Dragon Actually:Dragon Kin 01(3)

By: G.A.Aiken

“Your bravery. It fascinates me. When you saw me you didn’t try to run like those men. You stood your ground.”

“I was already dying, what was the point?”

“It doesn’t matter. The dragon-fear affects young and old. The dying and the strong. You should have run for your life or dropped to your knees begging for mercy.”

“I drop to my knees for no man,” she snapped before thinking. He laughed outright. A low, pleasant sound. Like his speaking voice. Shame it belonged to a monster.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” He chuckled as he carefully turned his big body, his head coming frighteningly close to her, and walked out of the chamber. She watched as his tail swung into the room, its sharp end grazing against the stone walls. She tried not to panic when she realized that his tail alone stretched the length of at least two of the tallest men in her troops. “I will send someone to help you up and get you fed.”

“A man?”

“What?” The dragon slammed his large head into the ceiling.

Annwyl lowered herself back on the bed. That had just been a dream. “Nothing. I’m tired.”

“Then you best get some sleep.”

“Wait!” He stopped and looked over his shoulder at her.

Annwyl took in a deep breath. “Thank you. For saving me.”

“You’re welcome, beautiful one.” He started walking again. “But don’t get too comfortable,” he casually tossed over his shoulder. “Who knows what I’ll make you do to repay me my kindness.”

Annwyl leaned back against the soft bed and felt a shudder run through her. She just wished she could say that she shuddered from fear or, at the very least, revulsion. What truly worried her was that it felt like neither.

Fearghus rubbed the fresh bump on his head. He’d heard about Annwyl the Bloody’s rage, but he had no idea how overwhelming it could be. Her angry bellow was damn near as powerful as a dragon’s roar.

No wonder she hadn’t defeated her brother yet. He terrified her. He could tell from her overzealous rage at the mere mention of the man.

If she faced Lorcan now, even if her body completely healed, he doubted she would defeat him. Either her anger or her fear would get the best of her.

And for some inexplicable reason that thought worried the hell out of him. When did he start caring about humans? Unlike some of his kin, he didn’t hate humans. Yet he didn’t live among them either. So his original plans for the human girl were to simply heal her wounds, then dump her near a human village. He didn’t like complications. He didn’t like anyone around him. He liked peace. He liked quiet. And not much else. But the mere thought of just leaving her somewhere sickened him.

He could already tell this was going to get complicated. And he hated complications.

“Good. You’re awake.” Annwyl looked up into the face of a woman. A witch, based on the precise, but brutal scar that marred one side of her face. All witches were marked in such a manner on order of her brother. The face behind the scar looked as if it might have been beautiful once. “You must have fallen asleep after he left.” She pulled the fur covering off Annwyl’s body. “Let’s get you up.”

Annwyl slowly swung her legs off the bed and, using one arm, pushed herself up.

“Careful now. Don’t want to open up that wound again.”

Annwyl nodded as she sat quietly, waiting for the nausea that suddenly descended upon her to pass.

“You’re very lucky, you know.”

“Am I?”

“Most other dragons would have made you a meal. Not a guest.”

Annwyl nodded slowly, “I know.” She looked at the witch again. “I have seen you before.”

“Aye. I help at the village when I can.”

“The healer. I remember now. I had no idea you befriended the dragons.”

“They have my loyalty.”

Annwyl looked at the woman’s scars. Not surprising she risked life among the dragons rather than of men. “Did my brother do that to you?”

“He ordered it. He is not a friend to the Sisterhood.” The woman wrapped a robe around Annwyl’s bare shoulders.

Her brother hated all witches. Mostly because they were women. And he absolutely hated all women. “He’s always been afraid of that which he does not understand.”

“Does that include you?”

Annwyl laughed as she slowly pushed herself off the bed. The laugh sounded bitter even to her own ears. “My brother understands me all too well. That’s why both of us have struggled to take any ground.”

“I see you did not escape his punishment.” The witch motioned to the wounds on the young woman’s back. The raised flesh healed but still an angry red.