Koibito no Ryu
Sarea descended the steps that led down from the castle entrance as quickly as she could, Hoshi and the rest of the direct members of the Ryuhara family not far behind. When the messenger had announced of Tentei's arrival, the small redhead had been thinking of nothing but what she was going to say to him for making her worry for him like that.
Nakamura was moving along beside her, apparently heading in the same direction; they had all converged at the great hall. Sarea's wings fluttered with her emotions, her mating mark flaring brightly with the rapid nearing of her mate as she burst quickly into the courtyard. She spotted the long white hair immediately and headed straight for that direction.
"How dare you hand me to your-" Sarea gasped, her planned tirade instantly forgotten. "What have you done to yourself?" she asked in an aghast manner.
The Tentei before her was the most unkempt that she had ever seen. Sarea thought that she could see leaves and dirt stuck in his normally pristine white hair and his expensive clothes were all but ripped and torn. He looked like he had just battled a- well- a dragon, and lost. What's worse were the bruises that covered his aristocratic face as well as any uncovered part of his body that she could see so far. There were spots of blood everywhere too, and although the white dragon looked so battered up that it seemed like he was going to collapse anytime soon, Sarea could clearly feel the waves of grim masculine satisfaction that were emanating from him. She frowned and stared at what looked suspiciously would soon blossom to be a glorious shiner on her mate's right eye before turning to pay her full attention to the burden that he was lugging about on his shoulder.
Nakamura whistled soundlessly between his teeth.
If Tentei was a mangled mess, then surely Telemnar would qualify as road kill. The unconscious blonde elf looked even worse for wear than Tentei, and if that was any indication, he was probably even injured worse than Tentei was. Sarea knew that she should be glad that her mate had defeated Telemnar (she shuddered to think what the elf would have done to Tentei if it had been the other way round) but she couldn't seem to get past the fact that Tentei was carrying the elegant blond like a slaughtered pig and that Telemnar was going to have to spend long hours cleaning his silky (now more prickly than silky actually) mane of hair. God only knows what Tentei had been dragging him through.
It took awhile, but finally all the pieces of evidences that she had seen fit like a puzzle, and she slowly lifted incredulous eyes to stare into the crimson ones of her mate.
"You brawled with Telemnar?"
In response, the white dragon dropped the limp body of Telemnar before her feet. His crimson eyes burned fiercely, and never left hers.
It was the ultimate gesture of a dominant male protecting his female.
Tentei stepped over the elf to stand before Sarea and for one breathless moment the redhead thought that he had never looked more dangerous than he had now; all sweaty and dirty and covered in blood.
Uncaring of the growing audience, Sarea placed small hands on his chest and tiptoed to kiss his jaw. Tentei tilted his head down to give her access. "Thank you," Sarea whispered simply as she slowly withdrew from him. She continued staring at him in a deeply mesmerized manner as the wounded dragon lifted a clawed hand to caress the side of her face before sliding it down to tilt her chin up to face him.
Unlike Sarea, Tentei was not so shy in showing his affections in public. He brought his head down to claim her lips in a brief but extremely passionate kiss. She was suitably dazed when he finally drew back.
"My mate," he growled lowly at last. Possessively. His crimson eyes glowed.
"I will always protect you."
Sarea glared at him.
"You stupid man. Did you know how worried I had been? Telemnar could have killed you!"
Tentei appeared unaffected by his mate's attempt to glare him to death. He looked calmly at her from across their bed, swathed in bandages and bruised and battered. Sarea had offered to heal him earlier, but the obstinate dragon had refused her help.
"Woman, you are wrong. Telemnar could never have killed me. I would have killed him."
Arrogant and anything but repentant.
Sarea's frowned worsened.
"Quit being such a show off," she snapped. "Just because you 'KO-ed' him this time does not mean anything. Besides, what are you going to do now that you have walloped him into a bloody pulp? The Elven Kingdom is not going to be happy when they hear of this."
"Their King kidnapped you, the Draconic Crown Princess. It was a direct provocation towards our House."
"He did try to protect me from Arghana though."
Crimson eyes narrowed upon the pint-sized redhead who was curled up against the headboard of the bed.
"Why, mate, are you so eager to defend him?" His voice had gone deadly soft and quiet-like. Sarea shot him an odd look, not at all understanding his agitation.
"I wasn't defending him," she mumbled. "It is just that I think he's a little misunderstood."
The white dragon did not like to hear that at all, and Sarea was immediately taken aback when she found herself trapped between the headboard and one very ticked-off dragon a mere second later.
His eyes blazed into hers.
"You are mine, Sarea. You will always be mine." His voice was hard and angry. Sarea gaped at his sudden aggression even as a most absurd idea began to form in her head.
