Coffee Break Read – For Life and Beyond

True mating is for life: and beyond

The golden queen dragon stretched her talons and moved sensuously against the green scales of the male who had just pleasured her.
“In certain cultures I would eat you now,” she murmured.
He winced and blew a small gout of flame out of his left nostril. She laughed.
“Trick flaming?”
“No. A nervous tic. It’s the thought of being eaten.”
“Oh you are safe enough. It would be a waste to eat you.”
“A waste?”
“Yes. You are far too pleasurable to kill. But leave me now before I get hungry.”
The male scuttled away leaving the queen somnolent and amused.
She slept, and in her sleep she dreamed.
She was making her first mating flight and the dragon who caught her was an entity she had never encountered outside her dreams, his scales were as golden as her own and his eyes as green as the emeralds in the master dragon’s sword hilt. He was magnificent, and her soul yearned towards him. Even as they mated high in the sky, with the lack of oxygen making their eyesight grow dim, she knew this was about more than fertilising eggs, this dragon was the other side of herself but her fear was that she might never meet him in this life.
As always, she awoke with tears running down her aristocratic snout and she sniffed indelicately.
A quiet tap in the door of her chamber brought her back to herself.
“Who knocks?”
“N’a’mma and mine new friend.”
“Come in my darling,” the golden queen’s love for her only female child was evident in the cadences of her voice.
The door opened to admit the still childlike dragonet who was dragging another hatchling along in her wake.
“Mamma, this is S’a’rthyr and he is my friend.”
The queen made welcoming noises whilst studying the young male.
His scales were a peculiar yellowish colour, but this was balanced by a strong symmetrical body and iridescent green-gold wings. He looked up at her, and she was immediately pulled into the sorrowful depths of his grass green eyes. Those eyes had already seen too much of bullying and belittlement, the queen thought, and the hurt that lurked in their limpid greenness made her want to clasp him to her breast and croon a soothing song.
“See,” N’a’mma crowed. “Mamma don’t think you are wrong because your scales is yellow.”
S’a’rthyr bowed his head.
N’a’mma opened her mouth to say somewhat else, but her mother shushed her gently.
“Quietly now, you must let S’a’rthyr speak for himself.”
The young male found his voice.
“I am of the clan of Queen A’u’nti. Sent with the young males for breeding. Sent as a servant. Because of my colour. The Lady N’a’mma seeks me out, but I will understand if you deem me not suitable as a friend for a young queen.”
“Not unsuitable at all, my son. Not at all.”
She nodded to N’a’mma who raised a chubby claw.
“N’a’mma gives her oath to S’a’rthyr. Friends while there is still blood in my body.”
For a moment the youngling was too stunned to move, but he gathered himself together and placed his own taloned extremity against N’a’mma’s upraised claw.
“S’a’rthyr gives his oath to N’a’mma. Friends while there is still blood in my body.”
The queen placed her huge front paw atop both of theirs.
“Oaths witnessed.’
For a moment, the air itself seemed to be still then a single silver note chimed.
The queen smiled at the two hatchlings who stood before her.
“You need to sleep off your emotions,” she said kindly.
N’a’mma led her oathsworn friend to a sleeping platform at the back of the room and they curled around each other before dropping into a deep slumber.
Their mother watched with a single tear running down her snout. She had recognised S’a’rthyr as soon as she looked into his eyes. Her dream lover. Now sworn to her daughter. Why was life never easy?
But she straightened her spine and swiped that tear away with an impatient claw. Her dream of a true mating of mind and heart and soul wasn’t to be for her.
But for her darling N’a’mma there was hope…

A short story from The Dragonheart Stories: Fairytales for Grownups by Jane Jago. You can listen to this on YouTube.

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