Authors: S. E. Smith
I’m really sorry I hurt you. Maybe we can work together to figure this out. I know I could use the help. How is it you know so much about this when you are just being born?
Ariel asked hesitantly.
It is imprinted in me. I am born with this knowledge,
her dragon said tentatively.
Ariel closed her eyes and focused inward not really sure what she was doing. Her breath caught in her throat as the image of a rose and gold colored dragon unfurled from deep inside her. It was the most beautiful thing she ever saw. It was hard to believe how delicate it looked. Ariel always imagined herself as an overgrown ox compared to Trisha and Carmen but looking at the vision of the dragon inside her, she felt small and fragile.
You are so beautiful,
Ariel cooed tenderly.
I am you. We are one,
the rose-colored dragon purred in response.
Why do you hurt?
I need my mate. He calls to me and I cannot answer. It hurts to need him and not be with him.
What happens if you are not with him?
Ariel asked hesitantly.
We die. All of us die,
came the hushed response.
We die? How… why?
Ariel bit her lower lip in worry.
We are one. We need each other. Our essence keeps Precious alive. Do you not feel the need when your mate is near?
Yes… yes, I do,
Ariel answered reluctantly.
She thought about how much harder it was getting each day to keep her distance from Mandra. He refused to let her sleep in the other room away from him. Secretly, she had to admit she looked forward to curling up against him at night and waking in his arms each morning. She also noticed the effect her resistance was having on both of them. She wasn’t the only one not sleeping well. Mandra looked exhausted. Neither one of them were eating or sleeping very much. Ariel felt silly being mad at him when all she really wanted was to be with him. The problem was trying to deal with him changing her without her knowledge or permission. Totally frustrated, she decided the only way she could know for sure if he was trying to control her like Eric did was to learn more about his world.
So for the past week, she began learning as much as she could about the Valdier culture. She started learning their language during the day and studying their history in the evenings. She became even more curious when she overheard the guards calling her and Carmen the
She discovered through her research it meant the
. It had something to do with two sisters from another world and two brothers from this world. She was still trying to figure out why the guards were calling them that and what it meant. She did learn what Mandra meant when he said he had no choice but to claim her. She read in one of the ancient manuscripts that a true mate was a rare find and was considered sacred. The male had little control once his true mate was found as it caused him, his dragon, and his symbiot, she was still trying to figure out that relationship, to become very possessive and protective through a chemical change called the dragon’s heat.
Ariel rubbed her forehead tiredly. She wasn’t feeling good either. She hoped she wasn’t coming down with anything. Maybe she should have Precious take a look at her. The gold bands on her wrists moved rapidly as if in answer to her thoughts. She started when she felt Precious nudging her elbow.
“It’s probably nothing a dose of apology wouldn’t cure,” Ariel murmured tiredly. “Sometimes being stubborn is not a good thing. He really wasn’t doing all this just to try to control me, was he?”
Precious sent images of Mandra growing up with his brothers, his dream of wanting a mate, and his happiness at finding her. Ariel breathed in deeply as visions of a younger Mandra exploded in her mind. They flowed through her in full Technicolor both startling her and fascinating her at the same time. She could actually hear him talking excitedly with his brothers. Each brother shared their dreams of what they would do when they found their true mates. Mandra boasted about how he would protect and care for her forever. Ariel fought back a cry at the intense loneliness and despair Mandra and his dragon felt as the years passed. The awful, gnawing emptiness that ate at them was overwhelming. The images moved through time holding Ariel spellbound until they ended with Mandra’s deep sigh of contentment and happiness at claiming her.
See, mate need us,
Ariel’s dragon mourned rocking back and forth,
Not any longer,
Ariel promised silently,
I think I understand now.
Good! I not think you stupid anymore,
her dragon said with a roll of her eyes.
Thanks a lot, pal!
Ariel responded drily.
So, what should I do, oh knowledgeable one?
Mandra pushed into his living quarters tiredly. He could not go on much longer like this. His dragon was clawing at him to get to his mate. It needed to claim her. If it didn’t claim her soon, he was not sure what he would do. The thought of forcing his mate to do what he wanted was so repulsive Mandra knew he could never do it. Her accusation that he was like the male who hurt her so badly still stung.
He tried to focus on finding his uncle but it did little to distract him. The information they were learning was proving to be graver than he originally thought. In addition, they still had not caught the traitor who poisoned Trelon’s little mate. Now, there was information from Ha’ven, the Curizan’s leader, that another attempt had been made on one of his younger brother’s lives. Ha’ven wanted one of them to meet up with him to defuse a potential up-rising on his home world at the death of Ben’qumain and the rumor the Valdier wanted to go to war again.
Mandra poured himself a drink and took it out onto the balcony. He ignored the light drizzle of rain as it fell slowly soaking his hair and clothes. He leaned forward gripping the stone railing and stared out over the city with unseeing eyes. The nights were torture for him. To hold his little mate in his arms and not claim her was eating at him and his dragon. He glanced down at the amber liquid and wished it would give him some brief respite but he knew there was no amount of liquor that could drown the pain in his heart.
Mandra was so lost in thought he didn’t hear the movement behind him. A hot breath of air swirled around him causing him to jerk in surprise. He turned slowly and stood stunned. In the middle of his living quarters was a small, rose and gold colored dragon staring at him. Its dark brown eyes looked soulful and a small cough called to him.
He set the glass down on the ledge as he moved slowly toward the delicate dragon. His eyes glowed with dark flaming eyes as he stared at his mate. He watched as a slight shiver ran down her body. Her eyes never left him as he moved toward her. She lowered her head and turned it slightly when he stopped in front of her. A soft cough rumbled from her before she rubbed her head gently against his chest.
, you are so beautiful. Just as I knew you would be,” Mandra whispered tenderly.