"Are you jealous?" The redhead sounded incredulous.
"You said that you love me." Tentei ignored her question. "Did you mean it?"
Sarea was too stunned by her newfound revelation.
"You are jealous of Telemnar?" The look of disbelief was still pasted on her face.
Tentei refused to be sidetracked by the redhead. "Answer my question," he demanded.
"You are jealous of Telemnar because of me?" Sarea's grey eyes were wide with surprise. She started to grin. Her mate was not amused, however. He frowned down at her and growled.
"My question," Tentei reminded pointedly. "Answer it."
"Oh, that." Sarea sobered quickly at the dangerous glint in Tentei's eyes.
"Yes. That." Her mate's tone was dry.
Sarea started to fidget. It was one thing to declare your love in a life and death situation, and yet another to do so when the object of your affections is boring holes into you with his laser-like crimson gaze. Just thinking of his reaction made Sarea uncomfortable. What if he rejected her?
She looked at everywhere in the room except him. "Yeah, I mean it," she said in a small voice at last. Then almost as an afterthought, she added. "Sort of."
"Sort of?" The crease between Tentei's eyes deepened. "What do you mean 'sort of'? You either love me or you don't, woman. There is no in between!"
Sarea scowled at her mate then. "Who died and made you the love guru? And what about you? At least I told you I love you. You never even said anything back. How rude."
Tentei regarded her with pure incredulity in his eyes.
"Damn it all, woman," he burst out at last. "There was so much blood on you and you were almost unconscious from pain and shock. Was I supposed to disregard all that and kneel down before you to declare my undying love and affection? You looked so pale and small and it scared the hell out of me. What if you didn't heal? I cannot lose you."
He ended his tirade in harsh voice filled with so much anguish that Sarea was stunned. Tentei sounded terrified.
Sarea lifted her head immediately to stare at her mate and the look on his face gave her pause. His crimson eyes blazed with raw emotions and she could actually feel him shaking slightly. Sarea moved into action. She wrapped her arms around him and sent him a surge of strong, positive warmth. Sentimental tears filled her eyes once more as she regarded this sweet, wonderful man who was at the moment attempting his best to glare some sense into her.
If this wasn't proof of his love for her, she didn't know what was.
"From tomorrow onwards I am going to put two guards in front of you and two behind. By gods, you are not going to scare me like that ever again. I believe you just took a good fifteen years off my life today. Quit shaking your head at me, mate, you may not care about your own safety but I do. I would still like to have a living, breathing mate fifty years down the road, thank you very much," Tentei muttered cantankerously. The white dragon knew that he was revealing utter vulnerability to her, but there just wasn't any other way.
Sarea kissed him lightly on the cheek. This mate of hers was just so lovable sometimes. "And fifty years down the road, you will have me, wrinkles and all," Sarea promised, her grey eyes glinting suspiciously bright. "You won't lose me this easily, Tentei. I won't let you."
She tightened her grip on Tentei. "I love you, Tentei. I really do." She lifted her head to look him in the eyes. "Now tell me you love me too," she instructed.
The white dragon let out a long suffering sigh, and she pinched him for it. He glared at her halfheartedly.
"Sarea, you are my mate, my other half. You were born for me; there should be no question regarding my feelings for you," he told her at last, his crimson eyes solemn. "I was born to love you, and I will die loving you; this I pledge with my life."
Sarea stared at him, enthralled. She could hardly believe the words that he had just uttered. Her eyes glimmered with unshed tears. "Do you mean it?" she asked wobbly. He stared at her with exasperation. She was going to cry again, he just knew it. Tentei inclined his head once and waited patiently for the waterworks to begin.
"Oh." Sarea did not what to say. Thick golden tears trickled past her cheeks to land on him, healing him instantly whether he wanted to or not. Sarea lifted her head suddenly then, and it was only thanks to experience and lots of practice that Tentei managed to duck away in time. "Oh." she muttered again, twin trails of shimmering gold streaks adorning her tear-reddened face.
He held her to him and turned so that he was now leaning against the headboard and she was curled up on his lap. His chest rumbled comfortingly as he rubbed small soothing circles over her back "This is why I don't want you to heal me," he muttered.
"But they are happy tears," Sarea sniffled as she proceeded to rub away the gold streaks on her face.
"I know." Tentei stared down at this sensitive little woman that he now knew he could not live without, his crimson eyes unguarded and filled with warmth. "I just don't like seeing you drenched in them."
Sarea wriggled around to face her mate. Now that he was fully healed, the seductive movements of her sweet behind against his front caused him to respond immediately to her. He tightened his clawed hands over her slim waist and Sarea froze when she felt the growing hardness between his thighs. She stared at him with wide eyes.
