A Shelter from the Cold
Darkness had begun to creep into the valley as China stopped, strapping off her backpack. At least I'm out of the forest, she thought, as she sat down, leaning against a small rock. She yawned, stretching and flexing her muscles, tired from a day's non-stop walking. Still a week's walk to Ahagradia. The thought made her sigh. She had already gone five days on traveller's rations. Five days without a chance to get properly cleaned up. Five days sleeping out, alone and cold, just before the onset of winter. From the look of the twilight skies, it might begin to snow any day. A chilly wind had started to blow, and China got to her feet again. No way she would stay out in the open! She had a feeling she would freeze to death, waking up tomorrow to find she's become a stiff, cold corpse. Looking around her, she decided to head deeper into the valley, to a place where the base of the mountain looming above her seemed almost inviting. At least there would be shelter against the wind. Jogging to keep warm, she soon arrived to her set destination, quickly finding a spot that seemed well protected, rock on three sides. The place gave her a fine view over the valley, but she failed to appreciate its beauty. Instead, her heart sank to the bottom of her chest. The valley came to an end! The two opposing mountains grew together, completely cutting off the path she had travelled! Cursing all the deities she could think of, she sat down on the ground, almost sobbing with frustration. Either, she would have to climb, which would be unwise seeing how cold it was even down here, in the valley, or she would have to trace her way back, and go around the southernmost of the mountains. That might take several weeks. Growling with anger, her head fur bristled up, she kicked a loose pebble of rock, watching it build up speed as it clattered down the valley. Then something caught her eye. Across the valley, which here had narrowed until it was only a few hundred metres wide, she thought she saw a building. It was hard to be sure; there was the outline of a large house, almost a castle, but it looked wrong. No matter how she strained her keen eyes, China could not see any details. Then again, it was back-lit now, by the setting sun. Trusting her luck, she tossed on her backpack and set off. Whoever lives there, surely they couldn't turn away a frozen, hungry traveller?
Another sun set, another day died. Thareena sighed as she watched the evening from the tall, western tower. How long had it been? Days? Weeks? Decades? Time moved in erratic ways, she knew, when the heart was in turmoil. Ageron was gone, and the scar she had left in Thareena's soul still hurt. Especially on an evening like this one; when the rays of the dying sun set the forests ablaze on the mountainslope, lighting up the reds and yellows of autumn leaves. A lonely tear rolled down the dragoness's cheek, hesitating for a while on her chin, before it fell to the ground. In an effort to keep the darkness at bay, she focused her mind, feeling tendrils of power coursing outwards from her body. One by one, the torches and candles of the castle lit up, casting their light onto the semi-dark of the courtyard. Watching this all-too familiar scene, Thareena now spotted something new. A figure was coming in through the castle entrance. Who would be out walking now? In this chill? Magical eyes brought the newcomer into focus, and she saw that it was a young wolf, probably not even out of her teens. The black fur shone in the fire-light emanating from the bottom-floor windows, revealing to Thareena a lithe, yet trimmed body. Her feminine curves were exquisite, making the dragoness flick out with her forked tongue. Company, apart from her wonderful days and nights with Ageron, was rare this far from the paths. Maybe this one would stay the night, chasing the aching loneliness away for a few hours.
When China reached the doorless opening leading into the courtyard, she hesitated. No protection whatsoever. Either there was nothing inside worth stealing, or the place in itself kept thieves at bay. Both thoughts made her shudder. Well, if nobody's home, at least there's good shelter, and if the place is enchanted, I won't freeze to death, in any case. Politely, she stopped just before the entrance, waiting for someone to acknowledge her. Minutes passed, and nothing happened. Finally, she ran out of patience.
"Hellooo!" she shouted. "Is anybody there!?"
No answer. Waiting a little longer, she scratched her not-too clean fur, hoping without much hope that someone was really there, and that said one would offer her a nice, warm bath. Hell, she thought, even if it's starved mountain lions, I can at least hope they'll boil me before eating me. Anything better than this damned cold.
"I'm a traveller, cold and hungry, seeking shelter! I'm setting up camp just inside the walls, if nobody minds!"
