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.
(I should probably make a new banner, now that the book is out and all… I’ll add it to the list of things to do when I can breathe.)
ALTHOUGH IT WAS disappointing that he wouldn’t be able to give his sixth gift to Estenarven that night, Mastekh found that he didn’t mind too much. Not when Elder Blazeborn needed them. Which was why he found it extra annoying on reaching the Tempestfury elder’s private dining quarters to be reassigned to wait upon Elder Goryal instead, leaving Estenarven to take care of Elder Blazeborn alone.
That wasn’t at all what he’d had in mind and he still hadn’t forgive them for allowing Estenarven to jump into the pool, knowing full well a Boulderforce could not swim.
“Good evening, Mastekh,” the Starshine greeted cheerfully, ignoring Mastekh’s scowl.
“I’m glad to see you this evening,” they continued, oblivious as always to the resentful thoughts being sent their way. Or, rather more likely, choosing to ignore them, since they were perfectly capable of plucking the thoughts out of the heads of every person present, human and dragon alike. “Have you shared your next gifts yet?”
“No.” Mastekh turned with the other aides to the sideboard that ran around the edge of the room and picked up the first course, which had been just brought in by the dracos. Picking up a bowl of soup, he placed it in front of Goryal with a distinct lack of grace.
Not that they cared. They smiled and thanked him and, with an equally distinct lack of consideration for the protocols of private dining rooms, continued to talk with their server rather than either of the people they were seated between. To their left, Captain Wellswen was busy listening to the Tempestfury on her other side, but Ambassador Jesken on their right had every reason to feel offended – if she hadn’t been so obviously amused by the conversation between Mastekh and the Starshine.
“Which gift are you on now?” Elder Goryal enquired, sipping their soup and making a sound of enjoyment. “This is delicious. Please pass my compliments along to the dracos.”
Mastekh would gladly have done just that, but before he could step back into the shadows where all good attendants belonged, Goryal snagged the edge of his sleeve, holding him in place.
“Which gift, Mastekh?”
“Sixth,” he replied grumpily. “Hand-m-made.”
“A handmade gift,” the ambassador sighed happily. “What a delightful idea. May I ask what you’re making?”
Mastekh flushed to the tips of his ears and shot a worried glance across the table. Unlike him, Estenarven had been left free to return to the shadows after serving the first course. Instead of being asked impertinent questions, he was chatting with Reglian. The smiling young archivist was toying with a quill rather than taking the notes that were supposedly keeping him from being able to wait upon Elder Goryal. Leaving Mastekh to take his place – and answer impertinent questions.
Gritting his teeth, he muttered, “A w-wood carving.”
“Oh, how delightful.” The ambassador smiled at him. “Have you done much carving before?”
Mastekh shook his head and managed to twitch his robe free of Goryal’s grip. “Excuse m-me,” he murmured, escaping back into the shadows where the ambassador’s human servants were talking quietly with the dracos. Jesral kin Lightstorm was there also, barely bothering to conceal her yawn as she waited for Elder Cloudflight to require her attendance. On the opposite side of the room, Kalaha kin Windheart Clan Swiftwing stood at silent attention behind Elder Rainstorm’s chair, jumping forward whenever the dragon snapped his fingers for more wine.
Just looking at Elder Rainstorm’s face as he smiled at the Tempestfury dragon beside him made Mastekh’s blood run cold. Rishen might have been his kin elder, but Mastekh had never felt comfortable around him. He was too sly, too loud and frequently too uncaring to inspire trust. And far too insistent on loyalty to kin and Clan.
The elder looked up at that moment and Mastekh turned hurriedly away, pretending to fuss with the next course as the dracos brought it in. Ever since the disaster that had been Boltspike, Rishen had been ignoring Mastekh and, since he wished that to continue for the rest of his natural life, Mastekh had no intention of drawing his kin elder’s attention.
Taking a deep breath, he stepped forward with the other attendants and removed Goryal’s empty bowl before returning with the next course.
“Remember what I said,” Goryal murmured, as Mastekh leant forward to place the plate of steaming vegetables in front of them. “When you are ready for the final gift, come and see me. I know of something hard to get that will be perfect – for you and Estenarven.”
“More w-wine, elder?” Mastekh said, giving the faintest hint of a nod, aware that Rishen was still watching him.
“Thank you, Mastekh,” the Starshine agreed, smiling as he poured. Thankfully they then let him retreat back into the shadows, where he lost Rishen’s attention once more.
Something hard to get, Mastekh thought as he leant against the wall, eyes locking with Estenarven’s on the far side of the room. At the moment the best gift that fit that description would be time alone together, but in truth that wasn’t a gift either of them could give. Not when they were both assigned to Elder Blazeborn.
So he would have to find something else. Since he had no idea where to even begin in this storm-wracked place so far from his home, he would accept Elder Goryal’s offer. It would cost him nothing to listen and, possibly, might lead to Mastekh getting everything he wanted.
He just wished he didn’t have to wait.
“Patience,” Elder Goryal chuckled, when Mastekh served the next course.
He eyed the elder grumpily, which only made them laugh, and stepped back into the shadows resigned to an impatient, interminable evening at the Starshine’s expense. His only comfort was that he wasn’t the only one trapped here. Catching Estenarven’s eye again, they shared a commiserating smile and he felt instantly better.
It was only one night, after all. He could last one more night.
More next week.
If, like Mastekh, you’re fed up of waiting to find out what happens, get the ebook – it’s free!
Whatever you choose to do, take care, my lovelies.