Happy Saturday everyone! Autumn is here and I'm super pumped. I love this season, it's my second favorite (first being spring). Means apple picking will be happening soon and I love doing that every year :D. I'm also excited to report, book 1 is nearly done being edited. My editor send over my second to last round this morning and I'm eagerly going through them. Means by next week, it should be done being edited and I'll get to jump right into formatting and get this book back out to you.
Speaking of books, here's the next excerpt I want to share from book 2. I'm sure many of you are going to like what it promises.
My mind felt heavy as I slowly roused from my slumber. The sun's warm rays bathed over my skin. I wanted to go back to sleep, but I wasn't sure if I could face another dream like that again, or if the sun would allow it. Shaking my head of its fogginess I stretched and a small squeak escaped my lips. My eyes fluttered open and I was greeted by a pair of curious green eyes.
I stared at the little Dragon that perched his front legs on my bent knees. He titled his head and watched me with curiosity and I looked at him curiously back. He had red scales and a heavily plated crest that also covered the tiny horns, which were still growing in. Frills lined his hips and trailed down his tail to the tip.
Slowly, I reach out touched his head. The little Dragon squealed with delight and started jumping around everywhere. A smile crept onto my face as I watched him. His red scales sparkled in the late afternoon sun and he looked completely oblivious to any ill in the world.
I grunted in pain when the little Dragon jumped on me. Good thing I wasn't planning on having kids. He was a big baby that was for sure. I turned my head when Raikidan growled. He sat just a little way away from me under the statue I had created. That's when I realized someone had moved me under the statue into a soft patch of grass and flowers.
The little Dragon lowered his head submissively as Raikidan growled.
I narrowed my eyes. "What's your problem?"
"He's not being careful," Raikidan said.
I snorted. "He's only a baby. What'd you expect?"
In all honestly the little guy didn't even look like he could speak or even fly. His wings looked too immature to be of any use to him.
"He still needs to me taught to be careful," Raikidan muttered.
I snorted and rubbed the baby Dragon's head to reassure him. He chirped happy and tried to nip at my fingers.
Raikidan growled again and I rolled my eyes. "Will you shut up? He's just—"
I cringed in pain when the baby Dragon chomped on my hand. This really pissed Raikidan off. Smacking the little Dragon hard on the nose, he let go and whimpered as I scolded him before I looked at my bleeding hand. Blood oozed out of three of my fingers. The little guy had sharp teeth, that was for sure.
The little Dragon slowly lifted his head and began lapping up the blood. I could see little sparks shoot from his mouth as if he were trying to create fire but none formed into a flame. It was easy to understand what he was trying to do. It looks like Raikidan isn’t the only who could heal with fire. It must be a Red Dragon ability. But this little guy was too young to make fire, let alone heal with it.
Pulling my hand away, I gave my fingers a quick, clean lick, and then pulled the little Dragon into my lap. Bracing him with my arm I used my other handed to rub his stomach. The Dragon chirped and squirmed with delight. I was astounded by how soft and unprotected his underside was. It was still scaled but the scales were leathery instead of a polished shell.
I stopped rubbing his stomach when I noticed the dark scales that went up the center of his body. Slowly, I traced the line and the little Dragon whimpered quietly. I stopped tracing the black scales and rubbed his head to reassure him. I didn't judge Raikidan for being a Half-color and I wasn't about to with this Dragon.
The little Dragon perked up instantly at my touch and flipped over. I was taken by surprise by his next behavior. He rested his front legs on my shoulder and rubbed his face against mine like a cat did with its owner. Occasionally he'd lick my face and a small purr like grunt would escape his throat. I wasn't sure how to react to this behavior. He was obviously happy but that's all I knew, and a few quick glances at Raikidan told me he had no intention of explaining it to me, at least, not with all these Dragons watching us carefully.
He was unusually quiet and cold. He tended to be distant when the others were around, but this was a new level with me. He almost seemed angry. I sighed mentally from the headache that was building. I didn't understand him.
I grunted when the little Dragon on my lap nearly knocked me out when he headbutted me. "Easy there killer."
A masculine voice chuckled above me. I looked up to find Pyralis perched above me on the knee of the Dragon gem statue—a grin spread across his face and amusement shining in his eyes.
He jumped down from his spot and crouched next to me. "He likes you."