As if in reply, the castle lit up. Window after window bathed the courtyard in light, and even here, outside the proverbial gates, China could feel the warmth from torches! Taking this as an invitation, she started crossing the courtyard, walking towards the castle doors, all the while with a dreadful sense of being watched. Suddenly, there was a swooshing noise, followed by a dull thud, as if something large had just landed behind her. Resisting the instincts telling her to fight or flee, China turned around. Sitting between her and the wall opening, was a dragon. Gasping with shock, she suppressed a scream. She knew about dragons, knew that while some were fierce carnivores, others were benign. She decided to trust her luck.
"I didn't mean to intrude," she said, keeping her voice steady. "My name is China, and I'm a traveller who sort of lost her trail. It's cold, and I came to seek shelter. When nobody answered my calls, I went in."
"You cried out?" the dragon asked. Its voice was deep, yet somehow China sensed it as not being masculine. "I'm sorry, I must have been brooding, so I didn't hear you. Will you come inside? It's quite warm."
"I'd be delighted to," China answered, truly beyond caring at this point. Exhaustion, cold and hunger conspiring to make her fearless. If she eats me, I just hope I don't make her sick. "I'm very cold."
"Poor creature." There was concern in the dragon's voice. "Come, I'll make a fire for you, to warm yourself. Would you like some broth? Sadly, I haven't been hunting for a while, so I have no meat to offer you."
"Your hospitality honours you." The wolf bowed. "May I ask my host's name, that I know who to thank?"
"Certainly. My, you're a polite one, aren't you? I'm Thareena, and this castle is mine, carved out from the mountainside by the best of craftsmen."
"It is a wondrous place. My thanks, Thareena, for showing me such kindness."
"My thanks, too, China. For saving me from another night of solitude. I something wrong?"
China's mind had been drifting, polite phrases and replies coming automatically. At the dragon's words, she snapped back into the now, realising she had been staring at the creature. It definitely was female, she realised, her eyes following the slender, reptilian body to reveal two firm breasts in front. Thareena had been walking on all fours when they entered the doors, but inside, she got up to walk on her powerful hind legs, the forelegs turning out to be two thin arms, each ending with a clawed, four-fingered hand. Her skin was a light blue, and scaly, but running from below the full breasts down her front, in between her legs, was a broad stripe of light green scales, larger and sturdier than those on her back and limbs. From the base of her neck ran a crest of really large, triangular scales, which receded in size to end about halfway down the pointy tail. Above her shoulders towered a tall neck, crowned by a large, somewhat scary head. Large, green eyes and a long, thin snout, filled with fangs, and through the reddish-brown hair running from the top of her head down the back of her neck, China saw two pointy ears and a pair of horns sticking up. Through her front teeth, a forked tongue would flick every now and then. The most intriguing part of her body, though, was her large, leathery wings. Right now, they lay folded against her sides, so carefully camouflaged that they were all but invisible. But China had seen them move, right after the dragoness had landed, and knew they were huge. Embarrassed, she tore her eyes away from Thareena, reluctantly, because she had really appreciated the dragoness's natural beauty.
"S-sorry," China stuttered. "I didn't mean to stare at you. It's just... just that I've never seen a dragon before. Not this close."
"Oh. I thought there was something amiss. Look if you'd like, I don't mind. You're quite an interesting creature yourself. Where are you from?"
Before China could answer, they reached what must serve as living room. A large, round chamber, with soft cushions everywhere, and a large hearth set into one wall. Piling some wood in it, Thareena closed her eyes, and the fire lit itself.
"You know magic?"
"Yes. I've studied for the Guild of Elementarians in Ahagradia," Thareena said, a hint of pride creeping into her voice as she settled down on some cushions, indicating to China to do likewise. "I'm not a qualified mage, but I did learn some useful tricks."
"Like lighting up the entire castle at once?" China asked, tilting her head and smiling. "That scared me a bit."
"That is better than going around all night, breathing fire to each and every torch," Thareena said, a wry smile on her snout. "Sorry if it startled you."
"No matter." China sat down amid a pile of cushions, almost disappearing beneath a huge, red, fluffy one. The dragon let hear a soft laugh at this. "What soft fabric! Where is it from?"
"Ahagradia, of course. Plant-raisers trade well in the Capital of Magic. China..."
"China. Such a curious name. Were you named after the nation of old?"
"Nation? Thareena, I don't know what you mean."
"Never mind, little one. That part of history is all but gone. We old races remember."
"Well, to pass time, and to answer your earlier question, I could tell you about my name, and the place where I grew up."
