I rode beside Momma and Griffin, when the transport landed I stood and coaxed her out. She seemed happy to leave and followed Griffin and Hunter without complaint. We unloaded and Dr James left in his small flyer with the lion eggs. Mom was staring at Momma as she sat at the edge of our landing platform. Griffin, Hunter, Gloria and Drake sat with her.

After we were done I walked to mom and pulled her out to Momma. I pulled a blood fruit out of a pouch and gave it to her. Mom looked at the fruit and slowly held it out. Momma took it gently and my mother smiled at the way she did it. I caressed Momma and Alex rubbed her side, “come to our nest.”

I grinned as Momma turned to follow her. I looked at mom and handed her the pouch of kittens, “even the kittens like her.”

She sighed, “just watch her.”

I kissed her cheek before lifting the two lion pelts and going in. After setting the pelts upstairs in the storage area I went looking for Alex and Jade. I found them down in the bathing room, Momma was laying down watching as Griffin, Hunter, Gloria and Drake played in the bath. Jade and Alex were kneeling beside the tub trying to wash them and getting soaking wet.

I laughed as I closed the door and sat down beside Momma, “did you put the bird bats in the nest?”

Jade grinned, “yes.”

Alex caught Gloria and pulled her close before starting to wash and rub her body. I laughed as Griffin splashed her with his wings and Gloria got away. Momma chuffed and put her head down, it was awhile before they got the dragons out and dried them off. Alex looked at Momma and I shook my head, “take your bath and leave Momma alone.”

I pulled the dragons back and Momma sniffed each one as Alex and Jade slipped into the bath. They washed each other and smiled a lot until they were done. I dried them when they got out and glanced at Momma when she stood and moved to the tub. We watched as she smelled and then tasted the water.

She climbed into the tub slowly and crouched as the water rose and spilled out. I knelt to open the floor drain before moving to the tub. Momma slowly relaxed and breathed out softly as she lay down. I used mom’s flower scented shampoo and began to wash her and it sounded like a buzzing purr that escaped.

Jade and Alex giggled and pulled the dragons out as I kept pushing water over Momma to rinse the shampoo off. When she got out I dried her before using the shower head to wash myself. I wrapped a towel around my waist as I led Momma out and up to our room. The dragons were on the bed and the girls were picking through clothes.

I looked around the room, “I need to make her a nest by the window.”

Alex looked, “use a wood frame with a cord netting and those two lion pelts.”

Jade nodded, “we can clean the pelts if you make the nest.”

After dressing I went to find the wood I would need and then the strong cord to weave the net. The girls folded the cleaned pelts so they would be thicker and I coaxed momma onto her new nest. I think the small bird houses for wild phoenixes outside the window helped. We left the door open and went to see dad and look over the next site.

Everyone was in the living area playing with the kittens and feeding the baby phoenixes. Alex and Jade went to join them as I went to look at the map. Dad joined me and touched a spot, “this is a good spot.”

I shook my head as I changed the sat reading to thermal. I looked at the spot he had touched before touching another beside it, “the branches here are larger and thicker.”

He nodded and took a breath, “I had a couple of requests.”

I looked at him and he shrugged, “five men want to help, they lost family in the shuttle and want to help bring them home.”

I looked at my brothers and Peter, “they could come in with the pod, otherwise we would be a large tempting target when we start looking for the right spot to put the platform. I wouldn’t mind help cutting branches or putting everything together.”

He nodded before sighing, “your leopard still makes me nervous.”

I glanced at him as I mentally added what we would need for more people, “you and me both but she has been behaving okay if a little... slow.”

Dad looked at me, “slow?”

I shrugged, “you know the side effect of breathing in fire and spice leaf smoke.”

He smiled and nodded, “like a drug to them.”

I nodded, “what I am worried about is when she lays her eggs.”

Dad looked at the stairs, “we don’t know much about the big predators. Not their nesting habits or what happens when they lay eggs. We know leaf leopards mate and then separate. We know the female will attack another leopard if it gets to close to her cubs. We think she only stays with them for around two months.”

