Eaglette had no way of knowing how long she slept, but she woke to the sound of laughter, a deep rippling laughter. Strangely, the sound held an ounce of cruelty in it. She opened her eyes, groggy and sleep weary. The remnants of her dreams clung to her mind, and at first she wasn’t sure if she was still dreaming. The sight in front of her did nothing to convince her she wasn’t still walking the plains of the dreamworld.

Before her, frowning a deep perplexed frown, was a green woman. Not a woman dressed in green, but a woman that seemed to embody everything Eaglette had ever thought of as green. Her face was olive like a walnut, her the lips tender green of spring buds. Her body was surrounded in vines with bright foliage, and her hair was the dark green of murky seaweed. The strange woman’s breasts were bare, and each one of her nipples stood out the gray green color of moss on a fallen log. She wasn’t very tall, just rising to a sitting position brought Eaglette’s face flush with her smooth belly.

The creature gazed down at Eaglette unhappily, then she made a “tsking” noise and shook her head. It would have almost seemed like a sad movement, if there hadn’t been a gleam of impish glee in the strange woman’s golden green eyes.

“My name is Ripple, and you are trespassing human. Don’t you know this lake is mine? What do you have to say for yourself?” Her voice was shrill and youthful. There was a distinct forceful tone of someone who is used to getting her way. She sounded like a little princess, ordering her servants around.

Eaglette rose to her feet, and smiled in spite of herself. She couldn’t help it, the creature was shorter than her by at least a foot. Even so, Ripple met her gaze as though she were the one looking down on the huntress. She got the feeling this creature could probably level cities with one of those piercing looks, but she was just so darn cute. Somehow, Eaglette didn’t think she minded being chastised by the lovely creature.

“Why are you smiling?” She demanded, stomping a petite foot on the pebbles. “You drank from my sacred waters. I demand payment.” Then she crossed her arms and pouted, looking even more petulant.

Eaglette covered herself with her dirty shirt, but she wasn’t really certain she should have bothered. This tantalizing creature was nearly naked herself. If there was a time and place for modesty, this was not that time, or that place.

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