Grandfather sent for blood and grass tea while we waited. I really enjoyed grass tea. It was one of the few things my mother and I both drank. It was exactly as it sounded: grass mixed with water and pressed to make tea. I drank blood, too, just not nearly as often. I didn't like it as much as grass tea.
My father shook his head. "I don't know how you can stand to drink that," he said, shuddering. "It tastes worse than sheep's blood!"
"I like it," I shrugged. "It reminds me of the trees and grass."
"Of course it reminds you of grass," my mother teased, nudging me.
I laughed a little and turned my attention back to the fire. I was getting impatient. The five hours were going by too slowly. My parents were just as excited as I was about seeing it. I wondered what I would name her once she came out.
Suddenly, the egg shattered, startling my mother so much that she dropped the cup. We all covered our faces as egg shell pieces flew out of the fireplace. I looked back at it eagerly.
The fire had extinguished as the egg had hatched. In the middle of the fireplace, a small creature was curled in a ball. I got on my knees and crawled forward slowly. Two wings lifted followed by a scaly head. Our eyes met and I felt the sensation I had read so much about.
It wasn't a question.
I held out my hands side by side. The small dragon walked forward on unsteady legs. She stumbled onto my palms and I marveled at her scales. They were light blue in the center and got darker as they reached the edge of the scales. She was absolutely gorgeous. I had never read of a blue one before. They were too rare.
"Do you have a name?" I asked, remembering that some knew right away.
I tilted my head to the side and laughed a little when she did the same thing.
"Do me a favor and blow some flames for me."
She stared at me then lifted her wings. I assumed that was her way of shrugging. She blew out blue flames and I smiled. I didn't feel any heat on my arms, though.
"How about... Icefire?" I said and she purred.
What are you?
I chuckled. "Quite the quick dragon, aren't you? I am an elf and a prince. My name is-"
"How did you know?" I asked.
We are one now.
I laughed. "Yes. I should have known."
Her head turned to my parents.
Who are they?
"These are my parents," I said. "My mother, Lillian, and my father, Roan."
My mother reached out her hand tentatively.
I will not harm her.
"She says don't worry," I said. "She won't hurt you."
"Amazing," my mother breathed.
"Why can't we hear her?" my father asked and I frowned.
"I thought you did research."
My mother smiled at me. "We thought you could tell us the more interesting details."
I flushed and cleared my throat.
"Icefire and I have imprinted," I explained. "I am the only one who can hear her. Well, me and my soulmate, whoever she may be."
You have not found my mother yet?
I blushed this time. "No, Icefire, I have not found your mother yet."
She flapped her wings experimentally and I held my hands under her just in case.
"How big will she get?" my mother asked.
"Well, since Icefire is a pocket dragon, she will grow to be about two feet wide and three feet high."
"Any special talents we can expect from her?"
"You know, I'm not sure," I said, moving my hand as she leaned precariously to the right. "I've only come across mentions of blue pocket dragons. They are too rare."
"Why is her fire blue? I thought all dragons had red or orange fire."
I shook my head. "No. Each dragon's fire matches that of their scales."
"How many different colors are there?"
"Counting Icefire, four: green, red, gold, and blue. Green dragons can manipulate the earth, red dragons are known for their fire, and gold dragons can speak with anyone."
What about me, Father?
"I don't know, Icefire," I said and she lowered back to my hands. "We can figure it out together if you'd like."
She purred again and yawned, making a high pitched squeal. My mother giggled.
"Do you wish to rest?" I asked and the dragon nodded. "Where?"
Your shoulder if that is agreeable.
"Certainly," I said and she fluttered up to my right shoulder.
She curled into a tiny ball and rested her head on my collarbone. She fell asleep immediately, snoring, and tiny puffs of smoke came out through her nostrils.
"Thank you very much," I said to my parents.
My mother smiled. "We thought it would be nice to have a friend."
"Speaking of which," my father said, "you two need to have a talk."
"Father," I began.
"No. I'm going to make sure the ballroom is ready."
He and my grandparents left. I turned to face my mother and she looked at me expectantly. I took a deep breath and told her about my feelings of being ostracized. When I looked back up, I was surprised to see tears in her eyes.
She held out her hands and I took them.
"When I was a little she-elf," she began, "my mother and father were killed by humans." My jaw dropped. "I was the only witness. Both humans and elves did not believe me. So, the elven elder, Arlan, had to use his magic to show them my memories. After that, the humans were banned from coming to the elven realm for 20 years, ten years for each life taken. All my fellow elves still didn't believe me and blamed me for it. So, growing up, no one really wanted to be my friend. I only had three and I lost one when I married your father."
"That's awful," I said. "It's not your fault you witnessed your parents being killed."
She smiled. "Just like it's not your fault you're both an elf and a vampire. You'll make friends, Jacob. You just need to patient, sweetheart. Now, you're wondering about your temperament too, aren't you?"
"How'd you know?"
She flicked my nose. "I'm your mother, nitwit." I laughed. "Your father is a gentle soul. Your grandfather made sure of that. But I've been a firecracker even before my parents died. You have both of us in you. Which one you choose to feed is up to you."
I sighed. "This is frustrating."
"I know. It's part of life, though, Jackie. Now let's get ready for your party."
I helped her stand up and looked at her belly.
"Will it be like me?" I whispered and she kissed my cheek.