“Don’t you dare take off with my gold, Fire-Spitter, or I’ll report you!” the Tempest trader was one of the bravest mortals I’d ever met - I was impressed.
However, despite it being a rare encounter with a mortal to actually not shit their pants around my type of breed in the Tempest Lands... I couldn’t believe my ill-fated luck. I didn’t have time to deal with a man eager to report me to anyone; I was in trouble with too many people around here already.
I usually reserve my scare tactics for Dragons, mages or pesky Blood Ravens, but now I have to treat the mortal before me to a little surprise, “I’ll come back and eat you before you report me to anyone, old man,” I smile very slowly while my slightly longer fangs, even in human form - drip with venom as I smile.
“Good day to you... you pesky filth!” he yells out after me and I know even in spite of the murmured insult at the end - he will allow me to escape. I nod, smirking as I run down the cobbled street, already covered in pretty snow flakes as winter starts to settle in from the morbid and constant overcast skies above.
I hold my stolen bag of gold tight in my fist as I run with that dreaded feeling running up the back of my spine.
There were eyes on me.
Heading through the chilly street, I don’t feel the cold too badly. I might only be wearing black leather pants, a leather bra and a furry hat made from a rabbit I slaughtered carefully myself, but I was fine. I now slow down as I head into a crowd of peasants that are busy leaving the weekly auctions from a Town Hall.
In the Tempest Lands, even the mortals owned other mortals as slaves - it wasn’t just the Tempest Dragon Breeds or mages.
I get lost in the crowd here, pick pocketing a few disgruntled, scared mortals, when they witness my Fire-Spitter tattoo on my chin.
At the edge of the crowd, I slyly make my way into an alley way towards a side door that lead to a sauna.
I slip inside and nearly ram right into white haired Lotus - my friend.
“Move, please,” I put my hand on his shoulder and push him aside as I hop by to the receptionist and throw the money bag at the owner, “I’m not waiting, it’s my turn!” I flitter past annoying glaring mortals to run through the smooth tiled corridors, until I find my favourite place.
I loved to bathe - and the lakes in the Tempest Lands were no fun.
They were full of monsters much larger than I.
I find an empty sauna and spa - a natural hot spring pool.
Dragons could mist from Dragon form to human form and vice versa, so now I mist out of my clothes instead of tediously prying the pieces off. As the material floats to the tiles, I solidify as my human form once again as I dunk into the spa head first and come up for air, laughing in relief.
“You’re crazy, as usual,” Lotus speaks from the door way, looking at me with exasperation, “You overpaid the owner - again.”
“I like the spa, go away, girls only,” I shoo Lotus off with my hand, and he shrugs and turns to walk out, but not before he pauses and looks over his shoulder, “What other girls, Minx? It’s just you.”
“Go. Away,” I shoo him off again and the moment he leaves... I sink into the hot water, until it touches my chin.
I sigh and let some sense creep back into me.
I wasn’t truely as crazy as I used to be, I was far more ‘normal’ now. However, the Tempest Lands were dangerous and Fire-Spitters were appreciated for their blood thirsty rages and unspeakable, illogical actions. So - I knew how to act the part, but I was far more mellow now that I had come of age.
I just didn’t like to show it, even to Lotus... my only friend.
He was a mortal hunter, he liked to kill rabbits and he saw me feasting into one when I couldn’t find anymore food out in the snowy forests. He was a couple of years older than me, he was mostly kind, but sort of lame.
I met him yesterday.
Yeah - I didn’t really know how to make long-term friends.
But, there was a reason I could not enjoy the company of others - I was always on the run.
Those eyes I had felt on me in the street, I had felt on my body off and on for years now.
Occasionally, I’d catch a glimpse of either twin in the far distance.
Rawk and Zoraul.
I shiver in disgust as I think of my mate’s names.
They scared me - because of what they meant.
I had once been a pet - to a princess Shadow Assassin. Amadahy had been kind over the years but she still had ownership of me and referred to me as her pet. I had spent years thinking we were friends, and then I found out she only really kept me around for my Dragon Breed. I was a Bellum Minima Dominus... a little warlord... I could command other Fire-Spitters into war.
I had been a use for Amadahy more than anything else.
I had a fight with her four years ago about it when I was 13 and I had left to go my own way.
I certainly wasn’t afraid of my purpose however, as if a war was needed, I would help lead... but there was no war and I just wanted freedom to find out who I was on my own.
But, unfortunately, I had turned 17 yesterday when I met Lotus.
17 was the age that my mates were going to claim me - they left notes for me every now and then. Now, the Twin Leading Breeds, Rawk and Zoraul, could appear any second.
I wasn’t ready to submit to anyone... I didn’t know if I’d ever be.
