Red Dragon

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Reign of Fire

Francis got what he asked for.

He sat in the office of the dean, Lilith Brimst. It was a bit chilly in there, but he wasn’t sure it was because of the A/C or the fact his shirt was gone. His pants weren’t in much better shape, but at least they covered his most vital areas. But they must have been religious for how holey they were, and sacrificial; their “legs” were gone below the calf, leaving his stained leather boots to breathe.

He teetered in the old chair, side-to-side, matching the ticks of the clock on the left wall. He took in the room when Tricksy Dixie brought him earlier, and noted it, also, recently received a remodel. The dust around the couch was further in than the love seat implied, as if a much longer couch once sat there, now taken by the plump, brown love seat and a cradle. It was made of black wood, ebony if he had to guess, and was polished to the point of being glass, reflecting his sorry state. Fine, blue silks were lain in its bottom, waiting to be filled –which, if Lilith took any longer, he would be more than happy to oblige. There was a bookcase behind the desk as well as along the left wall, which, again, given dust, the tomes that once were displayed were replaced by the tacky pictures that now sat in between thick, leathery tomes.

Francis only gave them a cursory glance when he and the rest of Dixie’s “flock” passed through, but now that he had time, he saw that they housed the dean... and a man Francis assumed was her husband. Every single picture, at every single time of day, in every weather condition (even an erupting volcano behind them)... they were always smiling. And always in exotic locations, as was expected. Places he would never go to.

Nor would want to.

He was alone in that office. A boon... At least, for the moment. If only he were so lucky... He cleared his throat, grumbling and growling- but it wavered, crackled as he still panted, as his head throbbed. Loosing the blood on him. It dripped onto the ground, rolling off his nose, his ears, his hair. It was short now, hacked off at the base by a low-hanging sickle in the hall. Dangerous halls, indeed.

Francis scoffed, wincing as his head flared, and looked to the clock, accentuating it with each, sickening, TICK.

Where the fuck is she? His hands, aching so much, crunched into the arms of the chair... chairs. He broke the “middles” out of the pair and pushed them together. And how much he enjoyed that they were upholstered with white fabric. If he was going to be forced to sit still, then everyone would pay for it. The cushion was dyed pink, the brown legs coated, caked in long, red streaks, slowing turning brown as it congealed onto it all. What did he care? It wasn’t his blood. Shouldn’t take this long to-

The door clicked behind, but Francis didn’t look. Instead, he kept his gaze locked on the clock, and did his best to ignore the busty red wall that passed before him on its way to the other side of the desk. He heard that wall pull the tall chair away from the desk, heard the fabric hiss as she sat upon it and how her elbows clacked on the mahogany top. Even then, he focused solely on that clock, watching the second hand tap, tap, tap away.

The wall cleared its throat. It did so three times more, perfectly, evenly spaced in between the quadrants of the clock- nevermind! She was off on the fifth, and only grew more off with each one- and threw off his teetering. His rhythm. His groove!

“Mister Conner?” The wall said at last. It almost sang it, but it was that voice that finally made him break his date with the clock. Shame, too; they were almost to third base. Another fifteen and its arm would have stripped it so fine for him. But how the wall’s voice rolled, how it seemed to be made of velvet, to make the air velvet, dipped in honey. It made every part of him tense yet relax.

And his blood boil.

His head throbbed even worse as he snapped his attention to that wall. Which turned out to be a woman. He sneered at her heart-shaped face, at its smooth, alabaster sheen. There wasn’t a single wrinkle to be had on it –or anywhere, in fact. Not even on her breasts, which threatened to spill out from that red dress. Given the pictures, though, he had no doubt they’ve seen enough action before ever having a baby. That was the nature of the beast when a succubus and incubus finally meet, after all.

His hands continued to crush the arms of the chair, those tanned knuckles almost black, bruised and battered to the point of being numb before descending into pure agony –which he was working towards as she continued to give him such a warm smile, those natural, full, red lips shining, as if made of fire.