He reached out his hand and ran it along her soft scales marveling at the texture of them. He felt his dragon’s roar of triumph at his mate’s willingness to come to him on her own. His heart swelled with pride at the courage it must have taken her to do this, to accept him and his dragon, and to fight her fear of all the changes.
Mandra whispered words of love as he stroked Ariel. He wanted her to know how much she meant to him. He vowed to protect her with his life and do everything in his power to make her happy. He would have promised her the moons and stars at that very moment.
He walked slowly around her, touching her gently as he ran his hand along her neck and shoulder. He chuckled when she tried to turn and bumped into one of the small tables, knocking it over. She lifted her right wing and he walked under it, letting his fingers caress the thin membranes as it opened above her. He continued his exploration of her moving toward her tail. She twisted her long neck around trying to follow him as he moved down her body. A series of small coughs and rumbles told him she was enjoying his sensual exploration. Her tail curled at the end swinging up so that it wrapped around his open palm. He rubbed it between his hands before walking around the other side of her and beginning all over again. His hand lingered briefly on the edge of the narrow slit running under her body. A puff of smoke caused him to chuckle again.
“My dragon wants his mate,” Mandra murmured in a deep, husky voice. “I am not sure how he will be able to accomplish such a thing in this small area but he is determined he will claim you tonight, little warrior.”
Ariel shivered at the dark promise in Mandra’s voice. Her dragon was just as determined to be claimed as well. When her dragon suggested letting her take over, Ariel had been afraid at first. It had taken a couple of tries before she finally let go enough so her dragon could complete the full transformation. Ariel was amazed that she was still inside. She felt the same on the inside just different on the outside. A little wilder, freer than she had ever felt before. She wanted to feel the full freedom of her dragon-form. Glancing out the open doors, Ariel decided there was plenty of room for her dragon to fit through it.
Can you fly?
Ariel asked mischievously.
Humph! Can I fly? Watch me!
Her dragon growled back indignantly.
Ariel utter a small gasp as her dragon used her tail to push Mandra back right before she moved quickly toward the open balcony doors. Ariel felt the cool stone under her claws just as she pushed off the balcony with a swept of her wings. A tiny scream left her as she felt the moment of weightlessness before she realized she was flying through the dark skies. A loud growl and the sound of breaking glass echoed through the night as she moved away from the palace, heading toward the dense forest.
Mandra ran toward the doors of the balcony shifting as he leaped onto the ledge. He growled as he watched his mate soar away from the palace. His dragon’s roar echoed as he warned any others to stay clear of his mate. His tail flicked the glass balanced on the edge sending it to the floor of the balcony where it shattered, much like his control. His dragon would not be denied his claim. Mandra’s huge wings fanned out, sweeping through the dark night as he quickly gained on his tiny mate.
Ariel called out for her mate to come to her even as she flew away from him. She was looking for a place where they could be alone but still have room to move without destroying his living quarters again. She flew upward enjoying the cool dampness of the night. The rain had stopped, leaving everything smelling clean and fresh. A light, cool breeze caressed the air and the two moons were visible. One moon was almost full while the other was just a sliver. They were breathtaking from up high. She flew through the clouds that were slowly dissipating. Ariel swept her wings up and down loving the feeling of freedom that it gave her as she soared high above the land. A light nip to her tail let her know her mate had caught up with her. She turned her long delicate neck to look over her shoulder and called out in joy, wanting to share this new experience with him.
“You are beautiful, my little warrior,”
Mandra coughed out to his mate.
“I can understand you!”
Ariel giggled as she swung back around to look forward.
“Oh Mandra, it is so beautiful. I never dreamed anything could be like this,”
Ariel breathed out in awe as she stared down at the shimmering diamonds of light reflected off a small river cutting through a meadow below them.
“Did you ever dream of this, my little mate?”
Mandra whispered back right before his larger body covered her smaller one.
Ariel gasped as she felt her tail captured by Mandra’s larger one. He twisted his tail around hers causing her to spin in midair until she was upside down. Before she could recover, he pulled her tail to one side at the same time as he used his front and back legs to grab hers. She found herself hanging in midair belly to belly with him. She was about to protest when she felt her mate claim her smaller body with his own sealing them together as one.
“You are mine, Ariel. You and your dragon belong to me!”
Mandra groaned out as his large wings pumped the air keeping them both suspended for a moment.
Mandra gritted his teeth as he felt his dragon claim his mate. His dragon refused to wait any longer. The sight of his mate’s tail slashing through the air was more temptation than the huge male could handle. Now, it was only the strength of his wings holding the two dragons in place as the male took the female in the age-old dance of possession. The huge male grunted as he impaled the smaller dragon, pushing through the narrow slit and locking them together. Only when he was satisfied would he release her.
The male slowly began a descent to the meadow under them, his huge wings pumping up and down with the skill of centuries of flying. As they neared the ground, he released his mate’s back legs but still kept her tail tightly captured in his. He let his huge legs touch the soft grass covering and pulled his and her tail back to help balance him as he landed. The position drove him deeper into her causing him to roar out. He leaned down and gripped his mate by the neck with his sharp teeth. He tasted the sweet taste of her blood as it flowed over his tongue. Pushing her back until she lay on her back in the grass, he began rocking back and forth driving deeper and deeper into her with each thrust.
Ariel tried to move but each time she did a deep growl from the huge male caging her smaller body forced her to remain still. Unable to stand it any longer, she folded her wings up using the claws at the center and tips to grip him and began rocking with him. The position locked the two dragons, one sapphire and silver, one rose and gold, together in a wild dance of mating that was as old as time. Mandra’s dragon roar out fiercely as his mate gripped him. Her climax exploded around him, milking his seed into her womb with such greed his cry became hoarse from the intensity.