A Tale of Two Dragons (Dragon Kin 0.2)

. “And I stole some oxen jerky out of Bercelak’s bag. He makes the best oxen jerky.”

“Bercelak the Vengeful cooks?”

“Aye. And he’s surprisingly good at it, too!

As soon as they grow that genitalia, intelligence goes right out the window and we’re left with this thing that just wants to stick it in any hole.

Bercelak frowned. “Do we know you?”

“I’m Bram,” the dragon said, appearing confused. “I stayed with your parents last summer.”

“Oh.” Ghleanna glanced at them. “Right. Uh . . . Brogue.”

“Bram.”

“Right. Bram. Bram the . . . Friendly?”

“Merciful.”

“Of course!” Ghleanna smiled, patted his shoulder. “Bram the Merciful. My father speaks quite highly of you.”

“Really? What did he say?”

“Uh . . .

Braith lifted his head from her shoulder, kissed him. Centuries and her kiss still made him as weak as one of her fists to the face.

Braith opened her eyes and screamed at what hovered above her, “Gods! Death comes for me!”

The horrifying face of death curled its lip at her and growled, “Well, that’s charmin’.” Death sat back in its chair, hands resting on its knees. “This face is not me fault, ya know?” Death looked off, thought a moment. Its finger traced one of the deep gouges across its jaw. “This one actually is kind of me fault.” She pointed at the other side of her face, where part of her chin was missing. “And this one. A bit of barney at the pub.”
...
“That was not death,” he whispered. “That was our Great-Aunt Brigida.”

“Brigida? Brigida the Foul?” He nodded. “I thought she was dead.”

Addolgar shook his head and whispered, “She just won’t die.

Braith turned and saw three of her cousins sunning themselves on boulders. Like lizards. Lizards in human form.

“What are you doing?” Braith asked.

“Enjoying the suns,” replied one.

“It gives our scales a lovely bright hue,” said another.

Braith blinked. “Except you’re all in your human form. So how does that help your scales?”

They stared at her for several seconds before one stated, “You’re a bit of a know-it-all, aren’t you?”

“How is that . . .” Braith shook her head. She wouldn’t go from arguing with one idiot to arguing with three.

But she’s a nice lass.”

“Addolgar, she poisoned you.”

“But she didn’t kill me. That’s what’s important.

Friends?”

“Aye. We’re friends now.”

“Are we?”

“Of course we are!” he replied cheerfully—just like his name. “Why wouldn’t we be friends?”

“Because you threw me into a tree?”

“To help you. You keep forgetting that part.

Good gods, female,” Addolgar muttered. “What did you do with yourself before I came into your life?”

“I lived quietly alone in my cave,” she snapped back. “And I was quite happy there, too.

He shrugged. “You’re not going to like it, I’m afraid.”

“Well . . . to be honest, I don’t like anything.

He was her father after all. True, a father whose funeral rite she planned to dance at and toast with ale, but her father just the same.

I don’t like this,” his brother told him as they walked down the stairs.

“You don’t like anything. I’ve heard you complain about the air.”

“It irritates me when it whistles.

I know you’re angry,” he told her.

“You threw me into a tree.”

“I had to.

I’m so in love with you, Braith,” he told her, and she felt in her bones that he meant every word. “And do you know why?”

“I have no idea,” she replied honestly.

“Because I am such an amazing dragon that I know I richly deserve a She-dragon as wonderful as you. See?” he asked, grinning at her. “How could I not love you when you’re so clearly made for me?

I see why our little Braith likes you.”

“Does she?”

“Can’t you tell?”

“I’m male. I have no idea what you females are thinking.

It’s been a long time. How have you been doing?”

I’m fine. How are you? You’re looking very handsome today, Addolgar the Handsome, lord of my loins.

At least that was what she’d like to say to him, but instead she came out with, “Yeah, hi.

Males will always make excuses for the pretty.

Mum?” Addolgar said to his mother.

“Because I love him,” she reminded them all as she’d been doing for centuries. “That’s what I’m doing with your father. I love him. So, honestly—just let it go already.

Of course you don’t trust Braith. You don’t trust anybody,” Ghleanna reminded their brother. “You don’t trust the air.”

“Because it tends to become unseasonably chilly when I’d prefer it to be warm. It’s as if it does it on purpose.

She leaned in and whispered, “I see why our little Braith likes you.”

“Does she?”

“Can’t you tell?”

“I’m male. I have no idea what you females are thinking.

She wanted to punch her father in his snout, but she wouldn’t. He was her father after all. True, a father whose funeral rite she planned to dance at and toast with ale, but her father just the same.

She wasn’t part of it,” Addolgar cut in. “And she saved my life.”
“Who cares about your life?” Bercelak demanded.
Addolgar was silent for a moment before he replied, “I do.”
Braith studied the dragon who sat next to her. “You had to think about that reply?”
“Wanted to make sure it wasn’t a trick question, didn’t I?

she was polite, charming, and damn pretty. Braith wanted to hate her, but she just couldn’t. The bitch.

The fact that he still breathes offends me.

Well, when you give me an offer like that, Addolgar the Cheerful, I don’t see how any female with a passionate love of hammers can turn you down. . . .

We’re not talking about you. You’re Braith of the Darkness. I’m Addolgar the Cheerful. I’ve earned this name, and you’re ruining it by being unreasonable.”

“You throw me into a tree—”

“That was for your own good.”

“—have me attacked by your kin—”

“You brought that on yourself.”

“—and leave me alone with Brigida the Foul, of all She-dragons—”

“She got away from us. Normally none of us would have done that. Not even to our worst enemy.”

“—and I’m being unreasonable.”

Addolgar nodded. “See? You do understand.

What are you doing?” she asked.

“Getting naked.”

“What the hells for?”

“So you can be comfortable getting naked, too, so we can get some sleep.”

“How would that make me feel comfortable? In what universe would that make me feel comfortable?”

“You can see my scars.”

“I don’t want to see your scars!

Why are you doing this?”

“That’s easy. Because I like you.” He grinned. “I like you a lot.”

“Why?”

“Because you make me smile.”

“You’re Addolgar the Cheerful. Everything makes you smile.”

“Not everything. And if I want to like you, Braith of the Darkness, I get to like you. Whether you want me to or not.

You bet against your own son?”

“Just like you, the boy doesn’t pay attention. And seeing that she’s just like her mother, he didn’t stand a chance against Braith of the Darkness.”

“Mum?” Addolgar said to his mother.

“Because I love him,” she reminded them all as she’d been doing for centuries. “That’s what I’m doing with your father. I love him. So, honestly—just let it go already.

You’d put our parents at risk for some piece of tail?” Ghleanna demanded.

“She saved my life.”

“You can fight your own battles!”

“Not when I’m knocked out on my ass!”

“You mean knocked out on your fat ass!”

“My ass, like the rest of me, is perfection!