though he really hadn’t planned on anything. After talking with Ann about marrying Sapphire, he’d decided to wait until their wedding night to take her as his mate. It was what humans usually did.
“If she lives in Thager and you live here, how did you two meet?”
“She got hired to steal something from the palace. She apparently needed the money so Ann agreed to help, saying she could get her in and out of the palace.”
“Ann was going to steal from her own family?” Andy was surprised.
“Well, yes and no. See, the magistrate from Thager had been here not long before. His young son had a replica of an invaluable dragon statue here. He had been playing with both of them, and when the nurse found out, she put the wrong statue back. The magistrate and Emeton had had an argument, and he had left in a huff, taking the real statue with him. When he found out, he feared Emeton would accuse him of stealing the statue, so he hired Sapphire to make the switch.
“They almost made it too. I’m not sure what happened that got them caught, but somehow they did. Ann could have let the guards know who she was, but she didn’t want to be forced to come home so she chose to let them get locked up, figuring they could break out. They probably could have too, but the idiot guard locked the two young girls in with the violent men. I’m sure you can guess what those men had in mind for their new cellmates.
“Remtani and Bacna had locked Ann down there several times as a child. She’d gotten to know one of the prison guards, Merton. This was before he was her bodyguard, obviously. She managed to get his attention and get him to stop the prisoners from hurting Sapphire. Merton took them to Emeton. I was there.
“Ann explained the situation. Emeton was furious. He wouldn’t let them leave. He had them confined to Ann’s room. That’s where Remtani attacked Sapphire. Ann tried to go to Emeton, but the servants blocked her. He didn’t get the message even. She assumed he didn’t care. She put a hole in the kitchen wall to get his attention. She told us what happened. That’s when we started to realize how strong she was. That wasn’t an easy spell. The problem was she was only half trained, and it was too dangerous to not finish the training. We couldn’t let her leave. She didn’t understand. We were going to let her go back to Thager and stay with Kith. We didn’t know they were pledged or even knew each other. I took Sapphire back to Thager. She recognized me as a dragon and knew I’d never hurt her. I was the only one she trusted besides Ann to take her back. I think Emeton wanted me out of the palace for a while too. He knew my reaction to what Remtani did would lead to madness if I stayed.”
Pt’this shook himself. “But that’s in the past. We’re trying to put the past behind us, not let it haunt us anymore. Tonight, she sleeps peacefully. They both do.”
“Perhaps we should too,” Andy suggested.
Pt’this agreed. “Use one of my guestrooms, so you don’t have to wake her. I’ll say I kept an eye on you two.” As they left Pt’this noted noticed Ann hadn’t touched her whiskey.