o me, they are worthless, and so are to you.”  Ayeesha flatly said.  “That dragon’s not just a mount, he’s a friend.  It was all I could do to keep him from burning that patch up.  I think you can guess why I don’t climb up myself.”
     “Because you’d get some on you picking the flowers.”
     “Yes.  I know some other people who are better climbers, but I think I can trust you best.  Will you help me?  Please.  I’ll really, really owe you a favor!”
     As she said this, the dark haired sorcoress put on her most innocent, needful look.  She anxiously shifted her body weight from leg to leg, making her hair wave in time.
     “Ok, I’ll climb up there.”  Woodbead said.
     “Thank you!” She kissed him lightly and then gave instructions. “You need to get as many buds as you can carry down with you.  Then, you need to wash the buds in the water and stand back while I grab them.  Once I do that, immediately leave this island and head straight back to Mist’s Gift.  I’ll ride my dragon back and meet you after he finishes burning the remaining plants.”
     “As valuble as they are, you are going to burn them?”
     “Yes.  That Dragon’s a friend, and besides, if you rode a dragon---”
     Woodbead nodded in recognition of what had seemed a gross waste.  “I wouldn’t want a person in the world having something that could make my mount crash into a cliff with me on it.”
     Ayeesha urgently grabbed Woodbead’s shoulders and looked into his eyes with an equally urgent stare from her peircing blue eyes.
     “And that is why you must promise me not to take any!”  Before Woodbead could respond, she shook him violently, digging in with suprisingly strong fingers.  “Promise me!  On the word we mages speak on our isle!”
     “I promise by the sap of the Hervor plant!” Woobead quickly assured her.
     “And when you get back to the isle, drop your clothes off for immediate washing in the bottom dock.  Then get some distilled alcohol in a vaporizer and spray it all over your boat.”

      Nothing more seemed appropriate to say, so Woodbead went to the rock and started his “favor”.  The rocks were rough, but the climb was slow and difficult because the mists made them slippery and the angle was steep.  Thoughtfully, Woodbead plucked a bead with an “Air” sign and slipped it into a hidden sleeve pocket in case of a fall.
      As the sorceror began the climb, he remembered several one-night visitors she had had recently, muscular barbarians from some of the wilder isles.  They could climb this stupid rock easily, though they would take the Dragonsbane.
      “That BITCH!”  he thought, now struggling as he desperately held onto the rock surfaces of the cliff.  “That’s why she’s using me!”
      “One of her studs would use the plants and of all the mages on this island, only I am fit enough to do this.  Well a few others could, but I’m a notorious brown thumb.  Even if I did betray my vow, I could not keep the plants alive, nor grow them from seeds.  Not that I would wait forty years for them to sprout.”Woodbead
      About halfway up, the red mage paused on a small cliff of grass to relax.  He wondered why the Magicators of his island did not have some monks visit to teach calisthenics.  He noted to himself that they were both very old necromancers, and likely among the undead by this point.
      He looked over at the sorcoress, sitting on a rock near her dragon.  She was checking herself in a mirror, moving her dark black hair with her fingers.  She noticed that he was halfway up and smiled.  She blew Woodbead a large kiss and in doing so, her large breasts jiggled just so in her revealing black dress.
      Resting half as long as he planned, Woodbead resumed his climb.  Although hoping that the day might end with him fondling those breasts again, it was as much the Dragon as lust that stirred him.  While Ayeesha had sat calmly on the rock, attending her beauty, the dragon had never lost its intent, dark gaze on him with a large, green eye.  Clearly, the Dragons hate of Dragonsbane was no longer legendary.
      While being very careful in his climb, Woodbead again lost himself in his thoughts.  “She’s rich, but I still don’t see how she employs a Dragon.  If the lore is right, once they get their horde, they care little for more.  That thing doesn’t just guard her treasure, but the bulk of our treasures in the storage room deep down.  We’d call it a retainer, but Dragons work for no one.  How’d she befriend it?”
      The thought trailed, and Woodbead paused.  An imaginary image of her door crashed through and an outline of her dragon’s body in the wall where it had been came to mind.  He supressed it, for he was almost at the top now.
      “She has LOTS of friends, but-” he tried to keep a thought from forming in his mind.  “No, it can’t be.  Not even she is that wide-”
      Images flashed to his mind.  He instantly imagined the naked Ayeesha on the bean bag couches of her bodouir, her alabaster skin coated with that scented love oil she used when she bedded him.  The stuff that made her smooth skin slick and the dim lantern lights flicker on it in the room late at night.  Her dragon was rearing up on its haunches at her waist, a massive penis head much like a dog’s protruded over her body.  She seemed in exstacy, gently stroking with her feet and hands, gyrating her hips and breasts under the massive piece of flesh.  The dragon had a comical delighted smile as did Ayeesha as fluid from the large organ seeped all over her body.
      Woodbead snickered and almost started shrieking in laughter.  He also almost lost his grip.  Biting his lip almost bloody, he used all his concentration to grab an edge and pull himself up.  Gasping, he rested again at the top of the plataeu.
      “My jealousy almost did me in there.”  Woodbead thought, still snickering.  If he was alone, he would have rested and meditated at the midpoint of this climb.  However, he had a job only half done now, so he began it.
      “Dakmaw the eldest had a phrase for situations like this.”  Woodbead remembered.  “There are times and places where the universe, seemingly meaningless chaos, reflects something on to you that bears meaning.  A diviner looks extensively for these, but a wise man need not be one to pick out the important parts.”
      Woodbead looked at the flowers and pulled the papers from his pockets.  Although the Dragonsbane was quite different from the Lilath flower, he double checked, for all the stages of the plant’s development were here on this island that knew little of seasons.  It was amazing how thick this plataue was with Dragonsbane, likely a soon to be extinct plant if the Dagon’s justified attempts to wipe it out.  If he didn’t know Ayeesha so well, or if he had discovered this island on his own-.  He went around plucking the appropriate vegetation while he thought on this lesson that he had learned today.

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