She tittered, making him tensax (retent?) again, and crossed her hands on the desk.

“There you are. I was worried I would have to call the medics in here next,” she said. She sucked on her lip, giving him a glance over. “However, it seems you are perfectly fine... Well, save for your eye.”

“Tiny got a lucky hit,” he stated, and let the chair go at last, rubbing his hands together. They scratched against each other, peeling off the layer of blood that settled on, and flaked it onto her desk with each roll. “I got a bit too... attached to her brother. Wanted to make sure he wasn’t so pretty anymore.”

She sighed, and the look of... pity, of sympathy she had made his blood burn ever hotter.

“On your first day, no less... I was filled in on your... ‘upbringing’. I know you had a hard life, but if I may make a request? Please don’t use that language around me.”

“I make no fucking promises.”

She sighed again, and reached under the left side of the desk. A drawer opened, and from it she pulled out a tablet, placing it on the top of the desk. The screen flashed a moment, gone as she pressed her thumb on it, and went into one of the applications, pulling up file after file until it came to one with his name and face on it.

“Mister Conner,” she began, typing into the once-clean docket. “From eyewitness testimony and recordings, after much delegation, you are charged with forty counts of assault, maiming, battery, and potentially murder of twenty-seven individuals, as well as sixty-nine-”

“Nice.”

“... counts of sexual assault, rape, and molestation of four others during.”

“Is that all? Seven of those sluts must have loved it. How about Tiny? I made sure to give her special attention.” He sighed, leaning back in his chair, and crossed his hands behind his head. “Can’t say I blame them. Fangs can’t be the best fucks; they spend most of their lives sucking.”

“Every single one is also being labeled as a hate crime,” she continued. “We do not discriminate here at Vereor Nox Academy, and we expect the same level of tolerance and understanding from our students.”

“‘Don’t discriminate’, huh? You’re funny.”

“This is no laughing matter.”

“Oh, but it is. Maybe if you watched the recordings a bit early say, nine, when school started- you would see they very much started it.”

“Truly? I’ll be back then. I must consult the recordings-”

“Or you can just expel me. That sounds fine.”

“If what you are saying is true, then it would be a case of self-defense-”

“Why yes. Because that’ll hold up.” He clasped his hands, cooing, and raised his voice to a squeaky high. “‘Oh, this dragon man was being harassed and bullied by these little twink fucks. He had no choice but to defend himself when he towers over even the bustiest one. Maybe he needs a bit of pork to settle down’.” He growled... and licked his lips, lowering his hands down on the table, as well as dropping the squeak. “How is Dixie, by the way?”

“She, and the others, are safe... That was quick thinking on your half, by the way.”

“What was Tyson thinking with that? He could have hurt them all! Yet you have the gall to say what I did was a hate crime...”

“Yes, well, the Vreshen Family is in charge of this territory since the old Matriarch left. Raeanne is a bit... zealous about her kids.”

“Maybe she should have taught them fashion sense. I didn’t realize this when I first met them, but did you see their hair? Tyson’s especially. What made him think it was a good idea to spike it and dye the tips blue? Looks retarded as shit!”

“Francis-”

“I know! Language. My bad... Tiny wasn’t much better. In fact, all of the harem looked like if somebody ate a mega bag of diet gummy bears then threw up and shat on each other then did their hair with it.”

“That’s... quite the vivid image... Harem?”

“What else would you call a bunch of cocksuckers and cock-sleeves- er... Well, no, I can’t think of a better way to phrase that... Anyways... Go ahead and expel me. What are you waiting for? Do it now! I don’t even want to fucking be here. No one does... Not even you.”

His own voice was giving him a headache. Though he didn’t mean to, it always had a weight to it. Even if he whispered, it would have thundered and echoed through the room, only to return and assail his own ears, making his head ache worse and worse with each reverberation. The truth often hurts, doesn’t it? It’s why lies are often shared and accepted.

