"Dragon!" The lookout screamed at the top of his lungs.

The people in the meadows scrambled for their cloaks or headed for the trees, some tripping over the others in the attempt to flee, others just falling to ground and covering themselves where they had stood.

My first memory is of this same type of flight for our lives. The dragon had taken off with my father that day. The death of the crowned Prince that day had sent tremors of fear throughout the kingdom. If a dragon could take a member of the royal family then nobody was safe.

My betrothed pressed against my back and his sword dug into my back bringing me back from those terrible memories. He was softly mumbling prayers to the Lord and Lady to save us all from the throat of the beast, that now flew over my people.

The prayers where all for naught, for in an instant the great beast dipped down and dug it's claws into the soft earth. His reward was a screaming maiden that was maybe just a few springs younger then me. He closed his massive black wings over his back and threw his head back in a triumphant call.

With his meal in his claws we slowly came out of hiding. We all knew the agreement passed down through the ages. 'We dragons are noble creatures and will only take one of your people at a time.' What they never told us was that could, and would take one person each. Sometimes taking a whole village this way.

The people looked at me with sad eyes knowing that, I should start the "death song." It was possible the worst part of being the heir to the throne. The song was also a tradition handed down from the beginning of time.

With a large breath I started to sing that sorrowful song. Tears sprang to my eyes as the power of the land flooded my people and I. The good memories of the dead maiden flowed past our eyes so that we may remember her to the end of time. I could see her playing with her friends as a child. Taking picnics with her family ever summer. And the joy she felt at the prospect of marrying a life long friend at the next full moon.

When the song was over I turned to our master of the guard. "Please see to it that the young man is brought to me at sundown." No need to tell him what young man I wanted.

Everybody knew who he was and what his pain would be.

I turned to my betrothed and buried my head in his strong shoulders. Death always upset me, far more then it seemed to bother anybody else.

I could feel my grandfather walk slowly up behind me. What passed between them was unknown to anybody. But I could take a guess, because I was soon scooped up off my feet and carried into the palace.

It took way too little time to reach my suites, but I was thankful to be once again out of the public eye. I broke down once he placed me onto the couch. He held my head so that I could look at him. He had long limbs, strong chest and shoulders, a face that could make any woman fall over herself, and raven black hair to frame it.

"Sanin, my dear," he nearly whispered. "No need to fear anything, I will protect you to the end of time." I could feel more tears growing. Lucky for me he stopped talking and just held me.

It didn't take long for my grandfather to take his place. But for some reason I knew that he wasn't going to comfort me for long. I still had a lot to learn.

And I was right.

"My darling dear. Elves where the first race to walk the earth." This I had heard before and gave a small nod to indicate that I knew. "But the dragons have been here longer then us." This shocked me in ways I have never known. I don't think anybody knew other then the King and Queen. "Our song of death tells us that we must be strong and never forget. What we have forgotten is that once we where no better then sheep. But that changed when the human came and gave us cold steel." I knew already of the first sword given to my ancestor by the humans. Every child knew that story. "We used that steel to break free from the dragon overlords and take our place as the guardians of the land."

I glared at my grandfather and King. He was so cold right now. I was hurting from the pain of the memories and he talked about the Great War.

"And as guardians we know that some beasts must eat in order to survive. Now we may morn that young lady, but we should never forget that the dragons are as much a part of the world we guard as the deer we eat this night. It is the balance of the nature, which we as guardians, must maintain. If we let that balance tip to any one way, the earth will die."

I nodded and drew myself up to stand before him.

"Thank you your grace for the lesson, but I must prepare now for the feast." I hated to be so formal with him, but if I let him go on he would have told me the life stories of everybody in the land.

"A very well, I will see you then." He turned and walked out of my sleeping chambers, his long silvery hair nearly brushing the floor with his passage. My betrothed brushed his fingers over my cheek before he too left the room.

I was dressed in a light green dress for the feast with amber jewels around my neck. The feast of high summer always held much joy for me. But this year it was over shadowed by the loss earlier in the day.

As the sun made its path towards the earth I prepared to meet with the young man. A fine white wine was sent to my sitting room.

"Welcome Tithnat, please have a sit."

He sat on the chair next to me and I gave him a glass of white wine.

"Love is a wonderful this that you should not waste. I'm sure that she would not want you to live your life with her death over your head. You must also not hold back your love for others."

