A Courtship of Dragons is a M/M Romance short novel (approximately 60,000 words) 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.
Fourth gift feelings.
MASTEKH STARED AT the little wooden figure on his palm. It was obviously old and had clearly been handled often. It was battered and scarred and featureless and strange, yet his fingers curled instantly around it, feeling a powerful need to protect.
He wondered where Estenarven had found it, how long he’d carried it for, how many memories it held. The fourth gift was traditionally something of meaning from the giver, though since there were no hard and fast rules as the order of the gifts it might also be something precious or handmade, like the fifth and sixth gifts.
Yet the strange little figure was clearly too old to have been made by Estenarven, and though Mastekh instinctively wanted to protect it, he didn’t think many would find it precious. Which meant it must be meaningful to Estenarven.
And the wretch had run off before Mastekh could ask any pertinent questions.
Or try and give the thing back, which was far more likely the reason why Estenarven had run away, infuriatingly wonderful dragon that he was.
Mastekh held the little figure up to the nearest glow globe and studied the flecks of long ago paint still clinging in tiny patches. The fourth gift. If he was truly serious about letting Estenarven go, believing he was better off without a soggy Rainstorm dragging him down, then Mastekh would have to give this back. Along with the jade pot and the daisy. He couldn’t do much about the memory of flying through the Rainstorm together, which he was selfishly glad about. Everything else, though, had to go back. The longer he kept them, the longer the courtship went on.
He stared at the figure again, but the thought of returning it, of never finding out what it meant to Estenarven, had his fingers closing into a fist, locking the figurine tight inside his grip.
He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t give it back; he couldn’t halt their courtship. Just as he couldn’t lie to Estenarven and tell him that he didn’t want him, that he had to leave. There was nothing in the world he wanted less.
“You’re h-h-hopeless,” he whispered to himself, thumping his closed fist against his forehead.
Yet he was smiling as he did it. Because Estenarven had come for him – again. He’d heard the same gossip, realised they had become a laughingstock amongst the dragons, but he’d come looking for Mastekh anyway. Because Estenarven didn’t care.
He. Did. Not. Care. Not about gossip or gossipy dragons. He only claimed to care what Mastekh thought.
Which was too heady and wonderful a thing to give up.
He mattered. Mastekh mattered to Estenarven.
His heart felt so full it hurt.
Mastekh stared down at the figure in his hand again and felt his eyes fill with tears.
By the Family, what was he going to do with his stubborn, wonderful, foolish, glorious Boulderforce?
“Love h-him,” he vowed to the strange little figurine before tucking it into his pocket. “That’s all I can d-d-do.”
Which since he already did and had no idea how to stop doing so, should prove simple enough.
Patting the pocket where the figure lay between his naming shells, Mastekh headed back towards the kitchens. Who knew that saving lives and mending hearts would prove such hungry work?
More next week.
Take care, my lovelies!