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Darien went to the bed and shook Tai until her eyes opened. She gave him a glare, and he almost regretted his impulsiveness. “This is good, trust me”.

Tai looked at the clock next to her. She opened her mouth to say something, but stopped when her gaze shifted to him. “You’re smiling.”

“I am,” he said, and his grin grew. “Get up. It’s raining.”

Thunder rumbled, and he knew he wouldn’t have to explain any more

“It’s storming,” she said and tossed aside the covers. Quickly, Tai pulled back her hair, found her flip flops, and ran for the door with Darien close behind her. Careful to not wake anyone, they moved through the halls towards the stairs. Tai started to go down, but he stopped her.

“Let’s go up,” he said, taking her hand and leading her up to the roof. He opened the door and held it for her to go first.

She chewed on her lip. “I don’t want to get struck by lightning.”

Darien rolled his eyes and stepped past her, going outside. He spun around in the rain a few times out towards the middle of the rooftop before going back to her. The rain was feeding his magic and he noticed a slight blue aura surrounding his body. Perfect, because he’d need all of the magic he could get to achieve what he was hoping.

“See?” He offered her his hand. “It’s perfectly safe. The heaviest part of the storm is miles. Besides, there are much taller buildings nearby with rods. Come on; don’t miss your first storm in the city by being a chicken. Bwok-bwok!”

“You are not clucking at me!” Tai took his hand, laughing as she stepped under the torrential rain. She was instantly soaked. “Are you challenging me?”

He didn’t answer her verbally. Instead, he pulled her to his chest. Her body was so warm against his. One arm snaked around her waist, and the other took her hand and he held her in the traditional waltzing position. “You like to dance in the rain. I thought we could do it together.”

“Uh-huh,” she said. “I’m sure.”

“I also just got a talking to, and realized I needed to apologize.”

“For?”

“Neglecting you,” he whispered.

Tai gazed up at him, and he noticed her blue eyes beginning to glow as his magic seemed to flow through her as well. He’d never seen anything like it before. She shook her head a few times. “Your father’s funeral was four days ago.”

“I know, but even before that, this was something we should have done. Granted it hasn’t rained since you got here, but the point is: If I don’t do this now, I might forget again. And if I keep forgetting, then what?” He gave her a weak smile. “Maybe it could have waited a little bit longer, sure. It’s the first storm, though! We gotta take the moments as they come, and it took some beating, but I need to remember what you want. Teach me, show me, help me understand so I can help you feel at ease.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Oh? And who beat you? Honestly, this is super surprising. Don’t feel like you owe me anything right now. It can wait until you feel better.”

“I might not feel better on my own again,” he admitted. “Let me do something nice for you. Why are you complaining?”

“I don’t want you to do anything because you feel you have to,” she mumbled.

Darien spun her so that her back was against him. He dared to kiss her cheek. “Oh, trust me, I’m doing this because I want to. I want to very much. It can’t be all about what I want, though, and that’s what this beating reminded me of. Then it started to rain, and I realized it was a sign from God. He said: ‘do this amazing thing for Tai’.”

“In a low, dramatic voice and everything?”

“Yup.”

She laughed and gazed up at the sky as lightning streaked through the clouds. “What’s the amazing thing?”

“There’s a spell. It’s old, and I don’t think anyone has tried to use it in a long time,” he explained, his lips close to her ears so he could be sure she heard. They were also the closest they’d been since their first night together. He swallowed, pushing back his thoughts, eager to remember the moment. Darien had never been more thankful for the rain, because without it distorting their connection, Tai would have heard every single one of those thoughts and probably slapped him.

He cleared his throat. “B-basically, my ancestors used the rain as a telephone. They’d project messages into the water, and it’d travel across the world to whoever they desired. It worked best when the recipient was sleeping. More receptive to magic when you can’t question it.”

“And we’re going to send a message to who?”

“Your mom. I thought…we could start by letting you tell her you’re still okay. That you’re safe. That she doesn’t have be afraid for you and you’ll be able to visit her like this as much as possible.”

She spun to face him. “But you said…”

“This should be safe, and you can send it through your mind so I don’t have eavesdrop.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes!”

Tai sighed. “What do I have to do?”

“Concentrate on her.” He grabbed both of her hands, squeezing them tight with his own. His eyes drifted closed, and he prayed. The spell had no real words. Most of his magic worked that way. It was more like a prayer of intention, and an outpouring of magic followed after as a sacrifice of sorts. If a dragon got too greedy, his magic might deplete and never return. Darien hoped this wasn’t greedy. He certainly felt a great deal of his magic leaving his body.

A giggle left Tai’s lips. “It tickles.”

“It can,” Darien said weakly. He didn’t open his eyes again or disconnect from the spell until he felt Tai’s hands on his cheeks. The next thing he knew, she was kissing him soundly on the lips.

“Thank you,” she whispered.

He still didn’t understand fully what was going on inside of her, but he felt like he’d made good progress—and that’s what mattered.

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