There is a war coming. On one side, the Ancients; the vampires, the elves, the dragonkin. The other side, an unknown entity with unknown goals and abilities. Unaware of it all, Rhia Kincaid; a young paramedic just trying to pay her bills and keep a smile on her face. Life has never been easy, and that doesn't change when she meets a powerful vampire by the name of Nolan Wes.
Thank you for choosing to read Dragon Blood. I hope you enjoy my story, and I look forward to reading any comments, criticism, and advice.
As this is a working progress, some details may change along the way.
This story will include erotic chapters down the line and include the bondage, dominance, and submission parts of BDSM.
Nekros reached out and gently ran his hand along the smooth surface of the egg. A dull red light flared where his fingers touched the obsidian black shell. His lips curled into a smile. His daughter was strong. She was the first dragon hatchling since the beginning. The first since he and the other originals hatched in the beginning of all things. She had billions of years of built up power and magic passed down to her. She would be his legacy.
There was a knock on the door behind him, and it opened softly. "You summoned me?" the woman spat bitterly.
He winced slightly at how harsh her words were. Nekros half turned to look at the newcomer. Phoenix stood as far away from their egg as she could with her back against the wall, as close to the door as she could without morphing into the concrete. Her fiery eyes illuminated her sharp features in the dark room. Despite the rage in her eyes and the hostility in her features, he knew that it wasn't entirely for him. "I thought you might want to be present for the hatching of our child." He said softly.
Now that anger was entirely directed at him. "Your child." She corrected bitterly. "I don't want anything to do with it."
Nekros sighed heavily. He was hesitant to step away from his daughter. There had been several incidents over the last ten months, forcing Nekros to have her escorted at all times while on the property. He also had at least two guards on the hatchery door when he wasn't around. He took a careful step towards Phoenix. When she didn't move, he let his hand fall away from the precious life and approached his mate. She held perfectly still until he was right in front of her and let him pull her away from the wall enough that he could wrap an arm around her waist. All the tension poured out of her and she rested her forehead against his shoulder.
"It's not too late, you know." She said quietly. "We can take it to Ares and Keoni. Or Ozin and Tiamat. They would take care of it. Any of them would be excellent parents."
Nekros stiffened and she tensed all over again. He pulled his arm away and looked at a spot just over her head. "We've been through this." He said with cold patience. "I do not expect you to be a mother to the child. But I do expect you to accept that I will be her father."
He turned away from his mate, the female he had spent so many eons and would spend the rest of his considerable life with. "This is not what we agreed to." She hissed.
"I agreed to never force you to have hatchlings." He snapped back. "I agreed to never force you to bond. That was your idea. You knew there was a higher chance of getting pregnant during the process. Do not act like I did this on purpose."
He reached out and rested his hand on the egg again. He could already feel a connection with the child. "How many billions of years have Ozin and Tiamat been trying to have hatchlings?" He heard Phoenix's low growl. "What are the fucking odds?"
He didn't answer. What could he say that wouldn't make the situation worse? She never wanted children. She didn't have a motherly bone in her body. From the beginning of their relationship she had always been so careful, and he always respected that. He never wanted to force anything on her. Of course he wanted to expand their little family, but he had hoped that she would have softened to the idea of hatchlings over time. Evidentially, he was wrong.
Under his touch, the egg trembled, and the red glow flared. It was time. Nekros gently lifted the egg and turned to the door. Phoenix shrunk away from him like he was carrying a bomb. The door opened for him, one of the dragonkin hearing the call through the psychological link the dragons shared with their kin. He knew he needed to do something for Phoenix. They were, after all, bonded soulmates. She needed him as much as he needed her.
He walked down the hall and through another set of doors into a large courtyard cut into the side of the mountain. Against the sheer cliffside there was a small alcove where he had built a sort of nest for the hatchling. He settled the shaking egg in the nest and donned his dragon skin. Huge and slender, roughly the size of a seven-thirty-seven. Enormous wings stretched out momentarily before folding close to his body. Obsidian black feathers covered his body with an eerie emerald green glow coming from beneath.
