Denowith looked again.

Exercise clothes.

There was absolutely no way he could pretend he hadn't found them. Or even that he didn't know what they were.


Well, more like dashing and panting.

It was fortunate that he could stop and wave at people as he tried to figure out where his 'run' was going to be. The Graveyard seemed a nice place to go.

How many times had he promised to try and get into shape? How many crisis' had zipped by to find him feeling fat? And most importantly; how many times had Nikki heard him promise and promise?

A young boy in white fell in with his steps. White hair, white shirt, white pants... Denowith pulled to a stop and grabbed at his knees. He panted, "Your First-of-the-First-ness."

Brimstone did not mind the oddness of the title. "You are Denowith. You are in a time-out. What are you running from?"

"I am no longer in Time Out."

"Who says?"

Denowith pulled himself upright. "I... I did. Or maybe Jandari did."

"You can't take yourself out of Time Out. Some else has to do it. If you don't know who, then you are still in it."

"I'm not running from anything. I am trying to get into shape." Denowith turned to the other question.

"What's wrong with the shape you are in?" Brimstone poked a finger at legs. "I mean, you have no wings, but we can't all be dragons."

Denwoith rubbed his belly. "Need to exercise so I can be ready to respond to trouble."

"Oh. There is trouble coming. My rider and I are getting ready for it. I will run with you."

"I am about done for today."

"I will run with you tomorrow." Brimstone nodded. "I will see if I can get you out of Time Out too."

"Thank you, your First-of-the-First-ness."

Sore had a new definition the next morning. Yet, he had promised Nikki - well, in his heart anyway. He had to at least give it three or four days before he quit. Good thing he was a cleric, and could ease his ache with cures. He poked his head out the door to see if Brimstone had remembered.

The young Prince trotted over with a smile. "You are Denowith. Good morning. My elf says I am allowed to take you out of Time Out - if I think you should come out."

Denowith bowed. "Thank you. Er, 'your elf'?"


"He's 'your elf'?"

"Well. He belongs to my rider. Everything that is hers, is mine."

"Karrac?" Denowith pointed in the direction of 'his run'.

"Oh yes." the kid nodded and fell in to a slow place. "My elf's dragon is mine too."


"My elf's elf? Mine."


"Mine. Most everything belongs to me." He said it matter-of-fact. He pulled forward, turned around and looked up at Denowith. "Is there a Taking out of Time Out ceremony?"

Denowith was already puffing. "Yes. I suppose so. I guess I need to be asked if I learned something."

"Yes. That's good." Brimstone stopped and pulled himself up important. "Have you thought about why you were in Time Out?"

"Oh, yes, First-of-the-First Brimstone, Sir."

"Didja learn something?"

"Yes sir."

"Then, I take you out of Time Out. You are Denowith. You are Essary. You are out of shape and need to run."

"Thank you. You have an unusual way of labeling people." Denowith started walking in the direction of his path through the graveyard.

"Yup. It helps me with Now and Not Then."

"Do I belong to you?"

"No. I think you might belong to Trem." He jogged backwards. "Did you want to belong to me?"

"I think I have others first. Essary and all." Denowith tried to sound wistful.

"You have a Lady and all. She belongs to many." Brimstone in human form slowed. "We are here at Dad's idea, we are helping Trem with his elves. I will get to fight, so I need to get in shape. I will check to see who you belong to - if you like."

"No, no. I belong to the Great Lord, the Necropolis, Nikki and the Warders. Or perhaps the Warders belong to me."

"Yes. That's the way of owning things." Brimstone nodded. "We are slow."

"Yes. I am. I will try to get better."