"Please, do." Thareena flicked her tongue again, rising to her feet. "But not until I've prepared us a light evening meal."
A half hour later, Thareena served a makeshift dinner, consisting of a bowl of some steaming, spiced broth and a glass of hot tea. She had brought out a low table, and as China seated herself at one end, she laid down at the other. They ate in silence for a while, the wolf thoroughly enjoying the rich liquid.
"This is very good," she said. "Very."
"My thanks. It was made from elk, and seasoned with herbs from my garden."
"I'm feeling much warmer now. Your castle is a lovely place."
"Lovely, but lonely." Something in the dragoness's voice almost made China wince with sympathy. How lonely couldn't one get in such a desolate place? "Even with fires and torches, nights can be cold."
"You live here by yourself?"
"These days. My mate left me, taking much of the comfort from this place."
"I'm sorry to hear that. Won't you move elsewhere? Seek out new company?"
"I should, but this castle... it's the only place that was ever truly mine. Now, China, would you tell me a little about yourself?"
"Well, there's not that much to tell. I grew up in Keel's Rest, a small coastal town, with my parents and my brother, Pearl. We got our names because of an impurity in our black fur, inherited from our father, who is a white wolf." She rolled up her shirt, showing Thareena a white, round marking on her belly. "Mother said mine looks like a china saucer, and Pearl's like a... well, a pearl."
"Such a fine marking," Thareena said, eyeing it closer. "It contrasts so beautifully with your ebony fur."
"Thank you," China said, laying her ears back in the lupine equivalence of a blush. "Most people just laugh, saying I've spilled milk on me, or something."
"No, it really is pretty. You should not listen to such people."
"I'll try not to. When I grew old enough, I trained to become a soldier. But as this was against my father's will, he set me up to marry a boy of his choice, to settle down and become a mother. I ran away, using my skills to become an adventurer. Right now, I'm on my way to Ahagradia, to deliver a package from the mayor of Toussa to an archmage of the Government of Magic."
"What's his name?"
"Awryin. He's a she, I mean, it's a woman. The mage, I mean."
"Yes, I know her. She likes to buy from the herbs I bring to market. Pleasant, yet holding herself aloof. So you hope to scale the mountains to reach Ahagradia?"
"No, I had hoped this valley would lead through the chain of mountains. It doesn't, and I'm not equipped for mountaineering. I'll have to go back, and lose weeks."
"Well, for tonight, forget your troubles and enjoy the warmth and my company, China. I know I will enjoy yours."
Now what did that mean? China sat puzzled, while Thareena cleared away the dishes after their meal. Putting the table away again, the dragoness laid herself down again, closer to China this time, with a bottle of wine and two goblets. Thareena filled these, and China accepted one, carefully sipping the sweet-smelling liquid. It tasted very good, and she said so.
"Thank you. It was brewed from various fruits and berries from my garden. Don't drink too fast, it's quite potent."
"I can manage, I think," China said. "My brother and I used to compete at drinking, and he never won."
"How old are you, China? At times, you sound as if you've got a lifetime of experience, other times you almost sound like a cub, missing her den."
"I'm nineteen. It's true I'm young, but I'm no fool. As for missing my home, I really don't. Father always fought my will, and mother agreed to whatever he said and did. The one I miss is Pearl. We were very close."
"Young, but very well grown," Thareena said, running the back of her hand down China's cheek, neck and arm, causing the wolf to gasp. "Your soldier training shows. These are some impressive muscles, for a young one like you."
"Th- thank you. I've been preserving my shape since I left the soldiering academy. I'm stronger than I look." She drank some more of her wine, trying not to notice that the dragon hand had settled down on her thigh. "This wine is really good."
"You already said that." Removing her hand, Thareena sat up, catching China's eyes. "The nights can be very lonely out here, with no one around. I am very grateful to have your company."
Blushing again, China stared down into her goblet. Was the dragon trying to seduce her? Ears still laid back, she looked up, again caught by those green eyes. There was definitely a longing there, perhaps even a hint of desire, but reading a dragon's face was difficult. She found her thoughts racing. What if I'm wrong? I might offend her. But what if I'm right? Do I want to make love to a dragon? A female dragon? Then again, she took me in, fed and sheltered me, and she's been very nice. But a female? I've never felt attracted to females before! She really is beautiful, though. So was the racing horse I lost sixty markers on, back in Toussa. I didn't bed that! Get real, China! she told herself. Whatever she suggests, just say no. Good manners does not include giving in to your host's desires, imagined or otherwise. And stop drinking, or you really will get seduced! Sloshed, then seduced. Despite this thought, she had another sip, but almost spat it across the room as the hand found her thigh again, higher up this time.
