I realize I didn’t say this before, but I plan to post the new chapters of Noemi’s Dragon every Monday.  Only five chapters left after this one!   I hope you enjoy the rest :)

Disclaimer: Today’s typos brought to you by the cold, refreshing lemonade…that I spilled on my laptop’s keyboard :(

Find previous chapters here.

Nothing was worse than this.  His chest was gnawing at his stomach.  His mind was an agonizing fog.  His heart squeezed so painfully, he was surprised it kept beating.

She lay so still in his arms.  Her chest rose and fell in steady breaths.  What a cruel mockery.   He could have gotten to watch her truly sleep, uncursed by the Lull Wyrm, could have held her in his arms as his wife.  Now that was stolen from him.

The blush in her cheeks mocked him.  Would that he had never seen color!  That would have been kinder than this.  Now every sight for the rest of Garrin’s life would remind him that he’d lost Noemi when he’d only just discovered he loved her.

Though he could not hear, he spoke the prophecy’s words with bitterness.  “‘Perish unless she beholds the world in color and not only in shade.’”  He cursed.  “So much for prolonged life!”  How was this right?  What foul fiend had overridden the vagrant seer’s hope with this doom?  The pain was too great.  He clung to Noemi, hiding his face against her neck.

When one of the others touched his shoulder, Garrin tried to ignore him.  The touch turned into a pull.  That infuriated him.  Garrin glared up at the old man, Ancel.  He was pointing to something on the ground with wide eyes.

Beloved sight awakens the mind asleep, he read.  Then he spit on the message.  Yeah?  Then why hadn’t seeing color saved her?

Ancel narrowed his eyes at Garrin and scribbled with his finger.  Garrin read, I think she needs to see you now.

Garrin reread the message, then looked at Ancel skeptically.  The old man nodded emphatically and pantomimed lifting up his eyelids.

Garrin’s heart ached, but there could be no harm in giving the daft idea a try.  He tenderly lifted the soft skin of Noemi’s eyelids.  Her eyes were empty.  He looked in them for as long as he could bear it before he carefully closed them.

It was pointless.

But she shifted in his arms.  It was slight, but he was certain.

She moved again.  Her eyes flew open.

Noemi was awake!

Garrin laughed, though he couldn’t hear it, and held Noemi close, cradling her head against his shoulder.  This time, her arms wrapped around him, too.  She turned her face into his neck.  He felt lighter than normal, and invincible.  Noemi was awake.

When at length he remembered that there were other people present, he looked up to find Ancel beaming and Sir Lamar with a genuine, if faint, smile.

Toward evening, Sir Lamar convinced them it would be safe to remove the wax from their ears.  “The dragon shall not return for a day, at least,” he said when everyone could hear.

Ancel asked, “So, what comes next?”

The answer was obvious.  “Sir Lamar takes Noemi back to the castle,” Garrin said.  “Ancel and I’ll wait here and end the dragon.”

Noemi stiffened under his arm.  “Do you really expect me to leave you here in danger?”  Her rich eyes—hazel, according to Ancel, a mixture of green and brown—looked up at him with sorrow.

“Noemi, you must be crazy if you think I’ll let you stay,” he argued.

“Garrin.”  He could never figure out how she made his name into the most powerful reproach.  “You still may not order me around.”

Ancel spoke up, voice cautious and appropriately humble.  “With all respect, Princess, the boy’s suggestion’s solid.  The wyrm will be hard to fight with our few numbers.  You’ll be in danger.”

“The dragon seems to be following the princess’s scent,” Sir Lamar spoke up.  “That will leave me as her sole defender.  While I have no doubt I could defend her against a normal dragon, this Lull Wyrm is, I fear, beyond my skill.”  Garrin knew he disliked Trace’s newfound beloved.

Then Noemi’s forehead puckered.  She touched a finger to her upper lip.  Garrin leaned closer.  “What is it?”

She bit her lip.  “Sir Ancel, do you remember what your book said about slaying the Lull Wyrm when weapons failed?”

The old man scratched his grey head.  “Not so clear as I’d like, but I think it said…the woken’s song sends the beast to sleep.”

The furrows in Noemi’s brow smoothed.  Her smile lit her face.  Garrin was delighted by and a little in awe of the way she seemed to glow, but he knew he wasn’t going to fully like what she said.

“I can do it, then.  I can kill the dragon.”

Yep, he was not happy with this development at all.

Let me know what you think!  I always love feedback, (kind) criticism, and questions.

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