Three days later
Moonlight - ah, the beauty of it. It was midnight and it was chilly - but it was also, for once, a rare clear night sky. I was lying back against the edge of a little plateau looking over a lake. While I was out in the open, I was buried in snow, using it for warmth. I had my human head poking out of my snow sack like a babe wrapped in a swaddle of white.
My rabbit hat was snug around my head, however, and I had a smile on my lips.
“Sweet... sweet sky...” I murmur to myself as I get sleepy. I felt so at peace here.
After careful consideration three days ago when I left my rival mates - I decided to fly far far away. I was sick of not feeling peace so I had travelled back the way I had come until I felt settled enough to land.
I had flown from Scar Town to the Ice Rocks - a mountain of blue, white and green. This area contained a mild climate. The winds weren’t as feisty here and the cold wasn’t so bitey on the flesh.
“Sweet... sweet meals...” I sigh, content, as I think about my dinner. Four deers. I had binged, I admit - but I had been very hungry after flying nonstop for almost twelve hours, “Sweet... sweet freedom -”
I hear a little squeaky pur behind me.
It’s high pitched - like a... a little fledgeling Fire-Spitter. I roll my eyes back and see two very big black eyes gazing at me in hope - from a fist sized Dragon. Yes - it was miniature.
It was almost a newborn.
I blow air at it and it drops it’s raised paw to hop closer, snuggling into my neck while shivering.
The little yellow baby Dragon let’s out a trembling whine of complaint.
“You are lost?” I ask, blinking rapidly.
How could someone lose their baby?
Eventually, the Fire-Spitter breathes a rattled, barely warm breath against me as if it’s struggling to keep warm.
I sit up quickly, catching the little ball of yellow in my palms while I tilt my head at the funny thing and narrow my eyes.
“What is your name?” I ask, knowing full well it can’t tell me this young.
The yellow Dragon shivers and snoots at me. Yep, it doesn’t snort - it snoots.
It’s a mixture of sneezing and crying and snorting.
“Fine, you’re now called Snoot - the Silly Snoot,” I growl down at it and my natural pheromones for leadership calm the little Fire-Spitter, “You won’t survive out here, Snoot-Snoot, I need to find your mama,” I jump to my feet and place Snoot-Snoot into my bra, between my breasts so she can sit in the middle, where my bra acts as a tiny pouch.
I watch her butt fall in and her little head pokes out while she purs against my chest.
I sigh and look around the empty landscape.
I had no idea where this newborn had come from.
All I knew, was that it had to come from somewhere close by.
My terrain was snow, a bit of forest, a bit of lake and ice... and then a rocky outcrop into a hill. It wasn’t even a mountain. It was more like a rocky face... with a couple of caves. It’s a couple of miles away, but I decide to walk towards it.
The moment I start walking, I hear a little yoot of hunger from my chest. When I glance down, Snoot-Snoot is drooling, looking ravenous for meat.
“Soon,” I growl in a promise, “Soon, silly Snoot-Snoot.”
While she leans her head back against the side of my breast with a content nod, I smile.
I feel protective of this little newborn... I had to get her back to her mama soon.
I eventually make it to the rocky outcrop, where I halt as I see a... a sliver of a mirage.
I narrow my eyes - knowing there is a Tempest Breed around here somewhere. However, it wasn’t a bad thing. It just meant Dragons were near by and that meant Snoot-Snoot wasn’t alone after all.
“Soon, silly -” I can’t reassure her again when I step through the mirage and my eyes widen at the structure I missed completely while outside the spell.
Past the barrier of magic, the rocky outcrop becomes steep and much larger.
It’s still mostly rocks and boulders but there are warm and small bundle fires coming out of windows, so many windows... people, Dragons and possibly mages resided here too.
Before me is a huge cave entry point, with two Silver Breeds as guards holding torches, wearing leather pants... guarding the entrance to this mystical place.
I approach them without hesitation.
“I have a missing Fire-Sp-”
“Yes. This way,” one of the guards cut’s me off and allows me to enter.
I watch each guard move aside and I put it down to the fact I was a Fire-Spitter and therefore respected and trusted to look after one of my own.
I nod my thanks towards them both as I enter the cave systems, which are instantly warmer. Snoot-Snoot pokes her head out further and pops out her claws to rest on the middle of my bra as she takes in the sites of the obvious Dragon Horde we’ve entered.
Only Dragon Hordes stuck to cave systems like these.
The moment I’m past winding through the main cave corridors, lined with torches, the system opens up into a cavern. It’s only medium sized, with Fire-Spitters lounging about by fires or couches. Some nap in odd alcoves in the rock wall.
The moment I enter, all the heads turn to me and a silence quickly descends.
As I raise my chin, my pheromones eventually reach their nostrils.
They will know I am a Bellum Minima Dominus.
