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Rayg had said he did not expect to be able to effect an improvement, but under the Copper's glowering insistence was set to examine Halaflora's wings. Rayg was an intelligent hominid; surely he could find some way to enable her to fly properly. He must know the Copper would reward him for success in that.

As she settled lower to the floor, wings conveniently outstretched, Halaflora addressed her mate. "Not like your wing. I've nothing out of place, my lord. I'm only—"

"A slender, lovely dragon-dame," the Copper broke in, entirely unwilling to hear her call herself weak. She was delicate, he admitted, all too appropriate a mate for him, half-crippled as he himself was. But the Copper had his bad wing fixed into place by Rayg's contraption. Rayg could make some similar device for Halaflora.

The Copper, oddly reluctant to have the human male put his fleshy hands on Halaflora, had determined that Rhea take the measurements instead. She relayed them to Rayg, who muttered hominid yaps to himself and scribbled on paper.

Next, Rayg set about calling for even more precise measurements, directing Rhea using a small device that was a little like tongs. The scent of metal started drool between the Copper's jaws. But it wouldn't do to eat the thrall's work-tool, any more than one should make an uncalculated meal of a thrall himself.

Halaflora was shifting a little, curving her neck so as to follow the intricate measuring. Rhea's small hands were light on her wings during the checking of what Rayg explained were angles. Halaflora was thin, yes, but beautiful, and the Copper's own.