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 there is cleaning – and a tiny bit of pouting.
SURELY, IT HAD to be love. Mastekh couldn’t think what else could possibly leave him feeling happy and content as he worked alongside Estenarven, sweeping floors, scrubbing walls, swabbing floors and sweeping all over again. It wasn’t difficult work, but it was quite tiresome, yet Mastekh found himself humming through most of it. He even laughed a time or two, as Estenarven told him what the Riders were up to outside the window, offered up the juiciest bits of crew gossip and even whistled off-key as a counterpoint to Mastekh’s hums.
It wasn’t even as if the work was particularly satisfying, since the cabin was small and cramped and made mostly of dark wood, leaving it looking pretty much the same when they finished as when they started. The windows did gleam quite nicely, but Mastekh couldn’t claim any responsibility for that.
And yet, when the light outside the window began to dim, Mastekh still felt as if he’d had a good day.
“Th-there,” he sighed, sweeping the last of the dirt and dust into the pan, ready to be carried up the ladder and tossed over the side of the deck. “All d-d-done.”
“Perfect,” Estenarven agreed, wiping his cloth over the door handle to provide one last flourish. “I spoke to First Mate Galha earlier. She says she’ll bring some crew in tomorrow to shift the walls about. It won’t give us much space, but there’s some extra crawl space behind here we’re not using.” He knocked on the outer wall with his knuckles. “I doubt I’ll be able to stand up in most of it, but I don’t need to while I’m sleeping.”
Mastekh felt his face warm at the thought of sharing such a tiny space with the big Boulderforce, but he didn’t protest. He wanted to share a room with Estenarven, even if they could do nothing more than sleep in it. As long as they were together. “Sounds g-g-good,” he mumbled, wishing he could be more sophisticated or seductive or knew the words to make everything sound right.
Estenarven didn’t seem to mind. Smiling, he curled a finger beneath Mastekh’s chin and tilted his face upwards. “A space of our own,” he murmured, voice a low, seductive rumble. “I can’t wait.” He brushed his lips ever so gently across Mastekh’s mouth, the tiny kiss sending heat washing right down to his toes.
Mastekh puffed out a tiny sigh, lips parting in search of more, but Estenarven had already pulled away.
“Ready to go?” he asked, winking.
No. Mastekh was ready for more kisses right here in this empty room. He was ready to hear more about the space they were going to share. He was ready for anything, as long as it didn’t involve moving from this spot – nor included Estenarven moving either.
But Estenarven was already gathering up their buckets of dirty water and pans of dust and opening the door. Leaving Mastekh to swallow his disappointment and trail after him in a way that was becoming all too familiar.
Dragging his feet and indulging himself in a tiny bout of petulance, Mastekh allowed Estenarven to pull ahead as he returned their cleaning tools to the galley while the Boulderforce climbed the ladder to get rid of the dust and dirty water outside. Then he gave himself a stern talking to as he climbed the ladder to the top deck in search of his fellow aide.
Estenarven was gone.
Frowning, Mastekh looked all around the deck, but beyond the usual mess of ropes and chains and the occasional skysailor on watch, there wasn’t a single sign of the tall Boulderforce. Mastekh’s frown deepened. Yes, he’d taken a little extra time to get himself up on deck, but it hadn’t been that long, had it? Certainly not long enough for Estenarven to grow bored of waiting and set off without him.
A loud burst of laughter spun him around and he flinched inwardly. Oh, of course. Why would Estenarven bother waiting around for a petulant Rainstorm when there were far more interesting people to talk to?
Feeling dread weighing his shoulders down, Mastekh slunk towards the gangplank, prepared for the sight of Lieutenants Anhardyne and Vish to be flirting with Estenarven again. Possibly even hanging all over him. Mastekh knew he didn’t have any right to feel jealous, he knew there wasn’t much going on between the trio, but it still hurt. Mostly because Mastekh could never match up and it made him feel small and petty and uncertain and insecure.
Another burst of laughter made him twitch, but he squared his shoulders and strode up to the gangplank, ready for whatever would meet his eyes.
“Safe flight!” Anhardyne shouted, charging up the gangplank and almost colliding with Mastekh at the top. “Oh, sorry, Puddle, I almost splashed straight through you.” Chortling at her own joke, she patted him on the arm and hurried away across the deck.
Not that Mastekh was paying her any attention – his eyes were fixed on the sight before him.
Riders surrounded Estenarven, just as he feared, but not in a flirtatious way. No one was sitting in his lap, trying to steal kisses or flirting for his attention. They weren’t even really talking to him, except Lieutenant Nera who was smiling at something Estenarven muttered, a low rumble that turned Mastekh’s knees to jelly as he stumbled his way to the bottom of the plank.
Then he looked up. Up, up, up into the glinting, laughing eyes of the dragon laid out before him. There was a reason why Estenarven wasn’t on the Skylark anymore – he wouldn’t be able to fit. Stretched out in full dragon shape, Estenarven was huge and magnificent and the finest specimen of kin Boulderforce that Mastekh had ever seen.
Winking a large black eye at Nera, Estenarven lowered his great head and nuzzled Mastekh. The touch, even a gentle one, was enough to make him stagger, but a firm grip on Estenarven’s snout prevented him from falling over.
“Ready to go?” Estenarven asked again, but this time Mastekh felt very differently about his answer.
It might not have been a kiss, but it was better than heading straight back to Elder Blazeborn’s suite in the Tempestfury towers.
This was flight. Together.
“Y-y-yes, p-please,” Mastekh bubbled, hugging Estenarven’s snout and pressing his cheek to cool grey scales.
Rumbling a chuckle, Estenarven nudged him away. “Then get your wings on, Puddle. It’s time to rejoin the rainstorm.”
More next week.
Take care, my lovelies!