Part 4

Josh yawned and stretched with cat like innocence. His lashes fluttered against his cheeks and lifted slowly on heavy lids. As his eyes opened he reached out to touch his lover and his hand came into contact with a cold empty space. He sat up abruptly and rubbed his eyes in disbelief as he looked around the room.

“Justin?” he called. He scrambled out of bed and pulled a sheet with him, wrapping it around his body to protect his modesty. His bare feet made no sound as he walked to the door and opened it. The upstairs corridor was empty but sounds of the beginning day could be heard from the main reception room. Silently he closed the door again and moved to the window, looking out and squinting against the early morning sun.

“Where is Justin Edith?”

The green dragon rumbled her answer. “He and Turith go to the cove. The woman is there bathing. He asks her to join the Weyr.”

“Why didn’t he wake me I would have gone with him?”

“Turith’s rider says you must get the other girl ready.”

Josh pulled his riding pants up over his long slim legs and carefully tucked his half erect cock inside, lacing them tightly shut over it. “Why doesn’t he take her now? By the time they realise she has gone it will be too late.”

“Turith says there are men there. They watch the lady carefully. Justin speaks to her through Turith.”

Josh rummaged through his bag and pulled out a crumpled white shirt. He sniffed it and wrinkled his nose in disgust but put it on anyway as it was the cleanest one he could find. “When will Justin return?” he asked.

“Turith returns soon.”

Josh pulled on his riding boots and ran out of his room. Down stairs the reception room was bustling with preparations for the forth coming wedding. The green dragon rider was practically ignored as he strode purposefully through the busy hold folk. As he passed Sally he grabbed her elbow and hissed in her ear, “Meet me outside now.”

The encounter was so quick that no one noticed what had passed between the two.

Sally could hardly contain herself as she watched the rider go outside. Picking up a pail she followed, looking around to see where he had gone.

Josh was at the water trough; he leaned over and cupped his hands, splashing the icy water over his face. He felt the holder girl’s presence and carried on with his daily ablutions while she pretended she was getting water.

“We leave today,” Josh whispered not looking at her. “Be ready. Edith will land in the courtyard; wait for me before you approach her. I will signal you when to run to me.”

He chanced to look up and Sally’s eyes were brimming with tears. “Thank you,” she breathed.

“There will be no time to gather your belongings so ensure that you have anything that you hold dear on your person.”

Sally wiped away a rogue tear that had escaped her pretty green eyes. “I don’t know how to thank you.”

Josh gave her a reassuring smile. “Just be in the courtyard at noon.” Without another word Josh walked away. Dust swirled suddenly in the air and he was knocked off his feet by the arrival of Turith.

“Turith returns,” Edith told him drolly.

Josh took Justin's offered hand and allowed his lover to help him back up and brush off the dirt from his ass. “You don’t say,” he replied sarcastically. “A little warning would be nice next time Justin.”

The brown rider grinned and pulled his lover to him, squeezing his butt cheeks hard.

“It is arranged. As soon as Hannah sees you and Sally arguing with the lord holder she will slip out into the courtyard and run straight to me. Did you speak to the girl; does she still want to come with you?”

Josh gritted his teeth against the powerful fingers kneading his ass, it would be bruised later he could guarantee it. He slapped Justin's persistent hands away. “She will be ready for my signal at noon.”

Justin looked into the sky at the position of the sun. “We have a couple of hours then to kill.” A crafty smile crept across his face. “Did you pack yet?” he asked sweetly.

“No,” Josh’s skin prickled at the tone his lover had taken on.

“Justin's forefinger trailed over Josh’s lips. “Don’t you think you should?” he wheedled.

Josh took a step backwards. “Okay.” The green rider drew out the word nervously. He wasn’t sure he liked where this was going. Justin was being just too … well nice.

“Now Joshua,” Justin insisted.

Josh turned on his tail and marched back to the hold. Justin was defiantly up to something that he wasn’t going to be privy too and it was frankly eating away at him.

He threw back the door that lead to his room gasped; the bed had been covered in white lilies and the drapes drawn. Candles flickered casting shadows against the wall and the fragrant scent of orchids floated in the air.

Justin's arms snaked around his waist and his hot wet tongue licked up the side of Josh’s neck. “Did you think I forgot my pet?”

