The creature crawled off to its lair during the night, but Una couldn't help keeping watch. Just in case.
In the quiet of the night, the horrible roars of the beast, the blaze of its fire and cries of pain rang in her ears and thoughts. All she could do was watch, and so many times she lost sight of the red cross shield and thought for certain the young knight had met his end. Each time the shield would flash back into view, and her heart would begin beating again.
Una wiped her damp cheeks, and pulled her shawl tighter around herself. She'd given the blanket to George, who lay motionless in exhausted slumber amidst the rippling waters of the spring. At first she wanted to move him; surely the waters would freeze him as the night grew colder. But Victor stopped her. In his gruff dwarven tones, mingled with the fairy accent, he informed her he would heal here. When she asked why, he just repeated his statement with confident insistence, then trotted away to gather the shield and sword.
Whatever the little dwarf knew about medicine, or George, or even the spring itself, he didn't seem to think it necessary to share with her. As she could claim no greater knowledge in the field of healing -- especially not since, she remembered, this dwarf spent time learning the ways of the fairies -- she conceded to do as Victor instructed.
One long day of fighting, and the dragon still lived. It would be back, too, she knew. It was always back. George had proven fearless this day... but now she wondered if his courage would be his undoing when dawn announced the monster's return.
Closing her eyes and pressing her clasped hands to her forehead, Una prayed.