He shrugged, “when she lays her eggs we will just have to be careful.”

I looked at the time, “you going into town?”

He sighed, “yes. I have to meet those men and check the next pod and your mother wanted to take the girls to some shop.”

I grinned, “well we got a lot of credits for the lion eggs and we can sell the baby phoenixes.”

Dad grinned, “Dr James wanted to go back with you so he could observe your leopards.”

I smiled and looked at the stairs as Momma followed Griffin and Hunter down. She crossed towards the mini leopards before laying down. Griffin snagged one and I was shocked when he tossed it. I started to move as the kitten flew towards Momma and she opened her mouth. She caught it by the scruff of its neck and set it down before beginning to lick it.

I stopped and watched as Hunter pulled another wiggling kitten away from Sandy and over to Momma. Mom hugged my arm as we watched Griffin and Hunter bring all the kittens to her. After she cleaned each one Hunter or Griffin would carry it back to where they had gotten them. I finally shook my head, “I think that bath effected her.”

Mom looked at me and then grinned, “don’t tell me she likes taking a bath.”

I grinned, “she even purred as I shampooed her.”

Everyone laughed and dad shook himself, “right, time to go into town. You needed to...”

Mom reached for Jade, “I forgot, come on girls.”

I looked at Momma, I wanted to go into town too. I sighed, “time to go Momma.”

Everyone looked at me but I only shrugged as I led her out. I think she was getting used to things because she didn’t hesitate long before climbing into the transport. I sat with her and Griffin and took the large pouch of kittens from Alex and the pouch of baby phoenixes. The trip wasn’t long and then we were landing.

Momma moved almost gingerly after she got out, I don’t think she had ever been on the ground. People stared with wide eyes as I walked with her beside me. Griffin and Hunter walked with us to and more than once stopped to smell something. I walked into the large weapon shop and several men turned and moved aside quickly.

I crossed to the back wall, “Gregory, I need a couple of sets of thermal glasses.”

He looked up from Momma before clearing his throat, “glasses?”

I nodded as I pulled out a screen and slid it across the glass counter. Griffin and Hunter were rubbing against his two dragons as Momma laid down, “I wanted your opinion on these capture nets. Do you think they would hold a tiger or a pair of lions?”

He glanced at the screen as he reached into the case below to pull out two pairs of glasses. He frowned, “trapping tigers and lions has been tried.”

I glanced at Momma, “you know I have been helping to build landing platforms. We have done two and killed several tigers and lions, I even killed a king lizard.”

I looked at him, “momma was an accident. One of my girls shot her and only grazed her. I treated her like a dragon and here she is.”

I glanced at the other men in the shop, “you just need to use a few more leaves.”

He grinned and then his eyes went to the kitten as it poked its head out of the pouch, “mini leopards?”

I nodded and caressed the kitten before pushing it back into the pouch, “damn squirrel rats killed their mom and dad.”

He snorted before looking at the screen, “change the cord to carbon fiber for strength and add remote triggers if you are using line of site.”

I nodded and turned to the screen, “can you make a half dozen in two days and get them out to me?”

He glanced at the back doorway as his wife stepped out, “that’s cutting it close.”

I nodded, “we head out in three and I want to have the nets put in the pod before we go. We are going to have an additional five men to help this next time so I don’t want to worry about someone getting trigger happy.”

Gregory nodded and sighed, “tell you what, my son is old enough and wants his own dragon...”

I grinned, “I know of a couple of nests close to my place, I’ll start looking for eggs.”

He held his hand out, “deal.”

I shook and turned, “Griffin.”

I bent to nudge Momma and she stood before walking with me. Griffin and Hunter went through the door first and I headed towards the pet stalls the tourists go to. Tourist didn’t know what Momma was but everyone else yanked them out of the way. The stall had cages of lemurs and peacocks and both blood falcons and Blue falcons.

I set the pouch of baby phoenixes on the front counter, “it has been a long time Mrs Harris.”

She looked up from Momma and smiled, “I was glade to hear you made it back.”