Josh was stunned. Never in a million years did he think that Justin would remember that it was two years since they first met. “You did all this … for me!”

“Keeping Edith from blabbing was the difficult part. Turith had to threaten her to silence and I had to sit on top of that damn cliff with arms full of lilies for over an hour waiting for you to leave the room. It’s quite difficult to climb off the back of a dragon and through an open window when your arms are full you know. I could have fallen and broke my neck.”

Josh was beginning to grin as the shock dissipated. “You could have,” he commiserated. “It was a very romantic thing to do though.”

Justin's fingers pulled loose the stays that held Josh’s pants closed and slid beneath the fabric. He squeezed the hardening organ he found waiting there and cooed in his lover’s ear.

“We have a couple of hours my precious, can you think of a way to fill them?”

Josh growled deep in the back of his throat and twisted in Justin's arms and latched his lips on to his mouth. “I’m sure I can think of something,” he cooed back and he slipped down to his knees, pulling open Justin's pants and reaching inside, freeing his hard cock.

The brown rider hissed a long drawn out yes as Josh wrapped his lips around the head and he continued to say yes until his seed was spilt down his lover’s throat fifteen minutes later.


“Pacing won’t bring her here any quicker dear heart,” Chris’ eyes sparkled as he watched his Weyr mate strut up and down their shared accommodation. “When he has the girl Justin will have Turith bespeak Fanath.

“But what is taking them so long?” Meredith whined. “The hatching is imminent. The boys have already started to arrive.”

“They will be here my Petal. Be patient. Justin has never let me down.”

“It is Joshua that concerns me. He is not experienced enough to have such responsibility. Maybe we should send a more experienced rider?”

“Meredith you are over reacting. Lillith’s anxiety is clouding your mind and creating problems that don’t yet exist.”

A deep thrumming filled the air causing the Weyrleaders very bones to vibrate. Meredith let out an anxious cry and rushed out; running for the hatching grounds and Chris gave a despondent sigh. “Okay so the problem does exist,” he muttered to the empty room.

“Fanath have all the riders collect their candidates now.”

“They have already done so,” the bronze informed his rider.

“What of Turith and Edith?”

“Turith returns now, he has the girl.”

This time Chris’ sigh was one of relief. Meredith would never have forgiven him if the queen egg hatched and she had no candidates to choose from. Downing his wine and saying silent thanks he rushed to join his Weyrmate on her special day.


Dragons' warbling was their first indication that something had gone wrong with their plans. Justin pulled out of Josh abruptly and fell off the edge of the bed in his hurry to get up.

“The eggs are hatching,” he gasped as he hopped around on one foot trying to get dressed in a hurry.

The anxious look slipped from Josh’s face; hatching eggs he could cope with, Justin pulling out of him when he was just about to come was another.

“You could have least have waited a few more minutes,” he pouted and rolled off the bed gracefully and scanned the floor for his pants.

“We may not have minutes.”

Josh sat back on the bed. “Yes we do.” He seemed to drift off and a serene look settled over his features. “Edith is waiting in the courtyard and she has instructed Turith to tell Fanath that we are on our way.”

Justin watched open mouthed as his lover took his time, checking his hair in the mirror.

“Joshua the eggs are hatching!” he exclaimed.

The green rider walked over to him and kissed him on his cheek. “I’ll see you downstairs.”

Josh strode over to where his green dragon was waiting. Her eyes swirled with an intense shade of purple as she rumbled her excitement.

From the corner of his eye Josh saw Sally hovering near to the stable; her eyes fixed on him. With a flourish he mounted at the same time he made eye contact with the young holder daughter and gave her a definite nod. Sally sprinted across the yard and threw up her arm for Josh to pull her up. At the same time Derrick shouted angrily and ran at them, his intention to stop his rebellious sister.

The green rider snatched at Sally’s wrist and heaved her effortlessly up so she was perched in front of him. He resisted the temptation to look to the far side of the compound where he knew Turith was hidden just out of sight.

Derrick stormed up to him and grabbed Sally’s leg tugging her.

“Edith” Josh cried.

