Olivia stood still, so still that she would’ve thought a thin layer of ice had cast over her if it weren’t for the hot air shredding any traces of it. The burning flames shone through the petrifying fear reflecting in her wide eyes. The girl stared at the blue fire, how enraging and violent they were, how deadly they could become with a single mistake.
Olivia could barely process the carnage before her, the dead bodies littering the blackening snow, snaps and groans of collapsing wood, even the faintest of cries reached her ears. It was too much for her to handle at one glance and to suddenly have the dragon’s fiery golden eyes staring into hers felt like her stomach had been thrown into her throat.
She didn’t move, didn’t blink, hardly breathed — the thin layer of ice thickening. It was going to kill her. It was going to rip her apart. It was going to devour her. Dreadful thoughts spread across her mind. A squeal of fright escaped her when the dragon abruptly pressed its snout against her abdomen. Chills ran through her when feeling the heat of the dragon’s breath, so warm but held a cold demeanor.
The only thing she thought of was how painful it would be to be pulled apart and ripped open. How horrific it would be to have her blood dripping from its fangs and leaking down its scales. Too many assumptions, too many possibilities of her death clouded her mind and without her knowing, a single tear slipped down her cheek.
She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to imagine something different, something peaceful like the meadow she’d visioned in her head from time to time, frozen flowers, berries, even her dead parents. Every random thought occurred to her and yet nothing seemed to work. The girl couldn’t take her mind off the death awaiting her, pounding at her door impatiently.
A familiar sting in her eyes made Olivia shake her head and she fought hard to not let another tear fall; she may look like a feeble, useless, stupid human, but she wanted to believe she was strong in some way. She didn’t want to die crying, she wanted to die knowing she stood her ground whilst facing against a powerful dragon.
Though the bitter truth of her death terrified her and it drove a tear slowly down her cheek. She waited for the dragon to snatched her off the ground and snap its fangs down on her, ending her misery. She waited and waited, feeling an icy breeze clash against her pathetic dress and yet, strangely, no matter how long she waited, seconds that seemed to turn into minutes, she was still standing, still breathing, still alive. Olivia didn’t dare to open her eyes as she too afraid to see the monster in front of her.
A deep noise rumbled from the dragon’s muzzle as it lifted its head once again. Olivia’s eyes shot open before she could stop herself and she found the dragon standing tall and mighty above her; she felt like a mouse in comparison to the enormous creature above her.
Olivia found herself roaming her eyes from the sharp claws and slowly up to the dragon’s snout; she was left in disbelief and yet couldn’t help but feel admirable, as much as she wanted to deny it. The dark grey colour of his scales seemed so dark contrasting with the vibrant blue glow lining each one like sunlight peeking through the overcrowded leaves on a tree. His abdomen was different, having light grey scales leading from under his snout down to the under tip of his tail; but the particular scales were large and thick, resembling large sheets of wooden planks, and shined from the blue light casting on them.
The dragon tilted its head up to look around and Olivia couldn’t help but stare at him. Gigantic black horns curled impressively back from his skull and the tips curved upwards whilst a few symmetrical pair of smaller horns projected outwards from his skull, but weren’t nearly as tall as the two main ones. Its wings were large, dipping upwards with little talons before folding to the dragon’s sides, reaching near its long tick tail.
The beast tilted its head down, its golden eyes melted into hers without her realizing and they left her breathing very shallow. Olivia couldn’t help but get lost in an ocean of vibrant gold, perhaps golden lava, if a substance ever existed. The eyes swirled with an unfamiliar passion, yet seemed to remind her of something. Strangely, the fear of the mighty, mythical beast slipped from her. It felt so weird, so wrong, yet so relieving.
All she had ever done was to be afraid; to fear the empowered, to fear the dangerous, to fear the mythical. Fear kept her alive, fear taught her to keep her mouth shut, fear kept her company alone at night. Its presence was always with her, always keeping her locked in its cold arms.