She opened the pouch before grinning, “just what I needed.”

We bargained before she took the birds and I turned away to find dad and Dr James walking towards me. I glanced back at Mrs Harris, “you wouldn’t have any blood fruit would you?”

She nodded and turned to a covered basket, “you know how to cook it right?”

I smiled as I held one out to Momma, “she doesn’t like them cooked.”

She stared before looking at me as I fed Momma another, “they like them?”

I nodded, “the fruit is mostly protein. The dragons will eat it but they don’t like it like Momma or the kittens.”

She perked up, “kittens?”

Dad cleared his throat as I bent and opened the pouch to show her. She looked and shook her head, “now those I could sell.”

I grinned, “mini leopards are rare.”

I closed the pouch and looked at dad, “what’s up?”

He nodded to Dr James, “he wants to pay you to take him with you.”

I looked at the Dr, “I don’t have time to babysit. It isn’t safe...”

He cleared his throat, “I’ll pay and I’ll do what you say.”

I looked at dad as he raised an eyebrow and I sighed, “fine, you have two days, we leave early the morning of the third.”

I looked back at Mrs Harris, “I’m going to be looking for dwarf dragon eggs.”

She perked up, “if you get the whole nest I’ll sell them for a commission.”

I touched Momma and started for the landing pads and a coffee shop. I was sipping coffee and waiting for Alex and Jade when the café owner’s daughter snuck away from her mother. She crept up to Momma and reached out to pet her and froze when the large animal turned her head to look at her.

Hunter lifted her head but Griffin stood and walked to the little girl and nudged her closer and then closer until she knelt against Momma. I was watching and smiled when Momma reached out to pull her around and started licking her clean. I heard her mother gasp and looked at her, “Momma thinks she needs washing.”

She looked at me and then at her daughter giggling and squirming as Momma rubbed her face and put her head in her lap. When we got home I sent the girls to our room to put their loot away and got dressed to go hunting. We went alone and as Hunter and Griffin fed Momma and Alex and Jade had their bird bats fetch fruit, I went looking for the dragon nests.

The first I had to climb high to see into and didn’t see eggs. The second was way out in the middle between branches and in a clump of vines. One look at the female dragon and I knew I was going out to the nest, (the angle of her left front leg was bent and swollen). I watched the female as I collected fire and spice leaves.

When she dropped off the nest and flew towards a small group of tree rabbits I moved. I leaped off the branch and caught a vine before swinging out to another. When I reached the nest I knelt and swept all the eggs into a pouch before dumping fire leaves and then spice leaves. I started the leaves burning and it was only a couple of moments before the dragon screamed as she landed.

She mantled and threatened me with her front claws but I waited and watched as she breathed in the smoke. She shook her head and started to leap before freezing as Hunter flew in behind her. I was ready to shout at Hunter when the female backed into the smoke. She swayed and dropped to her feet while shaking her head. I watched as she slowly dropped and kicked the fire off the nest.

I quickly tied her and attached her to my chest before using the vines to drop and move over to a branch. Hunter followed and Griffin brought a fresh killed tree rabbit. I cut it up after kneeling and releasing the female dragon onto the branch. She was groggy and kept looking around as she whimpered.

I started feeding her the rabbit and when it was gone showed her the eggs. She pushed against the pouch and mewed as I rubbed her head, “first we get you home and then you can sit on your nest.”

I stood and looked up the tree before heading towards the trunk. She limped after me until Griffin nudged her and she dropped off the branch to fly ahead. When I reached the upper branch I had started on, Alex and Jade were waiting with Momma. I held the new female and brought her close slowly.

Griffin landed by Momma and flipped a wing over her which made her pause and look at him. She turned and reached out to smell the new dragon before licking her injured leg. I sighed and smiled at Alex and Jade who were frowning, “she has a broken leg, I couldn’t leave her.”

Alex shook her head as she turned to head back and Jade grinned, “softy.”

When I walked into the house carrying the dragon my mother straightened, “Firehawk Michaels, how many times have I told you not to bring home strays?”

