"Let us go! I thing we have given our people enough entertainment for one day."
"B--but," Star stammered, stumbling along behind him. "They can't hear us, can they?"
"Sure they can. More enhanced senses than humans," he reminded her, pulling her through a set of columns towards the sound of rushing water. "Though they should have been polite enough not to listen. But you are new and word has spread that Zen, who is not considered a raving beauty, has managed to bring home a fertile female."
"Zen is beautiful!" Star jerked helplessly in Zol's grip, trying to defend her mate and let her anger show about this Dragonish ideal of beauty. "What is wrong with Zen?" she snarled, her free hand tearing at the strong dark fist that led her unerringly towards the sound of falling water.
"Nothing!" Zol snarled.
At the same time a light smooth voice called out, "Everything! Especially when it comes to that ugly red haired monster that...."
Zol and Star abruptly stopped their tug of war and turned to face the insulting voice, suddenly united, anger apparent on both of their faces.
"Oh," Zol grinned, a smile that was anything but pleasant. "Why, if it is not the rejected one! And I thought that you would still be buried in the desert sands after Kyo damn near buried your head in a Scab Hill for what you did."
"Who is this...thing?" Star hissed, baring her teeth and suddenly feeling very protective and territorial. "And what gives it the right to speak ill of my mate?"
The no longer smiling dragon in question was as tall as Zol, with skin a bit darker than his, the color of deep brown earth. Yet his skin lacked that creamy texture that made Zol seem to glow. His eyes were deep amber, his hair a light brown. However, the expression on his face detracted so much from his beauty.
"This thing?" Zol laughed. "Good name for a pile of Scab dung!"
The dragon stiffened more, steam rolling from his nostrils as he faced the united pair.
"I am not a thing!" he hissed, his eyes narrowing dangerously.
"This thing," Zol went on as if he didn't hear the protest, wrinkling his nose in disdain, "This thing wanted to mate into out Quad, and would have succeeded if Father hadn't realized its true character and chose Zen instead."
"I would have made a better Second in Command!" the angry dragon roared, its voice louder than the sound of the rushing water. "My family line is royal!"
"Anyway..." Zol cast a dismissing glance at the amber eyes dragon, "...that thing has been trying to make trouble for Zen ever since. It seems to think that it matches the ideal of Dragonish beauty." Zol tossed his long hair and preened, purring lightly in his throat. "But unless the ideals of beauty have changed in the last millennia, it still has a long way to go to even match any of us."
"Zen is an ugly pale dragon!" the belittled one screamed, losing some more of its composure. "He could never match me for strength and beauty!"
"So that thing," Zol blithely continued, "decided to ambush Zen when he was just beginning his training with Father. But even half trained, Zen managed to send it fleeing back to his Blood Quad, crying to its sires. And when Zen returned, looking worse for the fight, but incredibly better than that thing over there, you could hear Father's displeasure all over the Weir. Its punishment was legendary and I believe still held up as an extreme in discipline to warriors in training as what could happen to you if you displease Kyotyte by attacking a younger untrained warrior."
"What was done?" Star asked, ignoring the now quite red-in-the-face dragon. "Because obviously it didn't work. It appears he is still arrogant and offensive."
"Father had it de-clawed," Zol spoke in a staged whisper that was almost louder than his speaking voice. "And had its front fangs pulled. No one ever attacks the Future Commander of the king's army, and no one ever flaunts the Commander's rules..."
"Enough!" the amber-eyed dragon roared, trying to cut off Zol, but was soundly ignored by both.
"And..." Zol grinned, speaking over the angry Dragonish, "its hair was sheered."
"Song of the Scab!" the amber one screamed as it lashed out with its hand, trying to deliver a smack to Zol.
Star gasped, but before she could react, it pulled its blow. It looked around, noticing several pairs of eyes on it.
"And I thought I was going to have an excuse to get you sheered again." Zol shook his head sadly. "Pity."