He settled his enormous body down and rest his head as close to the egg as possible. His daughter would hatch in her dragon skin. If the true dragons followed the same path as dragonkin hatchlings, she would shed that skin and take her humanoid form in about two years. He would spend as much time as he could in his true form with her in those first few years. It would be easier for them to bond when they were in the same forms. After another eighteen to twenty-five years, she would be able to shift back into a dragon and claim her place among her kin.
The egg rocked violently, and a small crack appeared along the middle. Steam immediately began to rise from the crack. He could hear the fluttering heartbeat of his daughter as she lashed out at her confines, rested, and thrashed again. The crack grew before a chip flew off, and he caught a glimpse of green feathering and dark blueish skin underneath. A little black claw caught the edge of the chip and pushed. The egg split cleanly in half and the tiny, curled up dragon rolled out onto the layers of silks and shed feathers.
Nekros shifted his head to nuzzle her gently. Tiny wings stretched out and flapped uselessly against the ground, drying out the downy feathers until they were fluffy and a deep emerald green. Her body slowly unwrapped from its curled position, her claws scrabbling at the air until she had rolled herself onto her belly. She lay still, her body rapidly rising and falling as she caught her breath. A moment later, she raised her head and her eyes opened for the first time. Her eyes were the same colour as her downy feathers. The same deep emerald as his own. He reached out and touched the tip of his muzzle to hers, making a low clicking sound at the back of his throat. She mimicked the sound, sounding much higher and faster.
He was ecstatic. His daughter was finally here, and she was more beautiful than he could have expected. A few minutes past and she went from the damp mess of feathers and floppy limbs to a fluffy, bright green squirming ball. When her flight feathers came in, the green down would glow with her power. He wondered if she would inherit his full colouring or look more like her mother when she was older. Either way, she would be powerful and stunning.
The hatchling half-slithered, half-crawled off the nest of blankets, pillows, and feathers until she was curled up between his forelegs with her wings tucked tightly against her body and her head resting on his limb. He had to carefully shift the pile of bedding between his claws to keep her warm.
One by one, the dragon kin appeared, respectfully giving the father and daughter a wide berth, but close enough to get a good look at the hatchling. One by one they bowed to the little princess. The males left quickly after they offered their respects. The females stayed behind to coo gently, almost purring in approval and excitement. Nekros knew they would love nothing more than to get closer and introduce themselves to the hatchling. Hatchlings were so rare among the dragonkin that every one of them were well protected and communally raised. Being a full-blood dragon, this particular hatchling would be revered almost as a god. Not that she noticed right away. She had her head tucked under her wing and her tail wrapped tightly around her body, fast asleep minutes after settling.
After every kin on the island had paid their respects, Nekros rested his head in his claws and reached out with his mind. "Nyx," he said gently, using the nickname he only ever used in private. She didn't answer, but he could feel her listening. "I know you're upset." He continued. "Just… remember how much I love you."
She was still silent. He was just about to give up for the night when her voice filled his mind. "I love you too." She said slowly and quietly. After another minute she spoke again. "Is it… is she… healthy?"
He chuckled low in his throat. She was struggling to even pretend to care about the hatchling. But she cared about him. She compelled herself to ask in an effort to show him that. "She is healthy and strong." He told her. "I want to name her Rhiannon."
He listened for her response. He had thought long and hard about the name. Rhiannon was a fae who married a human prince several thousands of years ago. Unwilling to live without her mate, she gave up on her extended life and allowed herself to be buried with Pwyll. She and Phoenix had been extremely close, and her death had long affected the dragon. Even now he could feel the emotion through their link. To his delight, she wasn't angry. A mix of an old sadness, uncertainty and fear, and a glimmer of happiness came through their connection. "Rhiannon is a good name." she said so soft he almost missed it.
She pulled free of the connection before he could say any more. He felt his body relax again. He still held onto the hope that one day she would be able to acknowledge Rhiannon as her daughter. With that thought, he closed his eyes and let himself drift into sleep.
The full moon was well overhead when the presence of a newcomer pulled him from his slumber. He looked up the side of the mountain to see a third dragon gazing down on him from the ledge. She was pure white with an under-glow of light blues and purples. In the light of the moon, she looked like the embodiment of the northern lights. One claw was crossed over the other, dangling over the rocky ledge, and her head was tilted slightly. He knew that if she were in her human skin, would be giving him a raised eyebrow and a salacious smile. Silvery eyes gazed down affectionately. "Hello, Luna." He reached up and she touched her muzzle to his in greeting.
