My sword, now lying at my feet, defeated, reflects dark dragon scales glimmering under the flames. A dragon pierces the midnight sky, landing a few feet away from me.
The sounds of groans, screams, and cries are the only thing I can hear. Ash from the fire fogs my vision.
I close my eyes, praying, asking for someone to help us, begging for aid.
My body trembles as guards bind my hands together, forcing me to my knees but I can rise from the ashes like a lost warrior. I glance towards my fallen sword, hoping it gives me the strength to fight back. My fiery red hair moves in the cold wind.
I stay still, not moving a muscle. A slight movement makes me lower my gaze.
Was this how I was going to die?
But once I look up again, the beast is gone.
In his place, a man with hair as black as night and golden eyes is standing close enough for me to touch.
My eyes wander lower and see his perfect V.
He stands naked before me. How can a beast like him look like a god?
Flames come out of him, but somehow as his golden eyes pierce me, I feel my heart pound not in fear but anticipation. A feeling that makes me want to give in and run to his arms.
A desire that makes me want to be his all.
Is this hope?
“State your names,” the beast-man instructs us, as he paces back and forth. There were only a few of us left. Most had perished.
His eyes scan the bodies around me. Clearly, he is proud of his conquest. For a moment, he pauses in thought and we lock eyes as his gaze darkens.
Shaking his head, he exhales deeply before announcing ominously…
“Welcome to your new home, you are all now slaves of the Onyx Dragon.”
Groaning, I shuffle on the bed. Something soft trails down from my neck to my chest. The touch feels odd against my skin. Growling softly, I turn and grab the bed sheets, pulling them more.
The same sensation continues. Getting angry, I sit up and growl at the person next to me. Silver eyes look at me with fear.
Last night’s battle was exhausting. I needed to be alone. I needed to recover.
“Get the fuck out!” I say, growling. “Get lost!”
Backing away, the naked woman flings herself out of the chamber, running. I hear a small sob as she closes the door. Groaning in anger, I sit on the edge of the bed. Another restless night.
Cracking my neck, I stand up and walk toward an opening in my chamber.
I can feel that anger rising from my heart. Taking a deep breath, I try to calm down. It’s not good for me to get angry. I don’t need to cause a scene early in the morning.
Stretching, I feel a presence behind me.
“I know you’re there; come forward,” I say with a scowl.
“It seems my dear brother is in a foul mood. Didn’t that woman give you a blow for breakfast?” the man with red eyes says as he smirks.
“Damian, stop it,” I say with a frown. “Tell me why you are here.”
“Just came to let you know the elders seek an audience with you,” Damian says, scowling, “they wish to speak to you to about the Trollar slaves from last night’s battle.”
Trollar, a kingdom with dragon tamers. The rascals are so savage that they don’t even care for their kind.
We have had several wars with that kingdom. Their need to overpower us is beyond any other. Especially their king.
King Gabriel, a ruthless and bloody bastard who even killed his daughter for the pleasure of having a baby dragon in exchange. Beings like him shouldn’t exist.
“How many are there?” I ask.
Yesterday, I could barely make out their bodies through the ashy air. Although, I noticed a glimmer of red through the dust and the smoke.
“Not many,” Damien answers, “ten, maybe fifteen.”
“We can kill them. I wouldn’t mind killing the annoying ones at least,” Damian suggests as his eyes glimmer with sinister delight.
We were so different, him and I. He was always so quick to condemn people to death, while I liked to take my time.
“Let’s go speak to the council,” I say, turning away and heading down the long passage.
I am the king of the dragons, Dimitri. My younger brother Damian is my right hand, and my best friend Leo is the general of our horde.
We live on Mount Errigal, a vast range of mountains that extends to the border of the Trollar Kingdom.
For the last twenty-six years, we have been at war. The greedy bastards hunt my kind just to get our hearts.
Our hearts are valuable. Anyone with enough money could get their hands on one. Especially tamers and sorcerers.
A dragon heart gives the owner a unique power, like an overwhelming desire. Your mind could pick something you desire and join it with the heart’s dragon, turning it magic or a weaponizing it.
Many people from the Trollar Kingdom have gained dragons’ hearts. But for the last four years, they haven’t been able to.
The reason is that we have the helping hand of a sorcerer. One that we captured, but pledged his loyalty to us.
I asked him why once, but he said that he needed to hide his identity. So, I didn’t intrude more and let it be. Unfortunately, I felt that he was hiding something that no one should know.
Opening the two enormous golden double doors, I walk in. A soft growl vibrates in my chest. The elders glare at me, looking offended.
“Your Majesty, welcome,” one of the elders says as he bows.
“Get to the point,” I spit, taking a seat on the golden throne that could fit two others like me.
“We have word that the Trollar Kingdom is willing to let us keep the slaves as a gift, with no retaliation,” the elder with green eyes says. “They wish to bargain scales this time.”
I rest my face on my hand as I lean back and relax. So King Gabriel wants an exchange for scales? I scoff as I look at the other elders.
“How unusual,” I mumble, “King Gabriel wouldn’t go with something like that. Is there something else you people haven’t told me?”
All the elders exchange glances except for one, my grandfather. He has a frown that shows how old he indeed looks, even though we age slowly.
His hazel eyes meet mine. Then, feeling the tension, everyone goes silent.
“Something on your mind?” I ask, raising my eyebrow.
My grandfather, Elder Jerium, is one of the oldest dragons still alive. He once was a king, a great ruler and protector of our horde until my deceased father took his place.
My father perished a few decades later, leaving me as the next in line.
Elder Jerium was one of the few to voice his opinions, but there was always heavy argument when he did.
My eyes never leave his hazel ones. For a split second, I notice his eyes waver, but his expressionless face covers it quickly. Tapping the throne, I wait for him to say something.
“My opinion is that you should kill everyone, leaving no one alive,” Elder Jerium says as a smirk spreads across his face.
“They should see we don’t bargain easily. Especially for mere slaves.”
I hum at what he asks me to do. It isn’t a bad idea to show we don’t hand ourselves over that easily.
“If I may. I think Elder Jerium is right,” one elder says, “We don’t need to hand them anything. They just want to be greedier.”
All the elders immediately start arguing. I feel my eye twitch in annoyance. Cracking my neck, I slam my hand on the throne’s arm.
“Enough!” I say. “I decide what to do. Now scram.”
Everyone’s eyes widen. I take a couple of deep breaths. My brother Damian just looks at me, waiting to intervene at any moment if needed.
Seeing as no one moves, I get up and leave the throne room with Damian right behind.
“Brother, you need to relax,” Damian says as he stands next to me.
Opening and closing my hands, I try to calm the monster I was. Being mateless for the last few decades is affecting me in a way I never expected. A dragon can’t be mateless for too long.
He needs his other half, his all. The one who can tame the beast he is.
I haven’t been able to find that person, though. I have looked in every town, every village, every kingdom, even other hordes. Nothing.
The feeling of wanting my other half is becoming unbearable for me. Restless nights where my mind keeps desiring a taste of my mate.
I have fucked a lot of different women, humans, beasts, but nothing. It never eases that burning sensation deep down inside me.
My mind has been full of hate, revenge, and darkness. A consuming feeling that’s making me lose sanity. A simple argument made me shift.
And as days go passing by, my mind becomes more beast, less human.
“Follow me,” I order, “Let’s see what kind of slaves we have in our dungeons.”