The fragrance of her scent electrified a rush of tingles quivering through him; his body came alive the second he smelled her in the wind. His scales twitched and burned with desire. After centuries of searching for her, decades of hopeless dead ends, she was finally in front of him, alive and breathing.
Her brown eyes looked much was like a pine tree’s branch, so deep and rich that it left him in a trance. Her pounding heart sent his excitement bubbling in his stomach. Her breathing alone made his scales twitch as he took a single step forward, folding his wings behind him. She shuddered. He forced down a low rumble from the back of his throat, seeing that she was affected by him as he was affected by her.
Her eyes widened, breaking out from the trance she was lost in before. She looked conflicted, like she was having a mental war with herself. She began to speak, but couldn’t finish her sentence. “You’re a. . . a-a. . .”
She blinked at him repeatedly, as if trying to decipher if he was or not real. It made him cock his head slightly, though she didn’t notice as she stared at him, looking at every feature he had shown. The corner of his lips quirked up slightly, finding it cute that she couldn’t handle the bare sight of him. She bit her lip unknowingly and he tensed, restraining a pulsing hardness he began to feel. She looked as if she was lost, yet didn’t move her gaze from him as if she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I won’t harm you,” he said in a low tone.
He saw how she shuddered again. It looked like she was going to speak again like the words were wanting to rush past her full lips. The bond was already affecting her, making her want to listen and obey his every command. It was hopeless to fight against it. Some dragons would use it as an advantage to get what they wanted from their partner. He didn’t like the idea of it. Some males failed to realize that their Dragella had the power to do the same to them, though most didn’t try to fight against the males or the bond.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said softly, hoping she wasn’t scared of his appearance. The last thing he wanted was to scare his Dragella. He didn’t want her to think he would harm her or lay a hand on her.
She began to tremble ever so softly. He wanted to reach out and touch her, to feel her soft looking skin under his palm. He wanted to encase her figure in his arms, protecting her from anything that he thought was a threat. She looked so fragile and vulnerable; glass that glistened beautifully in the moonlight but could fall and shatter into thousands of broken pieces.
“Dragon shifter,” she whispered, her voice like a stream flowing in the wind.
He took another step toward her, she gasped softly and he couldn’t suppress the urge that quirked his lips up to a small smirk. He had a large affect her and stepped closer. He could hear her rapid heartbeat as he stood over her. She followed his every move with her wide brown eyes, fear was shown in them but he mainly saw curiosity.
He crouched before her, her heart skipping a beat. Their eyes locked onto each other’s, both lost in a trance. His fingers twitched to touch her and he reached out. She didn’t move. When she saw his hand moving toward her face, she flinched back. He frowned.
“Please. . . don’t hurt me,” she said with a strained, shaky voice.
His frown deepened. Reaching up, his fingers caressed her cheek. Sparks flew up his hand and he suppressed the growl shivering in his throat. She gasped and flinched back again.
“The last thing I want to do is hurt you,” he said gently, lowering his hand.
She stared at him in bewilderment as he reached out to her again. Her heart sped up again as his fingers stroked her cheek gently. Her skin was softer than he thought. It made the scales on the tips of his fingers twitch in pleasure. Excitement rushed through him; he found her, he finally found his Dragella.
“Who are you?” she asked softly, almost too afraid to ask.
He looked down for a second, then looked up into her curious brown eyes with his intensely bright blue. She waited for him to answer her and he replied in a soft murmur, “Rykal,”
She breathed out shaky at the sound of his name, shuddering once again. Sparks danced through both of them when he caressed her soft cheek again. Slowly, he moved his hand down to her neck. Her breath hitched as he paused near a strange bite mark on her bleeding shoulder.
He frowned at it before a thunderous growl reverberated through his throat, hitting the silent air around them. She tensed and a shaky breath left her mouth. His eyes burned with anger and his teeth gritted. It was no wonder why her scent was saturated with the scent of a snake tongue, a species he grew to hate. His eye twitched in fury as he moved his hand to behind her neck.
