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.
So what now?
12th Storm Month
“I DON’T SEE what all the fuss is about,” Lieutenant Vish remarked from the back of his miryhl the next morning. “You’re a stone dragon. Don’t you carry lots of shiny gems around with you all the time? They’re precious, aren’t they? Can’t you just use one of them?”
Taking advantage of a lull in the weather, Estenarven and three of the Rift Rider lieutenants had escaped from Highstrike to fly in the mountains. With the storms lying thick and heavy around the Tempestfury kinlands, all of them – humans, miryhls and dragon – were starting to go a little crazy from being inside all the time.
Although some of Estenarven’s restlessness was down to the fact that two whole days had passed since his dinner with Mastekh and he was still no closer to knowing what his sixth gift should be.
“Maybe he wants to be a little less obvious,” Anhardyne said, her miryhl flying directly over Estenarven’s head. “A diamond or an emerald from a stone dragon? How predictable is that?”
The other Riders and miryhls murmured in agreement, but Estenarven kept his thoughts to himself. He knew they were just trying to be helpful, but contrary to human beliefs, not all stone dragons (as they crudely insisted on labelling him) collected shiny gems. That was the province of kin Jewelwing, as their name suggested.
Yes, all right, Boulderforces did like shiny things every now and then, but they were just as likely to collect a piece of quartz or hematite as gather up diamonds and sapphires.
“But if we rule out precious gems as too obvious,” Nera called from her position on Estenarven’s left, “what else is there?”
And therein lay Estenarven’s problem. He had limited time and extremely finite resources, yet somehow he had to uncover something precious enough to give to his Puddle. Not because the courtship demanded it, but because he wanted to. The rock rose that now sat pride of place on his narrow windowsill was the most perfect and unlikely gift anyone had ever given him. He loved it. The feelings that had bubbled up within him when he’d first laid eyes on it – tenderness and love and a sense of being thought special enough to care for such a thing – were wondrous. He wanted Mastekh to feel every last one. So he needed a good gift, a precious gift, a thoughtful, well considered gift.
“Urgh, rain,” Anhardyne muttered as big fat droplets began splattering down. “I’d hoped we’d escape it.”
“Try down there,” Nera shouted, her miryhl already diving for a gap between the spurs of two mountains.
Estenarven allowed the miryhls to go ahead of him, his scales rippling a protest at the worsening weather. The rain was drumming on his wings now. It wouldn’t hurt him, but that didn’t mean he had to like it. As he dove after the miryhls, his magic tingled through his bones and he grinned as he realised what Nera had spotted.
A cave, low and narrow but with space enough for three miryhls, three humans and one human-sized dragon to fit in reasonable comfort.
“Good eyes, Ni,” he remarked, back-winging and shifting midair to land on bare feet. As he crouched to absorb the drop, his hand brushed the ground.
With his magical senses still open, exploring the parameters of the cave, something bright and cool flashed across his mind and he looked up.
“Very good eyes indeed,” he murmured, smiling at the veins that rippled through the stone like ancient, fossilised rivers, glinting in the pallid light of the overcast day.
When he slowly stood, head canted backwards, the three Riders and their miryhls looked up too.
“Is that…?” Nera asked softly.
“Gold,” the others agreed in a reverent whisper.
“In quartz,” Estenarven said, pressing his palms against the nearest wall and grinning with excitement. “Rivers of quartz and gold flow right through the heart of this mountain.”
Anhardyne chuckled. “Well, there’s a gift to please any Flowflight.”
Estenarven grinned. “We may need a little more light,” he suggested, keeping one hand pressed against the wall as he moved deeper into the cave, following the shining river in search of the perfect piece to take home.
More next week.
Take care, my lovelies.