"Hello, brother," she answered, her slow, silky voice was warm and loving, a contrast to the sharp cold of her emanating magic. "I've come to pay my respects."
Nekros nodded, and Luna gracefully slid down the cliff. Nekros nudged Rhiannon until she rose her head and made a squeaking sound in irritation. Luna's clicking laugh drew Rhiannon's attention and the hatchling turned her head. Luna stood back at a careful distance, not wanting to spook the infant. Rhiannon clumsily scrabbled up onto her father's claw to get a better look. Slowly Luna moved into to touch her muzzle, but the hatchling began hissing and raising her wings to make herself look bigger than she was. There was another clicking laugh from Luna before she nudged the ball of fluff, causing her to tumble back into the mess of blankets.
"She's going to look just like you." Luna told her brother, settling down and making herself look as small as possible.
"I hope she will take after Phoenix." Nekros admitted, and helped Rhiannon roll back onto her belly. "At least a little bit."
"How is Phoenix?" Luna tilted her head towards the house.
"About as well as you can expect." He sighed, resting his head on his talons and watching Rhiannon nestle herself into the pile of blankets against his warm body. In the presence of his sister, the only lifeform he confided in more than his mate, he spoke the words that had been haunting him since he'd pulled the egg from Phoenix's rampage. "Did I make a mistake? Turning my back on Phoenix's wishes? Keeping Rhiannon?"
Luna didn't answer for a long moment. He could feel her sharp eyes on him. She was taking her time thinking about her answer. Luna was the one creature even less likely to be a mother than Phoenix. Nyx was, at least, willing to settle down with a single male and make a home. Several homes. While Greece was where they always came back to, they had properties all over the world. Luna, on the other hand, preferred to utilize her relationships within the vampiric kingdom to bounce from one couch to another. Nekros was willing to bet his left wing that she had a key to every property belonging to the vampire king or his second in command. Did she even have an house of her own?
"The way I see it," Luna finally said carefully. "Is that you have given Phoenix everything for billions of years. You have followed her around the world, settled where she wanted to, held back from bonding until last year, never pushed her into having hatchlings when you've always wanted children, and relieved her of all responsibility for the child." She held Nekros' gaze before continuing. "Rhiannon will be fully grown and mature in less than three decades. A blink of an eye for us. You are not leaving Phoenix. You two are soulmates, and at the end of the day, you're bonded now. I think she owes you this."
Nekros nodded and pressed his head against Luna's neck. "Thank you, Luna." He breathed. "I needed to hear that."
Luna almost purred and returned the nuzzling gesture. "Besides," she teased. "If you change your mind that means I would either have to spend time with the Drakos family or go to the Amazon. I would rather avoid both if you don't mind. Oh, I brought something for her." She turned to the satchel bound to her back leg and pulled it loose. "I had to work with two dwarves, a fae, and an elf to get this made. It was like the beginning of a bad joke."
Carefully she pulled a small blanket from the bag and dropped it next to Rhiannon, who was already asleep again, and Nekros nudged it as close to her without disturbing her. It smelled of old magic, and both Luna and him. "What is it made from?" he asked.
"Our feathers. I tried to add Phoenix's, but the magic wouldn't stabilize. It's stronger than graphene so it wont rip, and it should hold up to her magic. But it's soft and light as any normal baby blanket."
"Thank you, Luna. It's perfect."
Luna nodded and rose to her feet. "I'm happy for you, brother." She pressed her forehead against his. "Call me if you need anything."
She lowered her head to nuzzle the sleeping Rhiannon before turning away and heading for the house, presumably to check in on Phoenix before leaving.
Nekros spent the next two weeks in his dragon skin with Rhiannon. A day after her hatching, she perked up and started walking clumsily. Two days after that, and she was running and jumping. She was damn fast and had endless energy but crashed into a deep sleep the moment he put her down for the night. At the end of the first week, the kin began interacting with her. Though initially defensive, Rhiannon quickly gained confidence and began climbing all over the dragonkin. She seemed to favour the drakes. Wyverns and amphiteres could fly off when they got annoyed, and the wyrms and serpents were skittish and unwilling to get too close. The drakes were patient, gentle giants who let her investigate thoroughly as they presented any news to Nekros.
