1. The Dragon & the Slave
Groaning, I shuffle on the bed. Soft trails were going down from my neck to my chest. The touch felt odd against my skin. Growling softly, I turn and grab the bed sheets, pulling them more.
The same sensation continued. Getting angry, I sat up and growled at the person next to me. Silver eyes were looking at me with fear.
“Get the fuck out!” I said, growling, “get lost!”
Backing away, the naked woman flings out of the chamber, running. I heard a small sob as she closed the door. Groaning in anger, I sit on the edge of the bed, another restless night. Cracking my neck, I stand up and walk towards an opening in my chamber. I could feel that anger rising from my heart. Taking a deep breath, I try to calm down. It was not good for me to get angry. I didn’t need to cause a scene early in the morning.
Stretching, I feel a presence behind me.
“I know you’re there; come forward,” I said with a scowl.
“It seems my dear brother is in a foul mood. Didn’t that woman give you a blow for breakfast,” the man with red eyes said as he smirked.
“Damian, stop it,” I said with a frown, “Tell me why you are here?”
“Just came to let you know the elders wish to see you. It seems it’s related to the Trollar Kingdom,” Damian said, scowling, “those bastards are looking for a war.”
Trollar, a kingdom with dragon tamers, Rascals that are so savage that they don’t even care for their kind. We had several wars with that kingdom. Their need to overpower us is beyond any other. Especially their king. King Gabriel, a ruthless and bloody bastard that even killed his daughter for the pleasure of having a baby dragon in exchange. Beings like him shouldn’t even exist.
“Annoying elders. Can’t they handle it,” I said, turning around and grabbing a long sleeve shirt, “they fear him? So what’s the point of even having them? If they can’t manage without me?
“We can kill them. I wouldn’t mind killing at least the annoying ones,” Damian said as his eyes glimmer.
“Let’s go,” I said, turning away and heading down the long passage.
I am the king of the dragons, Dimitri. My younger brother Damian is my right hand, and my best friend Leo is the general of our horde. We live on Mount Errigal. A vast range of mountains that extended to the border of the Kingdom of Trollar. For the last twenty-six years, we have been at war, the greedy bastard hunting my kind to get their hearts. Our hearts were valuable. Anyone cheap enough would get their hands on one. Especially tamers and sorcerers. Having a dragon heart meant giving them a unique power, more like an overwhelming desire. Your mind would pick something you desire and join it with the heart’s dragon, turning it into magic or a weapon.
Many people from the Trollar Kingdom had gained dragons’ hearts. But for the last four years, they haven’t been able to. The reason is that we have the helping hand of a sorcerer. One that we capture, but he pledges his loyalty to us. I asked him once why, but he said that he needed to hide his identity. So I didn’t intrude more and let it be. But, unfortunately, it felt that he was hiding something that no one should know.
Opening the two enormous golden double doors, I walk in. A soft growl vibrated in my chest. The elders glare at me, feeling offended.
“Your majesty, welcome,” one of the elders said as he bowed.
“Go to the point,” I spat, taking a seat on the golden throne that could fit two others like me.
“We have word that the Kingdom of Trollar is sending slaves for an exchange,” the elder with green eyes said, “they wish to bargain scales this time.”
I rested my face on my hand as I leaned back and relaxed. So King Gabriel wanted an exchange for scales? I scoffed as I looked at the other elders.
“How unusual,” I mumble, “King Gabriel wouldn’t go with something like that. Is there something else you people haven’t told me?”
All the elders exchange glances except for one, my grandfather. He had a frown that showed how old he indeed looked, even though we aged slowly.
His hazel eyes met mine. Then, feeling the tension, everyone goes silent.
“Something on your mind?” I asked, crooking my eyebrow.
My grandfather, elder Jerium, was one of the oldest dragons still alive. He once was a king, a great ruler, and protector of our horde until my deceased father took his place but perished a few decades later, leaving me as the next in line. Elder Jerium was one of the few to voice his opinions, but it meant there would be a heavy argument when he did.
My eyes never leave his hazel ones. For a split second, I notice his eyes waver, but his expressionless face covers it quickly. Tapping the throne, I wait for him to say something.
“My opinion would be for you to kill everyone, leaving no one alive,” Elder Jerium said as a smirk spreads on his face, “They should see we don’t bargain easily. Especially for mere slaves.”
I hum at what he asked me to do. It wasn’t a bad idea showing we don’t hand ourselves that easily.
“If I may. I think Elder Jerium is right,” one elder said, “We don’t need to hand them anything. They want to be greedier.”
All the elders immediately started arguing. Some agree; others are against it. I felt my eye twitch in annoyance. Then, cracking my neck, I slam my hand on the throne armrest.
