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.
Sorry. Not a great week.
Still, at least Esten’s happy.
20th Storm Month
ESTENARVEN SPENT THE next day in a happy haze, uncaring that he was back in meetings and once more serving Elder Blazeborn at dinner. Not only had he spent the last two nights sleeping with Mastekh beside him, but his Puddle had finally relaxed enough to let them explore each other. Just a little, just enough to give them both a taste of what they might one day have. Compared to his previous lovers, some would deem it fairly tame stuff, but Estenarven was giddy with it all. Mastekh was becoming more and more his with each passing day, allowing him closer, trusting him more deeply. Their courtship was progressing beautifully.
With that thought in mind, he smiled as he brushed a hand against his hip pocket, where his sixth gift now resided. The thought and effort that Mastekh had gone to in order to replace Estenarven’s battered old wooden figure with a new one handmade by his Puddle… Estenarven hadn’t known his heart could hurt with happiness. Even now it still felt a little too big for his chest, inflated with all the feelings Mastekh stirred within him.
“Ugh, Sister Storm, do you have to ooze?”
Estenarven jerked away from the wall he’d been leaning against and looked down to find Jesral scowling at him. He glanced at his hands and the floor, but he was a Boulderforce, he didn’t ooze.
He frowned in confusion. “What?”
“You. You’re so happy, it’s practically dripping off you.” She waved her hand in front of her face as though dispersing a bad smell. “Stop it.”
Reglian snorted from his desk behind the pair of them, where he was once again getting out of having to serve at dinner by pretending to take notes on the conversation. “Don’t be jealous, Jesral. It’s unbecoming.”
The Lightstorm sneered at the Thunderwing, who smirked back. Just because the two dragons shared a Clan, didn’t mean they liked each other.
Not in the mood to get between the pair of them and one of their bickering spats, Estenarven shook his head. “I thought you were my friend, Jessie.”
Jesral paused her glaring at Reglian to sniff in his direction. “I am.”
“Then you should be happy that I’m happy.”
“I would, but you’re just so nauseating about it. Smiling all the time.”
“I’m a smiley person,” he protested.
“Not like this,” Jesral argued. “You look like you’ve taken one too many hits on the head with a boulder.”
“He’s a Boulderforce,” Reglian interjected, chuckling. “They’re all like that.”
Both Estenarven and Jesral shot him a withering look. He didn’t seem to care, twirling a quill between his fingers and smiling benignly.
“All I’m saying is, can you be a little less distracted, please?” Jesral said, turning her attention back to Estenarven. “If I have to hit you one more time to prompt you to serve the next course, I’m going to break my hand.”
“Maybe you could try not hitting me?” Estenarven suggested.
She glared at him instead, so he opted for Reglian’s solution and smiled.
“Lovebirds,” she growled in disgust. “I thought you of all dragons would never fall for any of that romantic nonsense. Now look at you. A good flirt, ruined.”
“Aw, I’ll still flirt with you, Jessie,” he promised, batting his eyelashes.
She looked at him like he was something disgusting she’d accidentally stepped in. “Save it for Mastekh,” she retorted, flicking her hair over her shoulder and stalking away to stand with someone else.
Estenarven watched her go, shaking his head and sighing, wondering if he would ever understand what was wrong with her.
“Don’t worry, Esten, she’ll get over it,” Reglian said, putting down his quill and linking his fingers together. “Unfortunately for you.”
“What’s the problem between you two anyway?” Estenarven demanded, resting a hip against Reglian’s desk and reading his notes upside down. They looked more like a handful of games of noughts and crosses to him.
Reglian hurriedly covered up his games and shrugged. “Thunderwings and Lightstorms have never got along. Blame that age old question, which came first the thunder or the lightning? We’re simply not meant to be friends.”
“Sounds foolish to me,” Estenarven said, shrugging himself.
“Which is a bit rich coming from a kin Boulderforce, who all the Overworld knows can’t stand the rest of your Clan.”
“I can’t help it if the other Stoneheart kin are full of rubble brains and eroded integrity.”
“Mm,” Reglian agreed, twirling his quill again as the next course was brought in and Estenarven had to step away and serve his elder. By the time he returned, the Thunderwing actually appeared to be doing some work, so he rested his hip against the desk and tried some more upside down reading.
“You missed a bit,” he said, indicating a few runes that had only been half-completed, changing their meaning completely. “Unless you meant to compare Elder Cloudflight to a bat, in which case carry on.”
Reglian growled softly, making the correction and tucking the page out of sight. “Have you exchanged your sixth gifts yet?” he asked, changing the subject before Estenarven could ask about the interesting notes he’d just glimpsed on Elder Blazeborn’s attempts to turn back the Cloud Curse – and the lack of help he’d received so far from his fellow elders.
The subject of his courtship with Mastekh was something which Estenarven was more than happy to be diverted onto and he felt another soppy smile creep over his face. Thank the Family Jesral wasn’t around to see it.
“We have,” he admitted, fully aware that he sounded besotted but not caring because he was. The look of awe on Mastekh’s face when Estenarven had presented him with the gold-veined quartz would remain one of his favourite memories for the rest of his life. His dear Puddle had literally melted over the gift, unable to believe that anyone would give him something so beautiful. Estenarven felt the same way about everything Mastekh had given him, so he knew they were even.
“And the seventh? Have you fetched it yet?”
Estenarven scowled at having his happy memories interrupted again and rubbed his neck. “When would I have had the time?”
“You had yesterday off,” Reglian pointed out. “Surely it didn’t take you all day to exchange your sixth gifts.”
“Not all day, no.” Estenarven sighed, sinking back into memories of what had led up to the gift giving and all the gratitude that had followed. Sibling Stone, if only all free days could be so wonderful…
“So when?” Reglian once more prodded him back to the present.
“I don’t know,” Estenarven growled. “When these meetings end or Elder Blazeborn takes pity on us again, I suppose. Not that it’s any of your business.”
“Ah, but it is, remember.” Reglian raised an eyebrow and tapped a golden claw against the pocket where his little betting book resided.
Estenarven narrowed his eyes. “You shouldn’t remind me about that,” he warned. “I’m still angry with you and Goryal.”
“If you’re truly angry with Goryal then you’d best speed things up. You know they’ve bet on your courtship wrapping up on the twenty-fourth of this month. No one else has gone longer, so even if you and Mastekh exchange your seventh gifts after that, they’ll still win the pot.”
Estenarven growled again.
Reglian smiled. “Better get a move on then, hadn’t you.”
Estenarven gave a sharp nod and plotted how he might convince Elder Blazeborn to give them another day off, preferably tomorrow. He was so preoccupied, in fact, that he forgot to ask Reglian who would win if Goryal was thwarted.
Still, as he curled up with Mastekh in his narrow bed that night, smiling at Khennik’s promise not to need either of them on the morrow, he decided he didn’t care. All that really mattered was securing his seventh gift so that he could make Mastekh his forever.
And if they happened to ruin Goryal’s win along the way, that was just a bonus.
~ Next chapter ~
If, like Reglian, you’re impatient to reach the end, you can download the ebook now – it’s free!
Whatever you choose to do, take care, my lovelies.