“Silly Snoot-Snoot is lost,” I call out, reaching up my hand, the yellow Fire-Spitter hops out into my palm, sits and wags her tail, “Who is the mama? Or who is the papa?”
“Oh, that is my little sister,” a girl with brilliant golden hair runs forward. She looks about six years old as she comes to stand before me, “Her name is Bezzle - but Silly Snoot-Snoot is better. She is a silly adventurer.”
“Where is your mama?” I ask, “I wish to return Snoot-Snoot to her directly.”
“Mama is with R... with, Mr. Dragon Lord,” the golden haired Fire-Spitter shakes her head, “Give me sister.”
“No,” I hold both my hand and Snoot-Snoot closer to my chest, “Why is your mama not looking for Bezzel? Tell me the truth.”
“...she...” the little girl tries to resist my dominant pheromones but she can not, “She is sleeping, she is not with our Dragon Lord,” she whispers.
“Who is your Dragon Lord? Do not say Rawk or I will be very angry,” I am straight to the point, but my words have all the Fire-Spitters shaking their heads at me suspiciously.
“Come with me to say hello to our Dragon Lord... R-Raoul,” one older gentleman Fire-Spitter with a bright green and blue eye, steps forth, “Minx, your name is?”
“Yes... how did you...?” I trail off as the gentlemen comes closer.
“Follow me, you are famous for your violet hair, Minx. You are a legend Bellum Minima Dominus who influenced our Breed years back when you were but a child. My name is Faux,” as Faux ushers me aside, I follow him, “Bezzle seems to like you, you can look after her before her mother wakes. Follow me.”
“To... Raoul?” I ask, raising a brow.
“Ah, yes, yes,” he nods and I follow him.
I had a feeling this was a trap.
Screw that - I didn’t have a feeling. It was obvious.
However, if my Dragon mates really did survive my strongest venom - they had proved to be strong idiots. Or at least one had.
He had clearly planned letting a new-born Fire-Spitter escape. It naturally found it’s way to me and I blindly walked my way into his lair.
I do not run because now I am looking for a fight.
Snoot-Snoot blinks her black eyes up at me in appreciation and I feel even more angered.
How dare he endanger a new-born, in order to trick me?
It was unacceptable.
As we ascend higher into the cave systems, I notice how many are open to windows which let in minimal wind. I believe it’s some sort of spell on the skies. I didn’t doubt that Rawk possessed such power. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised.
“This way, Minx,” Faux skips ahead as we turn into a stair way - spiralling up until it opens up again into a wide cave corridor. The stone floor is polished and treasure lines the walls. Paintings, art, sculptures... and gold. At the end of this long corridor are two very large wooden doors, “Here we are,” Faux knocks on the door twice before nodding at me, “You may enter... with Bezzel.”
I pop Snoot-Snoot back into my bra and she happily leans her head on the leather, fully relaxed now as Faux opens the doors.
The moment the doors swing aside, I see a chamber empty of any souls. It’s semi-circular. The ceiling is high, the furniture sparse. I see a fire-place fit for a king, rugs, a bed... and even a library worth hundreds of books. The space is beautiful but I can’t see anyone around.
As the doors shut behind me, Snoot-Snoot slips out of my bra on her own and flies away into the room.
I watch as she lands on the bed, near a pillow, where she seems to collapse to her side.
While she breathes heavily, as if she is about to nap - she suddenly jumps up, lays down, wiggles her bum and her tail - and runs to one of the pillows.
I watch as Snoot-Snoot pounces, ripping and growling as she ravages a feather pillow. The moment she snarls into it, a mirage appears from the middle of the room.
“No!” Rawk growls out, running to his bed, “Bezzle!” he snaps her name and has to dramatically dive onto the bed and scoop her up in his hand. I watch as he quickly jumps to his feet, holding her before him as he narrows his eyes, about to scold her. However, Snoot-Snoot whimpers in apology and struggles to gain freedom, “Little monster,” Rawk snarls as he lets Bezzle go, finally turning his eyes to me.
Snoot-Snoot flies onto the bed and casually walks towards the ripped pillow. This time she struggles to burrow inside of it and then she disappears into the feathers. Her head pushes along the material, leaving a bump as she hides within the contents of the pillow.
I turn to one of my mates.
Rawk is now wearing his grey leather pants with a white tunic. His golden eyes run over me but he doesn’t smile.
"How are you alive? Actually, don’t answer that - I am about to teach you a lesson or two in how to handle a newborn baby appropriately,” I snarl my last word.
Rawk just raises a brow, lifting the end of his black full facial scar up a bit further with the movement of his brow.
“Oh, no... I don’t think so,” he turns and gives me a wink while casually walking to his bookcase.
“Hey -” I take a step forward, but the moment I do - a mirage falls around me.
I walk right into shimmering golden bars that appear from nowhere. As my forehead bounces off one embarrassingly, I stumble backwards and spin around.