"Your thoughts are in turmoil, my beautiful wolf. Why?"
"I... I guess your wine really is potent," China answered, not really suppressing a nervous giggle. "Thareena, I don't mean to be impolite, but I'm not interested in females."
"Is that what you think, or what you believe yourself to think? I felt your eyes on my body."
"I was curious. As I said, I've never seen a dragon up close..."
"Your eyes do not lie as well as your mouth, China." The dragoness leaned closer, letting the forked tongue play across the side of China's neck. Shivering, the wolf held her breath. "I'm not dangerous, China. Lie back and relax, let me soothe your tension. Let me make you... comfortable."
Oh gods, China thought. Gods, monsters and all the seven hells! That voice, it's so tempting! I must be really drunk. She looked at the goblet. Not even half drained. Unless this dragon-wine was the stuff from which legends spring, she shouldn't even be affected. I've had stronger than this, thrice as much, without even speaking thickly. Now, Thareena was massaging her back, still playing her tongue across her neck. It felt really good. And it's me, feeling this, she thought. Not wine, not gratitude or politeness, but me. It's no use hiding, she makes me feel good, and I long for more. Leaning back against the cushions, she reached up to stroke the dragoness's snout, watching a smile play with the reptilian features, softening them and removing all traces of the predator.
"You're really cute," she said, not even wincing as Thareena touched her hip, running the clawed hand up her side, pulling her shirt up as she went. "This could be a good way to spend a night."
"Trust me, it will be." The velvet voice soothed China's ears, and she closed her eyes as she felt her shirt being removed, a dragon hand caressing her breast. "Here, too, you are well grown. Ageron, my mate, had smaller breasts. She loved to let me touch them."
"Your mate was a girl?" China gasped, suddenly having a hard time finding her voice.
"A female dragon, just like me. We were very close at first, but we grew apart with time. In the end, she left, saying she wanted to mate, to reproduce."
The hand withdrew, and China opened her eyes again. Thareena was crying, tears rolling down her cheeks. Hugging the dragoness close, China nuzzled her, stroking her hair, doing her best to give comfort.
"Don't cry. Please don't cry. Tonight, you are not alone. I'm here for you, here to make love to you. Please don't cry."
Thareena looked up, catching China's eyes and nearly drowning in those deep, black wells of the soul. It felt so good, again to be this close to somebody. The furry arms around her neck, the soft muzzle rubbing her snout, the warm lips that sought hers. They joined each other in a deep kiss, and Thareena once more let her hands wander over the lupine body. One went around her back, returning the hug, the other sought out the large, fur-covered breasts, caressing them, teasing them, clawed fingers circling the nipples, making China gasp and pant into the kiss. Parting their lips, Thareena could now almost see the tension in the air, as if bolts of lightning would leap between them if they stayed apart for long. Now, it was her turn to gasp, as wolfen hands sought out her own breasts, squeezing them lightly.
"I'm not the only one well grown," China said, grinning. "Judging from size and colour, these would sell as watermelons on the fruit market."
"You little rascal!" Thareena said, laughing. She returned the squeeze. "What do you trade in, then, hairy coconuts?"
Giggling, they fell back onto the cushions, lying side by side, not letting up their caresses, their thorough exploring of each other. As China kissed her neck, Thareena wondered at her good fortune. Such a marvellous creature! So humorous, so lively, so... vibrant! Teeming with life. Suddenly, she regretted all the years she had spent in the castle, alone. With a world full of creatures like China, why should I remain alone? As the wolf's kisses went lower, she cast those thoughts aside, and set her mind to the present, to the enjoyment at hand.