Alex and Jade giggled as I grinned, “a million at least.”

She shook her head, “she’s hurt or you wouldn’t have bothered her. Bring your new princess down to the clinic.”

I don’t think Alex or Jade knew my mother was a vet. Alex bumped my shoulder as I followed mom, “yeah, bring Princess down to the clinic.”

I shook my head, “just you wait.”

Momma followed as did the other dragons. I set Princess on the padded table as mom sterilized her hands. She came back to the table as the dragon rubbed and pressed against the pouch of eggs gently. I let mom hold her as I went to get one of her warming pads and wrapped the eggs before putting them back in the pouch.

When I got back to the table Momma was sitting and looking over the other side as my mother put Princess to sleep. She looked at me, “no hunting or walking for a couple of days.”

I nodded as she used her sonic reader to look at the bone and then bone tractors to fix it. She slipped a pill into her mouth and then used the quick heal on the leg. When she was done she sighed and looked at Momma before walking around the table and knelt to use the sonic reader. She smiled, “four eggs and from their density maybe a week before she lays them.”

They all followed me as I carried Princess out and up to our room. I set her on the bed before pulling out a large pelt covered basket. I moved her into the basket and carefully added all but two eggs which were for Gregory. I kept the two eggs in the warming pad and set it aside when Jade came in, “Maureen said she fixed her.”

I nodded to the basket and she sat beside me. The other dragons were on the bed and Momma was sitting in front of me watching the small dragon intently. I reached out to rub her cheek, “she will be okay.”

It was a little while before the dragon stirred and then stopped moving. She whined as I pet and caressed her. She looked around before shifting to look at her eggs. She settled and looked at the others dragons uncertainly but Momma reached out to nudge the basket and she stopped moving.

I heard a rumbling purr that almost seemed to be echoed by the dragons. Princess looked around before letting out a sigh and relaxing. I shook my head, “strange.”

Jade looked at me as she reached out to pet her, “Alex is feeding the kittens with Sandy and Terrie.”

I looked at her and she blushed, “I was hoping we might...”

I smiled and stood to move the basket with Princess to the window and the edge of Momma’s nest. She followed and moved onto it smoothly before curling up with her head by the basket. I chased the other dragons off the bed as Jade undressed and followed her example. I followed her onto the bed and caressed her body.

I leaned over to lick and then suck on her nipples. She shuddered and moaned as I caressed her pelvis and moved over her. I kissed her before moving down between her legs. I licked through her pussy and her hips lifted as she moaned again. I pushed my tongue into her and then nibbled on her inner lips before sucking on her clit and using my tongue to tease it.

Jade shuddered and jerked her hips up, “oooohhhhh!”

I kept teasing her clit and sucked as she spasmed a couple of minutes later. She twisted and covered her pussy and I grinned as I rolled her onto her stomach. I moved up and pushed into her, “slowly this time.”

She groaned as she lifted and pushed back. I started fucking her slowly with long, deep thrusts. Jade shuddered and a minute later began to spasm as her pussy clenched. I buried my cock and humped in and out as she went from spasms to convulsions. I pulled out and rolled her over before fucking her hard and deep.

She wrapped her legs around me as she humped up to meet each thrust. It was only a couple more minutes before I slowly pushed into her and kissed her as I began to pump gushing spurts of cum. Jade jerked and clutched me as I spurted cum against and through her cervix. When I stopped she sighed and hugged me, “I needed that.”

I kissed her and pulled out before moving off the bed, “mom should have dinner ready.”

I glanced at Momma with Princess between her paws before helping Jade off the bed. Dinner was good and Alex pulled me after her with the kittens when it was over. Momma and Princess were both watching out the window at the wild phoenixes and Alex giggled. I moved to Momma’s nest and spilled the kittens out of the pack and between her and the basket.

She looked and Princess turned to watch them as she nudged one. She reached out tentatively with her good leg to turn one of the kittens trying to climb into her basket. Alex put her arm around my waist as they began a game of nudging the kittens until they stopped moving around and curled up.

