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.
MASTEKH CLEANED UP the spillage, feeling like a fool. All his happy feelings from the morning had fled in the face of an innocuous question and a dropped teapot. He patted the last pool of water and stared at his hot hand with a sigh.
Wonderful, he was now full of tea. It would take days for the ruddy-ginger stain to fade.
Served him right for being a jumpy, clumsy, overreacting fool. How Elder Blazeborn must rue the day their paths had not just crossed but unfortunately interwoven.
Picking up the pot and swilling the liquid inside, he realised there was just enough for another cup, so he poured it out and placed it on the hearth to keep warm while he got on his knees and made sure he hadn’t ruined another carpet. His very first meeting with Elder Blazeborn was engraved on his memory, never to be forgotten.
His trip to Teirenlai had been Mastekh’s first solo expedition outside of his Rainstorm kinlands. Well, sort of solo, since he’d flown alongside Rishen, his kin elder, but all of Mastekh’s previous trips had been with dragons his own age with older caretakers to watch over them. For all that Rishen was his elder, the dragon hadn’t spared Mastekh much attention during the flight. Which was how Mastekh had preferred it. Rishen made him nervous. Most dragons made him nervous. Most everything, actually.
Carpet checked, Mastekh sat back on heels and paused for a moment, trying to come up with something that didn’t make him anxious or nervous. He would have said Estenarven, except the recent shift in their relationship had caused a few of those old, familiar emotions to bubble up, so not even he counted anymore. Baking and making tea also felt good, but handing them over to their intended recipients usually caused anxious moments – or foolish ones, he reminded himself, climbing to his feet and sighing at the empty desk and the now-seemingly innocent crockery lined up on the tray.
Arriving at Teirenlai Palace had been overwhelming for Mastekh. Too many new faces, a whole new layout to learn, new servants to try not to annoy. He would have hidden in his room and never come out, except he’d quickly found out that he was expected to share it with two other young dragons. Strangers. Ones who already knew each other and were noisy and constantly laughing. Not necessarily at him, though it had felt like it at the time.
Panicked, Mastekh had fled into the labyrinthine corridors until he ended up quite, quite lost. In the end he’d wandered into a sunlit garden where a great bronze dragon was curled up. Not wanting to disturb the sleeping creature, he’d backed as quietly as possible away only to trip over an uneven flagstone. Tumbling down with a splash and a cry, he’d felt a hot, weary sigh pass over him and looked up into glowing golden eyes.
At which point Elder Goryal Starshine had materialised between them, beaming a joyful smile. “Oh good,” they had chuckled. “You’ve met. Khennik, this is your new aide, Mastekh kin Rainstorm Clan Flowflight. Congratulations, Mastekh, you’ve been assigned as the aide to Elder Blazeborn as part of the delegation overseeing the visit of the new human ambassador.”
The huge bronze Blazeborn had turned his head to the small human-shaped Starshine elder and huffed out a warm breath. “A Rainstorm, Goryal, really?”
Mastekh had cringed, though he hadn’t disagreed. The Flowflight and Sunlord Clans were not known for their compatibility.
Goryal had laughed and patted Elder Blazeborn’s cheek. “Patience, Khennik. Something you once had in droves. It would do you good to remembered such skills.”
Grumbling, the dragon had curled up again, wrapping his tail tightly around himself and using it to cover his eyes. “Aren’t the humans punishment enough?”
Goryal had laughed their silver bell laugh and rested a hand on Mastekh’s arm. “Ignore him, he’s always grumpy after a long flight. He’ll feel better once he’s soaked up some sun. Come along with me, young Rainstorm, and I’ll show you your new accommodations and introduce you to someone who can show you your new duties.”
And that had been that. Neither one of them had been given any choice, they’d simply been shoved together through the whims of a meddling old dragon. No one knew precisely how old Goryal was, but all the Starshine Clan were over a millennia, though they rarely acted it. They felt it though, with a prickle of power that could grow painful if the dragons forgot to rein it in. Goryal rarely forgot such things, they were too fond of company to risk driving it all away, even if they did frequently meddle more than was good for those around them.
Even so, Mastekh couldn’t be sorry that his path had crossed Goryal’s, nor that of Elder Blazeborn either. Because both had brought him, in a roundabout way, to Estenarven and the night before. Mastekh wouldn’t give that up for all the world, even if he had spent most of the evening hurt and confused. The end had been worth everything that had gone before.
It was still a shame about the tea, though.
Sighing, he picked up the cup from the hearth and crossed to Elder Blazeborn’s door. Where he dithered, not wanting to disturb the elder any more than he already had that morning. Yet he knew of no one else who liked ginger tea and didn’t want it to go to waste.
So he took a deep breath, tried to summon up a little of his morning happiness, and knocked.
Clenching his free hand into a fist and warning himself to stay in control of himself, Mastekh slipped into the room. It was as spacious as the outer chamber, but with a lot less furniture. A wide bed stood off to one side, while a small desk had been placed beside the fire. Beyond that there was nothing except for three tall, narrow windows much like the ones in the other room. The rest of the space had been left empty as a courtesy to allow the elder to transform into his dragon shape if he so wished.
Thankfully for Mastekh’s nerves, he was still in human form, sitting at the desk, one hand propping up his head while he toyed with his quill and flicked ink over an otherwise empty piece of parchment.
Golden eyes glanced up and the elder froze. He said nothing, didn’t even blink as Mastekh crossed the room in a shuffling hurry, placing the stone cup down with exquisite care on one side of the desk. He then picked up the empty cup Elder Blazeborn had carried in earlier before retreating as swiftly as he’d entered. His silken robe flapped against his legs in his haste to reach the door.
Even so, as he pulled it opened and slipped through, he heard a softly murmured “Thank you,” over the rush of his own escape.
Mastekh paused and looked through the gap of the half-closed door. Elder Blazeborn held the cup cradled between his hands, golden claws glinting at the end of dark bronze fingers. The elder raised his tea in silent acknowledgement.
Ducking his head shyly, Mastekh muttered, “You’re w-w-welcome,” before shutting the door between them.
Taking several wobbly steps into the empty outer room, he collapsed onto the nearest chaise. He felt exhausted and it wasn’t even lunchtime.
Still, he smiled, content that he might have managed to fix any fresh damage he’d done to his working relationship with his elder after another foolish mishap. Perhaps there was hope for him yet.
Feeling refreshed, he popped to his feet and gathered the empty pot and unused cups onto the stone tray. Noon was approaching and neither the elder nor Estenarven had eaten anything today.
Mastekh could and would do something about that.
Happy to feel useful once more, he hurried out of the suite towards the kitchens for the second time that morning, a fresh hum rising in his throat. Perhaps the day would be salvageable, after all.
I’ve now come to the end of what I had written.
Hopefully I’ll have a chance to write some more in the next week or so, before I update next Wednesday. This story needs more Esten.
See you then.
Happy New Year, my lovelies!