Balancing Thareena's breasts in her hands, China let her tongue swirl around one of the now-erect nipples, feeling it stiffen even further. The scales grew smaller here, on the large, full breast, eventually leaving the nipple as bare, sensitive skin. China took it into her mouth, sucking lightly, feeling Thareena's entire body tense, the dragoness pulling her closer, cradling her tighter. Gasps turned into moans as China sucked one nipple, pinching the other, then changed, over and over again. Knowing roughly what to expect of a dragon's anatomy, the wolf ran a foot down Thareena's belly, and in between her legs. As she felt the rough scales end, she slowed down, searching. Good thing I keep my foot claws trimmed, she thought. Otherwise, I might hurt her. Finding what she sought, she ran her toes across the slit, feeling the half-swollen clitoris and the outer labia. This new touch made Thareena loosen her hug, rolling over with a deep sigh to lie on her back. Accepting this obvious invitation, China let go of the rock-hard nipple in her mouth, instead letting her tongue wander down the scaly abdomen, slowly, teasingly. Her hands were now on the dragoness's legs, caressing her inner thighs, moving ever closer to, yet not touching, that secret place. A grunt of impatience escaped Thareena, as China suddenly stopped, getting up. Slowly she removed her trousers, enjoying those green eyes as they followed her every move, eager to see the new. Naked, she suddenly became uncomfortably aware of how long it had been since she had last bathed.
"Thareena, I... I'm not very clean. It's hard to wash when you're travelling, especially this close to winter, when the streams are freezing."
"Hush, little one, don't mind that. I'll wash you, but not until later. Your body is very beautiful." China laid her ears back, feeling her cheeks burn beneath the fur. "So beautiful, so sexy. When you're naked, your white saucer is really distinguishing, you know. Accentuating your nakedness, making it more obvious. Weren't you busy just now, by the way?"
A sly grin spread across the lupine face as she straddled Thareena's body, rubbing herself against the dragoness as she slowly moved lower. As their chests moved against each other, both sighed and moaned with pleasure. Eventually, China placed herself between Thareena's spread legs, sitting on the long, thick tail. Before her lay the dragoness's exposed sex, something China, a while ago, would not have believed she could desire so. Gently, curiously, she began exploring it with her fingers, taking great pleasure in the small whimpers and squeals Thareena couldn't keep in. There were no scales here, just bare, pink dragon skin, soft and smooth. Questing, China parted the outer labia, exposing the moist inner pair. A strong, but not unpleasant scent of arousal hit her nostrils, and her acute, canine sense of smell delighted in this. She leaned forward, eager, now, to taste as well as smell. Touching Thareena's swollen clitoris with her tongue, she felt the dragon juices go to her head, more potent than any wine. The sensation was heightened, as she felt the tail move beneath her, rubbing against her own sex, sending waves of pleasure coursing through her body. The pointed tip ran up along China's back, curling around her torso in a tight hug. Sighing, almost shivering with excitement, she set to her task, kissing and licking Thareena until the dragoness roared with blissful delight. China's fingers trailed the moist hole, alternately parting and closing both the inner and outer labia. Her hand was sticky now, as the dragoness nearly flooded, nearing her orgasm. Sensing this, China increased the speed and pressure of her lips and tongue, and she ran a finger into Thareena, then another, feeling the dragoness's vaginal muscles tighten as she peaked. Thareena stiffened, pressing her shoulders and hips deep into the cushions as her back arched up, nearly tossing China off. Another roar filled the room, followed by a whining sound as the dragoness came. Climbing off the slowly relaxing body, China laid down beside Thareena, stroking her chest and kissing her muzzle, gently guiding her down from the heights and into the soft afterglow. Meanwhile, the wolf's own excitement grew, and she knew she needed her own release. As if sensing this, Thareena grabbed her hips, rolling her over to lie on her back. For a brief second, a wave of panic swept through China as the dragoness leaned down over her. If she lies down, I'll be crushed! She had no need to worry. Holding herself up with her strong legs, Thareena kissed her, their tongues meeting and playing, before the dragoness moved on, downwards. Feeling the nimble dragon tongue slide across her nipples made China grip the cushions below her. She raised her head to watch, and Thareena, seeing this, pouted her lips awkwardly, to show she could not suckle her. China laughed at this, and the dragoness joined in, before returning to the lupine breasts. The wolf arched her back, desperate for more, and soon she found Thareena's knee; wrapping her own legs around it, she started moving against it fervently, finding a rhythm that would bring her to a quick orgasm. Thareena, though, had other plans, pushing China away from her leg, ignoring the wolf's frustrated moans. Instead, she laid down between China's legs, letting her tongue play through the wolf's thick, short groin fur.
