|Chapter 8||Dragonquest||Chapter 10|
F'nor flies straight back to the Weyr, necessary because of his still-healing arm. He uses the time for reflection. He had noticed widespread signs of Threadscoring, but no signs of burrow. The ground-crew had reported to him that they had so little to do, they resented being pulled from their labors in the small fishing settlement most of them were from.
F'nor had encountered Toric, at the time a ground-crew chief, who confided to him that he'd found a fire-lizard clutch, and was confident of Impressing one, as he'd had luck with watch-whers. He'd tried to convince Fort Weyr that he should be given a chance at Impressing a dragon, but hadn't even been allowed to meet T'ron. He expected F'nor to share his bitterness, but F'nor cut him off.
F'nor reflects on the Oldtimers' conservativeness and parochiality.
He arrives at the Weyr, and Canth reports that Brekke wished to see him. She was worried. She felt that something, some kind of upheaval, was going to take place soon. He reminds her, thinking it had to do with Wirenth's impending mating flight, that she could request other bronzes, such as N'ton or B'dor. She angrily rejects his suggestions, insisting that she was needed at Southern. He leans over to kiss her, intending nothing serious in it, and was surprised at her reaction. He realizes abruptly that Brekke was a virgin, and had not slept with T'bor, as was generally assumed. She confesses that she had allowed that assumption to keep other men away from her. She'd wished to save herself for F'nor. She'd loved him since he'd found her on Search, and was heartbroken when she realized that golds only flew bronzes.
F'nor tries to comfort her, reminding her that dragonriders were not expected to be monogamous, but she, being Craft-bred, could not reject that part of her upbringing, and wanted no other man but F'nor.
F'nor takes Brekke to a private location, where they make love. She remained, however, worried about what she would do when Wirenth rose to mate. Canth surprised him by pointing out that he was as large as most bronzes, and could probably outlast any bronze at Southern to mate with Wirenth. She was surprised at the unprecedented notion of a brown flying a gold, but F'nor assures her that there would be no problem with it.
Kylara watched, seethign furiously, as F'lar and T'bor left her. She wondered where Brekke was, wanting some numbweed for the scratch from the fire-lizard queen. Prideth reported that she was feeing her lizard, and that she, too, was hungry. Kylara notes with surprise that Prideth's color did not look good. Prideth goes to the Feeding Ground.
After Prideth fed, she went off to look for Brekke. She catches sight of F'nor and Brekke, shortly after having made love. She was outraged, as F'nor had recently rejected her own advances.
Canth saw her, but did not report it to F'nor, since she moved along.