“Three days,” he muttered under his breath.
Tears gathered under his Dragella’s eyes. Rykal glanced at her again, all the anger and hatred vanishing momentarily. It hurt him to see her in pain, the pain he couldn’t yet heal. It hurt, even more, to see fear flash through her eyes as she looked at him, she thought he was going to hurt her. He told her before that the last thing he wanted to do was hurt her. He wouldn’t let anyone reach out close enough to hurt her. Since the day he learned about how much a Dragella meant to a dragon, he vowed to never hurt his Dragella when he found her.
He looked at the forced bite mark on his Dragella’s body and he couldn’t stop from glaring at it. His blood boiled hotly and the beast within him roared in anger that a male had tried to claim her for themselves.
“Sleep, my Dragella,” he murmured, keeping the bitter anger out of his voice the best he could.
Before she could answer as her mouth opened, Rykal squeezed the back of her neck with two fingers. Her body tensed up before she fell unconscious. Her body slumped and fell sideways, Rykal was quick to catch her. He gazed down at her, thinking how mesmerizing she was to him as she laid soundlessly asleep in his arms.
Never did he think that his Dragella would hold such beauty that he could gaze at her for hours on end, taking in every detail of her. The way her lips parted slightly as little snores came from her. The way her nose was shaped like a little button. The way her wavy brown hair framed her face when she slept. The way she cheeks were tinted a light pink colour.
Gently, he moved his hand underneath her thighs, noticing that she frowned when he moved his other hand under her back. He frowned and gently lifted her up, looking down at the discomfort written on her face. He turned, his intentions to quickly fly back to his cave high in a mountain range when another scent wafted through his nose, human.
“Hey! Get your hands off Olivia!” shouted an angry-sounding human.
Rykal turned and saw a human running toward him, a knife in hand. Immediately, his eyes flashed darkly as the beast within him snarled fiercely, seeing her as a threat to his Dragella. He turned and faced her as the human held the knife. His eyes burned wildly as he growled viciously, spreading his wings high in a threatening way. Fangs grew from his mouth as Rykal snarled and bared them.
“Stay away,” he gnarred ferociously.
The human’s eyes widened in shock and came to a freezing halt. Rykal heard her heart beat faster in her chest as she stared at him with fear and astonishment. He watched her strongly, snarling and baring his fangs at her warningly. The human blinked before she narrowed her eyes at him. She pointed the knife at him again and Rykal didn’t like how hostile she was toward him and his Dragella.
“Olivia is not yours to take, dragon shifter. Put her down and leave,”
Rykal growled at the human. “Keep pointing that knife toward my Dragella and I’ll plunge it deep down your throat.”
The human’s body visibly tensed but she didn’t show her fear. She stepped forward, holding the knife higher. “I’m warning you, lizard. Give Olivia back and leave us alone.”
Rykal’s eyes burned angrily as he stepped forward. The human’s eyes narrowed as she gritted her teeth. A venomous growl tore through Rykal’s mouth as he bared his fangs. His wings rose higher, threatening the human as his claws began to grow out from his fingernails.
“And I’m warning you, human. Take another step closer and I’ll strip the flesh off your bones with the knife you’re holding.”
The human narrowed her eyes. She glared at him before she stepped back. Holding her hands in the air she dropped the knife. “Alright, fine. But you’re not leaving with Olivia unless we all come as well,”
Rykal cocked his brow. “We?”
As the human was about to answer, hisses suddenly filled the air. Rykal snapped his head toward the hissing and poking through the trees in the distance, glowing eyes were looking in their direction. Rykal gritted his teeth in annoyance and looked back to the human.
Her eyes were widened as she tensed again. “Damn it,”
Rykal looked at her a little longer before he looked down at his Dragella. He thought a minute, debating whether or not to bring the human with him. Perhaps, his Dragella would feel more comfortable around him if she had someone she knew with her.
More hisses rang Rykal’s ears as his wings tucked in behind him. “How many more of you are there?”
