Rachel smiled as Essek raced back and forth, causing furrows in the long grass where he flew. Rill was sitting on the rock that Rachel was leaning on, preening herself after she had taken a bath earlier, tiny water droplets rolling down her pink scales onto the rock where they evaporated almost instantly.

There were others of her flock around, enjoying the high sun that had chosen to come out from behind the clouds today. There was a tiny little stream running through the overgrown meadow that Rachel had chosen as her spot, and the flock were enjoying it. She could hear the tiny squeaks and squeals that the dragonlings were making as they dived in and out of the sparkling waters, occasionally rising high enough for Rachel to see their jewelled hides over the long grass that was swaying in front of her.

Essek race around the rock, completing a couple of laps, before settling down onto Rachel’s knee. He crooned as she scratched his eye ridges, his eyes half closing as he enjoyed the attentions.

Rill got jealous, and flapped down onto her shoulder, nosing up against her cheek and demanding some scratches for herself. Rachel obliged with her free hand, and soon had two crooning dragonlings nestling up to her.

The noise attracted the rest of her flock, and the next ten minutes were spent giving out scratches to all the demanding noses that nuzzled at her hands wanting them. Once each head had been scratched, it was content to curl up on her, the rock, or the grass nearby and take a short snooze in the afternoon sun. They were adorable, her dragonlings, just simple adorable. Demanding and voracious as well, but adorable all the same. She smiled at them, all curled up around her, hides jewel like under the sun after their playing.

The sound of hooves marched up to her at a steady pace, and a grey horse slowly became visible through the waving grass.

“There you are. I thought you might have come through again.”

“My friends found me first, and it’s such a nice day, I didn’t want to spend it cooped up inside.” She scratched the head of a small green who was looking up at the new arrival.

“You know you should report to the nearest station whenever you arrive.”

Rachel stood up, dislodging several dragonlings who took off into the air and  swirled around her. She reached up on tip toes and pushed the corners of Conner’s mouth up.

“You should smile more, your face suits it.” She let her fingers drop, and then boosted herself up onto the saddle and settled down in front of him. “Come on Regulus, back to civilisation.” She flicked the reins and the big grey trotted off at her command quite happily, the flock of dragonlings zipping around the three of them, as Connor rolled his eyes at his passenger. But the smile she had put on his face stayed there.