All around me, I see golden bars - behind the cage I’m now inside, I see a smiling Zoraul. His silver hair is tied back with a leather tie, he is also wearing a white tunic but with his brown leather pants.
“Let me out,” I run to Zoraul, my hands clasping the bars as I grit my teeth while my venom drips, “I’m warning you. What is this for?”
“Destiny, little beast,” Zoraul explains, leaning in until he’s right before me.
I back up before he can look down at me too closely.
I turn to Rawk, who is now approaching the cage with a book in his hand.
“Hmmm...” Rawk growls to himself as his eyes scan the page, “Ah, here... to tame a Fire-Spitter’s spirit - why not throw them in a cage?”
“The book does not read that,” I snarl.
“She’s smarter than she looks,” Rawk snaps the book closed and smirks at his twin.
When I turn to Zoraul, he eyes Rawk suspiciously but nods anyway.
“Friends?” I ask, glancing between both of them.
“Zoraul is a temporary guest in my Horde,” Rawk explains, “He’s not welcome to stay. He’s only welcome to face your decision. Until you decide, you stay in that cage. Like a good mate. You’re too much trouble outside of it anyway. You have one week to decide who you will choose - Zoraul and I will never be Twin Leading Breeds together. So, you must choose one of us.”
“What happened? Did you realise how ugly you were with that scar across your face?” I ask Rawk, needlessly, “Ugly as a brute who butchers meat and accidentally lodged his own knife into his face.”
“Oh, she has a point there,” Zoraul can’t help but drawl, which has Rawk glaring openly even as I face Zoraul.
“Zoraul, you are handsome,” I admit, “But you are arrogant like your twin. I choose neither of you. I. Am. Free. You are both crazy if you think you can keep me caged like a pet. You will let me go before I find a way out of here to rip both your heads off. Take the spell off this cage so I can mist, it is my basic Dragon right.”
“Last time I checked, you have no rights,” Rawk murmurs, coming right up to the bars to blink down at me even as I glare up at him, “You only have a choice. Me or him. You will decide and when you do - we will tame you. Either one of us will. But it will happen. And I already know which one of us will win your heart.”
“You are losing in that race, Rawk,” I snap, “You are scum - you talk like it and you act like it. Why was Bezzle used as bait?”
“You are smart,” Rawk smirks.
“It was extreme but necessary,” Zoraul mentions from the other side of the cage. As I turn to him, he looks me up and down, “It is a shame you will make my brother cry when you reject him. He acts tough because he’s a cry baby when it comes to not getting what’s his.”
“You will shut up before I make you, brother,” Rawk starts to round the cage, focused upon his twin, “Your snout will be buried in the soil before you insult me again.”
“I am simply stating facts... Master of Feeling...” Zoraul murmurs, while grinning in delight, “You are a fool for getting yourself in over your head with things you desire... the things you want... they are your biggest weaknesses.”
“Zoraul, your lack of commitment to a Horde is your biggest weakness,” Rawk stops before Zoraul, “You. Are. A. Coward. I am a leader. You are nothing but a Shadow Assassin. Hardly impressive in these lands.”
“I am a very good Shadow Assassin,” Zoraul speaks calmly.
“I am a very good teacher, it’s far more difficult to pass on wisdom than simply stick blunt edged weapons through the bellies of the blind who don’t even see you coming,” Rawk’s words get a twitch out of Zoraul’s cheek.
His neutral expression was slowly coming to an end.
A fight was about to begin and I have a feeling their rivalry will be my best chance at escape.
When they were fighting, no one else existed in the moment.
“I will decide,” I interrupt them, “In a week... but first...” as they both turn to me, focusing on my forced smile, I add, “You must both take me on a date, right now - together.”
“Sure,” Zoraul answers.
“No way,” Rawk also speaks in unison but with the opposite answer.
“Twat,” Zoraul growls to his twin under his breath.
“Get out of my chambers - she is mine tonight,” Rawk snarls back impulsively.
"Did you not hear her?" Zoraul asks, raising a brow, “She wants us to share her. Let’s share her.”
Rawk pauses, his golden eyes raging as he slowly turns to face me.
“Minx? If you had both of us on a date - what would you prefer to do?” Rawk asks.
“I would want to have a bath,” I proclaim, “I’ll stay in the cage as long as I have a bath - and you must be naked. Both of you. If you do this... I will stay a week longer, as long as you give me a room rather than this... this... type of accomodation, if you can even call it that.”
“The cage will do just fine,” both brothers answer me together.
“We will discuss it later,” I shrug my shoulders, “Now, get me my bath... and take off your clothes.”
If I was going to deal with both of them, I wanted to look at them.
Call it silly, but I wanted to get what I wanted in this instance.
And, if we were going to play games...
...I was going to be making some of the rules.