That should be good enough.
Ambrose folded his legs Indian-style and idly tapped the phone against his knee.
Fifteen different menus and warnings popped up on the screen, which resolutely remained upside down.
Ambrose set the phone down before he could do any more damage to it. He closed his eyes and mentally checked the time.
He nodded and opened his eyes.
I still have a little bit of time before dawn.
He picked up the phone.
The fleet of menus and warning notices filled him with deep dread.
I hope I didn’t break it. Let’s see. Let’s start with this one. Click on the X in the corner. Okay.
That one’s gone.
It took Ambrose a while to get rid of the on-screen clutter. He somehow managed to disable the phone’s camera in the process.
But all of the menus and such were gone.
He went back into the Call History and called Jay’s number again.
And again and again and again.
Each time Ambrose called he left a message.
Each message was worded slightly differently, but it was all basically the same, “Call me. When you get this message, please call me at this number. We need to talk. Call me. Please call me.”
He called him non-stop for the rest of the night.
All the way until dawn.
Only then did he yield to his day exhaustion and go to sleep.
Jay’s phone rang and rang and rang and rang, but Jay slept through it all.
He didn’t hear it.
Not even in his dreams.
Sammy sat on the ground and leaned back against Deliosa’s flank. He looked up at the night sky.
Deliosa raised her large dragon head and scanned the sky. Her nostrils flared as she sniffed the air. Dawn will be here soon.
She lowered her head to his level. Do you want to go home?
“Look.” he said softly. “You can still see the Great Dipper and the Little Dipper. And Orion is right over there.”
She was silent a moment. My people called those stars Great Dragon and Small Dragon Chaser.
“What about Orion?”
Orion was Sresilya’s Eggs. She tilted her head. Do you know the Legend of Sresilya?
“It doesn’t sound familiar.”
Sresilya was the very first dragon that The Lords created. She was perfect beauty. Her scales were pure gold. Her wings like diamonds. Her voice akin to The Lords’ perfection. She flew throughout the night sky, filling it with her song. But The Lords enemy, Mrnathashlin, saw her and fell into a dark love. He wanted her. He wanted to corrupt her song, to shatter her wings, to ruin her perfection.
Just to spite The Lords. He had hated them from the very beginning of time. What they loved he would always try to destroy.
She paused and contemplated his expression. It was that of a child hearing a thrilling bedtime story for the first time. Her tail swept the ground in lazy amusement. Are you sure you’ve never heard this story?
Then, I will continue. The Lords created a mate for her and he was every bit as beautiful as Sresilya. She loved him. They spent many happy nights together. Soon enough, she was carrying eggs. That’s when Mrnathashlin attacked. He killed her mate and chased after her. She tried to use her magic against him, but he was immune to dragon magic.
“What did she do?”
The only thing she could. She flew up into The Lords’ sky and laid her eggs in the firmament. She wrapped her body around the three eggs and set up a shield around herself. A shield so powerful Mrnathashlin would never penetrate it. He found her and assaulted her shield with everything he had. But her shield stayed strong. He stopped his attacks and decided to wait her out. But she held strong. Even as she grew hungry and weak, she kept her shield up and her eggs safe. Then, when she was at her weakest, her eggs hatched and her shields fell. Mrnathashlin rushed in, but The Lords were too quick. They turned her and her three hatchlings into stars. So, she would always be near them and always out of Mrnathashlin’s grasp.
He sighed. “Now that I know that legend, I don’t know if I can go back to thinking of it as Orion.”
She purred.. Samer, stay with me.
“I can’t. I have to go back to work. I need to get home so I can—-”
She pressed her nostrils against his chest.
Just a little longer?
He stroked the small scales on her face. The edges were as clean and as sharp as any dagger blade, but they did not harm his skin. “I’ll stay another hour.”
She exhaled heat into his chest. That seems fair.