"Your grace is wise." He replied looking at his feet. "When the time is right I will love again, but I do not feel up to it at this moment."

"That is fine. When the time is right you will know. If you wish to share your grief I will always be here to speak with." He took his leave of me when we had finished almost the entire bottle of wine. I was tired beyond anything I had ever felt before. The grief I felt was almost as strong as when I watched it happen.

I told my personal maid that I was very fatigued and needed to rest. She would turn anybody away from my door who came looking for me, even if it were the king or my betrothed who came calling.

The next day the warm sun and my betrothed greeted me. He politely asked if I was well enough to take a walk in the meadow just outside the north end of the city. I told him that I was and we where soon walking towards our goal.

The meadow was a popular place for young couples to go. The men usually played some game or strength and skill, while the woman watched it. Today was no different.

The game was set and running. The men had picked a game with a heavy ball and six different goals. It was an up coming game. One I didn't totally understand. But I did know that the point was to get the ball in one of the goals without allowing the other team to do so. And the teams where tied in score.

"It is getting late," one gentleman called.

"Next point wins." A cocky blonde called from the other end of the playing field.

But before the game could be set up for the final match a dragon was spotted. It was closer then it should have been, and much larger then the one yesterday. Its snowy white hide must have helped it slip up on us unaware.

I dove for my cloak and pressed myself to the ground. I could see the others around me do the same. Most of the men in the field ran for the cover of the trees. But one did not. I knew fear greater then that for my own life when I knew who it was. I also knew that he couldn't be that stupid unless he thought there was a greater danger to me.

And as always things went from bad to worse, he drew steel. He must have been totally nuts if he thought he could take this dragon by himself.

A gust of wind over me announced the dragon before I could see it.

It bellowed a war cry that shook me to my toes. I saw the steel flash in the sunlight as it swung towards the great beast. The razor sharp edge dug into the flesh of its forearm. The dragon hissed in pain and swung its head around. It neatly severed the head of my beloved from his shoulders.

I dashed out from under my cloak with a cry of anguish. But before I got too far a few of the women around me stopped me. I fell to the ground with tears flowing down my face. It just wasn't fair. Dragons had taken two men I cared for now. I wasn't going to let it happen again.

The death song came to my lips without a thought and I sang it with all the pain that I now felt. The others around me couldn't sing along for the pain that I threw into those memories had brought them to tears.

Before the song was finished a call again went up that a dragon neared. I fell half-heartedly to the ground and covered myself. Tears flowed over my face.

A small green dragon came over the hill to the east. It bellowed its annoyance at finding the white one already to ground with a body at its feet.

"Welcome brother." The white one said in a silky voice. I could hear a gasp behind me. It was as if they never knew dragons could talk.

"I see you have already picked your feed, mind if I pick mine." The greens voice was rougher then the whites. And danger dripped from it.

"Actually this one isn't my feed. He attacked me." The white raised his forearm to show the green.

"It's a shame you should waste the good meat." The green looked around the meadow. I was somewhat glad that the cloaks had a small spell on them that made the wearer invisible. I don't think I could take watching another die this day.

"Now brother this is my field this day. Unless you wish to fight for it's claim please move on."

The green hissed his displeasure and fanned his wings, a clear challenge. "Name your game, brother."

"I think catch my be a good one. You are quick are you not? Good. Now here it is. I know where every elf is hiding. I'll dig one out. If you can take it from my grasp you can have this field for as long as you fly. If you can not you will leave this area and not bother me again." The greens eyes where full of glee, for he knew he was fast and agile.

The white dragon stood on its hind legs and walked around the meadow. It was a mockery of the way we would walk at the market. He passed several elves that I knew must be screaming inside with glee.

The white was at the other end of the meadow looking into the trees where the men had run.

A small headache started to throb in my head. And a silky voice soon followed. I knew it was in my head because nobody else reacted to it. "My dear lady I'm sorry for your loss. Please do not be scared or mad at me." I could swear that he was just as upset over my loss and I was.

The white bellowed and it sounded a lot like frustration. He launched into the air and flew across the meadow, his claws raking the dirt far from anybody who he might have used in this deadly game.

The green soon followed his lead and launched into the air and gained some height.

The white wheeled on his wing tip and came straight for me. His claws gently plucking me from the ground and held me to his breast.