The human looked toward the village before at him with an answer. “Just the two of us,”
Rykal turned and spread his wings again. “Go hide in the cave with the other one. I’ll be back.”
He didn’t wait for the human to answer as his wings flapped powerfully, lifting him and his sleeping Dragella into the air. Gusts of winds and leaves circled around him as he flapped his wings again, bringing him higher and higher into the air with each flap. The human watched him before she ran into the forest out of the small clearing they were in. His wings beat heavily and Rykal turned and flew into the direction of a mountain range.
He beat his wings faster, soaring through the air as he tightly held his Dragella close to his chest. Sparks coursed through him and buzzed his insides, giving Rykal energy as the mountain range got closer. From afar, it looked as if the mountains were combined together, but up close, they were all separated and clustered together.
Rykal came up to the first mountain. Fog gathered around it as he leaned to the side and flew around it. Another mountain was close behind it and Rykal quickly leaned to the left, missing the second mountain by an easy distance. If it weren’t from Rykal’s advanced eyesight, he would’ve narrowly missed it, or worse, crashed into it. His wings moved the fog around in large gusts of wind as he saw the third mountain. He flew toward it, flying faster as the mountain got closer. He swerved around its rocky form and swiftly flew up around and behind it.
He eyed out for an opening until he spotted it around the top of the mountain. He quickly flew up and landed inside. His sleeping Dragella stirred slightly and moved her head to his warm shoulder. Rykal folded his wings behind him and walked inside. He wished he could lay down with her curled and asleep in his arms, but knew he had to go back for the other two humans.
He growled in annoyance before gently setting down his Dragella. He was hesitant at leaving her by herself without any protection but knew she was safe high up in the cave away from any danger. His hands slid out from underneath her body and before he left, he leaned down and placed a tender kiss on her forehead, his lips tingling from the effect she had on him.
“Curse the demons,” he muttered, spreading his wings once again.
He dove down into the fog and took off, flying back to the forest and snake-infested village. Instead of swerving around the two mountains, Rykal flew higher up and over them. He beat his wings harder and dove down close to the forest.
His ears picked up the hisses and snarls, he was getting closer. Two scents drifted in the wind and one of them was familiar. He flew toward the scent as he heard two pounding heartbeats. The snake tongues were closing in fast behind them.
“They’re being hunted down like animals,” he thought out loud.
He heard the human he meet grunting and cursing out loud and he followed both it and the scent of tree bark and blood. Rykal flapped his wings before he dove down into a small clearing. He landed, making the ground quake and a scream was heard. It pierced his ears and he cringed. Two pairs of widened eyes were staring at him as he stood up and glanced at them. He saw that one human was atop of the other he met before.
“You took your time,” growled the human panting heavily.
“Don’t tempt me to leave you here,” Rykal warned threateningly.
The human pressed her lips into a thin line before she grunted and jogged quickly behind him. “Want to do something about our slithering friends?”
Rykal looked at her and cocked his brow before he turned and looked ahead. Dozens of glowing greens were staring at him as hisses and snarls in hunger filled the air. Their deceiving legs were gone and morphed into the body of a snake, their upper half remained somewhat human. Every part of human skin was shifted into purple scales. Their forked tongues slid out as each one bared their fangs. They snarled at Rykal. They slithered quickly along the ground, almost like they were gliding just above it.
“What are you waiting for?” the human said urgently as they got closer and closer.
Rykal ignored her. He felt his fangs grow out as he revealed them. He growled dangerously as he snapped his fangs at the snake hybrids. A fire raged within him, a burning sensation boiling his body. It rose up into his throat, threatening to slip out of his mouth. The blue glow around his scales grew brighter. Rykal’s scales twitched as his wings spread high. He took a deep breath and roared powerfully. Blue fire blasted from his mouth, blazing through the forest and burning whatever was in his path.