The dragon moved its head closer to Olivia; she didn’t pay much attention to the movement. A frowned caressed her forehead. Her eyes left the dragon’s and fell to her feet. She frowned more as she gazed at her pale red feet. The more she gazed at her feet the more her mind started to drift on how she never noticed how cold her feet really were. Maybe it was because she never wore the shoes she was given and was used to the natural elements.
Olivia looked at the dragon’s feet, large with five razor claws. Her eyes flickered to the dragon’s perplexed eyes once again as it watched her. It tilted its head before sickening cracks shot through Olivia’s ears and left a dreadful cringe.
To her most utter shock, the dragon was transforming. It was becoming smaller. Scales fell to the floor and clattered like golden coins. Its snout was pushed into its head and its body hued a lighter shade of grey. A calm rumble came from the dragon’s throat as smoke suddenly rose from the ground, surrounding the beast in a thick cloud. Olivia watched with wide eyes as the dragon’s darkened figure hunched over, twisted and bent sideways, followed with more unpleasant cracks; Olivia cringed as a shiver went down her spine.
The smoke then cleared up more and Olivia spotted a human-like figure with large things behind them along with a hazy blue glow. Her heart raced in anticipation as Olivia watched the figure step out from the misty smoke, his name invading her mind and she couldn’t stop herself. “Ry. . . kal,”
His dark eyes meet hers intensely, though curiously; it showed through his head tilting to the side. “Dragella?”
Olivia looked at him in astonishment. “You’re. . .” the rest of the smoke cleared up as she trailed off. Her eyes wandered down and her face instantly went as hot as a summer evening, “N-Naked!”
Before she let Rykal have time to react Olivia slapped her hands over her eyes and quickly turned away. Her cheeks flamed a bright red as the image of Rykal burned into her mind. There was a shuffle and Olivia shook her head, too embarrassed to speak. Warmth spread through her back and goosebumps rose on her forearms, he was behind her. Feeling his hot breath fan her shoulder gave her chills and Olivia couldn’t stop the raspy breath leaving her cool lips.
Rykal stepped closer and his arms coiled around Olivia’s little body. His wings stretched out and around the two, protecting them, mainly Olivia, from the bitter cold. Olivia’s breath was shaky as she looked down at her breathing fogging in front of her. She didn’t know what to do. Shivers ran down her spine and she tensed visibly when his breath drifted over her neck.
“Dragella. . . Dragella. . . Dragella. . .” the dragon shifter cooed and his grip on her tighten ever so slightly as if to comfort her.
Olivia’s heart skipped a beat. Sparks tickled her skin and set her nerves racing with pleasure. What were the feelings she felt suddenly? The pleasurable sensations that left her wanting more? The tingles that dance on her skin like a flame’s shadow cast on the dark ground. She knew Rykal made her feel the desire to lean into him like he wouldn’t care. Maybe he didn’t. Would he? Olivia couldn’t help but want to. What was stopping her? Her dignity? Her self-confidence? Maybe she was afraid of how he might react.
Without realizing it, Olivia began chewing on her lip, wondering what she should do whilst the dragon shifter behind her nudged her cheek with his nose softly. The action caught Olivia off guard and she turned her head around rather quickly. Her nose brushed against his and Olivia’s eyes widened in shock. Her cool breath mixed with his hot, if she were to move any closer, she might kiss him.
The thought sent her heart racing and thudding loudly and Olivia was positive Rykal could hear it blaring down his sensitive ears. Her eyes darted from the ground and to his lips. The thought tempted her, the thought of kissing him was so desirable and so easy. She watched as how softly Rykal’s lips were pulled back into a snarl, a low rumble reaching from the back of his throat. Olivia’s eyes shot up to his eyes. She’d heard the kind of noise before. Lythil made the same noise before biting her and he wanted to do things only romantic couples would.
What was this dragon shifter suggesting?
