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This is the fourth and final part of my autumn special that has grown quite a bit. If you want to remind yourself what happened before, here is part three: https://fabianswriting.com/2022/12/16/an-autumn-special-part-iii-crystals-and-sapphires/

They heard a clear sound coming from the forest. Something was moving in the dark.

‘Do you think it is-’ Criston asked.

But he was unable to finish the question. Jonathan knew that he was as excited as he was. There was also fear creeping into his heart. What if the white dragon attacked? What if the dragons had become hostile after all these millennia? They didn’t even know why the kingdom broke apart. Maybe it was the mermaids’ fault?

Jonathan took a step forward.

‘Are you sure you want to approach?’ Criston whispered.

Jonathan just nodded, taking one step after the other towards the forest. He could clearly see something white moving in the dark. Two yellow eyes turned toward him. Jonathan’s heart jumped in his chest. Were those the eyes of a white dragon? Whatever creature it was, it moved towards them and stepped out of the forest.

‘Oh.’ Criston breathed, disappointed.

Jonathan’s heart felt like it sank down into his stomach out of disappointment. A brilliant white cat strolled towards them. Her yellow eyes looked at the two mermen expectantly. She meowed at them and sniffed the air.

‘She probably thinks we have something to eat.’ Criston said.

‘Or she was just curious.’ Jonathan said disheartened. ‘I am so stupid.’

‘No, you are not! For a moment, I thought it was a white dragon too!’

‘I am way too obsessed with the white dragons. It’s true. I need to stop.’ Jonathan said, tossing one of the cheese sandwiches to the edge of the forest. The cat meowed with excitement, and Jonathan watched the cat eat the cheese off the bread. He sighed, turned around, and smiled at Criston: ‘Let’s go into the tent and continue where we stopped.’

Jonathan took his hands. They felt so warm on this cold night.

‘Are you sure you don’t want to have another look around. Maybe we should watch the sky for a bit?’

Jonathan smiled and kissed him gently: ‘Not tonight. We have the scratch marks. I will analyse them. But tonight, I don’t want to do anything else but be with you.’

He turned around one last time but the cat had already disappeared in the shadows of the forest again. The white bread lay untouched on the dark ground, but the cheese was gone.

He turned to his ocean lover again, and together they slipped inside the tent.

If Jonathan had listened to his boyfriend, it would have been quite a different night. If they had stayed out just a little while longer, they would have heard the flapping of large wings in the sky. But all that Jonathan heard that night, was Criston whispering his name in his ear, filled with pleasure. They only looked at each other, grey and dark blue eyes, filled with love and excitement. Their bodies melted into one.

 They did not see a white dragon circling three times above their tent. They did not see the creature of the past ascend once more. They did not see the dragon fly up so high that its shimmering scales appeared like a star in the night sky.

Tonight, they only saw each other. Lover and lover, blissfully unaware that a magical world would await them outside one day. Tonight, all the magic they needed and wanted was each other.

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