"Are you always going to be this…enthusiastic?" she asked huskily. His eyes darkened as he watched her lick her lips.
"Only for you," he growled softly as he pressed his face against her neck. She gasped when his tongue flicked out to trace shivery trails of sensations down her brightly glowing mating mark. Her eyes fluttered close.
"But…you are…an invalid," Sarea sighed out when he did that thing with his lips and fangs again.
"You healed me, remember?" He started to remove her clothes for her, and bonelessly she allowed him to. She snapped back into focus when the cool air caressed her skin.
"But now?" Sarea pushed away Tentei's hands when he looked like he was about to slice through her undergarments as well. "You want to do that now?"
"Why not?" he smirked at her, his eyes alight with sardonic humor. "I defeated the villain, I saved the princess. I should be rewarded, shouldn't I?"
"A knight does not hit the princess up for sex." Sarea frowned slightly even as she twined her arms around his neck. He lowered his head down and delivered and quick and wet kiss on her tempting mouth, flashing his fangs playfully against her full lips as he withdrew.
"But I am not a knight, love. I am a dragon."
"Yes…" she breathed out when he brushed a teasing claw past her breasts. Her eyes glazed over slightly. "My dragon."
He growled lowly at the misty look in her eyes. He would never tire of seeing her thusly, warm and open and her beautiful grey eyes shining with all the love she had for him. His throat tightened up, and suddenly he found it difficult to breathe. The white dragon nuzzled her face, the graceful line of her jaw, the sensitive skin below her ears and thanked the Fates for handing him such a precious treasure. "I am never going to let you go. I hope that you are prepared for a lifetime with me."
"Only a lifetime?" Sarea teased softly as she glimpsed of the fierce light in her mate's crimson eyes. "I want forever, at least."
Tentei began to lower them onto bed, and as Sarea lifted her face to him for another languid kiss, she just knew that this mate of hers was going to fulfill his promise to her just like he had said so.
It was a nice beginning.
A/N : …Well, this is the end of Koibito no Ryu, a little short, but I hope that the ending isn't too fluffy and over sugary. This is the first time that I have actually completed a fic, one-shots aside. You can say that this is quite an achievement for me, I suppose. Hell yeah, I am feeling pretty proud right now, self-acclaimed procrastinator that I always am. Haha.
I really don't know what else to write here, but as you guys guessed it, I am still going to wing it, long-winded authoress that I am. Really sorry about that.
Some of you might notice that there are still some loose ends (actually a lot, but I am trying to be modest about it ahaha) that I have not tied up yet; like what is going to happen to Telemnar, and whether the Elven brothers are ever going to reconcile after what had happened etc etc, not to mention the very interesting chemistry flaring brightly between our one and only grumpy!Nakamura and the feisty and independent!Sun. Don't worry, they are all going to be addressed in the sequel, so let us just indulge in this last chapter of fluffiness in peace
Lots and lots of thanks to Lulai and Mori for betaing and seeing me through KnR!! The two of them have shown nothing but lots of patience and encouragement towards me and I am so pleased to announce that they have both decided continue helping me beta the sequel. I am ever grateful, and am pretty sure that my level of grammar would not have improved to such a level without their help. A little pimping here, but they are also fellow authoresses on FP, both doing the same genre as I am doing, and both absolutely fantastic at what they write, so do hit up their user names on the search bar and try their fics out! I am positive that you won't regret my recommendation.
Lastly to answer the questions posed by various reviewers…
To Mathswiz :
Does the Draconian breed follow the normal rules of genetics? What are Fayes exactly? How old are the characters? The poor women in the harem! What will ever happen to them? (random, I know. But I can't help it. Imagine pining your days away awaiting true love for the rest of your life...)
By normal rules of genetics I am assuming that you meant to ask if Tentei and Sarea's future offspring would be born as dragons with wings and/or phoenixes with antlers. That would be a no. Each of the mythical creatures is ruled by an inner blood beast of a distinct nature, so it is impossible that there would be a hybrid of phoenix and dragon. They will have phoenix and dragon children, if you get what I mean.
Fayes are something like fairies, only they are human-sized and not the small insect-sized creatures like those found in fairytales. In my fic, Fayes are generally very aesthetically pleasing and have sharp pointed ears. They are generally a peace loving race and are great healers. They interact very well with Nature and can soothe the rage of even the wildest beasts. For example, Hoshi is of Faye descent and she has this huge meadow-garden that she had hand planted herself.
