(A/N Back again… This wasn't precisely what I originally had in mind, but hopefully this will keep boring, lengthy explanations out of future chapters. The one aspect I don't explain will be touched on in other chapters

"verbal dialogue"

"telepathy")

A few days have passed and whatever I had seen in the backyard is still hovering at the edge of my mind. The images he – and the presence does feel distinctly male – sends are getting clearer, more concise, but I still have a hard time deciphering their meaning beyond basic words and phrases. Drumming my fingers against the keyboard, I stare blankly at my computer screen, scanning the repetitive Science lesson.

"Lauren." I jump, glancing around and taking out an earbud to see if there's a follow-up. I freeze. That wasn't the voice of Mom or Megan, my older sister. "Lauren," the voice repeats, much in the way the images appear in my mind.

"Erm, yes?" I hesitantly half-ask.

An image of a smirking, dark green dragon floats into my mind. "Drecor," the light, slightly cracking voice says.

"So… your name is Drecor?" I hesitantly whisper, hoping no one comes upstairs. A thumbs-up. "Aaand you're a dragon." Another thumbs-up. Mouth twitching upward, I snort. Like I would be that lucky. A question mark follows. Rolling my eyes, I shake my head and try to turn my attention back to work. The question mark presses for my attention, larger and more bolded. Pausing for a moment, I squint for a moment.

"Can you hear this?" I accent each word in my thoughts, earning a mental wince from the creature - er, Drecor. Another thumbs up. Cocking my head, I ask with slightly less accenting, "Can you see me?"

Drecor hesitates before sending a short series of images. Him outside my desk window, him half-way through the window, then him curled up on my bed. Heart racing, I slowly turn to face my bed, noticing a barely-there indentation in the silk comforter. "Er, could you get off that? I would rather not explain claw marks to my mom."

Huffing, he carefully glides down to my small, white rug. Now that I know what to look for, I catch the occasional shimmer of an outline softly padding in a circle before curling up again. Suddenly, it hits me. "How come in my mind I can see you as a green dragon, but in… real life? I can only see a small shimmer of your outline?"

Drecor hesitates again, seeming to search for the write words – or rather, images. Drecor as a fully colored dragon, then him focusing, and finally only the faintest shimmer of an outline. "So… you can camouflage using what, magic?" Drecor shrugs, the movement making the shimmer more visible. "Can you do other things with magic?" Another shrug, but after a moment, he sends an image of us together, a faint blue line connecting our foreheads. "So, you're saying this… telepathy. Is the result of magic?" Drecor nods hesitantly, seemingly unsure. I sigh, wondering what he does know. Drecor chuckles, a surprisingly deep, rumbling sound like rocks grating against one another. "Can you speak English?" He looks at me curiously, a question mark forming. I face palm, realizing he probably doesn't know the names of languages. Then again… "How can you understand me?"

Drecor cocks his head, realizing something. He strides towards me, pushing his head towards my hand. Frowning, I flinch back slightly. He stops, and I feel like an idiot! If he wanted to hurt me, he would have done so already. Taking a deep breath, I extend my right hand, brushing his head – at least I think that's what I brushed – with the heel of my hand. Breath hitching, I immediately jerk the hand back, a fiery pain sweeping through my wrist. Drecor looks down slightly guiltily, but sneaks little glances up at me. Biting my lip, I look at the skin, only to find it completely fine. Except… I cock my head, noticing a tiny, swirling design in white where I touched his scales. It looks somewhat like a crescent moon with a dot in the middle and a line of white swirling towards my thumb.

"Can you understand me now?" I almost fall off my chair in shock at the smooth, slightly accented English. I nod. "Good, apologies regarding the burn, but it is necessary to seal the bond."

"So, what was with the images?" I ask.

"It's the common way for dragons to communicate – along with the other senses – but I forgot it can be confusing for humans." Drecor snorts softly, lightly chastising himself. "The bond uniting individual dragons and humanoids breaches that language barrier."

I shrug, but freeze again as what he said registers. "Wait, 'seal the bond?' What bond?"

He cocks an eye ridge. "I thought you knew. The life bond between dragon and rider."

I stare blankly at him for a moment before bursting into laughter. "You okay up there, honey?" Mom calls from the bottom of the stairs.

"Yup! Just watching a video as a brain break." I hear the incredulity in her voice as she retreats, muttering something about socially inappropriate reactions. "So what, after months of wishing for something like this, when I finally stop asking, you come through a portal and bond with me. Greeeat, this is going to be fun to explain."

Drecor frowns, growling lightly. "You are not to tell anyone about us. It would put both of us in far more danger than we are in through our bond." I raise an eyebrow, but merely nod. People would probably just think I'm going crazy anyway.