The green dragon whipped her head around and bellowed, shaking the future lord holder to his bones. Hannah took the opportunity to sneak from the hold and edge her way along the wall. Josh saw her disappear behind a wall.”

“Give Turith the visualisation,” he ordered his dragon silently.

“Turith has gone, he has the girl, they are on the hatching sands.”

His attention was brought back to Sally as she screamed again. Josh kicked out hard with his foot, catching Derrick squarely in the chest and knocking him backwards. Other holders had noticed the fracas and the braver of them were edging closer intent on helping their future lord holder.

Derrick went to get back up determined to stop his sister from leaving with the ‘evil’ green rider.

Josh drew his blade. “Don’t Derrick,” he warned. “Let’s not spill blood over a girl.” Derrick took another step reaching out for Sally’s ankle once more and was knocked sideways by Edith’s triangular head.

Taking advantage Josh urged Edith to take flight. The green bunched her muscles and leaped into the air, her gigantic wings sweeping backwards and then taking a strong beat that propelled her into the air.

Josh cheekily waved to the fallen holder and then gave Edith the visualisation she needed to get home.


Edith burst into the air above the Weyr and dived downwards towards the hatching ground.

“The eggs already begin to hatch,” she informed her rider. “I take the girl to the sands now or she will be too late.”

Both rider and passenger had to duck as she swept through the low caverns that led to the queens hatching ground. People ran for cover. Pressing themselves against the wall as a blaze of emerald rushed passed them.

Justin watched from behind his fingers as his lover made a spectacle of himself. Chris glared at him and he shrugged his shoulders as if to say ‘don’t ask me.’

Meredith stormed up to the brown rider. “What is the meaning of this?” she demanded. “When we said Sally could come to the Weyr we never meant as a candidate.”

Justin cringed at his sister-in-law’s tone. “Edith is convinced she is a rider,” he said in defence f his lover. “I’d lay bets that Joshua didn’t know she was going to fly him right in here. She is pretty headstrong at times.”

The Weyrwoman grunted in disapproval as the green rider lowered his charge to the ground and then took flight again.


“You are not meant for the queen,” Josh whispered urgently to Sally as he lowered her to the sand. “Join the boys surrounding the other eggs, your future lies there.” He urged Edith to turn and they left but not before he saw the disapproval and anger on the faces of his Weyrleaders.

“Fanath says you must return to the hatching but this time I must stay outside.”

Josh groaned. Again he was in trouble because of his impulsive dragon. “Tell him I return now” he told Edith and he jumped from her back and hurried back to the hatching grounds. He was very conscious of the fact that he was severely underdressed for the hatching but there was no way he could change and still make it on time. Cheers went up as dragon after dragon hatched and by the time he arrived panting beside Justin seven out of the thirty eggs had already hatched and the dragonets impressed.

“What did I miss?” he asked excitedly. He could see that Hannah and Sally were still waiting on the hot sands so at least he hadn’t missed them.

“Apart from a certain green rider gate crashing the whole thing you mean?” Meredith answered before Justin could open his mouth. “Four bronze, two browns and a blue.”

“No green?” Josh asked excitement practically making him bounce.

“Relax Joshua. You are still our only green rider so far, but that could change.” Chris said dryly.

A joyous cry went up as an egg cracked from top to bottom and another bronze dragonet staggered free. The little beast began to cry piteously, rejecting boy after boy as he searched for his soul mate. The bronze lifted up his head and let out a pathetic plea and staggered away towards the exit.

Meredith was beside herself. “There is no one,” she cried with tears pouring down her face. “What shall we do?”

The dragonet stooped and lifted his head once more letting out the plaintive howl again. A young blond boy, with tears running down his face pushed his way to the front of the crowded platform he was on. “Some one do something,” he cried.

Everyone was stunned. This hadn’t happened before and the riders were at a loss of what to do, to impress twice was forbidden.

The blond boy jumped down onto the sand and ran to the little bronze, lifting his little head and caressing his eye ridges.

“You weren’t there. I called and called for you but you weren’t there.”

The boy cooed reassuring noises and spoke to his new dragon’s mind. “I didn’t know it was me you wanted my dearest. I am here now and I will never leave you.”

The whole Weyr took a breath of relief; a tragedy had been adverted by the quick wits of a kitchen boy.