She bonded particularly well with an enormous drake who had a surprising soft side when it came to hatchlings. He had twins of his own and knew how to entertain children. It was odd seeing a creature bigger and heavier than a Panzer tank playing with an infant dragon smaller than his claw. He was the only one Nekros felt confident leaving Rhiannon with when he returned to the house to spend a night with his neglected mate.
Phoenix was angry and distant with him only for a few minutes. Once he proved that he wouldn't mention their daughter, she relaxed. They had a nice dinner, watched a crappy movie, and retreated into the bedroom where he spent hours reminding her exactly how much he loved her. It felt good to have her in his arms and sleep at her side again.
The seemingly blissful and peaceful night was interrupted by an explosion that shook the entire island. Nekros was on his feet in a second and running for the courtyard doors. He was halfway across the yard before he could comprehend the scene in front of him. Humanoids wearing black body armour stood over the lifeless body of the drake, an enormous, bloody hole in his neck, inches away from severing his head completely. One of the intruders had wrapped Rhiannon in her baby blanket, keeping her from hurting them or herself, and someone else was holding open a heavy metal cage. She was screaming and crying and biting at the protective glove of her captor. At the sight of his daughter in such distress, Nekros' vision went red. He let out a roar of fury and shifted.
Shifting from a six-foot humanoid to a hundred-fifty-foot dragon was not an instantaneous process. It was quick, but there was a brief moment of vulnerability when they were too far along to stop the transformation, but not far enough to be essentially invulnerable. It never once crossed his mind that these intruders not only knew about the vulnerability but knew exactly when and how to exploit it. One of them raised a long spear-looking weapon and threw it. There was a sharp pain where his neck and shoulder met and a second later there was a second explosion.
Nekros jerked back, an indescribable pain rocking his body from his shoulder, down his chest, and up his neck. He tasted blood, his ears were ringing, and there were spots in his eyes. He screamed through the mental link he shared with Nyx. She wouldn't raise a talon to protect Rhiannon, but she would slaughter anyone who hurt him. He expected to see her own dragon form explode through the wood and concrete of their house and bathe the intruders with fire hot enough to melt tungsten.
Above them, another group of intruders descended from a helicopter with a heavy crate. They pulled huge chains from the crate, moving quickly and efficiently. They wrapped the chains around his muzzle and head tightly, locking his jaws shut. Where the hell were the dragonkin? Where the hell was Nyx?
Rhiannon cried out again from the cage, writhing in the tight wrap of the blanket and biting at the walls of the cage. Fighting through the pain, Nekros forced himself up, jerking at the chains and sending three of the intruders flying. A flick of his tail rid him of the others around him. He rose onto his hindlegs and spread his wings. Even with the presence of the helicopter, he had an advantage in the air. The remaining intruders raised their weapons and shots rang out. Instead of ordinary bullets, which would have bounced off his body uselessly, some sort of special harpoon shot out and through his wings. He pulled his wings up. Most of the intrudes lost their grip on the chains connected to him, but two on one side managed to connect theirs to anchored cranks and started motors to drag him down.
For the first time, fear began to invade his blind rage. This went beyond being prepared. This would have taken months of planning. The one holding Rhiannon had retreated to the back of the group, clutching the cage to his chest, and keeping as far away from the confrontation as possible. Nekros zeroed in on him and charged. There was shouting, and his head suddenly snapped back as one of the intruders connected the muzzle to another anchor. He was close enough and lashed out with his tail. The feathers flattened their edge, glinting in the retreating moon like an obsidian blade. With deadly speed and accuracy, Nekros separated the soldier's head from his shoulders.
He grabbed cage with his tail before it hit the ground and brought Rhiannon into the protection of his body, curling himself into a defensive ball. He screamed through his connection to Nyx to no avail. They must have gotten to her before she had the chance to shift. He sent an alert to the other dragons. Luna might still be in Greece. Ares and his wyvern mate were in Cairo. With any luck, Quintiles would be there too. If any one of them came to his aid, he might just survive.