A feeling of warmth flowed over me and I did not feel fear. My mind was telling me to scream and fight, but this feeling of safety flowed on every nerve.

"At last I find you." The silky voice in my head said again. "Dragon kind always look for the mate of their hearts and I have found mine in the most unlikely of places."

I was shocked that he would say such a thing. For one I was the crowned princess of the elves and he was a dragon. Even if I were his life bonded, it would never work out.

"Sweetheart, please don't think so loud. Singash will hear you."

I gave up on thinking and decided that the wind would cover my voice. "I know nothing of you. How do you know I'm your life bonded?" It was a stupid thing to ask if he felt the same fire that I did.

"Feel the strength of my muscles and the beating of my heart, the fire of my love that rushes through you. That is how you know. For me it is much the same."

He gained height on the green and the dove for the ground. "Now is not the time to speak of love while death hangs in the air. We shall speak of it later."

The headache that had started earlier stopped and I could feel sleep come over me. 'What a stupid time to sleep.' Was the last thought I had for a long while?

o-o-o-o-o

I awoke in my room at the palace. The pale curtains of my bed softly billowing in the slight breeze through the open balcony doors. A tall white haired elf stood in the opening.

He turned to look at me and I marvelled that his eyes where also white. He was flawless.

"Are you feeling better now?" I recognized that silky voice. But it didn't come from the creature that had last held it.

I gave a small gasp of breath as he quickly came across the floor to my bedside.

"Your grandfather is very kind to allow me to wait here until you awoke. When that dragon left you by that small stream I brought you back." He gave a wink that showed I was not to give up his true form.

I looked over towards my bookshelves, and there stood my grandfather.

"Your grace," I started, "Would you permit me to allow this gentleman to stay in the room abreast to mine?"

My grandfather made a motion with his hand to indicate that he wanted to speak with me alone. My white dragon slowly walked out of the room trusting his secret to me.

"Are you sure my dear?" He looked concerned.

"Grandpa, you might be old, but you are not blind. This man is my life bonded." I let out a sigh and hoped that I hadn't let too much slip.

"Would you allow and old man to arrange for the wedding?"

I flew out of my bed and hugged him tightly. "Thank you!"

"I have one last question." I groaned. "What colour should the wedding be?"

I started to giggle as a smile spread over his face. "White," was all I said.

o-o-o-o-o

The months passed too slowly for my tastes. But that day soon came upon me.

I stood in the dressing room of my suites. A small army of maids attended me. One tied off my corset while another finished the hem to my gown. Another applied colour to my face, and still another styled my hair.

There was a maid standing off to the side holding a small box that no doubt held my marriage jewels. She looked ready to pounce on me as soon as the others where done.

My grandfather walked in a moment before that could happen, a young page following at his heels.

"Gorgeous, and I think that this may pale in comparison." He motioned to the page to open the box he carried. My grandfather took out a tiara of silver. It held a small diamond in the centre. "I had this specially made for you." He held it out to the maid who had fixed my hair. She placed it on my head and fiddled with my hair so that it sat flush with my forehead.

The maid with the jewels opened the box to allow my grandfather to place them on me himself. The first thing out of the box was a silver web with diamonds at the joints. Next came a matching set of earrings, and finally a set of silver bracelets and armlets.

They placed the vale over my face and left us to ourselves.

"I have gotten to know the young man you marry. He is kind and gentle. He will make a fine king."

"Grandpa, I know this may hurt you to know. And I'm sorry for having to put you through this. But I do mean well. I ask you to remember a pair of commoners from long ago." I took a deep breath to steady myself. "Their names where Lingana and Gringos."

I slowly walked toward to mirror to view myself before I would present myself to my soon to be husband.

"I thought it to be a fanciful legend. But it is true. Please know that I will always be faithful to my kind, and to my heart." I turned to look at him. "While you struggle to remember our subjects await a wedding." I walked over to him and took the hand he offered.

My uncle would give me away this day and my grandfather would conduct the ceremony. But neither knew of the surprise I had planned when it was all over and final.

My grandfather and I walked down the hall to where my uncle stood. He smiled then led me into the courtyard that held the rulers of the other races, and the highborn of mine.

The ceremony was dull in the way that all where. I was glad to have it finish in the final kiss.

I had asked that a large area be left clear to the left side. This space was normally reserved for the groom's family so they had no trouble doing it.

