Lucas arrived the next morning while they were all eating breakfast in the conservatory. It was just after sunrise, but even those not going to Devon were awake.
“You’ve got a nice house here,â€ he commented as he walked in. â€œBut isn’t it a bit small?â€
“That’s exactly what I said when we moved in.” Sonia chuckled. “But it was the largest house Matt could find.”
“Well, there was a larger house available, but it had no garden to speak of,â€ Matthias said. â€œThey’d sold it to developers to build another house on. And Sonia definitely needed the buffer between her and the neighbours in the state she was in.”
Sonia shuddered. “Without the garden it would have been intolerable and adding the conservatory and attic made it better. We never expected having to squeeze so many people in here.”
“I guess. Still seems small to me.” Lucas stared out at the garden. “It is a nice garden. Did you plant the little orchard?”
“Yes, and the vegetable beds. It was all lawn when we moved in. Now sit down and have some breakfast.”
“Thanks,” He grabbed a chair and squeezed in between Kyle and Karen before twisting slightly to look at Lyrrekka. “This is interesting. Sarah’s cursing herself for not realising you know.”
Lyrrekka snorted. “The Kithreiri are surprisingly good at diverting people away from working that bit out. You can’t blame them for being paranoid.”
“No,” he agreed. “And the fact no one would be happy about it makes it easier.” He gave a sigh. “What’s it like being a dragon? It must suck to be hungry all the time.”
“It’s certainly not wonderful, but I’d actually say being Kithreia is worse. The psychic binding they had to put on themselves in order to survive on Kithra is difficult for most colours to work around,” Lyrrekka said thoughtfully. “The hunger is…” she hesitated. “Well, it’s like an ache you have all the time. It was hard at first, but after a while you barely notice it because you’ve got used to it. You just need to bear it in mind when you’re eating because you don’t automatically know when to stop. I honestly don’t think born dragons like Kari and Tarian are even properly aware of it until something draws their attention to it.â€
“I know I’m not unless I’m hurt,” Tarian agreed. “It’s a thing. You live with it. It’s the half-made and newly made who have the most trouble with it. Other people sense it more than we do.”
“I suppose that makes a sort of sense.” Lucas nodded thoughtfully.
“Other than that, I really don’t feel that much different,” Lyrrekka said. “I’m still me, more or less.”
Karilya looked up from her eggs and bacon. “What’s it like not being hungry all the time? I’m not even sure what that means.”
Lyrrekka laughed. “You know how when your stomach is hungry it feels a lot like how you feel all the time about energy?”
“Yes?” Karilya nodded solemnly.
“And then you eat some food and it goes away. It’s like that.”
Karilya cocked her head at that. “That would be nice, I think. It’s annoying when you fall over and cut your knee and suddenly you want to eat someone even though you shouldn’t and someone has to sit on you to stop it.”
“Well that’s one word for it,” Lyrrekka said dryly. â€œI can think of others.â€ She caught the look Matthias was giving her and chuckled. â€œIt was when she was a toddler; they don’t have much self-control at the best of times. She’s got more a lot more self-control now.â€
“I do!â€ Karilya said proudly. â€œI’m tough! I didn’t even frenzy when the mean guy threw me into the wall!â€
“Yes, you are.â€ Lyrrekka put an arm around her and gave her a hug. â€œNow please finish your breakfast before it gets cold.â€
“That brings up an issue,â€ Matthias murmured. â€œYou can stop Kari or Tarian frenzying, but who’s going to stop you if you’re hurt?â€
Lyrrekka threw back her head and laughed warmly. â€œI’m not going to frenzy, Matt. I have a definite advantage over most dragons.â€ She glanced meaningfully out of the window to where Kenna and Ebona were eating a pile of bacon and sausage.
Matthias narrowed his eyes. â€œHaving a heart friend stops you frenzying?â€
Lyrrekka nodded. â€œWell unless you’re a total idiot like Gerian. Even Shalriya has enough sense left to let her heart friend try to talk her down without-â€ She broke off with a shudder. â€œHow could he do that?â€
“Oh!â€ Salia exclaimed. â€œThat rusty stympian bird was his heart friend?â€
“Yes,â€ Lyrrekka said sadly. â€œHe must have argued with him more than Gerian’s stubbornness could tolerate.â€ She sighed deeply and looked at Matt. â€œWhat do you want us to do while you head to Devon?â€
“Mostly guard Salia,â€ he said. â€œThough if you could poke about the web and look into anything important that archaeological digs have turned up recently? Sarah’s got Ian looking but he’s no archeologist.â€
“The web? Really? It’s grown that much in fourteen years?â€ Lyrrekka raised an eyebrow. She glanced at Tarian. â€œIt’s a computer thing. I’ll show you.â€
“Sonia will introduce you to Google,â€ Matthias said. â€œIt’s the current search engine of choice. If you need any paywall subscriptions for papers, wait till I get back and I’ll pay for them.â€
“Okay?â€ Lyrrekka looked a little confused.
“You’ll see,â€ Sonia said. â€œIt’s not as bad as it sounds.â€
“Now has everyone finished?â€ Matthias asked. â€œBecause we need to get going if we’re to reach Cat’s place by lunchtime.â€
Please note: Due to the fact the I’m doing NaNoWriMo in November Wednesday side stories will be on a short hiatus for the duration. They will return in early December. The main Dragon Wars and Haventon updates will continue on their usual schedule.