“Oh. Please forgive me. My name is Dawngazer.”
at him curiously.
“I’ve never heard a name like that before.”
“My parents say that I hatched just as the sun was rising
and looked straight at it until I started crying because it hurt so much,” Dawngazer
explained. Umbra couldn’t keep herself from doubling over laughing.
Dawngazer was very intrigued. He’d never imagined
the princess of the Night Wings would be so… normal. He’d always thought that
dragon nobility lived in a completely different world. Yet here the princess
was, laughing at a funny mistake he made as a hatchling. It made him wonder if
they were more alike than he realised.
“Well that wasn’t very smart. I guess you learned your lesson though,”
Umbra said through the giggles. Dawngazer chuckled too.
“Yeah. Though I think the reason I looked for so
long was that I thought the sun was a massive jewel. A piece of treasure that
was given to me the moment I hatched. Even now I still love looking up at all
the stars spread out like diamonds sprinkled across the night sky.”
Dawngazer looked up at the twinkling white lights
in the dark blanket of the night sky.
Umbra looked up at them too. They were so beautiful,
sparkling like so much treasure. Even so she found her gaze drawn back to
Dawngazer as he continued looking up into the sky with a slight smile. The
moonlight from the mouth of the cave bathing him it white light making his
scales shine like jewels themselves. She couldn’t help but smile gently. He
looked so handsome when he smiled like that. She could feel something warm and
strange stirring inside her. He looked at her as if to say something and paused
then turned away quickly, but not before Umbra noticed him blushing. It made
her heart start to beat faster and the warmth in her chest spread to her cheeks
making her feel a bit uncomfortable.
“What’s so interesting over there?” She asked
teasingly, trying to get over the awkwardness.
“Oh nothing,” Dawngazer replied quickly. “Would you
like me to show you some of the constellations I know?” He asked trying to
change the topic.
“Certainly,” Umbra replied, relieved to change the
topic as well.
As the night went on it got colder, and they both
shuffled closer together for warmth as Dawngazer showed her the constellations. At some point their tails had twined together and Dawngazer had covered Umbra
with a wing.
As the sky started to get brighter Umbra realised
she had to get back to the castle before somebody noticed she was missing. It
was a bit awkward getting untangled but eventually she stood facing Dawngazer.
“Thank you. That was wonderful, but I need to get
back now,” She said, hesitating. She wanted to say more. She wanted to speak
with him again some time.
“No thank you Umbra. You have no Idea how much it
meant for me to have your company tonight. Please, if there is anything I can
do to repay you simply ask and it shall be done,” He said with a polite bow.
“Well… Since you offered…” Umbra said hesitantly
and a bit awkwardly. “I would ask that you not mention meeting me here tonight,
and, maybe, if I were to meet you again… would you keep me company?” She asked
Dawngazer’s smile lit up his face and set Umbra’s
heart fluttering again.
“Yes. Of course, my lady. The star’s beauty is only
rivaled by your own,” He said, like a knight from some fantasy story.
Now, normally, Umbra could keep herself from
hearing other dragon’s thoughts and she had always been taught not to listen
for them out of respect, but in that moment his thoughts were so loud and obvious
she couldn’t help but read them.
Oh, Come on
Dawngazer! Really?! The star’s beauty is only rivaled by your own? How awkward can
you be?! Are you trying to disgrace yourself in front of the most beautiful
dragon you’ve ever met? And the princess on top of that?!
Umbra’s heart couldn’t help but melt at the humble
awkwardness and genuine compliments he was giving her. The fact that he had been
so awkward about it but tried anyway only made him seem even cuter.
“Thank you Dawngazer. I… I really appreciate that,”
She whispered. She could feel herself blushing and turned away to try and cover
it up as much as she could.
“I will see you again Dawngazer. In fact, I look
forward to it.” She said in her princess voice. She could feel Dawngazer
watching her and blushed even more as she quickly walked down the tunnel and
turned the corner.
Her friends were still there waiting with knowing
smiles. after their teasing ended, they returned to the castle where she
resumed her life as ‘princess’ Umbra.
Even so, she looked forward to meeting Dawngazer
again. Next time she hoped she would get a bit more time alone with him.
There were indeed many more
memories of Umbra’s time spent with Dawngazer. Most of them seemed unimportant
and it made Shadow wonder why they were so important to his mother that she
passed them on to Jarid. In most of them she was filled with the same strange
warm awkward feeling as the first time they met, but she always seemed happier
in those memories than in any others.
They were also the memories where he felt
her love for him the strongest. So, he clung to them as his mind faded to
darkness, and he took comfort in the love he found there.