"I kinda figured that," I replied. "I see you're enjoying your memorial."
He smiled. "You put a great deal of spiritual energy into this. It's rather impressive. Not many shamans with only partial training have such power. "
I grunted. "I was told I was a protégé."
"You don't believe them."
"I think you know the answer to that," I replied.
Pyralis chuckled. "Humility, an excellent trait to have, but with you it doesn't seem to be humility now is it?"
I didn't reply. I just stroked the baby Dragon's chin. The little Dragon pulled away from my touch and looked at me with his head tilted. The Dragon may be young but he wasn't stupid. He could tell I was avoiding the topic Pyralis presented.
"I’m glad my son has found someone to like," a feminine voice remarked warmly.
I looked up to see a sultry, red haired Nu Human woman standing in front of me. She had spectacular light green eyes and freckles scattered across her light skin like paint on a canvas. She was beyond compare in every way and I didn't feel comfortable being near her. It didn't feel right for me to be near something so...perfect.
The woman smiled at me. "My name is Xaneth."
She continued to smile. "Beautiful name. It suits you."
I looked down at the baby Dragon. She was wrong but it didn't feel right telling her that. The little Dragon nudged my hand with his nose and I scratched his cheek in response.
"Thank you for being so kind to him." I looked at Xaneth as she knelt down. "He doesn't deserve to be hated for my choice. None of my children do. Looking more Red Dragon than Black, Rimu even has a hard time getting along with his siblings."
I looked past Xaneth and looked for these siblings she spoke about. On the far side of the field seven small Black Dragons played together around a large oak tree and a massive Black Dragon I could only assume was their father. Rimu was definitely different from them. I would have figured all Half-colors would have similar coloring among siblings and if not all siblings at least within the same clutch.
Rimu looked over at his siblings and snorted. Obviously he didn't like them much. They probably bullied him for being so different. I scratched Rimu on the cheek and he chirped at me. I was surprised by how vocal he was but this was also the first time I'd been face to face with a baby Dragon.
I blinked with surprise when a red scale under Rimu's eye fell off when I scratched it. I lightly touched the shiny black one that was revealed with curiosity.
I looked at Xaneth who seemed to be just as surprised as I was. "Is that normal?"
"Scale shedding allows growth, but you probably figured that out since reptiles do that same," she said. "As for a scale to shed to another color I've never seen it myself but it seems it's quite possible to happen during growth periods."
I looked over a Raikidan.
"What are you looking at me for?" he muttered.
"Hmm, I wonder," I replied sarcastically.
"Leave me out of this," he shot.
"Two faced ass," I muttered.
"I am n—"
I glared at him and he looked away.
Xaneth giggled quietly. "At least someone had figured out how to put you in your place, Raikidan."
Raikidan looked at her. "How do you know my name?"
She smiled. "How could I not? My mate is a cousin of yours."
I blinked. That wasn't something I had been expecting to hear.
Xaneth stood up gracefully. "C'mon, Rimu. It's time for you to take a nap and let Eira have some peace and quiet for a little while."
Rimu grumbled unhappily and stayed put. His mother chuckled and shifted into a magnificent Red Dragon. Frills lined her jaw and two sets of horns grew from her skull, which seemed to be unique compared to the other Dragons I could see by the tree line. Even stranger about them, two of the horns curled back towards her face while the others grew in a wave behind her.
A mix of large and small plated spikes lined her back starting at her shoulders and boxed in a large frill that rolled down her back down to her arrow point spaded tail.
Xaneth grunted at her son before heading for the far end of the field where her family resided. Rimu grumbled to himself quietly and followed her with his head low. I had to resist the urge to laugh. I couldn't lie to myself, he was cute.
He stopped suddenly and ran back to me. Before I could scold him for not listening he picked up the small scale that had shed from his face with his mouth and dropped it into my hand. I looked at him with a smile and rubbed his head. He chirped at me and then ran off to catch up with his mother.
"Eira." I nearly jumped at Pyralis' voice. I had forgotten he was still kneeling next to me. "I apologize. I didn't mean to startle you."
"You don't breathe," I stated. "It makes it easy to forget you're there."
He chuckled. "I suppose that's true. But I do have a request I'd like to ask of you."
"Depending on what it is, I might agree to it," I replied.
"I'd like to speak to you in private," he said.