This is a little introduction to a story I'm thinking about writing. It's just kind of spur-of-the-moment, so it's probably not my best work. But I'm always happy to receive advice where advice is due.

 He sat amongst them, the wretched creatures he so despised, his form hidden behind a mask of their flesh. He looked human, he sounded human, and he barely managed to act like one. He so despised the act as much as he despised the creatures he had to surround himself with, their petty problems and pitiful lives annoying to him. Still, he sat amongst them as he had many times before. Before him, on a stage, a man spoke quickly, spouting out numbers and gesturing toward humans that raised their hands in response. He had no intention of taking part in the auction, as he only wished to see who would buy the item so he could shadow that human and take the item for himself. The item in question was a golden skull, finely engraved with marks and gems and practically dripping with magic. He could taste it in the air, and he had to summon all of the careful control he had earned in his life to keep him from launching across the room to take it. Still, he almost had trouble preventing his mouth from hanging agape in hunger for his long-sought prize.

 Next to him, a young woman had stepped into the auction room, taking a seat just three away from him on his right. She instantly started bidding, the price moving from ten thousand coins to fifteen thousand on her part. It was countered by a claim of twenty thousand by a woman somewhere in the crowd closer to the podium. He sat near the entrance to the building and looked at this newly-arrived woman in curiousity. The woman bid another ten thousand on top of the previous bid, and she was countered by another five thousand. The bidding ended ten thousand coins later when this mysterious woman took the prize, smiling mischievously with the corner of her mouth. She was strange to him because she didn’t look rich, yet she had claimed the prize quite confidently, sitting back in her seat with her arms crossed in satisfaction. He continued to eye her whenever she didn’t see him, ignoring the rest of the auction entirely. Something about her seemed off; she seemed vaguely familiar in some way. He wasn’t sure, but he could swear he sensed magic humming around her. She had mid-length, light brown hair that was prepared nicely, her eyes a darker shade of brown, her features rounded for the most part and suggesting she was at least in her early twenties. Her hair contrasted his in style and colour, his being of a very dark shade and short, never long enough to block his eyes, which were of a blue hue. He wore fine clothes consistent of a noble from the victorian era and very much looked the part, aside from his hair. Unbenounced to him, his hairstyle, which was a little unkempt, did not fit his role at all. But such was a common mistake when he tried to impersonate a human; after all, dragons didn’t have hair.

 Without him even realizing it, the people around him suddenly stood from their seats, moving for the exit. The auction was over. He flew into a sudden panic, however, when he realized he had instantly lost sight of the mysterious woman. He quickly regained his composure when he spotted her again, her brown hair bouncing slightly as she approached the podium like the others who had bought something that day. He hurried after her, slinking behind the crowd to observe her. She took the skull and seemed to thank the auctioneer, stepping back into the crowd. Now that he realized it, she seemed to wear dark clothing, a hood left hanging behind her head; she reminded him more of a thief than a noble. He followed her as she moved toward the exit, staying just within a few feet of her as she slithered through the crowd. It was dark outside, the moonlight casting pale rays upon the gothic architecture that made up the city he so loathed. He barely made it out the entrance before she disappeared around the corner of a building, and he rushed out of the crowd to follow her. The corner lead into a dark alley between buildings, but it was undaunting to him. He stalked down it, looking left and right for where she could have disappeared to. He stretched out his senses, looking for the slight hum of magic he had detected earlier. At first, he noticed nothing and began to get discouraged. But then, all at once, his senses warned him of what was going to happen. He reacted all too slow.

 A blast of burning heat slammed into his back, causing him to scream with the sudden jolt and fall to his hands and knees. It stung, but he had faced far worse pain in his life. He jumped up quickly, his eyes burning a dark violet, as if they glowed, blue smoke emanating from his irises. Violet hair-line cracks had appeared along his formerly scarless face, a low growl far beyond what was capable of a human resonating from his chest.

 Before him stood the same woman he had seen before, her right hand smoking like the barrel of a gun as she slowly lowered it to her side, her hood masking everything but the bottom of her face. Her lips curled in that same mischievous smile, her eyes giving off a red glow from behind the darkness of her hood.

 She laughed slightly, “It’s been a long time, Roark.” she said tauntingly, smiling ever more.

“How do you know my name, scum?” growled the dragon in a deep, inhuman voice.

