I felt the presence; it was human but I could feel immense power flowing from this individual, rivaling a dragon. Instead of doing what I wanted to do, that being to spend time with my family, I had to check out the new presence nearing our home. After all that transpired a few weeks ago, I wasn’t going to take any chances; I turned and walked into the entrance chamber.
There was a single human sitting in the middle of the chamber obviously male judging by his smell and appearance. I watched him for a few minutes as he tried to wring the water out of some strange looking robe that covered normal jeans and a tee-shirt while he uttered small complaints here and there. It was quite comical to watch, but then he got up and began walking towards me and the chamber where my mate and eggs resided. In an instant, I delved into my power and made my eyes glow, the shadows keeping my entire body in a dark shroud. Upon seeing my eyes, the human's own eyes went wide and I pushed my powers further, checking the status of his body. I could feel his heart rate skyrocketing as his adrenaline did its job. Then, I spoke.
"Stop, human." I said in a deep, booming voice. He jumped back, trembling noticeably in fear. "I have a mate. Come no closer, or I shall kill you."
Even though he was obviously frightened, he still managed to keep his voice level and confident. What caught me completely off guard was that he replied to me in perfect draconic, a great feat for a human at that time. "Honorable dragon, I mean no harm to you or your mate. I just need shelter from the storm." As if to punctuate his point, a bolt of lightning struck just outside of the cave, sending a loud, powerful crack of thunder through my home in that same instant. Because his fight or flight instinct was running rampant in his body, he jumped. I checked his mind and found that his reasons seemed to be true.
I stepped out from the shadows as my eyes stopped glowing, allowing what little light there was to illuminate my crimson scales. I let out a light territorial growl as another flash of lightning highlighted my toned, muscular body. "Fine," I said reluctantly. "You may stay for one night. But I want you gone by morning. And if you go near my nesting cavern, I will not hesitate to attack you. Am I understood?"
"Yes, quite." The human said. I could tell that he was hiding something. What it was, I wasn't sure because that portion of his mind was blocked off from me. Also, I noticed that he didn't have a Slavic accent, it was an American one; weird, considering that we were in Siberia.
Unable to trust him out of my sight, I laid on my belly, my head between my forepaws. I watched as he lay down as well. Once I was sure he was sleeping, I allowed myself to drift off into the void of peaceful slumber as well.
My sleep would have been great had I not been roused an hour later by the sound of screaming, audible even over the sound of the storm still raging outside. The wretched, irritating noise was very disturbing. I would have ignored the human's interruption of my rest had I not heard my mate roar, yelling "Leave!" as the human screamed.
I immediately rushed into the cavern that held the nest to find the human pinned under the green scaled forepaws of Moonfire, my mate. Her face was twisted into a snarl, showing off all of her pointed teeth to the young man as she let loose a growl. Her golden spikes were standing erect from her blue furred back, a sign that said she was, dare I say it, very pissed indeed. Suddenly, I got the feeling that killing this man wasn’t such a good idea. As she moved her maw close to the man's head, I intervened.
"Moonfire! Stop, please!" I said. Moonfire stopped the movement of her head and her soprano voice sounded within my skull as she spoke with her mind.
Vrelvel, I got up to get a drink. Her voice was frantic. When I came back, he was near the eggs! We should just kill him and be rid of him!
No, my love, no. I said calmly, We need not make the relationship between their kind and ours any worse than it is already. Now, please, let the poor man up.
My mate reluctantly did as I asked. I knew that her maternal instincts were strong, but she still had to know of the potential consequences that could arise had she gone through with her instinctual intent. The man stared at me after he finished dusting himself off, his features were drained of any color save for a ghastly white.
"Did I not tell you, human," I said, anger tainting my voice ever so slightly. "to stay away from my nesting cavern?"
"You... you did." The human stuttered.
"Then explain yourself!" I roared. My own instincts were starting to get the better of me, every fiber of my being wanted to bathe this ignorant little creature in flames. But I was able to stay my anger, however barely, and I patiently waited as he tried to organize his jumbled thoughts.