“He says his name is Waranth,” the boy announced and the whole Weyr applauded.

“Is that Simon?” Meredith asked pointing to the blond boy that had impressed.

Chris nodded yes. “Thank god the boy is as quick witted as the rest of his brothers.”

Chris kissed her quickly. “It’s a trait of our family dearest.”

The near tragedy was quickly forgotten as the queen egg began to rock. The chosen girls huddled together almost terrified as the shell split in to two, only Hannah stood tall and proud. The golden dragonet shook herself free and made for the group her head thrashing back and forth frantically. The girls screamed in terror as the dragon raked out with her claws, tossing the nearest girl out of the way.

Hannah stepped forward and grabbed the dragons head. “There is no need to be so aggressive,” she chastised. The little gold rolled her multifaceted eyes and rubbed her muzzle against Hannah’s skirt.

“I’m Valarith and I found you.”

Chris clapped his Weyrmate on the back as Hannah announced her dragon’s name. “Congratulations Meredith. I told you not to worry didn’t I?”

While the queen was hatching more male dragons had hatched and staggered off with their new riders, only three eggs remained.

Sally stood sadly to the side, her pretty green eyes filled with tears and resigned to not impressing. Two of the eggs began to rock and crack both broke free at the same time. A brown and a green the two dragons shook themselves free and the brown headed towards a tall gangly lad with a shock of red hair. The green chattered, her head held high. Swiftly she swung her head and made eye contact with Sally. The holder girl fell to her knees and started to cry as the little green nudged her gently with her snout.

“Winnith, she says her name is Winnith.”

Josh folded his arms across his chest proudly as he was slapped on the back and congratulated on finding a successful candidate.

Meredith strutted up to him and frowned. “You are still in trouble for flying in here the way you did.”

Josh recoiled slightly expecting a good telling off and gasped in surprise as the short Weyrwoman grabbed him by his ears, pulled him down to her height and planted a big kiss on his lips.

“What will I do with you Joshua?” she said shaking her head. “You will turn me grey.”

Josh blushed as she released him and avoided Justin's eyes when he supported her words with similar ones of his own.

Life returned to normal in the Weyr and no more was said about Josh’s intrusion on the hatching grounds again. Telgar Weyr had flown out to meet thread and returned with out incident other than an eager young bronze that had singed a wing tip; and then came the joyous news that Gwyneth had clutched forty eggs although there was no queen.

“Josh is a bit snappy today,” Chris observed over breakfast.

Justin looked over to where his lover was deep in heated conversation with another rider. “Edith has been in a bad mood for days. It’s beginning to affect Joshua quite badly.”

Justin winced as Josh shoved the other rider hard in the chest and was dragged back by two bronze riders before the fight could get out of hand. The brown rider took a bite of his bread roll and a swig of his coffee. “I’ll take him to our quarters before he gets himself killed.”

“Good idea; and Justin, he’s not flying thread this afternoon, not in that mood.”

Justin nodded his agreement. “I’ll tell him but he won’t like it.”

“No need,” Chris said as he stood up. “I’ll tell him myself. He will take it better from me than you. If you tell him he will think that you are trying to protect him again.”

Justin hung back as his Weyrleader brother approached his lover. Josh’s blue eyes blazed with anger and he ripped at his brunette curls as Chris spoke to him. The green rider shoved past his superior with his temper flaring. He glared at Justin. “I hope you are satisfied,” he spat and shoved his lover out the way returning to his weyr.

Justin chased after him catching him just outside of the cavern they shared. “I had nothing to do with that!” he exclaimed. “You can thank the foul temper you have been in with everyone for your being grounded.”

Josh laughed nastily. “Don’t pretend that you are not happy. You are not that good a bluffer.”

Justin slammed Josh up against the stone wall. “Damn right I’m happy! In this mood not only could you get yourself killed but you could take someone with you.”

“Get out,” Josh hissed venomously.

Justin glared at his lover but never said a word.

“I said get out.” Josh shrugged Justin's hands off him and took the final steps into his weyr. “If I ever see you again it will be too soon,?” he spat as he let the thick leather that made their quarters private curtain fall behind him leaving Justin on the outside.

“Fine!” Justin shouted back. “Suits me.”

