The sunset of Dracan washed across the early evening sky in deep orange-and-crimson swaths by the time Nareen prepared the etrian
tea. She had strung multiple barriers of protection, tight as bowstrings, on all the entrances to her private lair. Flying with the sacred required leaving no chance for unexpected guests to disturb the spell.
She pushed the wide sofa in her sitting area against the far wall and covered it in linens and wool blankets. Candles burned all around the room. The rock fireplace in the back crackled with a brisk fire, offering enough warmth to penetrate the chilly cave. Her living spaces were nestled deep inside the mountain, her personal sanctuary within the embracing stone.
Shadows from the candles flickered on the ceilings and walls. She noted in satisfaction the beautiful, dreamy scene. A comforting cocoon, ready and waiting.
Nareen sat cross-legged in front of the small brazier she’d brought in and set on a steel rack suspended over wood. She preferred the old ways for such things. Heating water on a modern stove never felt quite right for sacred ceremonies.
Careful not to let it boil, she stirred the green liquid and uttered soft chants. She offered respect and reverence to the musky leaves, for contained within them lay a conduit to the gods.
At the appointed moment, she grasped the vessel with hot pads and poured the liquid into her cup. She blew on the steamy surface and took a small sip, a grimace crossing her face at the familiar bitter taste. Easing into a nest of pillows on a thick, rust-brown rug, she forced herself to keep drinking until burning warmth spread across her chest. She downed the remains in one choking gulp.
Long minutes passed. Eyes closed, she waited in dreamy suspension. The tea and its woozy effects ran like hot and cold faucets in her veins. The room spun around her, so she stretched out under the soft blankets, a light sheen of sweat coating her face. Her body seemed to float inches above the surface, and her breathing slowed. The candles flickered in the same pulse as her breath, their shadows cast along every surface as if alive.
She heard subtle noises, like the low hum of whispered conversation, the words foreign and too faint to make out. She drank in the sounds and feelings like a sponge, absorbing and folding over the meanings in the words. No need for her conscious mind to understand; her subconscious knew what to do and accepted the strange communication.
Her sister self had fallen surprisingly asleep, wound in the etrian
dream’s tight embrace.
Nareen floated, listening. A sense of deep connectedness filled her as the cave pulsed in sympathetic rocky rhythm. She had only to breathe and let her questions to the gods fill her heart. They would hear her. They always did.
Behind her eyelids, another universe opened and spun. Her inner sight marveled at the view of a vast, ancient forest. Spruce and fir trees, thick and brilliant green, framed snow-topped mountains. A hidden lake, jewel-like in the craggy embrace of an immense mountain, beckoned with the promise of cool, refreshing water.
Colors smeared across her vision, the emerald greens and browns melting into each other, swirling and forming new shapes she couldn’t quite understand. Her fingertips brushed the edges, and the mass of hues jumped greedily to her hands. Silky ink danced color along her arms and over to her chest. The liquid sank into her pores like water being sucked into a bone-dry desert, igniting a new kind of heat.
Her breasts ached for touch; she squeezed her soft mounds, the pebbled nipples rubbing against her palms like silk. Arousal pooled wet between her legs.
Not what she had expected, yet she had no quarrel with this turn.
With a quick movement, she slid off her gown and reached down her belly to her slick, sensitive nub. Pleasure heated her blood. She slipped two fingers into her wet channel, probing in rhythmic movements, mimicking the cock she imagined replacing her hand.
Need burned like fire up her core. She fumbled in the dark, found a stack of unlit candles, and grasped one slim taper, the end warmed and soft from the blazing fireplace. She folded open the wet curls between her legs, angled the candle to her middle, and pushed it into her pussy. “Oh,” she moaned in relief and worked the taper in and out. Yet still her blood burned for more. She slid a second candle in with the first, thrusting the welcome hardness against her most intimate flesh and angling just so across her swollen bud. Not enough.
Where are you where are you where are you
… The call built in her mind like a prayer as she arched her hips into her candle phallus and spun out into the waiting, circling forest.
A hoarse cry pierced her new universe, a predator roaring its dominion across the azure sky.
Midnight black and glorious, huge against the clouds, he hovered over the forested panoply as if looking for something. His wingspread filled the sky, scales thick and tipped in gold. He seemed ageless, ancient and young all at once, so graceful it made her want to weep. His wings caught the improbable breeze as effortlessly as breathing as he glided across her cave ceiling in a vast world that now encompassed her.
“Come to me, beloved.
” The deep, silvery voice rang out in the ancient tongue of their kind. “Come to me. I would have you tonight.
Nareen exclaimed in joy. In the same instant, her sister self wakened and cried out with her, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes…
”And Nareen had no choice but to shift and wing to the sky in answer to that irresistible call. She flapped her strong golden wings to reach him.
His eyes blazed deep bronze, full of promise and lusty heat. A wild excitement pulsed between them. They dove together, the downdrafts of their flight synchronized as if they had done this before. They soared up and out across the wide expanse of their secret world, flying closer and closer, until he loomed so near that the sear of his breath blew across her sensitive jawline and the smell of his pungent, musky scales overwhelmed her senses. He exuded raw power; he seemed filled with it and utterly untamed.
Then he flew directly above her, the burn of his gliding body close enough to mate.
More “Yes, yes, yes!
” screamed in her head and pounded under her skin. She’d deprived her shape-shifter nature of this singular bliss for centuries—to have sex as Draca while soaring in ecstatic flight.
She’d accepted the denial of her most raw and sensual nature as the sacrifice the gods demanded of her for all they had provided. Temptation stretched her resolve to the breaking point, and her dual nature snapped free. She flung off the leash she’d kept her sister on for so long, and howls of joy rang out, filling the sky.
He knew the instant of her surrender and roared in triumph. His razor-sharp teeth grabbed on to the thick spot on the back of her neck, the hidden, secret place only Draca males and their mates knew about. His full weight settled on her spine, flattening down her wings so that she dropped to accommodate him.
She leveled out, steadying herself. Her long, supple tail lifted on instinct for his entry, and she grunted in shock as his enormous, thick phallus thrust into her female channel. Primal Dracan sexual fire exploded in her every cell.
She bucked and reared in exquisite joy as he rode her. They flew in an effortless glide, held in the embrace of a perfect wind. Black wings spread like a tarp over her back, and he convulsed against her, thrusting his massive length deeper into her core where it slid like heated silk to the very tip of her womb.
Pain mixed with pleasure rocked her as he gripped her neck until his fangs pierced her tough hide and blood ran down her scales, a small sacrifice to the gods in payment for the sacred act.
Their dual natures, Draca and human, twisted and swooned in aerial ecstasy. She needed this wild, untamed passion, the sense of total surrender in flight, gloriously impaled on a massive Dracan cock. She never wanted this to end, never wanted to go back to her cold life of denial and sacrifice.
In that moment of realization, chill air blew over her spine. She twisted to look behind her. He was gone, along with the forest, and she lay sprawled on her back in her lair. The fire had burned to ash, and most of the candles had sputtered to an end.
Dark and cold. Her life.
“No!” Nareen pounded her fists on the rock floor. “Come back!”
But the etrian
dream had ended. Little bits of wax clung to her sticky inner thighs, and her bottom burned, tender and sore. Her swollen breasts ached, and unbidden tears started a slide down her face.
Ah, the gods had shown her something so incredible she reeled, body and soul. Visions of him
still cascaded in her head. My mate?
It must be true. Finally.
The gods had given her a great gift. Not a vacation. Instead, a powerful new mission—find her mate and claim him.
Before she died of loneliness.