Rykal made the same noise again and the girl felt him shudder. Olivia’s heart jumped into her throat as she stared into his eyes, seeing how bright yet glazed over they were with darkness. They were as beautiful as he was. There wasn’t a flaw she could see, even the scars she noticed on his lower abdomen only made him more handsome. The deep richness of his blue eyes matched with the blue glow of his scales and his tanned skin seemed so out of place in the pale landscape around them.
Olivia didn’t know what to do with herself as she turned her body around to face him. Rykal took the opportunity to hold her against him securely, keeping his arms around her back and waist. Olivia swallowed as her hands rested on his bare chest. Tingles buzzed through her enclosed fists, the heat radiating off him was incredible considering the temperature they were in. Though she was very relieved that he put on a pair of seared yet decent trousers to cover himself, they matched the ones he was wearing before.
“Dragella. . .” Rykal murmured, almost against her lips.
A shudder traveled down her spine and throughout her body as Olivia gazed up into Rykal’s fiery blue eyes. She wanted to kiss him, she wanted to so bad. But she didn’t know the first thing about him. It would be awkward just to kiss a man because he looked good. Though she didn’t want to kiss a man, she wanted to kiss a dragon shifter who had a strange effect on her and she didn’t know how to deal with it. She didn’t know if she wanted to give in to the intense desire to lean in and kiss him or reject the idea and push out of his hold.
Olivia knew him enough to know that he wouldn’t harm her so if she did push him away, he wouldn’t try anything. Lythil invaded her head, she knew him better than she knew Rykal and Lythil nearly killed her by forcing things upon her. A frown lowered her brows as she looked down. Would Rykal do something like it? Force her to do things against her will?
She didn’t get a chance to think more of it as Rykal’s hand gripped her chin and pulled her face up to his again. Olivia did nothing but look at him wide-eyed, not knowing what was about to happen as her body tensed. He leaned closer to her face. Olivia began to shiver and she opened her mouth to stutter out a mess of words.
Thoughts raced through her mind as her heart thumped wildly in her chest. Her hands closed into tight fists and she couldn’t stop shaking; she wasn’t cold, she was nervous, so nervous she had butterflies fluttering in her stomach.
Rykal was so close that Olivia’s eyes closed on their own. He was about press his lips on hers when he suddenly moved her face to the side. Olivia didn’t have time to react to the sudden action when Rykal kissed her cheek. Sparks flew across her face and Olivia’s eyes shot open instantly, a soft gasp leaving her lips. The kiss was short yet tender, like a snowflake falling gracefully from puffy white clouds.
Rykal pulled away and Olivia looked at him in bewilderment. He felt the passion she did, the draw to kiss one another, and yet he defied to. Why? Was she meant to defy the feelings as well She frowned, How stupid is that? It’s something else,
Olivia gazed at the dragon shifted, perplexed and he only tilted his head. Olivia tilted her head in reply and the dragon shifted blinked and lifted his head again. Olivia did the same and Rykal blinked again before shaking his head and turning around.
Although he did it swiftly, Olivia caught the corner of his lips curling upwards as he walked around the debris, the destruction Olivia had forgotten about. Remembering what happened not so long ago brought a chill to her body as a sudden gust of wind picked up.
The bitter coldness nibbled at all the exposed skin on Olivia’s body and she searched the area, hoping to see something to keep her warm. She walked forward, trying hard to keep her eyes off the ground where bodies were burned, bones were showing through burnt flesh, and slimy purple scales laid where a body was.
She walked past a building where there was a large gaping hole surrounded by lethal blue flames. Chipped wood and rocks fell from the roof as the door swung freely on a bent angle, having lost one of its hinges. Olivia looked inside and by a miracle, it was a clothing stall. Olivia looked at the bodies, innocent lives had been lost and the girl felt mournful for them, wishing they lead a better life than meeting a terrible fate.
The goriness was too much to look at for more than a minute and Olivia forced her head away from a pair of widened eyes, all the glow sapped from the current dull green. It was haunting, to say the least.