"Please, Thareena, don't tease me anymore," China whispered. "I can't take it... please don't tease..."
Taking pity, the dragoness ran her fingers across China's sex, gently caressing the outer libia. She then let her tongue join her finger, flicking it across the erect clitoris, sending a jolt through the wolf's body. Next, she surprised China, by sticking the long tongue into her. Thareena moved her tiny nose, which was now rubbing China's clitoris, up and down, while her tongue filled the wolf completely. Growling, China fought her climax, trying to keep it away, in order to enjoy this treatment for as long as she could. What finally sent her over the edge was the unexpected feeling of a claw, tracing and caressing her anus. She howled as she came, every muscle in her body spasming, tensing, then relaxing. The sheer pleasure went beyond anything she had ever known. No man had ever given her this!
Still in the middle of her peak, she felt strong arms lifting her from the soft cushions, but she was beyond caring. She felt a rush of air against her naked body as Thareena took flight, soaring at breathtaking speed down a huge corridor. The air turned cold, and China saw the ground sink away beneath her. Yet, she felt perfectly safe, as she snuggled up tighter into the dragoness's strong embrace. The landscape whirled past below them, and China felt her own body drawing warmth from Thareena's. Leaning her head to the dragoness's chest, she could hear the large heart beating behind the ribs, each ta-thump bringing on a new wave of heat. Finally turning, Thareena sped up, and China turned her head, letting her tongue loll out to catch the wind, grinning widely. When she saw this, Thareena laughed, letting roars and shouts of joy be heard across the county. China joined in, screaming and howling out her happiness. Flying, making love, finding warmth and a friend when she felt lonely and cold; they both let those feelings enter their shouts as they soared down towards the castle again.
Thareena landed on a balcony in the eastern tower, folding away her wings before she ducked inside the open window, cradling her precious burden. This was the master bedroom, a luxurious, spacious chamber with another sparkling fire burning in another fireplace. The bed was really only another pile of cushions, beneath a light blue canopy. But what caught China's eyes was the bathtub. It was lowered into the floor, and large enough for two fully grown dragons. Of course it is, she thought. It's built for Thareena and her mate. A cloud of steam rose from the water, beyond a doubt heated by the dragon's magic, and no sooner had Thareena let her down, before she bounded over, dipping her toes. The water was perfect! Almost hot enough to scald. Casting another quizzical look at the dragoness, and receiving a nod in return, she got in, immersing herself. What energy she had lost during their intense love-making, she now felt returning slowly. Thareena brought some bottles, pouring a little from each into the water. Soon, a fragrance of flowers and herbs filled the room, almost putting China to sleep. She woke up again, though, when she felt the water stir, and a dragon-tail brushing against her thigh. Opening her eyes, she saw Thareena's eyes and nose above the water's surface, feeling the large body moving underneath. Once the dragoness had settled down, China moved over to lie down on her belly and chest, happily cuddling up against her reptilian lover. The forked tongue played across her face and neck, while below the surface, clawed hands moved all over her body. Responding, she leaned up to kiss Thareena's snout, while she fondled her breasts, feeling them bounce weightless in the water. China grew excited once more, yearning to make love again, and to be loved again. Reaching down beneath the water's surface, her hand found Thareena's sex, caressing it as the dragoness hissed with pleasure. Slipping her two middle fingers inside, she slowly began to take the dragoness, meanwhile kissing and sucking her nipples. It wasn't long until Thareena began moaning with the beginnings of another orgasm, and China moved down between her legs, lifting her hips to the surface. Remembering the feeling Thareena had given her, she removed her fingers, instead sticking one slippery finger inside the dragoness's tailhole. Sucking and kissing Thareena's clitoris, and fingering her anus, China soon brought her lover over the top, and she once more heard that mighty roar. Sinking back beneath the surface, Thareena sighed deeply.
"China, that was even more wonderful. You're a miracle!"
"Thareena..." She hesitated, then drew breath. "Thareena, I think I'm falling in love with you. No one has ever made me feel like you do. Ever."
"You are so sweet, my beautiful wolf. I do love you, I know that. Dragons don't attach themselves easily, but when we do, there's no mistaking."
"Can you love me, then? Won't I fade away with age, and leave you alone again?"
"What are you talking about?" Thareena laughed. "You make no sense, my love."