What were the lies, after all? Up until a couple months ago, he thought his mom died when she gave birth to him. Until a couple months ago, he thought it was a timed electrical burn that killed his father. They were sweet, kind, happy little accidents of fate, from God. Nothing could explain it. They simply happened... The truth? His mom abandoned him. He killed his father, both because of what he was.

Of course, only one of those lies really hurt him. Who gave a shit to the ho that split, spit him out, then left. No... it was the latter that haunted him, that force him to live off the streets of Pennsylvania ever since he was fourteen. With his own lie. Everyone thought he simply died in the fire too... but even then nobody cared.

As the final echo faded, he huffed- but found he was staring into her eyes, those crimson beauties shimmering with his ambers. She kept her eyes locked while her hands continued to write on the tablet –and he started to feel it, like a soft scratching, a scuffling. He wasn’t sure where it was, but it seemed like it was right on top of him... The look she gave didn’t change, either, but it was the shimmer of gold that passed over those reds that sent a chill down his spine.

She took a long, deep breath, raising her top, her chest, and he could just see the smallest bump of a belly under, two, three months tops, hidden again as she let it go.

“I know.” Lilith stated, slowly, but raised her hand. It was even slower, painfully so, as it rose, ending with her holding up one finger. “They are being charged. They had no right to do what they did, and how you acted not only self-defense but for the safety of others.”

“I can assure you that was but a happy coincidence.”

She huffed, a tiny laugh, and her dimples showed with her smile... gone as she continued.

“However, you took it a bit too far; several of those Fangs will never walk again, while others... well, death would be a mercy, if I may speak plain... And once more I must ask you to watch your language... Since this is your first day, I will be lenient. You are being sent back with your Parole Officer for the rest of the week, and are to be expected to write an apology to each of those Fangs’ families-”

“Fat fucking chance.” The door opened again, and his snarl turned to a smirk as he tilted his head, breaking his gaze with Lilith at last to watch Eve clack through the room to him. “There you are! Took your sweet ass time, didn’t you?”

“I had some business to deal with,” she said, giving him a warm smile... turned to a scowl as she looked passed. At Lilith. “Has he been debriefed?”

“Whoa! I don’t swing that way... Unless I really hate the faggot. Then I’ll plow his wife into next century.”

Lilith... cleared her throat. “He has, and he is expected to write an apology to those families.”

“I will make sure that he does,” Eve said, and cooed as she placed her hands on his shoulders, rubbing them. “Isn’t that right, Frankie- oh dear. What happened to your hair?”

“Something wrong with his hair?” Lilith uttered.

“Yes. He used to have such long hair, a mane in its own right.” She placed her left hand on his head, ruffling that now-shaggy cut. “That’s a shame, Frankie. You looked good with it.”

“I know,” he mumbled, but was gone as she continued to play with his hair, his head lulling- snapping up as she stopped. “Huh? Wha?”

“Frankie? Did you hear what I said? You will write that letter.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he grumbled- and winced as her skin pulsed. Finally, and at the worst time. The blue lines that ran her entirety burned through her dress in a flash, scorching his poor, fatigued mind. Her hand shot around, and he tensed... relaxed as she touched his face, wiping away the blood.

“Poor thing... First thing you need is a shower. I’m incredibly tempted to throw you in the lake before getting you to the car... but, either way my seats are going to be stained, aren’t they? And you’ve been through enough.”

“All of his class has-” Lilith started.

“And Dixie,” Francis cut in. “Let me just say: she did a good job. Up until heads started to roll, of course.”

“I’ll make sure she knows that.”

Eve sighed, smacking the top of his head.

“Anyways, let’s get you home. Delores has fresh clothes waiting.”