"There was a draft." The human said. "I got chilled. I could feel heat coming from this direction and found that lava pool." He pointed to the pool of magma that perpetually supplied the nesting cavern with heat. I had created it so that my future family and I could have a nice, temperate climate to sleep in. Although his answer seemed sound, I looked into his mind before he could form any form of defense and found that his thoughts contradicted his words. The trembling of his body and over-dilation of his eyes didn't help his cause much either; the human was lying.
"I know you are lying to me, human." I said, anger starting to permeate my voice once more. "Now tell me, what are you are doing here!?"
"I am an alchemist!" The human screamed in sudden fear. "For the past month, I have been trying to create a special potion to cure a defect of mine." The human began crying, "This defect is a curse that has plagued me ever since I came into this world! This cave looked like a good candidate to find something called a fae gem while I got out of the storm, but I-"
"Get out of my sight before I do something I'll regret!" I growled a warning to him. He made no immediate motion to remove himself and my temperament almost won over me. "NOW!" I yelled, my deep, booming voice sent a small tremor throughout the cave system that was my den. Hearing my rage fill his ears, the small creature ran down the short, rocky passageway as I loosed the loudest roar that I could muster after him.
Once he was out of sight, I stopped my threatening behavior and turned to my mate. "Do you trust my decision?" I asked her.
"Vrelvel, my love," She said sweetly, her beautiful jade green eyes glimmering. "I'll always trust you. Just be sure to keep that filthy human away from our children."
I let off a playful huff, "I used to be one of those 'filthy humans' and my sister is one." I grinned at her.
She laughed at that, "I know, but your sister isn't ignorant."
My small smile faded, "But am I taking too much of a risk?" I asked. "It wasn't right of me to allow the human to stay without checking with you first." I lowered my head slightly in shame.
"You are my mate, Vrelvel." Moonfire said. "Whatever your decision, I will stand by you with it."
"You will?" I asked. "Welunix, are you sure?"
"Absolutely" My mate said.
"But now, I am beginning to doubt my abilities to make decisions. Not just for you, but also for our future children."
"If I didn't trust you with that responsibility, I wouldn't have let you take me as your mate." She said with a smile. "Why do you think I wanted to live with you?"
"But we knew each other for less than a year, "I replied, "and I wouldn't exactly call the few days before we mated 'courting.'"
She nuzzled her head into the thick crimson plates on my chest. "Silly drake," She purred, "I knew when I met you that you were the right dragon." She looked up into my eyes, "Did you not feel a pull on your heart after we made love?"
"I did, and I still do." I said.
"And what do you suppose that means?" She asked.
"Well, I assume that it meant that we were to be together for the rest of time." I answered. "But I don't know how I could know what it truly means."
"But you are correct, my love." She congratulated me. "That pull only happens when dragons find love that is true and that their mate is a viable life partner. If you would have failed to meet either of those requirements, we wouldn't have these eggs and we wouldn't still be together."
My mind crept to the thought of Rakk and his mate not being able to produce eggs. "But what about Rakk and Amethyst?" I asked, concerned. "Does that mean that they are not meant for each other?"
"Sometimes, a dragoness can go through many false heats before she is ready to bear a clutch." My mate explained, "When she is truly in season, they will surely make eggs.
I moved my muzzle closer to hers, "Could you allow me this affirmation of our love, then?" I moved in and locked her scaly lips with mine. Our long tongues twisted around each other. Unfortunately, an explosion interrupted our lovely little moment. It wasn't the crack of thunder; it was a much louder and sharper noise.
Now what is the human up to? I asked with my mind as I pulled back from my mate's maw. I will be back, my love.
I shall be here waiting for your return. She said sweetly with her mind as she laid down and curled back around the eggs.
I walked back into the entrance cavern. There waiting for me was not a human, but a dark blue ice dragon instead. He was unconscious. I noticed that he had a badly broken leg. Even with the aid of magic, neither I nor my mate would be able to repair it. We didn't even possess the conventional human means to mend it properly.
