A Courtship of Dragons is a M/M Romance (it could be short, it could be a novella, it could be any size, I have no idea) told in short scenes, between two young dragons, Estenarven kin Boulderforce Clan Stoneheart and Mastekh kin Rainstorm Clan Flowflight. It’s pure fluff ‘n’ stuff and not intended to be anything other than that.
In which Khennik says something innocuous and the expected happens.
SOMEONE WAS HUMMING. Elder Khennik kin Blazeborn Clan Sunlord frowned down at his desk and the report he was supposed to be writing to his Clan elder. The suite was too quiet, magnifying the clatter of hailstones against the windows and the shudder of the window as it whistled around the tower. Lightning flickered and thunder snarled. Khennik attempted to ignore it all as he hunched over his desk beside the fire on the opposite side of the room. Usually the crackle, pop and hiss of the flames would be enough to settle him, but it was early and he was tired after a late night.
And now someone was humming.
Sighing, he dropped his quill and rubbed his eyes as the main door to the suite opened, admitting the hummer with his tray of tea.
Khennik’s eyebrows rose in surprise and he rested his chin on his hand, watching his usually anxious aide back into the room before turning and closing the door with his heel. Humming.
Mastekh didn’t hum. In fact, his Rainstorm aide rarely made any sound at all, except for squeaks and the occasional stuttered sentence. Not that he was a quiet or restful presence. Mastekh might not have used his voice all that often, but his emotions were often loud. Trembling, shuffling, jittering, wringing his hands, lurking in the background, trying to be unobtrusive and always failing. It had driven Khennik distracted when they’d first been assigned to each other. However, he’d grown used to it over time and occasionally missed Mastekh when he wasn’t in the room.
Khennik wouldn’t have said he was fond of humming, especially wordless tunes that bubbled and rambled without any form or reason, but it was an interesting change. He was almost certain he knew what had put that small smile on his younger aide’s face too.
“Oh. Elder B-Blazeborn. You’re aw-w-wake.”
The happy hum faded, but Khennik was surprised to see the smile remained. Mastekh didn’t smile at him, he was usually too worried or anxious to please, holding himself tense as if always ready for a reprimand or a blow. Khennik tried not to ever give the former and he would never use the latter. The mere prospect of being mistaken for such a thuggish bully had made him often moody and equally tense at first, until he realised that the only way Mastekh would relax was if he relaxed first. So mostly Khennik attempted to ignore his aide, and Mastekh seemed happiest that way.
Not this morning. This morning he seemed prepared for conversation, so Khennik cleared a space on his desk for the tea tray and nodded congenially. “Good morning. I trust you slept well.”
Mastekh bobbed his head in agreement, placing the tray on the table with a lot less clatter and rattling than usual. There weren’t any stray water drops either. Progress.
“Estenarven is still in bed, I take it?” Khennik asked as Mastekh began pouring the tea.
“B-beg p-p-pardon?” Mastekh jumped, sending hot water all over the stone tray and across the desk. “Oh, no!” he wailed, dropping the tea pot with a clatter and flapping over the spilled liquid.
Sighing, Khennik rescued his most important papers and stood before the tea reached the edge of the table and dripped into his lap. “It’s all right, Mastekh. No harm done.” After all, this wouldn’t be the first time Mastekh had almost dumped a pot of tea all over him – nor the second. A part of Khennik had leant to be perpetually wary whenever it came to his aide holding anything in his vicinity, though he had hoped the humming and smiles would herald a new era in their working relationship.
No such luck. One offhand question and his aide had collapsed back into a bubbling, anxious, apologetic mess and Khennik could feel all his old irritations rising. He tried not to get angry, because he knew Mastekh couldn’t help being the way he was, but it was frustrating.
One tiny tiptoe forward, a massive leap back. That was how things seemed destined to always be between them.
“I’ll finish this in my room,” he said, unable to hold back a sigh as he gathered the rest of things into his arms and shook tea from the end of his quill pen.
“I’m s-s-so s-s-s-sorry, eld-d-der,” Mastekh whimpered, patting the desk with his palm and leaving dry stone behind. His hand had darkened to the shade of ginger tea.
The sight reminded Khennik of how thirsty he was, so he piled his things on his dry chair and quickly poured himself a cup with what little liquid was left. Mm, spicy. “It’s all right, Mastekh,” he murmured again, retrieving his things and sipping from his cup. “These things happen, and there was no harm done.”
Mastekh hung his head pitifully. Khennik considered reaching out and patting the young Rainstorm’s shoulder, but he wasn’t a particularly tactile dragon and the last thing he wanted was to make Mastekh recoil. There relationship was shaky enough as it was.
So he contented himself with another sigh – mostly filled with bafflement over what his young aide needed from him – then retreated back into his room. It would probably be safer for all involved if he just stayed there until the Storm Season passed and the Skylark sailed onwards again.
“I’ll be in my room if anyone needs me,” he said over his shoulder, then shoved the door shut with his heel.
What a day, and it wasn’t even midmorning yet.
More next Monday.
Take care, my lovelies!