My lord husband held out his hand to me with a smile on his face. And we turned to the people.

His voice rang out throughout the courtyard propelled by his magic. "Today I wed into the title of crowned prince of the elves. And as my first promise, I will promise to you all that no person within the boarders I call home will be killed by a dragon." A small gasp of shock ran through the crowd. "Thus forth any dragon who dares to hunt on my ground with face me in battle."

Upon my husbands arm we walked to the space left open.

"No!" I could hear my grandfather scream. "What have I done!"

I turned to him. "My grace you have wed your granddaughter to her life bonded and gained a powerful ally."

He crumpled to the ground muttering about how he ruined his family honour and the trust of the people.

I turned to my lord husband and smiled at him. He stroked my cheek with the back of his hand. "Forever and always." He whispered.

I took a few steps back never taking my eyes off of him.

The people gathered where silent as they watched. All eyes where on us. They forgot the sobbing mess of their King. They knew something grand was going to happen.

My lord husband and I had planned this theatrics for about a moon. I knew that it didn't really happen this way but he wanted to make a show of it that nobody would ever forget.

He raised his hands to his sides calling up a mist in front of him. It was white and pure. It grew in size and slowly covered him. The form grew more and more taking of the final shape.

Our people did not fear magic, but the form the mist took was. Someone in the back screamed while the ones in the front drew back. The mist dragon then leapt into the sky. Nobody took notice that my lord husband was not left standing there. A loud bellow sounded and the lookouts looked puzzled. They could see no dragon in the skies but that of the mist dragon.

When the mist crossed the path of the sun it broke apart and showered gently down on the people who watch from below.

The form they now saw sent fear through even the most brave. A white dragon circled above them and there was no time to hide.

He turned on his wing tip and came down in the space that he had just vacated.

I walked up to him and pressed myself to that strong chest.

A warrior let out a cry as he plunged forward. Another tried to swing around the panicked crowd.

I took a step back and raised my hands so all could see. Magic helped carry my voice over the panic.

"You will not harm my lord husband and your crowned Prince." A hush fell over the crowd. The sword fell from the hands of one warrior.

"Singash, I told you not to come back here!" my husband called.

"And you have grown soft my brother." A voice called from the back. The crowd quickly moved out of the way. There stood a tall human with black hair. The light glimmered over it and I could see a hint of green in it, his eyes where a bright green colour.

With a bellow my husband leapt at the human. A woman screamed and fainted close by. With a loud crack my husband was locked in a battle with a green dragon. More screams echoed in the area.

I motioned for the guards to clear the area of people. They where glad to comply.

The green tried to take a swipe at a young girl who got to close, but my husband put himself in the path of the deadly claws. The claws found their mark and my husband howled in pain.

I grabbed a squire who ran past. "Get me my bow and quiver."

"Yes my lady." He said as he bowed then ran off.

A guard who was passing with a group of nobles looked like he was going to take a fit. "What are you going to do my lady?"

"Why help my husband?"

The guard left off his herding and grabbed me by the arms. "That's a dragon! You should be hiding!"

I pried his hand off of me. "I will not hide when my husband and Prince are in danger. Nor should you." The squire returned at the moment. "Thank you my dear. Please go tell my grandfather that my husband and I will be along shortly."

I strung my bow with practiced ease. Chose an arrow and nocked it. The bow was raised and I drew it back to my cheek. Took careful aim and let fly. The arrow sailed high over the green's head and clattered off the stone of the palace.

The next arrow was already in place and drawn. I let fly the second arrow and it found its mark. The arrow sank deep into the eye of the green dragon. Blood flowed over the shaft and he bellowed in pain. My husband took this moment to slice the throat of the green dragon.

He quickly changed back to his eleven form and walked up to me. "Nice aim. I should take you hunting with me next. I'm sure you could bring down a stag for me."

"I would be glad to darling."

A guard ran over to us. But my husband spoke first. "Drag the carcass to the nearest lake. Burn it and wash the soil with the water from the lake."

"Yes my lord." The guard bowed low and moved off to take care of his new task.

"Now were where we?" I asked. He quickly changed back to his dragon form. "Ah yes. This is where we fly off into the sunset for our honeymoon."

My lord husband drew me to his breast like he did that day long ago. His powerful wings beat as he gained height. It was too early in the day to have a sun set. But fly away we did.