 She laughed again, “It is oh so amusing that you haven’t figured it out yet. Roarkath, Raziel, Drakanath…” she paused. “The soul-eater. That is your name. Who else could know that?” she asked, tipping her head to the side in pseudo-innocence.

“How dare you speak my name, witch?” he roared, slinging his right hand forward.

 A bolt of blue lightning lanced from his hand, colliding with hers to deflect into the wall.

“Always have to do it the hard way.” she said scoldingly.

 She then leapt toward him imperceptibly fast, driving a fist into his face. He caught it with both hands, pushing it aside and launching her into a wall with the force of his will, guided by his left hand. She slammed against the stone surface, cracking it, before she launched back at him. This time, her punch landed in his stomach, stunning him briefly to allow her to send another punch into his face, which in turn sent him into the opposite wall. Rage burning within him, Roark channelled his emotion into his fists, inky blackness and red flame churning around them. He launched both his hands forward, sending a torrent of smoldering death toward his foe. It slammed into her, exploding with noise and hate. Only a few seconds past before she ripped her hands in both directions, sending the wrathful darkness away; her clothing was now burnt and flaming, her skin completely untouched. She raised her right hand, lifting Roark up off the ground in a coil of black chains. She thrust her hand to her left, sending him in said direction to slam against the fair wall at the end of the alley. She then used the chains to spread his arms and legs apart, continuously pulling so as to rip him apart. With a deep, menacing growl he grasped the chains around his arms, flames spreading across them to melt them into bright orange liquid. He then, rage overwhelming him, inhaled deeply, his chest illuminating with a red glow as he felt the energy build. He then exhaled, flame racing from his maw and into his knave, so to speak. As he did so, his human form began to split away, mainly at the mouth. It revealed black scales beneath, his eyes no longer human like but instead those of his true form. She seemed unphased by this, racing through his flaming breath and sending her fist into his face. He fell to his back and before he could react further, she was atop him, her legs firmly wrapped around his body. She summoned her chains with a flick of her wrist, binding his arms and legs down and forcing him to spit curse after curse at her.

“Does this not remind you of fond memories, Roark? We had done this a similar way in better circumstances.” she said, her whole face now revealed as her hood had been burned away.

“How dare you accuse me of allowing this shame from a human at any time before?” he roared, rage like a thousand of his kind burning within him.

 She laughed again, this time seductively in a voice he faintly remembered. “Oh, Roark, you still haven’t figured it out. Who always used to own you on the battlefield… and the bedroom?”

 At once, and in a wave of surprise and joy, he recognized her.

“Rika?” he exclaimed, his voice now that of a human.

“About time.” she giggled, pressing her false lips against his.

 His heart thrilled into a fast pace at the memories he now recalled, the nostalgia of the time he had once spent with her. After a long moment, she released his binds and did the same for his lips.

“I thought you dead.” he said finally, still in disbelief.

 She climbed off him, standing up straight and allowing him to do so as well.

“You should know me better than that, kaela.” she said with another mischievous smile. Kaela, he liked it when she called him that. “It takes more than sabotage to kill the likes of me.”

 He bowed his head in regret when she mentioned sabotage.

“I can explain-”

“Shh,” she hushed. “I know you didn’t have a choice. He didn’t give you one.” she approached him again, wrapping her arms around him and his around her. “I dealt with him.”

“He’s dead?” Roark asked after a moment, still in embrace.

“Yes, and worry not, I did also reap the reward. I shall show you, kaela.”

 They separated. For once, Roark felt something other than lament at the memory of that day so many years before, when he had been forced to betray the one creature he sought to protect. He had always blamed himself for what he thought was her death, but such a thing had never occurred. She still lived.

“Come with me.” Rika said, turning and leading him back toward the city streets. “To hell with this revolting pit.”

 Roark agreed, following his beloved out into the now crowded streets. The humans had no doubt gathered to attempt to discover what had been the cause of the fight they had all heard. They were about to find out that curiosity kills. Side by side, Roark turned to Rika on his right, smiling the first smile he had shown in a long time. At the same time, the both of them burst into whirls of blackness and flame, revealing the massive, hulking bodies of two dragons, their horns similarly curving behind their heads, their wings spread wide and black as night, their eyes contrasting red and blue. They both inhaled as the crowd around them started to scream and flee, exhaling contrasting blue and red flame into the scattering ants.

The End

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