Lexi groaned. The lumpy ground she was laying on top of moved.
“Get off of me!” She heard Pearl’s voice say. A low growl followed.
“Ok, ok.” Lexi said quickly, “I’m off!” She stood up and a rush of pain suddenly hit her. She was in some sort of wooden room with a couple of wooden chairs and a table. She was almost sure she saw a witch’s cauldron, but it had to be her eyes messing with her.
“I’m guessing you guys don’t portal travel.” Lexi looked up. A boy with dark brown hair was grinning down at her with the whitest teeth she had ever seen. His eyes were soft and colored with an interesting red.
“Nope, never even heard of it.” Lexi said.
“Are you Tiffany?” The boy asked.
“No,” Lexi answered, “she is.” She pointed to Tiffany whom was sitting up and rubbing her head. Her cropped brown hair looked frazzled and her eyes were closed to contain all the dizziness. The boy walked over to Tiffany and gave her a hand standing up.
“Hello, Tiffany.” He said, “What can I do for you and your friends?” Lexi knew Tiffany wouldn’t answer.
“We have a friend,” Lexi nodded her head towards Pearl, “Who needs help getting back to her realm.”
Pearl was standing, but was using her large wings for balance. She had her eyes closed the whole time they were talking. When she finally opened her eyes, she starred at the boy.
“You…you’re…you’re a…a boy.” She stammered. The boy didn’t look very happy about that.
“Correction, I am a phoenix hence my name: Phoenix.” He bowed.
“But…” Pearl couldn’t find the words, “You’re a phoenix?”
“What did you expect me to be?” Phoenix asked, “A werewolf?” Lexi rolled her eyes.
“Um…no?” Pearl winced, “My brother said you were a great creature and I was…”
“Phoenix’s are great!” Phoenix declared, “And in my opinion I’m the coolest one!”
“Sure.” Lexi said.
“Who’s your bro?” Phoenix asked.
“Flame. He’s a dragon from Gold Rush mountain.” Pearl answered.
“You’re Destiny?” Phoenix asked in awe as he looked at her from head to toe, “Wow! You’ve grown and changed.”
“Am I supposed to know you?” Pearl asked suspiciously. Tiffany and Lexi looked at each other.
“Yes, well…sort of.” Phoenix looked Pearl over again, “Judging by what your horns are telling me you don’t remember anything after you got cursed by that witch.”
Pearl’s mouth hung open and her hands went to her head, “How’d you know that? No one knows about my horns except my brother!” She blushed and moved around her fiery hair trying to cover anything showing.
“Your brother and I were good friends before my family moved out of the mountain. I used to visit Flame everyday.” Phoenix explained, “But that doesn’t have anything to do with how I know about your horns.” Pearl was still blushing bright pink. Lexi couldn’t stand it.
“Read me.” She said her voice full of challenge, “What do you know about me? You’ll never even guess!”
Phoenix looked like he was thinking very hard, “Well…you are a tough one.” Lexi had a look of triumph.
“Yes…I don’t know…how about…” Phoenix said in mock confusion, “A shape shifter.” Lexi’s jaw dropped and she looked over at Tiffany.
“Ok, he’s good.” Lexi gaped in awe, “But can you read her?” She pointed to Tiffany whom was immediately blushing.
“No,” Tiffany said quietly and looked darkly at Lexi, “Don’t read me.”
“She talks!” Phoenix exclaimed with triumph and Tiffany giggled. Lexi’s jaw dropped even lower.
“Did you just…just giggle?” Lexi asked and she turned to Phoenix, “I’ve never seen her laugh or smile at all and I’ve tried everything! Teach me your secrets!”
“Yeah,” Phoenix grinned at her, “Not happening. Now, about your problem. You are going to need to make a portal, but it will take a couple of days to make. You can stay here in the tree house and explore the forests while I work on it if you like. You can also go home and come back in a week.”
“I’m staying.” Pearl said flatly, “There’s no where else for me to go.”
“I’ll stay,” Tiffany said quietly, her smile had disappeared, “To make sure Pearl gets home safely.”
“Ugh! I’ll stay too.” Lexi moaned, “Only for Tiff.” She glared at Phoenix:
“I’ve got my eye on you, Brainy.”