“Enough!” I voice out loud, “I decide what to do. Now scram.”
Everyone’s eyes went wide. By the looks, they saw me shifting, rolling my shoulders. I take a couple of deep breaths. My brother Damian just looked at me, waiting to intervene at any moment needed.
Seeing that no one moved, I got up and left the throne room with Damian behind.
“Brother, you need to relax,” Damian said as he stood next to me.
Opening and closed my hands. I tried to calm the monster I was. Being mateless for the last decades was affecting me in a way I never expected. A dragon couldn’t be mateless for too long. He needed his other half, his all. The one who would tame the beast he was. I haven’t been able to find that person, however. I have looked in every town, every village, every kingdom, and other hordes, nothing.
The feeling of wanting your other half was becoming unbearable for me. Restless nights where my mind keeps desiring to have a taste of my mate. I have fucked a lot of different women, humans, beasts, but nothing. It never can ease that burning sensation down deep in me. My mind has been full of hate, revenge, and darkness. A consuming feeling that made me lose sanity. A simple argument made me shift. And as passing days go by, my mind becomes more beast, less human.
“Get a group of ten or twelve dragons. We shall see what type of slaves they bring us this time,” I said as a smirk that could make anyone freeze on the spot falls on my lips.
I stood tall, waiting for the time of our departure to come. The palace stood on the highest of the mountain range.
The surrounding trees and rivers make the view one to admire. I love this place, my home.
“We are ready, your majesty,” Damian said, standing straight behind me. Nodding, I glance once more and head towards the cliff to gather and take flight towards our destination.
Reaching the cliff, I see my best man standing in a circle. With a nod, we all start undressing. Leaving our clothes to scatter and in sync, we all shift into our beast. What we were dragons.
Taking the lead, we jump off the cliff, and together we head south where the meeting with King Gabriel’s men was supposed to be.
“Remember, we shall wait and see what they are planning. No one is reckless. Are we clear?” I order through the mind link. Everyone met my eyes, and growls were their response.
We were getting closer to our destination. I see the moon out.
Full moon, I thought. I always like the full moons; they bring a piece of serenity with them. Then, growling softly, we take a turn and head towards an area where we could land and wait.
From afar, we saw the torches. Those bastards had set up torches on an open area near the cliffs. I could distinguish swords in the front part of the open area. Frowning, I look further ahead. At least five men guarded the small gate they had built.
“Brother, it seems they want us to fight the slaves,” Damian said through the mind link.
“Your majesty, look,” one of my companions said, making me snap my head towards the entrance.
As they had mentioned, slaves started arriving in wagons. At least forty slaves stood scared to death in the open area. Some are looking for spots near the rocky area. Others cried, pleading for someone to save them.
Giving my orders out, we all separate into three. My companions stayed with me, watching from afar. My eyes scanned all the slaves. Especially the guards that now look in deep concentration while chatting. Scoffing, I nod to both of my companions, and we head their way.
“Remember, everyone dies,” I said.
We circled the area, hiding behind curtains of clouds—the moonlight shining down at the slaves who were about to die without knowing. Then, I heard a high pitch scream towards the area on the front. Knowing that’s our cue, we head down full speed. Landing abruptly, we kill every slave our eyes find. My mind went hazy as the smell of blood filled my nostrils.
The desire for blood becomes more robust with every passing minute. Yells make me look to the side, seeing a couple of slaves running towards the other side.
My brother growled as he headed to the same area. I was snapping my head towards one of the guards that were missing a leg. I follow my brother.
Quickly reaching the cliff, I scan the zone, trying to get my prey. My eyes see a flash of red. Snapping my head, I turn and land on a thud when I notice the red-headed woman looking down at the cliff. A yelp escaped her lips as I stood before her. I lower my gaze and meet hers. My heart stops for a second as I register the feeling building in my chest.
My eyes looked at the woman before me. Unconsciously I step forward, but she backs away. Her fear made her eyes double. Then, growling, I move again when I notice a sword.
Frowning, I looked at her. I was looking at her chest heave up and down. Her heart beats crazy as her adrenaline takes over.
The flames fall over her face. I see it, determination. The woman that I was sure I wasn’t imagining stood before me with a sword and with a determination that made her look like a true warrior.
“What are you doing, Dimitri?” I heard Damian ask through the link. He was hovering over us. Small growls around me, but my mind was only on her.
“DIMITRI!” Damian yelled angrily.
As I growled through the link, I heard Damian snap back at me.
“Calm the fuck down,” I said.
“Why? Just kill her!” Damian growled through my mind.
“I can’t,” I whispered, “She’s my mate.”