However, I was able to use magic to move the ice dragon's limp form to a spare cavern. I would need to talk to this dragon when he woke up.
"What is it, my love?" My mate asked as I returned to the nesting cavern.
I laid down on the opposite of the eggs from Moonfire and placed my scaly head next to hers. "The human is gone." I said, "But we have a new guest. A blue ice dragon."
"Rakk?" My mate asked. Her long green ears perked up.
"No, it is not." I replied grimly. "This one's scales are a different shade."
My mate's ears drooped back along the top of her skull. "Oh, okay."
I nuzzled Moonfire, "Don't worry, Welunix." I used her draconic name, something I did to show intimacy to my lover. "I've known Rakk all of my life, I know that he is fine." A few weeks ago, my best friend, Rakk, and his mate, Amethyst, had held off a group of humans that had attacked my family and I. They had bought us time to escape. Since then, neither I nor my mate had heard from those two frosted-blue scaled ice dragons. My thoughts on the matter quickly turned grim, so I purged the subject from my mind so that I could sleep. My mate raised her head and planted a small kiss on my forehead before she herself went back to sleep. I followed suit soon after.
I was plagued by horrid dreams of what could have happened to my friend. I envisioned many things, one of which was his head on a stake with his mutilated body nearby. His mate didn't get any better treatment. Her body was riddled with large holes and was laying dead next to a large clutch of eggs; except, the eggs were smashed to pieces, their contents oozing all over the ground. On the ground, written in my dead friend's blood were three words: You are next.
I woke up immediately, checking to see if my mate and our eggs were still with me. My heart was racing, going nearly twice as fast as it should. I was shaking ever so slightly as the adrenaline coursed through my veins, readying my body for action.
Though there was no threat I could sense, something still felt, well, off; and I had a feeling that it had something to do with that human and the ice dragon that I had found passed out at the entrance of my den. It was one of those gut feelings that you get, the kind you get that are impossible to ignore. Double checking to see that my family was safe, I moved to the chamber being occupied by that mysterious ice dragon that I had found unconscious in the entrance cavern the previous night.
Once I reached the cavern, I beheld one of the most amazing sights that I had ever seen. I remember it so clearly. Since you seem so interested in my tale, I shall recount it for you, so pay close attention:
What I saw was the dragon, yet it wasn't the dragon. Or at least, not completely, it was changing shape. The shift started at the head and worked its way down the dragon's body, ending at the rapidly disappearing tail. The bone white claws shrank into normal human nails as the hands and feet took on human characteristics and proportions. As the spikes along his back retreated into his body, he was engulfed in a brilliant white light. The light was so intense that I could hardly block out its radiance with my finely scaled eye lids. I expected heat to accompany the light, but it never came. Instead, the light seemed to be colder. As the light faded, a human was lying in the dragon's stead, the same human that had intruded my home. The human still wore his strange robe, covering up the jeans and tee underneath. I hid in the shadows and awaited the creature to wake, the coming conversation was going to be very interesting indeed...
When the dragon in human form finally did regain consciousness, it was well into the afternoon. My red ear fins perked up a little when I heard his movements as he groaned. I made sure to stay within the shadows, silently observing him. He got up to walk but only succeeded in making his broken leg worse. I heard a sickening snapping noise was followed by a scream of pain. Only then did I reveal myself. What was that, my love? Moonfire inquired from within my skull.
The ice dragon and that human are the same person. I replied. I turned my attention back to the injured pseudo human, "It seems as though you forgot to tell me something." I told him.
"What do you mean?" The human asked, clenching his teeth in pain.
"You are a dragon." I answered with a tone of certainty, "Why do you hide it, even from other dragons?"
The human lowered his head, as if he was ashamed, "My draconity carries my curse."
"That is preposterous!" I exclaimed, "How can being a dragon be a curse? I only discovered my draconian self about four years ago, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
The dragon in human form turned away from me, "You would not understand." I heard him try to hold back tears. "This curse isn't my draconity. Rather, it just affects it."
"Please expound?" I asked. I wanted to know what this "curse" of his could be.