I sit up in my private sauna and gaze at my reflection in the water - my green eyes compliment my very dark violet hair, while my teeth are as white as ever - my fangs sharp. I narrow my eyes at myself in the water, I had no idea if I was attractive or not. I mean, my breasts had grown out minimally and I wasn’t sure I had curves... but that was another thing to do with my breed. I was as small as my tiny purple Dragon when I shifted.
My mates, however, had a ridiculously terrifying heritage. Rawk and Zoraul weren’t just Silver Breeds. They were the only sons of the Legendary Shadow in the Sky; Storm; a 700 year old Dragon Legend.
I had one encounter with my mates four years ago, when I met them surrounded by other friends. I had been made fun of for having a tantrum. I ended up running off screaming into the forest after I was told Rawk and Zoraul were my mates.
Back then, Rawk and Zoraul had tracked me down... the memory was always so vivid for me to remember.
...I hide under a fern, crying into my trembling hands, face down into the dirt as I hear footsteps slowing and getting closer. I had run so far, I was too exhausted to even mist to my Dragon form. Instead, I huddle, scared... crying... and terrified, “Little Fire-Spitter,” Rawk speaks this, he sounds on edge and irritated, but he tries to be kind, “Stop crying?” while he does not touch me, Zoraul leans forward and reaches out to me. I look up and snap at him, a feral little monster at 13, “Don’t touch me, Tempest scum!” I remember screaming it at both of them. I had been surprised when they backed off, sharing concerned looks, “Calm down and trust in us, little Minx,” Zoraul suggests, “Let’s walk you back,” he squats and holds out a hand, “Come on...” I had eventually whimpered and reached out in defeat. The rest is hazy because they had betrayed my young trust. Zoraul held me and directly lied to me as Rawk pressed a hand full of his fire to my lower back. It had been painless but it had forever left a mark of ownership to ward off other Dragons. They had claimed me early on for such a purpose. I had pulled from their grasp and ran off once again.
That was the last physical encounter I had with my lying mates.
I frown at my reflection, thinking of the notes they sent afterwards - threatening to reel me in the moment I was old enough to claim. However, I was adamant that I was not a pet and I would never be one. Ever.
“Hey... Minxy?” Lotus pops back up in the open door way, holding a bag of chocolates, “Compliments from the owner for your extra gold...”
“Oh my Sky Gods, is that really chocolate?” I whisper in delight... but I gasp as Lotus looks to suddenly be in pain. He dramatically drops the bag and it hits the floor as wet blood appears to drip from his stomach - a mysterious hole has also suddenly appeared through his tunic.
As Lotus lies in a moaning heap, a mirage has entered the private room.
A sword solidifies and the mirage holding it steps silently to the left... as another mirages appears to the right.
I blink and the two mirages become my worst nightmares.
I’m shocked that they look completely different - older, taller and more fearsome.
Zoraul is holding the sword, his long mane of bright silver hair was wisping behind him while he wore brown leather pants. A black scar ran across his entire chest and shoulder.
The right mirage, slowly solidifies into giant Rawk - who had burnt silver hair, just as long but even more untamed. He wears grey leather pants and has a smaller black jagged scar, but it lies across his face.
However, they both share the same intense gold eyes.
As I’m simply taking in their sheer size - the unexpected happens.
Zoraul turns to Rawk in surprise as Rawk also turns to Zoraul with an equal reaction of disbelief.
“Leave,” Zoraul drawls low, “You’re not needed - go back to your Horde, brother,” my mouth opens and closes as I hear the hate he uses with that once beloved term.
Rawk laughs loudly, turning to his brother while whipping out two short swords from the straps across his back, “Zoraul - you know because I am the very splitting image of the legendary Storm, it’s the very reason I will always be the Lord... people fear me... with good reason... now, you’ll step out and there will be no need for blood.”
“Perhaps you should put your tooth picks away before you embarrass yourself in front of our mate, brother,” Zoraul rolls his eyes, speaking calmly, “You do not belong here.”
“How appropriate, I was about to say exactly the same thing to you... since you’re just a coward who doesn’t deserve a mate to breed with," Rawk snarls this, clearly referring to a past issue between them.
Zoraul cracks it after appearing hardly fazed the whole time.
I slip out of the water as they clash together - fighting one another.
Zoraul swings first, Rawk defends then lunges while Zoraul dodges.
While they are in the throes of passionate hate, I get dressed and I back up towards a second door on my end of the sauna and spa room.
I watch as each brother twirls and strikes and defends, equally as tough as one another.
I wish I could stay longer to gaze at their monstrous sized bodies - and their graceful fighting... which was... admittedly... very attractive, at least to someone like me.
I try not to think about my reaction too much in regards to the way they fight.
And so I leave, with new, profound knowledge in hand... that Rawk and Zoraul were no longer friends or close twins.
They were rivals.