I glanced up at Griffin’s long perch and saw him, Hunter, Gloria and Drake watching. Alex turned to start undressing me and I grinned as I helped her. I laid her down on the bed and kissed down her body. I started licking her pussy and wiggling my tongue against her clit. It was a minute or two before she began to breath harder and lift her hips.

A couple of minutes after that she started spasming and pushed my face away. I moved up and kissed her as I pushed in slowly. She groaned and lifted her hips as she hugged me. Jade slipped into bed and rubbed my back as I began to fuck Alex. She snuggled against us as her sister started to moan while her tight pussy grasped at my cock.

It wasn’t long before she was jerking and thrashing around. I fucked her hard and deep and she wailed in my mouth. She kept it up as I went slow and then fast and hard. I finally pushed into her and began to spurt and spew. She hugged me as her pussy squeezed and milked the cum into her.

I finished and pulled out and Jade pulled on me to get me between her legs. I laughed as I pushed into her tight pussy, “again?”

She kissed me and humped up so I began to fuck her. I ended up doing them both three times before they let me sleep. I woke to the bed shifting and the morning storm. I looked down as Momma slowly crawled up the bed and shifted to move Jade, “come here Momma.”

I held out a hand as Jade turned and then moved over so the large animal could lay between us. I put an arm over her as Griffin and Hunter climbed down and moved onto her and spread their wings. I glanced at Princess who was watching and a moment later she moved off her nest and jumped from Momma’s nest to the bed.

She walked up me and laid down before opening one wing over Momma’s head. It was several moments before I looked at the door where dad was standing with mom. She was staring at Momma and shaking her head before she pulled dad away. We didn’t have five men plus Dr James.

We ended up with fifteen men, ten from the southern colony that wanted to help and had forest experience. Gregory got the two eggs from Princess, the rest I kept for now. Alex and Momma with the kittens were going to come with the pod. Everyone else was going in with me, twenty four people and twenty dragons in total.

Jade had Princess’s eggs in a chest pouch with a warming pad. I talked to most of the men but we didn’t meet until we loaded the transport. With this many I had told dad to bring the pod after six hours. I glanced at the copilot when she gave me the warning and stood. I checked my pack and gear before double checking Jade.

I opened the door and looked out as the transport slowed and then hovered. I reached down to Griffin and Hunter, “time to go.”

I stepped out and turned up the anti grav to slow my descent. Griffin and Hunter flew down into the tree tops and I glanced back to see Drake flying ahead of Jade with Princess flying around her. Like before I picked a thick branch and moved to the tree and around before going down.

It was like a long chain of men following us until Peter split off with his five and then Tiger and his and then Leo. I had the last group plus Dr James and moved down to the first branch large enough to support the pod. I moved out to look at the other branches from the other trees. I grinned when Tiger, Peter and finally Leo appeared and gave me a thumbs up.

I opened the comm, “we are down safe and have the site.”

“Copy Firehawk, we’ll let your father know.”

We came together by the tree the pod would go in and hung packs before pulling out lasers. I looked around at everyone, “we can’t all work one level. If you are above someone make sure they know before you drop a branch. Some of you are going to be watching so keep your eyes open, you all know the more people together the greater the danger.”

I gestured, “lets get this done.”

Before I knew it we were cutting branches up five levels. Princess stayed beside Jade as she watched but Dr James kept moving around. Jade was the first to see anything and I heard her quiet, “tiger.”

I stopped and started to turn when she fired and everyone stopped working. She grinned at me, “in the crook of the next tree to the south, two levels down.”

I looked and grinned at the huge tiger twitching and convulsing. While I went to skin it the others went back to work. This time we must have attracted a lot of attention because we had two pairs of lions, four leopards and another tiger and that was besides the three packs of wolfapes.

Three hours and we were done, half the men took all the pelts and went to clean them at several different places. When the transport dropped the pod and Alex, I was waiting and leaped out into the hole in the forest we had made. I had my anti gravs at max so I didn’t fall fast and caught the front grate easily.