"I will not." He said as tears dripped down his face. "You will kill me if I tell you."
"I will kill you for being honest with me?" I was shocked, what could possibly be so horrible that he refused to tell me for fear of death? "You are wrong about your assumption. I will not kill you for being truthful. I promise."
He took a deep breath, trying to find the best words to voice his thoughts with. "I am vampiric."
Nothing in my head quite clicked with that statement. "What?"
"I am a vampire!" He tensed up and started to sob uncontrollably, as if waiting for me to strike him down and end his life. The blow never came for him; I wasn't going to harm something just because of what it was. It stemmed from something that my father had taught me. I had never given it any thought though. But now that I had access to my true form, I understood what my father was saying to me when I was just seven years old...
"Alex, my son, I want to tell you something." My father said, "It's very important that you listen."
"What is it Daddy?" I asked.
My father kneeled down to my eye level and took a deep breath. He spoke in a way I had never heard before, a deep, powerful voice. "In a few years, some things may change for you. They are good things, something that everyone in your situation goes through. But with these changes you must promise me something special."
"What is it?" I was getting excited. Something was special about me.
"Always make sure that someone or something is your enemy before you decide to harm it. Can you do that for me?" he asked.
"I promise, daddy." I said with a smile.
"I promise." I said quietly to myself as I came back to reality from my reverie. I turned my attention back to the dragon in disguise. "I will not harm you." I restated, "You are no enemy of mine."
"Go on do- wait what?" The individual seemed baffled.
"You are not my enemy." I said again. "I will not harm you simply because of what you are. You are not trying to attack me nor my family. I shall spare your life."
"Thank you...kind one." He said as he held out his hand, "My name is Auryn Runeseer."
I shifted into my own human form and shook Auryn's hand. "Talon." I replied. "But in this form, I am called 'Alex' by humans." I helped him up and let him put his weight on me. "Something must be done about that leg of yours so that it may heal properly."
"You can...heal this?" He asked through gritted teeth as he accidently put weight on his injured leg.
"No," I replied to him, "but I know someone who can. I must check on my mate and then we shall be off." I helped him sit down on the floor of the entrance cavern and strode back into the nesting chamber while reverting back to my feral dragon form.
My mate raised her head to look at me. "I was beginning to think that I wasn't going to be able to see you today." She smiled at me and my heart just melted at seeing her do that. It gave me a warmth in my breast that only love could give. But I had something to take care of that couldn't wait.
"My love," I began, "Auryn has a broken leg."
"Auryn? Who is that?" Moonfire asked.
"Auryn is the dragon that I originally thought was human." I answered.
"Oh, well, can you repair his injury?" My lover asked.
I gave her a solemn look, "Sadly, no." I lowered my head to her's and gave her a light nuzzling. "I must take him to Shadow, he can fix it." Shadow was my friend Jason. A blood transfusion using dragon's blood from my own body had caused him to change into an anthropomorphic dragon with pitch black scales. Before he changed, he was a leading weapons and technological specialist for the United States Marine Corps. He was also watching over my sister. "Will you and the eggs be fine without me for a few days?" I asked.
"Do not worry, Vrelvel." Moonfire said. "I should be fine while you are gone. Tell your sister 'hello' for me."
"I will." I said. I nuzzled and licked her before giving her a farewell kiss. As my tongue wound around her own, I opened up a mental link to her mind. My love, keep this link open while I am gone. If something happens, you tell me as soon as it does and I will come to your aid as quickly as possible.
Our mouths parted and I already felt an aching in my heart; caused by simply knowing that I was going to be separated from my mate. "I love you, my handsome drake." She said in her sweet voice. "May your wings carry you swiftly."
I tried hard to hold back the tears that were forming as I replied back, "I love you too, my beautiful dragoness. I will not be long, I promise" I exited the nest, not wanting to prolong the heartache any more than I had to.
As I went back to the entrance, Auryn was already in his dragon form, his broken back leg raised off of the ground. "Are we going?" He asked. His face looked as if he was valiantly trying to hold back the pain, but it was a futile attempt.