Rhiannon trilled softly in his ear, and Nekros opened his eyes to look at her. She had finally squirmed her way out of the wrap and moved as close to him as she could. She was shaking. He wanted nothing more than to sooth her. Assure her that everything was going to be alright. He wouldn't mind hearing that himself.
The soldiers were moving around him, securing the harpoons in his wings and linking chains to his tail, slowly pulling him out of his defensive position and exposing Rhiannon once again to the danger. He lashed out with his uninjured claws, only for them to be tangled in the same heavy chains and secured. He was helpless. He failed to protect his daughter. He had one duty as a father, and he couldn't even do that.
A soldier stepped forward and pulled up the faceplate of his helmet, revealing dark, midnight purple skin with thin, golden tattoos adorning his face, and a thin crop of shocking white hair. Wide amethyst eyes looked down on him. Nekros growled deep in his throat. Fucking drow elves. He should have known those psychopaths were involved. They had no qualms about using human-developed weaponry. No doubt there was a sadistic smile behind the oxygen mask still hiding his mouth and nose.
The male reached out and ran a hand across the dragon's snout. "Nekros the Pestilent. The Black Death." he said in a slightly manic chuckle. "It is an honour to meet you." He continued to stroke the smaller face feathers, each one flattened against his skin and hardened into an impenetrable shield. "You are far more magnificent than I imagined. It is such a shame that I can't kill you. I dream of the day I can mount your head on my wall with the rest of the nine."
Nekros felt ice run through his body. The human world governments only knew about three of the dragons. The Counsel knew of five. The only ones who knew that there were nine dragons in total were the dragons themselves and their kin.
"Oh, I do apologize," the male giggled as he turned his attention to Rhiannon. "There are ten of you now."
Nekros snarled and jerked his head against the restrains, baring his sharp, ivory teeth at the elf. Saliva dripped from his mouth, emitting a noxious green gas. The elf laughed and tapped the hard shell of the mask before picking up the cage and holding it up to eye-level. Rhiannon had puffed herself up as big as she could, hissing at the elf and baring her tiny little fangs.
"Would you just look at it!" the elf squealed and waggled his gloved finger through the bars at her. "It's just so cu- hey!"
He quickly withdrew his hand as Rhiannon launched towards him. Even though she missed her target, she clung to the side of the cage, drew in a rattling breath, and spat green acid directly into his eyes. The elf screamed and dropped her, clutching his eyes. "Good girl." Nekros told his daughter, pride swelling in his heart.
Two more soldiers rushed forward to help the elf. "Kill it!" he shrieked. "Kill that thing! I'll skin it and make gloves from its hide!"
His words were met with a shrill chattering from Rhiannon and the closest thing Nekros could get to a roar with chains muzzling him. "Sir," said another soldier. By the slight Celtic brogue through the external helmet speaker, Nekros guessed fae. "We were told not to harm the hatchling."
As he spoke, yet another soldier tossed a heavy-duty blanket over the cage before gingerly picking it up and walking away. Nekros struggled frantically against the restraints. The drow elf stumbled back to the dragon and slammed the tip of a nasty-looking combat knife against the hardened feathers next to his eye. Nekros didn't blink or flinch. The elf forced one eye open. His lower lid drooped, like it was melting, and the white was bloodshot. "We're going to take your precious little hatchling." he seethed. "They're going to experiment on it. They're going to put it through its paces, push it to the edge, see what makes you dragons tick. And when they're done, I'm going to take it to a good home. Let it grow up happy and healthy. And when it thinks it has everything, I'm going to bring it to you and make you watch as I skin it alive. It's going to scream out 'daddy, daddy, help me'. You're going to beg me to stop. But I wont. I'm going to keep going until it begs me to kill it. And then I'll keep going until there's nothing left. I will break it until there isn't nothing but an empty shell. Then, and only then, I will slit its fucking throat."
Nekros felt a hatred he never believed possible rise within him. He made sure to memorize this bastard down to the molecular level. He opened a link to the male while broadcasting his image to every one of the nine. "Run fast, little elf." He taunted coldly. "I will not be bound forever. Tick-tock, tick-tock…"
2020/Nov/14 – Grammar and clarity.
2020/Nov/20 - Grammar