Elves have the same appearances as Fayes, although they tend to possess more powerful magick than the Fayes. They also react faster, has more stamina, more speed and all in all are physically deadlier opponents than the peace loving Fayes. They are generally not as placid in nature when compared to the Fayes. Whereas the latter are the gentle healers, the Elves have the warrior-like abilities to fight and will not hesitate to use those abilities to defend and protect their forested homelands. Essentially they are the defenders of Nature, and some can get very powerful, as witnessed from the Elven King Telemnar.
Ok. Sarea is 23 years old, Tentei is 25. Sun is 25, Nakamura is 27. Aoi is the youngest Ryuhara at 18 whereas Kaji is 21. Both Tenga and Hoshi are at the same age of 44 (though their physical appearance would indicate otherwise, lucky them).
As for the women in the harem…haha, I have never thought about that, but I am sorry to say that they will be staying there for quite sometime. Or I could do a little cameo of Sarea being driven up the wall by them and let's see where that would take us…Haha, that would be fun for Tentei, I'm sure.
To Crimsonrose :
So who exactly was Telemnar's mother? Was it Hoshi or what?
I feel that I need to clear this up a little, for there are quite a few of you who were very confused by this. Sorry about that.
In a way, Telemnar's mother was Hoshi, but not the same Faye Hoshi. It was a mistake you see, for Telemnar's father thought that he was betrothed to Hoshi Skyle (the Faye Queen) when the contract stated that it was actually Hoshi Skye that he was actually supposed to marry. Predictably, our Faye mated Tenga whereas the elder Telemnar married the other Hoshi and fathered Camthalion and his older brother even when Skyle was the one the elder Elven King had clearly had affection for. Thus started the entire feud.
Haha, it's a little complicated, but I think you all probably get it now, smart buggers that you all are.
To some-one :
You know the sequel Soulmates, it's about Sarea's best friend and that fox right? Are you going to continue from where you left of in this story or start at the very beginning? Where Tentei's brothers kidnaps Sarea?
Nope, I am not going to start at the beginning. I find it a little boring to rehash everything up even if it is in a different POV, and I think that some of you would probably agree with me on that. Soulmates is going to be continued maybe a few months after KnR's timeline, give or take a little bit.
To Mi.Ishi :
I thought Cameron's name was Camthalion, not Telemnar? You may want to go back and change that.
Lol. Telemnar is Camthalion's last name, thus he is addressed as the High Prince Telemnar. The Elven King Telemnar and Camthalion are brothers, remember?
To The Black Pearl is Freedom :
I just have to say that I really really really love your story and that you took the time and have meanings behind many things and that there is a form of research behind everything. I like when authors put valuable time, effort, and thought into their writings; it makes the story that much more real for me. I was reading your Q and A and it made me think--I feel the need to request a story on Cameron. I know the next one is on the Fox Clan but I feel that I will just have to bully you into another sequel for good ol' Cam. :)) Think about--or at least pretend you did so I can feel that much more accomplished for making my request.
Haha. Thank you for your compliment. It really made all that research worthwhile and I am very pleased to reveal some mythology knowledge to readers (history is not that boring if you know the way to go about reading it!!).
As for the Elven family, I promise that I will consider getting to it right after I finish Soulmates. Both the Telemnar brothers have really grown on me, so why not, eh?
To LilLaTLuv :
Will any of Sarea's children be Phoenixes or will they all just be Dragons because of their father? I hope some can be Phoenixes; it's ultra cool!
I am pretty sure that there would be Phoenixes…and then there would be Dragons…or vice versa...LOL.
To abc123 chewy :
How do you pronounce Sarea's name? Is it like Sarah? Or like... Sar-e-a?
I actually pronounce Sarea's name the latter way you did it, but I think that's pretty much your own choice, so don't worry much about that!
To shiningskater :
Cameron/High Prince Telemnar is so sweet. I'm a total sap so I am going to ask whether or not there will be any romance going on with him in the future. Oh yeah, and how old are the characters?
Haha, there might be some romance for the Telemnar brothers…after the sequel maybe? I don't know, but there is a huge chance of that happening, so keep your fingers crossed till then!
As for the age of the characters, Sarea is 23 years old, Tentei is 25. Sun is 25, Nakamura is 27. Aoi is the youngest Ryuhara at 18 whereas Kaji is 21. Both Tenga and Hoshi are at the same age of 44.
And that's it, my precious darlings! One last great Thank You to all of you readers who have walked with me through this journey, who have braved all the horrible grammar and the sometimes overly-clichéd sappiness to come to here. I will be working hard for the sequel now, and will probably post a notice here when I upload the first chapter of Soulmates. Hmm…maybe I can even put a preview or something, but that's entirely up to whether if you guys want it or not.
Feel free to PM me if there is anything you would like to enquire about, I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.
Until we meet again! (And once again this very naggy authoress apologizes for this overly long footnote)