And I could use a round in that goblin puss before I pass out, he thought, holding back his growl as he followed her out of Lilith’s office. The crowd that gathered almost two hours before dispersed, but trickles of it remaining as they continued down the hall to the entry. They passed office after office, seven on each side and each given wide berth, until it came out to a small sitting room, currently occupied by stretchers and nurses. And body bags.

Those red-skinned gremlins shot him dirty looks, gone just as quick as Eve shot them her own looks as they continued into the entry. Two grand staircases spiraled on either side, crossing and creating the ceiling for the large, crystal chandeliers to hang, glittering in the moonlight outside the stained glass windows around the double doors. Wood still tinkled down to the ground from the fifth floor, the railing shattered, crushed down on its level. The twelfth floor had it worse, hanging out, flopping as its poor nails grasped so dearly to keep it up, holding what remained of his dress shirt on its gnarled limb. Francis remembered they had a small scuffle in that center, but he didn’t want to damage the chandeliers; they were too beautiful. Instead, the fight continued across to the lounge, empty now save for the whiners that could still breathe on their own. The furniture was ruined by their mangled forms, the once-redwood walls around them washed in a sea of brown, while the books on their shelves were ash.

Eve lead him to the front double doors, pushed them both open with such grace, and they once more descended down the steps towards the cold iron gates. It was a clear night, the stars shining upon the carpet that ran down the steps, muffling their steps. Neither one spoke until they were through the gates. They didn’t say a thing until they were back inside the limo.

As always, Francis needed to adjust. He was always pushed so close to the separator, but the backs were up too right. Thankfully, he didn’t have to put on a seat belt in the back. Lousy things were a waste... For him, at least.

“Don’t worry about writing those letters,” Eve said at last, tapping her phone at the same time. He could barely hear her over the country music that blared through the speakers, that now haunted his skull. He tried to change it before... The back of his left hand still had the holes from the plastic forks she drove through them. He respected that. She at least adjusted the volume, and rolled her wrist to him as she got herself comfortable, ready to begin scrolling through her phone again. “I’ll send them gift baskets, tell them- blah blah blah... Really, those asshats had it coming. They should have known better than to pick on a drachen and put others at risk while doing it.”

“Yeah. They really should have... I was merciful, though. None of them are too dead.”

“That’s good. At least you showed restraint... but you had to lose the shirt? You have any idea how hard it’s going to be to find another that can restitch itself?”

“It was coming off. One way or another. You got scammed if that was ‘self-mending’.”

“Apparently. I will be having a long, hard chat.”

“Kinky... But it seemed my ‘restraint’ wasn’t enough for that prego bitch. It’s like... has she ever dealt with a drachen before?”

“Lil? No... She was spared that. For the most part, I was always the one to circumvent those situations.” She reached over and patted his hand, giving him a sad smile. “I know it’s hard for you. All that rage, anger, and power. All of it just boiling up inside you.”

“Oh, you know me, Evie. I try my best.”

“I know you do... Just... keep trying. Okay? For Mama Eve?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he grumbled again, chuckling as she ruffled his hair... then wiped the blood onto his jeans. “Hey! It was your fault.”

“Why is Fang blood always so greasy?”

“Uh, duh?”

She tittered, and they went silent, the car roaring off into the night towards the southern part of the state. No one would stop them. No one ever dared to cross Eve... and no one came out unscathed if they crossed him. That was true then, and even more now, now that he knew what he was and how to harness it. If only it didn’t come six years too late, but then he wouldn’t have met that other succubus and that desire demon. Or made his wish.

He didn’t want to dwell on that, though. Not at the moment... but he also didn’t want to think of later. His loins were already girded enough; that poor goblin is going to be lucky to be able to breathe after he was done letting off some... “steam”. So he lost himself into the dulcet, whiny tones of the man singing about how his second wife that stole his dog and took his beer before divorcing and taking his suped-up truck on a joyride to Alabammer... He will never understand how Eve liked this music- wait. No. He had some idea, but her reasons seemed far too sincere in comparison.

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