"But... aren't dragons immortal? You said `we old races remember'."
"Little love, dragons are among the oldest of races. Me, I'm not far beyond you. Twenty-two are my years, and with luck, I might last sixty or seventy more." She laughed again. "You have read too many fairy tales, China. Dragons are as mortal as everyone else."
"Then... then you'll let me be your lover?"
"Of course! My sweet, darling little wolf. If you want me, I'm yours."
"I do! Thareena, I do want you!" Tears rolled down China's cheeks as she threw herself around the dragoness's neck, hugging her fiercely. "I love you! Please, let me stay with you!"
"W-what?" China's eyes opened wide with shock.
"You can't stay with me."
"B-but you said...?"
"Relax, little one, I'm just joking." She laughed, flicking her tongue across China's cheeks, tasting her salty tears. "I'm coming with you."
"You've still got your delivery to make, eh? Besides, You've given me an appetite for the world. Together, we can go anywhere."
"Together... as lovers."
"As lovers, China. Now, let's get up. The water's growing cold."
"Can't you heat it?
"Maybe, but I want to go to bed. I think you still need one more release."
"Please..." China said, hopping up onto the edge of the tub, shaking water out of her fur. She turned to watch the dragoness climb out of the bath, the sleek body slightly oily from the herbs. Touching her fur, China realised that she was perfectly clean, without even looking at a bar of soap. "Please make love to me again."
Thareena picked her up, carrying her over to the pile of cushions and gently putting her down. She laid down beside the wolf, gently licking her nipples and letting her hands wander over the furry body.
"Trust me, China."
"Just trust me. I would never hurt you, but this might be a bit scary if you're not used to it." Thareena closed her eyes, and China could almost feel the magic starting to work. "This will be like nothing you've ever experienced before."
There was a shimmer around them, and soon China felt ultimately warm. Even if she was boiled alive, she would never feel this warm. Thareena's magic set them on fire, burning with a painless flame that went beyond skin depth. She felt as if her soul was aflame, ignited by the dragoness's passion and fuelled by her own. Every touch, every movement of the body beside hers sent immense waves of pleasure through her body, and China felt as if she would explode. Then she felt something new, something that drew her wild with excitement. Thareena's tail-tip felt its way up her leg, her thigh, her crotch, until she felt it slowly entering her. At the same time, the dragoness leaned down to caress her clitoris, making her whimper with joy. Searching with her toes, she found her lover's lust-swollen sex, and began stroking it. Spurred on by the magical fires engulfing them, they intensified their loving, driving each other to hitherto unfelt highs. China came first, literally flooding the thick tail-tip inside her, but this didn't stop Thareena, who kept massaging her clitoris, all the while mercilessly pounding her tail in and out of the wolf. Both were screaming now, as they orgasmed again. together this time. Slowly, as Thareena's concentration failed her, the flames died out, leaving them both panting, exhausted. The afterglow that awaited as they came down from their shared peak made them sleepy, and Thareena pulled a blanket over them, closing her eyes.
"Tomorrow, we will go to Ahagradia, to deliver your package. Right after breakfast..."
"...and sex, I will fly you there."
"And then what?" China yawned widely.
"Then we'll come back here, of course."
"But you said you wanted to see the world with me."
"Do you really want to travel in winter's cold?" Thareena asked. "Look, it's snowing!"
"So it is..." Large, white flakes bounced against the window, settling on the balcony. "Well, I guess you're right. This is no weather for travelling. We'll just going to have to stay here, keeping warm as best we can."
"Any special ideas?"
"Some... How about you?"
"Oh, I can think of a thing or two. I haven't shown you all dragon tricks yet."
"And I can still show you a thing or two about wolves." She giggled, Thareena joining in with her deeper laughter. "I'm really tired, Thareena."
"Me too, love, me too."
The dragoness put her arm around the wolf, who snuggled up to lie against her warm breasts. Beneath the blanket, their chests rose and fell as they drifted off to sleep. Two minds, independently, formed the same thought just before they entered the dreamland. From this day, I will never be alone or cold again.
This story came to life as my part of a story-for-art trade with my friend and collaborator, the Dragonmunkey. He gave me a rough setting, and I took it from there. This is my first, and so far only, attempt to portray lesbian love (I normally dibble in the gay male field), so I'd really like to hear what you thought about it. My e-mail address is email@example.com.