I smiled at Momma crouching inside and growling before twisting and using the small tractor gun I had been given. Alex was on top of the pod with her anti grav vest and belt. I pulled the pod closer to the tree we had chosen and once past the platform branches we pulled it around the tree and slowly settled it into place.

Momma wanted out as soon as I opened the door but I soothed her and we pulled out the two ramps and the stairs. The men that didn’t know her were very cautious when she finally came out. I knelt to hug her and rub her face before watching Alex with the kittens. That had been a surprise, Dr James had provided small anti grav body harnesses for them.

The kittens were walking and exploring everywhere so with the leash we knew they wouldn’t fall. I coaxed Momma to the top of the pod before we began pulling beams out. What had taken me, Peter, Tiger and Leo hours took all the men with us one before I was calling for the grates. We even had the beams from platform to the pod done.

I think dad knew how fast we would finish because the transport with the grates arrived less then an hour later. It was early afternoon when we finished so we split up to go hunting. Alex walked behind Momma with the kittens on a leash ahead of her. Jade was behind her with Dr James and two men from the southern colony.

When the small blood falcon swooped down towards the kittens Momma reared up. I was carrying a cast net at my waist and flicked it out before one of the dragons could kill it. I had my bow in my other hand and shifted it around to pull the struggling bird in. We were in a section with a lot of fruit vines which meant squirrel rats and that meant hawks and falcons.

The men with us chuckled as I tied the birds feet and put it in a leaf pouch. Alex and Jade’s bird bats were bringing a lot of fruit back including an occasional blood fruit they slipped to Momma. As we moved out of the thick vine area I saw the dragon body on a side branch, it was torn and half eaten.

I looked around carefully and called Griffin and Hunter back. Princess had made a couple of hunting trips but stayed close to Jade with her eggs. I slowly moved out on the narrow branch after telling Alex to watch Momma. The dragon body was still warm which really made me nervous.

I saw her nest a dozen feet beyond the branch and continued to look for whatever had killed her. I finally saw something shift and froze. It was a three meter long adolescent king lizard on the underside of the branch above us. I gestured to the two men to move forward before using my bow. The arrow struck right behind the head and through the spine.

It fell as it spasmed and I struggled to hold it as it hit the branch we were on and rolled off. We finally pulled it up and started skinning it and cutting it up, Momma kept growling and wanted to attack it the whole time. When we started back I had six blood falcons, a blue falcon and the eight dragon eggs from the dead dragon’s nest.

The two men had a few peacocks and a dozen nests of phoenix eggs and Alex had a pouch full of bird bat eggs. The pod looked overwhelmed with men setting up a large kitchen on the roof. We had an assortment of animals and birds that had been caught and Dr James was in heaven.

Peter had also killed another king lizard that was almost four meters so we knew to keep our eyes open. While we sat and talked, men kept bringing blood fruit or small chunks of meat to Momma and the kittens. As it began to get dark Peter and my brothers helped me set up the six capture nets.

We moved into the pod and closed the door. There were several small lights down the length as men settled and then it was quiet. The kittens roamed away before returning to curl up beside us. Griffin, Hunter and Princess laid down by Momma. Princess had her eggs in a basket with a warming pad next to her.

Jade was sleeping next to me with Alex holding her sister. I woke to the crash of something triggering a net as it roared. I glanced out before laying back, it would have to wait for morning. The morning storm brought the other dragons to cover Momma as she trembled with Hunter, Griffin and Princess on her.

As soon as the rain stopped and it became light enough I got up. I got dressed and pulled my pistol before opening the door with several men moving to follow. The area around the pod was clear but in the morning light I could see an adolescent tiger caught in a net above and to one side. It growled as we came out to look at it and Dr James climbed up onto the branch beside it.

It thrashed around as he stood calmly and pulled out a case. We watched as he checked and then threw a dart. Several moments later the tiger went quiet and he grinned. We packed up and moved around and onto the edge of the platform. Dr James had tied the tiger and said it wouldn’t wake for several hours.

Even though we had only been here a day I was glad to see dad and the transport.
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