"Yes, we are." I said calmly. Despite my instincts urging me to stay there with my mate, I led him out of the cave and launched into the air. Auryn didn't jump due to his injury and instead used only his wings to get airborne, something that most dragons would try to avoid if they could. He quickly caught up to me a few seconds later.
"Where are we going?" Auryn asked. I began to think; I never did ask Shadow or my sister where they were going when we parted from Arohk's home. I had to rely on my magical senses to find them.
"Let time answer that question." I replied to him. I used my magic and concentrated on a thought of my sister. Soon, I began to feel a 'tug' of some sort. It was maybe just a few millimeters of adjustment from my current direction, so I shifted course and followed it.
Auryn gave out a loud sigh, "Do you know where you are going at all?"
I looked back at him and growled lightly before speaking to him, "Yes, I do. Now, unless you have something pertinent to say, be quiet, please." Despite what I said, I had meant it in the nicest way possible. Doubt me if you must, but I must not digress any further from the subject.
The rest of the flight across the Pacific Ocean was pretty quiet. Quiet enough so that I could easily let my mind wonder back to my family as my instincts homed in on the pull that I was following. I decided to check up on my mate and smiled to myself. Because I was using a mental link, I was able to see into her mind. She was dreaming, dreaming about the day that our eggs would hatch and thinking of what to name our children. One of the names caught my attention, a name she wanted to give to one of our hatchlings if it was a girl. It was her mother's name, Késëdrian. I thought it a suiting name for a dragoness from our first brood.
I was driven out of my mate's dream by the pull that was guiding me to my sister, I was much closer now. By now, you are probably wondering what this pull is like. Think of an invisible force grabbing and pulling at your skull. This pull got stronger; I was closer, almost right on top of the location. Auryn and I were many miles inland from the ocean. The location was in a naturally formed canyon with many caves and the like dotting its walls. The pull led me to one cave in particular. With an opening of about six feet across and eight feet tall, it had the perfect dimensions for Shadow's 7 foot tall hybrid form.
Auryn and I landed on the large ledge outside of the cave. Because my feral body was over three times the height of the opening, I just stuck my head in and called out to my friend, "Shadow, are you in there?"
A 12 year old human female with long sandy blond hair came running out from the darkness of the cave. "Alex!" She screamed elatedly as she hugged one of my huge front legs. "I've missed you so much!" This human wasn't a stranger to me, it was the same girl that caused me to change into my true form for the first time. It was my sister, Alyssa.
"I've missed you too," I said as I brought my other forepaw around her. "Just four months, and my, how you've grown!" I let go of her and changed into my hybrid form before proceeding to give her a proper hug.
My sister returned the hug with a huge smile on her face. "How's Moonfire, is she still with you?" She asked.
I allowed myself to blush slightly through my scales, "She is still with me, and you're going to be an aunt in about eight months."
"Really?" The elation in her voice was almost infectious. "How many?"
"Triplets." I answered, only to get my sister to squeal with delight.
"Oh my god! That is so awesome!" Her smile broadened.
I felt my mate stir through my mental link. Is that your sister that I am hearing in your ears? She asked.
Yes it is. I said back.
Remember to tell her that I said 'hi.'
I will. I said back before addressing my sibling, "Moonfire says 'hi,' by the way."
Alyssa giggled, "Maybe I can visit you two sometime?"
"Of course." I assured her. "You can visit any time.
My sister looked over and saw Auryn, "Who's your friend?"
"That's Auryn." I said. I moved my muzzle closer to my sister's ear and whispered, "He's the reason I need to see Shadow."
She held out her hand to my companion, "It's very nice to meet you, Auryn."
Auryn changed into his human form and instantly leaned on me so as not to put pressure on his broken leg. "It's...nice to meet you...as well." He said through teeth that were gritted in pain. Alyssa noticed his injury and spoke up.
"That looks pretty bad. One second, and I'll go get Jason for you." She turned around and rushed back into the cave. When she returned, a seven foot tall two-legged form with scales as black as pitch was with her...