His roar pierced all sounds near him. His fire swirled and morphed. Screeches replaced the snarls. The blue fire consumed the lamias and the forest around, burning wood and scales. Smoke rose and wafted toward Rykal. The screeches turned into screams as figures one by one collapsed to the ground. The fire raged; it consumed every existence it could reach, greedily and hungrily. Dying screeches, hisses and screams faded over the crackling of flames.
Rykal watched as each lamia who got caught by the fire dropped to the ground, motionless and silent as others followed. He didn’t care if any lived or not. Though, he was hoping that the male who marked his Dragella was burning from his raging blue flames, burning to death and rotting in the underworld. His lips curled into a dark smile before a fit of coughs perked his attention.
“I thought you were him,” the human spoke and he turned to them.
Rykal narrowed his eyes at her. “Not a word of it,”
She replied with a slight grin. “Not even a peep,”
Rykal looked at her, then the other human who remained silent. The smoke started to rise thickly. “Let’s go,”
He stepped to them and the human gave him a cocked brow. “How do you plan to carry the both of us to where ever you took Olivia?”
“How do you think I, a dragon shifter, am going to carry you both?” he shot back.
The human kept quiet, realization dawning upon her as she set the other human to the ground. Rykal watched as the human cooed to the petrified looking one. He frowned at her.
She looks familiar, he thought.
“It’ll be okay, Meggs. I promise that nothing bad will happen to us. I’ll be right beside you, okay,”
Rykal pushed his thoughts back and crossed his arms. “If I wanted you dead I wouldn’t have bothered coming back or wasting my breath,”
He was anxious to get back to his Dragella. The thought of her being completely defenseless and vulnerable didn’t sit well with him or his beast as he tapped his fingers relentlessly on his scaled arm. It tempted him to leave them in the forest. Half, if not, most of the snake tongues were dead or dying so they weren’t in much of any danger. Rykal probably scared half the forest away from his beasty roar so what did he need to worry about?
A thought of the human tripping while holding the knife and stabbing herself, leaving the silent one by herself invaded his mind. He looked at the silent human, knowing there was no chance that she could last even a night in the forest. The realization hit him and he mentally growled in defeat.
“Come on, Meggs. Let’s go to Olivia,”
“Make up your minds before I change my mind and leave,” he muttered irritably.
The human shot him a glare before she turned back the other one. Slowly, the human helped the silent one walk to Rykal. He held out his arm and the human moved her beside him. Rykal wrapped his arm around her waist as the other human went to his other side. He did the same to her as Rykal spread his wings in the air again.
Before he took off, he warned them. “Hold onto my neck or else I may end up dropping one of you,”
The silent human whimpered before she grabbed onto Rykal’s neck, the other human hesitantly doing the same. He flapped his wings. His feet lifted from the ground and his grip on both humans tightened.
“Hold on,” Rykal said again before he rose them into the air.
Beating his wings powerfully Rykal flew toward the mountain. Gasps and short screams came from both humans and the shrill sounds pierced his ears. He flapped harder and harder, gaining speed and endurance as he felt the silent human clutch on tightly.
His scales twitched, wanting to get to his Dragella as he sailed in the air, cutting through the fog and swerving right and left before he was in the clear. The third mountain came into view and Rykal pushed his wings harder. Before he knew it he turned behind it and the cave was insights. He flew up to it and landed. Setting the humans down he folded his wings and quickly walked in.
Already, the scent of jasmine wafted the air and left Rykal purring softly. He laid his eyes upon his sleeping Dragella and approached her. When he did, he gently picked her up, sat in her place, then laid her on his lap. The sparks returned and bristled through his scales, leaving him sighing happily, though quietly.
The two humans walked in warily as the silent one stayed behind the other one. The human watched Rykal, not being able to keep the disapproval from her eyes as she stepped toward him. “Thanks for saving us back there. I thought you weren’t coming back.”
Rykal looked at her but remained silent.
“I’m, uh, Dreya, by the way,” she turned behind her. “This is Meggan,” lastly, she pointed to the sleeping Dragella. “And that’s Olivia,”
He nodded. “Rykal,”