Josh threw himself onto the bed and screamed into the pillow. His head was pounding. He could feel himself provoking people into fights but just didn’t seem able to stop himself. He took deep calming breaths as he reached for Edith. The green was sleeping peacefully and he released his breath. He hadn’t meant what he said to Justin and now regretted it. With Edith sleeping he couldn’t let him know how sorry he was; he certainly wasn’t going to go running after him. He must have fallen asleep because he was roused by Edith’s excited voice in his head.

“We fight thread Joshua.”

Josh rubbed his aching temples. “Not today dear heart we are grounded. Well not quite grounded we are to ferry firestone to the riders.”

“Still we help in threadfall. We are needed.”

Josh gave a laugh. “Are we?” he asked. “Relegated to weyrling duties, it’s humiliating.” Josh pulled on his riding boots and grabbed his jacket from where he had slung it in temper earlier.

“Let’s go dear heart before Chris finds more fault with me.”

The green and her rider were kept busy throughout the fall. No sooner than Josh had pulled one load of firestone from Edith’s back than he had to remount and return to the holds for more. “It’s a long fall,” he observed.

“The riders and dragons tire.”

“Edith ask Fanath to speak to Chris, ask him if he wants me to take over from someone so they can rest.”

“Fanath says we must keep delivering the firestone. The Weyrleader needs us here more.”

Josh cursed and fastened a sack to Edith’s riding straps. Without warning the green reared onto her rear legs and let out a panicked bellow.

“Turith falls!”

Josh’s legs gave way under him. Turith … Justin. He grabbed Edith for support and heaved himself into his riding place. “Take me to him.” he commanded. The green vaulted into the air and went straight between.

He arrived at South Weyr in time to see Justin being pulled from Turith’s back. He pushed his way through only to be held back by the Weyrleader. “Go back to your duties,” he demanded.

Josh stammered through his tears. “But Justin … Turith.”

“There is nothing you can do Joshua. You must keep up the firestone supply. We need you.”

Justin cried out in agony as his mother peeled away what was left of his riding jacket. “Let me speak to him Chris … please I have to tell him … I have to tell him I love him.”

The shorter brunette loosened his grip on the green rider. “A quick word then; assure him that Turith is alright and that he will be too, and tell him you will stay with him after the fall.”

Josh’s eyes trailed over to where the big brown was writhing around on the floor in agony, half his left wing sail burned away and his body deeply scored. “Turith will be alright won’t he?”

Chris’ eyes filled with tears. “He is badly burned and he feels Justin's pain along with his own. Lillith talks to him, begs him to stay. Maybe if Edith ….”

Josh’s tears began to fall as he pushed through to his lover. His fingers hovered over the terrible thread scores that had ripped through Justin's left shoulder and leg. “I’m here,” he whispered as he clenched Justin's uninjured right hand.

“Turith,” Justin stammered through his pain. “Please Joshua go to Turith. Don’t let him go. Don’t let him leave me.”

“Edith and Lillith are with him as is Fanath and all the other dragons that are not fighting. They will not let him go. I won’t let him go.”

Justin gripped Josh’s hand and grimaced as the healer smeared numbweed over his burns. “Promise me Joshua; promise me you won’t let my dragon die.”

“I promise,” Josh vowed through his tears. He looked over to where the terribly injured dragon was thrashing around on the ground and his heart sank. Keeping Turith from suiciding was going to be hard especially when Justin fell unconscious. It would take all their power of persuasion to convince the brown dragon that Justin hadn’t died. He gripped Justin's hand tighter, lifting it to his lips and planting a kiss on his palm. “I promise,” he said sincerely.

Chris rested a hand on his shoulder. “Return to your duties Joshua, honour Justin by being strong.”

Josh looked at Justin who had closed his eyes and drifted into drug induced unconsciousness. “I love you,” he whispered. “Don’t leave me. I will come back as soon as I can.” Gathering his courage he turned on his heel and strode off to meet his dragon. “Edith keep talking to Turith don’t you let him go.”

“I speak with him so does Lillith and Valarith. He is in pain and wants to leave but will not go until his rider is no more.”

Tears burned down Josh’s face as he hauled himself onto Edith’s back. “If Justin dies we are going too,” he vowed.

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