“Gem! Gemgemgem excellent little pretty shiny gem I love you sooo much, I wonder if there are any other gems around just lying there unloved poor things I’ll love them and polish them and look at them and love them, here gemgemgem…”
The excited mumbling was getting closer. Keirax opened one eye, warily. There was, in fact, a smallish smoky-grey diamond sitting next to her head. She had no idea how it had gotten there, which worried her. Keirax was normally a light sleeper; she didn’t like the idea of someone coming close enough to drop a gem next to her face while she was helpless and sleeping. She sat up, and scooped up the diamond at the same time.
Phosphorentz wandered up, still muttering to himself.
“Morning Rax,” he said. “Have you seen any gems around, just sort of lying there. Unwanted gems, I mean, obviously.”
“Nope. I’d try the Silvers, they don’t collect gems, so they probably wouldn’t have noticed if there were any.”
“Ooh! Good idea. You’re a good friend, Rax.”
Keirax nodded as graciously as she could manage. She never felt all that elegant or graceful, but Grandma insisted that Topaz Clan should be graceful and gracious and never, ever show fear. So she tried. Grandma was fierce and scary, and yelled if you didn’t do what she said. Which made the not showing fear part very hard, but Keirax had gotten good at slitting her eyes just so, so she looked more angry than scared, and it seemed to mollify Grandma.
Phosphorentz wandered off, heading for the pair of Silvers playing chess on the other side of the caldera. Keirax looked around; it wasn’t unusual for Phosphorentz to be looking for gems, but he sounded as if he expected to find some here, which was unusual. Raziel was looking suspiciously around, and prodding something on the ground next to him with a stick. Shinya was already up, and talking to Kayelinth, and they both looked fairly excited, but that could be anything. They were excitable types.
On the other hand, it might mean something.
Kairax sauntered closer, carefully casual. Quiendrix was doing something similar, so Keirax tried to out-casual her just out of innate competitveness. She thought she’d managed, because the Amethyst dragon didn’t even notice her as she walked past, heading for Shinya and Kayenth.
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